Last post on Sep 10, 2000 at 1:32 PM
You are in the Pickups - Archived Discussions
#1 of 171 Alternatives to 4 wheel drive
Mar 30, 2000 (5:14 am)
I am considering buying a pickup truck for the
first time. I understand you can put chains on
wheels for snowy mountainous terrain in lieu of
having four wheel drive, but just how good a
substitute is this? If it is as good, how much of
a pain is it to equip your truck every winter.
Also, are studded tires as good as chain laden
I really don't want to take on the expense
of adding 4-wheel drive to the list of features
but maybe there is no suitable alternative.
Mar 30, 2000 (1:36 pm)
If you decide to go 2wd you defintitely need to factor in the cost of a limited slip differential if you are going to be on less than ideal roads. Personally I would also include it on 4wd, but that's me.
Chains / Studs can help, but check your local laws, they are not legal on all roads in all states, some ban them, some only allow them on unmade roads - the rules differ considerably.
It really comes down to how much you are planning to use the truck off road, the inconvenience of putting chains or studs on your tires, or even buying a separate sets of winter tires / wheels can soon add up.
#3 of 171 4wd waste of Time
Mar 31, 2000 (3:05 am)
Unless you really have a reason to use 4wd, such as live in the mountains of Colorado or Montana, or you drive in adverse terrain, there is no reason to pay the extra $2,000 to $3,000 dollars extra and have more things to go wrong, especially tranny problems, to obtain the 4wd option. 2wd trucks usually are a little bit lighter and can tow more and has higher gas mileage than the 4wd version. For 90% of the U.S. population, 2wd trucks would be just fine, but most people opted for the 4wd just so they either have the option to go off road in more tranverse terrain or just for props to tell their friends they have a 4x4. I own a 2wd 1999 1500 Chevy Silverado, and I am perfectly content with it being 2wd, as a matter of fact, the Z71 4wd versions are not much taller than mine and maybe have a 1 to 2 inch difference in ground clearance. That's one of the things you want in a good 4wd, and most trucks don't do very well in real offroading because they tend to bottom out and their transfer box which is even with the center of the diameter of the rear tires get hung up on things, if you want a real 4wd, buy a JEEP Wrangler Sport or a Hummer, besides that, buy 2wd.
#4 of 171 4wd not waste of time for me...
Mar 31, 2000 (8:37 am)
I once drove 300 miles at night in a 2wd vehicle, in a blinding blizzard, over Monarch pass, Kenosha pass and Crow hill, passed scores of stuck/overturned 4wd suvs, only to get stuck trying, failing to make it up my own driveway. When I had to park it on the street, the next morning it was buried by the snow plows, took about an hour to dig it out.
Even here in Denver, I only need it maybe 3-4 times per year. But when you do need it, you need it right NOW.
Off-roading is the least consideration, but the transfer case is protected in any event with a skid plate on Z71's. What's not protected is the fuel tank...
Plenty of valid reasons for 4wd systems. If you live in rural areas where roads are dirt, they turn to mud and muck when it rains. Far more slippery than any snow or ice I have encountered.
Chains work well, but vastly limit your speed and comfort, and are a big hassle to put on and take off.
You don't need a Hummer or Wrangler to get up my driveway, but at times, you do need 4wd.
#5 of 171 jmendo
Mar 31, 2000 (4:02 pm)
I guess you never been down any logging roads. I live Ontario, Canada I also have a cottage in central Maine. I use Four Wheel drive during hunting season and to get in out of my favorite fishing holes. Most places I go never require four wheel drive however I have been places that a two wheel drive truck just wouldn't make it. I know because I have had to help pull people out of holes where they have gotten stuck with there two wheel drive trucks. When you start going through mud that is eight inches deep and the road has been torn up by logging skidders you want four wheel drive. I don't do extreme off roading in my pickup. I agree for that you want a jeep. A jeep however will never suit my needs and I don't plan on ever doing the Rubicon Trail.
Mar 31, 2000 (4:27 pm)
Agree that a 4x4 pickup offers a safe compromise between a 4x2 and an extreme off roading machine. A compromise that is certainly appreciated in many parts of the country in adverse weather.
BTW, rsk where abouts in Ontario?
#7 of 171 Andy
Mar 31, 2000 (4:43 pm)
I live in Ottawa. Nice city not quite as crowded as TO. I like it and doesn't take very long driving and your out in the middle of nowhere.
#8 of 171 Low range is nice, too.
Mar 31, 2000 (5:45 pm)
I really like the low range you get with most 4WD setups. In rocky terrain, I want to go slow and not drag the truck. Leaving the front hubs unlocked and using low range is perfect. I debated on the additional cost, maintenance and insurance of the 4WD but glad I got it on a crew cab.
#9 of 171 4X4 is nice but.....
Mar 31, 2000 (6:20 pm)
Some people can't justify the extra cost and mileage you lose. For a lot of people a two wheel drive, with a limited slip will get them where they need to go. My dad used to always say that a 2 wheel drive with limited slip was almost as good as a 4 wheel drive without limited slip. That was provided, however, that you know how to drive in slick stuff, mud esp.
#10 of 171 4wd vs. 2wd
Mar 31, 2000 (6:59 pm)
It really depends on how much driving you do in snow, mud, etc. For most of us cityfolk (myself included) a 2wd with locking differential will keep us out of trouble as long as it is driven properly. I had a GMC with 4wd but still managed to get hung up with locking diff. by getting one front and one rear off ground. 2wd locking diff would have been just fine. If occasional chains are required to go up into the mountains, the time spent to put them on, drive with them and take them off may be well worth it as opposed to extra cost, maintenance and mileage penalty. The areas I would use 4wd for even have check points where chain installer will fo the dirty work for $20 or so. Still beats the cost over time of 4wd. SO, it just depends on you percent of time you "need" 4wd. I just took delivery on a new Silverado with 2wd and locking diff. and expect it will serve me just fine until I get tired of it. - Randy A.