Performance in Snow - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-11-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
dwayneWK
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Performance in Snow

Hello all!
Very snowy over here in the midwest today, 2nd snow storm of the year so far. After finally getting my WJ somewhat street ready, it was time for it to become my winter daily allowing me to store away my Dart for the season. Roads are now clearing up over here, but they were super messy this morning. I thankfully made it safely to and from work and class but I am very disappointed with how my WJ performed. Anytime I hit a snowy spot by backend would start moving out, almost causing me to spin out more than once. I don't know if it is because of the 4x4 system (Selec-Trac II) or because of the tires (not great but still decent A/T tires) or because there is not enough weight in the Jeep. I really was looking forward to driving my new WJ in the snow and also being able to do some light offroading with it but now I am a little worried. What suggestions do any of you have? Is it because of the tires or something else?
My previous Jeep (WK) performed beautifully in the snow, so I am scratching my head at this one.

Also when I put it into 4LO (and no I did not go over 15mph with it) I heard a grinding noise but it doesn't occur when the system is in 4HI.

Any help is appreciated
P.S. it is not my driving style or how I drive in the snow.

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post #2 of 25 Old 11-11-2019, 03:32 PM
LuthWJ77
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I actually had mine in about a foot of snow up in the mountains last year I thought it did awesome. Not the same as driving on the street with ice underneath though I realize. WJ is going to be lite in the back. With the selec trac I'd probably have it in 4X4 Full time in slippery situations and probably air the tires down some too. Rwd vehicles don't do great in the ice and snow that's why you see so many subarus and front drive cars up there. I'd start a new thread to talk the grinding noise.
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-11-2019, 05:44 PM
Mogul
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You didn't mention which drive mode you were in. Presumably 4 Full?

Was the "spin out" happening when you were turning? I have a 2000 WJ with selec trac and it is a beast in the snow. It really can be all about the tires.

Specifically what brand and model tires are they? Not all a/t tires are good in the snow. Also, it's not a weight thing. Can you feel the front wheels pulling/spinning?

Don't worry about airing down, just run the recommended pressure.
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-11-2019, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
dwayneWK
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Not sure what brand they are off the top of my head but I know they aren't anything name brand or top performing, they came with the Jeep when I bought it last month. I am planning on getting new wheels and tires in the coming months. I did have it in 4 Full (I was calling it 4HI for some reason). The back end would start to go out if I hit any patch of snow or slush on the ground while driving straight which I thought was weird
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-11-2019, 08:23 PM
Uniblurb
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That does sound a little strange the rear end would kick out sideways when driving in a straight line and hitting a patch of snow. Check your rear sway-bar bushings and control arm bushings for wear/looseness. This includes the top sway bar bushing which connects to the middle rear of the body and it's known to wear out causing rear sway.

Below is some info on WJ 4WD systems from the FAQ's which includes the selec-trac. Note only the 4Lo and Part-Time modes have the axles locked. But in driving down the road if you're on some drive payment you can only use the Full you were in.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310.../#post25599938

As already mentioned tires are everything in the snow. If you are going to buy new tires in the upcoming months I'd look at buying them now as we are heading into an early winter. Good luck.

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post #6 of 25 Old 11-11-2019, 08:38 PM
2oldjeeps
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interesting. today i was on slushy roads. felt like maybe ice under. it was 28 here. i felt that unstable feeling like it wanted to slip around. it just felt unstable...

now last year it was fine in all winter weather? same tires, nothing changed...
i turned back after 9 miles. ill check again tomorrow. btw abs was fine.

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 08:46 AM
Double E
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Look at the front differential to make sure you have a drive shaft installed to the diff. Not unheard of to make the unfortunate discovery of a removed front DS by a prior owner.

Also, going to PT is not always the best solution in case you were going to try. The beauty of FT is that when turning, the inside wheel is allowed to slip.

Be aware also that you have "open" diffs even with FT selected. So if one wheel up front slips/spins, there will be no grip up there at all. Power will not go to the other front wheel. You're then relying on whatever rear wheel has grip. That would cause the feeling described if the rear was slipping.

Rear is likely an open diff as well and also will not transfer power to the rear wheel that has grip.

It would not have initially sold with a limited slip unless it was a QD.
It could be a highly unusual, special factory order of a Selec-Trac with limited slip but I think I've heard of one example of that ever occurring.

So not typical to have a limited slip with Selec-Trac but one could have been added.
Part-Time is the same thing (open diff) but one front wheel and one rear wheel will turn at the same rate...which is why it is never to be used on hard pavement.

FT - Use it whenever you want, leave it there forever if you want. (Power will go to the front open diff when slippage is detected.)
PT - Use ONLY on loose surfaces like sand, gravel or dirt. (Power will to the front open diff and and rear open diff at the same rate.)

'04 Freedom Edition HO & '04 Overland HO (previous '00 Laredo 4.7)
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 11:12 AM
2oldjeeps
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pt...ft...pt.
i hate it when i cant tell what it means....

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 11:20 AM
wildbill23c
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I'm wondering if your WJ has a rear limited slip differential? My 98 ZJ the rear end tries to pass the front end if I'm not careful in full time 4WD mode (Selec-Trac). Seems like a common issue with a limited slip differential I guess. My 96 ZJ never did that but it didn't have a limited slip rear end either...so I chalk it up to the limited slip differential and the crowned roads. If I select part time 4WD it don't do it, so given the way the full time mode works combined with limited slip your rear axle receives slightly more power than the front so you get the rear end going sideways issue...your WJ I assume has the quadra-trac system which I believe they switched to a rear wheel drive only till wheel speed differences were detected then it would send power to the front, and combined with a limited slip differential you get that sliding sideways problem.

Let us know if you got a limited slip rear end. I'm guessing by the traction problem that you do.
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 11:30 AM
Reech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oldjeeps View Post
pt...ft...pt.
i hate it when i cant tell what it means....
PT=Part Time
FT=Full Time
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post #11 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 12:32 PM
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My guess is two parts. One, you're tires probably aren't the best. AT tires aren't known for being good in the snow unless you have the three peak symbol. Secondly, you have an open rear end and lost traction (because of the tires) so it caused all the "rear" power to go to your slipping wheel and get squirly.

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post #12 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 04:19 PM
Double E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reech View Post
PT=Part Time
FT=Full Time
Right on.

The idiot light on the dash tells you you are in PT because it is meant as a warning/reminder never to travel on hard surfaces in this mode.

FT has no light.

'04 Freedom Edition HO & '04 Overland HO (previous '00 Laredo 4.7)
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post #13 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 08:09 PM
Mogul
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I don't believe that there was any factory option that included a limited slip with selec trac. That's what quadradrive was for.

So one slight correction to the above. When in Full time four wheel drive you have open diffs oneach of the front and rear axles, and an ooen diff in the center at the transfer case. So, in the given example, it isn't 100% correct to say
"So if one wheel up front slips/spins, there will be no grip up there at all. Power will not go to the other front wheel. You're then relying on whatever rear wheel has grip. That would cause the feeling described if the rear was slipping."

In reality, it's possibke thatyou would have one front, or one rear tire spinning and that's it. Open diff sends power to the wheel with the least traction. Going to part time locks the center diff only, so then the above statement could be true. Then front and rear driveshafts are locked together.

Smokeyyank has the best guess, assuming all is well with your xfer case, etc.
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post #14 of 25 Old 11-12-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
dwayneWK
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Update: So today when driving, it seemed better on parts of the road that still had patches of snow on them which is weird. Maybe there was just a lot of ice on the ground yesterday and I didn't notice. Going forward in the future, I am definitely going to check out all of my suspension, steering, and drivetrain components. As well as get a new set of tires and wheels soon. I am hoping the Jeep pulls through until I can get a lot of this stuff replaced - one piece at a time, right. The Jeep is at 215,000 miles and the previous owner wasn't too concerned on maintenance of all parts of the vehicle it seems, but hey it still runs and drives good!

Also, does anyone know how I would find out if I had any limited shift differentials? I understand that Selec-Trac WJs have open differentials, but allowed the option for one to be added in (aftermarket). Maybe a previous owner added one in?

Anyways, thank you everyone for the help!
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post #15 of 25 Old 11-13-2019, 09:41 AM
LuthWJ77
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I doubt anyone added a $1000 limited slip if they weren't that interested in routine maintenance. You could open it up and just look or get on a icy incline and see if both wheels turn to make sure though.
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