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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a big fan of this car, but as this would be a daily driver in Minnesota, I wanted to get opinions from those of you that drive the Bullitt in a Northern winter. Do you put on snow tires? Steel wheels? How much of a challenge is the rear wheel drive?

Thanks.

Dave

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The bummer is that you cannot use chains - not even cable - according to the manual (which I was first alerted to by my tire store - hence I had to park my Bullitt in storage for a few months after I got it before I could get it home).

Sometimes snow is deep and wet and chains are the only solution.

Also, some think the new siped tires are good enough. That has not been my experience in serious snow. If it were me, I'd get studded tires and keep some weight in the trunk.

However, mine will be parked all winter while I use my 4X4's as I am in a mountain area at 4200' where anything can - and does - happen.
 

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We used to live in Colorado and I drove a 90 LX 5.0. Every October I put on my set of 4 studded snow tires. Also tossed a couple 25 pound bags of kitty litter in the trunk for good measure but still had to drive carefully from October until May. I'm in Texas now but I imagine the Bullitt would handle way better with a full set of snow tires along with its traction control technology. Just go easy and you should be fine.
 

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Dave,

If it were me, I would buy a new set of rims (whatever your preference) and put on some good ice and snow tires, Blizzak, etc. This will save your good rims and most definitely get you around better and with less hassle. I also would recommend at least one 70 lb tube sand in the trunk, maybe even 2 for added traction in the snow. I have had Blizzaks on a few vehicles, huge difference in traction and definitely stopping grip on ice.

We have had a few rear drivers over the years, a 5.0L 83 T-Bird, a 5.0L 92 T-Bird and also a 91 Mustang GT. We always did fine with those. The 91 GT was not a normal winter vechicle but when my 85 Ranger puked a transmission, I had to break it out in that winter in February. I did the two 70 pound tubes of sand that you can buy around here, and drove it on some half worn out I believe Michelin performance tires to work about 26 miles each way on 94 and 694 and got by fine. You have to be very careful with the gas pedal and learn how to keep it in a gear that keeps the RPM lower and lugs it a bit to prevent tire spinning. Also learn how to start out in 2nd gear and lugging the engine to prevent tire spinning at lights and stop signs where there is more snow or ice. Of course you have the traction control to aid you, so maybe you won't have to go to those extremes. Deeper snow will give you some problems, I wouldn't plan on taking the Bullitt off road in the winter. :smile:
 

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I don't know how deep your snow gets or how long for the roads to get plowed, but I think the real problem is not so much that its rear wheel drive. They have always worked pretty good for me as long as I kept some momentum up and weight in the rear. (But DO NOT park on hills! LOL)

The real problem is "pushing" snow by the diff & axle, crossmember, and/or front fascia. The clearance is so low on the Bullitt that a good 6" snow that hasn't been plowed yet will be putting a lot of resistance against the rear tire traction. Deep enough snow literally starts lifting the diff & axle and you lose traction and/or high center if you lose momentum.

I agree on getting a set of beater wheels but I still prefer studs all the way around (especially if you get black ice). My exp is 20 yrs in St. Louis wet snow and lots of ice storms, and 28 yrs in the Cascade mountains both on highways & high passes, and usually unplowed 1/4 mile into my rural house (till the storm blows over). Hence 4x4's.
 

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I've driven my 01 in the snow. I'd go with the other recommendations as well...get a set of cheap rims and a good set of snow tires/studs. I also had two of those 75lb bags of tube sand in the trunk. I usually turned the traction control off as well. That seemed to help with getting both rear tires to turn when I needed it. I certainly wouldn't try it without the streets being plowed first! I think with these precautions and normal good driving habits you'll be fine.

I didn't know about not putting chains/cables on. That really sucks!
 

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I use michelin x-ice snow tires with a set of factory rims I bought used, along with some weight in the back. No problems, except I learned that traction control really stinks on snow and ice.
 

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I used Michelin Alpin Pilots on my 05 GT with great success. With respect to traction control... There was the odd occasion that turning it off had better results then leaving it on as sometimes wheel spin is a good thing.
 

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We can't do studded snow tires here in Minnesota, they are illegal, but I agree they work well, I drove an Audi in Sweden with studded tires in a late April snowstorm or 10 to 12 inches, they worked very nice indeed. I agree, if the snow gets over 5 or 6 inches deep, it will be tough to go, and those stop signs where they leave a nice little strip or hump of fairly deep snow after plowing, better not stop, kind of roll through it and keep it in second to lug it through. I think we have gotten spoiled with the 4 X 4's or AWD vehicles, I used to drive my highly modified 70 Mach I in the Wisconsin winters, put the old bias ply snows on the back and drove it around. It had a very big solid lifter camshaft (526 lift, 326 duration), so it was hard to lug down to a lower RPM, keep wanting to lurch around with the rough idle. That car was scary in the snow or ice, had to keep it slow for sure. Those were the good old days. :smile:
 

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MustangLynda said:
I use michelin x-ice snow tires with a set of factory rims I bought used, along with some weight in the back. No problems, except I learned that traction control really stinks on snow and ice.
Especially since we have posi.

My friend was trying to push another friend in a mini-van out of the snow and everytime the wheel would start spinning and they were getting some momentum out of the hole, the spinning wheel would lock! And the van would slide back in. LOL When I told him about traction control he shook his head. Said they fussed with that for over an hour when without the traction control it probably would have popped right out. :lol:
 

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ZBullitt said:
We can't do studded snow tires here in Minnesota, they are illegal,
That stinks.
Here in Oregon, most of the population (and State Capitol) is in the Willamette Valley (wet side of the Cascades) where snow is rare. The politicians and State Agencies keep trying to ban studs because they say it damages the roads. They've already forced studs that are softer material so they don't last but 2 maybe 3 winters.
But here in eastern Oregon where it is high desert east of the Cascades and it definitely freezes and snows, we need them. You're talking miles and miles of roads that do get regular travel but it takes time for the plows to stay on top of that many miles. And usually it is not plowed down to pavement, but smoothed over snow pack with cinders (no salt) and then the traffic puts a glaze on top. When the road looks plowed and then you're suddenly on black ice but can't tell, special tires aren't going to save you - little metal spikes are.
So its always this debate - populous west side city folk vs rural east side small town folk. Frankly, I don't care about cost of road repair in this sense. If it saves just one life each winter, its worth a little extra wear on the roads.
 

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cdynaco said:
That stinks.
Here in Oregon, most of the population (and State Capitol) is in the Willamette Valley (wet side of the Cascades) where snow is rare. The politicians and State Agencies keep trying to ban studs because they say it damages the roads. They've already forced studs that are softer material so they don't last but 2 maybe 3 winters.
But here in eastern Oregon where it is high desert east of the Cascades and it definitely freezes and snows, we need them. You're talking miles and miles of roads that do get regular travel but it takes time for the plows to stay on top of that many miles. And usually it is not plowed down to pavement, but smoothed over snow pack with cinders (no salt) and then the traffic puts a glaze on top. When the road looks plowed and then you're suddenly on black ice but can't tell, special tires aren't going to save you - little metal spikes are.
So its always this debate - populous west side city folk vs rural east side small town folk. Frankly, I don't care about cost of road repair in this sense. If it saves just one life each winter, its worth a little extra wear on the roads.
Fortunately here in the Metro Area (and I would have to say outstate too) they really do get the roads plowed fast and pile on a ton of salt and sand when needed so studded snow tires are for the most part not necessary. Plus we are on the lesser side of snow fall, I think somewhere between 50 to 60 inches each winter. We do have problems with the extreme cold which causes black ice on perfectly cleaned off roadways, car exhaust freezes on the road, it can catch you off guard and scare the heck out of you or worse if you are not paying atttention.
 

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cdynaco said:
Especially since we have posi.

My friend was trying to push another friend in a mini-van out of the snow and everytime the wheel would start spinning and they were getting some momentum out of the hole, the spinning wheel would lock! And the van would slide back in. LOL When I told him about traction control he shook his head. Said they fussed with that for over an hour when without the traction control it probably would have popped right out. :lol:
and the loss of power too - foot's on the gas and suddenly nothing is happening. That freaks me out and renders me unable to use whatever instinctive strategies I might have to get out of a slide or other situation. I'm better off without it in the winter I think.
 

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I drove my Mustang thru the winter. The car drove impressively well in the snow because the vehicle weight is fairly evenly balanced front and rear plus the BF Goodrich tires were excellent in the snow. BUT almost any incline in the road and then the going gets tougher if there's a fair amount of snow on the road. Road crews are so efficient now the roads are always cleared in a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I am particularly pleased not to hear a single comment like "are you nuts for considering buying and driving a Bullitt in MN in the winter?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rockola said:
Try to get a winter beater and store the Bullitt. There are plenty of used cars and trucks out there.
I am driving a beater now. While I love the freedom it affords me in parking lot parking, I am ready for a real car. Winter can be a full 5 months up here, and I've decided that life is too short to spend nearly half of it driving a beater.
 

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My '01 does just fine. I prefer rear wheel drive cars in the snow. The kitty litter or oil-dry in the trunk is a necessity, and as others mentioned, with the traction control turned off these cars do quite well.
 

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This is the third Mustang I have driven year round in Michigan winters. I only had a trouble with my '89 GT one time in 6+ inches of snow. Other than that I've never been held back by the snow.
 
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