Originally Posted by Marholmes44
So after reading this in theory you can have a 2WD put manually lockers in it and be the same thing as 4WD correct?
Someone said your are way off. Actually, you're not so far off. A 4WD with open differentials will, in slippery conditions, only have two tires that really spin with power (one front, one rear). A 2WD with a locked differential in the powered axle will also
have two tires that really spin with power (both rear, assuming you're rear wheel drive). A 4WD is always more versatile, generally safer at speed, and usually otherwise better (long list of reasons), but a locked 2WD isn't a crazy alternative for many run of the mill uses. A locked 2WD can be a pretty capable vehicle. Locking a 2WD vehicle is also generally cheaper than getting a 4WD option, for example in a Ford Ranger pickup.
I have actually been really impressed on what I have been able to get through in just 2wd just by using the hand brake to help the stock LSD get power to the wheel with the traction. I was thinking of adding a locker to the front axle but in reading this I am a little confused in that if you do alot of driving in the snow/ice you do not want a front locker but would prefer a LSD instead or some type of manual locker?
When the axle is locked, it spins the wheels together at exactly the same speed, which causes lateral stability to decrease greatly -- you tend to slide sideways on snow (particularly, sideways down a hill or cambered street surface). If the wheels spin together but not at the same speed -- as can
occur with an LSD -- lateral stability will improve. I say "can
" because LSDs vary in their habits and you might find that they cost you some lateral stability. Sometimes an LSD will spin the wheels at exactly the same speed, sometimes not.
If it's a 4WD and you have a front selectable
locker (the term "manual" is confusing, I think), put it in 4WD and just don't lock it, and you won't have these problems. You'll have the locker there when you want it -- if you get stuck -- and not there when it would make you nervous. If you have a front auto-locker, just don't put it in 4WD on snow. Or, do use 4WD but drive cautiously until you understand the autolocker's habits -- that's what most people do, and some folks report decent results.
I personally have not found side-slip from a selectable-locked front axle to be a major problem when cautiously driven at low speeds. I have not tried speeds above 15mph on slick mud or snow.
If you are looking for a way to travel fast over snow without side slip concerns, forget the locker, get this