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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

    Default 2WD with G80 locking diff vs 4WD

    Any opinions on whether a 2WD Sierra with a locking diff would be ok in 4-5 snowstorms/year of about 6" or so vs a full 4WD Sierra? Thanks

  2. #2


    properly weighted 2wd should do you ok. but you never know when you might get that 18' dumper.


    2011 GMC Sierra SLE 5.3 Z71 4X4 Stealth Gray Metallic / 2004 Chevy Impala LS 3.8 Cappuccino

    Tow mirrors - Diablew Tuned - Flowmaster Regular 40 - Ready Lift 2.5' lift - BFG LT A/T K/Os - Carr Light Wing - TruckLite LED lights - Optima Red Top - 50% Front Window Tint - Line-X bedliner - Airaid MIT - Tekonsha P2 - ARS Billet Grill - Fia custom fit seat covers

  3. #3
    Jr. Engineer Falcone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Toronto, Canada


    I had 4 solid concrete blocks in a 2x6 rack I made using the handy dandy slots in the bedliner. Had them sitting over the axel almost, just a C-hair behind and rarely put my truck in 4wd in the city/ on road. even when it was bad storms it would be fine unless it was just plain old black ice, then the 4x4 was needed.

    Just make sure you don't have crap tires on the back, cause you're puttin all your luck on 2 wheels gettin you through.
    2010 Sierra Nevada Edition
    4.8L Ext. cab - Black Z85 4x4 G80
    Shaved a couple badges and 4x4 stickers, DeeZee Red label Low Pro gloss black Brite plate cross box,DeeZee gloss black Brite plate bed rail caps , K&N,more to come.

  4. #4

    mfleetwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Denver, CO
    Blog Entries


    When I had my 2wd, I put four, 60lb tube type of sandbags over the wheel wells (got them at Home Depot for about $4.00 each) and it got me around pretty good in snow when it wasn't too deep. My major problems were with ice, especially after the melting snow started to re-freeze at night. I am much happier with my 4wd, as now I don't have the hassle of having to lug 240lbs of sand with me everywhere, and there has not been one snow storm or blizzard that has kept me home. I think you'd be okay with a 2wd but will much happier with a 4wd, if snow and traction is your major concern.

    Just out of curiosity, what are the cons for you not to get the 4wd given it seems like you have a choice?

    Mike (Denver, CO) - 2008 Sierra 1500 Z71 SLE 5.3L 4WD

    SUSPENSION: Rancho 4" Suspension Lift; Rancho RS9000XL Shocks; Rancho Skid Plates; Rancho MyRide Wireless Shock Controller;
    BFG All Terrain KO 315/70/17
    DRIVE TRAIN: 4.56 Gears; Detroit TrueTrac Differential; True Cool 40k Transmission Cooler
    PERFORMANCE: DiableSport Predator Tuner; Custom Tuned by Diablew; Magnaflow Exhaust; AFE Cold Air Intake
    ELECTRONICS: Kenwood DNX6180 Touchscreen; Subthump box w/10" Kicker; Driver Information Center (DIC); Rear View Camera
    ACCESSORIES: Westin Brush/Grill Gaurd; Westin Nerf Bars; Truxedo Tonneau; 20% Tint; Tow Mirrors w/Heat & Signals

  5. #5


    2wd with a G80 driven with care should be sufficient for most minor snow storms.
    Even though I have 4wd on my truck I rarely use it during winter snow storms, whenever we get snow I toss bags of play sand in the very back of the bed to help with traction and if I have real bad traction problems I can pull out a bag or two and spread it on the road surface.
    I learned a long time ago that while 4wd is great to have if you dont know how or when to use it properly it can creat more problems than it solves, which usually means getting you in a lot deeper where you require someone else to pull you out instead of being able to get yourself out.

  6. #6


    A 2wd with any kind of locking diff will never keep up with a 4wd for winter driving. But that doesn't mean you can't live with 2wd for a few storms a year. Buy some very good quality snows like Hakkapalitta, at least for the rear. MasterCraft MSRs are also very good, a little cheaper. If studs are allowed in your area, run them.
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

  7. #7
    Jr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Sussex Wisconsin


    I have a stock 2002 2wd silverado and i live in southern Wisconsin so snow is a big problem for us here and most days in winter i cant even get up my driveway. This last year i was so lazy i didnt even put anything in the bed so i dont know how i survived without sliding into a ditch and plus i have wildcat touring slt tires that customers reviewed and said they have the worst snow and wet road traction ever so that doesnt help. i need some different tires.
    1994 Chevrolet Silverado K1500 Z71
    3" Body Lift
    American Racing rims
    33" Yokohama Mud Terrains
    Dual Exhaust straight pipes

  8. #8
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Monterey, CA


    As mentioned the problem with any truck is not having weight over the drive wheels. Limited slip helps but so does a couple of sandbags. The advantage of 4WD is having the front drive wheels pulling the vehicle instead of the rear wheels pushing it. A car with front wheel drive has always gotten me through any amount of snow.

  9. #9


    2wd would do fine as long as you have some nice rubbers in the back. No slicks, when texas had that winter storm last feburary where it snowed like 2 feet, I was in my silverado with 31 A/T tires in the front and back and It drove almost like the snow wasnt even there, even in 2wd. It's all about the tires IMO. You can have a 4wd with slicks and get stuck in 1 inch of snow and ice
    1994 Silverado Z71 1500 4x4
    BF Goodrich 31in All-Terrain Tires
    Painted frame-arms-axle
    Blazer Fog lights
    Removed front splash guard
    Tow hook Chains
    Locking gas cap
    REFLEXXION Rear bumper (Painted black)
    Diamond metal bed caps & Truck Box
    Painted engine bay
    Vinyl Flooring
    Bed insert
    Blistein Shock absorbers
    BOSS bluetooth LCD Radio
    Platinum trucker CB antenna
    Midland 5001z CB Radio
    XO backup camera
    X-press Remote entry-alarm
    CUSTOM metal gas & brake pedal
    Highland fold-away bed cleats
    Race thermostat

  10. #10


    4WD is vastly superior to any 2WD setup in deep snow. I have an '07 with the Eaton locker and it's marginal in anything over 3 inches. I elected to get the G80 because I fish a lot and need it on some ramps. I am fairly happy with it but there's nothing better in deep snow than 4X4 or chains. 4X4 has a special advantage in that the front wheels do not plow when turned like on a 2WD, they just pull. As a note, if you weight the bed with anything put it as close to the tailgate as you can. The weight value is multiplied by the distance rearward from the drive wheels. Far forward is worst, over the wheels gets you no mechanical advantage, distance aft multiplies the weight.

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