General Ford Ranger Discussion General discussion of the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

Upgrading my RWD '97 for AWD '00?

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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Upgrading my RWD '97 for AWD '00?

brrr. I just emerged from a cold and slippery winter in Ohio with my '97 RWD Ranger (~87k miles). First time Ranger owner here so sorry if I sound a bit noobish, but, boy everytime I got behind the wheel during a dusting of snow and wind, I didn't know if I was going to make it to my destination. Now I had about 600lbs of sand in the bed of my truck but that didn't help at 50 mph with snow and wind blowing. One day, making my way south from Detroit, MI, I had to stop in Toledo for the night because I couldn't stop quickly without ABS. No ABS on the Interstate 75 at 45-50 MPH during a light flurry.... I honestly figured I was going to end up in a ditch or into the sidewall.

Long story Long, I love my 97 Ranger but it can snow in Ohio from Oct-April. I can't risk an accident for 7 months of the year. I found a '00 AWD Ranger XLT with 164k miles. Would it be a sin to trade in the prettiest vehicle I've ever owned (low miles, no rust, bright red with white and blue pinstripe) for slightly safer Ranger? I mean how often will you find a 97 with <100K miles?
 
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4WD only helps you go, not stop or steer. and its possible the 2000 doesn't have 4 wheel abs either
 
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Originally Posted by djfllmn View Post
4WD only helps you go, not stop or steer. and its possible the 2000 doesn't have 4 wheel abs either
Great point! From the online listing for the '00 Ranger - " 4-Wheel ABS Brakes" and power steering. Another feature I don't have.
 
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i think before i would go buying a new truck, invest in some good snow tires for the winter.
 
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Originally Posted by djfllmn View Post
i think before i would go buying a new truck, invest in some good snow tires for the winter.
Right... I hadn't thought of snow tires. Maybe I oughta do that. However, would good snow tires negate the lack of ABS and RWD? I would imagine snow tires help with acceleration and grip but I'm sliding on snow whilst manually pumping my brakes. So you think snow tires would help that? I guess I could give it a try next winter...
 
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Originally Posted by agwalter4 View Post
Right... I hadn't thought of snow tires. Maybe I oughta do that. However, would good snow tires negate the lack of ABS and RWD? I would imagine snow tires help with acceleration and grip but I'm sliding on snow whilst manually pumping my brakes. So you think snow tires would help that? I guess I could give it a try next winter...
Snow tires and driving for conditions
 
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Snow tires have two advantages
First is usually obvious, wider gaps in the treads for better "grip" on loose surfaces
Second is not obvious but way more important, the "rubber" its made with

All season tires are NOT snow tires, if they were then they would wear out very fast in the summer

Snow tires use a "rubber" compound that stays soft and pliable down to -30deg or so, which gives you better traction on snow and ice, they maintain their "grip"
But............if you drive with them in 70deg weather their "rubber" gets too soft and they wear out quickly

All season tires have to use the harder "rubber" so they will last, but the "rubber" gets too hard down below 40deg or so, so they starts to loose their "grip"


It is a big expense to get 4 snow tires just to use for a few months a year, but it can be well worth it as they will last you 10 years.
If you don't care about looks you can go to a wrecking yard and get 4 plain steel rims with Ranger bolt pattern and have the snow tires mounted on them so you can swap them at home.
And because there are more accidents in slippery winter driving conditions, wrecking yards often get 4 matched snow tires when a vehicle comes in, in the winter, so...............they sell them

Some tire shops offer storage and a not to expensive swap over if you buy new snow tires from them
So they mount the new snow tires and store your "summer tires", then at the end of winter you come back in and they store your snow tires and remount your "summer tires", repeat for next winter


For even more safety snow tires can be studded, steel spikes added for even better "grip", all snow tires come with the holes in the treads to add these
BUT..............check local by-laws, they may not be allowed at all, or there will be dates, like Nov 1st to March 1st which is the only time studded tires can be used, as these do tear up the dry street surfaces, and it does wear out the studs faster, lol, so you want to take them off in any case



And just an FYI
AWD, all wheel drive and 4WD are different

AWD uses a fluid coupling for the front wheel power, similar to torque converter on automatic transmission
This fluid coupling allows for front wheels to spin at a slightly different speed since there is no direct connection, but there is a power loss, AWD usually have 30/70 power split
Some newer versions with traction control can send more power to front wheels if rear wheels start to slip.

On dry pavement there will always be a slight difference in front and rear driveline rotations, the fluid coupling allows for this so no need to switch to 2WD

4WD uses a direct connection between front and rear wheels, so 50/50 power split, or 100/100, lol
So you should not run in 4WD on dry pavement its hard on the transfer case because its a direct drive, so you need to switch to 2WD
4WD is much better for off-road use than AWD because there is no slipping, all wheels have all power all the time

AWD also doesn't have a Low range, usually
 

Last edited by RonD; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:01 PM.
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