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post #1 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Angry New 2015 JKU Can't Cut the Beach??WTF??

A couple weeks ago I bought my first ever JK. A sport unlimited 6pd MT with the 3.73 gears. Wanted a Rubi but didn't have $40k to drop...oh well maybe next time.

The jeep had less than 50 miles when I drove it off the lot. The day I bought it the sales guy was showing me how to use the 4wd and just some of the vehicle options. When I went to shift it from 2hi to 4hi I remember it was very difficult so much that I ended up pulling the knob off. The sales guy told me this is normal its suppose to be tough to shift. I asked if he was sure because I felt like I was going to break it. It ended up taking two-hands to shift it into 4hi, from there I could shift into 4lo with just one hand.

So two weeks go by, love driving the jk and waving at others. The wife and I decide to hit the beach, we pack up the cooler, grab the beach gear and head out early for a fun relaxing beach day.

Now the beach I go to you can drive on it but you must have either AWD or 4wd to get on it. I've driven on the beach before so I know the sand is light and in some spots can get deep, but I've never been stuck for more than 5 minutes.

So we get to the beach, let 10lbs out of each tire, push and hold the ESC for ~5sec till the light stays on, push in the clutch, put it in neutral, shift into 4hi (shifted real easy with only one hand this time). As soon as the jeep hit the sand the engine bogged way down, no matter how much gas i gave it and it stalled.

I thought ok, first time the jeep has been on the sand will just take a bit of getting used to driving it. Verified I'm in 4hi (shifter position and idiot light for 4wd) and tried again..same result. Vehicle went nowhere and stalled. Tried a few more times with no success. Other jk owners stopped and all asked the same thing "Are in in 4wd? Keep it in 4hi and you should have no problems".

At this point a low to the ground Audi AWD wizzed past me...embarrassing. At this point I thought something isn't right, let me just back out. Put in reverse, still in 4hi, I started smelling something burning and smoke poured out the front passenger side.

We decided to give up driving on the beach and had two people push the jeep by hand the 3 feet back to solid ground. Let it cool down and checked to see if I could see anything wrong with the jeep, nothing I could see though, still clean, nothing dripping and nothing looking scorched or burnt.

Called the dealership and am dropping it off this evening to have it looked over. To me this just doesn't seem right, now if everyone was having a hard time or if I was buried to the axles I would understand a bit more, but I was sitting on top of the sand and still had clearance underneath the vehicle. To be honest it felt like the Jolly Green Giant was holding the vehicle still. Brakes seized up, not engaging 4wd properly I dunno but am hoping the dealership will find and fix it.

I have this feeling the dealership will call me back and say there is nothing wrong which will really make me even more frustrated. My wife, which didn't like the idea of me getting a MT thinks that we can't enjoy the jeep and do what we want because of my choice in transmissions. I understand a MT will add some complexity to off road, but dang it shouldn't be undrivable on the beach. I learned to drive on a MT and have owned a few so it isn't like I'm in a totally new area or anything.

Just wanted to see if anyone has had a similar experience.
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post #2 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 11:49 AM
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You say you let out 10b's of air, what were you at after deflating? For sand I would not run on any more then 15 psi and the lower you can go the better. The stock skinny tires don't help. Shifting should not be as hard as you describe either.

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post #3 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
You say you let out 10b's of air, what were you at after deflating?
Thanks for the reply thedirtman

The stock tires were originally at 40psi, so I took them down to 30psi. Probably should have went lower, but with the way it was acting I'm not sure it would have helped that much, it truly felt like the something was holding the vehicle still. I wasn't spinning tires and digging a hole, I just simply wasn't moving and stalling out. I'll have to try going even lower next time to see if it makes a difference.

One of the frustrating things about it is a month earlier my nephew took his stock TJ to the same beach, having never driven in sand, put it in 4hi, didn't air down and drove all over playing in the dunes and had a blast.
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post #4 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 02:15 PM
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Sounds like you were shifting wrong. From 2WD to 4WH it's easy and can be done in gear, from 4WH to 4WL you need to shift the gearing into neutral and then pull back into 4WL, if it binds, try gently rocking the vehicle in gear and then back to neutral to try it again. Even on the stock KM's you should have been below 20psi to even attempt a sand crossing. At 30 you were driving on saw blades in the sand.

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post #5 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 02:25 PM
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If you were stalling it sounds like the ESP system was killing power to the engine because it senses wheel slip.

That with the trouble you had shifting leads me to believe you were not actually in 4WD, I've never had the Jeep pull power that bad unless I was in 2WD.

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post #6 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 04:19 PM
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Stock tires suck....you need to find someone with some low mileage Rubicon take-offs, wheels and tires.....will work well with 3.73's and fit stock vehicle, you will need a programmer.....

FYI, deep sand can be a beating, even in a slightly built rig....those stock tires will hate sand, even aired down.....

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post #7 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKCTAZ View Post
Sounds like you were shifting wrong. From 2WD to 4WH it's easy and can be done in gear, from 4WH to 4WL you need to shift the gearing into neutral and then pull back into 4WL, if it binds, try gently rocking the vehicle in gear and then back to neutral to try it again. Even on the stock KM's you should have been below 20psi to even attempt a sand crossing. At 30 you were driving on saw blades in the sand.
Yup I would deff want to be in 4 low when driving around on deep sand. I think if you used that you would notice a huge difference
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post #8 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 06:17 PM
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ESP doesn't completely turn off by pushing the button. 4 low and way lower pressure.

For shifting, if you're having that much difficulty, it is bound up. Moving it a little should release the bind.
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post #9 of 34 Old 08-09-2015, 09:48 PM
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That sounds weird. Shifting should be easy. Sometimes you need to roll forward a bit so it will go into gear.

Also you usually need to lose traction before the esc kicks in. Were the tires breaking lose?


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post #10 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Perm View Post
Stock tires suck....you need to find someone with some low mileage Rubicon take-offs, wheels and tires.....will work well with 3.73's and fit stock vehicle, you will need a programmer.....

FYI, deep sand can be a beating, even in a slightly built rig....those stock tires will hate sand, even aired down.....
Actually Stock tires are better for driving on the sand than the Rubicon Take offs. You need to air down, with both but the stock tire will float better without digging in. At the end of the day a tire with a larger footprint will allow you to have better traction on loose sand.
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post #11 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 06:32 AM
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If your 2015 is like my 2008 than you need to be in 4LO not 4HI. When in 4HI the ESP system will kill power to the engine because it senses wheel slip. It will NOT do this in 4LO. I first noticed this when I was in 4HI on an easy trail, than came to a hill. Lost power and had to put in 4LO to make it. Dealer will say nothing is wrong. 4Hi is best used in winter conditions on slippery roads not offroading. Your Nephew's Jeep is older and does not have these same "safety" systems, so he will never have these problems.

Last edited by 2000xj; 08-10-2015 at 06:39 AM.
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post #12 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuLcRuM View Post
If you were stalling it sounds like the ESP system was killing power to the engine because it senses wheel slip.
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Originally Posted by Hickey View Post
ESP doesn't completely turn off by pushing the button. 4 low and way lower pressure.
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Originally Posted by 2000xj View Post
If your 2015 is like my 2008 than you need to be in 4LO not 4HI. When in 4HI the ESP system will kill power to the engine because it senses wheel slip.
Thanks for the replies...

The more I think about it the more this sounds like exactly what was happening. Which if the ESP was taking over the throttle and brake that would also explain the smoke and burning smell, if the brakes were kicking in to 'control' the vehicle.

Before going to the beach I did read up a bit on how to turn off the ESC, thought I understood that pushing once put it in 'partial' and holding for 5 sec turned it off completely..or at least till you restarted the jeep. Maybe I misunderstood and its not turning everything completely off the way I'm expecting.

With everyone telling me 4Hi, the frustration and evil glares from my wife I didn't even think to try 4lo.

I've been researching some mods ultimately I want to make to the jeep, tires, wheels, lift, etc... but with the $$ I just shelled out on the purchase those will have to wait a bit.
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post #13 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
The more I think about it the more this sounds like exactly what was happening. Which if the ESP was taking over the throttle and brake that would also explain the smoke and burning smell, if the brakes were kicking in to 'control' the vehicle.
When you go to 4LO no buttons need to be pushed. Everything will turn off when you go into 4LO.
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post #14 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 11:33 AM
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Have you tried driving it on the street in 4hi?
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post #15 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 12:53 PM
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If you not used to 4lo I would just do it in a parking lot or something going straight so you can get familiar before you really need it
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post #16 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 12:55 PM
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a couple things in your first post raise flags for me. why are there 50 miles on your Jeep if bought new? -- last time I bought one with that much mileage it had been used as a demo by a salesman. and crashed.

why did he tell you using two hands to shift to 4hi is normal? -- did they know there was an issue with it? shifting into 4hi is easier than shifting into 6th gear.

was this a vehicle they gave you a better deal on than others?


not to argue with or discredit any advice above. it all seems spot on. However, I have had my '08 MT 3.73 geared jeep in the sand with out airing down and in 4hi and it did not do that! 4lo and air down would be better but 4hi should not stop you in your tracks. (IMO)
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post #17 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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a couple things in your first post raise flags for me. why are there 50 miles on your Jeep if bought new? -- last time I bought one with that much mileage it had been used as a demo by a salesman. and crashed.

why did he tell you using two hands to shift to 4hi is normal? -- did they know there was an issue with it? shifting into 4hi is easier than shifting into 6th gear.

was this a vehicle they gave you a better deal on than others?


not to argue with or discredit any advice above. it all seems spot on. However, I have had my '08 MT 3.73 geared jeep in the sand with out airing down and in 4hi and it did not do that! 4lo and air down would be better but 4hi should not stop you in your tracks. (IMO)
To be honest I didn't think too much about having 50miles on it. I'm sure it was used as a lot vehicle to get lunch and run errands.

Even when I talked to the service manager about the difficulty in shifting he told me that that was normal. Which there is no way that is normal. If he would have given me the advise others gave about rocking the vehicle a bit to get it in 4hi, I would have believed that more.

Funny you mentioned 6th gear, as I do find that a little 'odd' to find. But this is my first 6spd, other MTs I had were either 4 or 5spd.

Did I get a better deal? I think so. it listed for over $35k and walked out the door tax, title, extended warranty, everything done for $28k. But realistically most of that was simply shifting numbers under my trade-in to make it work.

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Originally Posted by jkru617 View Post
Have you tried driving it on the street in 4hi?
Honestly, no. With the issues I had I thought it better to put back in 2Hi till the Service Tech at the dealership confirmed everything is good.
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post #18 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 02:17 PM
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"That is normal" is the first thing that comes out of any dealership service managers' mouth. It's basically telling you to just deal with it and piss off. Come back in 2 years and buy a new vehicle from us....

As stated before:
4H is easy to do (only takes one hand).
To get it to 4Lo, put transmission in neutral. Maybe have the vehicle slowly move at 1-3MPH. (slow walking speed), and firmly push it into 4Lo.
Don't yank on it, as the cable bushing to the transfer case are plastic, and they can break. This is a known weak spot. Easy fixes BTW.
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post #19 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 2000xj View Post
When you go to 4LO no buttons need to be pushed. Everything will turn off when you go into 4LO.
^^^ Truth

I had to get the manual from Jeep just to understand all the system's and modes... I've been reading it... YES... I'm a girl... I read directions.

I have not come across ESP??? Not sure what that is...

I have pulled off my shifter knob as well. But mine was not the stock shifter knob but an aftermarket one. I too have had problem shifting but not into 4Hi but 4Lo
https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=272674
There is debate on whether you need to be rolling when shifting... The manual states you do.

"With the vehicle rolling at 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h), shift an automatic transmission to Neutral or depress the clutch pedal on a manual transmission. While the vehicle is coasting at to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h), shift the transfer case lever firmly through Neutral and into the low-range position."

"Shifting into or out of 4WD low-range is possible with the vehicle completely stopped, however, difficulty may occur due to the teeth of the gears not being properly aligned. The preferred method to engage the low-range is to slow down to 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h) and put the transmission in Neutral. While still moving forward, move the shift lever firmly into the four-low position. Then return the transmission to the desired gear. Refer to your owner's manual for detailed instructions."

Below is from my blog post...
The Electronic Brake Control System includes:
ABS, TCS, BLD, BAS, HSA, ERM, ESC, TSC, HDC.

It's like an alphabet soup, and what the heck does it all mean.

I will start with ABS -- Anti-Lock Brake System. This computer system helps the wheels from locking up and skidding during slippery conditions.

What I learned ... Do NOT pump my brakes.

TCS - Traction Control System
This system monitors the amount of wheel spin, and if wheel spin is detected brakes are applied to that wheel.

BLD - Brake Limited Differential

This system controls wheel spin across the driven axle. Again if there is a wheel spinning faster then its partner, the brake will apply. This will give more power to the wheel not spinning.

This feature remains active even when you turn off the Traction Control System and the Electronic Stability Control system.

BAS - Brake Assist System
Basically this is extra braking during emergency situations. The computer system is capable of figuring out what constitutes an emergency system.

HSA - Hill Start Assist
Basically this system knows when you are on a hill incline or decline. It will keep your vehicle braked for the split second to get your foot from the brake pedal to the gas pedal.
There is the potential to turn off this system if your vehicle is equipped with EVIC. Don't ask me what that is because that is later in the manual.

ERM - Electronic Roll Mitigation
This system anticipates the potential for wheel lift. So... if the vehicle senses you are going to fast in a turn, it will slow you down to prevent the Jeep from tipping over. But... this only occurs during severe or evasive driving maneuvers.

ESC - Electronic Stability Control
Basically this system can tell which way you intend to drive, and if the vehicle's path is not going that way, it will apply the proper brakes to get you back on the right path.

This ECS system has 3 different modes you can control with a button on your control panel under the radio -- On, Partial Off and Full Off.

When you are in 4 high you want this system ON.

For the partial off mode the Traction Control System is disabled but not the Brake Limited Differential. You want to be in this mode if you are in deep sand, snow or gravel, and you need more wheel spin then would normally be allowed.


If you want ESC in Full Off you need to press and hold the switch for five seconds. This turns off the engine torque reduction, and the enhanced stability control. You will want to use this mode while off-highway or off-roading.

Now... if you forget to turn this system back on when you get back on the highway... it's okay... because the computer thinks for you. Once you hit 40 mph it automatically goes into partial off mode.

And good news again folks... No worries about pushing the button when you shift your Jeep into 4 low. The computer automatically knows to switch off the ESC to Full Off.

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post #20 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 04:30 PM
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Here is a link to the Jeep Wrangler manuals online.

http://www.jeep.com/en/owners/manuals/

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post #21 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 05:01 PM
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One thing the OP said that puzzled me was the smoking thingy. Thought about an incident that happened to me many moons ago. Had a CJ-5 with 5 speed manual. Pulling my boat out of the water and it just it wouldn't come out for shit. Finally realized I was in 4 wheel high and third gear instead of first and smelling my clutch burning. 3:73 would make it worse.
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post #22 of 34 Old 08-10-2015, 09:02 PM
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I was in northern OBX and could not climb a 40' dune in 4w low nearly as easy as in 4w high. That was with both lockers locked trying just for the fun of it. Air down TCS off and hammer down. Speed is your friend.
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post #23 of 34 Old 08-11-2015, 03:02 AM
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Speed is your friend.
^^^This. I understand why everyone is saying 4Lo -- will mitigate all the nannies, and will increase the torque to move in the sand -- but 4Hi is better for wheel speed which you'll need in any loose terrain, be it sand, mud, etc.

I think it sounds like the nannies were overriding your input and it is possible that the smoke was from your clutch slipping. Mine is an auto, so admittedly may behave differently on that basis, but I've run at Pismo in 4Hi with no alteration to the ESC at all -- just put it in 4Hi and go. But it definitely took more throttle than normal to get it moving and keep it moving against the resistance of the sand. I've also experienced the "limp mode" inflicted by the nannies (for other causes) and it's definitely not the same experience as the increased throttle because of the rolling resistance sand creates.

As others have said, you should be at 15 psi or below to allow the tire to flatten and ride up on the sand. That will reduce the resistance to forward motion. Look at the difference in the tires and the tracks in the pics below; it's pretty dramatic. The track from the more inflated tire is much deeper than the wider track from the deflated tire.


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post #24 of 34 Old 08-11-2015, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Well, got the jeep back from the dealer today. As expected, they said everything is fine and it is shifting normally.

Asked the Service Manager about what could have caused the issue, what was burning and how the ESC may have interfered. I was shocked that he told me he really didn't know how that system worked in a 4wd situation. When did svc managers just become glorified customer service agents? I thought these used to be the guys with the big manuals on everything and could tell you almost anything you wanted to know about ur vehicle.

So am planning another trip to the beach this weekend, will def. be airing down more. Borrowed a portable air compressor to make airing back up easier. Will prob play around with 4hi, putting esc in different modes, and 4lo to try and find where the jeep wants to be happy at.

If there truly is nothing wrong with the vehicle, which they say there isn't, then I just need to discover the jeep's and my limitations so I can work with the jeep and not against it.

I do truly appreciate all the advice from everyone.
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post #25 of 34 Old 08-11-2015, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
Well, got the jeep back from the dealer today. As expected, they said everything is fine and it is shifting normally.

Asked the Service Manager about what could have caused the issue, what was burning and how the ESC may have interfered. I was shocked that he told me he really didn't know how that system worked in a 4wd situation. When did svc managers just become glorified customer service agents? I thought these used to be the guys with the big manuals on everything and could tell you almost anything you wanted to know about ur vehicle.

So am planning another trip to the beach this weekend, will def. be airing down more. Borrowed a portable air compressor to make airing back up easier. Will prob play around with 4hi, putting esc in different modes, and 4lo to try and find where the jeep wants to be happy at.

If there truly is nothing wrong with the vehicle, which they say there isn't, then I just need to discover the jeep's and my limitations so I can work with the jeep and not against it.

I do truly appreciate all the advice from everyone.

I would put it in 4hi on the street to make sure it works before driving all the way to the beach.
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