Snow Driving: Comments for those with 'lockers'

robert_a_dupree at robert_a_dupree at
Wed Dec 4 13:48:53 EST 2002

Although the volume of those of us equip'd with the old-style lockers are
dwindling as years go by; I say if you do have them, USE THEM.
Simple rule of thumb.

Lock the center when: conditions are less than optimal.
  Explanation: given the increased tendancy for the car to want to travel
in a straight line, and the brake force distribution improvements while
using Center-lock I suggest using the center lock whenever things aren't
peachy keen.  Rain, Fog, Snow or worse all get Center-Lock immediately.  I
will even run center-lock in heavy unpredictable traffic.  In a lane change
emergency proceedure the understeer is hardly noticable, but the braking
immediately thereafter certainly is improved.  It's there.  Why not use it.

Add rear-lock when:  conditions are downright scary, or you're stuck.
  Explanation: I find that rear lock for me is used a great deal less.
However in heavy slush conditions it's a god-given advantage.  The vehicle
wants to track straight, reguardless of the 'crap-in-path' factor.  Turning
is noticably impacted however in the same emergency avoidance manuever, I
would rather have it on then off when  the conditions are that bad.

Gen II Quattros:  I don't know what works best with the torsen/rear-locker
setup.  I do know that Dave H. runs this setup in his Coupe and found that
by changing the electronics to allow him to run rear locked at higher
speeds was something that vastly improved his enjoyment of the Coupe while
at Steamboat.

Advanced Techniques:  Left Foot Braking is a must.  Diff lock management is
a must.  Understanding you vehicle is a must.  Go to a winter school.
Listen to what you instructors tell you.  Enjoy the weekend.  Try
variations and see what happens.  You'll be an immensely more confident
driver as a result.

All of the above is simply my opinion, and what the hell do I know....  : )
Practice, Practice, Practice.  Seat-time rules!

Rob Dupree
     84 UrQ
     97 4Runner Ltd (w/center lock-up, and a rear locker)
     77 Dodge Colt Gpr 2 Club Rally (2wd can be very fun in snow!)

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