traction problem in rear wheel drive non 4x4 pickup

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Sweetgal, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Sweetgal

    Sweetgal Well-Known Member

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    I didn't see any other posts about this so thought I could post and ask about my problem with my 2 wheel drive extended cab pickup. I have wood in the bed for weight and really good on/off road tires but I am still having traction problems on the streets when there is a little ice or frozen snow. Unfortunately I live in a town and they do add sand to some areas but there are still slick areas where my tires spin. I do try to let the automatic transmission move the truck on slick spots and let off on the accelerator so that helps but people behind me tend to get a little peeved at me when I do that. I thought about chains but they are so hard to drive on when I get on road areas that are clear of snow and ice. I researched different traction devices such as Goclaws http://www.flextrax.com/index.html
    and Shur Tracs http://trucktoys4less.com/sure-trax-traction-aid.html

    Anyone have any experience with either of these or any other ideas for traction. I know about adding "traction sand" to the bed of the truck instead of wood and I may yet do that. The tire dealer suggested I buy 2 studded tires for the rear wheels but I found out later that he was just trying to sell me because the law here says you have to have all four tires studded if you have studs. They are $125 each and I really can't afford that.
     
  2. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    I have not tried the chains or traction device on tires but as to weight we always did this

    i would run 600 pounds in my f150
    used sand bags mostly but freinds would build a box of 2x10's that fit between the back of the wheel wells and the tail gate and put 5 gallon pails of gravel in the box then if you get stuck pop the lid of a bucket and you have traction grit

    i have also seen large metal plates laid in the bed of the truck they type they use to cover the road when they dug a trench but need to do more work later

    my uncles would get 1 inch thick plate steel and bolt it to the frame covering the fuel tank

    would hate to rear end a truck reinforced with 1 inch plate from the bumper to axil

    also establish a roll get the truck moving before giving it more gas

    in wisconsin we can not have studs chains or anything but all weather or snow tires

    don't worry about what the people behind you think just remeber they can't stop any faster than you can so if they want to race around let them
    often you see them a few blocks later anyway piled up
     

  3. justmyluk

    justmyluk Well-Known Member

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    One important thing to remember when adding ANY kind of weight to the bed of your truck when on ice or snow...... Once you get all that extra weight moving, it is that much harder to get it stoped (think about it). 2 wheel drive pick ups have never been good in ice or snow. But if you must drive one, instead of adding extra weight that is going to make it harder to stop, try just letting some air out of your tires. (about half). This gives the tire a wider stance and a little better traction. Take along one of those pumps that plug into your ciggerette lighter and pump them up if when you get to work and the snow melts...
     
  4. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    buy some snow tires. Cooper weathermaster, or firestone blizzak. you will be amazed at their performance
     
  5. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    A little bit of weight and lowering tire pressure will do wonders. Driving slowly, keeping more than adequate distance between next vehicle, and going very easy on the accelerator will get you through most "events". wc
     
  6. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    #1 don't worry about the brainless idiots behind you - just drive safely for the conditions with what you have.

    #2 if they want to race around let them often you see them a few blocks later anyway piled up
    Yep , and it's often someone drivin' with 4WD for the first time thinkin' that they're 10 ft tall and bullet proof with their '4 wheeler'.

    #3 Once you get all that extra weight moving, it is that much harder to get it stopped Yes, kinetic energy! going downhill is X4. It really only works to your advantage when you start up from a dead stop.

    And yep, if you can't use studs, snow tires will make a big difference - of course they cost almost as much as studs, though. Can you use chains or cables? Some states will allow cables where you can't use studs or chains.

    build a box of 2x10's that fit between the back of the wheel wells and the tail gate and put 5 gallon pails of gravel in the box then if you get stuck pop the lid of a bucket and you have traction grit SMART - in moderation (see #3 LOL)
     
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On my 2wd trucks I built a woden box that would drop down around the fender wells, and load it with sand. Several hundred pounds worth. I'd leave it there all winter. It helped quite a bit.

    You don't say what sort of tires you're running. That would be worth noting.

    I went so far as to install a locking rear end in one of the 2wd trucks attempting to get traction. It got me some, but made the truck very unpleasant to drive on the street.

    All in all, none of it was anywhere near the traction of my 4wd truck. When I finally made the switch, I was most pleased.
     
  8. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Be careful of dropping the pressure. Too much and the tread will cup and you'll be on dual skinnies.
     
  9. vallyfarm

    vallyfarm Well-Known Member

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    As already said, TRUE snow tires will do the most good for you. Lowering the tire pressure DOES help, but can reduce the life of the tire. If you do lower air in tires, I wouldn't go below 20 psi. Tires made to do this can go as low as 5 psi, but they arn't for road use. Add weight like they said...between the wheel wells, and drive carefully. Try to save up for a 4wd. Good luck, Mike
     
  10. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    some weight, good tires, and that is about all you can do,

    a tip on stopping, a rear wheel car or truck on ice or packed snow, with a automatic transmission, and with out anti lock brakes,
    slip the tyranny into neutral and it will stop much quicker, as the front end will start to slide and then steering will not be control able, and the rear wheels will keep pushing,

    by slipping into neutral the real wheels stop pushing, and all the wheels help in the stopping process,
     
  11. WolfWalksSoftly

    WolfWalksSoftly Level II -Inappropriate

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    I don't know if tire shops do this anymore, but at one time you could have studs put into a tire..cheaper than buying "studded tires".
    A good "snow" tire is better than a snow/mud rated all season tire ANY DAY.
     
  12. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Always remember that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Whatever you use for weight in the back of the truck will tend to keep moving if and when you stop suddenly. Most people leave the weight in all of the time so if they were driving on dry roads and stopped or hit something the weight in the back can come loose and cause more damage then anything they hit or avoid hitting.
     
  13. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    We have been driving 2 weel drive cars and trucks in wisconsin on ice and snow covered roads since the model A and T fords

    by the way i new a guy that drove his model A in the snow for years
    he said it was the best car he ever had in snow with very narow tires they would cut through it and get down to the road

    narrow tires are bettier in snow wide tires are for mud

    weaight is good but yes you need to be carfull about not changing the driving charicteristics of you viechel to much weight causes caster and makes it hard to steer

    and yes you will need to change the way you stop

    4x4 is nice but we did without for a long time driving in snow in wisconsin
    most of the people i used to know living in the Upper pennisula od michigan where they get 100+ inches of snow drove 2x cars vans trucks

    i think the standard cars up there used to be a chevy caprice and a van


    all in all it has a lot more to do with how you drive than what you drive
    all the technology in the world won't make stupid drivers any smarter

    take your time
     
  14. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

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    Spend mega-bucks; expand your garage. Buy a 4x4 to use only in winter. Let the poor folk eat snow!!!
     
  15. Sweetgal

    Sweetgal Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. I am running on/off road tires called Prospector ATVs. They are supposed to be the best for on and off road (gravel road) use and are a step below a studded snow tire.
    Since I don't have the money to buy a vehicle to use in the snow and it will take a while to save up for a 4x4 I think I'll just try adding some more weight and driving more conservatively. It's not hard to ignore the idiots so that won't be a problem (aside from the laughing at them when they end up in the ditch farther down the road).
    Thanks
     
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest a old single axle dump truck loaded with sand.

    Seriously when I lived in MI UP, for fresh or deep snow best thing was an old quadratrac (fulltime) 4wd Wagoneer, one of 60s/70s versions that originally came out in '62. That AMC 360 V8 got about as good of gas mileage as my little Ranger 4wd (15-16mpg) and lot of power. People say front drive cars, but they dont have enough ground clearance plus have light rear end which will break loose and make you do pirroettes. But after plowing roads or for layer of ice, nothing beat that '75 rear drive straight 6 Chev Nova I had. It had kinda saggy springs so low center gravity, was long and well balanced with no weight added. I remember some idiot pulling out from side street and stalling. I braked, started to go sideways, let up on brakes and it straightened instantly, then gentle tapping of brake and I got stopped. No other car I have ever had handled as well on ice as that Nova. Ice made the full time 4wd Wagoneer jittery, but it did ok too.

    And I had an old rusted out '67 Chev 1/2 ton stepside pickup. I threw couple old cast iron radiators I found at the dump in back and it wasnt horrible on snow and ice. I heard of somebody else that poured a couple inches of concrete in bed of his old pickup and that gave plenty weight without taking up room.

    I never found much advantage in studs, worthless here in AR with hills. Chains with the traction lugs work ok, but for temporary low speed use. I had to use them on little 2wd pickup to deal with county roads and my driveway when it was slick. I'd of about as soon have walked as use them on the hiway. Same way with part time 4wd, its great until you are on pavement and hit a dry section. You want AWD or full time 4wd if you are doing lot hiway driving where you need the traction. Part time 4wd will get you out of an unplowed driveway or down an unplowed street, but if chance of dry stretches of pavement shift it to 2wd or it will bind up.