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I will be needing to drive in Minneapolis snow this winter..

This is a discussion on I will be needing to drive in Minneapolis snow this winter.. within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I am relocating to Minnesota metro and I no longer own a 4wd. I once owned a 94 Z28 with ...

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    Junior Member tekkauto's Avatar
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    Mystic Teal
    1999 Formula WS6

    I will be needing to drive in Minneapolis snow this winter..

    I am relocating to Minnesota metro and I no longer own a 4wd. I once owned a 94 Z28 with 6spd and no traction control. That car was completely worthless in the snow. Now I own a 99 Formula WS6 with automatic and traction control. Does anyone have any expirience with this setup? I HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS and I will not sell this car. Snow tires are in the budget, but another vehicle is not and I don't have parking space for 2 vehicles. Does anyone have anyone else drive this kind of car in the winter in the midwest with any success?

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    I was born and raised in northern MN, and I could not even imagine trying to drive these cars in that. Try 400 pounds of sand in the trunk, and remove three spark plugs? But beyond the constant spinning the other reason we all had winter beaters is the constant body damage. Snowbanks, salt,2 mph sliding unstoppable fender Benders.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    besides above, have some kitty litter for the rear wheels to help get out of being stuck.....good luck

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    Member initechpeter's Avatar
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    Good luck, but stated above. These cars weren't built for winter driving.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    I drove mine in the winter for a couple years granted this is VA and not MN so winter isn't really bad here. All I did was put a lot of sand bags in the back which helped significantly with traction. I bought another car after that to drive in the winter.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 11-13-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I drove ours in the snow for years through the late 90's up to about 2007 when I moved West. They do just about as well as any other rear wheel drive car will with the right preparation. I simply kept a couple of kitty litter bags in the back for weight and tossed on the studded snow tires, darn thing would go just about anywhere.
    My only complaint are 2 things. In the really deep snow it didn't have enough ground clearance (stock ride height) and the front air dam would start pushing snow making things difficult if you had more than 6" of snow. The other complaint is fixable. I don't like wide tires in the snow and the front tires would have worked better if they were skinnier like the studded snow tires I installed in the rear. If I had my way I would have installed a different pair of front tires as well.

    If you think these cars are bad, try driving a V-8 Monza and/or Vega (I drove both) with a 406/4-speed combo. They were my winter beaters for years as well. Short wheel base and about 2800 lbs. They were squirly in the summer time let alone 8" of snow. Talk about fun

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    That's funny. My first car was a Monza. It only had the V6, and it didn't make it through the first summer. It leaked oil BAD. I had quite a few rear wheel drive cars in MN, and the v6 tbird was the best rear wheel drive. I think that is because it was so low on power. The best car I had for snow up there was a Probe. It was turbo, but as long as I stayed out of the turbo, it would go through snow pretty decent. Granted I got stuck a few times, but all in all, it was pretty decent. Even a pickup truck is virtually worthless without ballast. Put a load of sand and river rock in the bed, you are golden. That way, WHEN you get stuck, you have some traction aiding material. If you want the absolute best, load your sled in the back, keep your snowmobile suit behind the seat. You get stuck, simply put on suit, drive the sled off the back, head home. Deal with the truck later. Make sure you put the sled in backwards...

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I drove my 1996 3.8L Camaro in Chicago/NWI winters for a decade and never once got stuck or wrecked it. Didn't have snow tires on it either. Finally sold it in 2010. Had 209,XXX miles on it when I sold it and got it in 1999 with 22,000 miles. Shouldn't be a problem with decent tires and a little weight in the back.
    It's on jackstands.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Member Badass WS6's Avatar
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    People act like its hard to drive these cars in snow or rain. It's not. Just be smart and give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going.

    I've owned two dd LS1's over the past 7 years. Previous was an A4 '99 Z28. Drove it year round. Wet or dry.

    Currently, an A4 '02 WS6. Yet to put it through the paces of snowy weather yet, though.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Only time I had trouble was when the area in front of my driveway started to freeze and became ice rather than snow or snow that was so compacted and smooth it might as well be ice. This situation became known as ice burnouts lol. The solution was I poured ice salt on the area in front of my drive way and it became a non-issue for me.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    No vehicle has traction on ice.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Which is why it wouldn't matter what vehicle you are driving at that point.

  14. #14
    Waiting on the Tree transamtom's Avatar
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    My DD was a 94TA in 96 4 snows and it was good.

    Bought a 95 V6 in 99 so I could park the TA it was great.

    Bought a 2001 V6 for my DD and it was great to,I just sold it.

    My new DD is a 2010 2SS/RS A6 4 snows and all will be well.

    OP try to drive after the plows have been out if possible and things should be good.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    With all being said, how many of you have experienced a Minnesota winter? 170 inches of snow and -30? I have personally seen -75. There isn't simply "some ice"on the road. It can cake up 4" thick on the entire road for weeks at a time. Not trying to be rude, only to put it in perspective. A survival kit is a must. Food, blankets, shovel, candles, water,a coffee can or two. Getting stuck just ten miles outside if town in a blizzard without survival gear can be a death sentence...

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az gt eater View Post
    With all being said, how many of you have experienced a Minnesota winter? 170 inches of snow and -30? I have personally seen -75. There isn't simply "some ice"on the road. It can cake up 4" thick on the entire road for weeks at a time. Not trying to be rude, only to put it in perspective. A survival kit is a must. Food, blankets, shovel, candles, water,a coffee can or two. Getting stuck just ten miles outside if town in a blizzard without survival gear can be a death sentence...

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    I put my cars away for the winter and bought a Jeep. No problems here.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    I remember a few times I got stuck real good in the winter. Maybe some of you will get a laugh out of this. Some may wince, as you have been there before.

    Funniest one. I worked grave yard at a metal shop loading trucks. I got out around 2 am and am heading home. I was driving down the interstate, and was bout to get off at my exit. As I was turning into the turn lane, I saw a semi coming onto the interstate on the opposite side. When he actually got onto the interstate, he was unable to turn. So, he kept going straight, and ran into the median. Well, the median was about 4' of hardpacked snow. The plows had cut it straight up and down, and it was HARD! He hit it, and the whole truck and trailer immediately turned on its side. It then slid onto the median on its side. I pulled over right away, and ran up to the cab. When I got to the cab, the driver was standing on his pass window talking on the phone. I knocked on the windshield, and he held up his finger to tell me to hold on. I threw him the Alaskan Good Luck sign, and went bakc to my car and left his a$$. I figured I wasn't going to sit out in -20 degree weather and let him finish his convo.

    Walking home in a blizzard.
    I was 17, and we had a big storm rolling in. My buddy had a boat. It was an Olds? I can't remember what it was, but it was 47' long, 4 doors, and you could park a motorcycle in the trunk. We decided to go out in the storm and go cruising around. I lived in Glyndon MN, and we ended up right outside Felton MN. The blowing snow was so bad, I couldn't see the road. I had one of my buddies walk on the road to show me where it was. He walked off into the ditch without knowing it, and I followed him, getting us hopelessly stuck. I am talking about a drainage ditch. 20' deep stuck. We spent the night in the car. We were not prepared, so we did not bring any survival equipment with. And, that included a shovel. Now, we were smart enough to understand asphyxiation, so we shut the car off. It was so cold, that we breathed into our jackets to keep warm all night. It was a sleepless night, even for a Minnesotan. Dawn broke, and I got out of the car and started walking. I got about 1/4 mile down the road, and my two buddies caught up with me. They asked me where I was going. I told them "home". And kept walking. We walked 14 miles home. Over snow drifts 16' tall. Luckily, we had the wind at our back. If it had been at our front, different story... Now, when snow drifts are on the road, that means the snowplows haven't been out. If you have ever been out in a snowstorm that a MN snowplow driver won't go out in, you know how bad it was. When I got home, my mom asked where I had been. I told her the story, and she asked me why I walked home. My reply was pretty basic. " I was hungry". And, I was REALLY hungry.

    Second semi driver.

    I was on the highway which is almost like an interstate. Highway 10. Just outside Hawley MN. It was so cold, a witch's tit would have has turtle-itis. I was cruising along in my Ford Probe, and I passed a semi parked on the side of the highway. The driver was under the truck with a flashlight by the gas tanks. Now, I don't know who all knows this, but diesel fuel will gel when it gets cold enough. My first thought was that his fuel had gelled. Being as how it was about 5 miles into town, I thought of turning around and checking on him. Mind you, it was prob about -50 with the windchill. I was a crossover in the median, and turned into it. There was about 2' of snow in the median, so I punched the little turbo 4 when I turned in. I found out pretty quickly what had happened for road construction on this crossover the last summer. They had run asphalt for the aprons, but did not fill in the middle section. SO, that left a 3-4" dip after the apron ended. My tires made it just into this dip, the front end hit the snowbank, and it stopped. Stopped Right There stopped. A little history with this car. I had an accident with it earlier in the year, and the radiator electric fans did not run. Car won't cool itseld sitting still. Also, the heater fan did not run. Again, not a problem if the car is moving. But, it isn't moving now. SO, car is overheating, no heat coming inside the cabin, and it is after all, about -50. And, that car is STUCK about 5 miles from town. I accessed the situation, and realized I had to get that car back on the road, or a bad situation is going to develop. I ended up going around to the front end of the car, and lifting it off its suspension enough so that I can push it back. Just the front end, and just BARELY. I swear I left fingernail marks in the hood and front quarter panel trying to keep the car from rolling back into the groove while I pulled the e-brake. I got in, reversed out of there, and left the semi driver on his own..

    Farmhouse snow drift.

    Same car that same winter. I was cruisng along after/during another big storm. I was a few miles from home, and passed by close to a farmhouse about a quarter mile from the road. Again, anybody who knows this will be nodding their heads yes in a few seconds. If you have a strong, constant wind form one direction, and it is snowing/blowing snow, it will leave a hard packed drift. I will tell you how hardpacked that drift was in a second. So, I am cruisng along about 60, and I hit this area where for almost a half mile, you absolutely CANNOT see the road. I am thinking DRIFT, so I punch it. Yeah, that got me about 100'. Car stops dead in its tracks. I hit it in 1st, and reverse. Nothing. I get out, and the whole front end of the car is about two feet in the air. Holy shit, I think. I break out the shovel, and dig. And dig,dig,dig,dig. I finally get all the snow from under the car, so the wheels are touching the ground. Then, I dig a runway so I can get out of this snowbank. The snow was so hardpacked, that you didn't simply scoop it up and toss it aside. No, you had to cut it with the shovel and lift the chunk out of the way. It is back breaking work for sure. Middle of the night, no one to help. I dig out a good sized runway, prob 200' long. I get in the car, back it up till I hit snow drift behind me, and punch it. I hit second,and it is clawing and chewing. I hit the end of the area I had cleared, and the car just STOPS. I try to move it again, nothing. I know what is going to happen this time. I get out, and sure as the sun coming up in the morning, it is about 2' in the air......again. I dig it out, again.... And dig more runway, again.... This second time, when I backed up to where I had started the first time and punched it, I was able to hit third. I made it up on top of the snow and managed to get out onto clear road. What a relief.

    I have a few more stories, like the time that I was in the pass seat of my GF's car getting some oral attention on a backroad in the winter and a snowmobiler hit that car, or the time I barely was able to not kill my best friend on black ice. He was in a different car than me. But, those storied are for a different time.

    I just want the OP to realize what he is getting himself into, and the rest of you to realize that MN winters just don't compare to the rest of the country. Unless you are from Alaska, or North Dakota.

  19. #19
    Waiting on the Tree transamtom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az gt eater View Post
    With all being said, how many of you have experienced a Minnesota winter? 170 inches of snow and -30? I have personally seen -75. There isn't simply "some ice"on the road. It can cake up 4" thick on the entire road for weeks at a time. Not trying to be rude, only to put it in perspective. A survival kit is a must. Food, blankets, shovel, candles, water,a coffee can or two. Getting stuck just ten miles outside if town in a blizzard without survival gear can be a death sentence...
    ..

    I lived north of there in Winnipeg Manitoba and Kenora Ontario for 10 years I know what -30 feels like.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I've hunted in -30 degree weather for hours on end.

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