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Thread: OT Improving traction on FWD cars.

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    redlee's Avatar
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    Default OT Improving traction on FWD cars.

    Maybe a stupid question, but by adding weight in the trunk of a front wheel drive car improve winter traction?
    Without having to do a trial and error scenario, thought someone might know.
    No snow yet but its coming, we have had a few hard frosts already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlee View Post
    by adding weight in the trunk of a front wheel drive car improve winter traction?
    A few sand bags cant hurt, fling it under the tires as needed. The weight in the back wont help. If you want better traction let a little air out of the tires and dont drive like a crazy asshole.

    The first week or two of winter I try to stay home and hope the icy roads weed out some of the dip shits.
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    You just need to convert it to rear wheel drive! My Buick Roadmaster station wagon, or "Estate" to you Brits. will go anywhere in the snow. 5.7L v8 it is surprisingly fast as well.

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    CalG is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlee View Post
    Maybe a stupid question, but by adding weight in the trunk of a front wheel drive car improve winter traction?
    Without having to do a trial and error scenario, thought someone might know.
    No snow yet but its coming, we have had a few hard frosts already.
    If "improved traction" means stopping in less distance and in a straight line, then NO.

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    I apologize if this is obvious to you, but full on real deal snow tires make a huge difference. My wife's fwd car drives super easy with snow tires.

    A limited slip differential will help a shit load if you can get one for your car.

    The ultimate is electronic traction control and stability control, with snow tires.

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    hobbyman is online now Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlee View Post
    Maybe a stupid question, but by adding weight in the trunk of a front wheel drive car improve winter traction?
    Without having to do a trial and error scenario, thought someone might know.
    No snow yet but its coming, we have had a few hard frosts already.
    Extra mass at the back will affect understeer when on a corner but as for braking consider studded snows all around on separate wheels that you can change in fall and spring. Look up understeer and oversteer to understand behavior of a vehicle when turning.

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    redlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I apologize if this is obvious to you, but full on real deal snow tires make a huge difference. My wife's fwd car drives super easy with snow tires.

    A limited slip differential will help a shit load if you can get one for your car.

    The ultimate is electronic traction control and stability control, with snow tires.
    Got new snow tires for the car. New driver in the family and was just wondering.
    Ive been driving in Canada for almost 40 years, its not me Im worried about.
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    CalG is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbyman View Post
    Extra mass at the back will affect understeer when on a corner but as for braking consider studded snows all around on separate wheels that you can change in fall and spring. Look up understeer and oversteer to understand behavior of a vehicle when turning.
    Best gripping tires ALWAYS go in the rear to limit oversteer.

    Unless you are a ralley driver ;-)

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    redlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    Best gripping tires ALWAYS go in the rear to limit oversteer.

    Unless you are a ralley driver ;-)
    Actually here in Alberta Im pretty sure its illegal for a tire shop to install only 2 winter tire on a vehicle , its dangerous.

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    I had the azz end come around a few times on me
    in a front wheel drive car. Both times the front
    wheels hit a snow drift, slowing down the front heavy
    car. Rear wanted to come around. Key is to keep in
    the gas and power through the drift.
    I did a complete 360 spin on the highway in traffic
    once. I was doing 55 mph, hit a drift, spun 360,
    came back around, nailed the gas hard, got her
    straight again, looked at the speedo, I recovered
    and ended up doing 45 mph. Did not hit anyone
    either. It was a nascar save for the recordbooks.
    I am from Buffalo, and I can out-drive you.
    Jesus seems to help out a lot of times as well.
    --Doozer
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    LKeithR is offline Hot Rolled
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    Here in BC's Fraser Valley we don't get much snow anymore but on the odd occasion when we do travel to the interior in winter here's a trick I use. Grab 4 (or 6 if you're so inclined) 20 KG (44 lb.) bags of animal feed and throw them on the floor behind the front seat. I find that having the extra weight ahead of the rear axle makes a big difference in traction and handling. We have animals so the feed is never wasted and the bags tend to settle to the floor, keeping the C of G low. Just to be clear, the extra weight helps but the most important thing is still to have good winter tires on the car...
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    tdmidget is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    I had the azz end come around a few times on me
    in a front wheel drive car. Both times the front
    wheels hit a snow drift, slowing down the front heavy
    car. Rear wanted to come around. Key is to keep in
    the gas and power through the drift.
    I did a complete 360 spin on the highway in traffic
    once. I was doing 55 mph, hit a drift, spun 360,
    came back around, nailed the gas hard, got her
    straight again, looked at the speedo, I recovered
    and ended up doing 45 mph. Did not hit anyone
    either. It was a nascar save for the recordbooks.
    I am from Buffalo, and I can out-drive you.
    Jesus seems to help out a lot of times as well.
    --Doozer
    Maybe you have him drive.

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    paul39 is offline Stainless
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    Some instruction and practice on a level, snow covered, empty parking lot goes a long way.

    I drove rear wheel drive vehicles for 57 years, changed to front wheel drive daily driver 7 years ago. It is hard to change instinctive reaction to sliding.

    With rwh back off gas and steer toward the slide. With fwd steer where you want to go and feed gas.

    None stop very well.

    I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and got enough practice on snow and ice to do OK.

    I have to laugh here in the sunny south when we get some snow and the four wheel drive SUVs come out to play. They are up banks, in ditches, flipped on the roof, and killing telephone poles.

    I'm a retired old geezer so I stay home, as I drive a 25 year old Ford Festiva that gives about as much protection from a collision as a beer can.

    Paul

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    Winterfalke is offline Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    Best gripping tires ALWAYS go in the rear to limit oversteer.

    Unless you are a ralley driver ;-)
    Or unless you actually know how to drive. I ALWAYS put my best tires on the front to improve grip under hard cornering and braking, because that is what you tend to do in an emergency situation. I am not afraid of the back swinging around, I was taught how to deal with it when I learned how to drive. And that was in the snow, in a 2WD pickup with a stupid amount of torque and heavy springs in the back, so pretty much always.

    And no, weight in the back of a FWD will not help you, it might actually hurt if the weight is behind the rear axle. Snow tires are the best bet, followed by really skinny all-weather tires. And putting some slack in the throttle cable so they can't put the petal down
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    CalG is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterfalke View Post
    Or unless you actually know how to drive. I ALWAYS put my best tires on the front to improve grip under hard cornering and braking, because that is what you tend to do in an emergency situation. I am not afraid of the back swinging around, I was taught how to deal with it when I learned how to drive. And that was in the snow, in a 2WD pickup with a stupid amount of torque and heavy springs in the back, so pretty much always.

    And no, weight in the back of a FWD will not help you, it might actually hurt if the weight is behind the rear axle. Snow tires are the best bet, followed by really skinny all-weather tires. And putting some slack in the throttle cable so they can't put the petal down
    You would make a swell rally driver...

    Unless........you actually know how to drive. ....................................in Orlando
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    Winterfalke is offline Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    You would make a swell rally driver...

    Unless........you actually know how to drive. ....................................in Orlando
    Lol So I take you've spent time here?
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    bryan_machine is online now Titanium
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    Think about the physics. More weight in the back will increase download on the rear tires, but also increase mass and moment, so baring very peculiar circumstances it won't help. (Moving weight from the front to the back or vice versa is sometimes done in performance cars. If the car has a very poor front/rear balance putting ballast somewhere might make it behave better - but this applies more to things like empty pickup trucks that FWD cars.)

    All the folks saying "put good 4 good tires on the car" and the folks saying "practice, or arrange practice for the new driver" have it right.

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    CalG is offline Titanium
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    A bit OT But I did learn something from watching an old video on aircraft hydroplaning.

    That is, The speed at which hydroplaning occurs is directly proportional to TIRE PRESSURE.

    Something like speed in km = tire pressure in psi / some constant (I should have written it down) It's all proportional to the tire contact patch equal to the tire loading. As the load goes up (adding feed bags) the contact area goes up too. and the force per unit are remains the same.

    any way, it works out that cars hydroplane around 45 mph. And that's true! (Of course tread pattern can change that number somewhat)

    ON TOPIC, Hydroplaning on deep snow means loss of control and added weight has nothing to do with it but make the recovery all the more difficult.

    And none of this has anything to do with "glare ice, black ice, packed snow or frozen roads". ;-)

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    I remember when fwd became the thing to have here in the U.S. All the mfgs. advertised like crazy about how great the traction / handling was, B.S. it is just a bunch cheaper to build a fwd car than a rwd. all comes down to more profit for the mfg. One of the first fwd cars built here was the Cord. It was useless in the winter, one factor that led to its demise.
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    adama is offline Diamond
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    Narrower tires IMHO are a big plus for adverse road conditions, whilst wide might offer more grip in the dry, when it comes to dissipating slush and water to get to the tarmac underneath you can not beat higher ground pressure to push it out of the way. I really don't understand why so many modern cars have such wide tires, seams more of a dangerous trend than actual sound engineering.

    Myself, i would get a 4wd and something heavy. After driving a company car in less than ideal weather a few years i will never ever put myself or family in that position again. Just too fucking dangerous. Landrovers snow and ice are damn near irrelivent. Lose traction, hit the yellow knob apply the gas and point her in the direction you wish to go :-) That damn easy. Alternatively leave it in 2wd and have a blast :-) One of the key things i would do is take the family member to some nice open car park once its snowed enough to be good and slick and teach them skid recovery - driving in nasty conditions. It needs to be taught IMHO other wise its not a instinctive reaction when it comes to needing to apply it. Would realy help reduce winter fender benders if it was a key part of driver training over here in the uk.
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