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4X4 vs 2wd with locker?


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#1 ASUS

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:09 AM

hey guys, ...in my never-ending quest to get exactly what I want with out breaking the bank I've come to this dilemma:4x4 or 2wd with a locker. I was planning on getting the factory limited slip locker 4.10 rear end and run some 33s. Do you think I could drive out on the beach with this setup or would I stll need 4wd? I used to drive all over the beach in my 95 wrangler in 2wd...just for fun & because I could....but there is a big weight difference b/t a wrangler and a sierra 1500. I was running 31X10.5s on my jeep with no lift.

Keep in mind I'm trying to keep cost down....which would you do? Thanks---ASUS
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#2 Chris97K1500

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:27 AM

Around me, not much sand, but I've seen plenty of sloppy mud around the farm, from my experience, a 2wd with a locker isn't anywhere near the capabliities of a 4x4. Especially if that 4x4 isn't an open diff in the rear (G80 option on GM trucks). Offroad television on the Outdoor channel had a Toyota PreRunner (2wd Tacoma with a locker in the rear), it would not do very well in situations where they were going up hills, at the top, when the truck started to level out, the rear would just spin like crazy and the truck wouldn't move. No weight in the rear. Same truck, just 4x4 Tacoma (without a rear locker) made it up and over the hill with no effort. This show was filmed out around MOAB in Utah in sand. IMO, a 2WD truck with a locker (for use in offroad situations) is about as useful as a peeing section in a pool. Just my experiences, Chris
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#3 asilverblazer

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:16 PM

I agree no comparison. Especially in snow and mud.
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#4 ASUS

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 02:44 PM

ok, i'm not disagreeing.....as I do not know...BUT I thought the whole point of a locker is to LOCK the diff in so BOTH wheels turn. I was thinking of a limited slip with the locker capability. LS for the street and then if I needed to lock it in I could for offroad. But you are telling me a locker is no good?? Excuse my ignorance; but what's a open diff (a non-locker?) GM80 option you referred to? Thanks again for puttin up with a stupid person like me---ASUS

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#5 ASUS

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 02:46 PM

oh yea, will the 4.10 gears be enough for 33s or 305s???--- ASUS

#6 bob002500

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 04:16 PM

I have a 00 2500 4x4 and on my land we have alot of sand i have the g 80 option so its a locking diff. i can go fine in 2 wheel drive if i keep going at a constint speed but if i stop if usually just spins and sinks so u will probally need 4 wheel drive if its really sandy.

#7 asilverblazer

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 06:50 PM

An open diff is no locky one tire pushes the truck. Limited slip (G80 RPO code for factory installed limited slip) allows the tires to spin at different speeds for street but locks the wheels together for off road (its automatic and a long story). 4.10's would probably be fine for 33's
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#8 GlennRMK

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 07:01 PM

Stop debating and buy 4wd! You will not regret it.

A Wrangler weighs 3000 lbs about

A crew cab half ton is going to be 4500-5000. Big difference.

Sand varies a lot. Some you could drive on with a car. Some you need 4wd and some speed to make it through.

The G80 posi will lock the diff together, so you spin both tires. But, one spinning front and back is better then both spinning in the back.

But still get posi with 4wd.

And, if your going to run 33s, get 4.10s, IMO. I have 3.73s but run 32s.

You will regret buying a 2wd, for sure!

#9 snoman

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:03 AM

I agree no comparison. Especially in snow and mud.

I have seen some 2wd trucks go some amazing places and as far as snow, I have plowed snow for over 18 years and there are a lot of time I only use 2wd when clearing lots and I have even seen 2wd trucks with snow plows. A 2wd can do well here IF it is at least a 3/4 ton and properly ballasted and they can be a tank in snow without a plow with good rear tires and a little weight back there.
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#10 snoman

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:20 AM

Stop debating and buy 4wd! You will not regret it.

A Wrangler weighs 3000 lbs about

A crew cab half ton is going to be 4500-5000. Big difference.

Sand varies a lot. Some you could drive on with a car. Some you need 4wd and some speed to make it through.

The G80 posi will lock the diff together, so you spin both tires. But, one spinning front and back is better then both spinning in the back.

But still get posi with 4wd.

And, if your going to run 33s, get 4.10s, IMO. I have 3.73s but run 32s.

You will regret buying a 2wd, for sure!

Do not let them get you down, sand will be a bit iffy but with a good locker and some good tires and 300 to 500 lbs of ballast in the rear, it well surprize you. Most of the "magic" with a 4x4 P/U is that when it is empty, most of the weight is in the front and hence the big improvement. With a little ballasting for tuff conditions and a locker with good grippy tires it will do pretty good. I lived in Montana for a while in the 90's with my 4x4 burb and seen some unbelivable snow and cold and I rarely used 4x4 in it and never on the road. On gearing I would suggest 4.56's for a few reasons. One is that deeper gears give less chassis and axle housing torque twist and better traction. Two, you will have not low range and you want to be able to get all the torque you can to the ground when needed and three, it will make truck perkier and more fun to drive. If you live in a snowy area get some big studded snow tires for the rear and you WILL outperform 4x4 on icy roads that are not studded and not have truck trying to trade ends all of the time. I have a set for my wifes 2wd Cherokee and it is a little tank in snow and ice and very predictable too. It is funny because she is a teacher and a few friends where she worked bought used 4x4 grand cherokees a few years back and we had a icy winter and they sold their 4x4's after some good scares and went back to FWD cars and they cannot understand why my wife still has hers and it does so well on ice.
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#11 Blue-2001-Z71

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:02 PM

It's all about how soft is the sand. If it's fairly packed and you keep moving, you'll be fine with 2WD. I've driven a Coupe DeVille in some sand that should have sunk it, but it lived through it all. 4.10's with 33's will be just fine, I have 3.73's and will soon be getting 33's, but the truck still takes off great. For me, though, I like knowing that when I screw up and start to sink, I can hit the button and lock up all four wheels to pull myself out of anything. Also, as far as weight goes, my 1500 ext cab weighs in around 5300 lbs, which will sink in quick if you're not an expert (which I'm not). The ballast idea works wonders in snow and ice, but I've never personally tried it in sand or mud, might just help the rear end sink quicker.
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#12 PELICAN

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 10:49 PM

I would have to say go with the 4x4 I used to live in HI and I would air down the tires to about 17 PSI on 32" M/T's and as long as the truck was moving it was ok in 2wd but you would have be careful not to start digging in once you did stop and then started going again.
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#13 snoman

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 07:32 AM

It's all about how soft is the sand.  If it's fairly packed and you keep moving, you'll be fine with 2WD.  I've driven a Coupe DeVille in some sand that should have sunk it, but it lived through it all.  4.10's with 33's will be just fine, I have 3.73's and will soon be getting 33's, but the truck still takes off great.  For me, though, I like knowing that when I screw up and start to sink, I can hit the button and lock up all four wheels to pull myself out of anything.  Also, as far as weight goes, my 1500 ext cab weighs in around 5300 lbs, which will sink in quick if you're not an expert (which I'm not).  The ballast idea works wonders in snow and ice, but I've never personally tried it in sand or mud, might just help the rear end sink quicker.


You do not love your tranny or t-case very much if you run 33 on 3.73 gears in sand. You are clueless as to the added strain it adds to those items, especailly the tranny. In a 2wd truck with OD with 33's or so a 4.56 would be the ticket because he would have no low range and it would reduce tranny strain by about 25% (and increase wheel torque up to 25% and increase tranny life expectancy) over your magic 3.73 gears. I have never lost a t-case, tranny, engine or driveline component in 4x4's in over 30 years of driving them and I have really "worked" a few of them too, but then I do not use big tires and tall gears either and no aux coolers either.

Edited by snoman, 27 June 2004 - 07:33 AM.

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#14 Blue-2001-Z71

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 09:26 AM

33's on a truck DESIGNED to run tires 31.6" in diameter is hardly a tall tire. Even the speedo is off by only 3 mph or so. Likewise, I've never lost a component or burned a part up. And at least this way you can drive on a highway without suffering the 9 mpg that 4.56's and 33's will get you (I get 17-18 doing 70+).
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