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trigun7469
trigun7469 Dork
1/4/16 3:14 p.m.

I decided on my way home for lunch that I would put my 4wd on my truck to test it. I made a right hand turn on my street which is never cleaned and very icy and I did a 180 degree turn. I was completely surprised and dumb founded. There was no grip and I was going below 15MPH. Luckily there was no one on the road, but holy E36 M3, I have never in my life spun on the road, very few times have I spun during races without a little help. I just a word of caution, as the snow starts to fly...

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/4/16 3:19 p.m.

I found out the hard way. 16 years old and traveling with the family in the 86 Suburban towing a short coupled pup trailer. Hit ice and that nasty little trailer wiped us around so fast I barely started to counter-steer. Into the ditch at 60-SIDEWAYS. I didn't sleep much on the way home after the old man gave me the boot into the back.

slefain
slefain UberDork
1/4/16 3:35 p.m.

When I was 16 I had a S10 Blazer 4WD. We got a nice layer of snow/ice and so I told Dad I would make a grocery run in my obviously unstoppable 4WD vehicle. Dad chuckled and told me to hop in the Blazer and he was driving. We headed to the nearby middle school parking lot which was a sheet of ice. We swapped seats and he told me to drive across the lot in 2WD. We crossed the lot with a little slippage but nothing bad. Then he told me to put it in 4WD-Lo and do it again. We did pirouettes across the parking lot. He then told me that all 4WD will do in the slippery stuff is make all the wheels spin at once. Lesson learned.

When we had the snowpocalyble here in Atlanta two years ago I was thrilled to be an underpowered FWD car. I passed a Wrangler on a hill that had all four wheels spinning like hell as I just ambled on by in my Camry.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
1/4/16 3:56 p.m.
slefain wrote: He then told me that all 4WD will do in the slippery stuff is make all the wheels spin at once. Lesson learned.

^this. i imagine the most traction a tire will have on ice is in a neutral rolling state, no brakes and no power put to it. the less tires spinning on the ice the more control you will have in most average driving situations

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/4/16 4:26 p.m.

One morning on my way to work in winter, driving my '95 ACR on what appeared to be normal roads, I made the wide sweeping left onto the access road that went around toward the parking lot. As I drove into the shadow of our 4-story building, I was instantly and without notable warning teleported about 15' to the right and directly into the curb. Mangled the crap out of the RF tire, rim, strut, and LCA.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
1/4/16 6:16 p.m.

Tires make a huge difference

2WD means you go off the road backwards.

4WD, you go off sideways.

4WD helps you go better than 2WD. After that, its a toss up.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/4/16 6:57 p.m.

My truck came with all season tires and I decided that I would try plowing with them before buying snow tires. On the morning of the first storm, I couldn't even drive across my driveway to hook up the plow.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
1/4/16 7:36 p.m.
slefain wrote: When we had the snowpocalyble here in Atlanta two years ago I was thrilled to be an underpowered FWD car. I passed a Wrangler on a hill that had all four wheels spinning like hell as I just ambled on by in my Camry.

During a good snow last year i pulled up to a light next to a Wrangler in my Firebird. Light turns green and I smoothly pull away on my General Articmaxes while the Wrangler shot 4 roostertails and went nowhere. He had to be on 4 of the baldest tires ever AND be a dumbass to boot....

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
1/4/16 8:05 p.m.

Ice slippery. Fun to race on though.

iadr
iadr HalfDork
1/4/16 8:42 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: I found out the hard way. 16 years old and traveling with the family in the 86 Suburban towing a short coupled pup trailer. Hit ice and that nasty little trailer wiped us around so fast I barely started to counter-steer. Into the ditch at 60-SIDEWAYS. I didn't sleep much on the way home after the old man gave me the boot into the back.

Haha, one of my first experiences was kind of the opposite. In a 1967 Volvo 144 with 215K miles, in mid 1980's, we were headed home on a prairie 2 lane, very empty. It was freezing rain just ahead of us. Good heater, all turned toward defrost and I'd flick the wipers occasionally, so we weren't seeing it, but driving, I felt it.... the road was glare wet ice.
I'd just read an editorial in Automobile about some famous race driver driving a rental Ford Falcon in Mexico or South America, and taking everyone around at good speed, but without jerks and sudden motions.

Occasionally they'd be a bit of a "Ah?" and scowl from my Dad, but I realized he had no idea. Conditions got so bad that I really wondered if the ice was all it was, maybe we'd lost a tire. So when he decided he'd had enough of my sloppy driving and told me to pull over, I wasn't even offended. His first step out of the car, his foot went out from under him, and he fell against the rocker with the door still open. Took a step into the ditch and slipped again.
When you slip on dried grass, even if sloped, you know it's slick out there.
He fell another time right on the pavement ahead of the car, before crossing in front of me. Hard enough I got out and made sure he was Ok.
He got back in the passenger's seat. As a 16 year old I felt pretty good about that. I'd actually hidden the conditions from him.

As far as 4wd goes, it really helps as quasi-ABS. Front pinion and rear pinion locked together, you tell me how one wheel is going to lock up? It can't. Open diffs or not. It can't. Give it a bit of thought- it's a more subtle mechanical puzzle than you think.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy UberDork
1/4/16 10:03 p.m.

This is the first winter in many years that I won't be driving a competent eurotrash sedan with snow tires, instead I've got a ZJ Grand Cherokee with ATs. I'm not looking forward to it.

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
1/5/16 12:52 a.m.

The snow here in Anchorage proper went to just ice last week and driving on unsiped 35 " mud terrains in a FJ60 it really doesnt matter if it is 2wd or 4wd on pavement. There is zero traction.

If we aren't going on dirt roads, my wifes Prius on continental all weather tires does pretty darn amazing with smart tractions control and abs.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/5/16 8:04 a.m.
crankwalk wrote: If we aren't going on dirt roads, my wifes Prius on continental all weather tires does pretty darn amazing with smart tractions control and abs.

Some snobs like to get smarmy about "no season" tires, but the Conti DWSs on my wife's car are nothing short of amazing in snow and rain, and very good in nice weather.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
1/5/16 8:26 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: As far as 4wd goes, it really helps as quasi-ABS. Front pinion and rear pinion locked together, you tell me how one wheel is going to lock up? It can't. Open diffs or not. It can't. Give it a bit of thought- it's a more subtle mechanical puzzle than you think.

i agree with what you are saying here but with open diffs front and rear, in the right situation, one tire in the front and one tire in the rear could lock up even in 4wd.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
1/5/16 8:44 a.m.

the first time I drove my disco in the snow was the first time I had ever driven a 4wd vehicle in the snow. The Spin I did entering a local state highway was frightening in that in a FWD or RWD vehicle I could have ridden it out and slid a bit, but continued on. The Disco just kept going. All I could do was hit the brakes and go for the ride.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
1/5/16 9:52 a.m.
edizzle89 wrote:
Appleseed wrote: As far as 4wd goes, it really helps as quasi-ABS. Front pinion and rear pinion locked together, you tell me how one wheel is going to lock up? It can't. Open diffs or not. It can't. Give it a bit of thought- it's a more subtle mechanical puzzle than you think.

i agree with what you are saying here but with open diffs front and rear, in the right situation, one tire in the front and one tire in the rear could lock up even in 4wd.

That can work in the reverse when off road. If you get one front tire off the ground and an opposite rear off and open diffs, you can get stuck. think crossing a gulley at an angle.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/5/16 9:59 a.m.

Quotes are wonky. I didn't write that.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
1/5/16 1:36 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: Quotes are wonky. I didn't write that.

yea that was my bad for trying to cut to quote down

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
1/5/16 1:39 p.m.

Most of you guys have clearly never driven a WRX (or any AWD Subaru) in the snow and ice. I have and they are fun, even at very limited speeds. Mine was an 02 so it had the 20mm rear sway bar, which actually makes them a little tail happy. A good AWD system with mechanical limited slip diffs and proper winter tires is magic in these conditions.

Our non-arterial roads right now consist of packed and polished snow. It is like driving on a hockey rink most of the time. Even my lowly little 115 Hp Golf with snows on it is entertaining.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad SuperDork
1/5/16 1:52 p.m.
NGTD wrote: Most of you guys have clearly never driven a WRX (or any AWD Subaru) in the snow and ice. I have and they are fun, even at very limited speeds. Mine was an 02 so it had the 20mm rear sway bar, which actually makes them a little tail happy. A good AWD system with mechanical limited slip diffs and proper winter tires is magic in these conditions. Our non-arterial roads right now consist of packed and polished snow. It is like driving on a hockey rink most of the time. Even my lowly little 115 Hp Golf with snows on it is entertaining.

Maybe but it's more about tires than anything. Couple of winters back I drove the 4x4 Suburban up my sisters' driveway. Half an hour later our mother called and was stuck down at the end near the street. Her somewhat worn Michelin Energy tires were beyond worthless and her 2014 Subaru Outback just sat there spinning all four and actually going slowly backwards down the hill. (gravel driveway btw).

I couldn't do any better with it so I got it parked and drove her back up to the house in old chevy iron. (on worn and old ATX tires)

All that said, my German cars have really gotten AWD and traction controls figured out. Much more confidence inspiring in them than any number of 4x4 Jeeps, trucks, SUVs, and an H1 Hummer.

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
1/5/16 3:11 p.m.

In reply to KyAllroad:

On snow and ice its always about the tires, no question.

I laugh at the people that buy AWD for thousands more and then won't buck up for a proper set of winters.

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
1/5/16 6:10 p.m.
Duke wrote:
crankwalk wrote: If we aren't going on dirt roads, my wifes Prius on continental all weather tires does pretty darn amazing with smart tractions control and abs.

Some snobs like to get smarmy about "no season" tires, but the Conti DWSs on my wife's car are nothing short of amazing in snow and rain, and very good in nice weather.

I think it depends on the vehicle too but a lightweight fwd car can get by with a lot more than a heavy SUV 4wd or not.

I was certain we would need some Nokians on the Prius until I realized how god the ABS and traction control is. That car is really made for even the dumbest person to survive, give good mileage, and forget about maintenance.

iadr
iadr HalfDork
1/5/16 10:30 p.m.
edizzle89 wrote:
iadr wrote: As far as 4wd goes, it really helps as quasi-ABS. Front pinion and rear pinion locked together, you tell me how one wheel is going to lock up? It can't. Open diffs or not. It can't. Give it a bit of thought- it's a more subtle mechanical puzzle than you think.

i agree with what you are saying here but with open diffs front and rear, in the right situation, one tire in the front and one tire in the rear could lock up even in 4wd.

Maybe, but to lock up two simultaneously is a lot less likely- first one tries to lock up and the others resist it. I think it would be a 1 in 5000 circumstance to have two rolling and two locked up, ..And driving in locked 4wd proves this out, 4th winter with my Sidekick LWB (4dr). Kumho KC15 tires, second set. I liked the look, got the first set in 09 and they aged out this summer about the same time they got below 50% tread (I don't have another set for summer, I was supposed to have a project complete to drive for summer. )

KC15's are an attractive asymmetrical H rated winter. Generally as speed ratings go up true winter traction goes down. Always lean toward an S or T rated tire if you have nothing else to go on. I look at H's and esp V rated as essentially "allweather tires", not pure winters.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
1/5/16 11:48 p.m.

Four studded snows. Smooth, gentle inputs. 4WD or AWD. Leave the nannies turned on, these days they actually work very well. Allow extra travel time. Problem pretty much solved.

jstand
jstand HalfDork
1/6/16 5:54 a.m.
edizzle89 wrote:
Appleseed wrote: As far as 4wd goes, it really helps as quasi-ABS. Front pinion and rear pinion locked together, you tell me how one wheel is going to lock up? It can't. Open diffs or not. It can't. Give it a bit of thought- it's a more subtle mechanical puzzle than you think.

i agree with what you are saying here but with open diffs front and rear, in the right situation, one tire in the front and one tire in the rear could lock up even in 4wd.

Keep in mind what happens to wheel speeds if one wheel was to lock up on each axle.

For example in a 4wd with a locked center diff (i.e. A transfer case): If one front wheel locks up, the other front wheel on that axle has to double in speed, or the wheels on the rear axle need to slow to half the speed of the tire on the first.

So if 3 out of 4 tires have traction, it is impossible for one wheel to lock without breaking traction on at least one of the other tires.

Even if one tire one each axle was to lock up simultaneously, the transfer case, transmission, and engine would need to slow to half their speed at the same time the wheels locked up.

A lot more need to happen when locking up a wheel while braking in 4wd compared to losing traction when trying to move in 4wd.

When moving forward it's different, it is the wheels in the air that need to spin faster so no additional tires need to loose traction, and no sudden change in driveline speed is required.

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