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Old 11-27-2010, 06:51 PM   #1
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Smile 97 wrangler in Snow?

i have the 97 4.0 wrangler with a manual tranny . and i am new to jeeps and never driven one in the snow and the snowy part of winter is coming soon and i don't know how i should prepare my jeep.some things i would like to know is like should i put weight and approx how much due to the fact jeeps are light also i have bf Goodrich t/a KO tires and was curious how i should be in the snow with those and also if i should get or do anything else like i said i am a complete amateur in the snow with a jeep and anything helpful will be great because i dont have experience with the short wheel base and the lightness of a jeep and also driving a manual thanks a lot for whoever replys

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Old 11-27-2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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do a tune up before winter hits is a better idea.

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Old 11-27-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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the only thing I can say is play it easy on the gas at start off and be easy on the brakes, I can tell you this a 4wd truck is more likely to spin out then a jeep will because in a truck there it no weight in the back, but compared to the jeep its weight is more balanced. I would not add weight to the jeep for there is no real reason unlike an empty truck needs the weight to help the back end from coming out on you.

Hope this helps a little...
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wolfsbone01 View Post
the only thing I can say is play it easy on the gas at start off and be easy on the brakes, I can tell you this a 4wd truck is more likely to spin out then a jeep will because in a truck there it no weight in the back, but compared to the jeep its weight is more balanced. I would not add weight to the jeep for there is no real reason unlike an empty truck needs the weight to help the back end from coming out on you.

Hope this helps a little...
Jeep may have more weight on the rear axle, However its short wheel base can make little fishtailing a bit harder to recover. longer wheel base car when fish tailing everything slows down but with such a short wheel base, it fishtails in a much quicker fashion.
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:28 PM   #5
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to me both are just tricky and dangerous in snow conditions and in most cases a truck can get you in trouble quicker because the lack of weight compared to the jeep, but either way you still need to be cautious
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:15 PM   #6
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Just put it in 4wd and forget about it. Its a jeep after all. They're squirley in snow when they're in 2wd, but in 4 its no big deal.

sm
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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I once did a 720 at 60mph in my Jeep. I was driving north in the rain and I guess I just hit the rain/freezing rain line. It went left, the right, then left and whirled around twice to the right. Luckily, there was nobody next to me or close behind me. I pulled off the road and waited a good five minutes for my heart rate to recover. About 10 miles further north I was driving in 6" of snow. Jeeps are fun to drive in the snow, not so much in freezing rain. Just take it slow and easy acceleration and braking. Remember, 4WD takes about the same amount of time to stop as a 2WD car does.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:23 PM   #8
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thanks everyone i drove in snow before but im used to a 06 Toyota 4runner with all the computerized safety features and comfort and all but i have no jeep experience
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:25 PM   #9
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Just put it in 4wd and forget about it. Its a jeep after all. They're squirley in snow when they're in 2wd, but in 4 its no big deal.

sm
X2

I've had many 4x4 in my time and the jeep is by far the best snow runner it's like a plow without the plow
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:29 PM   #10
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I have not yet driven my Jeep in the snow.

What I can offer though, is the Jeep is not as light as you might think. Mine with a full tank and me in it weighed 4060 pounds!! I have a 97 Wrangler, 4.0L, manual also.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:39 PM   #11
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After spending the last 6 years driving to work over snow covered passes in a Ford I can say the Jeep is a lot more squirly on slick roads. They pull through snow just fine but if you are talking ice covered slick roads like I get here in Idaho the Jeep is no question not my first choice. The short wheel base like was mentioned before makes for quick fishtailing and harder to react to.
So my advice is to just go slower than you are used to because that 4 wheel drive gives a false sense of safety. Really for any vehicle in the snow is just do everything a bit slower, (turn, stop, start, merge). Another trick I have learned is keep your RPM's low which helps reduce spinning out and loosing traction. Good luck and be safe.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:46 AM   #12
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Play around in an empty parking lot to get the feel. Once you know how it handles you'll know where to watch out: turning, braking, accelerating, etc. I've found that in 4wd it not only accelerates better, but drives straighter without sliding out, and stops better. Don't get over confident on the highway in 4 wheel though, you're not invincible which people forget, once it starts skidding it's tricky at higher speeds and probably hitting the ditch.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:01 AM   #13
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this might be an idiot question but this is my first 4wd anything... Can you go throu all five gears in 4wd and is it better to in four low or high??
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Gumpy2030 View Post
After spending the last 6 years driving to work over snow covered passes in a Ford I can say the Jeep is a lot more squirly on slick roads. They pull through snow just fine but if you are talking ice covered slick roads like I get here in Idaho the Jeep is no question not my first choice. The short wheel base like was mentioned before makes for quick fishtailing and harder to react to.
So my advice is to just go slower than you are used to because that 4 wheel drive gives a false sense of safety. Really for any vehicle in the snow is just do everything a bit slower, (turn, stop, start, merge). Another trick I have learned is keep your RPM's low which helps reduce spinning out and loosing traction. Good luck and be safe.
Squirrely for sure on slippery surfaces, the back end comes around soooo fast and unexpectedly. Mine did that yesterday while passing a rubber tired backhoe that was going fairly slow. As I pulled back in, after the pass, the Jeep (back end) started sliding. Some fancy work with the steering wheel, first one direction, then the other, plus a widened road shoulder, kept me from hitting the ditch or vehicles coming toward me.
I should have had it in 4WD as the temperature was nead the freezing mark, road was wet and salted (but not salted very well apparently). In 4WD and with the better traction on the front axle, the rear wheel would have had less tendency to spin out. My tires, although worn, are fine for snow, but offer reduced traction on slushly/icey conditions.
Many Jeep tires (my present ones included) have rubber that is too hard for those conditions.
Go for maximum traction and use a well sipped fully rated winter tire (mountain/snowflake symbol) and throw them away when they get down to 1/8" tread depth.
Now I must take my own advice and get my new Good Year Territory tires installed. Made by Good Year for Canadian Tire and have the mountain/snowflake symbol.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:14 AM   #15
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You know, nothing makes any difference on ice. Similar in snow when it gets to a certain depth. My '95 Sahara IS fun in snow...but remember, the skid plates are like sleds. Once you hit it deep...I’ve just ridden UP and on top with all 4 wheels just spinning. Then you dig out not the wheels, but the undercarriage. Haven't had the Cherokee in snow yet.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:58 AM   #16
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been my experience with my 2500HD that 4x4 is good for accelration and steering(well, better than 2x4) but it doesn't do a thing for stopping distance. you may be able to get going faster but takes just as far to stop-keep that in mind-don't expect more out of it that it will deliver. agree with seeing how it handles in an empty parking lot-i always 'goose' it a little when i 1st start out to see what it's going to do and adjust from there-different types of snow makes for different types of driving conditions. haven't had the jeep in the snow-yet, but looking forward to it, sure it will be different than the 167" wheel base i'm used to
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
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this might be an idiot question but this is my first 4wd anything... Can you go throu all five gears in 4wd and is it better to in four low or high??
You can shift through all 5 gears in 4H. According to the user's manual, you shouldn't exceed 25MPH in 4L.

"
When operating your vehicle in 4L, the engine speed is
approximately three times that of the 2H or 4H positions
at a given road speed. Take care not to overspeed the
engine and do not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h).
"
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:57 AM   #18
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You can go into 4-hi on the fly too . up to I think 30mph last year I pulled it in at 35mph a few times with no problems . 4low I stop to put it in .
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:12 AM   #19
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You can go into 4-hi on the fly too . up to I think 30mph last year I pulled it in at 35mph a few times with no problems . 4low I stop to put it in .
True. Up to 55MPH, actually. It is easier to shift to 4H in motion, but can be done stopped, too, but the gear teeth may not line up on the first try.

4L should be done with foot on clutch, foot off gas pedal, and rolling at a VERY SLOW speed (2-3MPH).

EDIT: This is all from the owner's manual, by the way, I am sure other methods work, too, such as going in to 4L stopped as stated above works just as well without any problems).
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:49 AM   #20
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I have a 97 automatic. Goes good in 4wd in snow no problem. On ice terrible trying to stop Stick should help though use the gears to slow down not the brakes I have a big , steep, blacktop hill I use to go home I've rode the ditch and the neighbors yard many times. Stopping is not good on ice!!!!!
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:08 PM   #21
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I have a 97 automatic. Goes good in 4wd in snow no problem. On ice terrible trying to stop Stick should help though use the gears to slow down not the brakes I have a big , steep, blacktop hill I use to go home I've rode the ditch and the neighbors yard many times. Stopping is not good on ice!!!!!
Having 4WD engaged helps keep the back wheels from locking while breaking as the front wheels will likely have better traction and keep them (one atleast) turning. As you mentioned, having gears to use to keep some power to the wheels helps keep them from locking as well.
I feel more confident with braking while in 4WD. Downshifting helps as well. Here's an interesting site on the use of 4WD.
Quote:
However as the font axle is being driven by the engine when braking (only if the driver brakes in gear), the vehicle will pull up quicker with more control.
Essentially while an axle is getting drive it is less likely to lock the wheels under brake, resulting in greater control under brakes independent of the drivers skill.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:35 AM   #22
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I love driving my Jeep in the snow. Maybe I am just too used to it, but I greatly prefer it over my Tahoe. Driving slow and cautiously, the short wheelbase has not been a problem. In fact with all of the traffic around here, the short wheelbase let's me manuever through all the abandoned and stuck vehicles. It seems to me that in my Tahoe or larger vehicle, once that rear end decides to come around, it creates more momentum and is harder to stop the skid. In my Jeep letting off the gas usually straightens out the Jeep pretty quickly. In parking lots, a quick blip of the throttle and turn makes the Jeep manuever like it has 4 wheel steering.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:15 AM   #23
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Having driven multiple 4x4 trucks at work including our 1 ton dump truck with a 10' V-plow, the Jeep handles the deep snow better, but the trucks are 10x better on ice especially while steering. I have never spun a truck clear out on ice, not even my little 2wd pickup with no weight in the back although I lost traction in the rear on multiple occasions, but you could feel it start to break loose and letting off the gas while you corrected it made it cake to recover from. My Jeep on the other hand...on ice, DO NOT take a turn without slowing waaaaaaay down. When the back-end breaks free, it'll do it fast and completely unexpectedly...if you're not totally relaxed and you panic and overcorrect, you're going for a ride. Also, do not downshift (or at least downshift verrrrry gently) while in the middle of turns when on slick surfaces. I was going around a sharp curve in the driveway at work and downshifted from 3rd to 2nd...tires basically locked up and sent me spinning out into the grass. As far as traction goes... unless you lose momentum and bottom out, you'll go throw a crazy amount of snow of snow in the Jeep. I think when I got my Jeep stuck in the drive at work, I measured 19" in front of my Jeep when it finally came to a stop. That's with open differentials too. With limited slip or lockers, you'll do even better to keep that momentum.

I've barely fish-tailed our trucks at work even on ice except for an old 4x4 Chevy we had, but it's tires looked like racing slicks, lol...but they won't go through snow nearly as deep as the Jeep will. I even managed to get our plow truck stuck last year while in 4wd in like 10" of snow. Ended up having to rock it like crazy to get it free and gave up on using it for plowing those lots...I finished up that day with a backhoe Like mentioned above though...2wd, 4wd, Jeep, truck...they all took the same amount of time to stop, especially on ice.




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