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Old 12-10-2013, 12:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Studded Tires on a RWD Truck

I have a set of studs that I will begrudgingly be installing on my truck. They are a smaller diameter than my current tires and i really dont want to lose the highway mpgs from running them. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to run studs just on the front end, as my truck is RWD. My logic is that i would have increased steering and braking performance, though my acceleration and rear grip would remain the same. I have not been in a situation where i couldnt get somewhere due to rear grip, and dont anticipate having that issue.

Just wondering if anyone had some expertise on the subject...

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Old 12-10-2013, 01:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've run studded tires for years on the rear only. With adequate weight for traction, they will get through most everything. They really help with engine-braking too, which is important on snow and ice. Of course, the weather conditions that require studs will naturally hit FE a lot more than the smaller tire diameter will.
On dry or clean pavement, I imagine that having studs on the front might actually hurt performance. They will certainly change the steering dynamics, especially at higher speeds...
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etamax View Post
I've run studded tires for years on the rear only. With adequate weight for traction, they will get through most everything. They really help with engine-braking too, which is important on snow and ice. Of course, the weather conditions that require studs will naturally hit FE a lot more than the smaller tire diameter will.
On dry or clean pavement, I imagine that having studs on the front might actually hurt performance. They will certainly change the steering dynamics, especially at higher speeds...
You are confirming most everything else i have heard. I am looking for some studless tires in OEM size. If i can find some I wont hesitate to put them on all four corners.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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All four is a great way to go. The studs are a lot more aggressive, but much of the time they allow me to get to work without resorting to chains, which is a big plus. I should have put mine on by now, a lot of our roads around here have about an inch of packed snow since the plowing prescriptions are cut way back this year.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan01xl View Post
I have a set of studs that I will begrudgingly be installing on my truck. They are a smaller diameter than my current tires and i really dont want to lose the highway mpgs from running them. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to run studs just on the front end, as my truck is RWD. My logic is that i would have increased steering and braking performance, though my acceleration and rear grip would remain the same. I have not been in a situation where i couldnt get somewhere due to rear grip, and dont anticipate having that issue.

Just wondering if anyone had some expertise on the subject...
Having a significant difference in grip front to rear can lead to some handling problems that could get you in a an accident. Good studded, winter tires up front and standard tires (all-seasons or summer tires) in the rear tend to cause the rear to slide while braking or turning. A decent demonstration of that is seen here:


You'll have similar behavior in the RWD truck, but I didn't easily find any video of that. The RWD videos I found all put the winter tires in the rear, but still had problems (greatly reduced braking and severe understeer in corners).

All four is the way to go.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, I did all four and have needed them the last couple days. I am going to put back on my all seasons now that the weather is warming up. I dropped from 35-37 mpg on my commute to 30-32 and don't like it.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll reiterate the point Darcane made about placing the better traction tires on the rear of the truck. The unweighted rear of a truck is already prone to stepping out and causing severe oversteer. This happened to me recently, and I had to put the truck into neutral to get the rear end to hook back up with the front. It was extremely dangerous, and generally more dangerous than than having understeer.

Put the tires with best traction on the rear of a truck, but ideally put the proper tire for the conditions on all 4 corners.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, put the studded tires on all fours. But don't blame the tires for the total mpg loss. You're pushing through snow and that takes more gas no matter what tire you run. It's colder, so you probably let the truck idle longer to warm up... needlessly. You're probably driving slower and not at optimal mpg speed and also taking longer to get wherever it is you're going... not to mention the much slower city driving and idling.

And remember... Winter driving is fun!

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Old 12-16-2013, 09:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by star_deceiver View Post
Yes, put the studded tires on all fours. But don't blame the tires for the total mpg loss. You're pushing through snow and that takes more gas no matter what tire you run. It's colder, so you probably let the truck idle longer to warm up... needlessly. You're probably driving slower and not at optimal mpg speed and also taking longer to get wherever it is you're going... not to mention the much slower city driving and idling.

And remember... Winter driving is fun!

I did some driving with the studded tires on in normal winter weather after the snow and ice went away and before I put my all seasons back on. By comparison at highway speeds I am down a solid 3 mpgs.

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