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detroit locker in the snow

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by dammit32, Aug 17, 2002.

  1. dammit32

    dammit32 1/2 ton status

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    I hear detroit lockers arnt too great in the snow .... I live in Maine...what would be a better option for me?
     
  2. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    any locker in the snow is going to make it want to walk sideways whether it is a posi unit or a detroit so i would just go with the detroit if your going to lock it at all /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  3. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    I saw a big help in the snow. Ice is a different story altogether. I was at the tire store getting it aligned once and the guy hopped into it and hit the gas, went sidways on the ice, and put my back bumper through a car window with all of us watching (customers). But in the deep snow it really helped not to have a tire dragging along like an anchor.
     
  4. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    If Maine "snow" is similar to the snow I used to drive on around Boston (frozen slush), then you'll find the Detroit Locker to be pretty tricky. One solution is to keep the truck in 4WD when the road is slick. Off-road, on a slippery side hill situation it can make the truck really want to go sideways. I used to have a truck with very good limited slips at both ends. It would really want to go sideways on a slippery sidehill, even in 4WD. I found that I could shift back into 2WD and just let the rear end slide sidways a little bit, then the truck would sort of crab walk its way across the face of the hill. It's a wierd feeling, but it worked. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  5. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    at low speed a fully locked truck will slide LESS on side hilling then an open
    sliding sideways is a result of spinning tires.
    to spin a tire in a locked vehicle you have to break all 4 loose which requires an act of stupidity to perform
    I have yet to find a spot where an open dif got further then a locked dif off road.
    in my experience on icy city streets the front powerlok can be a pain on ice trying to control direction precisely as there isnt enough friction to break the dif loose (hoping a detroit will disengage easier as that is what I have been told), but that was with 16" wide swampers and I bet an open wouldnt move at all in the same conditions
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    at low speed a fully locked truck will slide LESS on side hilling then an open

    [/ QUOTE ] Wrong! In the scenario I described above, ANY application of the gas would make the truck go one direction, sideways. We're talking about a totally gutless Ford 351M at about 8,000 feet above sea level. That engine didn't make enough power to get out of its own way. But the sun had melted the snow, then it had refrozen. That was the only day I would have preferred to have open diffs in that truck... Been there, done that, ruined the undies. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  7. Charly

    Charly Registered Member

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    I got to agree with Harry. I am in Maine (Old Town, north of Bangor) and we get snow, refrozen snow, more snow and so on and so on. Some places have good road maintenance (read as SALT), but many places will have this snow/ice mix on the roads for weeks.

    I am running a Detroit in my 14bFF and a mini spool in my 44 front, both are coming out before the snow flies.
     
  8. Tweetysuarus

    Tweetysuarus 1/2 ton status

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    Just air down and drive lightly.
    Bill
     
  9. twenty_below0

    twenty_below0 1/2 ton status

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    I agree less air and less gas, I live in Alaska an to experience the snow freeze scenario. I have my back locked with a POP-right and front a tight slip, Took a couple days to get familiar but after that I wont go back! Good luck
     
  10. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    what would Canadians and Alaskans know about ice and snow driving anyway?
     
  11. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    with open difs you would still be sitting at the bottom.
     
  12. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    In the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan (that piece of land that sticks into Lake Superior) we get around 300" of snow each year.

    Sometimes we don't see asphalt for two or three weeks at a time. That abhored brown [censored] that feels like you're driving on grease has a habit of appearing. Once in a while the snow will glaze over. Largely though, we see lows in the single digits (positive or negative) and highs in the low to mid twenties.

    Anyway, there appear to be two setups that work.

    1. Fully locked with big-assed brand new tires. Spend November through April with your hubs locked and transfer case lever pulled towards the seat.

    2. Open differentials with narrow tires. Leave front hubs locked but only be in 4wd if you need to take off at break-ujoint speeds.

    Everything else doesn't seem to work as good. Guys with rear lockers or spools tend to end up in spins. I know I can smoke a guy with detroits and 36" tires in a drag race because he has to let off the stupid pedal because it walks sideways too much.


    However, the most important part is to have a good set of snow tires. Mud tires suck for snow tires unless you spend all your time in fresh snow or powder. Skinny tires (245 series or narrower) with the stock offset so you can stay in the grooves work best. I've found that Cooper Weathermasters work best. The only problem is they have an exceptionally short life.
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I wasn't trying to go UP the hill, the trail went ACROSS the hill. 4WD didn't work in that case, because as soon as any power was applied, all 4 tires would slip sideways, towards the bottom of the hill. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif Anytime I was going UP, having all 4 tires pulling was awesome. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  14. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    It always felt to me like my rear detroit helped everywhere but the ice. I've found that tires with LOTS of siping work better than tires with large tread blocks. But what do I know, I'm just a Californian, with the year round sun and quarter inch of snow a year /forums/images/icons/grin.gif , we do make trips up to the mountains for fun though /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  15. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, siping is a must. It's the main reason the Weathermaster tires do so well. That and the tread is really soft. I'm willing to bet they wouldn't last more than 20,000 miles on a full-size vehicle on dry asphalt.

    I don't think I could ever live somewhere without four distinct seasons. Here, fall is already on its way in. It's 61° right now.

    I think I could live somewhere where it's 65°-75° and cloudy all year long though..
     
  16. twenty_below0

    twenty_below0 1/2 ton status

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    LOL...YEAH M.J. "what would we know about snow and ice??"
    I dont see pavement for 4 months.....and that aint NO bullshit! OW wait,.. when the spring thaw comes the break up is a bitch for about 3 weeks, slush ,ICE, slush, more snow then ice then slush etc. for atleast 3 weeks. Go with THE LOCKER you'll be glad you did, just use some wisdom with the accelerator!
     
  17. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    I have V bar chains for 38.5/16 Swampers
    anyone else have them?
     
  18. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    I have chains for everything I drive up to 11R24.5 truck tires. When I lived in Soda Springs at times I had all four wheels on a CJ7 chained up. Used to have to go out on I80 when it was closed to do recoveries. Had a pass to be on the road 24/7 from where I worked. If it was someone stuck on the side or something minor I'd take my Jeep instead of the 4x4 tow truck.
     

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