Irresponsible Practical Jokers

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ThysdJ
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:57 pm

Have any of you guys ever contemplated unlocking somebody else's front wheel hubs while on a trail? I mean like as a practical joke? And if you did, what happened? Were you ever on the receiving side of such a practical joke?

Well, if you ever thought of it, or you have ever done it before, stop right there, and put it out of your mind and dont ever ever do it again. That can turn out to be a very dangerous little prank. See the driver of the "unlocked" vehicle (usually) is not aware that he is effectively driving in 2wd, and not in 4x4 as he expects. There are also other ways of tampering with a vehicle that could lead to disastrous consequences. Over deflating tyres, or the stone in the valve trick where the tyre slowly deflates, is but one of them. This in itself is just as dangerous, as it also makes the vehicle behave in unexpected ways.

Therefore a lot of unexpected things are going to happen. Here are a few examples of what could happen...
1) Brake distribution is not equal to all 4 wheels
2) Traction is only on the rear wheels
3) With a powerful engine, more braking force is needed to stall the engine
4) Going down a hill in reverse the front wheels WILL lock up and the vehicle WILL swing around
5) Wheelspin on cross-axles can break sideshafts as all the power is transfered to the rear wheels, effectively leaving the vehicle in 4x0.

This prank was played on me recently on a very rocky trail by some irresponsible (ignorant, jealous, childish) 4x4'ers who wanted to "even out the odds" because Kaspaas effortlessly climbed even the toughest obstacles. So they unlocked the left front hub, effectively relegating Kaspaas to 4x2, expecting a good laugh when we struggled to get over the next obstacle.

All went well, as the first section after the hubs were unlocked, was pretty smooth for about 500m. Then another tricky rocky section started. The rest of the field was quite some way ahead when I came around a hairpin, leading into a steepish downhill, with some loose rocks. As I came around the hairpin, I realised I didnt have the turning circle to complete the turn without pushing back, and I pushed down the footbrake to stall the engine, so as stabilise the vehicle, and to give me time to assess the situation. The engine refused to stall, as the rear was light, and also the rear brakes on an SFA Hilux is pretty much non existent, well in our case, not strong enough to stall the 7MGE... Things happened very quickly from then on.... Kaspaas was sliding downhill, no traction underfoot, I am doing my best to get the beast under control and cannot understand why the front wheels are locked, but the engine does not want to stall... Mean time the camber is towards the outside of the turn, where the track disappears over the side. That side being a rock strewn steep drop off of about 150m to the bottom. There is nothing to stop Kaspaas from going over the edge, and I started pretensioning my seatbelt, and pushed down harder on the brakes to stall the motor. Remember, I am still firmly under the impression that we are in 4x4 and I cannot understand why the vehicle is not responding to my input the way I am expecting it to do. Luckily the right front wheel collided sideways with a rock, about 600mm long, and about 400mm high, and the engine stalled. That rock, the only one around for 50m either way, is what saved us from going over the edge that day.

Needless to say, once everything calmed down, and I had time to clean my seat, I walked around the vehicle to assess our close call. Only then did I realise how lucky we were to still me on all 4 wheels! Then somebody shouted from the front "Check your hubs". And all of a sudden it is not so funny any more.... and it all made sense. Damn those jokers, I was ever so slightly pee'd off!!

So if you ever think of doing this, DON'T! Not only is it extremely dangerous, it is also irresponsible, and you could be putting people's lives at risk. Should it happen that the consequences of your actions leads to somebody getting seriously injured and even killed, you can be held responsible.

Whenever you do a pre-trail driver's briefing, please bring this under the attention of those in your convoy, so that the wannabe pranksters out there are aware of the dangers of tampering with other people's vehicles.

Lets keep it all safe!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:08 pm

To be honest I have played this trick on someone before. In my case it was on a playground with no cliffs etc but reading what Thys described could easily have happened on any slight uphill or downhill. Lesson learnt. Thanks Thys
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:10 pm

Jeez louise that is scary :thumbdown:
Happened to me once , but was also in a play hole like Cassie
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:15 pm

Hmmm...ja tx Thys, has also happened to me but on the beach, quite frustrating :wink2: But was not serious :thumbup:

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:25 pm

Please tell me these foolish prankers are not part of the Hilux Club? :evil: :aggresive:

Personally I'm always up for a joke, but this is seriously stupid and potentially life threatening! :thumbdown:
Last edited by Mr_B on Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:26 pm

Besides the danger to life and limb it can have serious consequences IRO vehicle damage (diffs / half shafts). :(
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:30 pm

Mr_B wrote:Please tell me these foolish prankers are not part of the Hilux Club? :evil: :aggresive:
They know who they are, but they will remain unnamed.... :shock: :shock:

I am sure they learned a lesson, and will mend their evil ways... :twisted: :twisted:
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:31 pm

Question:
1. Why would one want to stall the motor?
2. Why not releasing the clutch first because it is clear that the 7MGE with I assume an ICV was able to exert enough low RPM torque to overide any brake force, surely that would have been the safer option.
3. If releasing the clutch was due to safety concerns why not switch the motor off thus stalling it without loosing the engine braking effect?

I only ask these questions because you are a respected and knowlegable member of the forum and I can learn from your experiance.
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:39 pm

GEEZ, and Thys doesn't like angles

This is a common trick at challenges and points events, we lock and duct tape our hubs before the event.

In Kaspaas's case he could have broken the front locker if it was an uphill, expensive joke.

Play nice!, a rubber snake on the seat gets better response.
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ThysdJ
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:40 pm

Mountain Man wrote:Question:
1. Why would one want to stall the motor?
2. Why not releasing the clutch first because it is clear that the 7MGE with I assume an ICV was able to exert enough low RPM torque to overide any brake force, surely that would have been the safer option.
3. If releasing the clutch was due to safety concerns why not switch the motor off thus stalling it without loosing the engine braking effect?

I only ask these questions because you are a respected and knowlegable member of the forum and I can learn from your experiance.
Thanks for asking Craig, here goes:
1) As part of my personal style of driving, when I want to stop on a decline, I stall the motor. That way the vehicle is always stable and the compression of the engine is braking on all 4 wheels and in my mind it is the safest way.
2) My 7MGE does not have an ICV (which is a dangerous piece of kit in my eyes anyway, only made to regulate revs when stationary at a traffic light and the aircon comes on!!), and I refuse to go anywhere near a clutch on a decline. Also, the idea was for the engine to brake all 4 wheels, clutching it would turn the vehicle into a free-wheeler.
3) Things were happening so fast, there was no time to turn the ignition off. besides, at that time I didnt have enough hands to do everything i wanted to do anyway. I was getting ready to white-knuckle it down the hill, tumble-dryer style...
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:19 pm

Dit is scary!!!!! Ek persoonlik hou nie van grappies ten koste van iemand anders nie. Dit is gewoonlik net "snaaks" vir diegene wat dit uitdeel, maar die ou aan die ontvangkant vind dit selde amusant. :thumbdown:

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:33 pm

Daai is nou sommer *a*, ek slaan dood daai tyd! Ek draai nie jou vrou se borste rond nie, so jy draai ook nie aan my hubs nie!
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:55 pm

Turning the ignition off ? Locked steering wheel. Don't think it is very funny anymore.
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:02 pm

Don't you have to remove the key from the ign. for the steering to lock?

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:26 pm

I have always strongly believed that if one has a problem with someone,never ever take out the problem with the persons vechile in what ever way one could. ( cutting tyres,sugar in the tank etc ). Confront the person and I also believe that one should keep the vechiles out of practical jokes.Vechiles cost money and possibly lifes. Jokes and fun also have a limit.

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:43 pm

Dis nie baie nice om dit te doen nie.Mens maak staad op jou voertuig en as dit gebeur verloor jy al jou self vertroue.
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:43 pm

Blikemmer, moes die storie amper 2 keer lees om te sien of al die goed regtig met iemand gebeur het. Jammer om te se (of eks nie regtig jammer om die volgende te se nie) eks bly ek ry nie saam sulke "common" mense nie. Dis common sense dat die gevaarlike goed met iemand kan gebeur..... Dis soos jy sit 'n 500ml coke bottel onder iemand se briek pedaal as hy bestuur.

Ek sal graag wil weet wie so iets maak, want ek sal nie weer saam so 'n dude wil ry nie. Netnou trek hy so 'n crap grap met my! Jammer om so kras te klink, maar ouens, dis regtig 'n gevaarlike ding om te doen!

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:56 pm

Guys... keep in mind that this guy meant it as a joke and probably did not think any further than it being a joke. I'm sure he learnt his lesson and will not do it again. So no need to crucify him. I once did it to someone as well as a practical joke not thinking of possible consequences.

But if you want to crucify someone... before you do... think of this. How many times have you drank a beer or any alcohol beverage on a trail when you know it can impair your judgement and ability to control a car and maybe cause injury or even death to someone but still you take that dop....

So what I'm trying to say is I'm sure the guy Thys referred to learnt his lesson. He was lucky that the person he did it to was an advanced 4x4 driver and could handle the situation although there were lot's of luck involved as well.
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:36 pm

It is exactly as Cassie says. It was meant as a joke. A bit of a stupid silly joke, but a joke. After that incident I know that the perpetrator will never do it again, and we can all still be friends. He will even go and warn others about the dangers. We dont always think about the consequences of what we do, it is human. But we need to learn from our mistakes, or in this case from other people's mistakes.

The purpose of this thread was not to point fingers or name-and-shame, but rather to point out the dangers of this practice to my fellow 4x4 enthusiasts out there on the trails. Especially to those guys who are traveling in groups out on the trails, as it is summer time, and we are having more GTG's at this time of the year.

Keep it safe!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:20 pm

my nekhare staan nou regop, as dit moet my moes gebeur was ek verseker oor die afgrond. Ek het nog baie om te leer, dankie vir die info Thys. Mens moet maar 'n punt daarvan maak om gereeld te kyk na 'n stop of die hubs nog gesluit is. Die duiwel is lustig en mens kan nooit te versigtig wees nie. Ek's bly jy het dit oorleef.
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Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:41 am

ThysdJ wrote:It is exactly as Cassie says. It was meant as a joke. A bit of a stupid silly joke, but a joke. After that incident I know that the perpetrator will never do it again, and we can all still be friends. He will even go and warn others about the dangers. We dont always think about the consequences of what we do, it is human. But we need to learn from our mistakes, or in this case from other people's mistakes.

The purpose of this thread was not to point fingers or name-and-shame, but rather to point out the dangers of this practice to my fellow 4x4 enthusiasts out there on the trails. Especially to those guys who are traveling in groups out on the trails, as it is summer time, and we are having more GTG's at this time of the year.

Keep it safe!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
Well said,
I'm not much of a practical joker, but most of the time on the receiving end.
I must admit I have contemplated revenge a few times in the heat of the moment, and information like this reasures me that I made the right choice everytime to just let it slide.

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