Modifying my Brick-On-Wheels - Page 6 - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

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Old 11-16-2009, 10:56 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
If the Explorer is just for winter driving, have you considered just getting a good set of snow tires for the car? I remember a Popular Sci/Mech article where they compared AWD with all seasons to FWD with snow, and there was little difference in winter performance between the cars. Depending on what insurance rates you are paying, and whether you have the space to store a set of tires, you might save more than the difference in gas.
The area I'm in, if you don't have 4wd or awd, it's very difficult to get around. There's lots of steep hills that are unavoidable, unless you want to go 10+ miles out of the way... Before I had the Explorer, in order to get up a hill I had to get momentum and get my speed to around 30mph at the base (speed limit 25), and then just floor it up the hill. If you let off the gas, you lose momentum and can no longer get up the hill ... then you're left in a VERY dangerous situation of trying to slide back down the hill while still maintaining control (very difficult). My speedometer showed 70mph going up that hill, but I was moving about 15mph. (This was with really good tires too) And, if you have traction control FWD, you're screwed even more... those cars can't make it up the hills.

It's very common for cars to slide through stop signs on the way down the hills (I've done it a couple times ... scary sliding through two stop signs with no control). There are NO stop signs when going up the hill... cuz if you stop, you'll never get going up the hill again.

With the 4wd the Explorer gives me, I barely, if at all, have to spin my tires to go up those hills making it the much safer alternative.

If I were in a flat area, yea... I agree with what you say. But, the hills are the reason I bought the explorer. And, I only drive the explorer ~4-5k miles a year ... which is 90% winter driving (6 months out of the year it's Winter here ... 2-3 feet of accumulated snow is very common, some areas get 4+)

"During the winter of 2008-2009, Houghton County received 260 inches of snow and had as much as 30" on the ground. Keweenaw County received 282.5 inches of snow and had as much as 37" on the ground." Source: http://www.keweenaw.info/conditions.aspx#areasnowfall
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:09 PM   #52
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Update on the squeal: It appears it may have been the power steering making all the racket when the engine was cold (The sound didn't change when turning the wheel). I added that Lucas stop-leak power steering fluid, and the loud squealing has been reduced to a minor chirp.

That Lucas stuff also has special lubricants for the power steering.
Link to the stuff here.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:27 AM   #53
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Before I had the Explorer, in order to get up a hill I had to get momentum and get my speed to around 30mph at the base (speed limit 25), and then just floor it up the hill. {etc}
Did you, as trollbait suggested, have snow tires? The rubber compound and tread design used for snow tires is far more effective in snow/ice than regular or Mud & Snow rated all-season tires. Additionally, you can get many snow tires studded.

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And, if you have traction control FWD, you're screwed even more... those cars can't make it up the hills.
I have never seen a traction control that didn't have a button to turn it off.

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It's very common for cars to slide through stop signs on the way down the hills
4wd or not, you'll want studded snow tires for avoiding that one.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:25 AM   #54
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I have never seen a traction control that didn't have a button to turn it off.
My brother in law has a Toyota SUV (I think its a Sequoia) and the one thing he has mentioned in several instances is the only way to disable traction control is to activate 4wd. He said he got it stuck in a tiny ditch beside his driveway, and the traction control disabled the vehicle because one wheel was slightly off the ground. He said when he pushed the accelerator the engine revved, and a bunch of lights flashed on the dash, but no wheels moved. He had to put it in 4wd to get it out of a small ditch.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:12 AM   #55
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Did you, as trollbait suggested, have snow tires? The rubber compound and tread design used for snow tires is far more effective in snow/ice than regular or Mud & Snow rated all-season tires. Additionally, you can get many snow tires studded.

I have never seen a traction control that didn't have a button to turn it off.

4wd or not, you'll want studded snow tires for avoiding that one.
Studded tires are illegal in Michigan, so are chains ... at least on-road. Off-road it doesn't matter.

...yea, snow tires are better, but it's extra money and they'd literally melt on my 2-3 trips downstate (1000 miles rnd trp), because they're not rated for over 50-55mph.

At that time of the story in my last post, I had some BF Goodrich tires on my buick that were very good in the snow on my car (Driving 60-70mph thru a foot of fresh-fallen snow on the highway, no squirreling or slipping at all ... speed limit was 55). Many locals up here get snow tires, but they still have to spin their tires to get up the hills. They help in city driving, but not much for the hills. And yea... I know I was driving way too fast for the conditions, I was rushing home (downstate) for a family emergency.

What Jay2TheRescue said is exactly the reason why traction control won't work on the hills, and I've seen many where you can't shut it off. One tire starts to slip, and eventually the traction control slows you down so much you can't go up the hill anymore. I know the Prius is one of them where you can't shut it off, at least older models. My old tenant/housemate had one.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:44 AM   #56
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Bummer about studded tires. I just looked it up...apparently Michigan allows them but requires data that no manufacturer currently provides for approval.

You may need to update your research on snow tires. I just checked Tirerack.com and snow tires for my VW are rated between 99 and 130mph.

Traction control that you can't shut off and can't be disabled simply by pulling a fuse would definitely be a deal-breaker for me.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:39 PM   #57
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{I know the Prius is one of them where you can't shut it off, at least older models.}

The TC on the Prius was more about preventing damage to the drive train than safety. Toyota may even have been over cautious with it, worrying about any breakdown giving the hybrid a black mark. Of course they made the TC to aggressive in kicking in at first, which left some stranded in conditions another car would, if not gracefully, gotten out of. It was corrected with a software fix, but it soured some people.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #58
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yea traction control is dumb as hell and im not a fan on abs either. (you actually stop faster in a straight line without abs)

i was gonna suggest power steering pump. they can make weird noises when they go out. seems like ford power steering pumps are alot harder to spin the pulley than gm ones...water pump on both should spin somewhat easy (should be able to flick it and it will turn for a little while)
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:31 PM   #59
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yea traction control is dumb as hell and im not a fan on abs either. (you actually stop faster in a straight line without abs)
ABS quite intentionally sacrifices a few feet of stopping distance for steering control.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #60
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ABS quite intentionally sacrifices a few feet of stopping distance for steering control.
My K1500 doesn't have traction control, but it does have ABS, 4wd, and a locking rear end. You really have to try to get it to lose control, and it stops really short. I can stop that truck a lot quicker than in my Buick.
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