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Old 07-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Then you hit ice in a corner in your FWD and understeer like mad. Everything has it's disadvantages.


^
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how cars or physics or both work.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:55 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Then you hit ice in a corner in your FWD and understeer like mad. Everything has it's disadvantages.
Negative, sorry to dissapoint.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:58 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I disagree fully. The single biggest safety advantage that a 4wd offers is linking the brakes. Instant 50/50 brake bias front to rear at the pull of a lever.

Edit: Never mind figured it out. . Sometimes it takes a few moments. I'm not certain I agree it makes much difference in slick conditions though
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Negative, sorry to dissapoint.
I drove a FWD car... I disagree.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:37 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I drove a FWD car... I disagree.
That's perfectly acceptable. However, you weren't driving my car, with my equipment, and probably weren't driving as I do. Too many outside variables for such a sweeping statement.

You commented on what would have happened to me and that assumption was incorrect.

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Then you hit ice in a corner in your FWD and understeer like mad. Everything has it's disadvantages.

Seven winters of driving on the snow and ice mean I'm fairly comfortable with speaking for myself.

My wifes 4x4 Wrangler (non locking front hubs) was always in the ditch. The damned thing was too light for the strong winds in the area and the lack of lockers also worked against it.

My Grand Prix (As well as my RWD S10 Blazer) were excellent in the snow and ice. The GP stuck like glue. The S10 could get you into trouble if you had a heavy foot, but it was almost equally as good as the GP if you drove it like you knew what you were doing.

*edit*
Keep in mind I don't drive on old or bad tires. If I detect the slightest slippage in the winter I put new tires on all four corners. Generally, that was every other year.

As far as BFG ATs being snow rated, I'm not sure. The specific brand I was using then were the American Eagle or AE II iirc. When I say they were like glue, I'm not exaggerating. I drove circles around my brother in law in his '04 WRX with Blizzaks.

**correction, they were Goodyear not BFG. Those tires may have changed since then though as things often do. My last real winter was two years ago.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:54 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Sorry for the misunderstanding, that was more of a statement about most of the drivers I see and some of my experience.

Everyone has their preference. Personally, the best cars I have driven in ice, snow, and rain on ice (Which, if you haven't experienced this, it's the worst), and I like the newer AWD cars I have driven. (Volvo XC70 and XC90, and a BMW X5)
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:00 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Sorry for the misunderstanding, that was more of a statement about most of the drivers I see and some of my experience.

Everyone has their preference. Personally, the best cars I have driven in ice, snow, and rain on ice (Which, if you haven't experienced this, it's the worst), and I like the newer AWD cars I have driven. (Volvo XC70 and XC90, and a BMW X5)
It's all good, in that regard our experiences are the same. I'm convinced 90$ of winter drivers are boneheads. This was especially evident around the base.

Though in part I'm sure it had at least something to do with southern drivers never experiencing a real snow before getting hit with a lake effect smackdown. it was still the same story every year. Richard Petty zooms by and cuts you off then you see him in a ditch a mile down the road cursing his $50k 4x4 and punching the steering wheel.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:10 AM   #48 (permalink)
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It's the same here, you would think people would figure winter driving out, but everyone forgets common sense when it snows. (A good amount of the year up here)

The city also usually blows the whole plowing budget by the end of December.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:41 AM   #49 (permalink)
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The trick to predictable handling in the snow is always find a way to bias brakes to the rear. I've driven vintage 911s in snowstorms without much trouble with a simple brake biasing valve.

Front wheel drive cars have a lot going for them. Any idiot can drive like a badass with a front wheel drive car. Period. Keep the wheels pointed in the direction you want to go. If you slip, keep on the gas a little and give a little brake with the other toe. The rear brakes pull you straight like the feathers on an arrow.

One thing that front wheel drive cars don't do is understeer. Period. Not unless you have ZERO traction and are gaining speed sliding down a hill. You hit the brakes and the drive on the front wheels are instantly defeated by the typical car's overwhelming front brake bias. No power, no forward movement. Oversteer is a problem. Cure it with my previous recommendation.

Rear wheel drives have the problem with understeer. You've got weak rear brakes, coupled to a strong drivetrain. Scenario: You hit the pedal gently, the front brakes lock instantly. The rear brakes are unable to defeat the drivetrain. The rear wheels push the car forward without any steering input because the front tires have no traction.

4wd. Because the driveline is locked between all 4 wheels (or 3/4 [actually always 4 under braking conditions]), the strong front brakes act on the rear wheels directly. Additionally, you've doubled the rotating mass of the drive train; giving your car a slower acceleration and deceleration rate for the same input (also helpful in the snow).
Giving you extremely predictable handling.

Same with Awd. All four or 3/4 wheels are linked under braking. And power is given to 2/4 or 3/4 wheels on acceleration, giving a larger footprint to act against slippage.

Just the input of a former racecar constructor.

I have a YJ Wrangler. For better snow performance, I added an extra leaf in the front. The thing rapes and pillages snowstorms. The handling of short wheelbase 4wd vehicle with the appropriate suspension is so gentle. When things go wrong; they take minutes to go wrong. I once had the car on a highway doing 65 when I hit a mile-long sheet of black ice in traffic. The car got sideways so slowly that I took it out of 4wd and used engine braking to straighten the car out. Then put it back into 4wd and broke to a stop inbetween a line of stopped cars. Luck and skill? Probably. The right equipment? Definitely.

Last edited by alpha434; 07-22-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Back to original topic now? I'm just going to throw in that I wish I could afford new snow tires every other year.
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