I have a 95 Ranger XLT/Supercab with a 2.3L and 2WD. I am wondering if I can convert the rear-end to a "Posi" type rear-end? "Posi" referring to both rear wheels being turned by the driveshaft. Snow season has arrived, and as usual, I'm having serious traction difficulties. Yes, I have tried sandbags. The sandbags are a help, but not much of one. I have good Mud/Snow tires with plenty of tread. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Posi-Traction is not the answer. Unless you are a stunt driver posi on snow is tricky. When you turn a corner the outside wheels travel further than the inside. If you lock them up, the rear wheels will push you right through the corner, or you have to risk losing control and stab the throttle for a power slide-OK on dry pavement, but not so on ice. I live in central Alberta Canada, and we get snow as well so I speak from experience. The answer is more weight, or maybe studded tires. You drive a light truck with lots of power, so traction comes from weight. Try building a frame to cover the floor with a plywood top and fill it with rocks or concrete you'll gain a couple hundred lbs which is probably closer to what you need. 50lbs worth of sand works in in the trunk of a Cavalier, but your Ranger actually has power.
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my 89 with 2.9, has a factory ls with 4:10's.... the ls is the worse thing in snow... it's great, if your a good driver, ans always going straight..... when you try and turn when it's slippery, you either go striaght, or spin out... my wife won't drive in the snow because of it, and i'm very carefull of where i go, and how i drive it.... normally, if it's snowy, i take my 78 f-100 with no weight and cooper snow tires and go where ever i need to.... the ranger stays in the yard till the roads clean up...
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It can help since you will be driving both tires but the downside is fishtailing. I have an open rear in my 3.0 Ranger and just put 250lbs in the bed over the axle and don't have any problems in the snow, never had a problem with the 1988 LX 5.0 Stange with a posi either.
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I had a '66 Mustang with a transplanted 9" traction-loc. I could make it fishtail if the snow and ice when I wanted to. My '85 Bronco with the factory limited-slip rear would fishtail in the snow and ice when I wanted it to. My '88 Ranger with the open rear would fishtail in the snow and ice when I wanted it to. My current '95 F150 with limited-slip rear will fishtail in the snow and ice when I want it to. Please note, I said "when I want". Point is, any vehicle will slide all over the raod under icy conditions if not driven properly. However, driven properly, most vehicles will handle at least acceptably in poor conditions.
Put some weight in the back, and put on a good set of snow tires on all four corners. Use studded tires if conditions are really poor. Just remember, you are not going to be able to drive like the road is dry no matter what kind of rear end or tires you have if there is snow or ice. Keep in mind the tires may not actually be touching the road at all. Use very slow, soft pressure on the gas AND brake pedal, and with a little practiceand patience, everything should be fine.
My mom has a 2000 mustang with positive traction. In the mustang you can turn the traction control off which would make me think that would turn the rear into an open differential. But if you got stuck you could turn it on to try to get out. Just a thought.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON 24-Dec-02 AT 01:33 PM (EST)]Traction control has to do with the brakes not open/ls/locked
Also the ls helps because you dont get stuck on hills with one wheel turning. Yes if i step on the gas in a turn i can keep going straight. The point is if driven correctly a LS will do better on snow than an open. I drove a tbird with the open rearend and it was horrid(with snow tires). My new ranger has crappy goodyear rt/s and it goes alot better than the tbird ever did. Of course if it gets really bad thats what the 4wd is for.. but i have messed around to see how bad it handles in 2wd and was quite susprised by how well it handled.
My 98 4.0L 4x4 5spd has LS, and I have no problem in the snow/ice whatsoever. The 4wd helps, but even in 2wd I can keep full control when I want, and never have problems turning. And I can spin both easily WHEN I WANT. I agree with everyone who said that LS is better in snow if you are a good driver. I also have a canopy that weighs somewhere around 180lbs and had a couple hundred pounds in back, which probably made a big difference also. I did slip once in 2wd going up a hill on ice, but I just downshifted to third and hit the gas. Let off REAL quick when the back started to slide around. If I was in 4wd, or wasn't agressive, it wouldn't have happened. Any vehicle is only as good as the person driving it. If you're careful, LS will give you more traction... Just my thoughts...
Brian J Wilson
1998 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 4.0L 5spd SuperCab/ Off-Road w/LS
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Find a limited slip rear end for a Ranger or Bronco II. BII will be a bit wider, but, almost a bolt in affair depending on driveshaft. The cheapest thing is to put some weight in the back and buy tries just for the snow. Check out the "green diamond" tires here:
For less than $100 for (2) tires, mounting, balancing, and sand at Home Depot you would have a serious improvement in traction within a week.
Then shop around for a good used axle or pop a LS in there for about $500 ($250 for the unit/$250 for the install).
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I had a 94 2.3 5 speed ext cab 373 gears open dif with 2 bags of sand and walmart liberator tires it was great in the smow and Ice. If I didnt stop in the middle of a big hill no problem. Gave the truck to my son.
I now have a 98 4.0l 4x4 auto 4.10 limited slip and the 2wd the 94 is better in the snow and Ice.
1998 Ranger 4x4, 4.0 offroad. This is my 3rd. Ranger 88,94 and 98.
>I had a 94 2.3 5 speed ext cab 373 gears open dif with 2
>bags of sand and walmart liberator tires it was great in the
>smow and Ice. If I didnt stop in the middle of a big hill no
>problem. Gave the truck to my son.
>I now have a 98 4.0l 4x4 auto 4.10 limited slip and the 2wd
>the 94 is better in the snow and Ice.
That would be because of the fatter tires and greatly increased torque.
Skinny tires and low torque are are actually the best bet for snow. The skinny tires dig down quick to a solid surface, and the low torque helps keep the 'human' element out of the picture
That's only good up to a certain point, though. At some point (depth of snow) I think really good Off-Road tires (i.e. BFG All-Terrain KO's) will take over and do better due to the wider contact patch.
Learning how to control that 238 ft/lbs torque in the 4 Litre is the best thing for these situations.
>Posi-Traction is not the answer. Unless you are a stunt
>driver posi on snow is tricky. When you turn a corner the
>outside wheels travel further than the inside. If you lock
>them up, the rear wheels will push you right through the
>corner, or you have to risk losing control and stab the
>throttle for a power slide-OK on dry pavement, but not so on
>ice. I live in central Alberta Canada, and we get snow as
>well so I speak from experience. The answer is more weight,
>or maybe studded tires. You drive a light truck with lots
>of power, so traction comes from weight. Try building a
>frame to cover the floor with a plywood top and fill it with
>rocks or concrete you'll gain a couple hundred lbs which is
>probably closer to what you need. 50lbs worth of sand works
>in in the trunk of a Cavalier, but your Ranger actually has
Though I haven't extensively tested it yet (not enough snow yet), the Torsen Limited Slip seems to be a BIG improvement to me in how it works in these conditions.
Torsens actually free up during turning and it seems to help this turn-in situattion greatly over standard limited slips.
If you do absolutely want a posi rear end there is a very easy way to do it. One is to simply welf your spider gears together but if the weld breaks you are screwed. The best way although not very legal is to order a "Mini-Spool" Mini-spools are usually ordered for dirt racing and lock the rear axles together all the time. You can order them from Summit or Jegs and if they ask it is for your "dirt Car" Remember this locks the axles together all the time so you will have ultimate posi track all the time. A mini spool usually runs about 30 dollars or so
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