Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

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Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:07 pm

Hi guys,

My recent time in Moab has made we ponder what, if anything, I might want to mod on my truck. For now, these are just thoughts based on what I saw, did and experienced. I haven't yet decided whether I actually want to go down the route of trying to make the truck more trail capable, or whether I want "invest" in a smaller, lighter, much more trail focused rig which I'd then trailer behind the PW for serious wheeling.

Lack of clearance:
The axels are obviously ultra beefy and strong, but they don't offer much clearance under the diffs. The low hanging rear drive shaft is also something which made me *very* paranoid. I knocked the front diff into things twice (no damage, thankfully) and I dented my front bumper.

Crawl ratio:
The truck doesn't have a great crawl ratio. I'd *love* a t-case which offered a 4:1 ratio as opposed to the current 2.7x:1 (I think?) The bottom line is: When crawling ledges up or down, it would be super helpful to have better (lower) gearing. The downhill assist control works pretty well but I can't help but feel like it's a band aid fix to the gearing issue.

Brakes:
The brakes can barely hold the truck still when in low range if you are on anything but level ground. This is pretty disconcerting when you realize this the hard way when the truck won't stop, or takes much longer to stop than you expected

So.... All this together makes me reluctant to put bigger wheels (37's) on the truck as it would seem that bigger wheels would exacerbate the braking and gearing limitations while buying me just 2 inches of clearance at best. If I *DID* go the route of bigger wheels, I'd also want to re-gear the truck to maintain near-OEM acceleration and mileage, and I'd want to somehow adjust the TPMS threshold to not have the annoying warning all the time. I'm weird that way.... I'd want the truck to function as near-OEM as possible.

Edit: This post is just me thinking out loud, trying to think through the various options. I'd love to make my truck more trail capable, but I don't want to sacrifice much in the ways of drivability, handling or reliability.
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by TwinStick » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:50 pm

I agree with you 100%. They need lower gearing both in the axles & in the transmission &/or at least the transfer case. It would be so awesome if they came out with a 3 range t-case. The ability to use all 3 ranges in 2wd would be icing on the cake. I know it will never happen though. As I hear all these complaints, it makes me more glad to have the one i do. The crawl ratio in my PW is almost 3x lower than other stock 4wd suv's/pickups. They also need to remap the brakes, giving more boost in Lo range, which is where you need it most.
In WNY State. 2008 Red QC PW G56. No lift yet, stock size tires. It pulls an 18' 2016 Starcraft AR One Extreme, 3500 lbs.
Load Pro 35 helper springs. 2015 A.R.E. MX Series custom cap. PCP front diff cover protector. Mag-Hytec 6 qt rear diff cover. K&N replacement air filter only. Dual grounded throttle body. Winch TPC bypass. Fab Four rear bumper. DURA BAK lined rocker protection. And a bunch of new front end stuff.

G-56 Gear ratios: 1st) 6.29:1 2nd) 3.48:1 3rd) 2.10:1 4th) 1.38:1 5th) 1.0:1 6th) 0.79:1 Rev 6.29:1 --- = 78.01613:1 Crawl Ratio
-------------------------5.94:1--------3.28:1-------1.98:1-------1.31:1-------1.0:1-------0.74:1-----5.42:1 ---- = 73.675:1
545RFE----------------3.0:1---------1.67:1--------1.0:1--------0.75:1-------0.67:1------------------3.0:1 -------=37.21:1

2013+ 32.47 crawl ratio...............Can you see the trend ??????????????

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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by BoldAdventure » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:49 pm

Need to get those brakes looked at. Were you in drive or 1st gear?
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:50 pm

MikeKey wrote:Need to get those brakes looked at. Were you in drive or 1st gear?
I was in 4 low and drive, standing still so I assume the transmission had 1st selected.
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:51 pm

TwinStick wrote:I agree with you 100%. They need lower gearing both in the axles & in the transmission &/or at least the transfer case. It would be so awesome if they came out with a 3 range t-case. The ability to use all 3 ranges in 2wd would be icing on the cake. I know it will never happen though. As I hear all these complaints, it makes me more glad to have the one i do. The crawl ratio in my PW is almost 3x lower than other stock 4wd suv's/pickups. They also need to remap the brakes, giving more boost in Lo range, which is where you need it most.
I also think the throttle response is too aggressive when in low. It's not real easy to creep up over obstacles when the throttle is so "jumpy"
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by TheDirtRoad » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:09 pm

Here is what I noticed with my truck put it on an incline or decline hold the brake tight, then shift to 4-low the brake pedal will drop, it doesn't matter if you are in gear or not , I am not sure why it does this but it does take a lot more force to hold the truck. Mine no longer does it as bad as it did when it was new. I'm assuming it has to do with the throttle remapping? Just a guess.

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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by BoldAdventure » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:18 pm

LagunaH1 wrote:Hi guys,
My recent time in Moab has made we ponder what, if anything, I might want to mod on my truck. For now, these are just thoughts based on what I saw, did and experienced. I haven't yet decided whether I actually want to go down the route of trying to make the truck more trail capable, or whether I want "invest" in a smaller, lighter, much more trail focused rig which I'd then trailer behind the PW for serious wheeling.
A smaller rig will always be better, but maybe less capable when it comes to hauling and towing.

But for an all around rig, I think you just need more experience wheeling your Power Wagon, maybe with a different group who will help you push it's limits. Doesn't sound like you pushed that thing at all from what you've written in your two posts. These trucks, even in stock trim are incredibly capable. But if you're with a group that doesn't think your truck can do it, they won't push you to try. Bummer you can't make it for Power Wagons in Moab.

For me, because I use my rig to both tow and wheel and transport my family, it's the best all around compromise. A smaller rig would perform better. But I'd have a hard time having another rig, plus towing the Airstream all over the country. We're not RV people, so I'm not towing a Jeep behind an RV.

But really only you can make that call. But maybe diff guards are in order, lol. :cheers:
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:23 pm

MikeKey wrote:
LagunaH1 wrote:Hi guys,
My recent time in Moab has made we ponder what, if anything, I might want to mod on my truck. For now, these are just thoughts based on what I saw, did and experienced. I haven't yet decided whether I actually want to go down the route of trying to make the truck more trail capable, or whether I want "invest" in a smaller, lighter, much more trail focused rig which I'd then trailer behind the PW for serious wheeling.
A smaller rig will always be better, but maybe less capable when it comes to hauling and towing.

But for an all around rig, I think you just need more experience wheeling your Power Wagon, maybe with a different group who will help you push it's limits. Doesn't sound like you pushed that thing at all from what you've written in your two posts. These trucks, even in stock trim are incredibly capable. But if you're with a group that doesn't think your truck can do it, they won't push you to try. Bummer you can't make it for Power Wagons in Moab.

For me, because I use my rig to both tow and wheel and transport my family, it's the best all around compromise. A smaller rig would perform better. But I'd have a hard time having another rig, plus towing the Airstream all over the country. We're not RV people, so I'm not towing a Jeep behind an RV.

But really only you can make that call. But maybe diff guards are in order, lol. :cheers:
What's the most challenging trail you have run in Moab in your PW?
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by zigsrig » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:59 pm

Hey buddy, this certainly does wheel a lot different than your old rig ( I can't think of too many other people who have piloted both an H1 and a power wagon on the same trails ), so I know where you are coming from. I too get the "drop your brake peddle to the floor when in 4-low" in my truck. It still stops, just takes a bit more than I'd like ( or compared to the Jeep with the big brake kit or the H1's brakes). Not sure if there is something wrong with your truck, it might just be something that you have to get used to...

I can see why you might get "rig envy" after spending time on the trail with Dave and his scorpion, but the power wagon is a damn good all around exploration rig.

The pictures from the other guys made it look like you made things look easy anyhow....

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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by aearles » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:05 pm

I think that looking under the 2500 can make you paranoid about the low hanging giant pumpkin and driveshaft but in real world use, neither has been a limitation for me with appropriate wheel placement. Sure you can't take the same lines as the hummer guys with their independent suspension, but if you keep your tires on top of the big rocks instead of straddling them, the axle and driveshaft tend to move out of the way. Today I attempted a straight 2-3' ledge on Seven Mile Rim several times, got the front wheels up, worked my way forward till I'm on skid plates, and slide on them until the rear tires grab the vertical surface, I powered at it several times at many different angles and never had my driveshaft become an issue.

I agree the brakes could be better, but mine still manage to hold me at a stand still on some steep ass descents in low range on Hells and Fins.

I don't have a problem with the gearing or throttle map on 35s, but the Hill Start Assist can make things a little jumpy if left enabled. I'm coming from a JK on 33s and 3.73s (manual), the truck is geared much better and feels so much more stable on the steep stuff, there are definitely some benefits of the larger rig.
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:53 pm

zigsrig wrote:Hey buddy, this certainly does wheel a lot different than your old rig ( I can't think of too many other people who have piloted both an H1 and a power wagon on the same trails Image), so I know where you are coming from. I too get the "drop your brake peddle to the floor when in 4-low" in my truck. It still stops, just takes a bit more than I'd like ( or compared to the Jeep with the big brake kit or the H1's brakes). Not sure if there is something wrong with your truck, it might just be something that you have to get used to...

I can see why you might get "rig envy" after spending time on the trail with Dave and his scorpion, but the power wagon is a damn good all around exploration rig.

The pictures from the other guys made it look like you made things look easy anyhow....

Zig


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Howdy!

It was too bad you couldn't stick around longer, oh well, hopefully next time. It was good to see you. Heck maybe you, Tim and I could all show up in our PW's at one of these events.... that is... if Tim still has his rig when the next event rolls around :D

Trust me, as awesome as the scorpion is, that's not what I would have my sights set on *IF* I were to go the direction of adding something very very trail capable to the inventory.

I don't think it's "rig envy" going on (great term though!) -Probably more a dose of "driveshaft paranoia" after being so used to being able to straddle damn near anything in my H1.

:rockon:
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by TwinStick » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:12 am

Just build or have someone build you a more HD driveshaft, or 2, so you have a spare. Or just have 1 really HD one built just for wheeling. It only takes about 10 minutes or less to take the rear d-shaft off. Just a suggestion.
In WNY State. 2008 Red QC PW G56. No lift yet, stock size tires. It pulls an 18' 2016 Starcraft AR One Extreme, 3500 lbs.
Load Pro 35 helper springs. 2015 A.R.E. MX Series custom cap. PCP front diff cover protector. Mag-Hytec 6 qt rear diff cover. K&N replacement air filter only. Dual grounded throttle body. Winch TPC bypass. Fab Four rear bumper. DURA BAK lined rocker protection. And a bunch of new front end stuff.

G-56 Gear ratios: 1st) 6.29:1 2nd) 3.48:1 3rd) 2.10:1 4th) 1.38:1 5th) 1.0:1 6th) 0.79:1 Rev 6.29:1 --- = 78.01613:1 Crawl Ratio
-------------------------5.94:1--------3.28:1-------1.98:1-------1.31:1-------1.0:1-------0.74:1-----5.42:1 ---- = 73.675:1
545RFE----------------3.0:1---------1.67:1--------1.0:1--------0.75:1-------0.67:1------------------3.0:1 -------=37.21:1

2013+ 32.47 crawl ratio...............Can you see the trend ??????????????

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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:40 pm

TwinStick wrote:Just build or have someone build you a more HD driveshaft, or 2, so you have a spare. Or just have 1 really HD one built just for wheeling. It only takes about 10 minutes or less to take the rear d-shaft off. Just a suggestion.
...not a bad idea actually.....

Are there *any* downsides to this, outside of weight?
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by TwinStick » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:32 pm

Would the weight REALLY matter if it was only used offroad ? I know there would be problems running @ 70 if it was really heavy. Kinda like tires. No need to have them balanced if they are for off road only & used at low speed trail runs. Give a local driveshaft maker a call.
In WNY State. 2008 Red QC PW G56. No lift yet, stock size tires. It pulls an 18' 2016 Starcraft AR One Extreme, 3500 lbs.
Load Pro 35 helper springs. 2015 A.R.E. MX Series custom cap. PCP front diff cover protector. Mag-Hytec 6 qt rear diff cover. K&N replacement air filter only. Dual grounded throttle body. Winch TPC bypass. Fab Four rear bumper. DURA BAK lined rocker protection. And a bunch of new front end stuff.

G-56 Gear ratios: 1st) 6.29:1 2nd) 3.48:1 3rd) 2.10:1 4th) 1.38:1 5th) 1.0:1 6th) 0.79:1 Rev 6.29:1 --- = 78.01613:1 Crawl Ratio
-------------------------5.94:1--------3.28:1-------1.98:1-------1.31:1-------1.0:1-------0.74:1-----5.42:1 ---- = 73.675:1
545RFE----------------3.0:1---------1.67:1--------1.0:1--------0.75:1-------0.67:1------------------3.0:1 -------=37.21:1

2013+ 32.47 crawl ratio...............Can you see the trend ??????????????

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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by LagunaH1 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:59 pm

TwinStick wrote:Would the weight REALLY matter if it was only used offroad ? I know there would be problems running @ 70 if it was really heavy. Kinda like tires. No need to have them balanced if they are for off road only & used at low speed trail runs. Give a local driveshaft maker a call.
Good point... I was imagining a HD drive shaft which I would run permanently. -In such a situation it would be very very nice (and required?) to have it real well balanced
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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by TwinStick » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:03 pm

Yes, it certainly needs to be balanced for any on road use. But also a thing to consider is, a very HD driveshaft, will also probably put more stress on the transfer case rear output bearing and/or the pinion bearing. More spinning weight/mass, which increases with speed. I am certainly no expert though, so I suggest calling someone like Tom Woods @ 1-877-4X-SHAFT, or Denny's Driveshaft @ 800-955-1872 or 716-875-6640.
Last edited by TwinStick on Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In WNY State. 2008 Red QC PW G56. No lift yet, stock size tires. It pulls an 18' 2016 Starcraft AR One Extreme, 3500 lbs.
Load Pro 35 helper springs. 2015 A.R.E. MX Series custom cap. PCP front diff cover protector. Mag-Hytec 6 qt rear diff cover. K&N replacement air filter only. Dual grounded throttle body. Winch TPC bypass. Fab Four rear bumper. DURA BAK lined rocker protection. And a bunch of new front end stuff.

G-56 Gear ratios: 1st) 6.29:1 2nd) 3.48:1 3rd) 2.10:1 4th) 1.38:1 5th) 1.0:1 6th) 0.79:1 Rev 6.29:1 --- = 78.01613:1 Crawl Ratio
-------------------------5.94:1--------3.28:1-------1.98:1-------1.31:1-------1.0:1-------0.74:1-----5.42:1 ---- = 73.675:1
545RFE----------------3.0:1---------1.67:1--------1.0:1--------0.75:1-------0.67:1------------------3.0:1 -------=37.21:1

2013+ 32.47 crawl ratio...............Can you see the trend ??????????????

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Re: Limitations of the '16 PW when off-roading

Post by BoldAdventure » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:39 pm

Seems like it would be easier to just pick a different line and maybe avoid hitting the drive shaft. :poke:

Probably just a fluke that you hit it. It's not something I'd put so much worry into. :cheers:
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