Any advice on making a 2WD Ranger drivable in bad weather? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 09-20-2010
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Any advice on making a 2WD Ranger drivable in bad weather?

Last winter was a living nightmare for my 2.3 2WD Ranger as I couldn't drive it for over 3 weeks thanks to the huge blizzard. I have basic Uniroyal tires (not all weather tires), but the tread is still pretty decent so I'm stuck with these for a while. Besides putting plenty of weight in the bed of my truck over the rear axel, can anyone recommend some ideas that actually make my 2WD Ranger usable in snowy/icy conditions?

I know getting a true 4WD gas guzzler would be the obvious choice right off the bat, but I’m content with little gas sipping 4-banger pick-ups. Other than 2 or 3 weeks during the winter, I wouldn’t even touch the 4WD ****.
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Old 09-20-2010
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set of snow tires...and a lot of weight in the bed
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Old 09-20-2010
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Move to the north and learn to drive in snow?
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Old 09-20-2010
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Move to the north and learn to drive in snow?
lol i agree
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Old 09-20-2010
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Just the usual weight in the bed and snow tires all the way around (what good is it to go if you can't steer or brake?). I drove my old reg cab 2wd just one day in the snow... then put 4 snows on it and about 350lbs in the bed and it worked just fine! If you are 100% stuck with those tires then put a limited slip or locker in 'er but your steering and braking will still suck!
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Old 09-20-2010
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I live in Ohio and we get lots of snow. I don't put anything in the bed, but snow does accumulated in there which adds some weight, but I have NEVER had any problems driving in the snow with it. Just drive slow, that's all.
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Old 09-20-2010
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Get better tires and drive slower.
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Old 09-21-2010
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chains maybe? lol. tires, chains, some sort of traction aid in the back i.e. locker or lsd, weight in the back and yeah.
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Old 09-21-2010
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The main thing I found driving a 95 Ranger 2WD Short bed std cab, is weight in the bed, 150 lbs min.
Good snow tires in the rear and good tires period in the front AND don’t drive too fast on slippery roads.
I tired studded snows but I think it made it worse.

The Ranger is just so light in the @ss-end, especially the std cab short beds.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Winter tires will make a huge difference. Or at least a good all-terrain tire which you could run all year... there are many all-terrain tires that are rated for snow (they have a snowflake symbol on the sidewall).
And like others said, learn to drive in snow... just take it easy. If you are spinning all the time, you will not move anywhere.

You can put extra weight in the bed, it may help some... but tires and driving style are the key...
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Old 09-21-2010
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Good tires, being a gear to high if it's really slick. Try lowering your tire psi...My mom's car had nearly bald tires (maybe 1/4" of tread or less), I lowered the tire psi to 25 when it was really snowing and she thought it did great.
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Old 09-21-2010
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I know my truck sucks in the snow. Good tires, putting the limited slip in, and weight help alot. I never use first anymore taking off in bad weather.
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Old 09-21-2010
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get snow tires, put weight in the bed and be easy on the throttle. if all else fails, 4x4 conversion. lol
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Old 09-21-2010
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low gears helps a bunch. at least 150 lbs in the bed.

i put in a Torsen rear diff for the limited slip. maybe an expo axle swap?

i run 30psi on all season mastercraft avenger g/ts in the summer and i lower it to 25-27psi in the in winter. only for like a month though. i did it in late January until early march last year.

i've never had problems with all season tires but snow tires or all terrains never hurt. maybe some BFGs or Goodyear Wranglers.

run nice and slow. start in second on bad days. stuff like that. be smart.

for my first winter driving my dad drove me up to the mall in my truck with 100 lbs in the back. it was the first weekend of snow and it was heavy then light so the parking lot was really slushy and had an ice sheet underneath. he got out and told me to drive it around the empty parking lot and make a few sharp turns and be harsh on the gas. after i spun it out a few times and messed around he had me do some different maneuvers to learn how to drive in the snow and correct myself.

the best winter driving you can do is learning how to do it. in my experience if i'm in over my head stuck or spinning, just let off the gas, punch the brakes and stop. start over.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Icon14

Thanks for the tips fellas. As always, greatly appreciated.
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  #16  
Old 09-22-2010
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Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
the best winter driving you can do is learning how to do it. in my experience if i'm in over my head stuck or spinning, just let off the gas, punch the brakes and stop. start over.

Actually, do all that, BUT punch the brakes - your better off having the wheels rolling and gently ever so genlty applying break pressure.. once you lock up tires in snow/ice you might as well kiss the car in front of you.
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Old 09-22-2010
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Actually, do all that, BUT punch the brakes - your better off having the wheels rolling and gently ever so genlty applying break pressure.. once you lock up tires in snow/ice you might as well kiss the car in front of you.
depends on ABS. if you have 4 wheel ABS then you can push the brake pedal to the floor and keep control. with RABS you need light pressure and pumping.
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Old 09-22-2010
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In my experience pumping brakes in icy conditions hinders more than helps. IF you apply any brake pressure it increases the slide, since the wheels are basically ski's. If you have RABS, 4WABS, or no abs, the best thing to do is counter steer and glide into it. If you mash the throttle or brake, it breaks traction even more at the rear and usually ends up with an intimate meeting with the ditch. The few times I've broken loose in wet or icy conditions I just ride it out, counter steer a bit, and slow down once I regain traction. One time I added a bit of throttle to decrease the angle of the power slide on a wet curvy road.

Wait a minute....why are we talking about snow!? It's 87 degrees here!
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  #19  
Old 09-22-2010
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Lol you are right though. A little torque goes a long way in a slide. Especially with a locking rear. When the wheels lock it can make or break a slide.
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  #20  
Old 09-22-2010
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Your lowest cost options are tire chains and sand bags in the bed. Other than that you are looking at gettting better tires. You can go with snow tires or just get BFG AT KO's for year round driving.
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Old 09-22-2010
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200+ pounds of weight in the bed and 4 Blizzak Ice & Snow tires--I have 4x4, but I rarely use it with this combo--and we usually get a $hitload of snow in Vermont.
I've always run Blizzaks on my cars, so i tried them last year on my truck-mostly because the OE Goodyears I had been running in the winter were CRAP, and I wasn't going to ruin my chrome rims with the REVOs on them. In a word--AMAZING.
MikeR
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  #22  
Old 09-22-2010
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Tires were my next question. Since winter tires would more or less be overkill for my area, is there one brand of all weather tires that's generally considered to be the best? BTW, earlier today I was watching a few "all season vs summer" tire videos on Youtube and every 2WD truck with summer tires has the exact same issue as me which is basically the tires spinning in place no matter how much weight is in the bed.

I had the tires put on almost 2 years ago before doing any research and all I've got to say now is what the hell was I thinking? Summer tires may as well be made of ice when there's any amount of snow or real ice on the road. Also, is there a significant difference in gas mileage when comparing all season to summer tires?
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  #23  
Old 09-22-2010
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go to tirerack.com and look up reviews, that'll help ya.
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  #24  
Old 09-22-2010
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As lots of folks have already said, slow down use a bunch of weight and I went to directional snowtires here in Maine -- it made a huge difference on my '03 2WD Ranger. Before it could not make it over a "cat turd in the middle of the road" if there was any snow or ice and there is plenty here in the winter.
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  #25  
Old 09-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
depends on ABS. if you have 4 wheel ABS then you can push the brake pedal to the floor and keep control. with RABS you need light pressure and pumping.
you've obviously never driving a ranger with 4 wheel abs. it wont help you much at all in the snow.

Last edited by 99offroadrngr; 09-22-2010 at 09:50 PM.
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