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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2003, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Pressure for Snow

Curious what tire pressure should be run in snow? We are expecting 10-15 inches tonight and tomorrow and I checked my tires(235 MT) and they all had about 10 lbs in them. Seems for the past few storms they have been OK but just want others opinions. TIA Jim
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2003, 10:48 PM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

Jim, are you reffering to on road or off road?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

Crow, Just normal driving onroad. Jim
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 08:33 AM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

I'm running 20psi, same as when there isn't snow on the roads....
Keep in mind that for every 10 degree drop, there is about a 1psi loss in pressure....
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 12:59 PM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

For street driving, I don't alter my tire pressure in snow. I keep it at around 17psi for my 33x14.50 Swampers. However, I air way down for off-road snow use to get the biggest tire footprint possible. I usually start at about 4psi, and if it's pretty deep snow I'll take it down to 2psi. But in really bad stuff, I bring it down to half a pound of air, just enough to keep the bead seated. Not once have I ever lost a bead doing this either. The increase in traction and floatation is phenomenal too. If you're stuck in the snow and NEED to get out, just let all the air out of your tires and hold your foot to the floor! [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 09:52 PM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

Lower is better, but not to the point of diminshing returns, too low will get you into trouble and could ruin the tires. Also, if you're talking deep snow, go with a higher pressure so the tires give the maximum clearance. I run the Zuk's on-road tires at 15-17 psi, the Swampers at 7 psi, and the chained Swampers at 15 psi.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 11:41 AM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

If the snow is heavy and can support the weight of your Sammy, keep the tires inflated more (perhaps 10psi) so you have extra ground clearance. However, if the snow is soft and deep, and you're going to be plowing through the snow anyway, so air down the tires to as low as they can go and still stay on the rim, and you should find that you have gobs more traction.

The snow conditions are what determine what you need to do with your tires. In the snow in the accompanying pictures, I wasn't making any progress at 7psi. The tires just spun and dug. Since I was going uphill, I needed as much forward traction as possible, and as large a tire footprint as I could get so I'd float on top of the snow. Speed also helps keep your tires up on top of the snow, rather than sinking down into it and burying the axles and frame.

Aired down to half a pound, I had enough floatation to stay as high up on the snow as possible, and the tires flexed enough to easily clear the tread of the snow, so I was able to plow my way through. And remember, those are 33x14.50's with about 8 inches of lift buried somewhere under all that snow, yet I was coming at my buddy with the camera so fast, I about ran him over. Experiment with your air pressure until you find what works best for that day's snow conditions. And if the sun comes out, the temperature rises or falls, or if more snow accumulates, the snow conditions can change quite rapidly. Carry an air compressor with you.





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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 09:09 PM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

It also depends on the type of snow. From those pics, that snow was nice and fluffy. With the sticky wet snow it's much harder to make it down the trail. I go out about every weekend, and we ran a new trail on 2 different days, the frist time it was very hard going, the second time we stayed on top and had no problems.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

Funny you mention the type of snow as the snow from yesterday was entirely different than driving in it today. Yesterday was nice and fluffy dry and deep, while today it got a little warmer and it was wet and slippery and only a few inches left on the road. I think I may be running less air than I should be. I am going to try to keep it around 15. Thanks to all. Jim
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 08:04 AM
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Re: Tire Pressure for Snow

IMO what you run on the street is best. If you air down to much the tread pattern closes. If you air up to much the tread pattern opens up. Seems to me that the maximum tread pattern is the most efficient. My .02 from an area where the last significant snow was December 1992.
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