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Discussion Starter #1
Long time since I've posted here, couldn't find anything specific via search sooooo...

Got my Nismo 4x2 back in 2007. Do some mild off roading and have been totally impressed with my truck's capabilities. The problem is I got back into skiing seriously last winter and am trying to figure out what to do this winter because chains are a pain in the *** and CA apparently is one of the few states with chain requirements that are enforced. I drive in Nor Cal from the valley to Tahoe and Shasta as often as possible. I missed a couple of blower days last year because I wasn't sure how the truck would do and chains suck.

My options as I see them are to either invest in quality snow tires and put some weight over the rear axle and drive carefully. Does this actually work?

Or I could take the shitty resale/trade in and get a used subie.

Any questions comments suggestions appreciated.
 

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If you just get a set of ATs you should be good. Throw some sandbags in the bed and take it easy. A set of snow tires would be optimal but you get destroyed on regular dry roads.

If you don't use your truck for a truck thou, it may be worth getting a used subaru since they are AWD and usually turbocharged.

In the end thou it is up to you.

Also, you have an ace up your sleeve since you have the locker. Its not a good thing to use on dry roads but can be used in the snow when needed. Between a set of ATs or maybe even MTs and the locker you should be good.
 

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I have personally never used chains. I did once own a set. Also picked up the rubber bands used to keep the slop out of the chains.

Anyway, all that aside. If the state requires it, there aren't a lot of options.

Reality is this:

Common sense, some weight, and lack of gas or brake pedal can get you a lot further in snow conditions. There are those that think 4wd makes them invincible, ask them how the feel while being pulled from the ditches. 4wd starts you better, it does NOT stop you better.

I went through a winter in the UP with 236" of snow in a 4cyl 2wd S10. I used all terrain tires and 600# of sand. So, yes, 2wd can get you a lot of places in the snow.

Once ice hits, all things change to a degree.

Can one get around the chain issue with a 4wd? If yes, and you're dead set against chains, find a beater to get you through. If no, buy the chains.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When the California highway controls affect cars and trucks (beyond semis) I believe it is chains required unless you have a 4x4 or AWD. Rarely is 4x4 with chains required, they usually just close down the highways at that point. I have heard a lot of people with fwd and snows just say they have AWD and get through fine. I figure with a nismo they won't be to stringent in checking me which is what several people with prerunner tacos have told me. I'm just wondering how rwd and a good set of snows and careful driving will serve me. I'm hesitant to go the subie route as I do use it as a truck, a lot.

One more question would be how much weight should I add to the rear?
 

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One more question would be how much weight should I add to the rear?
When I did the 600#, it was because there was a hill in town I needed to get up.

1st try no sand = 10'

Went and got 3 tube sand bags and that got me about 1/2 block up the hill.

Went back for 3 more and got 3/4 way.

Went and added another 3 and made it up without slipping a tire. Of course, then gas mileage wasn't great.

Hill I was climbing had a fairly steep grade to it (more than typical).

As for the magic number for you, not sure what it will be.

This past winter, I went around in the Nismo with 210# of sand and had no problems anywhere. I do have 4wd though and a few times I dropped in in to start on some inclines. Weight in the rear also kept the ABS from kicking in so quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. I think I'll try some quality winter tires and weight in the back this winter and see how it goes.
 

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Some good tires and weight should work for you. I used to drive my 78 Datsun 2wd in the snow all the time.
 

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x1000 with what's been said so far.

2wd Ranger with BFG A/T's and 300#+ weight in the bed and never got her stuck. That sucker went through anything old man winter could throw at it.

Now I have a 4x4 and don't worry about it so much... Or at least I won't once I get rid of these crappy Rugged Trails.
 

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I have personally never used chains. I did once own a set. Also picked up the rubber bands used to keep the slop out of the chains.

Anyway, all that aside. If the state requires it, there aren't a lot of options.

Reality is this:

Common sense, some weight, and lack of gas or brake pedal can get you a lot further in snow conditions. There are those that think 4wd makes them invincible, ask them how the feel while being pulled from the ditches. 4wd starts you better, it does NOT stop you better.

I went through a winter in the UP with 236" of snow in a 4cyl 2wd S10. I used all terrain tires and 600# of sand. So, yes, 2wd can get you a lot of places in the snow.

Once ice hits, all things change to a degree.

Can one get around the chain issue with a 4wd? If yes, and you're dead set against chains, find a beater to get you through. If no, buy the chains.
I've got to disagree with this a bit...had an S10, 4cyl, 2wd and it was horrible in the winter, worse than the tbird I had before it (and that was with 50 gallons of sand in the bed...easily 5-600#). used to have to blow through any stop sign that was on a hill or I couldnt make it up the hill (bad because I lived on a hill with a stop sign 1/3 the way up). this truck is what put me in a nissan in the first place (D21, man I loved that truck).

As for 4wd, starts easier, pulls you around corners better, and you better believe that it can stop you better (well, in a manual anyway, downshifting is way better than brakes, once ABS kicks in you're fawked). that said, you still cant be stupid and still have to drive the conditions.

I'll as the qualifier here that I add everytime someone asks how BFG AT's are in snow...depends on the snow. dry they may be ok but wet sticky stuff they clog and slide more than any other AT I've ever owned.
 

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Thanks for the info. I think I'll try some quality winter tires and weight in the back this winter and see how it goes.
Check out the Blizzak DM-Z3 tires on tirerack. They have them on closeout in 265/75/16 and 265/70/16 right now. I just snagged a set. They are made for trucks/suvs as well. So hopefully they aren't like riding on marshmallows as some winter tires are.
 

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I've got to disagree with this a bit...had an S10, 4cyl, 2wd and it was horrible in the winter, worse than the tbird I had before it (and that was with 50 gallons of sand in the bed...easily 5-600#). used to have to blow through any stop sign that was on a hill or I couldnt make it up the hill (bad because I lived on a hill with a stop sign 1/3 the way up). this truck is what put me in a nissan in the first place (D21, man I loved that truck).

As for 4wd, starts easier, pulls you around corners better, and you better believe that it can stop you better (well, in a manual anyway, downshifting is way better than brakes, once ABS kicks in you're fawked). that said, you still cant be stupid and still have to drive the conditions.

I'll as the qualifier here that I add everytime someone asks how BFG AT's are in snow...depends on the snow. dry they may be ok but wet sticky stuff they clog and slide more than any other AT I've ever owned.
I have no problem agreeing to disagree with you. I stated my experience, you stated yours, they were different. Doesn't make either one right or wrong.
 

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My dad used to drive a '88 Ford Ranger Manual 2wd with regular street tires in Central NY winters. He'd just throw about 4-500 lbs of sand in the back and head to town. It was slow to start sometimes but as long as you drive smart it was fine.
 

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I've had 3 2WD trucks. 97 Ranger, 94 S10, and my 04 XE. Out of the three, the S10 did the worse. My XE got around damn good. The only reason I got my 06 SE was for pulling my old jet ski out of certain ramps and I wanted an auto again. I never had a problem getting anywhere in my XE and they're one-wheel wonders. 2WD Nismo with about 3 sand bags in the back and you'll go anywhere once you hit that magic button, only in the snow of couse though. My SE will go damn near anywhere if I got my quad in the back in 2WD, it's about 500 or so pounds. Maybe get a set of chains just incase you get questioned on it. I dont know what they run but just get some cheap ones if there is such a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
2WD Nismo with about 3 sand bags in the back and you'll go anywhere once you hit that magic button, only in the snow of couse though.
I know it's been covered a million times but when driving with the locker it' generally advised not to exceed 10 or so mph right? I've used mine a lot sand and on gravel bars at low speeds but am just trying to figure out its application in the snow.

I'm thinking winter tires and some weight in the rear and careful driving will get me just about anywhere on the major highways (80, 50, 5, 88) when they are open and I'll probably end up using the locker on the slower surface roads into the staging areas and resorts.

Thanks for all the help so far.
 

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I know it's been covered a million times but when driving with the locker it' generally advised not to exceed 10 or so mph right? I've used mine a lot sand and on gravel bars at low speeds but am just trying to figure out its application in the snow.

.

Using the locker on slippery roads is disastrous, so don't rely on that feature.

Best thing going is the truck's weight and ABLS. I never add weight to the bed and manage just fine, using the stock tires.
 

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I've got snow 6months a year up here. You should be fine with a little weight in over the back wheels, but my biggest concern in winter driving is stopping the truck.
An earlier post from a member offered up Blizzaks. These winter tires rule for our driving conditions in Ontario, lots of us use this brand. Order up 4 of these badboys and you shouldnt have any problem ... starting or stopping ..

d-mo
 
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