AWD transit in sand

T town

New member
Go to Transitforumusa to read up on the production halt of Transits due to the chip shortage. My delivery date to the dealer 3 miles from the plant just slipped from April 23 to May 28. I’m kind of wondering if there is a possibility it might not be produced at all and just get canceled.
There is a rumor that Ford is stopping the order process and if you do t have your Transit ordered by now you won’t be getting it. It is only a rumor at this point so.....
 

Farfrumwork

Active member
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

Not quite as low per my maths, Blotz (someone could correct me though)

5pd 4x4 Sprinter with 'low' range has an overall gearing of 20:1 in 1st (first gear w/o low is 14:1)
The 10spd awd ecoboost transit has an overall gearing of 17.5:1 in 1st
^^ both with stock tires

But close.

Lower would be better, especially when bigger tires are fitted, but the Sprinter low does pretty well where I've taken it.
 

coguzzi

Adventurer
Not quite as low per my maths, Blotz (someone could correct me though)

5pd 4x4 Sprinter with 'low' range has an overall gearing of 20:1 in 1st (first gear w/o low is 14:1)
The 10spd awd ecoboost transit has an overall gearing of 17.5:1 in 1st
^^ both with stock tires

But close.

Lower would be better, especially when bigger tires are fitted, but the Sprinter low does pretty well where I've taken it.
transit eco boost is winning on torque numbers though--now im just messing with you. Farfrumwork takes his sprinter where most will never go, and a transit probably wont go because of front overhang
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
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
It's right here...

:)


"As anticipated, Ford watched the market and has responded with the 2020 AWD Transit, a 4×4 system that employs an infinitely-variable electronically-controlled center differential , which can send up to 100 percent of the available torque to the front axle. This is where the Transit deviates from the Sprinter, which can be specified with an optional low range transfer case. An available low range is an advantage to the Sprinter, as it allows slower overall speeds and greater control in more technical terrain, but the reduction ratio is only 1.42:1, which is far less than most traditional 4WDs. As a result, the perceived advantage is less than reality, and it comes down to math (sorry). The Ford 10-speed has a first gear of 4.7:1, while the Sprinter 7-speed has a 4.377:1. The axle ratio of both can be specified to 4.1:1. The lowest overall ratio available in the Transit is 19.3:1, while the Sprinter with low range sits at 25.20:1. Add in the difference in available torque from the bi-turbo EcoBlue and… the low range of the Sprinter is not quite as magic as first brush reveals."
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
So many of you don't know that yet but we have bought a Ford Transit 2020 AWD HR with Ecoboost as an Expedition Portal project. And yes it came Expo White.

:)

I am currently driving it across country and in Colorado at the moment.
I have not tried it in the sand, but I can tell you that in the snow it's doing great. This is with stock tires (that are snow rated).
It is really nice to be able to switch mode while driving at 70 mph and the conditions change from dry to snowy/slippery. I believe this is not something you can do on the Sprinter, and it's a use case that would be much more common for the overall population that going off road with a giant van.

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dman93

Adventurer
Now I’ve figured out who you guys are on the Transit forum, I’ll chime in here and say it’s good to hear another person NOT complain about the OEM VanContacts (not Vanco’s). I’ve been happy in the snow and dirt with them, and even in sand, long stretches in the Mojave but not very deep and often in just one track of two-track. On our recent desert trip, we had one steep, rutted hill with a little rock step at the top. After much hemming and hawing, we watched a Sprinter AWD with KO2’s, big lift etc make it up, so we went for it. Piece of cake. And my wife said I just crawled up with no wheel spin, while the Sprinter did spin and slide a bit, though that may have been due to my skillful driving 😀. This was with my OEM Conti’s and my van is a 2020 Transit AWD.

I will say that a few hundred yards after the crest I got hung up on a rock that snagged one of my rear shocks brackets. On the rest of this section of trail (which was open and legal but not even shown on the Mojave maps) ground clearance was much more of an issue than traction. I’ll invest in skids and the shock bracket relocation kit before buying new tires, though of course I realize bigger tires will help clearance too.
 

rruff

Explorer
I got hung up on a rock that snagged one of my rear shocks brackets.
The way those things hang down tells me they aren't designed for offroad... but the Superduties have a similar thing going on.

Mount those higher, bigger tires, and a couple inches of lift and you'll be in good shape. Articulation is poor on these, but I don't thing there is a way to keep sway in check and get articulation at the same time.
 

OllieChristopher

Active member
So many of you don't know that yet but we have bought a Ford Transit 2020 AWD HR with Ecoboost as an Expedition Portal project. And yes it came Expo White.

:)
Your rig is proof right there that it is all about the driver. Breathtaking and frightening views all at the same time!!
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Now I’ve figured out who you guys are on the Transit forum, I’ll chime in here and say it’s good to hear another person NOT complain about the OEM VanContacts (not Vanco’s). I’ve been happy in the snow and dirt with them, and even in sand, long stretches in the Mojave but not very deep and often in just one track of two-track. On our recent desert trip, we had one steep, rutted hill with a little rock step at the top. After much hemming and hawing, we watched a Sprinter AWD with KO2’s, big lift etc make it up, so we went for it. Piece of cake. And my wife said I just crawled up with no wheel spin, while the Sprinter did spin and slide a bit, though that may have been due to my skillful driving 😀. This was with my OEM Conti’s and my van is a 2020 Transit AWD.

I will say that a few hundred yards after the crest I got hung up on a rock that snagged one of my rear shocks brackets. On the rest of this section of trail (which was open and legal but not even shown on the Mojave maps) ground clearance was much more of an issue than traction. I’ll invest in skids and the shock bracket relocation kit before buying new tires, though of course I realize bigger tires will help clearance too.
Yes i agree the clearance is going to be the issue. Even in the snow I could tell that would cause a problem way before the tires or the snow control.

We will get larger tires/lift kit/bracket kit this summer but right now I am happy to wear out the factory tires, and also a wanting a few more "beta" tester for the 2" lift kit.
One of my best friends in B.C. is getting his van this week (similar build) and received his VC lift kit already. He is very straight shooter and I trust him to let us know if this kit works or not.
 

dman93

Adventurer
Will be following on the lift kit experiences as more people get them, and maybe there are some options in addition to VC. I’ve only lifted one vehicle, my old FJ80, and definitely noticed ill effects on handling despite just 2” taller springs (OME) and slightly taller tires. And I ended up taking it on tougher trails so dragged stuff just as much. My Tacoma is unlifted despite the popularity of doing so, and it works just fine for my explorations. So far my experience with the Transit is that, on the one hand, it’s so big it gets awkward anyway on trails that might need a lift; but on the other hand better ground clearance and bigger tires (plus skid plates) would give it more flexibility in line choices to help it get through tight spots. Right now the wide towing mirrors which don’t have power fold (I know, 1st world problems) are the biggest annoyance in the tight stuff.
 

Farfrumwork

Active member
It is really nice to be able to switch mode while driving at 70 mph and the conditions change from dry to snowy/slippery. I believe this is not something you can do on the Sprinter, and it's a use case that would be much more common for the overall population that going off road with a giant van.

This is a big distinction, and you are correct - the Sprinter requires you to basically stop to engage 4x4. Even my 30yr old Syncro could shift into 4x4 on the fly (with a decoupler). It's kind of annoying, but we just throw it into 4x if there is even a chance of snowy roads. There is no real penalty for using it (no noticeable mpg hit, or change to driving characteristics).

If you're 'off-road' it isn't as big a deal as you're traveling slow anyhow. And I usually have it in 4x4 anyway in those situations, and just select 'Low' when necessary.

Gratuitous high country Crested Butte shot (to add CO content for coguzzi)
butte 1.jpg

(sorry, no info around transit sand abilities - ha)
 

brianjwilson

Some sort of lost...
Wes
This is a big distinction, and you are correct - the Sprinter requires you to basically stop to engage 4x4. Even my 30yr old Syncro could shift into 4x4 on the fly (with a decoupler). It's kind of annoying, but we just throw it into 4x if there is even a chance of snowy roads. There is no real penalty for using it (no noticeable mpg hit, or change to driving characteristics).

If you're 'off-road' it isn't as big a deal as you're traveling slow anyhow. And I usually have it in 4x4 anyway in those situations, and just select 'Low' when necessary.

Gratuitous high country Crested Butte shot (to add CO content for coguzzi)
View attachment 651594

(sorry, no info around transit sand abilities - ha)
Agreed, it just stays in 4x4 and there is no notable mpg drop, no issues making sharp turns on dry pavement etc. I find myself running in 4x4 rainy mountain roads as it tracks better and pulls through the corners better. It’s actually one of the things I really like about the Sprinter.
 
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