CLFish5

AWD on the beach?

77 posts in this topic

Has anyone done it successfully?
 

Maybe getting a AWD lifted and adding bigger/better tires? 

 

I currently own a 2015 Mazda CX-5 AWD and I’m wondering if maybe I can turn it into my beach buggy...

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some guys will have very strong opinions on this, but I've personally driven a Subaru Forester on the beach and have seen plenty of other Subarus (crosstreks, foresters, outbacks) on the beaches around NYC and NJ, particularly LBI and IBSP, including one Outback with no visible lift or mods (stock) filled with 5 adults cruising comfortably in the sand. i was also about to send you a link to a lifted 2006 4runner v8 with 60k miles on it, but it looks like you got your car situation figure out.

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Not every AWD system is equal. The only one I'd trust in soft sand is Subaru's, which can handle the beach no problem. It's a full time system, unlike most which will only send power to the rear tires in certain scenarios.

 

 

Edited by C.Robin

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14 mins ago, runnsfromcops said:

some guys will have very strong opinions on this, but I've personally driven a Subaru Forester on the beach and have seen plenty of other Subarus (crosstreks, foresters, outbacks) on the beaches around NYC and NJ, particularly LBI and IBSP, including one Outback with no visible lift or mods (stock) filled with 5 adults cruising comfortably in the sand. i was also about to send you a link to a lifted 2006 4runner v8 with 60k miles on it, but it looks like you got your car situation figure out.

I’ll gladly take that link! I’ve been looking for a dedicated beach buggy. But have struggled to find one that passes the test with the wife!

 

im not sure If my cx5 can handle it

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sorry, after I made my post I did a little more digging into that 4Runner and through another forum the consensus seems to be there's some shadiness going on with it.

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What is the clearance on the Mazda? Most AWD systems will be sufficient unless you get into soft sugar sand that's a foot deep. I did drive a Subaru Forester for years, no issues on the beach, plenty of issues with head gaskets and costly labor repair fees on anything that needs fixin' on them. Starter cost me near a $500 bill, Timing belt over $1000, Head gasket $2500,  O2 Sensor another $350 and even brakes were more costly than other Japanese cars. Suby's have their place but they have their own set of problems, that Boxer engine runs hot and uses oil, even when new. Now the newer ones 2013 and on have the CVR Transmission, that's a $10K fix if they go south and they haven' t proven to be so reliable. .

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AWD is meant to be a short term application... the "transfer cases" in these AWD cars like Rav4 and Pilots will burn out if driving on sand frequently.

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Not a fan of AWD on the beach. However, I dated a guy with an Outback and the vehicle did wonderfully on the sand. Even helped pull out an old Cherokee that the inexperienced driver framed down in Buxton. My parents own an AWD Buick Aviator, and I will be interested in seeing how it will do on the beach. The beaches where I live on the Crystal Coast are not as demanding as Hatteras Island, so if going somewhere demanding I would recommend a full on 4 wheel drive. 

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3 hours ago, runnsfromcops said:

to send you a link to a lifted 2006 4runner v8 with 60k miles on it,

Send it to me, please.

 

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2 hours ago, GarbageFish said:

AWD is meant to be a short term application... the "transfer cases" in these AWD cars like Rav4 and Pilots will burn out if driving on sand frequently.

Not sure about the reality in that statement regarding the Pilot.......on my 12th year with my Pilot and never any issues what so ever. I also have seen many, many Pilots very successfully driving the beach......not all new models. Now that said, mine is a 2010 that is 4WD and not AWD. It is a true 4WD, manually engaged , and runs that way until 20 mph in 1st,2nd and reverse........at that point is reverts to AWD. Not sure on the newer models that say AWD, but assumed they work the same.........

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To be fair about AW vehicles.  I tricked out a 93 GMC Safari Van AW XL that went on the beaches from DE to Hatteras and as far out west as Montana.  Never had any issues if I aired down.  2 inch lift and 235's with a bunk bed and rod holders in the back.  Took everything out from the front seats back and redid it in bamboo before I put built it out,  was awesome.  Damn I miss that thing.  

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6 hours ago, GarbageFish said:

AWD is meant to be a short term application... the "transfer cases" in these AWD cars like Rav4 and Pilots will burn out if driving on sand frequently.

What’s your basis for this , like Beret and several others never had issue with my Pilot on sand , but it’s only got 165k miles. 

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6 hours ago, Stryper Snyper said:

My wife doesn't like the cussing I do when I drive down the beach in ruts from AWD.  It's like riding on washboard.

The washboarding is caused by over inflated tires not AWD. 

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