CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
2/22/22 1:18 p.m.

Wow! That last picture is awesome. 

 

Great writeup as usual. It's fun to live vicariously through your exploits.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 7:35 a.m.

Thanks everyone!  It was certainly something, ultimately we had a good time but it definitely felt like we were on the wrong end of the risk/reward balance for some of it.

So with that, what (if anything) did we learn?

Driving/notes- there's speed hiding in the snowbanks in conditions like this.  Our notes were excellent for driving the road, but if we have these conditions again I think we might try to note which corners have friendly snowbanks to bounce off of.  Ultimately I think we did very well given the difficulty of just keeping the car moving, though.  Also, when a car is catching us I need to do everything I can to ignore them until they hit the push to pass button, I gave WAY too much attention to the mirrors when I knew an awd car was blasting up behind us.

Car setup- softer springs might be nice for winter conditions although I'm really not sure how much it matters on polished ice like this.  The diff saved us from being stuck several times.  The Blizzak WS80s were pretty good, although I'd love to try some heavily tractionized tires back to back to learn how big of a difference those make since that's what the fast guys were running.  I'd also consider bringing chains or some other "grey area" traction solution next time, it probably would have been more fun to get protested than to sit there stuck on a hill for the entire morning on day 2.

Other- we practiced tire changes and tow strap retrieval, but didn't have a plan for what to do when one of us had to get out and push.  This was fine but is definitely worth having a concrete procedure for next time so we both know the plan.

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/23/22 8:34 a.m.

Snowbank bouncing is definitely the way to go, but the last few events have been sparse.  Sno*drift conditions are different every year and thats part of the fun I suppose!

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
2/23/22 8:45 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

I'd also consider bringing chains or some other "grey area" traction solution next time, it probably would have been more fun to get protested than to sit there stuck on a hill for the entire morning on day 2.

You might also look at some of those 'slip-on' boot traction cleats, for your feet?

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
2/23/22 8:58 a.m.

What about carrying a set (2 or 4) of those traction sock things? They're legal for use in Michigan , where studs or chains are not. Unfortunately, the roads for Sno*Drift have been less than stellar more often than not the last few years. The organizers may have to look at an earlier date or heading further north to find snow.

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/23/22 8:59 a.m.

Studs are definitely not legal in MI, but chains are if a vehicle is caused to skid and tire chains would not contact roadway surface (I think SS7 would qualify!).  Now, how would ARA and other competitors feel, that's up for debate.  The ambulance and emergency vehicles for the rally had chains installed.

https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1586_27094-73839--,00.html#:~:text=Answer%3A%20MCL%20257.710%20of%20the,not%20come%20in%20contact%20with

 

EDIT: "Upper" lower peninsula is defined as north of Missaukee County, which is Atlanta would qualify for.

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/23/22 9:02 a.m.

How about one of these? Technically, the chain is not installed on the tire ;) 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 9:03 a.m.

The cheatiest/most awesome solution I've come up with so far would be to fit an autochain setup onto the now-unused rear swaybar brackets.  Hit the button and climb!

Automatic Snow Chains Provide Instant Traction for Trucks - Tire Review  Magazine

EDIT: Now there's a "great minds think alike" moment!

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/23/22 9:12 a.m.

Here's the tire sock mentioned, now if someone could design one that holds up to stage rally speeds...

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/01/28/tire-socks-legal-traction-device-michigan-drivers-snow-chain-alternative/4477289002/

DrMikeCSI
DrMikeCSI New Reader
2/23/22 9:14 a.m.

How do you determine if a snowbank is friendly? 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
2/23/22 9:14 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Just install sanders like they had on steam engines back in the day. A couple of hundred pounds over the rear wheels, diminishing throughout the rally and you could replenish at service.

Seriously: 45-50 years ago I did TSD rallying in Quebec. I carried a bag or two of dry sand in the trunk for traction, but a couple of times we got stuck on glazed hills and broke open a bag just to get up the hill and continue on. Could you carry a bag of kitty litter for emergency use ,rather than just sitting there waiting for the sweep car?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 9:15 a.m.

In reply to DrMikeCSI :

Educated guesswork, but you have more time to stare at it during recce than you do when you're sliding into it.  You want lots of snow and no rocks or stumps- we actually used a few for braking that worked really well, but the crunch on the left front was an unfriendly one.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 9:35 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

We could do something like that, although if somebody has to get out of the car I'd probably rather just push.  Now sand dispensers in the rockers, that would be something...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/23/22 10:51 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

For all those winter rallies I actually carried some cheap traction boards stuck inside the inner skin of my back doors. No idea if they would be helpful or not but the only weifh like 5 lbs, And there's nothing in the rules saying you can't carry traction boards as far as I can tell.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/23/22 10:52 a.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

I'd also consider bringing chains or some other "grey area" traction solution next time, it probably would have been more fun to get protested than to sit there stuck on a hill for the entire morning on day 2.

You might also look at some of those 'slip-on' boot traction cleats, for your feet?

I have a set of these in our winter kit as well and they work pretty well. And less dangerous than actual crampon spikes

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 11:04 a.m.

All good ideas, I'm sure if we use enough of them next time we go there will be 3ft of fresh snow over a gravel base cheeky

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
2/23/22 11:15 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

All good ideas, I'm sure if we use enough of them next time we go there will be 3ft of fresh snow over a gravel base cheeky

If that's what it takes to have a proper winter rally then please do so !

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 11:38 a.m.

A couple more shots from Ben Treffert:

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
2/23/22 12:23 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I'm old school, so some Hella 2000s or Cibie Super Oscars are my idea of lights, but those LEDs you're running seem to light up things really well with considerably less mass and, I assume, less power consumption.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott SuperDork
2/23/22 12:30 p.m.

I'll admit to being uneducated on stage-rally.  Are you not allowed to use studded snows?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 12:32 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

I love the look of some big rally lights too, but the LEDs have come an incredibly long way.  You can buy $20 cheapies and get all the fill light you want, spend a couple hundred on a good long range bar, and have more light than a set of massive Hellas for a fraction of the weight and cost.  They do tax the electrical system less as well, the only downside being that they can ice over since they don't generate nearly as much heat.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/23/22 12:32 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

Not in Michigan!  Lots of other winter rallies allow them though, mostly outside the USA.

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
2/23/22 2:47 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

A couple more shots from Ben Treffert:

Looking at the first pic here, if you didn't tell the story of (lack of) speed before hand, someone might have guessed that that was some high speed sideways shenanigans going on there. 

fidelity101
fidelity101 UberDork
2/24/22 10:06 a.m.
DrMikeCSI said:

How do you determine if a snowbank is friendly? 

trial and error

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/24/22 10:57 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

I love the look of some big rally lights too, but the LEDs have come an incredibly long way.  You can buy $20 cheapies and get all the fill light you want, spend a couple hundred on a good long range bar, and have more light than a set of massive Hellas for a fraction of the weight and cost.  They do tax the electrical system less as well, the only downside being that they can ice over since they don't generate nearly as much heat.

What brand/model LEDs are you running? Or is that documented earlier in the build thread and I'm thread polluting no

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