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Unread 12-08-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
Carl44
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Smile Final word on snow chains?

I've read the several threads on chains and gather that chains are not really recommended for the front wheels on most late 4Runners.

Bottom line: What are the best high-end chains for the rears and what have people been using on the fronts, if they use any?

Thanks, I gotta handle Colorado this year!!!


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Unread 12-08-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
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i dotn see why they couldnt be put on the front. V-bar chains are gonna have the best bite, but also need more snow on the road.
cable chains i hate, not enough bite. but they are good for just an inch or two of packed snow, but with 4WD you would prob be ok wo/ any chains in these conditions.

i run a set of normal chain chains. just on the rear, and i have only used them once.

usually if i need ones for the front too ill stay home.
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Unread 12-08-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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Just watch clearance on the UCA's - not much room there depending upon tire/wheel combo.
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Unread 12-08-2009, 07:44 PM   #4
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Ive been wheeling in the Colorado mountains every weekend for about 5 years, NEVER used them, a buddy used them once, he said it was more of a pain than its worth, and he didnt get any further than I did, hes never used them again infact he sold them.
So, in my experiance, save your cash
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Unread 12-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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Correct, that's really the only issue. I ran them on the front of my 2nd gen Runner yrs ago and the extra control/handling (steering) provided with them on the front was very evident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by expat View Post
Just watch clearance on the UCA's - not much room there depending upon tire/wheel combo.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 12:10 AM   #6
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The manual states you can only use chains on the rear.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 12:24 AM   #7
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I have a set of V-Bars for the rear.........
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Unread 12-09-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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Many thanks for the replies. I do understand that the manual says no chains on the front. Is tghis primarily the UCA / rubbing issue or is it a driveline issue?

As far as the VBAR chains, is this a manufacturer or a chain style?

Also, I understand that people are doing fine without chains but being way out in the backcountry alone is not the place I want to save the weight / $ on chains to test my snow-driving!!
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Unread 12-09-2009, 09:41 AM   #9
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V-Bar is a style, has an extra bar in the chain link.

a shovel goes a long wasy in snow also.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 09:44 AM   #10
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Thanks, Java. Any opinions on best manufacturers as far as quality?
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Unread 12-09-2009, 10:07 AM   #11
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get ones that are "quick fit" i think most of them are these days but they are way easier to put on. no having to drive over the chain. also carry some extra short bungies to since down the chains more than the little one that comes with it, keeps them tight and is nice if you want to do more than 5 mph. extra large zip ties work too. and throw some gloves and a piece of tarp or an old foam camping pad in to knee on while putting them on.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 10:50 AM   #12
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here's my take so do whatever you think...

In most road situations 4WD will get you pretty much where you want.

If you are going back country you may be encountering rocks, logs etc - go with true linked chain. Those cable style chains are not rugged enough if you expect them to handle offroad conditions. They ARE fine if your traveling on snow covered trails where you are not getting down to the base.

I would also recommend chain tensioners - they keep the chains more firmly against the tire if they start to become loose

Just IMO. YEMV.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #13
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If you are running an outboard-offset wheel, or wheel spacers (e.g. SpyderTrax), and a narrow tire, there should be plenty of room for chains on the front.

Even the factory tires and wheels didn't leave much room for chains, on a 4Runner.

The FJ has a wheels with a different offset. I wonder if their owners manual says not to use chains?
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Unread 12-09-2009, 01:00 PM   #14
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Make sure you have clearance when turning the wheel as well, both on the UCA and also the frame.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #15
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Here's a good source for chains and info....from Bill Burke!!! Off road trainer to the stars!!!

He sells his RUD chains for a really good price too......

http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/Chains.htm

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Unread 12-09-2009, 08:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat View Post
Just watch clearance on the UCA's - not much room there depending upon tire/wheel combo.
A good reason to get a smaller backspace on after market wheels.
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Unread 12-10-2009, 05:20 PM   #17
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I just want to check - chains aren't needed even during Chain Law (on say I-70 Eisenhower Tunnel area) as long as your tires have the Mountain with the Snowflake symbol and/or 4WD? I have a mostly stock Runner and I'd like to know so I don't get held up.
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Unread 12-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooneywa View Post
I just want to check - chains aren't needed even during Chain Law (on say I-70 Eisenhower Tunnel area) as long as your tires have the Mountain with the Snowflake symbol and/or 4WD? I have a mostly stock Runner and I'd like to know so I don't get held up.
depends on your local law, here in WA we are still required to carry them, and a state patrol can tell you to put them on
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Unread 12-10-2009, 09:21 PM   #19
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Here in Cali:

Types of Chain Controls:

"During the winter months, motorists may encounter traction chain controls in the mountain areas within California. When chain controls are established, signs will be posted along the road indicating the type of requirement. There are three requirements in California.

Requirement One (R1): Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.

Requirement Two (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
(NOTE: Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)

Requirement Three (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions."

In other words, ALWAYS carry chains when going to the snow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mooneywa View Post
I just want to check - chains aren't needed even during Chain Law (on say I-70 Eisenhower Tunnel area) as long as your tires have the Mountain with the Snowflake symbol and/or 4WD? I have a mostly stock Runner and I'd like to know so I don't get held up.
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Last edited by Dealmaker; 12-10-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 04:41 PM   #20
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I did a little more research since it looked like California has some different laws. Here are Colorado's:

Noncommercial Vehicles. For noncommercial vehicles when the chain law is implemented, one of two possible levels is called for.

Chains or snow tires required: This level requires chains, or snow tires, or
all-season tires with an M+S rating (mud+snow) with at least 1/8" tread, or
four-wheel drive vehicles with all four wheels engaged (conventional tires okay).

Chains only: This level requires chains, or four-wheel drive vehicles with all four wheels engaged (conventional tires okay).

It sounds like as long as you have 4WD/AWD (which I do) and the snowflake symbol (http://www.canadiandriver.com/2007/0...-snowflake.htm), which I do, I'll be okay on I-70. I've driven up there probably 40 times but never really thought about it until I saw this thread, or I already had chains with me just in case.
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