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Old 12-01-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

I recently got my 2006 6.3l eb50 sportsmobile @ 100k. It has Dana 60's and atlas transfer cases. I have to get out to lock the hubs. I don't think I have the ability to completely lock the wheels. Is this what you guys keep calling locker? I don't think I have limited slip as I have seen a tire spinning. I have worn tread on Geoland/AR A/TS tires. We live in a mountainous area that rains a lot, so if you go off the overly narrow (fire road width) roads you will end up an a ditch has big as the rig - no mistakes allowed. On top of that we have two crazy steep and long hills leading to our house. These are the some of the steepest hills i've ever seen used as normal roads, and I have lived in mountains my whole life. One is gravel and you need 4wd when it rains.

Anyway we got a lousy 3 inch snowfall of what I would have called sierra cement. It briefly melted and then refroze to half inch thick ice. I came home late, around midnight and found the ice hill. I stuck it in 4wd, locked the font hubs (does the order matter?), and then drove up the hill, only to find myself sliding backwards and sideways down it. I pumped the brakes, got it to turn all the way around, so I was able to avoid breaking anything.

I need a solution for going up extremely steep hills covered in ice! I also need be able to drive 50 - 300 miles on packed snow highways and I don't want to have to go slow.

I'm sure the tires are part of the problem.


What I don't know is - 1) will an off road tire be good enough and 2) be as good as a Blizzak? 2a) Is it going to be a problem to go down to 285 70/17's to get Blizzaks? Currently I have 315 70/17's. 3) What about full locker, and how hard is the conversion to full locker? I don't really want to use chains unless they are the only solution.

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Sounds like having a set of winter tires might be a good solution. The 285/70 will be narrower and a little shorter than your 315/70, but I think the tradeoff will be worth it for the traction you will get.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

On ice there really is no substitute for a good ice tire like a Blizzak (or, chains/studded tires). The really grippy part wears down fairly quickly, so you'll probably only get a few seasons of good ice capability out of them. But that's worth the price of not getting in an accident or messing up the rig, IMO. After their last year of good ice tread just run them in the summer as an all-season tire until you use up the tread.

Locking hubs are different from locking differentials (axles), BTW.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:02 PM   #4
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Where do you live?
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:00 PM   #5
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Thanks for all the tips. I think the 800 bucks for Blizzaks is worth every penny of what this last mile to my house could do to the doomsday mobile. I live in north bend, Washington now.

So what can I do about the spinning tires. I keep hearing about ways to lock all the differentials. Is this an add on to the Dana 60 and the Atlas transfer case(s) (are there two transfer cases or one?) or is it a whole new drive train?

Sorry I'm asking so many dumb questions. I'm new to real 4x4 and campers. I just deduced I have a diesel furnace instead of a propane one - only took 2 months of looking for the tank and the nozzle and failing to find it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

I'd want a good set of winter tires with studs. They can be pulled out later if you decide to run them in summer. Search "limited slip diff use in snow and ice" to see some answers to about the same question I asked.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycrash
So what can I do about the spinning tires. I keep hearing about ways to lock all the differentials. Is this an add on to the Dana 60 and the Atlas transfer case(s) (are there two transfer cases or one?) or is it a whole new drive train?
The AtlasII is one transfer case with a lever for each axle. Most transfer cases have one lever, so your choices are slightly fewer.

As far as lockers, you do not want a locker engaged if you're driving on ice or slick roads- the fact that one wheel is currently not spinning with full force is what keeps you from simply going sideways. With front and rear lockers engaged the second the tires spin you have zero sideways stability and the rain pitch of any road is enough to send you into a ditch. Regular old 4x4 should be more than enough, especially if you're new to 4x4.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #8
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycrash
Thanks for all the tips. I think the 800 bucks for Blizzaks is worth every penny of what this last mile to my house could do to the doomsday mobile. I live in north bend, Washington now.

So what can I do about the spinning tires. I keep hearing about ways to lock all the differentials. Is this an add on to the Dana 60 and the Atlas transfer case(s) (are there two transfer cases or one?) or is it a whole new drive train?

Sorry I'm asking so many dumb questions. I'm new to real 4x4 and campers. I just deduced I have a diesel furnace instead of a propane one - only took 2 months of looking for the tank and the nozzle and failing to find it.
I was on my way up to Bend last weekend and spun out in Chemult. Luckily I was only going like 25mph but doing a 180 going across all lanes and ending up on the South bound lane was a little nerve racking. Decided to put chains on (only 2wd) after seeing a dually truck and horse trailer in the ditch. It was a LOOONNNGGG 60 miles to Bend since one of the chains broke about 15 miles in.

I was wondering how everyone else was driving 55-60mph on slick, iced over roads and my buddy told me pretty much everyone puts on studded snow tires. After seeing how well dedicated snow tires work, I would definitely shell out the coin for them during the winter time.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:59 PM   #9
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Ok, i just bought the blizzaks. I was torn between the duratraks with studs and the blizzaks, but the bliazzaks were waaaay cheaper. I have had good luck with them on my cars, too.

285 70r17 is close enough "i hope" to 315 70r17. Only $172 each tire, half the price of the duratracks with studs. I'm thinking since I do a lot of highway in the winter, and the rig is loud enough as it is, studless should be the way to go. We shall see!
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: Winter tires - locker - LSD what works?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycrash
Thanks for all the tips. I think the 800 bucks for Blizzaks is worth every penny of what this last mile to my house could do to the doomsday mobile. I live in north bend, Washington now.

So what can I do about the spinning tires. I keep hearing about ways to lock all the differentials. Is this an add on to the Dana 60 and the Atlas transfer case(s) (are there two transfer cases or one?) or is it a whole new drive train?

Sorry I'm asking so many dumb questions. I'm new to real 4x4 and campers. I just deduced I have a diesel furnace instead of a propane one - only took 2 months of looking for the tank and the nozzle and failing to find it.
While north bend does have a bit more snow and ice than Seattle proper, it is hardly the arctic circle. Where do you plan to take this thing that full time snow/ice tires would be required? I have never had to even use chains as a regular snowboarder and heading into the moutains at any chance to capitalize on some good snow! I take I-90, 410 or Hwy 2, which are heavy traffic and good maintenance for what it is worth.
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