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Re: Quattro Digest V1 #467

 >The biggest problem with driving in snow is that we don't do it enough
 >to build a knowledge base.  Have you tried practicing in a snow/ice
 >covered parking lot ?  I just did this again last weekend.  With decent tires 
 >you should be able to maintain power through a turn without losing the 
 >backend, although I routinely produced a drift if I tried, and yes snow tires
 >do help, but I won't venture how much since I haven't driven one of the 
 >better all seasons in quite a while.

Here is what I found out by "playing" in an empty parking lot covered 
with about 3" of fresh snow earlier this winter. I spent almost 2h 
exploring traction limits of my car ('87 5000 TQ w/ Nokia Hakka 10 
snow tires) and noticed the following:

1. With both diff's unlocked, the rear end brakes loose when going
in a circle (30-40 yd dia.) at constant power (speed). It is even 
easier to get the tail out under power-on conditions.

2. With center diff locked, the car is more neutral, i.e. it is not as
easy to get it's tail out as in 1.

3. With both diffs locked, it is difficult to produce oversteer even under
power-on conditions. The car pretty much goes where you want it to go. 

I have to admit that I have difficulty explaining these observations. 
Obviously, this is based on a very limited experience under particular 
conditions, so take it with a grain of salt.

Just for comparison, I later took my fwd Toyota appliance out on the same
parking lot. The difference was day and night! I could hardly get it to
move and once it was moving I had no control over its direction or
orientation: tail first, sideways, ... Granted, Toyota has El Cheapo 
brand of tires, but still, there was no contest.

Ljubisa (stevanov@crd.ge.com)
`87 5000 TQ