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Old 10-02-2010, 03:31 PM
 
135 posts, read 357,627 times
Reputation: 106

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wretched wrench View Post
Many new snow drivers with 4WD are so taken with the traction that they forget that a 4WD doesn't stop any better or corner much better than a 2WD. In fact, some front wheel drive cars do better than most 4WDs.

Anybody remember the old Saab corn poppers? They made 4WDs look silly.
However never as silly lookin as those saab corn popper cult cars.
It was rather confusing if all that smoke those foul smelling swedish slugs emitted was actually a byproduct of lubrication , or an attempt to cover up just how butt ugly they were.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Southern Yavapai County
1,329 posts, read 3,088,406 times
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I will agree that they were not pretty to look at, but their looks improved when they took over the front of the pack in ice racing.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:46 PM
 
135 posts, read 357,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wretched wrench View Post
I will agree that they were not pretty to look at, but their looks improved when they took over the front of the pack in ice racing.
What was their competition at the time ,, rear wheel drive most of em.
Maybe an occasional Fiat , however they never ran long enough to finish a race.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Central Hell, California
19 posts, read 40,453 times
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I'm kind of wondering this one myself. We are relocating to Iowa next year and I drive a 2003 Ford Expedition and I wonder if it will be sufficient in the snow since it is a RWD vehicle. I know from having visited that most people there dont drive around in 4WD trucks/vehicles but some insight from another RWD vehicle owner would be helpful.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:37 PM
 
135 posts, read 357,627 times
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It is rather odd when I think about it, however when I was a teen and just starting out as a driver all I ever had for years was rear wheel drive cars.

My first car was a 68 Chevy Impala 2 door fastback with a 307 V8.
It was a dog , however I do not recall ever having much trouble getting around with it in the snow.
Not long after the Chevy I saved up enough to purchase a 1970 GTO Judge that was repo'd by a local bank.
The first thing I had to do was rebuild the 400 ci RA 4 engine , it had a rather , abused , life.
Once I got her running good the old Goat was like a tank in the snow with its posi rear end.
I do remember plowing through some pretty serious storms with that beastie ( I wish I still had it.)

One thing experience has taught me, and I know I will catch a lot of crap from the ford fanatics for saying this, having owned several two wheel drive pickups from both the Ford and GM stables I must admit the GM trucks had an edge in the snow for some reason.
One Ford pickup I drove was very memorable for how helpless it would get when things got the slightest bit slick.
It was a 1988 3/4 ton two wheel drive with a five speed stick.
Once I drove it into the back yard and was using it to pick up firewood I was cutting up after a storm knocked a tree down earlier.
As dusk set in the dew began to gather on the grass,,, and that sucker was STUCK in that spot until the next day after the sun had dried things up !
It was so helpless I used to keep two junked oldsmobile 350 diesel engines around to put in its bed in winter just to help get traction !

At the same time we had a 77 chevy half ton two wheel drive with a 350 V8 and an automatic tranny we used for farmwork.
That goofy old chevy thought it was a four wheel drive !
I was amazed how well it went through mud or snow that would have stopped my Ford dead in its tracks.

Now that I have had 4X4's for years I sometimes wonder how I ever got along without them.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Manhattan Island
1,981 posts, read 3,324,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wretched wrench View Post
Many new snow drivers with 4WD are so taken with the traction that they forget that a 4WD doesn't stop any better or corner much better than a 2WD. In fact, some front wheel drive cars do better than most 4WDs.

Anybody remember the old Saab corn poppers? They made 4WDs look silly.
While I can't speak for the Saabs, this is a good point. 4WD is nice to have, sure, but it is no substitute for proper driving technique. I drive a Honda Accord 4cyl 5spd manual, and I have never had any problems driving in snow. Including when I lived in New England, in central Massachusetts. A manual tranny helps a ton because you can downshift to slow yourself down, eliminating or dramatically reducing your chances of slamming on the brakes and sliding into the nearest wall. Remember: downshift and pump the brakes!!! My Accord is of course FWD, so that is why it does as well as it does. Here in the mountains, we have problems with very steep roads getting covered in ice, and that is the only time I have trouble. Usually, though, those roads can be avoided unless you live on one. Then you really do need 4WD. I just think that living in Iowa, where the roads are plowed and salted, 4WD is a luxury more than a necessity. Now, somewhere like Montana, that's a different story altogether...
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:07 AM
 
28,699 posts, read 41,715,532 times
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I've lived in Iowa my entire life. I've driven everything from an Opel station wagon RWD to a Cadillac Boat FWD. I now own a Nissan Maxima (2003) and a KIA Sorento (2008). Someone mentioned Saabs. We had a '79 900. Man, what a car! Best highway car we've ever owned. Went through anything in he winter. Spent most of it's life in the shop because no one knew how to fix it.

Going is much easier in the AWD KIA. The Maxima doesn't have any problems if you know how to drive on ice and snow.

Stopping is the key. I noticed the OP mentioned the problem seems to be stopping on a downhill grade on ice and snow. FWD, RWD, AWD, it doesn't matter. If one won't stop for you, none of them will. Every time I read posts about stopping a vehicle I think of Fred Flintstone sticking his feet through the floor of his car.

A good set of snow tires will help on that hill. Of course you have to be concerned about everyone behind you as you stop...
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Southern Yavapai County
1,329 posts, read 3,088,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShipOfFools42 View Post
I just think that living in Iowa, where the roads are plowed and salted, 4WD is a luxury more than a necessity....
Or perhaps a fashion statement.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:31 PM
 
135 posts, read 357,627 times
Reputation: 106
Around this area its a survival statement.
The county crews have taken on the "save the blade till after the last flake drops" strategy to save money down here.
The state crews do get out when it starts getting bad, however with only two state highways that cross the county, thats not a lot of help when things get nasty.

I have become quite accustomed to the late night knock on the door or that three in the morning call asking if I could help pull someone out of the ditch or give a ride to some place in an emergency.
I carry a heavy duty hoisting strap and chain in the back of the grand cherokee at all times in case I come across a fellow traveler in need.
I have found it quite handy on several occasions during bad weather.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,469 times
Reputation: 10
My father in law dose the local snow removal. He has several CAT dozers. Nice to have in laws with toys.
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