Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Southeast Iowa
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We have spent a lot of time scheming on what to do about making a Jeep that we could drive in snow on steep mountain roads without killing ourselves. We HAVE a Grand Cherokee with the 242 (Select-Trac) case that is positively SUPERIOR in snow, but we have always wanted a regular Jeep. Up here, people rarely drive their SWB Jeeps in snow, because they switch ends too easy in 2WD, and push out on the corners in 4WD. Either way, you go over the edge, and that is real hard on old clothes.
We finally decided to transplant a full-time case into a TJ, no matter what the cost, but then ran across a CJ with Quadra-Trac drive. We are presently re-doing the CJ, and will be running a modified Quadra-Trac open center differential with vacuum lock-up on demand.
You were able to drive OK with the van because it was very long wheelbase, and had good weight distribution. We are making a lot of changes to get weight in the rear of the CJ to balance better, including a dual gas can rack and heavy rear bumper. We have the V8 model, so the engine is back just a tad farther than the 258 would be. The main thing is that we can drive all four totally unlocked. That seems to be the key to it. You should ride with me in our Grand Cherokee as I go out and around the stuck (don't make me name them...it will cause hard feelings) SUVs that people think are so darn good. We would never get away with having lockers in front, and in the rear it would be limited slip but no more than that. We need to stay "open" for good snow handling.