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Winter driving tips for a newbie

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Hossbaby50, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    SCENARIO: Moving to Colorado (again). I am taking my truck with me, and I live in AZ so I havn't driven it in the snow/ice/slush since the install of a Welded 14bff & Locked 10bolt front.

    What exactly do I need to know about driving in the winter conditions. Any advice and help is appreciated. I have driven in those conditions before, but with limited slip & open diff axles. I have also driven my truck with the welded diff in the rain, and it gets great traction with the BFG AT's on my truck. Thanks

    Harley
     
  2. denver75k5

    denver75k5 1/2 ton status

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    On the road = SLOW & easy, esp. going around corners. Off road = the best advise i could give would be to keep your momemtum. That deep snow will get you stuck very quickly if your not paying attention /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  3. 4x4dreamer

    4x4dreamer 1/2 ton status

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    Light on the Gas, easy on the brakes. Don't brake in corners unless you have to. steer into a spin, don't touch the brakes. Go slow, it's easy to get cocky in a 4x4. Remember you can see better than the cars, especially in heavy snow. Them sitting low in heavy snow, they can see maybe 10 feet, you're up higher so it helps out with visibility. Get some chains, even though it's 4x4, you can and probably will get stuck at some point. You might even consider buying another set of wheels and getting some winter tires to put on when the snow comes. I hear Boggers and the like handle like crap in the snow. And why put the wear and tear on 'em.

    That's just my 2 cents.
     
  4. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    sounds like they got ya covered in the earlier posts for 'around town' conditions. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    Not sure about welded/locked, but... when i did some winter wheeling the locked guys had more pucker factor when off-camber. /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
    The advantage then went to the (worn?) posi & open guys as when sideways they didn't get 'slide-ways' with both tires on one end (or other) spinning on the frozen ice below... A light foot is most benificial!
    But dang I miss those Colorado trails! /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I think the front locker is going to be the most troublesome. Once the snow is packed and icy, turning a corner should get pretty interesting. I've seen how hard it is to turn with a locked front end on surfaces with traction, so turning on packed snow and ice may prove to be nearly impossible. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  6. WakeBoard&4X4er

    WakeBoard&4X4er 1/2 ton status

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    4WD does not mean 4W-Stop!
     
  7. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    Get a set of winter tires and have studs installed before they meet the road. Most places won't install studs after the tires have been on the road even once. You don't want wide tires... They will float on you. Here's a good site for winter tires and driving... Winter Driving Safety Tips and Tires /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    when you go sliding through your first stop sign / light you'll figure it out pretty quickly... /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    I remember at college my first years watching all the people that had never driven through snow. walking or driving I learned real fast that I always looked every direction before going through an intersection - green light or no green light. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  9. 87sm465np208

    87sm465np208 1/2 ton status

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    one other thing to remember too, just because you have 4wd dosnt mean you can go 45 in a 45 safely in a snow storm, or on the highway, ive seen vehicles loose it on the highway and end up in the ditch because they thought 4wd ment you can go any speed and get ultimate traction. altho since you have true 4wd (locked front and welded rear) that will prove very interesting. i had a gov-loc rear, that thing was horrible in the snow and in 2hi, it was even bad in 4hi because the ass of the truck liked to go sideways. all i can say is slow and steady will usually get you where you wanna go in a snow storm. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Take it slow till you get used to how it handles
     
  11. loudnowlouder

    loudnowlouder 1/2 ton status

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    first time i drove my blazer in the hard packed snow on the street i went about 20 feet and slid right into a ditch...
    if you've got swampers or any mud tires with big blocks of rubber, swap em out, the bfg all terrains are pretty nice...
    those big blocks just sit ontop of the snow and you have no traction....
    i completely agree with everyone, easy on the pedals and take it slower, dont get discouraged if you get passed by a honda, those front wheel drives do nice in the hard pack..
    ticked me off beyond belief when they passed me at first, but thats how it goes...i'd rather be seen going slow in my truck than fast in their car anyday!
    be safe and good luck with the move!
     
  12. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    I used to live up in Alberta, I've driven with all season M+S radials, with studded winter tires, with Bridgestone Blizzaks and with Bridgestone Winter Dueller's and with BFG MTs. Mud tires are great for snow but brutal on ice (ask the guy with the 626 I slid into on an icy hill, clearing his rear bumber and damaging his trunk, luckily he and his little girl were sledding and he was parked on the side of the hill). You can definitely get by with All season radials if you're careful. lots of guys run big AT tires in the winter, with the skinnier sizes being more effective.

    Studded winter tires are great for both stopping and starting, but you do wear the studs if you drive on a lot of pavement and the performance falls off. Still much better than a normal tire because even worn down the weight of the vehicle presses the studs into the ice. Though they're bad for the asphalt, they're actually good for other cars on ice, they tear it up a bit making it less smooth. In 2wd with studs you'll feel much more secure, in 4wd you'll feel like a king, which leads to one of the problems with 4wd and winter tires - LOTS of people overdrive their vehicles once they put them on because they feel more stable - studded tires do help with braking as well as accelerating, but just because YOU can stop that quickly doesn't mean the guy behind you can. It reminded me of riding my motorcycle. When you brake you have to look behind you because the guy behind you might not be able to stop as quick.

    I have nothing but good things to say about the Blizzaks and Winter Duellers. I had these after I sold the truck with the studs. Blizzaks on a car and the Duellers on a Chev 1/2 ton. They have a multi-cell compound that is very soft and is filled with little holes, kind of like a sponge. When you're on ice the holes that are exposed press into the ice and act like little suction cups, sticking to the ice. Sounds crazy but believe me it really works. It must since the ice racers are running Blizzaks rather than studded tires. The Blizzaks are great on ice, but the Duellers are amazing in ice and snow. They have an aggressive directional pattern that really bites well in snow. I had them for a season and now they're on both my parent's Crown Vic and 96 extended cab - they're that good. They're soft, so you have to take them off when it gets warm, but they're fine for frozen pavement and also have a nicer ride and are quiter than studs. Again, you can really overdrive these tires as I mentioned before. Michelin also offers the Alpin which is a soft tire with more sipes than you can count, but doesn't have the suction cups.

    One final note about winter tires. Get 4 not two. You don't want one end of your car to have way more traction than the other. In a rear wheel drive vehicle it can cause understeer as the tires are pushing forward with more grip than the fronts have in a turn. Of a front wheel drive, 2 tires up frun can cause oversteer. The front drive tores have much more traction than the rear and can pull around a corner, but the rears, which don't have as much are prone to breaking loose and fishtailing.

    I wouldn't drive another winter without them in a cold climate, they just make that much of a difference. I wouldn't have believed it all those years I drove without them. Right now I'm waiting to see what a Mid-Missouri winter is like before I decide whether to buy a set for down here.

    C
     
  13. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Start of thread hijack...

    Hey Chris,

    I hear a lot about having skinnier tires for snow and ice, but no one says what that means. How skinny is skinny?

    I have BFG AT's M & S, 35x12.5x15. WOndering about whether I should change them out to drive from So Cal to Utah or Tahoe for skiing.

    BTW, Missouri winters are often slushy, with occasional ice. Not consistently snowy. But the drivers there are pretty bad. Never saw anyone use studs, and winter tires will see intermittent use.

    End of hijack.
     
  14. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Skinny is a matter of vehicle weight, a 10" wide tire on a loaded one-ton is a lot different than on a Samuri, but you knew that, so:

    First off, there's a big difference between snow and ice. In snow, a wide tire can be OK. On one extreme you float on top of the snow, on the other, you run a skinnier tire and try and sink through it to the bottom, but that is more for off-road than on. Still, if it's fresh snow only a few inches deep, there's nothing wrong with a wider tire as far as traction is concerned. Siping and open tread blocks help to gain traction and also shed snow. It's when you add ice to the snow that things get slippery (pun intended). With ice, a skinnier tire creates a smaller footprint, which creates more pressure on the contact patch. From my experience, 35x12.5 was too wide for my Blazer. As far as what is skinny, some guys like the 10" wide truck tires, they seem to work well with heavier trucks/ I had a pair of 235/75 15's on my half ton, which doing the conversion is around 9" section width but is around 7.5" tread width. I put them on my Blazer and they worked really well, but looked ridiculous on a 6" lifted truck (only about 27" tall). To get taller and skinny you can try going to an 80 or 85 series P-metric tire on a 16" rim. For example, a LT235/85R16 gives you a 31-32" tire with a 9" section width and a 7.2" tread width, which would be ideal on a full size. Unfortunately the Duelers only come in 75 series, but there is a Blizzak available in the size above. I really liked my 235's for footing on either the half ton or Blazer, even if I did look like I had training wheels on with the Blazer. On the plus side, it fit in the garage with the hard top on, which it wouldn't do on 35's

    Hope that helped - C
     
  15. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Chris! Great info! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. Klink K5

    Klink K5 1/2 ton status

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    Keep the dirty side down! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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