mustang84

RWD & sand bags / snow tires

48 posts in this topic

Well, our first big storm of the winter will be hitting tomorrow and I am still waiting for my snow tires to ship to the tire store. I had my first taste of snow and ice in the LS a few days ago and quickly learned how not to drive. I had two fishtails while turning a corner onto a downhill street but recovered easily from both, but not without making my heart race a little. I used to drive an E-350 for work and had to take it out in the snow a few times (many years ago), but it is a big difference driving a cargo van with 2500 lbs of meat loaded up in the back.

This weekend I went to Menard's and bought two 70 lb sand bags in addition to the 35 lb one that came with my car when I bought it. 170 lbs total in back. Does that seem like too much, too little, or about right for a 3800 lb car? I drove home with it and only lost about 1.5 mpg on the highway, so FE-wise, it's not bad. And since I've never needed snow tires before, how well do they do on ice? Does the softer rubber give any better grip, or is it mostly just geared toward snow. Do I bother with studs?

Edited by mustang84
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rear weight bias on a RWD car (think Porsche 911) might help you accelerate better, but I don't think it will do anything for fishtailing... it might make it worse.

That said, I've only driven on snow a handful of times, so I probably don't know what I'm talking about...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should be fine.

Ice sucks no matter the drive wheels or type of tire, but a good set of snow tires will help. As for studs, I've never used them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I moved to Michigan and 4WD, I drove 6 Ohio winters mostly in RWD cars...I put snow tires on all four corners (rear alone is not enough) and 50lbs of Quickcrete concrete mix in the trunk. (E. Ohio is quite hilly, not flat like the central and western part of the state).

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never owned snow tires, only ever drove RWD, only problem I ever had was with a '78 Plymouth, but that was a bad, twitchy SOB to drive even in rain. 14 years in a RWD pick-up & I never (maybe once) purposely put weight in the back. I will say this tho; I get snow & ice here, but it's quite flat in central NJ- and that's a big part of the big picture.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never owned snow tires, only ever drove RWD, only problem I ever had was with a '78 Plymouth, but that was a bad, twitchy SOB to drive even in rain. 14 years in a RWD pick-up & I never (maybe once) purposely put weight in the back. I will say this tho; I get snow & ice here, but it's quite flat in central NJ- and that's a big part of the big picture.

Agreed.

The only thing I would do was put one or two 50lb bags of kitty litter in the trunk. If I needed, I could use a scoop of litter in front of the tires if I got stuck. Never needed it... even though I used to have some pretty questionable tires. Ended up using it for the cat.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I moved to Michigan and 4WD, I drove 6 Ohio winters mostly in RWD cars...I put snow tires on all four corners (rear alone is not enough) and 50lbs of Quickcrete concrete mix in the trunk. (E. Ohio is quite hilly, not flat like the central and western part of the state).

I'm just doing the rears. I ordered a couple Goodyear Winterforce tires. I have heard that Blizzaks are recommended for all four though.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never owned snow tires, only ever drove RWD, only problem I ever had was with a '78 Plymouth, but that was a bad, twitchy SOB to drive even in rain. 14 years in a RWD pick-up & I never (maybe once) purposely put weight in the back. I will say this tho; I get snow & ice here, but it's quite flat in central NJ- and that's a big part of the big picture.

There are quite a few of them here, especially around my neighborhood. Last winter I saw a guy in an older 3-series trying to get up the hill by where I live...spent probably 10 minutes of spinning tires before giving up and parking on the street at the bottom. The Lumina went right up with no trouble. I've been to south central NJ before (Vineland area) and it reminded me a lot of Kansas oddly enough, except populated and more trees.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are quite a few of them here, especially around my neighborhood. Last winter I saw a guy in an older 3-series trying to get up the hill by where I live...spent probably 10 minutes of spinning tires before giving up and parking on the street at the bottom. The Lumina went right up with no trouble. I've been to south central NJ before (Vineland area) and it reminded me a lot of Kansas oddly enough, except populated and more trees.

Kitty litter is awesome for regaining traction in winter weather after spinning is all your tires seem to want to do...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are quite a few of them here, especially around my neighborhood. Last winter I saw a guy in an older 3-series trying to get up the hill by where I live...spent probably 10 minutes of spinning tires before giving up and parking on the street at the bottom. The Lumina went right up with no trouble. I've been to south central NJ before (Vineland area) and it reminded me a lot of Kansas oddly enough, except populated and more trees.

"South Central NJ"?!? That sounds like gangland lingo. Its just South Jersey. I'm very familiar with Vineland.

The problem with snow in South Jersey is that we don't usually get any. But when we do, it is heavy and usually takes everyone unprepared.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my 95 tbird lx was nose heavy, like 58/42 or something. non drivable in winter. between the porky nose, rwd, and firestone $h! tires, you couldn't get anywhere. not helping matters was a first gen traction control system and abs that was unresponsive and actually made things worse.

so I did the 120+ pounds over the rear axle with concrete blocks, occasionally when we traveled my wife would sit in the rear seats while i was in the front to get more weight bias on the rear. basically the rear end the suspension didn't like and wasn't designed for that much weight.

the second winter i got 4 blizzaks on steel wheels from tire rack. it improved it, still wouldn't do inclines etc. but it did cut down on the fishtailing, it helped with traction from a dead stop, and it helped with braking.

i hated getting the tires and wheels swapped each spring and fall. i hated having to put dead weight in my trunk to cut down my trunk space and fuel mileage.

driving on ice or in snowstorms and blizzards, i hated the car. the rest of the time it was a nice car.

the last couple years I owned that t-bird, was when i got my 89 SHO. with fresh all season tires, fwd, the manual trans, and a very tractable engine, the SHO was perhaps the best winter car I have owned. it was a goat in the snow, odd considering it did not have snow tires. in fact it was high performance Eagle GT all season.

that was also my first front drive car. at that point i decided to give up on being a snob about the drive wheels and was fine with the front drive getting me around in winter, and in general. the SHO was faster and ran smoother than the tbird too.

if the tbird had had a turbo 4 that was like 350 pounds lighter and much narrower stickier tires, it might have been ok in snow...it was such a large car, huge wheelbase and track. once you broke that rear end loose or even if it just started to get slightly out of control, you were done.

one of the times that was the straw for the camels back was when i was trying to get out of the parking lot at work/incline drive/snow, stop and turn right sharp.....took about an hour and people pushing to get it up the incline first of all and then pray to GOd it didn't get going so fast you couldn't stop and go over into the ditch on the other side. plus to have any front traction to turn. You see about 15, 20 other cars leave the parking lot and decide, this ain't worth it.

the blizzaks on all four corners kept me from having to sell the car and were quiet tires mostly too. they saved wear on my OEM's, which made it to 75k on the odo when i sold the car it still had some tread left...i had prob put 15k on the snows. changing and rotating the tires extends the life. you can justify a snow tire purchase if you keep the car a long time because it saves the tread wear on your originals.

a female friend who bought a 3 series and ignored my warning to her to get an AWD one, she calls me one days and said her and her dad went to put snows on it after she had issues getting around especially with her driving skills. To me, you buy a rwd car where there is snow, just add the snow tires to the budget.

some of the most venom you get from other drivers is when you are out driving in wet icy conditions or snowy conditions and you in line at a stoplight that turns green and the first car or car in front of you is rwd and they cannot even make it through the intersection and light goes red....you lose a whole traffic cycle because some guy has no traction and is drving a rwd vehicle. so there is like 10 cars behind that want to kill the person who couldn't make it through the intersection in their little cute spunky ford ranger with sandbags in the back and makes it about 8 feet in 2 minutes on a 5% incline or some craziness like that.

I guess i would say snows are a worthwhile investment and will do the most to make winter driving better. I don't think more than 100 pounds on the rear end does much other than to really change the handling characteristics of your vehicle so much you won't be familiar with it.

actually parking ramps with a sleep slope and need to stop quick but with an icy glaze on them from melting and refrozen water......incredibly dangerous with the rwd car. the corkscrew ramps or steep ramps where the weight distribution of your car becomes hazardous or changes quickly....i didn't like that.

the taurus x is our first AWD vehicle and the first time i had it out in a snowstorm last year, it was amazing how easy i could maneuver the vehicle and gain traction at in town speeds. I hate the mpg hit but those 10 days you need it in the winter, its a great thing to have.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ask your father or grandfather to give you lessons, they learned to drive in RWD, and they survived. I'd still rather be able to steer with throttle than deal with the uncontrollable push of FWD and its attendant loss of steering control.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just doing the rears. I ordered a couple Goodyear Winterforce tires. I have heard that Blizzaks are recommended for all four though.

I always put snow tires on all four corners of the CTS and there was a remarkable difference. You can go with Dunlop Wintersports and get all of the snow tire performance of the Blizzaks at 2/3s of the cost.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ask your father or grandfather to give you lessons, they learned to drive in RWD, and they survived. I'd still rather be able to steer with throttle than deal with the uncontrollable push of FWD and its attendant loss of steering control.

Tires are also a lot different in profile than they were back in the day. Tires are much taller and narrower. The lower, wider tires that are "required" today hurt snow performance relative to the tall narrow tires of 40 years ago.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd still rather be able to steer with throttle than deal with the uncontrollable push of FWD and its attendant loss of steering control.

Key.

Fishtailing is a good teacher too, learn to handle that and you'll wonder what all the fuss is about.

Besides, it can be lots of fun.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to an empty parking lot with no light poles and play with your car, that's a good way to learn how to control it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to an empty parking lot with no light poles and play with your car, that's a good way to learn how to control it.

+1. That worked from me, along w/ practicing snowy driving on backroads w/ no traffic. I managed learned winter driving as a teenager in FWD ('84 Ford Escort), RWD ('86 Ford Mustang w/ 4 snow tires), and 4x4 ('79 Dodge Power Wagon).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"South Central NJ"?!? That sounds like gangland lingo. Its just South Jersey. I'm very familiar with Vineland.

The problem with snow in South Jersey is that we don't usually get any. But when we do, it is heavy and usually takes everyone unprepared.

Out here where the states are greater than 70 miles wide we have to refer to them in terms of north-central, or southwestern, or west-central, etc. Force of habit, I guess. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The LS did surprisingly well tonight in some pretty heavy snow with no snow tires yet. The only spot I had trouble was at a railroad crossing incline...I was the first in line to stop and when the train had passed I couldn't make it up the hill, so I had to make a three point turn and take a different route.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The LS did surprisingly well tonight in some pretty heavy snow with no snow tires yet. The only spot I had trouble was at a railroad crossing incline...I was the first in line to stop and when the train had passed I couldn't make it up the hill, so I had to make a three point turn and take a different route.

Glad to hear that it did well.

Once you get the snows on the rear, it will be much better.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a sweet car, but you already know that, mustang.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ask your father or grandfather to give you lessons, they learned to drive in RWD, and they survived. I'd still rather be able to steer with throttle than deal with the uncontrollable push of FWD and its attendant loss of steering control.

hell the first 6-10 vehicles i drove were all rwd. vegas, vettes, pickups, buicks, etc.

the only one aside from the vegas that were enjoyable in winter was the 77 century coupe (regal with a different grille). the reason it was good for winter....it had the 231 v6 in it, no weight on the front and no horsepower to get into trouble with.

the 77 electra coupe on the other hand was a complete disaster in snow and bad weather. very nose heavy car.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always put snow tires on all four corners of the CTS and there was a remarkable difference. You can go with Dunlop Wintersports and get all of the snow tire performance of the Blizzaks at 2/3s of the cost.

if you study the reasons why snow tires work, a lot of it is the siping, and all the extra outside edges on the tire biting away. also the ability to shed away microscoping amounts of moisture, snow, and water...some of which ice or snow turning into water from the heat of the tire. the tire needs to shed that moisture just like it does normally in the rain. edges that are not present on a typical high perf all season or summer tire, that provide the extra bite. the snow tires rubber compound doesn't turn stiff a super low temps either, so the rubber is flexible and remains grippy. the original blizzaks i recall advertised all the microscopic pores in the tread that allowed it to have so much more biting edge.

if i were filthy rich i would get snow tires for my AWD vehicles for winter. I was out in the storm tonight in the taurus x bustin it up, but i am guessing it would have been a sherman tank virtually unstoppable with some HAKKAPELITAS

Edited by regfootball
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...