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Guest Message by DevFuse

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ON-Roading: Guerilla tactics: "Pinning the Wheel"

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#1 Subaruist


    Subaru Fanatic!

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  • Medford, Oregon

Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:09 PM

I don't know if this has a name in the world at large, but I call it Pinning the Wheel.

It is using one of your front wheels to lock or block the front end in order to do a super tight turn or other maneuver.

It can save your beuttocks in a pinch or emergency or impending traffic jam, etc, or can be used to double-back on someone, or to just have fun!




In order to fake being responsible, I must warn you that technically, doing these kind of things could get you into a lot of trouble, but worse, could potentially mess up your front-end alignment or even cause serious damage to your front end adjustments or hardware!!!

That being said, I have had now 8 subarus, have done this many times with more than half of them, and never saw the slightest problem or damage -  Subarus are not the average vehicle!


Yesterday I had to (got to) do this. 2 lanes each way, total of 4, 3 of them are grid-locked for some reason I was not able to see.

I was about to become grid-locked myself, and that is simpley not acceptable. I was in the left lane coming up on a turn lane with a raised concrete island that was somewhere between 18 inches and 2 feet wide. IF I could do a u-turn onto the lane about 2 feet away from me, I could get out of it and head off in a different direction - but how do you do a u-turn essentially and litterally turning on a dime? I had about 4 seconds until coming opposite traffic would make that impossible and I would be helplessly trapped!


I "went wide", first turning to my right endge of my lane, and then left to angle my Brat as much to the left as possible, and put my left front tire right against the curb of this island on my left about 1 1/2 to 2 feet back from the end. Then I essentially start to do a donut, trying to make as little noise as possible (easy in a brat!lol). The left front wheel is temporarily blocked and notched against that curb, which is better than off-road brakes, and as the vehicle begins to turn/spin around, the right front wheel is able to swing around, not hitting the island, along with eventually the right rear wheel. Here is where we separate the men from the boys - you do not turn a full 180 degree yet, but take a fraction of a second to then position the vehicle or the wheels so that your left front wheel is in a good position to then get up over the island as.... "Professionally?" as possible, as you continue to turn. It is easiest to do without putting it into 4WD, but if you can manage to put it into 4WD for just a second or less, (This differs between 1st and 2nd gen 4WD) the vehicle will go over that island much better, easier and more professionally, - for lack of a better word, lol. Don't forget that left rear wheel, you just have to make sure that it either clears the island or goes over it - deliberately and with skill either way preferrably. Yes, I know as much as others that you could do this brute force, bouncing the poor subaru like you are an idiot in the middle of your own traffic accident, but that will get you noticed a lot easier by a LEO and tripple your chances of getting a ticket or something. This all takes place in about 3 - 4 seconds, more like 4 if you use the 4WD.

In nothing flat I was off in the other direction and took a parallel street to avoid the gridlock.


The other way I have used this, for fun, is instead of pushing the wheel against something for braking power, you are pulling on something, hanging on to somethng, getting a grip, by putting a front wheel on the other side of something, and using it to kinda 'hang', and swing.


Back in SoCal, I had firends in the mountains, and this highway went up there and eventually ended in a little mountain village and then parking lots, picnic grounds, campgrounds and cabins. Different areas would be locked off different times of the year, and just befor the first gate to the first parking lot was a tiny, tiny well paved turn around, going around a large tree in a circle. There was no actual curb, the pavement just dropped off about 6 or 7 inches, maybe more.  A friend was behind me as I came to this, so I decided to pull a stunt and spin around to be right behind him as he went past.

- Oh, but he was wise to my ways, and quick, and had a sense of humor, so he immediately did same, which resulted in us going in really tight circles arounf this tree. Normal steering can only turn so far to the side, so I dropped my left front wheel into this ring around the tree, and used it, like my front wheel was a hand, hanging on to the inside edge of the ring of pavement that formed a curb, and so I was able to gun it and turn super, super tight, as we sped up faster and faster, yelling various well intentioned insults at each other, while hanging out our druver's windows, looking like maniacs I'm sure! He could not keep up, but although I was doing itas easy as cake, my Brat was basically going sideways in a permantent tokyo drift kinda thing, lol...


Fun fun fun !!!!

Edited by Subaruist, 27 April 2014 - 12:16 PM.

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