Wheels/Snow Tires

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:


I believe the claim was that in messy conditions a FWD car is better than a 4WD truck. I don't believe that at all. I have two FWD vehicles and a 4WD pickup. I'll drive the pickup over the FWD cars any day on a snow covered or slushy road. The truck is heavier and less affected by slush. It also handles better in deep snow and is less prone to understeer and easier to recover from a skid should one occur. FWD cars are very tricky to handle in a skid as the response required is nearly opposite that for a RWD vehicle.
Matt
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There are so many combinations of pickups and FWD vehicles that is just not possible to make a general statement that one is better than the other. .
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wrote in message

Not really taking a side here, just an anecdote. My old pickup with part-time 4wd used to take technique to drive in the snow. Since there was no differential in the transfer case, the front and rear wheels were driven the same distance all the time. Any give between the two came from wheel slippage. Thus, it was bad to use on dry pavement. Also, on snow covered pavement, it was usually the front wheels that would slide in a turn. Not a terrible out of control thing, it was just that it really wanted to go straight instead of turning. It could shift on the fly, so I got fairly adept at using 4wd to get up to speed, and going back into rwd to make a corner, then getting back into 4wd. With a stickshift truck it looked like a lot of work, but it worked well.
I preferred the part time 4wd though, because I used to off-road a little, and at the time many full time systems with a differential in the middle didn't have a lock. You could have your front wheels on dry ground and your back wheels in mud, and your back wheels would spin with the front not doing much.
Enjoy. Ben
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Richard Dreyfuss wrote:

These are the types of systems I was referring to, though perhaps they're not what Matt and Edwin have. In addition to what Ben said, these systems also tend to increase stopping distance in slippery conditions.
Let's also keep in mind that there are significant differences between "real" 4WD pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs. I would expect that the former would be good in snow, assuming they had enough weight in the back and the more aggressive tires that are typical. OTOH, when you try to "civilize" the platform for SUV use, you give up performance for comfort.
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Brian Nystrom wrote:

I have a part-time shift-on-the-fly system in my K1500. It steers fine in snow. The only time I notice the slippage front to rear is making a full lock turn at slow speed. Anything above 20 MPH it simply isn't even noticeable if the traction is poor enough to need to be in 4WD.
Why do you think they increase stopping distance? Mine stops the same or even slightly shorter in 4WD. The reason is that the solid center differential and locking rear axle act like a poor man's ABS. It makes it hard to lock the wheels as you have to lock at least three of them.

True, but even with the lesser performance, you are still ahead of FWD cars.
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

I've read studies that indicated that they increase stopping distance and adversely affect handling compared to 2WD versions of the same vehicle.
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vehicle.
I would bet that is due to the added weight of the 4WD.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

That and also some effects from locked differentials.
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Brian Nystrom wrote:

What affect? The only affect I've seen is beneficial, it prevents the wheels from locking up separately and losing traction.
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

Hmm... I dunno about snow - but on the sandy-dirt roads around here I'm much better off giving the e-brake a yank when the ABS kicks on during a panic stop... I wouldn't suggest that maneuver on dry pavement though :)
JS
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JS wrote:

I agree that in sand or deep snow, locking the wheels is actually beneficial to stopping distance. However, virtually all other occasions are better served by incipient lock-up, but not full lock-up.
Matt
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Mike Marlow wrote:

That is possible, however, extra weight generally also increases traction and largely offsets the inertial factor.
Matt
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Brian Nystrom wrote:

Can you point me to one? I've never seen such a study or suggestion that this would be the case. It certainly doesn't correlate to my exerience and I can't think of a technical reason why it would be the case.
Matt
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comfort.
A little more explanation would be helpful Brian. A Blazer for example, uses the exact same type of power train as its "real" 4WD pickup relative does. Now, some of the import "SUV's" may be a different story - never really looked to see what they had for a power train.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Isn't the Blazer based on the S-10 pickup? That isn't a real pickup! :-) That is a mini-pickup.
Matt
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Hey!!! I had an S-10 pickup years ago. It was a great truck. A real truck... except a bit on the small side.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Chuckle, yes, it was the size I was referring to... :-)
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

Well there was a K5 blazer that was based on the half-ton PU model at the time. Had both full and part time 4WD options. Like a 2-door short wheelbase Suburban.
JS
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Yes, that is true to a large degree, however, some generalizations can be made, particularly in slushy conditions. I've driven everything from VW Beetles (the original ones!) to tractor-trailers. A heavier vehicle is almost always better in slush than a lighter one. A tractor trailer can drive through 4" of slush and not even know it is on the road from a stability perspective. My pickup handles 2" with ease. My Beetles got skittish in 1/2" of slush.
Matt
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Mike, 300" of snow per year, Im assumeing you must live in the Redfield/ Tug Hill area. I lived in the Fulton/Mexico area for more years than I care to remember and thats the only places that get that much snow EVERY FREAKIN YEAR !!!!!!!!!!
']['unez

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