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Location: Springfield, PA

Saturday, February 06, 2010

4WD Nostalgia



Lots and lots of snow. Something like two feet, more with drifts. I shoveled a lot today. And my truck is thoroughly stuck at an odd angle in the driveway.

I have to keep reminding people that my Ford Ranger, while quite nice, is not 4-wheel drive.

This is one of those times when I really miss my old Jeep Wrangler. One of the last of the two-stick manual transmissions, it had a second shift stick for controlling the 4-wheel drive. As I understand it, the Wranglers they're making now have a push-button to switch into 4WD. Bleh. Gimme the old brute mechanics.
With 4-wheel low- and high-speed options, available in reverse as well as the 5-speed, you could manage something approaching 100% control over that Jeep's transmissions in all their permutations. I could pop into neutral while moving, engage the 4-wheel high, and ease into 4-wheel control at most any speed; that move got me out of more than one icy road spin. And in the 4-wheel low ratio, first gear could find and grab the slightest traction.

In short, no way would my old Jeep have skewed like the Ranger did backing out of a snowy driveway.

There are two modes in which I miss that old Jeep. In fair weather when riding in the open would feel great, and in wretched weather when the power and control would feel, well, powerful and in control.

But push-button 4-wheel drive? Might just as well get a Subaru.


2 Comments:

Blogger -- Jolie said...

My mother has a Subaru Forester. But I don't think she reads your blog. ;-)

4:31 PM  
Blogger Greg! said...

Subarus are great. The Forester would be on my short list if I were shopping for a 4WD. I assume you can get at least the main shift as a manual transmission...

10:15 PM  

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