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We plan on flat-towing our 87 Sammy 600 miles to South Padre Island, Texas in May.

Previous owner gave it a 3” shackle lift and a new set of B.F. Goodrich 30” All Terrain T/A’s. Stock 1300cc engine and drive train.

We have had her off-road at the Bridgeport OHV Park shortly after we bought it last fall where it handled well in mud and some inclines steeper than my wife will ride with me again! Performance was also great during the Christmas blizzard of 09 up here outside of Wichita Falls.

As this is our first 4 x 4 I’m reading about airing down for sand. At 30psi my rim height is 6” so a target reduction to 75% would be 4-1/2”. I gave up my driveway air down test at 8psi after only lowering the rim height to 5-1/2” There is 26 miles of open beach from the city limits of SPI up to the Port Mansfield cut. My goal is to stay on the hard pack but have to be prepared for soft sand. I’ll have the high lift jack, plywood base, shovel, water bucket etc. I saw no real increase in footprint at 8 psi, do fellow Sammy owners air-down?

Any words of wisdom on flat-towing? Beach driving?

Thanks!
 

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Flat towing:
Tranny in 2d gear
Transfer case in Neutral
Front hubs unlocked

That is what the manual says. For long trips I would just disconnect the rear driveshaft by removing the four bolts from the rear driveshaft at the rear axle (pinion) and bungee the driveshaft up to the e-brake cable. I have seen (and personally experianced) catastrophic failure when something in the spinning drivetrain goes south during a trip... not fun.

For airing down, you can go down to 12-14 psi on those tires in the sand or loose rock without too much trouble. The key is to use get as large of a foot print as possible witout losing the bead on the tire.
 

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Powershifting will be your friend in the sand! powershifting is speed shifting without letting off the gas, if this sounds crazy to you, then you shouldnt be doing it, as it must be done quick, and preciously as to not hurt the drivetrain. Out here I take my sammy to the sand hills, approach them flying in 2nd gear, then halfway up the hill when im losing power, I power downshift into first, and get up anything. and power downshifting is much harder than power upshifting, if you know how to power downshift, the amount it takes to down shift the engine being at wot will automatically rev match.
 

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with a 30" T/A on a 15 inch rim, you aren't going to get the sidewall down 75% That's a reasonable expectation with a taller sidewall, but the shorter your profile is, the less you can compress it. You can always pack wider tires in your tow rig to swap on when you get to your destination. another thing to remember, wider rims will let you run wider tires, you can't get too crazy on the stock rims, but the Sami is nice and light and you shouldn't have any trouble with it in the sand, especially on hard pack. Don't drive out too far on the wet stuff the hard pack turns to mud and you won't know where that delineation is untill your stuck in it. Big problem is that the mud starts where it is covered by the high tide. I've seen people get their rig stuck at low tide and by the time they got someone to pull them out, the tide had come in and truck was up to the hood in salt water. :(
 
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