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TJ in winter?


 
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hawaii4.0
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Joined: 14 Aug 2005

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:47 pm    Post subject: TJ in winter? Reply with quote

I am looking for a tj to replace my xj. Contrary to my username, i do not live in hawaii but rather Canada. Winters here are long and cold... I am wondering how tjs (and other swb jeeps) perform in the winter, is it going to be too cold with the soft top? how is the swb in icy/snowy conditions? Can i engage the 4X4 on pavement? On my xj with selec trac i just use the full time setting and it get's me through fine but i do not beleive the tj has this option, i would not want to be driving in rwd in really harsh on-road conditions nor do i want to wreck the t-case. Also, how are big mud terrain tires in the snow/ice? would i be better off putting on some snow tires. Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions.
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rovertmutt
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Location: Fredericksburg

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hawaii4.0,

This is just my personal experience and opinion, hopefully it'll help. I live in Virginia, which doesn't quite snow alot here. I've got a 2000 TJ with a soft top and during the winter it's cold to start with until my heater kicks on. Rear passengers in my jeep tend to be a bit chilly (at least when I had back seats).

As for mut tires, I've got 33" BFGoodrich MTRs. Personally, I think they suck in snow but great on everything else (never driven on sand tho).

That's about all I can say as winters here tend to be mild in comparison to Canada.

-Trevor.
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1fox2go
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Location: Fishersville, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rode with a friend in his Tj this past winter and i actually got hot...i only had a sweatshirt on as a jacket

anywho thats me from va not as cold as you but i think you being warm will be ok as for harsh road conditions you can run 4wd on the road when you need to but if you get to a road where it looks pretty clear you can always put it back in 2wd untill you need to again
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Code3TJ
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Uzbekistan

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had mine in various snowstorms including a blizzard crossing Utah and Nevada and I agree, it's chilly at first but heats up very fast. When I was by myself, I tried draping a blanket over the roll bar behind my head to try to make it easier on the heater and nearly cooked myself. Wink
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Keithtj
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Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Kentucky and our winters are mild compared to yours, but last year was one of the worst winters that we have had in a long time. Very cold and alot of single digit temps. I usually end up riding with my heater off for the most part. It gets hot, really hot in about 10 minutes. Sometimes not even that long. The TJ's heater works very well, I can't speak for older jeeps though, no experience with them.
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IBTJn
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Location: Just Outside of Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We get similar weather to Canada...at least for awhile. I can tell you first hand driving a TJ in ice is no fun. However, it is doable without question. Snow isn't bad, though. For your descriptions of having an XJ with selectrac for as long as you have, I'd say you'd better plan on learning some new driving techniques if you are going to get a SWB. Which by the way, I'm referring strickly to TJ's. YJ's and CJ's have many different components, driving characteristics, etc. to the TJ. To cover them all in a single post...well, I wouldn't even try.

And yes...you are correct about the transfer case on the SWB's. They only come Command Trac (part time). Not a problem if you are willing to learn some different driving skills...but it's not an XJ...nor does it handle like one.

On the flip side of the coin, you might consider looking at the Unlimited? Still only available (as far as I know) in command trac...but a slightly longer wheel base. That extra wheel base would probably help the handling some in fowl weather conditions.

Wink
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WhatWasIThinkin
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Epping New Hampsha

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in NH where we get some cold winters and plenty of icey driving.

The TJ will keep you warm enough. Both hard and soft top are well inslated and the newer HVAC systems work just fine.

As far as winter driving goes, the TJ works fine there also. The key to snow is narrow tires. Im running 12.5x33's now but my next set will be 10.5x33's. Dont worry about the tcase in 4hi while driving in winter. Its easy enough to shift back to 2hi if the roads are dry. I use 4hi alot when the conditions need it and have never had a problem.
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1fox2go
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Location: Fishersville, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The grands heater is hot too and dont take long to heat up....must be a jeep thing
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Keithtj
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhatWasIThinkin wrote:
The key to snow is narrow tires. Im running 12.5x33's now but my next set will be 10.5x33's.


I've always gone by the rule the wider the foot print the better the traction. I air down in the snow and don't have a problem at all
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Code3TJ
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wide tire is less successful cutting through the snow and is more likely to float on the surface. Wink
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WhatWasIThinkin
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Epping New Hampsha

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code3TJ wrote:
A wide tire is less successful cutting through the snow and is more likely to float on the surface. Wink


Correct.

Not that airing down may not help some off road in certain snow conditions, like a few inches of it. But Ive seen up close and personal during offroad excursions in winter that the wide tire Jeeps just dont get threw as easily as the narrow Jeeps. The narrow tires cut down threw the snow till they can grab some traction, whereas the wide tires want to climb up and pack the snow into a tractionless mess.

IF the going is icey, then yes airing down a wide tire will certainley work better than a narrow one.

On road when airing down isnt an option narrow always wins driving in snow.
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mucker111
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Joined: 23 Jun 2005

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Canada snowbelt too....have a TJ and have no real problems.

You do have a pretty hefty engine for such a SWB vehicle....so don't goose the pedal in the winter and you'll be looking in the direction you want to go.

When you're going through some iffy spots...just kick the clutch in and let it coast through (engine braking/braking/gassing will send you flying!).

As far as heat, I was lucky to have underground parking (yes the soil defrosts enough up here to dig a bit) and had the luxury of a "not so cold" startup in the morning....but from work, once I was rolling, the old girl warmed up pretty quick.
Luckily for me, I have a hard top for winter but have been in a blizzard withthe soft top and I just had to keep the heater going more than if I had a hard top!
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lawrence914
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 97 TJ with a hardtop. I grew up in Wisconsin, but now live in Kansas. In Kansas we seem to see more ice than snow during the winters. I typically wrap a couple bags of sand and a bag of salt in plastic for the extra weight on the rear axle. No problems driving or with heat, even with my anemic 4-banger.

The key to winter driving is having the wisdom to slow down, regardless of what you're driving.

-Lawrence
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