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  #1  
Old 12-29-2010
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4X4 vs Extra Weight in the Bed

Yes, I know 4X4 is superior, but I'm looking at gas mileage.

I drive a 2010 XLT 4X4 4.0 and it has no problem with upto about 14" of snow in 4X4 on stock M+S tires.

You guys all know that running in 4X4 adds drag to your drivetrain and diminishes MPG.

What I'm wanting to know is if I'll get better mileage with a bed full of snow or just keeping it in 4X4.

P.S. In anticipation that no one has a definite answer, I've already loading my bed up with snow I'll have an answer for you guys in about a week if you don't have one for me now... My attempt at being productive, lol.
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Old 12-29-2010
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I noticed a couple years ago that weight in the bed got better mileage then 4x4. Now i just do no weight in the bed and 4x4 only when i really have to that equals even better mileage.
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Old 12-29-2010
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I usually do keep in in 2WD when the road conditions allow it. The problem is that I live in Germany, lol. They do plow the roads, but they'll wait till they know there will be a nice break in snowfall, or the snow is dangerously deep on the roads. A break in snowfall is rare in my area. A day of dry air is usually followed by 4 days of snowing. Road's are almost always covered with a nice layer of snow.
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Old 12-29-2010
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ahh yes just noticed you are over seas, to be honest with the amount of snowfall you receive I would probably just go the 4x4 route. I would do bed empty to save when you can use 2 wheel. It could be a toss up though. How often will you be able to get by in 2wd with weight or are you still going to have to lock it in 4wd most of the time? Thats the question you have to ask yourself. Other than that I think youll just have to suck it up. Its not uncommon to get low teens mpgs for these trucks in the winters.
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Old 12-29-2010
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First time you wreck in 2wd will negate any savings you try to get by going 2wd. Not worth it, no weight will equal 4wd. Weigh down the back and you take wieght off the front brakes also, something to think about.

Last edited by buckgnarly; 12-29-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010
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Yeah, it's just gonna take some playing around with, see what works better. Right now, I'm actually getting around alot easier that I'd thought in 2WD. I'll let you guys know what kinda of MPG I'm getting after a burn through a tank or two.

Buckgnarly, believe it or not, she'll stop faster with weight in the bed. All vehicles have four wheel braking, regardless of being in 4X4 or not. The Ranger (like all trucks) is designed to be driven with a load, so the rear wheels have more braking power than they need when the bed is empty. Rear brakes will lock up first without a load. With the added weight to the bed, braking is distributed more evenly throughout the wheels.
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Old 12-29-2010
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outta curioustity are you a german national or a soldier?
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Old 12-29-2010
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I used to tell my wife to avoid 4wd in "so-so" conditions for fear of messing up driveline parts, economy, etc....then she rolled our 01 on black ice.

Would 4wd have helped? I don't know, but I know it would not have hurt. She walked away without a scratch (one reason she demanded another Ranger) but I now tell her to have at it with 4wd.

We use it A LOT in VT, and I'd rather break a truck than wreck one/loose someone. There are many times that 2wd works, but if you have the ability why not use it? I guess I feel better safe than sorry now.
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Old 12-29-2010
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wreck? i dont understand is the 4x4 suppose to make a shielf in front of the truck in case of accidents?...this is alot of bs.....even in germany you could ride your truck in 2wd the whole winter whiout 4x4..just get good tires and weight in the bed...4x4 is just complety overkill if your not working with it
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Old 12-30-2010
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I bought a 4x4 this year after 16 years of 2wd (b3000) with weight in the back every winter and I drove my truck for 6 weeks with no weight to see if I liked it... I didn't. Weight in the back helps balance for turning, handling, control, braking and acceleration in slippery conditions in 4x4 and 2wd.

20kg x 6 salt bags so 265lbs over the wheels in back and I'm much happier with my truck.

If your 4x4 and haven't tried it find a snow covered parking lot and pick / make a course around the lot and run it with and without weight in the back. You might find you can make it around much faster with the weight in the back. This doesn't mean you should be driving faster on the road just use that extra potential for an extra margin of safety.

Last edited by zx6rrdan; 12-30-2010 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 12-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedrik101 View Post
wreck? i dont understand is the 4x4 suppose to make a shielf in front of the truck in case of accidents?...this is alot of bs.....even in germany you could ride your truck in 2wd the whole winter whiout 4x4..just get good tires and weight in the bed...4x4 is just complety overkill if your not working with it
Have you ever rolled a vehicle because of black ice? maybe that's why you don't understand. I too rolled my 03 because of black ice and I wasn't in 4 wheel, not saying that I would not have slid but I think the outcome would have been totally different. I find that if I start to slide in 4 wheel the truck recovers much faster. I'm not one of those people that think just because I have four wheel I can do anything and drive as fast as I want, but it does help when you slide.
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Old 12-30-2010
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Originally Posted by zx6rrdan View Post
I bought a 4x4 this year after 16 years of 2wd (b3000) with weight in the back every winter and I drove my truck for 6 weeks with no weight to see if I liked it... I didn't. Weight in the back helps balance for turning, handling, control, braking and acceleration in slippery conditions in 4x4 and 2wd.

20kg x 6 salt bags so 265lbs over the wheels in back and I'm much happier with my truck.

If your 4x4 and haven't tried it find a snow covered parking lot and pick / make a course around the lot and run it with and without weight in the back. You might find you can make it around much faster with the weight in the back. This doesn't mean you should be driving faster on the road just use that extra potential for an extra margin of safety.

Ah yes, good sound advice/ideas....becoming so rare on the internet as shown by the post above.(I mean above you, zx6).......

Anyway.....
Good point. I found my wife's Ranger is much better with the cap on in the winter. Drove my F250 the other day and forgot how light the rear is with no weight in it at all. I will agree, 4wd with weight in the back is probably the best combo.
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Old 12-30-2010
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i was always rasied with a 4x4 vehicle, i didn't have anything but a ranger untill i graduated UTI. my dad always said i never needed weight because i had 4x4. and to be honest, its all about driving style. i haven't put weight (intentionally) in my bed during the last couple of winters, im not twin sticked, so whenever things get too sticky or scary i just push a button. i think that if your a careful driver 4x4 is necessary when you think it is.
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Old 01-01-2011
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Last edited by zx6rrdan; 01-01-2011 at 08:39 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2011
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Well, in the last 5 days, I've managed to burn through 2 tanks of gas during my traveling. The first tank of gas was with 250-275 lbs of snow in the bed, regardless of road conditions. The second tank was after dumping the snow and using 4X4 only when needed. Here are my results in numbers and some opinions:


2010 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0V6 w/ 4X4 (Modded airbox and Flowmaster 40-Series SI/SO)

Category: Weighted Bed / 4X4 as needed
Average Gas Mileage: 16.4MPG / 17.1MPG (Including City and Autobahn)
0 to 60MPH Dry: 11.2 sec / 8.1 sec
0 to 60MPH Snow: 14.1 sec / 11.6 sec
60 to 0MPH Dry: 4.3 sec / 3.9 sec
60 to 0MPH Snow: 12.4 sec / 12.3 sec
Handling Onroad: Felt like an SUV, smooth and mushy / Nimble, like a small truck should feel
Handling Offroad: Handled like sitting in a chair, on a bed / Nimble, like a small truck offroad should feel like :D

Final Words:
Well, changing from 2WD to 4WD when road conditions change is way easier than changing from bed full of snow to empty bed. With the constant changing of road conditions and the weighing of the variations tested here, 4X4 is the obvious choice.

Snow in your bed would be great if you don't have 4X4. My traction in 2WD was improved with the snow in the bed. In 4X4, the added weight liked to help the tail end of my truck swing around, though. Granted, I have a pretty aggressive driving style, but in 4X4 without the load, my Ranger will stick the rear tires nicely.

Hope this helped you guys out.
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Old 01-02-2011
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Originally Posted by fourliter dan View Post
outta curioustity are you a german national or a soldier?
Soldier, U.S. Army
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