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Thread: Snow Chains

  1. #1
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Snow Chains

    In the market for some for my '02 4Runner and '94 Saturn.

    Any suggestions?

    I don't know jack shet about snow chains!

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    In the market for some for my '02 4Runner and '94 Saturn.

    Any suggestions?

    I don't know jack shet about snow chains!
    Do you really need 'em?

    I'm in the same general geographic area (probably snows more here and is colder) and I've never felt the need. Never been stuck once yet....

  3. #3
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    I have eight inches on the ground right now and a neighborhood filled with cars in the ditches. I'm stuck at home! My three wheeler can barely get around.

    If there were an emergency right now I would be shit out of luck here without them.

    Yeah, I need them.

    How much snow do you have out there now?

    I am on a mountain too, so down in town it might be a nice day. I don't know.




    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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  4. #4
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I have some snow cables but I've never used them. They are quieter and easier on the rubber than chains are but I think most of the chains today are actually cables. I imagine any place that had them locally is probably sold out. You'll probably be better off getting them from some place like J.C.Whitney or so.

    Personally, my 4X4 does pretty well in snow. I've gone through 2 foot with no problem. It's an older one with mechanical drivetrain and not the fancy shift-on-the-fly with viscous couplings. Slap on some aggressive treaded all terrain tires and I pull the newer SUVs like Hummers out of ditches.

    The key part is to NOT drive stoopid. I see lots of people in the first couple of snows around here trying to drive like the middle of summer. I watched one guy with a fairly new SUV a few years ago using his cruise control. He bounced off each side of that bridge several times as the engine kept trying to keep the speed up.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    In the market for some for my '02 4Runner and '94 Saturn.

    Any suggestions?

    I don't know jack shet about snow chains!
    I've always lived in a northern climate. I remember chains from back in the 50's thru mid 60's -chains are a PITA. I can't remember the last time (say after 1965) that I've seen a car with chains.

    First of all you can't drive very fast - I'd say 30 mph max. Secondly, as soon as you get to a plowed road you're gonna want to take them off. Thirdly, it's a bumpy / noisey ride.

    They do help in heavy, deep snow, and ice. My advice is to stay home for a day or two until the roads are plowed.

    Autosport has these cables:

    http://www.autosportcatalog.com/index.cfm?fa=p&pid=1046

  6. #6
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    In the market for some for my '02 4Runner and '94 Saturn.

    Any suggestions?

    I don't know jack shet about snow chains!
    Can you put chains on a 94 Saturn (read your owner's manual!).

    My 1996 Saturn cannot accept chains. I have to use Spike Spiders, which are much easier to deal with than chains, other than the fact that they take more room to store when not being used.

    -Don- SSF, CA

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    I've lived in very snowy places, and haven't owned chains in forty years.

    I carry some cheap rope or polyurethane tubing in the trunk.
    Not big stuff; maybe 5/16" or 8mm diameter.

    When chains are appropriate, I cut the rope or tube into pieces about two feet long, thread 'em around the tire between the spokes, and secure them with a bowline, two or three loops per tire.

    The bowline is important, because it's a releasable knot. It also makes it impossible to get the rope _tight_ around the tire, but the slightly loose loops give better traction than tight ones would anyway.

    Rope or tube also won't chew through the tire in 50 miles like chains will.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Do you really need 'em?

    I'm in the same general geographic area (probably snows more here and is colder) and I've never felt the need. Never been stuck once yet....
    I guess out there, nobody checks. Here in CA, when snow chains are required, you cannot continue without them. Cops will be out in the middle of the freeway (such as I-80, where depends on the snow level) stopping all traffic and checking for chains. In most cases, 4WD with "snow tires" (all terrain tires will pass for such) will be allowed without chains. It has to be extreme snow (about ready to close the road) before they won't allow 4WD (such as my Jeep Cherokee with "all terrain" tires) without chains. To get to our Reno home and back during this time of year, the Jeep often saves a lot of hassle.

    Also, even when there is NOT a chain requirement, but one is soon possible, all trucks will be stopped to make sure they have "maximum chains" in their possession. They don't want to have to force trucks to turn around.

    -Don- SSF, CA

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I have eight inches on the ground right now and a neighborhood filled with cars in the ditches. I'm stuck at home! My three wheeler can barely get around.

    If there were an emergency right now I would be shit out of luck here without them.

    Yeah, I need them.

    How much snow do you have out there now?

    I am on a mountain too, so down in town it might be a nice day. I don't know.




    You got more than us!

    We had maybe four inches.

    How close is your place to a state (plowed) road? Around here, even though it's literally a one traffic light county, VDOT does a pretty hood job of clearing the major road (US 221). Our driveway I have to plow myself, but since it's flat, unless there's really heavy snow, getting out has (so far) not been a major issue for us.

    My recollection on chains is that they're most helpful on the packed snow you see in places like VT or Idaho, where once it snows, it never fully melts; just refreezes and gets progressively more packed down as vehicles drive over it.

  10. #10
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    I do need to check on the Saturn whether it can accept them, but I guess it can't if ya'll know the answer already. Truth is though, the Saturn is not half bad in the snow it's the 4Runner that gets beat up. It's only 2wd.

    I'm actually going to make a trip in the 4Runner now to Lowes to get some paint.

    Eric, I am less than a mile from state maintained roads.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I do need to check on the Saturn whether it can accept them, but I guess it can't if ya'll know the answer already. Truth is though, the Saturn is not half bad in the snow it's the 4Runner that gets beat up. It's only 2wd.
    Front wheel drive is supposed to be better in the snow than rear wheel drive.

    But some models of Saturn can accept chains and / or cables. Some cannot. Some others depends on which size tire is used. The only way you can know is to read your owner's manual. It will say what you can use.

    If you are going to put the chains on yourself, you might want to pay the extra cost for the Spike Spiders even if you can use snow chains. They are very easy to put on after the initial install. Most of the setup stays on your front Saturn tires permanently. The rest is put on and off as needed. They are more hassle to take off than on, unlike chains. But even taken the Spike Spiders off is easier than taking chains off. Putting them on only takes a minute per tire if even that. Taking them off is a two part process where you have to drive a couple of feet after removing part of it off each tire. But much easier to deal with than chains or cables.

    The big advantage of Spike Spiders is the ease of putting them on and off.

    The two disadvantages of Spike Spiders are:

    1. they take up room when NOT being used. Almost the size of a small tire.

    2. They cost a lot more than chains. (but worth every cent if you need them often).

    -Don- SF, CA



  12. #12
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    My dad used the Rope Method back in the Forties and Fifties. Some of the older cars that had Spoke Wheels were no problem tying ropes on. the newer wheels that had thinner slots, was more of a challenge. What he liked about rope, is that he did not have to take them off when the the snow dissapeared. He just kept on truckin' 'till they came off. When they did break, they didn't rip half the fender off your rig. He was also able to go a little bit faster as well. Good 'ol Depression chains...

  13. #13
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    Try 100 - 200 lbs in the rear cargo area - over the rear axle - this may do the trick.

    As an experiment have your wife sit over the rear axle. If it works, suggest that she ride there

  14. #14
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    As an experiment have your wife sit over the rear axle. If it works, suggest that she ride there
    Ah shet man. You gave me a good laugh!

    And yet another reason to have a heifer as a wife!

    Not only does a fat girl provide shade in the summer, and warmth in the winter. They also provide dead weight for the rear axle.

    Had about 100 pounds in the rear from Lowes and the wife standing on the trailer hitch. Took me about 20 minutes to make it up my driveway! HA

    With all this pondering we've done on snow chains I am now realizing not only do I need chains, but I also need a fatter wife! HA

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

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