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Old 11-11-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
canuck37
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Default A new twist on tire chains...

OK, we have debated the whole tire chain issue for years here, I know. However, I recently was talking with the Service Manager of the new Subie dealer I am going to these days about the issue, to get his perspective. I figured it would be the same old story "NO" tire chains, as per the manual due to no clearance on front axles with stock tire size, etc.....

Anyway, he said if there is need for chains (real or "legislated" like we have rules for here in Calif. during certain road conditions that the Highways Dept. feels they are required), he would install them on the REAR tires!! He said they would have the same effect, and there is plenty of clearance there, with fewer things like axles, etc. to get whacked if one broke, etc..

This is a completely new idea to me and I would appreciate some of the Subie techs out there commenting on his pitch. Seemed to make sense to me, but then I am no specialist for sure! What say you???

If this would solve the issue that some of us that live in States that require chains during certain winter road conditions, regardless if we have good tires, AWD, etc., then we may have a winner here. Otherwise, maybe the guy is misguided and needs straightening out.......

Grasping at a new straw.......
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
subeman90
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all 4 wheels FTW!

why chains? Why not cables?
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
canuck37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subeman90 View Post
all 4 wheels FTW!

why chains? Why not cables?
Cable chains or link type, makes no difference as far as Subaru is concerned re putting them on front wheels - both are a no-no.

Also, State regulations in Calif. make no distinction between the two types, so that is why we use the term interchangeably here. Either type works to comply with regs.....

I am looking for someone with Subaru tech expertise to advise if there is any issues with putting them on the rear only, when required by regulation, such as damage to transmission, etc.. As I said earlier, it makes sense to me from a purely observational standpoint, as there is more room in the rear for clearance and only the brake lines to worry about, etc. if they broke.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
subeman90
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I wonder if my 06 has more room then your 03? I can't see where there would be an issue.

The only issue I see with them on the back only is that the front will plow when you try to turn it since the front will have much less grip.

I wish I had places to go that required chains. that would be cool!
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
sabber
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on 06 does have more clearence than an 03.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
moonzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck37 View Post
he would install them on the REAR tires!! He said they would have the same effect, and there is plenty of clearance there, with fewer things like axles, etc. to get whacked if one broke, etc..

Grasping at a new straw.......
Last time I checked, my `04 Baja Turbo had an axle in the rear. I'm not quite sure I buy that arguement but it sounds like the dealer really wants to make you happy.

Personally - chains? really?

I've driven through snow that drifted up 16"+ and ice and slush in some good all season tires and had no difficulty manuevering on the road whether I'm parking or driving on the highway. Hell I'll even admit to stupid passing manuevers in said conditions.

Chains just really seem unnecessary for me - in midwest south/central Indiana.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:17 PM   #7
kev m
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonzie View Post
Personally - chains? really?

I've driven through snow that drifted up 16"+ and ice and slush in some good all season tires and had no difficulty manuevering on the road whether I'm parking or driving on the highway. Hell I'll even admit to stupid passing manuevers in said conditions.

Chains just really seem unnecessary for me - in midwest south/central Indiana.
I was thinking that too, but I personally do go further and run Blizzaks in the winter.

HOWEVER, I'm under the impression the OP is talking about driving on routes and in conditions where chains are MANDATED by the state.

I do wonder though, in consditions like that, are studded snows an option or does it HAVE to be chains?

I also wonder if such regulations are a bit outdated if you were talking about a vehicle as good in snow as a Scoobie, along with say at least dedicated snow tires. The Baja (and the Forester before it) have always been ABSOLUTELY ROCK SOLID in the Blizzards and ice storms I've gone out to "play" in.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
canuck37
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Yup - you're right and they may be outdated but the law is the law and they stick to it here.

In Calif., the cops block the road and only let through those vehicles with chains installed - period. Doesn't matter if you are a full on 4x4, AWD, or whatever - no chains, no go through.

I need to travel through some passes that go through this occasionally during bad storms in the winter and cannot afford to be turned back. It isn't a matter of my confidence, tire type/brand, studs or not, or the ability of the Subie to handle it. Being a good Canuck, I know snow and know the car can deal with it and I have GY ATTs - great tires. I can drive it in Canada no problem in the snow - here in California, they get paranoid about it. Since I live in both places, and need to go back and forth a lot, I need a solution. For years, I have "lucked out" and dodged the nasty storms. The reason I brought this whole thing up again is the comment from the new Subie Service Manager referred to in my earlier email.

Bottom line is if I can't figure out a way to install either cable chains or links on either front or rear and drive the vehicle safely, I will probably be forced to sell my beloved Baja.......



Quote:
Originally Posted by kev m View Post
I was thinking that too, but I personally do go further and run Blizzaks in the winter.

HOWEVER, I'm under the impression the OP is talking about driving on routes and in conditions where chains are MANDATED by the state.

I do wonder though, in consditions like that, are studded snows an option or does it HAVE to be chains?

I also wonder if such regulations are a bit outdated if you were talking about a vehicle as good in snow as a Scoobie, along with say at least dedicated snow tires. The Baja (and the Forester before it) have always been ABSOLUTELY ROCK SOLID in the Blizzards and ice storms I've gone out to "play" in.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:18 PM   #9
jlemond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck37 View Post
Yup - you're right and they may be outdated but the law is the law and they stick to it here.

In Calif., the cops block the road and only let through those vehicles with chains installed - period. Doesn't matter if you are a full on 4x4, AWD, or whatever - no chains, no go through.
Um as a new Subaru owned who used to Own a Ford Focus and goes to the MTN. to Board several times a year I have Never Personally seen a Suby stopped and forced to put on chains. They are usually waved through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck37 View Post
OK, we have debated the whole tire chain issue for years here, I know. However, I recently was talking with the Service Manager of the new Subie dealer I am going to these days about the issue, to get his perspective. I figured it would be the same old story "NO" tire chains, as per the manual due to no clearance on front axles with stock tire size, etc.....
And Also when I bought my Suby back in March they told me this same thing, Tire Chains on rear only. The Salesman said it is in the User Manuel If I forget.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
DUDE ITS A BAJA
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Default snow

blizzaks should be fine for you, we just got 24 inches in the past 24 hours here in bozeman montana, and drifts up to 30 no issues yet. We have chain stations too but 4x4 trucks and subies get waved through.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #11
kev m
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If the cable chains are easy enough to put on (and take off).

Why not get a set for the rear - keep them handy.

IF they force you to put them on, do that.

Then as soon as you are around the first bend or over the first ridge and out of sight, pull over and take em off.

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Old 11-12-2009, 09:59 PM   #12
hatake
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Nothing useful to say, but I'm glad I live in CO where there is no such weird law. CA is a weird country eh?
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:02 PM   #13
kev m
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the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia!
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:38 AM   #14
seafajr.
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I used a set of Peerless Auto-Trac chains on my Baja. I tried to put them on all 4 but had to take them off the rear because they started to bang around. I had them up front but they would make a little bit of clanging noise when I got closer to 30mph. I took the tires off to inspect for any kind of damage. There wasn't any, not even any kind of nick in the wheel well or strut. Otherwise they worked fine and there was absolutely no damage.
There is absolutely no clearance in the rear so don't bother unless you get narrower tires.
This year I'm going I'm going to try it with 215/65-15 tires instead and possible some wheel spacers.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:55 AM   #15
seafajr.
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I forgot to mention that the SCC Shur Grip Z cable chains are suppose to work on Subarus with clearance issues. I've seen a pair of them on display a while back and they definitely take up a little less space behind the tire than my chains. If I can get away with the Peerless Auto-trac chains in front on stock 225/60-16 tires, the Shur Grips should do better.
Now that I've already bought the chains, I'm not going to bother trying to get a set of the Shur Grips. It'll be too much hassle trying to sell a used set.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:37 AM   #16
seafajr.
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Here is a link to a Q & A forum posted by a local Subaru repair shop here in Seattle. It's very good reading regarding tire chains.
http://allwheeldriveauto.com/your-su...ins-explained/
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:08 PM   #17
canuck37
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Default Thule chains?

Anybody had any experience with these new Thule Summit K tire chains on a Baja?? Just wondered - they are awful pricey but if the would work and are the only option, maybe worth the expense......

I have been checking around online a lot and there are a ton of Subie owners looking for a resolution to this issue - maybe this is it? Below is the link and some text description copied off a vendor's site.

Thoughts??


http://www.thule.com/enGB/US/Product/SnowChains.aspx



Thule K-Summit Snow Chains K34 - Thule Tire Chains
The Thule K-Summit Snow Chains K34 are the most exclusive and user-friendly external snow chain you have ever seen for your passenger vehicle. The Thule K-Summit Snow Chains are low profile and require no internal wheel clearance.
Size K34, check our snow chain fit guide for correct fit
Includes two tire chains, enough for the front or rear of your vehicle
Suitable for every kind of passenger vehicle
0mm clearance behind the wheel
Chain features steel tensioning springs for perfect fitting, traction plates to improve grip, and an innovative ratchet system for effortless installation
Ergonomic design requires just one movement with one hand
Can be fitted on nut/bolt of 17mm, 19mm, and 21mm
No components to keep mounted on the wheel over winter, simply attach when needed
Foldable arms for easy storage in convenient bag
Innovative design in line with the latest car models
Color-coded assembling parts
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:43 AM   #18
seafajr.
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Talking

Looks like the Spike Spider chain set up except you don't have to mount that hub thing first.
I don't see why it wouldn't work. There's plenty of clearance around the wheel for them. They may be pricey, but definitely worth it if you have to drive through heavy ice and snow, especially if you have to navigate steep hills.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:43 PM   #19
GrindingGears
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Those Thule chains are ridculously expensive!

I've always had SCC Z6 cables for my vehicles, but never for my WRX. Anyone use the SCC Z6 cables on their Baja/WRX/STI?
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