AWD transit in sand

bossman429

Adventurer
I’m very close on finally convincing myself to buy a transit

changing life needs (read family) is pushing me away from the 100 series, defender, tacoma world I’ve been in a d realized I need more space and less off road capabilty

that being said one thing we do enjoy is driving on the beach near our home.
The beach sand can be soft. Key is always to air way down.

does anyone have any experience with the Ford awd transit system and soft sand? I would only be driving a few miles at a time in sand, and if aired down I don’t think it would be an issue. Planning a van compass lift to help with clearance but really don’t have a need for a quigley conversion if I can help it.
The rest of our adventuring needs I’m sure the awd would be fine....anything more and I’m taking the dual sport with a kid on the tank lol
 

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
How about this nice 4x4 van, maybe? I guess it depends partly on which coast beaches you’re talking about playing on.
Anyway....
(Not mine)

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sg1

Adventurer
I have driven an AWD Transit in sand. Mostly the Kalahari desert in Africa and some beach driving on the Baja. The van was doing better than I thought but it is not great. As you know the performance in sand depends on the diameter of the tires and the pressure of the tires on the ground. The tires are quite small and because of the van´s weight and the small tires there are quite a few punds per square inch on the ground. An empty Jeep or Taco with big tires would be better but you will be surprised how far you get in a Transit when you air down. Keep in mind that Ford recommends not to drive too far in soft sand because the transfer case of the Transit may overheat.
 

bossman429

Adventurer
Thank you for your feedback.

I figured the tire size would be the largest issue. Luckily when driving in and i dont plan on having it heavily loaded. The build will be very simple and versatile. No major camper components. I even compared contact patch size vs my tacoma tires and while the tacoma was certainly larger, it wasnt a HUGE difference.

Glad to see someone has done it succesfully, even if limited
 

Scotty D

Active member
Tire size
Tire size
Tire size
Honestly that is the biggest reason I have not bought one yet
My Express AWD is way better in the sand than it has any right being but I have 30 inch BFG KO2s and I air down to 20 psi
I dont understand why they made the tires so damn small and why everyone is so concerned about deck height
They should have at least made it easy to put larger tires on them
I hope Ford is listening
 

bossman429

Adventurer
From what I see you can squeeze a 265-75-16 on them with a 2” lift from van compass. That tire should have plenty of footprint for a light build out when aired down
My only concern is if when aired down the bloated sidewalk causes other clearance


granted I’m sure they are not optimal on a 6.5” wheel, it could be one solution.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to pull the trigger on a van tomorrow.
 

Scotty D

Active member
From what I see you can squeeze a 265-75-16 on them with a 2” lift from van compass. That tire should have plenty of footprint for a light build out when aired down
My only concern is if when aired down the bloated sidewalk causes other clearance


granted I’m sure they are not optimal on a 6.5” wheel, it could be one solution.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to pull the trigger on a van tomorrow.
The sidewall only bloats on the bottom, should cause zero clearance issues
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Thank you for your feedback.

I figured the tire size would be the largest issue. Luckily when driving in and i dont plan on having it heavily loaded. The build will be very simple and versatile. No major camper components. I even compared contact patch size vs my tacoma tires and while the tacoma was certainly larger, it wasnt a HUGE difference.

Glad to see someone has done it succesfully, even if limited
2 things,
first the tire is marginally tinier
second the Tacoma is "marginally" lighter
which adds up to a HUGE diffrence

but there are lots of guys driving vans across beaches
it is all about picking the path of least resistance
 

brianjwilson

Some sort of lost...
I’m very close on finally convincing myself to buy a transit

changing life needs (read family) is pushing me away from the 100 series, defender, tacoma world I’ve been in a d realized I need more space and less off road capabilty

that being said one thing we do enjoy is driving on the beach near our home.
The beach sand can be soft. Key is always to air way down.

does anyone have any experience with the Ford awd transit system and soft sand? I would only be driving a few miles at a time in sand, and if aired down I don’t think it would be an issue. Planning a van compass lift to help with clearance but really don’t have a need for a quigley conversion if I can help it.
The rest of our adventuring needs I’m sure the awd would be fine....anything more and I’m taking the dual sport with a kid on the tank lol
Does the transit have low range? My Sprinter 4x4 does ok in the sand with 265s. It is heavy, so the tires must be aired down a bit. This is where low range really makes a difference. Aired down in high range in soft sand it bogs down. I would imagine the ecoboost transit would make power by slipping the torque converter at low speed but quickly overheat.

I’m not familiar with the transfer case setup on the transit, but on the sprinter it’s rear biased. So it moved through the sand ok going forward. But if I stop and try to back up a hill in soft sand it does not do as well, the rear will start to dig a bit.
 

lbarcher

Adventurer
No low range in the transit. It's a road (heavily) biased AWD that wasn't really meant to do
what many around here think it should. That said, if I could own a van, the transit would be it.
 
I don’t have an AWD model so this is from the research I’m doing for v2 -

No low range on the Transit and it is absolutely not life having a true transfer-case, but considering you will likely/should not take an 7-9K converted van on too technical terrain, the first on the new 10 speed transmission and the EcoBoost engine should give you a lot to control and torque.

I think the issue is not have a low range in reverse.

I look forward to finishing my research and design stage, so I can order an AWD Transit.

I could not be happier with my 2017!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

hogasm

Observer
255/70/15 tires is what we used to drive on The Point in Hatteras for years without problems. We pulled a 12’ aluminum boat with a 9.9hp outboard motor, had a 120qt cooler with fishing rods on the front. Air pressure 12lbs. This was on a e150. The more weight put over the rear axle the better
 

coguzzi

Adventurer
i cant find the reference now, but i read somewhere that the 1st gear in the 10 spd transit tranny is as low or lower than sprinter 4x4 with the low range (which is highest gear ratio low range ever produced). transit can and will put 50/50 front to rear. sprinter is 70r/30f give or take (think 69/31 is real number). where sprinter wins is from the factory ground clearance and approach/departure angles. that will all change when the 4x4 sprinter (really a selectable AWD anyway) goes away mid 2021 and replaced with 4matic AWD whether it gets better or worse
 
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