Weight in 2wd truck for "off road" - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 05-01-2011
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Weight in 2wd truck for "off road"

Hey guys,

I keep about 120 lbs of sand (2 five gallon buckets) by the tailgate of my truck 2wd edge all year around. its there for those stretches when the gravel roads get soft and loose or when I have to go though an area that isn't so solid. My question is, for dirt road and wet fields and steep gravel roads, is a little weight in the bed a help (increased traction) or a hindrance (sink in deeper)? In the light of todays gas prices and general utility of the bed, it would be great if I could take it out and not loose out on much traction.
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Old 05-01-2011
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i went through the same thing this past winter. i had kept about 400lbs of concrete slabs in the back of my truck. But it wasnt snowing enough to warrant that extra weight back there. so i opted to get rid of it, and throw them in when i knew a big storm was on its way.

the ranger does fine on gravel roads man, you dont need that weight in there. you're just wasting gas. if you feel you NEED them on the gravel roads, then keep em in..but if your gas is suffering and you rarely travel down those roads, take em out! extra wear and tear on your truck for no reason. Besides, you'll have great traction if you keep a moderate speed on gravel or dirt roads. dont go flying down them and you'll be fine.
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Old 05-01-2011
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i think 100lbs total is too much.
you only need like 40lbs over each wheel. just enough to get some more traction. too much weight and it will be a hindrance.
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Old 05-02-2011
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I can't imagine 100 lbs making that much of a difference. 400 lbs maybe.

100 lbs is a teenage girl.
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Old 05-02-2011
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"I can't imagine 100 lbs making that much of a difference. 400 lbs maybe."

Thats kind of what I was thinking. I know my ranger does fine in missouri gravel roads, but I am going to idaho for a summer job and want to make sure that I will get around ok on the gravel mountain roads. I have BFG all terrains, so I hope those will help.
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Old 05-02-2011
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There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to off-road traction.
Narrow tires to cut through the soft mud and grab something solid beneath. For this approach a little extra weight would be helpful. This is the way I do it for winter snow-ice driving on the road. A smaller contact patch on the road will yield better traction.
The other way to look at it is big fat wide tires and as light as you can get it. You will "float" over the loose stuff and keep forward momentum without digging in. Think about driving on sand or sloppy mud.
For the driving you are talking about I would ditch all the extra weight. Driving anywhere the word "road" can be used, weight will not make a difference at all unless you are driving on ice or packed snow. Its only slowing you down this time of year.
Have you thought about a limited slip or locker? Best thing you could do for extra traction in a 2wd. You will actually have 2wd instead of 1wd.
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Old 05-02-2011
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Originally Posted by JKoegel View Post
Narrow tires to cut through the soft mud and grab something solid beneath. For this approach a little extra weight would be helpful. This is the way I do it for winter snow-ice driving on the road. A smaller contact patch on the road will yield better traction.
The other way to look at it is big fat wide tires and as light as you can get it. You will "float" over the loose stuff and keep forward momentum without digging in. Think about driving on sand or sloppy mud.
For the driving you are talking about I would ditch all the extra weight. Driving anywhere the word "road" can be used, weight will not make a difference at all unless you are driving on ice or packed snow. Its only slowing you down this time of year.
Have you thought about a limited slip or locker? Best thing you could do for extra traction in a 2wd. You will actually have 2wd instead of 1wd.

Thanks so much! very informative. I looked into a limited slip but installing one would be 1000 bucks, which is too much. I am not sure I want an auto locker as most of my driving is on the road. My only concern is steep gravel mountain roads and fields. I was wondering if weight would bog me down in fields more than it would give me traction. With BFG all terrains would you think this is the case?
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Old 05-02-2011
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if traction is a issue your tires are at fault.
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Old 05-02-2011
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You don't need that much weight at all to make a difference. 200lbs max. Seriously guys, you are wasting gas and killing your leaf springs with all that weight. 400lbs? Come on!

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Originally Posted by iplayloudly View Post
100 lbs is a teenage girl.
I keep a teenage girl in the bed of my truck as well.......not for traction though.....
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Old 05-02-2011
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I would recommend a posi rear carrier like an eaton tru-trac or similar unit. In the past I would have atleast 300lbs in my bed for winter for the 2wd with no real noticeable benefit. no weight should be necessary in dirt. The posi could aid you in reducing a free wheel in some loose sand or mud and of course snow. I consider a locking rear diff dangerous for any daily driving purpose, as it may likely cause uncontrollable situations for you and the vehicle at speed. Lockers are great for low speed off highway adventures or sticky tasks. The eaton tru-trac is a clutchless unit providing virtually maintenance free added traction. Greatly beneficial on iced over roads.
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Old 05-02-2011
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personally the LS is worth it. yea, it's $100 but look at the traction you gain.
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Old 05-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
You don't need that much weight at all to make a difference. 200lbs max. Seriously guys, you are wasting gas and killing your leaf springs with all that weight. 400lbs? Come on!



I keep a teenage girl in the bed of my truck as well.......not for traction though.....
Lol.


Tires are better for getting traction also, somewhere above somebody said weight isn't necessarily used for driving on roads, which is true, but im sure you could argue a point about some extremely loose gravel.
and like Kevin said above, the more weight you put in the rear, the more weight on the leafs. where do the leafs rest, right on the inside of your tires. you don't need much to put some downward pressure on your wheels.
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Old 05-02-2011
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A cheaper way of adding posi to your truck is the rear-end swap from an Explorer. Found one with posi and disc brakes in my local salvage yard out of an '02 with less than 1000 miles on it, practically brand new and only 300 bucks. It is an 8.8" big upgrade from the 7.5" that's probably pushing your 4cyl.
Downside is that you'll have to do some cutting and welding for spring perches and shock mounts to make it bolt to your truck. To be installed later this summer when I have more time to get to it.
Search the site for the swap, lots of info available here.
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Old 05-02-2011
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Lincoln lock it
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Old 05-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKoegel View Post
A cheaper way of adding posi to your truck is the rear-end swap from an Explorer. Found one with posi and disc brakes in my local salvage yard out of an '02 with less than 1000 miles on it, practically brand new and only 300 bucks. It is an 8.8" big upgrade from the 7.5" that's probably pushing your 4cyl.
Downside is that you'll have to do some cutting and welding for spring perches and shock mounts to make it bolt to your truck. To be installed later this summer when I have more time to get to it.
Search the site for the swap, lots of info available here.
^ Great move for you. If you were worried about the cutting/welding part you can scope out picking up a standard ranger 8.8 (find your gearing first) with limited slip and it would still be an upgrade in alot of ways over an open 7.5 or even an open 8.8. You could also be on the lookout for the coveted FX4 (02) Fx4 lvl 2 (03) rear end which gives you many of the advantages of the explorer axle, minus the rear disc breaks and a bit of the load capacity but without the welding/cutting. I would go axle shopping, because combining even a limited slip with a little bit of weight makes a huge difference for winter and any offroading you do/want to do.
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Old 05-02-2011
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I noticed zero difference between running open and LS in the winter personally. Ran open rear end on stock tires for a winter and I ran a Torsen rear end on stock tires for a winter.

I DID notice a HUGE difference running all-terrains this year. They grip like they won't let go. On stocker I would just press the gas on snow and I could put her sideways. On these ATs I have to down shift and stomp down on the gas to do the same. The traction is night and day. Actually it's Alaska and Cancun lol.
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Old 05-02-2011
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lockers are fine for everyday driving imo. like everyones said above me, tires make a big difference. My friends 2wd ranger had stockers on it for a winter and it was almost scary to drive with. he switched to BFG AT's this winter and the truck handles great and it just wanted to grip
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Old 05-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
I noticed zero difference between running open and LS in the winter personally. Ran open rear end on stock tires for a winter and I ran a Torsen rear end on stock tires for a winter.

I DID notice a HUGE difference running all-terrains this year. They grip like they won't let go. On stocker I would just press the gas on snow and I could put her sideways. On these ATs I have to down shift and stomp down on the gas to do the same. The traction is night and day. Actually it's Alaska and Cancun lol.
Hmmm... I have had great experiences with mine over an open rear end truck (my last ranger), in fact i never need to add any weight to my rig...but then again i can turn the cheater dial when things get too serious. But your right, tires do make the largest difference when it comes to going places on road/ off-road/ or in snow.
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