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Old 12-21-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: western montana
214 posts, read 529,120 times
Reputation: 86

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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
Uh, there is no such thing as a "just" front wheel drive Jeep Cherokee.

This reminds me of driving by a chains installing area in the mountains ( I'm not stopping in my Subaru) and counting all the folks in front wheel drive cars pulling back on the road with chains installed on their rear tires
Avis told me that Jeep makes them for the rental fleet market. It was a Grand Cherokee. Really nice if you can get a hold of one. Less expensive on gas and I was impressed with it handling on snow. I picked up mine in Albuquerque and the rental guy told me I'd be impressed with it, said they send them to the Rockies all the time.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:16 AM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,931 posts, read 7,552,563 times
Reputation: 9247
^^^
Apparently trying harder includes telling the customer whatever they want to hear. Trust me, you don't want to think they are front wheel drive if you need put chains on or try to get them unstuck. They are a rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive only chassis.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: western montana
214 posts, read 529,120 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
^^^
Apparently trying harder includes telling the customer whatever they want to hear. Trust me, you don't want to think they are front wheel drive if you need put chains on or try to get them unstuck. They are a rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive only chassis.
I checked myself in the snow, with a little help from a friend. Only the front tire was spinning when I gave it gas. No four wheel drive consule inside. I was impressed with it, looked at the owner's manual when I stayed at a hotel that first night out, said the model was front wheel drive.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:24 PM
 
11 posts, read 24,234 times
Reputation: 16
Thank you everyone for the information! It was and will be very helpful should we come to montana!
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:27 PM
 
8,940 posts, read 8,042,403 times
Reputation: 19427
The nice things about 4 wheel drive, and have studded snow tires, when you come to a chains only area, you just keep going. You will notice that as well as chains, 4X4 with studded tires is considered the same as chains to be able to go on.

The problem with 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive with standard tires, is when you get onto icy areas, is stopping power. When the roads are really slick, neither one has any better stopping power than the other. Studded snow tires on the other hand, will have a lot more stopping power.

I have watched many 4 wheel drive with just all weather tires, hit ice and slide off the road, while with good studded tires, I stayed on the road. Also 4 wheel with all weather tires, will sit and spin going up hill, requiring chains or studs to get up the hill.

If you stay in town, and drive carefully you can get by without studded snow tires. However when you get out of town, it can be a different story. You may very well need chains or studs go get through. With chains don't plan on long distances with them on the wheels. They can tear up, and do some expensive damage to the car. You may then find you insurance company does not cover damage done by your use of chains that break.

I remember a trip from Loveland Colorado to Portland Oregon one winter. From Laramie Wy it was one solid sheet of ice along the way. I was driving a Chev. Suburban with studded snow tires. Never had problem, but saw literally hundreds of cars (including 4 wheels without studs or chains) of cars and trucks. If I am going to do a lot of winter highway driving, I want studded snow tires.

Going down hill in a 4 wheel drive with the front turned off, loses the advantage of if you start to slide for the front wheel driving to be able to power the vehicle straight again. Same putting chains only on the rear wheels of a front wheel drive. This gives you no advantage to go in snow.

Chains should only be used on all 4 wheels, to keep control in snow and on ice. Same for studs.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,358,044 times
Reputation: 2147483647
A few years back I made a trip in a rear wheel drive van. Beautiful weather so I made the trip, trouble is, a snow storm moved in for my return trip. Chains were hanging on the shop wall at home. So I stopped at Wally World in Evanston (Chain law was in effect) and they didn't have any left to fit my van. So I bought a set of cables. OUTSTANDING. I put the cables on (took less then 1 minute per rear tire) and took off. I run 60-65 down the interstate. They dug into the packed snow and ice and I had no problems. I run over 350 miles with them on. Hit a dry patch with chains and your limited to about 10 mph. Hit a dry patch with the cables and I never let off the throttle and held at 65. No damage to the tires, cables didn't show any wear by the time I got home.

Highly recommend cables if it's packed snow and ice and chain law is in effect. In Wyoming, it's chains or 4 wheel drive. No studs required. Cables work pretty good in heavier snow too, up to about 8 inches deep they still helped, but I never tried them in real heavy stuff. Would imagine chains would be the only way to go in the heavy stuff.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,390 posts, read 17,311,940 times
Reputation: 14022
Several years ago I bought my wife a Porsche for her work car -- a 924 Turbo. It was a stick shift, rear-wheel drive (front engine) and had wide, high performance tires on it. Let me tell you, those high performance tires are great on dry pavement, but put them on snow or ice and WHOOOOPPIE!

Anyway, the first year or two we had the car she drove it year 'round, and there was one downhill stretch shortly after leaving our home towards downtown where she worked. She had the habit of letting off the gas after cresting that downhill slope, which resulted in the engine braking those rear tires -- almost like you'd pulled on the parking brake. Around and around she'd go! LOL She didn't know what the heck was happening! We finally got her a little Samurai 4x4 when they came out and the Porsche became a summer-only car.

I don't like driving on the highway in 4-wheel drive. It's too easy for all 4 wheels to start drifting on a slick spot. If it's only the rear wheels that slide, you discover it immediately and can steer into it while easing off the gas.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:24 PM
 
8,940 posts, read 8,042,403 times
Reputation: 19427
When you are having problem with rear wheel slipping with a 4 wheel drive, it is almost always you are too light in the rear end with not good road contact. Get a couple of bags of grit (courser than sand made for winter rear wheel weights) and put one over each wheel. Will usually solve this problem.
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