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  #1  
Old 01-22-2016
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Pathetic Traction - Solutions?

Lately my city is being pounded with snow. It's still coming down, actually. Of course, with that, brings traction issues. I'll admit it, I'm not very experienced with snow, if for no other reason than snow doesn't come around here very often. It is southern Indiana, after all.

The first day of snow, I decided to fill my six foot box full of snow, hoping the extra weight on the rear tires would assist with traction. I think it does a little. My front tires are aired up to 32.5 pounds, and the rear 35 due to the extra weight. Speaking of tires, I'm running Goodyear Wrangler tires.


Of course, Gold Dust is equipped with 4 wheel drive, high and low. 4.10 gears in the rear pumpkin, open differential, 7.5.

Going forward, there's some minor slippage naturally, but nothing that brings me to a dead halt. Going backwards is another story. I couldn't even back up my own driveway. One wheel wonder back there spun and spun but I was left helpless without a hope.

So a few things came to mind. Ice under the snow? Poor tires? Open diff? Or simply, as I mentioned before, lack of experience. So, does anyone have any advice for me? My ears are open.
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Old 01-22-2016
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goodyear wranglers are not winter tires

general grabber at2`s are severe snow rated
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Old 01-22-2016
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In snow torque is your enemy, start off in 2nd gear if you have a manual trans.
Keep RPMs low and out of engines best torque range, this is hard to do with automatics.
Some have "snow" setting that disables 1st gear and moves shift points lower for less torque.

E-brake can be your friend if you have an open differential in the rear.
Open means only 1 wheel gets the power, that one wheel is the one that is easiest to turn/spin.
If a rear wheel is slipping hold out e-brake release and push down on e-brake pedal, this will slow the spinning wheel and start to transfer power to the other one.

Raising tire pressure will give you less traction in all circumstances.

Lower your tire pressure, snow is like sand in some respects, you want more surface area for better traction and to stay above the snow not dig in, lower pressure = wider tire, 15-20psi snow, 10-15psi for sand
BUT(big but) you shouldn't drive on bare pavement with under inflated tires, so have a air pump handy.


+1, winter tires have rubber that is softer in cold weather, they wear out faster in warm weather, summer tires(all-weather) rubber gets hard is freezing temps so you have less traction.
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Old 01-22-2016
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Hmm, I thought the brake trick was only for locking diffs. I'll have to give that a try tomorrow. And yeah, I'm only equipped with an open diff. I need to get an expo's limited slip diff or something.
Didn't think of the tire pressure thing either. I'll sleep on that one and just maybe let some air out tomorrow.
One problem I face with the tire solution though, is side streets aren't plowed while the main roads are; if you call beet juice 'plowing' that is. Rather pathetic road crews around here, I must admit.

Next year, I am definitely getting snow tires though. Spare set of wheels, some tires mounted and balanced, golden. That should certainly help.
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Old 01-22-2016
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I have found 4 snow tires at wreckers several times over the years, some with 40% tread others with more, and a set of steel Ford rims(larger enough holes for front hubs), had them mounted and balance and all for less than the cost of two new snow tires.
I only need them maybe 2 months of the year, haven't even put the ones I have now on this year, so they last for many years

You can definitely tell the difference.

And just go down to 25psi for now

Actually the e-brake thing is similar to the way limited slip differentials work, so not for limited slip, it is limited slip, lol.

Last edited by RonD; 01-22-2016 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 01-23-2016
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Alright, I'll put that on my list for things to do when I have some more cash.
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Old 01-28-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Raising tire pressure will give you less traction in all circumstances.

Lower your tire pressure, snow is like sand in some respects, you want more surface area for better traction and to stay above the snow not dig in, lower pressure = wider tire, 15-20psi snow, 10-15psi for sand
BUT(big but) you shouldn't drive on bare pavement with under inflated tires, so have a air pump handy.
This is actually quite false. You would not want to lower your tire pressure at all when driving on snow, sand yes.. The reason why you do it for sand is because you don't want your tires "digging" into the sand and causing you to get stuck, thus lowering the pressure to make the foot print as wide as possible. In terms of driving in snow you want skinnier tires that CUT through the snow and make contact with the ground. Ideally you would want spikes on narrow tires or some type of tread that is designed for snow so that as you go rolling along the larger tread patterns would allow the snow to be dispersed and the actual rubber do its job. The wrangler tires above clearly are NOT that.

OP: If you want a better snow tire, look at a dedicated snow tire, then get a spare set of wheels so you can swap back and forth unless you don't mind getting them mounted/remounted each year.

-Nigel
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Old 01-28-2016
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You are correct but it isn't a black and white issue.
You lower tire pressure because you do not want to get down to frozen icy pavement, snow doesn't give you much traction but it is better than ice.
You are also less likely to be "plowing" as much snow with the front tires so less likely to get wheel spin from resistance.

It is a judgement call when dealing with summer(all season) tires in snow conditions.
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Old 01-28-2016
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I would also put real weight in the back of the truck. When the snow hits I will put at least 250 pounds in the very rear of bed and a full tank of gas. Most of the time I don't need 4x4. Another tip (sorry if it seems basic. not intended to insult) but very light touch on the throttle. Once you start spinning tires you melt the top layer of snow and it turns to ice once you stop. It's harder to regain a grip once you start spinning.

My current Ranger has thus far been the best vehicle I've driven in the snow. With tires and weight it seems to stick to the road better than other trucks I've had. I think it's the shorter wheelbase. But ice is ice.
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Old 01-29-2016
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Sorry I haven't been keeping up with this thread 100%.

I'll definately be looking into some snow tires, perhaps on a set of teardrops. Tires no less, though.

As for weight, I initially considered a couple bags of sand, then I decided it would be easier to load snow and pack some of that in the bed instead. That seemed to help somewhat.
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Old 01-30-2016
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200-300 lbs of playground sand (in 50 lb bags) placed over the rear axle, and a shovel works great. If you do get in a traction situation, just shovel some of the sand under your tires, and more often than not, you are un stuck. If that doesn.t work, a tow chain works wonders.
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Old 01-30-2016
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I may just have to invest in some sand one of these days. See how the sand works first, and if that doesn't do the trick then I'll go for tires. I can always use the sand elsewhere.
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Old 01-30-2016
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Putting weight in the bed helps, but some of the weight closer to the cab goes to front wheels.
Best to put weight above rear axle to tailgate.

I made a board that stands up behind rear wheel wells.
Then put the weight between board and tailgate.

Why the board?
Because I had to stop quickly one time, good traction conditions, and the bags came flying forward, lol, not high but banged into front of bed pretty good.
Thought of what might happen in an accident..............made the board the next day.

Accident would be bad enough, getting hit in the back of the head by 50lbs sandbags and glass didn't appeal to my sense of fair play, lol.
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Old 01-30-2016
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actually it is best to load the sand bags just in front of the rear axle

this will place the weight equally on all 4 tires instead of just the rear wheels

placing weight behind the rear axle will take some weight off of the front wheels which can be dangerous in winter conditions regarding steering control
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Old 01-31-2016
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My truck with a manual transmission and bfg ko2's will walk through any amount of snow in rwd. the weight of my leer cap and limited slip diff helps a lot im sure.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArcticWolf1911 View Post
Lately my city is being pounded with snow. It's still coming down, actually. Of course, with that, brings traction issues. I'll admit it, I'm not very experienced with snow, if for no other reason than snow doesn't come around here very often. It is southern Indiana, after all.

The first day of snow, I decided to fill my six foot box full of snow, hoping the extra weight on the rear tires would assist with traction. I think it does a little. My front tires are aired up to 32.5 pounds, and the rear 35 due to the extra weight. Speaking of tires, I'm running Goodyear Wrangler tires.


Of course, Gold Dust is equipped with 4 wheel drive, high and low. 4.10 gears in the rear pumpkin, open differential, 7.5.

Going forward, there's some minor slippage naturally, but nothing that brings me to a dead halt. Going backwards is another story. I couldn't even back up my own driveway. One wheel wonder back there spun and spun but I was left helpless without a hope.

So a few things came to mind. Ice under the snow? Poor tires? Open diff? Or simply, as I mentioned before, lack of experience. So, does anyone have any advice for me? My ears are open.
in 4wd the front and rear driveshafts are locked together and must spin at the same speeds. if you were spinning a rear wheel but not a front something is wrong or broken.

how old are your tires? any tire over 4-5 years old has degraded and isn't as good in snow/wet as it was new, regardless of tread wear.


Perry
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2016
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These tires are the tires that were on it when i bought it. I have no history of the vehicle prior to my possession.

EDIT: At the time I was stuck, I was in 4x4 low and trying to go backwards primarily. I can feel it engaging and hear it engaging too. Any ways I could test to see if it's working properly?

Last edited by TheArcticWolf1911; 02-04-2016 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-05-2016
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In an empty parking lot put it in 4Low, drive forward and turn you should feel the pull on steering wheel if front axle is engaged.
If parking lot has snow or is otherwise slippery, jump on it, 1 front wheel should spin loose, OPEN differential on the front, so only 1 wheel gets power.
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Old 02-05-2016
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Chains !

Hi , Chains are "cheap" & quickly installed an will go anywhere . An old timers thoughts. Bud
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