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Mark VII Member
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47 Posts
I will say Rear Wheel drive most of my friends and neighbors would agree. Unfortunately they don't make hardley any anymore. The reason I think RWD is better is : Easy to work on,More durable(around here it takes a tough car to survive)and More fun to drive. Front wheel drive is better on the ice. That is the only time it's worth it. It is not better in the snow even if they tell you so. When the front wheels hit a snow bank they go up loose traction with the road and your stuck. Give me a big old boat with a good set of snow tires and I'll drive you through snow that will get those little excuse for a pickup 4x4 Rangers stuck. When those FWD cars brake down you just have to throw them away because they are too expensive to work on. FWD cars are built like tosters you use them till they brake throw it away and get a new one. I never felt safe in those little cars . Hit anything and your dead. My sister in law had a Dodge Shadow. She hit a racoon one nite. She almost lost controol of the car. She did not but, she broke the front spoiler. The whole front of the car was one big pice. We had to total the car. Over a stupid little 25 pound coon. I know of a guy who lost controll of his moms Town Car and took out 2 telphone poles and walked away from it. Try that in your Probe. Go buy a real car and be safe.
 

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PT Owner - SCPOC Prez
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681 Posts
both have their advantages and disadvantages.

since i happen to own fords that have both, i generally lean toward my garaged mustang, but i drive my probe daily so i appreciate the handling aspects of that car.

if i HAD to choose, it would be RWD. :D
 

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Fawkin Fordhead
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31 Posts
I say both, nothing beats Four Wheel Drive, not AWD, that's great for on road stuff, but, I'm talking about big iron gearbox with 50/50 torque split, an ARB locked rear axle, and a trac-locked front axle turning a minimum of 31x10.50's. But, for a car, RWD is second to none. AWD does come in a close second because it makes for great handling and is very easy to launch.
Evan
 

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Mark VII Member
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47 Posts
I agree 82F100SWB 4 Wheel Drive is the way to go. I have one myself. I live in the country on a unpaved road. The county is too lazy to plow it in the winter very often. I could not live without my 4X4. I once had a 84 F250 with lock outs and a 300 I6. It got allmost as good of milages as my Lincoln. Unfortuntuly it rusted out after 180000 miles. It still runs we use it on the farm as a go-for truck. My present 79 F100 full time 4X4 with the 351M is hard on gas. I also can't get it to run in the summer it keeps vapor locking or something. ( see my post under 72-80 F pickups or what ever they call it) I could not get by without it in the winter though.
 

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Mustang LX Member
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10 Posts
????????????????

the reason that we have fwd is that people don't know how to drive. for performance, rwd is the *ONLY* way to go. in straight line, the front wheels simply can't grip as well, given that the weight is transfered to the rear. in curvy (road racing, autocross), your asking too much of the front wheels, and it simply doesn't work as well because you can't properely apply power to the wheels going through a turn. also, rear wheel drive allows you to quickly and easily add oversteer in a situation that needs it. in all situations (weather, et al), rear wheel drive is better if you know how to drive, as you have more control.
 

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RACE
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2,950 Posts
I would have to say RWD, although I have one of each. RWD is alot more fun when driven hard.
 

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Formerly J-type
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1,629 Posts
I'd have to agree with rear wheel drive, although FWD does have it's advantages.

e.g. if going aroung a tight corner and the arse brakes loose all you have to do is point the steering wheel in the direction you are going then floor it.
Another is that FWD cars tend to have higher directional stability when cornering.

Disadvantages, If you have anything over 260HP, it is most likely that you will just torque steer off into a tree, same in the wet - you tend to lose any front traction going around corners under moderate to heavy acceleration.


RWD - Advantages, quicker off the mark under acceleration, in some cases with old cars the driveshaft tended to make the car stronger, better for burnouts which in turn equals more fun.

Disadvantages, prone to oversteer under heavy acceleration (corners) - though it can be gathered up easily, same in the wet though a bit more hair raising - a tendancy to (in some cases) snap oversteer in which by the time you react to save it you're already wrapped around a tree.

Though the best would have to AWD - Jaguars new X-type proves this better than any other car around, not a 50:50 set up but instead a 40% front and a 60% rear distribution, which I think is great.
Not only do you get better traction but also more enjoyment with a slight RWD bias - you get the advantages of both FWD and RWD
in a package that a normal AWD can't have. ;)
 

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Ford Member
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103 Posts
FWD is the better setup for general driving, especially above the snow belt. While AWD/4WD is the ultimate in off-season traction, it has more wear in the driveline and uses more fuel, besides the extreme lack of availability in a car (trucks, in my opinion, should be for commercial applications...not passenger use). Subarus and Audi are fantastic in poor weather with their AWD systems.

FWD beats RWD in marginal and poor traction situations. FWD tracks better in rain and snow...and NOTHING, short of AWD/4WD with spiked (not studded) tires, is good in ice.

RWD is better for handling in dry situations. Nothing drives like a RWD in the twisties, but be sure the road surfaces are dry.
 

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Mark VII Member
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47 Posts
Everybody has a diferent opinion. That is what makes America great the fact that we can have a opinion and discuss it openly. With that said, I have to disagree with Hudson. I live up here in the snow belt and there are times when FWD is better but, not often. I can take my car and by installing the right tires drive circles around a front driver most any day. Of corse I know how to drive from experance and most drivers these days scare the heck out of me. As for trucks being for comercial purpose only. That would be O.K. if they would build us a decent ,safe car.Like they used to in the 60's and 70's. The problem now is that most cars built are so dangerous that when I drive one I often feel like I am driving a go cart. A modern half ton pickup is about the right size for a decent car. If you get a pick up that has lock-out hubs and not a over sized engine the milage can be decent. I have a 85 f-250 with a 300-I6 that gets 19 in the summer with the hubs locked out. The newer ones must be even better yet. I will say that I live in Minnesota where we have good roads and I also live in the country. You have to have a pickup to live around here. No car could do what you need it to do. So as I said it is a matter of opinion and also wher you live and what you do. Have a good day
 

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Ford Member
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103 Posts
I, too, have learned how to properly drive...I drive very well. My experience is that FWD is better in most cases, not only just a few. The ONLY place RWD is better is on a dry road.

As for cars of the 60s being safer, it's mostly a myth. Sure, there's more to crumple around you and you've got more mass in a car of that era, but modern cars are actually safer. Modern trucks, on the other hand, are less safe than most cars.

With the bumpers, airbags, sidebeams, crumple zones, ABS, and other features of modern cars as well as better handling, braking, and tires, they are in fact safer than the cars of 30-40 years ago.
 

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RACE
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2,950 Posts
I have to agree there Hudson. I drive both RWD and FWD. My RWD slides out very easy particularly in the wet, while the FWD tends to understeer.

I find understeer in FWD easier to control, although RWD is loads more fun. :D
 

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Mark VII Member
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47 Posts
I agree that the brakes on modern cars are much better. They have made many other improvments as well in safety . Still the size of the cars has a lot to do with saftey. I sure that a brand new Escourt is a lot safer car than a 72 Pinto. If I ran into your brand new escort with my 74 Lemans I still would walk out of the accident better. A few years ago my sister in law had a Dodge Shadow. On the way home one night she hit a coon. It caused her to lose controol of the car. She stayed on the road and was not injured.The only damage to the car was that the spoiler under the grill was broken. The hole front of the car was one big plastic pice. There was no way to fix it without a expensive part and a paint job. the car was only 7 years old and the insurance totaled it out because of the expense. I hit a coon last year with my Lincoln and it was just like a little bump in the road. Pickups are much safer than most little cars. They just tell you there not because the more people that drive little cars the better the car companys average fuel enconomy will be. The evil enviromentals also beleve the little cars make less air polution so they try to trick us into driving them. I have gotten off the subject and we will never agree on this so lets just agree to disagree and as I said the fact that we can is what makes America great. Have a nice day.
 

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Ford Member
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103 Posts
84 Mark VII said:
I agree that the brakes on modern cars are much better. They have made many other improvments as well in safety . Still the size of the cars has a lot to do with saftey. I sure that a brand new Escourt is a lot safer car than a 72 Pinto. If I ran into your brand new escort with my 74 Lemans I still would walk out of the accident better. A few years ago my sister in law had a Dodge Shadow. On the way home one night she hit a coon. It caused her to lose controol of the car. She stayed on the road and was not injured.The only damage to the car was that the spoiler under the grill was broken. The hole front of the car was one big plastic pice. There was no way to fix it without a expensive part and a paint job. the car was only 7 years old and the insurance totaled it out because of the expense. I hit a coon last year with my Lincoln and it was just like a little bump in the road. Pickups are much safer than most little cars. They just tell you there not because the more people that drive little cars the better the car companys average fuel enconomy will be. The evil enviromentals also beleve the little cars make less air polution so they try to trick us into driving them. I have gotten off the subject and we will never agree on this so lets just agree to disagree and as I said the fact that we can is what makes America great. Have a nice day.
You'd have a better chance of being killed by the steering wheel in a `72 LeMans than you would in a new Escort. Don't think just because the car is larger, you'll be safer. Many people walk away from accidents in modern cars where they would have been injured or killed in a 30-40 year old car.

Your insurance isn't looking out for you. Your sister should probably look around. A broken piece of plastic (if that's all that was really wrong with it) will not "total" a car. Your insurance company found a cheap way out and took it...leaving your sister with, probably, a grand.

"They just tell you that?" "Evil environmentals?" Do you have a clue what you're talking about? It doesn't seem so.
 

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Mark VII Member
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47 Posts
I'm am sorry if I offended you hudson. I was just trying to convay my idea that bigger cars are safer than little ones.I am sure that a new car is much safer than a 40 year old one. I am not very good at typing or explaining myself. I agree that this morning when I woke up grouchy I over did it. I do think that I am right and know many people who would agree with me. I understand your opinion. I just beleve you to be wrong. This will be my last post on this matter because I do not think this is getting us anywhere. Please try to be more forgiving of others peoples ideas in the future.
 

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Ford Member
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103 Posts
Just in case you need more information...

I respect your opinion and those of the others you've polled on this subject...but my statements are based in fact. A modern car IS safer than a car of 25-30-40 years ago. All of the advances in design and engineering have improved cars so that a 2800lb car today is safer than a 4,000lb car of 30 years ago. It's not my opinion, it's fact.

I am very forgiving of other people's opinions and ideas, but you should be more open to facts as they are presented. If you were to put a 30-year old car in the IIHS's 40-mph offset barrier test (I would never recommend anyone doing this to an antique, but let's say we could get a "new" 1971 car off the assembly line) and a brand new 3000lb car, you'd see that the dummy in the new car would walk away or have minor injuries while the dummy in the old car would be severely harmed, if not killed.

There are just so many things inside the car to hurt the driver and passenger. The risk in an accident is not usually the initial impact, it's the secondary one...the one with the passengers and the inside of the car.

I've seen older cars have accidents where they were driveable but the driver died. I've seen accidents involving newer cars where the vehicle was totaled and the occupants walked away. Newer cars ARE safer.

Granted, an accident between a 2001 Chevrolet Metro and a 1971 Cadillac Fleetwood would not be beneficial to the Metro's occupants, but given equal circumstances (two vehicles hitting similar walls/cars/etc.), the newer car will, in most cases, protect the passengers better than the old one.
 

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RACE
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2,950 Posts
One important thing to note is that pick-ups and SUV's have a higher centre of gravity, which makes them harder to control in an emergency situation.
 

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Grand Muckety Muck
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710 Posts
RATT said:
One important thing to note is that pick-ups and SUV's have a higher centre of gravity, which makes them harder to control in an emergency situation.
yeah, for those of us who've nearly rolled a Bronco II numerous times, I can attest to that.
 
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