Will this combination of locker suck in the snow? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 12:30 PM
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Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

I am planning on getting a front lock rite type locker and either a rear arb or detroit. If I get a rear arb and have it off, and have the jeep in 4wd, what will it handle like on snow/ ice? Basically, what are the driving characteristics of a vehicle with a front locker and a rear open diff? The reason I would do this is because I like the idea of just dropping a locker in the front without messing with the gears and setup and all that.
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Dan

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 01:52 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

With the front locker on dry pavement, in 4wd, steering is near impossible. I'm unschooled in snowy travel in anything but my 2wd trucks and various cars growing up in the northeast, but the open diff in the rear plus a locked front will provide an ample ammount of understeer, sometimes resulting in total steering ineffectiveness. 4wd should only be used in emergency straight line situations. If more traction is needed, lock the rear. It will cause a perceptable understeer, but not nearly as bas as with the locked front. These are my observations driving in slick mud with a traction of snow.

And my pet peeve, just cuz you can accelerate faster in 4wd doesn't mean you can stop any faster. Even a pinto uses all four brakes to stop (by design anyway, we hope).

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 02:20 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

I have to agree. If you're going to lock one end part time, lock the front with the ARB and the rear full time. What will happen is you'll have the front end tires wanting to turn the same rate all the time. To do this, one side will have to slip, which means no traction, which means little control. Steering is very important on the snow, moreso than taking off. If you are set on locking the front full time, leave one hub unlocked when driving on the road. Braking is also important, good thing to keep in mind.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 04:24 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

So when there is snow on the road I could just unlock one hub and have almost the same effect as driving with an open diff? Is this bad for the differential or locker? I would love to have an ARB, but for $400 cheaper (at least) I can have a lunchbox locker. And since I have the right gear ratio already set up in the axle, I would like to keep it that way and save some money. I realize the limiting factor in snow is not usually forward movement, but braking and cornering. I don't drive fast in snow and don't want to, I just want to be able to drive the new jeep with lockers with the same confidence and comfort I have when I drive my open diffed' wrangler in ice and snow. Its a jeep, its supposed to be good in snow and ice...
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Dan


post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 06:00 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

Driving with one hub unlocked is not at all like driving with an open diff. An open diff supplies equal power to each wheel though if one has no traction it'll spin while the other doesn't move. They still have the same torque applied. A wheel with an unlocked hub will get no torque while the the locked hub will get it all (with a locking diff). Could make for some interesting handling. Remember the front wheels travel farther than the rears, this setup could bind the drivetrain. Best to unlock both fronts.

post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 07:13 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

hello i live in maine not too far from the one you know as jeepn and i own an 82 scrambler and i have the full detroit in the rear and the ez-locker ion the front. I run 35" bfg m/t and 4.56 gears. Maine has some pretty extreme wheather and i drive this jeep every day and have no choice but to do so. SO far i have not even had to lock in the hubs on the snow yet(on the street) she just goes and goes. It is scary at first but be carefull and pay attention and you should have no trouble i think it would be more unsafe if i drove in 4 wheel drive than 2 but thats just my opinion. hope it helps Scram

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 08:36 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

I wasn't saying you could drive like normal, I was merely mentioning you'd have better control. With one wheel not able to spin, it'd provide traction, steering traction that is. In a turn, both tires need to turn different rates, with one unlocked, there is less likelyhood that one of the tires will slip, because they can easily turn at diffewrent rates. As to the front and rear turning different rates and binding, if that happens you shouldn't be in 4WD anyway. If the front end should slip, the "free wheeeling" tire would provide the turning traction. You can also get a certain degree of this by coasting through a turn and powering when straight, which is the "different" driving style SCRAM mentioned.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2001, 09:22 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

Having one front wheel powered and the other free could produce some interesting torque steer....

post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2001, 12:52 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

With even remotely decent tires, you should never need to use 4wd on the street. I live in Montana, and like talked about in an ealier post, a fully locked rear will probably take you anywhere. We have streets in this town that exceed 25% grade, with snow on them since late October, I have yet to use 4wheel drive in town. The bigger concern is always stopping.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2001, 01:16 PM
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Re: Will this combination of locker suck in the snow?

<font color=blue>Having one front wheel powered and the other free could produce some interesting torque steer....</font color=blue>

Sweeney, I'm not busting on you, honest, just responding respectfully.

If you're getting torque steer, you shouldn't be in 4WD. You should be light enough on the pedal to not have it.



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