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Discussion Starter #1
I have been sold on the FJC for some time now, but just found out that I may have an opportunity to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

What is everyone's take on how the FJC will perform in snow and ice? They get a lot up there!!

Hopefully you guys with Tacos and 4runners can let me know how your rigs slosh through the stuff!!!
 

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As long as you know how to drive on snow, you will be fine. They have a saying in Wyoming. As you may or may not be aware, the only reason snow storms are bad in Wyoming is because the wind blows quite frequently...

You know why the wind blows in Wyoming?

Because Nebraska SUCKS!

Just remember that 4 wheel drive may improve your acceleration and your ability to control your vehicle while attempting to move. It in NO WAY improves your ability to stop!
 

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Percy said:
Just remember that 4 wheel drive may improve your acceleration and your ability to control your vehicle while attempting to move. It in NO WAY improves your ability to stop!
Ill second that. my advice is to keep it in 2wd until you really need the 4wd, it will keep you cautious enough so you dont do anything stupid. trust me, i know this from my first winter with a 4x4. something about ending up in a guys yard...
 

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Add some weight in the cargo area as well, it will add more weight over the rear wheels (drive wheels) and makes a huge difference operating on ice. You can make a camaro into a decent snowmobile with about 4 sand bags over the wheel wells in the rear.

Just take it easy and you will be fine.
 

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Just get a good set of snow tires and take it easy till you get comfortable driving in the snow. The narrower the tires the better, they cut through deep snow better. I grew up in AK and spent some time in Colorado, now convinced nobody outside of AK or Canada knows how to drive in the snow. Probably has something to do with many people outside of there not running snow tires in the winter. They make a huge difference, even the studdless ones.
 

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Just do me a favor and dont put your Fj in 4 wheel drive when it's icy like over half the idiots in OHIO do. I see more SUV's in the ditch cuz they think they can go as fast as they want because they have a big rig. Ice is Ice no matter what you drive.
The 4x4 feature, however, will be a blast in the snow . Just be careful !!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I grew up in the Chicago area and have driven in snow a lot. That doesn't bother me too much. I've just never had a 4x4 in it.

The BFG ATs...everybody's been talking about them for rockcrawling...do you think they will do well on the snow and ice...especially if I let a little air out of them?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
BTW...Percy...thanks for the Nebraska SUCKS. I went to Mizzou and I hate Kansas and Nebraska!!!
 

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Keep your street pressure. Drive slower. Replace them when worn. Get a dedicated snow (Cooper M+S).

It SHOULD be better than a Wrangler with the longer wheelbase. I have found that SUVs are typically better in the snow than pickups because of the more even weight distribution.

Every time this topic comes up no one differentiates between off road snow and commuting/road snow.

Off road snow-big flotation needed with lockers.

On road snow, skinny tires with lots of siping, maybe studs, selectable locker.

I like an auto off road and stick on the road. Figure out which is more important to you. All of vehicles are autos except for my commuter car. I would take my commuter car over ANY 4x4 on any highway snow storm. Its a 91 accord with 250,000 miles with 4 studded snows. The low center of gravity helps. We have had over 40" of snow already this year.
 

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bubbahotep said:
Just do me a favor and dont put your Fj in 4 wheel drive when it's icy like over half the idiots in OHIO do. I see more SUV's in the ditch cuz they think they can go as fast as they want because they have a big rig. Ice is Ice no matter what you drive.
The 4x4 feature, however, will be a blast in the snow . Just be careful !!
I hear that. I'm in the snow belt in NY and I see more idiots in their SUVs who think that "more gas" is the solution to everything. I can do more with my old 2 door Explorer in RWD than most of the ninnies out there in AWD/4WD because I learned to drive the car instead of relying on some misconceived notion of 4WD.

I still wish I had my camera on me last season when I came upon this Expedition with 20" rims and low profile sport tires - all spinning freely, doing about 55mph but only progressing about a foot a minute. :D

Otherwise I think everyone has covered the answer here. :) I'm with Topless: 4x4 is not a crutch - only use it in a real pinch. Get yourself used to running in RWD. The better you get with controlling RWD, the less you'll need 4WD - except for the really hairy stuff.

I have BFG AT-KOs on my old Exploder and they've been great in the snow. They void out pretty well in the fresh pack and the slush, and they wear like iron. I don't bother to air them down either - haven't had to.
 

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Snow is all about the tires and the driver. 4WD is just a tool.

1. Tires... You want tall, narrow tires. The really good snow tires like Bridgestone Bliztac's not only have a deep lug, but also on the top of the lugs have little, tiny lugs and patterns.

2. Driver... Take your time. Wind makes winter driving dangerous. It grabs a hold of your SUVs. It blinds you. It makes a cold night even colder. So if it is windy stay inside.

3. 4WD is good at intersections to get rolling, up hill to keep traction and pulling through deeper snow. Otherwise it is an overused snow tool and give false confidence to a number of people. If you have normal street tires, it would do you much good.

Really, it is that simple. Best snow car I ever drove was an AMC Eagle wagon.
 

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Very Impressive thread here. Good Jobs guys. I'm liking these jr members with something useful to say !!!!
 

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I agree with everything that's been said so far and I just wanted to add my two cents:
narrow and tall tires are really good in a snow storm but tend to be a bit more slippery on ice and I think that you driving should be adapted to which wheels are engaged. when using the 2WD mode, I usually let go of the gas as I enter a curve so the back wheels tend to keep the back of the vehicle in line with the front. If using a FWD vehicle I try to keep my foot slightly on the gas so the front wheels keep pulling the whole vehicle and keeps the back of the vehicle from ending in front.

In my opinion, 4WD vehicles are the hardest to drive in the snow because you can't work with only one end of your truck. On 4WD I try to place sand bags in the back of the truck so it's perfectly balanced and I keep my foot on the gas to keep the weight distribution even. As soon as you'll try to slow down or accelerate in a curve, the front or back wheels will grip a bit more than the others and the vehicle will start spinning. And probably the most important, never brake on icy roads. It's a sure way to end up in the ditch. With that in mind every car or truck can make a very good winter car. I believe that you can drive anything in the worst snow storm as long as you have very good tires and you know how to handle your car.

This is how I drive on the winter on roads and it worked for me so far. Off-road it's a different ballgame...

I made this as clear as I could, but being one of those french canadians, my english is still so-so... Sorry for the mistakes
;)
 

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Only one or two things to add. I drove the worst car known to man through several winters in Colorado, 1978 Ford Mustang. The best way I've found to drive on hard packed snow covered roads is snow tires or rough equivalent(sp?) while keeping your RPM's as low as possible to maintain traction. Starting off in 2nd gear helped with the Mustang. Stop early and slowly.

I had a '78 FJ40 and I have to say that thing was like a new born deer on an ice patch, scetchy and unstable at best. Short wheel base and high center of gravity made for some scary winter driving moments. However the new FJ has a longer (and wider?) wheel base which will do wonders for control. As proven by my old '90 4Runner and '96 Landcruiser, their dreams on snow packed roads.

Low RPM's and stop early and slowly. 4x4 only when your stuck. Lock'em only when you're really stuck.

Have FUN!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all your insight. I live in the SF bay area and haven't seen snow in 6 years. My last winter in Chicago was with a 1980 Porsche 911 and that was like driving a blocking sled with no steering (front end is soooo light). I made it through that OK. I can't wait to get to Wyoming with my new FJC and give the mountains hell!!!
 

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Oh just googled it and studded snow tires are legal in Wyoming. Just get those and you're golden. Still have to take things a little easy on ice, but you can safely drive a lot faster than anyone without studded tires.
 

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If you really want to have some fun get some really, really, wide tires and install an autolocker :p

Kernok said:
I made this as clear as I could, but being one of those french canadians, my english is still so-so... Sorry for the mistakes
;)
Your English is probably better than 75% of U.S. citizens ;)
 

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mpd8488 said:
Your English is probably better than 75% of U.S. citizens ;)
'round these here parts we speaks americanish.
 

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In my 39 years of driving experience, I've put on quite a few miles of ice and snow driving. My current daily driver is a Toyota FJ-60 outfitted with a set of Nokian 235R15 Hakkapeliitta LT's with factory studs (it's winter here in Alaska). These are undoubtably the best winter tires I've ever had. The road conditions on my daily commute can vary from dry roads to roads with 12"+ of snow to roads glazed with ice and water on top. I have several good grades to negotiate daily. These tires have never let me down.

That said, if you live in a place where there is a lot of snow and ice, buy an extra set of rims and mount up some nice winter specific tires for your rig. Stay away from wide tires unless you enjoy the ditch or that out of control feeling. Also, stay away from low profile tires, you need as much compliance in the tire as you can get to stick to the road. You'll notice that I run studded tires. It's only a few dollars more, legal and definitely less $$ than one tow truck bill. You won't need lockers.

Enjoy the snow!
 

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Snow isn't the scary part of the equation. The scary part of the equation is the unknown variable - the other people on the road with you. Scariest time you will ever have in the midwest is being directly in front or directly behind a giant 4x4 truck with Texas tags in the middle of a Colorado/Wyoming blizzard. In Texas, when it rains those people duck under overpasses until it goes away.

When it snows, they wait until they are on the icy overpass to lock up their breaks! Instant 360° spins.

Remember when crossing bridges and overpasses that they stand a chance of being the most hazardous points of your drive because the cold wind blowing under them can cause ice to build up more quickly on top of the bridge/overpass. Stay consistently in control and you will be okay. Erratic adjustments, harsh breaking, jerking the wheel is what kills people on snowy roads. Being patient and aware of your current road conditions will keep you from finding the ditch or causing an accident.
 
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