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Driving in 4wd

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24 Jan 2021 14:04 #232148 by Roger Fairclough
Replied by Roger Fairclough on topic Driving in 4wd
I am a life member of the Birmingham University Motor Club and for a number of years I was involved in the organisation of two road rallies. One was local and usually Warwickshire or Leicestershire based and this was run in the summer. The other was based in Wales, it was called the Mermaid and it was run in the winter. We ran, usually, at high altitude so the weather was invariably bad with snow and ice usual. The only 4x4 ever entered was an army Lightweight Land Rover crewed by an officer driver with a corporal navigator. They gave up early and spent most of the night pulling other cars out of ditches etc. I was driving my MG 1300 as course opening car with the clerk of the course as my navigator. This was a fw drive car and to maintain rally speed you learn two things. Brakes are your enemy and you must accelerate through bends. Yes it's scary, but if you brake you will loose traction and go straight on - reread bit about lightweight above - accelerate and you pull the car through the bend.
So how does this relate to the original question. When driving on ice or snow - there called hazards - you must look way way ahead of you. Be prepared to take evasive action and if that is a parked car or anything in your path then be prepared to accelerate as you steer.

Roger

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24 Jan 2021 15:00 #232150 by 300bhpton
Replied by 300bhpton on topic Driving in 4wd

Don't forget that you don't have any more grip in 4x4 than you would in 4x2. What you have is more traction which means you can't stop any faster even though you can get going quicker. But if you are driving that fast in snow and ice that you need more traction then you are going to have problems. When it's that bad outside I look at 4x4 as a reserve, so for example if I have to climb a meaningful gradient on packed snow, not as a means of travelling at dry tarmac speed.

I know where you are coming from, but you should have better braking in 4wd on slippery surfaces vs 2wd. This is down to how the brake bias is setup on a road car. With 4wd the transfer box will give yoku 50:50 spilt bias which should give more effective braking and likely to induce ABS. Due to not having the weight transfer you'd normally get on a grippy surface. There are also benefits in cornering too with 4wd in low grip scenarios.

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24 Jan 2021 15:07 #232151 by 300bhpton
Replied by 300bhpton on topic Driving in 4wd

Still unsure what's best in the snow or ice,   I live at bottom of a steep narrow bendy village hill , when starting to go down should I engage 4 wheel drive ? High or low ratio or switch on the hill decent mode ,    A previous 2 wheel drive car I just slid down and I bashed car on a bank and once in a ditch, Brought an Audi with constant 4 wheel drive and no problems , so thought the new Jimny ideal replacement, but now snowing don't want to damage it.   I am not technically great but wanting to be in best settings to go down (or climb ) what can be a very slippery hill used by few drivers. Your wisdom appreciated.  

If you find you are going to slowly you can always speed up. In slippery conditions you can not normally easily slow down if going to fast.

You really need to judge the conditions at hand and make an informed judgement call. Brake test and feel how much grip there is and how easy the vehicle slides. This will let you know what sort of speed you can decend the hill safely at. If you need 4wd, select it before hand, don't wait until it is too late. Low range will give even more control if it is very steep and/or slippery.

Use engine braking (and HDC if you have it), but try to stay off the brake pedal and don't push the clutch in. In many ways it is no different to driving down a steep slippery muddy hill. :)

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24 Jan 2021 17:25 #232152 by Busta
Replied by Busta on topic Driving in 4wd
Another thing to consider is it's much cheaper to use 4wd and break something than to not use it and crash..
Experiment with it. Pay attention to the affects it has on the way the car drives, the feel of the steering, how the braking changes, the noises it makes. You should soon get an idea when it's happy and when it isn't.

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24 Jan 2021 20:32 #232155 by lightning
Replied by lightning on topic Driving in 4wd
Thank you yes l will.

lt's just that l am used to driving my Defender which is permanently in 4wd.

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24 Jan 2021 20:58 #232157 by Busta
Replied by Busta on topic Driving in 4wd
Permanent 4wd is definitely more surefooted and generally a better system for all terrain driving. I notice that, weight difference aside, our Defender does much less surface damage than the Jimny when travelling on sensitive ground. Wether in 2wd of 4wd the Jimny is always scrabbing a tiny bit where as the Defender leaves an unbroken footprint. But on soft ground the Jimny still can't be beaten. I'm sure you already know, but 4wd in the Jimny is equivalent to having the centre diff locked in a Defender.

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24 Jan 2021 22:08 #232158 by Groundworker
Replied by Groundworker on topic Driving in 4wd
Interesting what part tyres can play here, closest I've come to getting stiuck in snow in a 4x4 was in a defender 110 I had for work, couldn't get up the hill out of a farm yard I think because I had Avon Rangemaster tyres which had gone 'hard'. Changed tyres and it made a huge difference.
My in laws live in Ireland, my father in law had an Avensis and couldn't get up the hill to his bungalow in the snow one year. Parked in a local pub and phoned a taxi co to get him home, guy turned up in an Avensis, my father in law said he wouldn't get up the hill, but taxi had winter tyres and drove straight up there no problem. My father in law now has a set which he fits in November and gets round no problem, even though he's up in the mountains.
I think a 2wd on soft compound mud pattern tyres would go anywhere a 4wd on road tyres would go.

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25 Jan 2021 07:04 #232164 by RainerK
Replied by RainerK on topic Driving in 4wd
From what I know is that with snow or ice on the road a 2WD with proper winter tires is always better than a 4WD with all season tires especially when braking.

The issue with the winter tires usually is that they are not used enough distance and should be replaced after 4-6 years and still have a lot of tread.

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25 Jan 2021 07:25 #232168 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Driving in 4wd
This is a problem I have with my parents, trying to explain that a tyre has become ineffective simply due to age when all they see is it still has quite a bit of tread left and is therefore satisfactory. To me tyres are like oil, cheap enough to replace regularly compared with the costs of not doing.

Temeraire (2018 quasar grey automatic)
One of the last 200ish of the gen3s, probably.

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25 Jan 2021 08:32 #232170 by yakuza
Replied by yakuza on topic Driving in 4wd
i had to change my cheap offroad tires of MT design cause they where too hard for wet pavement. Do not remember the make of them, but cheap.

Winter tires get changed every 4-5 years.

Just now I saw a full traffic chaos outside my window in a more or less flat "hill" several cars had problems taking off again after traffic stopped. Embarrassing.
If they cannot get up there they can not have good enough tires for braking.
I was out saturday night to rescue a french car from southern norway got stuck there. laid a strap around his rear wheel and dragged the car around and out of the ditch with the jimny :) should have taken a picture.

2005 Jimny M16A VVT, 235 BFG MT, 2" Trailmaster, ARB rear lck, 17%/87% high/low gears.

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25 Jan 2021 09:46 #232171 by 300bhpton
Replied by 300bhpton on topic Driving in 4wd

From what I know is that with snow or ice on the road a 2WD with proper winter tires is always better than a 4WD with all season tires especially when braking.

Yes and no really. While winter tyres are brilliant. They are not miracle cures. Just in the same way a Mud Terrain won't stop you wheelspinning on a muddy surface. A winter tyre will not completely stop you from slipping and sliding on snow or ice.

Also some All Seasons are very good. They aren't all equal.

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25 Jan 2021 14:07 #232173 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Driving in 4wd
My bfg all season road tyres are definitely amazing. Dreadnaught in 4x2 goes smoothly where Spare Jimny on Bridgestone dueller needs 4x4 which says a lot given Spare Jimny is automatic and therefore inherently better at smooth power delivery.

Temeraire (2018 quasar grey automatic)
One of the last 200ish of the gen3s, probably.

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