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Old 09-15-2010, 04:45 PM   #1
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Newbie Jeeper Snow, Ice, Wheeling & Tire Questions

I'm about to be the proud new owner of a 2011 4 Door Rubicon and wanted to see what the folks here have to say about tires, snow and ice driving and wheeling in general.

I live in an area where it rains a LOT, snows maybe 3-5 times during the winter, usually just a few inches, on rare occassions 1-3 feet and roads don't get salted nor plowed nearly as much as they should. We do get a LOT of ice though, frequent below freezing temps in the winter and again, it rains a lot here so lots of ice.

I've heard that Duratracs are the way to go for snow and ice, however are they just as good or better than the std Rubi tires wheeling (rock crawling, general wheeling in the woods etc...)???

My main concern is ice, I have studded tires on my car during the winter and they work great for stopping on ice, I'm thinking this would be a bit much for a Rubi though, but would Duratracs STOP just as well on ice?

Any all comments welcome, thanks!

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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don't engage the front locker in snow and ice.

Keep it in 4 high.

Don't be stupid and think your invinciable because ice is ICE!!! 16 wheels on the ice is no better than 4.

And no Duratracs won't stop as well as studded tires on ice.

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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don't engage the front locker in snow and ice.
Know that...

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Originally Posted by EdJonesJeeper View Post
Keep it in 4 high.
Know that...

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Don't be stupid and think your invinciable because ice is ICE!!! 16 wheels on the ice is no better than 4.
Definetely know that.

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And no Duratracs won't stop as well as studded tires on ice.
Yea, figured as much...stick to tried and true low gears using more gas than brake...Got it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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Good job Welcome to the Forum and show us Pics when you get 'er!
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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This is my third Jeep and I have to say the Wranglers are not the best in snow. Bigger tires, high center of gravity and the typical poor front end alignment just make it worse.
Chances are your stock front wheel drive car with studded tires would be safer in most winter conditions except the really deep snow.

I've found when things get too icy and you need to chain up the Wrangler it handles better with either chains on all 4 tires or simply chains up front.

Rear chains alone just pushes the front end everywhere you go, no steering or stopping on ice whatsoever. It's only fun until you leave the parking lot.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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Where do you live?

The Duratracs are studable and do great off road.

Jeeps do about as well as anything else on the ice. My thought has always been that with a Jeep, you can likely drive yourself out of the ditch when you slide off the road without the need for a tow truck.

The funnest/best car for foul winter weather is a Subaru WRX... it'd be a lot more fun if my wife wasn't shrieking about dying in the passenger seat while I drive it in the snow...
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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Pretty much any MT will do horrible in light snow and on ice. Some do well in deep snow. The best tires that I've found for snow and ice are the General Grabber AT2's and the Goodyear DuraTracs. The DuraTracs are just a bit better. I've ran the AT2's on my Jeeps for the last 5 years and they did great. Now I'm running duratracs. you can go to the Tire Rack website and check out the specs and ratings.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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Ok not to start some back and forth but.

1. I've owned jeeps for 14 yrs and I've NEVER had a problem with alignment. And at 16 I did some stupid stuff that would knock any normal vehicle out of alignment.

2. My Jeep on 33 M/T's is a MONSTER in the snow. MT's do very well in the snow and some are marketed specifically to do so.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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Ok. Maybe I shouldn't have said "horrible". There are some that do well. The general rule is, the more sipes the better the traction in the rain, in light snow and especially on ice. If you run an MT with bald tread blocks on ice, you will slide. I ran MT's on my Jeeps for a long time and they got me around in the winter ok, but I didn't have close to the traction that I get with a AT that has sipes. In snow deeper than 6 inches the MT's did pretty good.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:13 AM   #10
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no, a front wheel drive car is not safer than a jeep in snow or ice.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:41 AM   #11
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Driving skill in bad weather also plays a part. I had no problems in 30" of snow with the stock 32" GY SRA's this past winter.

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Old 10-15-2010, 05:13 AM   #12
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daggo66 how did you find the stock SRA's in the snow? You tried anything else that you can compare them to?

Debating something else for the upcoming snow season as well...
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:23 AM   #13
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Driving skill in bad weather also plays a part. I had no problems in 30" of snow with the stock 32" GY SRA's this past winter.
Did you knock over the street light in pic #2 ????
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:48 AM   #14
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I have to say I had a blast last winter with all the snow and my MT's they're labled as a HT but the tread design looks more like a MT. I never had a problem in the snow it went up every hill with it was 2 inches of snow or 2 feet of snow. The only problem I had (no abs on my yj ofcourse) was stopping. Just ment start stopping ahead of time or slide through the intersection. I tend to choose start stopping ahead of time after the first time I slid through a busy intersection beeping my horn trying to get others attention that I couldnt stop.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:18 AM   #15
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been driving jeeps since i was 16. on #5 now - a 2011 Sahara.
I love driving Jeeps more than i can express into words, but..
Don't take them out in the ice - i rolled my '93 going 50mph.
Last winter, my '95 plowed through the 3 feet of snow we had.
I say this with hesitation, but it's true...

Overall, unless it's deep, a front whee drive car is much better in the snow and ice.
High center of gravity and RWD are a bad combination.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:44 AM   #16
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Another snow/tire question while we are at it. My stock tires are 30's. If I go to 32's or 33's,(3" lift) is my wrangler going to be any different in snow? This is my first jeep and I haven't driven in snow with it yet.

Several years ago we had over 23" of snow and I saw a guy in my neighborhood with a 2d Rubi. It had big tires and a lift, he was going through the snow easily. That's what I want to be able to do, just get through the snow.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:51 AM   #17
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Another snow/tire question while we are at it. My stock tires are 30's. If I go to 32's or 33's,(3" lift) is my wrangler going to be any different in snow? This is my first jeep and I haven't driven in snow with it yet.

Several years ago we had over 23" of snow and I saw a guy in my neighborhood with a 2d Rubi. It had big tires and a lift, he was going through the snow easily. That's what I want to be able to do, just get through the snow.
The bigger the tire the harder it is to stop actually. Because then you have more of a contact patch so your floating on the snow instead of cutting through the snow and biting onto the pavement. If you get 33's or 32's only get a 10.50 inch width 12.5 inch width could be hairy in a snowy situation.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:51 AM   #18
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been driving jeeps since i was 16. on #5 now - a 2011 Sahara.
I love driving Jeeps more than i can express into words, but..
Don't take them out in the ice - i rolled my '93 going 50mph.
Last winter, my '95 plowed through the 3 feet of snow we had.
I say this with hesitation, but it's true...

Overall, unless it's deep, a front whee drive car is much better in the snow and ice.
High center of gravity and RWD are a bad combination.
^^^^ That bold part right there's your problem...... 50mph on ice
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:12 AM   #19
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The bigger the tire the harder it is to stop actually. Because then you have more of a contact patch so your floating on the snow instead of cutting through the snow and biting onto the pavement. If you get 33's or 32's only get a 10.50 inch width 12.5 inch width could be hairy in a snowy situation.

Thanks. I'm looking at 33x10.5. I don't want a wider tire, just taller. As far as snow depth, I shouldn't see a difference between the 30" vs 33? I never drive fast in snow. I just want to be able to get around. If 33's are going to be worse in snow, (I can't see a taller tire being worse) I'll stay with what I have.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:18 AM   #20
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It'll be alright with the 33 just anticipate stopping even on dry pavement. A 33 is a lot more rotating mass to stop then a 30 inch tire.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:31 AM   #21
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should have clarified...
i was driving in rain. forecast wasn't for temps to go below freezing.
i hit a patch of black ice and went sideways - the higher center of gravity sent me head over heels. done the same exact thing in a car a couple of times and stayed upright.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:40 AM   #22
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no, a front wheel drive car is not safer than a jeep in snow or ice.

Yes actually it is.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:58 AM   #23
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I got stuck for three days outside of Portland once, due to a huge ice storm. Boats were sinking on the Columbia, accidents all over the place, and I was at Oxbow park - out past Gresham on the Sandy River, at the bottom of a BIG ice covered hill. Good times!
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #24
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^^^^ That bold part right there's your problem...... 50mph on ice
Isn't it amazing how some people immediately blame a vehicle instead of blaming their poor driving abilities. Who does 50 on ice, jesus christ thats a death wish. You can hydroplane in an inch of water at 45 mph.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #25
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31" SRA's here.......................lalalalalalalala

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