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driving in the snow w/ a locker

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MilpitasK5, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. MilpitasK5

    MilpitasK5 1/2 ton status

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    What do you guys think? How hard is it? How dangerous is it? If you got any key word/phrases that will take me to old posts, let me know. I've seen posts in the past but now I have a locker in the 14BFF that's gonna be swapped in soon. Can't find those old posts.
    TIA
     
  2. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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  3. MilpitasK5

    MilpitasK5 1/2 ton status

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    thanks.. Looks like you just did a search for 'snow' /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
    That helps... I have a detroit so, so far it look scary. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  4. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, I think what happens with a locker is that with both wheels going you can push yourself sideways and off a road. it's always been recommended to me that if snow is your concern, go with a limited slip in rear and open in front. I know there are differences of opinion on that tho. But the data I got was from mechanics who live in it and drive it all the time. My truck is manily for use in snow, so that's the way I went.
     
  5. Don

    Don 1/2 ton status

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    Got a Detroit in the rear of mine. As long as you slow down a little BEFORE a corner/turn no problem's at all.

    They do push a little, but some weight in the rear help's tremendously. I have a "sledeck" in the rear all winter long, it weigh's around 500lbs. And when the weekend come's, there are usually 2 sled's on top too, another 1000 lbs. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I don't have direct experience with a locker, but I had a welded rearend in the snow. It wasn't that bad. The only thing I had to watch was letting the transmission shift 1-2 in the middle of a corner because it would cause enough loading to break the tires loose. I would just manually shift corner and I was fine. With a locker I would also make sure to keep a steady throttle so the locker doesn't try to lock and unlock. I imagine that would shock load the drivetrain enough to break it loose too.

    Also I would air down you front tires some for max traction. I would step on the brake sometimes as I went into parking spot and the welded rear would try and push me when the front tires would lock up. I imagine that is a brake bias issue on my part too.

    On the street normal driving it wasn't bad at all. I only had to use 4x4 once last winter in Fort Collins, Colorado. Not alot of snow, but enough that many others would need 4x4 to get around well. I had no problems in just 2wd except when the Bliazzard hit and we had 36" of snow. Then dual lockers was a great addition. It made me one of the only people who could get around town easily.
     
  7. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    I'm looking forward to lockers in our plow rig. Got stuck twice this year in the cemetery. I knew it was gonna be a bad day when I looked out my window and couldn't tell where the road ended and the stones began /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif I'm very certain that having a locked front and rear would have made the difference. As far as driving on a snow covered street our plow truck is 6,500lbs so breaking traction happens rarely.
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I have a Lock-Right in my dd and I'm thinking about removing it for the winter. I do know how to drive with it and everything, but I know that it can definitely cause some interesting handling characteristics.
     
  9. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I have a rear locker in my K5. I drive all winter in the snow.
    I like it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    I comute 40 miles sometimes thru heavy deep snow. I'm usually out before the plows.I Rarely use 4x4 for just driving around the streets.
    Its not as forgiving an an open diff. But it is hardly dangerous. You just have to go easy on the gas and drive smoother. One you get used to one they are really no problem. As said in previous post having some weight in the back helps.
     
  10. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I've driven with a detroit in my 12 bolt for the last 3 or 4 years. If you get on the gas in a corner or it shifts into 2nd gear it'll spin the ass end out sideways in the rain. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I imagine the snow would be the same. Siping your tires is a good idea like you plan to do, and just letting off the gas. Once your driving style gets used to the locker you'll forget its there. might take a couple spinouts to find that edge though. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  11. MilpitasK5

    MilpitasK5 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like I'll be okay and I thought so too b/c I drive pretty slow up in the mountains anyway (seen too many accidents).

    The only thing that scares me is the pass I take to get to Kirkwood (the mountain that I have my season pass to) on hwy 88 gets pretty crazy. The last pass is a windy downhill on the side of a huge cliff w/out side rail. They don't put side rails b/c they're constantly blowing dynomite for avalanche control on the upper side of it. The drop is pretty fawkin scary too. It's all rocky and stuff... It's down hill so I shouldn't be too bad at all, right? I get sketched when it's really icy and people in front of me keep breaking.

    I usually air down in the snow anyway but now I'm gonna be running 16.5s so I won't be able to air down as much.

    Thanks for all the responses... If ya got more, bring it on b/c I'm still contemplating /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  12. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I know the gov-lock isn't quite a real locker, but the characteristics when locked are.

    The only time I ever noticed a real problem was on a road that I had almost zero traction on, and the road sloped away from the bank, instead of towards the bank. When I hit the patch of snow in this section, as soon as all 4 tires hit it, the rear end started to slide. Front end stayed pretty well put (one wheel acting as the anchor) but the rear end came dangerously close to the edge of the road. I was going about 5mph. Obviously if I had more momentum, the front end would have moved either forward or off the road as well.

    Thats the only time where something like that could happen I think, with a locker, and it is out of your control. Most driving "issues" with one can be solved by changing your speed, your path, transmission gear, etc.

    Definitely not meant to scare you, just putting it out there as an experience of mine. I will tell you though, having that thing back there makes a WORLD of difference trying to climb snowy or muddy hills. Obviously worth the tradeoff, I'm just going to stay away from snow/ice covered roads that angle down the side of a hill.
     
  13. MilpitasK5

    MilpitasK5 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I've read some crazy stories about that kinda thing...
    hmmmm
    Maybe I should set up a poll. I was thinking of seeing if anyone wanted to trade the detroit for a limited slip but dont' know if it'd work. Also, don't know if I want to get rid of my detroit. It came w/ the axle that I bought to swap in and I want to wheel with it. I think it'd help my newbie a$$ on the trails!
    Thanks for the reply/story..
     
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I was thinking of seeing if anyone wanted to trade the detroit for a limited slip but dont' know if it'd work.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I've spun a limited slip equipped car on wet pavement, it's going to act the same as a locker if neither rear wheel is getting traction.
     
  15. MilpitasK5

    MilpitasK5 1/2 ton status

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    Really? I thought it wouldn't engage as easy as a detroit locker. Guess I heard wrong...
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Posi/limited slip is always engaged actually, just springs/clutches. Whats a fairly decent test to tell if posi is present or not? Jack tires up (no traction situation) and turn one wheel. If both wheels turn together (IE locked, but not solidly) it's posi.
     
  17. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    My gov-loc acts like an open diff when you try doing that test.

    I agree that a gov-loc works like a locker when locked, but it won't lock near as easily as a locker does. Basically, if you're on the gas, it's locked.
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That's my point...if you are going slow enough or fast enough, the gov-lock is still an "open" differential....but if you are in that "window" where it is locked, when you lose traction, it will act just the same as any other locker.

    If you try that posi/limited slip test on a gov-lock rear axle, but rotate the tire as fast as you can, instead of slow, it will lock up on you. Discovered that while looking for an S-10 gov-locked rear in the wrecking yard. (don't ask, wasn't mine)
     
  19. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I don't think so...not with mine. I suppose I could try it the next time I have it up in the air.
     
  20. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That's how they work, so if that doesn't happen, yours isn't working correctly. Differential in axle speeds is what locks them together.

    You only have to simulate approximately 100RPM tire speed for that to happen.
     

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