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2007 Tribeca Limited Special Edition
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Sandman, Great off road pictures. What advice do you have for us that are wanting to go off road with our Tribeca's? Any special tricks that really pay off? Do you do any special maintenance to keep your Tribeca in good shape. I've read that we do not have any additional off road traction devices like LSD's so how do you keep your car from getting stuck in icy snow covered dips and valleys on the forest service roads?
 

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I'm looking at at least 10 more trips to Crystal Mountain ski area. So plenty of icy/snow activity ahead. Bought a season ski pass, so any day it snows hard, I'm on my way, Usually the worse weather, the better skiing.
 

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2008 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Ground clearance is the most limiting factor. I've had mine above the license plate in powder snow, but once it sets up and turns to ice the bottom of the front bumper is where the body starts to drag and momentum is lost. Once I hear the bumper scrape in setup stuff I know it's time to turn around. Limited slip or lockers would be a great help, I would push it a little farther but knowing that the "one tire fire" setup gets stuck quickly once you get just a little high centered, best not to push it and get stuck. For a lot of street drivers lockers or limited slip would just put them in the ditch. A locked front end makes steering difficult and a locked rear end tries to push the front straight. But there is nothing like a locked front and rear when you are off road and want maximum traction.

I turn the traction control off as soon as I leave the pavement. It is useless off road, just slows you down and it will slow you down to the point of getting stuck in slick conditions. On pavement it works fine but off road where momentum is needed to keep you going it does not work. First half way steep hill I attempted in snow with it on it slowed me to the point of being stuck. Backed down, shut it off, started at the bottom at the same speed and easily made it up.

The only extra maintenance I do is wash it as soon as I get back. The wheel wells have SUCH limited clearance you don't want mud building up in there and getting hard giving you even less room. Wheels get packed with snow and vibrate sometimes terribly once you get back to higher speeds. More than once have had to clean them out for the drive home. I have done off road/snow all my life and the Tribeca does fine as long as you know it's limitations. It's not gonna take you through any extreme or even what I would consider medium stuff, but for what I want it to do it works fine and keeps me out of places I don't need to be going alone :) Plus I am a total fan of the ride quality and how comfortable the interior is, off roading in luxury!
 

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Sandman, Good to know. What i'm trying to accomplish is to modify my car to provide a great ski rig, so I can go where I want and not be worried by the weather. Canada, Washington, Montana and Idaho are the spots I can frequant. I thought the B9 Tribeca has a limited slip differential like the Outback 3.0R, but I maybe wrong. It seems that the Tribeca traction control is a braking system nanny controlled by the ECU. Slowing the spinning wheel to transfer torque to the wheel with traction. If used a lot, I would imagine it would cause the brakes to get hot. Maybe enough heat to warp the rotor if snow hits the hot iron rotor.
My idea is to add a rear ATB LSD like a Torsen or Wavetrac. The Wavetrac has a sliding locker inside the hub to help transfer torque from the unweighted wheel to the traction wheel. You know if one wheel is off the ground, it reduces the ATB LSD torque transfer to the weighted wheel. Clutch styles work well with the inside wheel off the ground, but not a Torsen. Clutches wear out in those style and replacement is almost as costly as a new clutch LSD including labor.
However, back to the electronics of the B9, if you had a ATB LSD in the rear, would that screw up the steering on the road giving the car more understeer. It may also do the same rounding a corner in icy weather, making the electronics work even harder in front to help brake the inside tire sending torque to the outside pull the nose of the car back in line with the steering angle. I'd just be spending money and making the car harder to drive. If I could figure out how the Outback 3.0R is setup, maybe I could duplicate that Subaru effort.
i am not using my car like you are, but I could find myself in a difficult spot by driving through the mountain passes in a severe snow storm like back from Montana to Washington. 4 winter passes to go over in the middle of the winter. So In that situation every bit of additional traction would be helpful as long as the car steers well.
Thanks,
 

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2008 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
With on the road driving the problem is usually loosing traction/grip with a lot of momentum and causing the loss of steering. In off road driving speeds are much less so the loss of steering control is a lot of times not as important as loosing momentum is. Thus the need is far greater to keep steering control on the road, the awd system in the Tribeca works well for this situation. I snowmobiled for decades, come back to the truck and it's snowed a foot plus during the day and you have to get out to the plowed road. Sometimes it's a couple hundred yards, sometimes miles. That's when a system you could lock would help you out. Once I get back to the paved road and can increase my driving speed I put the traction control back on because this is where it will actually do what it is designed to do.

If I was using it as my ski vehicle I would run studded tires no question. These will give you the greatest traction and least chance of loosing steering control in snow and ice by far. Always ran studs when I snowmobiled. Going up and down the pass every weekend is a dangerous drive and always wanted to give myself the best traction and grip on the road I could. Put my studs on before our first ride and took them off after the last every season.

Adding a lsd to the rear would be helpful to give more power to both wheels when momentum is the most important thing. Not as useful at road speeds.

This wiki write up in the drivetrain section states that some Tribeca's came with lsd in the rear. Doesn't state which ones. Easiest way to tell is jack the axle off the ground and put the trans in neutral. Spin a tire, if the tire on the opposite side of the axle turns the same direction it has lsd if it spins the opposite it does not.




Snow Tire Slope Automotive tire Mountain



Sky Snow Cloud Slope Sports equipment
Mountain Snow Slope Sky Cloud
 

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Facelift (EZ36D, 5EAT TG5D), MY2008, 7seat Limited (no DVD, no NAVI)
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@89sandman please don't go down that apex1-ricer-street...
1) wikipedia can be edited by ANYONE. do you trust ANYONE? like dealership dudes? :DDD
2) as I posted earlier links to parts catalogue - there is no LSD (not even the usual VLSD) for tribeca, from factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I was not aware that wiki can be edited by anyone. Think I'll go on there and say the Tribeca comes from the factory with twin turbo's :) Since you took the time to look up all the part numbers there must be no lsd, I would think someone would make one for the Subaru. Would be more of a hassle and cost more than I'd want to spend on a car, but maybe other people would.
 

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people have succesfully installed vlsd from other subarus (don't remember exact information, since I am not a fan of viscous thingies). if somebody is interested I can try to find that info :)
 

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Sandman, Before I would go down the LSD road and potentially induce more understeer from a LSD, I will switch to studded snow tires next year. If that doesn't work out well do to road noise, I might switch to a new Outback. Subaru has a big presence in the NW. At Crystal Mountain today, I bet 40% of all cars in the lot were Subaru's of somesort. Its an off midweek day, so a lot of season ticket holders show up, like me. No kids, families, or lift lines, just a bunch of retired guys & gals having a good time.. Thanks again, love those pictures. Oil change due in a month or so, so I will check the rotation of the rear wheels when car is on the rack.

Averaged just over 21 MPG for the past two trips to Crystal, not bad going up, down hill and stop and go traffic near Seattle. 2 large elk by road edge on my way up to the ski resort. Guy on the lift told me that place where I saw those elk, sometimes as many as 5-6 hang together (cabin owner feeding them) along that road and sometime stand in the middle. Posted 55 speed on a dark forest lined road at 25 degrees.
 

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Quick update, I did get my car on the rack yesterday and found that the opposite wheel spun reverse direction. Then the service manager looked up my car's service history on his connected Carfax system. This system showed every service that this VIN number had since new. The woman took good care of her car including many car washes. Pointed out that the cooling system needs to be flushed again and the brake fluid need to be flushed which is now scheduled on my next oil change. They also called Subaru and determined no LSD on this VIN. So, I will be looking for a Torsen LSD and a shop to install. Maybe in the summer for next year. Get some wheels first, then the LSD.
 

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while you check - check again about "good care"... especially - transmission related fluids AND filters :D
I am VERY, again, VERY interested to hear about that "good care" :D

my tribeca had good records on carfax, tires changed every other year or so - yet... when I got it - it had cracked tires all around, and, IIRC, they were all between 5 and 10years of age :D
 

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Quick update, I did get my car on the rack yesterday and found that the opposite wheel spun reverse direction. Then the service manager looked up my car's service history on his connected system. This system showed every service that VIN number had since new. The woman took good care of her car including many car washes. Pointed out that the cooling system needs to be flushed again and the brake fluid need to be flushed. They also called Subaru and determined no LSD on this VIN. So, I will be looking for a Torsen LSD and a shop to install. Maybe in the summer for next year. Get some wheels first, then the LSD.
I am glad that you got these. Good for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The snow has turned to ice so me and Max spent the day going where the 4x4's don't dare. They are too heavy and don't stay on top like the SxS does. So we had the day all to ourselves :)


Tire Wheel Vehicle Sky Snow
Sky Cloud Plant Natural landscape Mountain
Dog Snow Carnivore Plant Working animal
Cloud Sky Atmosphere Plant Natural landscape
Cloud Sky Atmosphere Plant Afterglow
Cloud Atmosphere Sky Afterglow Amber
 

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Looks like fun, hope your dog could pull you out of that pond if you fell through the ice. Thanks for sharing those pictures, makes me want to get going this morning and get outside.

That's the type of roads with ice I'm concerned about. Some ski resorts rely on state crews to plow and gravel but they also have other duties, so I may be stuck without those studded tires and a LSD to get me going, creeping along, hoping not to slide off the highway. I've had that happen 3-4 times in the past. Not good for your blood pressure. Had a front wheel sedan with Blizzak tires nose 90 off the road in a banked corner. I was dead stopped and the front end just slid do to the weight up front. My ski buddy was in a 4x4 behind me, helped get the nose pointed in the right direction, took about 1/2 the air out of the tires and just creeped along to Mt. Hood Meadows. I had a simular experience on the North Cascade Hwy 2. The entire road was covered with 1 inch thick sheet of ice. I had studs then but will had to creep along at 3-5 mph. Going down hill was the worst. I had to use the emergency brake to keep the rear end from sliding around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Funny you mention the pond. Max headed straight on it. Thought great if he falls in how am I gonna get him out. Luckily it was plenty froze. Little woman wouldn't let me come home if I lost him:)
 

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You probably lost cell phone coverage where you are going unless you have a satellite phone. It's these little issues that happen when you look the other way. Maybe a good idea to get a calf rope that you can throw 50 feet with a air tight bottle on the end so Max could ride as you pulled him out. Sort of like when I was sailboat racing, the coast guard made us have a throw ring that I could throw to a crew if they fell overboard. Only happened once at night. Came back with the same souls as I left with.
 
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