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Wheelin in snow and ice

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by chris57k, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. chris57k

    chris57k Registered Member

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    My 74 K5 seems more squirrelly than it ought to on slick/snow covered roads. If going down a steep incline in 4wd sometimes the rear end is trying to pass the front. I have a modified (not full time) NP203 transfer case. Is there any kind of adjustment or gear change, so the front axle pulls at little faster, or would this be undesireable. Is this just the way K5s are? I notice my long bed work truck does much better on ice or snow covered roads. The K5 seems like I really got to take it easy or lose it.
     
  2. Doug M

    Doug M Registered Member

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    I've seen lots upside down in the ditch because they were running in 4wd on snow and ice. Run in 2wd until necessary.
     
  3. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    It's 99% a wheel base thing. Longer wheel bases are almost always more stable on snow or ice, all factors being equal.
    I ran a suburban 4x4 with a Detroit locker for 5 years in lots of snow and ice. Most stable truck I ever owned. My present K5 with same locker and axles doesn't even come close to being as stable. Only real difference is wheel base and a manual trans verses the T400 the sub had.
     
  4. ZonkRat

    ZonkRat 1/2 ton status

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    The rear track is narrower than the front on pre IFS trucks{most} This doesn't help any when it's slick. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    Its a wheel base thing. My blazer and my old Dodge short bed didnt hande that great on ice and snow. My '92 xtra cab 1 ton dually 4x4 just laughs at it. I just got back from a road trip to Montana through 2 lane snowy and icy highways and I was going 75 to 80 almost the whole time. It was real nice. There were several truck and cars off the road and I just kept on cruising. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  6. chris57k

    chris57k Registered Member

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    Thanx for the info. I haven't had this vehicle long and I thought maybe there was something I needed to do. What I need to do sounds like just deal with it. When I mentioned going down a icy hill in 4wd, I was on a 4wd road. Maybe best to slip back into 2wd when heading down hill??? Do you all agree best to stay in 2wd on the highway? Really appreciate your input. Chris
     
  7. chris57k

    chris57k Registered Member

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    Sandman, I went to your site after my last post. Do you do anything with rear spare tire/jerry can racks? If not any recommendations?
     
  8. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    For highway running; if there's a lot of snow & ice on the roads; I've always found 4wd better. Like said before; the shortwheel base
    tends to make the back try to fishtail & the narrowed rear tires pushing fresh snow only exaggerates the problem. If the road is slippery,
    the front axle tends to help the front keep up with or ahead of the rear so that you track straighter.
     
  9. BowtieRed

    BowtieRed 1/2 ton status Author

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    this don't have a whole lot to do with anything, but if you want to see a big dodge ram doing some doughnuts in a snowey field, go here- www.angelfire.com/nc3/bowtiered
     
  10. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    It's primarily a wheelbase problem. If you can, try to coast as much as possible. When you apply the brakes the fronts tend to bite first.

    Some people say run in 2wd as much as possible. I say it depends on the conditions. I haven't seen asphalt in a little over two weeks. It'd be real hard to get around in a pickup without 4wd. The nice thing about having 4wd is that it can drag the front end of the truck over if you start to get squirrely. It's also nice to have all four tires tied together so when you use the brakes you don't have a tire or two locking up.

    I also happen to do most of my driving at 35mph or less. When I do venture onto the highway it comes out of 4wd. If you need 4wd past 45mph then you shouldn't be going that fast. In general, 4wd just gets you into trouble that much faster.
     

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