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Old 09-01-2010, 08:44 AM
 
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Actually, a body lift doesn't really do too much for ground clearance because the suspension, axles and differentials are all in the same place. A body lift is mainly intended to permit larger diameter tires to turn without binding on the fenders and larger diameter tires actually do increase ground clearance.

Of course, a heavy car or truck will push the suspension parts though snow.

I'd also agree that electronically controlled AWD is the best for ice. We had an off road club meeting one night and a freezing rain made the blacktop parking lot into a skating rink. With all of our extreme 4WD rigs there, the most effective vehicle on that ice was a guy who brought his wife's little Lexus AWD.

Here's what larger tires and a lift (10" in this case) do for ground clearance:

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Old 09-01-2010, 09:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Actually, a body lift doesn't really do too much for ground clearance because the suspension, axles and differentials are all in the same place. A body lift is mainly intended to permit larger diameter tires to turn without binding on the fenders and larger diameter tires actually do increase ground clearance.

Of course, a heavy car or truck will push the suspension parts though snow.

I'd also agree that electronically controlled AWD is the best for ice. We had an off road club meeting one night and a freezing rain made the blacktop parking lot into a skating rink. With all of our extreme 4WD rigs there, the most effective vehicle on that ice was a guy who brought his wife's little Lexus AWD.

Here's what larger tires and a lift (10" in this case) do for ground clearance:
In one sentence you said a body lift does nothing for ground clearance, and then contradicted yourself in the very next sentence...

The truth is, no lift kit really gives you clearance (in respect to axles) without bigger tires.

Recently I've been considering a 2" body to add to my 6" sus to allow for a few extra inches on my tires. I just really hate having to stretch everything out for the body and I don't know if I want to fork over the cash for a new full 8".
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:17 AM
 
8,688 posts, read 12,474,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezy is BACK View Post
In one sentence you said a body lift does nothing for ground clearance, and then contradicted yourself in the very next sentence...

The truth is, no lift kit really gives you clearance (in respect to axles) without bigger tires.
Actually, what I posted is exactly correct.

Here are the two sentences you refer to:

Actually, a body lift doesn't really do too much for ground clearance because the suspension, axles and differentials are all in the same place. A body lift is mainly intended to permit larger diameter tires to turn without binding on the fenders and larger diameter tires actually do increase ground clearance.

Anyone can see that is correct.



Further, in snow, you have two obstacles under the rig: the body pan and the suspension. Mostly cars get stuck in the snow because the body pan rides up on the snow and takes the weight off the wheels and traction stops. The suspension is also an obstacle and mostly this is pushed through the snow because of the relatively small surface area that the differential and axles presents.

Portal axles also provide ground clearance without lift or tire size. Here's my Unimog with portals. you can see a lot of daylight under that rig:

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Old 09-01-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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My point being, no lift kit gives you clearance in respect to your axles. Every lift kit, body or suspension, leaves your axles at stock height. The purpose for any lift kit, body or suspension, is to allow for larger tires. A suspension lift simply takes it one step further and increases your frame clearance as well.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:37 AM
 
8,688 posts, read 12,474,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezy is BACK View Post
My point being, no lift kit gives you clearance in respect to your axles. Every lift kit, body or suspension, leaves your axles at stock height. The purpose for any lift kit, body or suspension, is to allow for larger tires. A suspension lift simply takes it one step further and increases your frame clearance as well.
Let's see if we can agree on this. The axles remain where they are but the rig may move through the snow a little better due to a body lift because of the body pan being a little higher.

After all, even lifted rigs with large tires (those are 37" Krawlers on my Jeep above) don't give you much ground clearance. If a rig came with 29" tires and you fit 37" on it with proper lifting, you still only add 4" to the clearance. That's a lot in the woods but not so much in two feet of snow.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Let's see if we can agree on this. The axles remain where they are but the rig may move through the snow a little better due to a body lift because of the body pan being a little higher.

After all, even lifted rigs with large tires (those are 37" Krawlers on my Jeep above) don't give you much ground clearance. If a rig came with 29" tires and you fit 37" on it with proper lifting, you still only add 4" to the clearance. That's a lot in the woods but not so much in two feet of snow.
Maybe I misunderstood the point of the original post because I agree completely.

I'd also say that in my experience smaller, thinner tires perform better in snow. Instead of plowing it down they cut through it, which is why I run 33x9 tires on my pickup when I could easily fit 35s or 36s by 10.50. Of course that's purely opinionated and many people would argue it to the death.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,466 posts, read 5,283,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
No disrespect, Viking, but I'm not buying a Toyota Corolla in 2 feet of snow. Sorry. A 2 foot snowfall that cars have packed down, maybe. But 2 feet of new snow. Norway or the Arctic, no way.
You don't have to buy it, I'm trying to provide some useful information to the OP, whether you believe it or not means very little.

It was during a snow storm/ shortly after, and the snow went a few inches over by hood, I knew the road, so I carried my speed well (about 55mph), which made it possible to power through it. I could feel the car "dancing" an awful lot, but it wasn't impossible to steer. That said, had I slowed down at all, I would've bogged down.

In addition to this, like I said, I got a few hundred feet or road that rarely gets cleared before 5pm, sometimes not for days. Anything up to a feet usually works, if I clear about 15-20 feet in front of the car, to get some momentum. You have to go for it at that point though, and carry the speed in the corners, if not it just sinks down and it's out with the shovel again.

This method and vehicle has worked great for me for 6 years now, in all kinds of conditions, from under-cooled rain, around freezing point sludge to transmission oil freezing -13 deg Fahrenheit.

With the added ground clearance of an SUV, regular "heavy winter" condition will be no problem, given the tires are of good quality.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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I'm going to have to call you on that one too, Viking. 55mph in 2 feet of snow... in a Corolla. I'd have to see it to believe it.

Honestly, in a Corolla, you'd be plowing snow with your grill. Just imagining the snow that would be blowing over your hood and onto your windshield is enough to say, Pics or it didn't happen. Or you're just an amazing blind man that can navigate your roads without any vision.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:44 AM
 
8,688 posts, read 12,474,980 times
Reputation: 6156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezy is BACK View Post

I'd also say that in my experience smaller, thinner tires perform better in snow. Instead of plowing it down they cut through it, which is why I run 33x9 tires on my pickup when I could easily fit 35s or 36s by 10.50. Of course that's purely opinionated and many people would argue it to the death.

I don't think you will get disagreement from this by people in the know. You are 100% right about those thinner tires. I think large diameter thinner tires are the very best in the snow. LArger diameter because of the leverage angle, just like in rock crawling. But thin is the key and a lot more important than diameter. I think the same thing is true in mud. Although in mud, there is some controversy over it.

Years ago, I found some trailer tires with stud holes and studded them and put them on my VW Beetle. They were all of about 3" wide and were very effective.

But ask anyone with a Vette or other car with fat tires and they know it has to stay in the garage when the white stuff starts to fall.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:46 AM
 
1,466 posts, read 1,194,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
You don't have to buy it, I'm trying to provide some useful information to the OP, whether you believe it or not means very little.

It was during a snow storm/ shortly after, and the snow went a few inches over by hood, I knew the road, so I carried my speed well (about 55mph), which made it possible to power through it. I could feel the car "dancing" an awful lot, but it wasn't impossible to steer. That said, had I slowed down at all, I would've bogged down.

In addition to this, like I said, I got a few hundred feet or road that rarely gets cleared before 5pm, sometimes not for days. Anything up to a feet usually works, if I clear about 15-20 feet in front of the car, to get some momentum. You have to go for it at that point though, and carry the speed in the corners, if not it just sinks down and it's out with the shovel again.

This method and vehicle has worked great for me for 6 years now, in all kinds of conditions, from under-cooled rain, around freezing point sludge to transmission oil freezing -13 deg Fahrenheit.

With the added ground clearance of an SUV, regular "heavy winter" condition will be no problem, given the tires are of good quality.
I would love to see this, it must be entertaining to watch. How much hill is involved? How old are you? What kind of tires are used?

Based on my experiences with various vehicles and drive systems, while FWD can suffice in certain snow conditions, I would not recommend it if snow driving is important. There are many variables that all can affect safety and reliability (slope, crown, speed, traffic, tires, driver, depth/ground clearance, sense of adventure, etc).

I have a long, steep, curved driveway off a low traffic country road. My FWD vehicle (4 snow tires) often sits garaged in January and February. It has made it halfway up the driveway with 4-8 inches too many times to bother when it isn't safe. With snow tires and AWD it is a cakewalk, until the undercarriage snow buildup is too much.

As with anything, there are general rules and exceptional cases.
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