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Old 01-09-2006, 06:16 PM   #1
MountainBikerBaja
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Member#: 100420
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix AZ
Vehicle:
2006 Baja Turbo 5sp
Silver

Default Snow Question / Cable Chains

Hi all!
I need to buy a set of tire chains for my Baja.
Since I live in the Los Angeles area, buying dedicated winter tires for a few snow trips a year really isn't financially viable.

I have the stock RE92's and have driven in light and freshly plowed snow before without any problems but I want to avoid future hassels with the law since even AWD vehicles with Snow or M+S rated tires are still required to carry chains. Besides, why risk being really stuck if it snows while I'm out having fun?

That being said, our owners manual says not to use "S Class" chains with 225/60/15 (stock) or 215/60/15 tires due to clearance issues.
I found these Cable Chains on the Vulcan Tire website that are made for limited clearance vehicles. They only require 1/4" of clearance, and from what I have seen after checking out the clearance between the tires and the body, it looks like these cables will work without rubbing, even at full lock.

I'd appreciate any advice or comments!
-Jason
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
dhstein313
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Member#: 88445
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: SoCAL
Vehicle:
2005 Baja Turbo
dark blue

Default Chains

I live in the Mountain NEE of LA and have never been required to put chains on and only needed them twice in the last four years. I guess the powers that be KNOW how well suby and snow mix. I have crawled by many 4wd trucks with my old Suby Impeza Wagon ..... my baja has yet to see any snow. I do recommend still carrying chains as required by law and will check to see if my old IMPREZA chains work.

Duane
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:22 PM   #3
MountainBikerBaja
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Member#: 100420
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix AZ
Vehicle:
2006 Baja Turbo 5sp
Silver

Default

Thanks for the reply!
Yeah The CHP officer let me go ahead and drive but told me to keep the speed down and have chains next time since other officers might not let me get away with it even if it was AWD.
The Baja handles pretty good in the snow and I had no problems with the ABS or tires... Although I was crawling at a Safe & Sane speed.
-J
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:26 PM   #4
nurseman
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wow i cannot believe you would even consider chains and am shocked thats the law. i live in very upstate ny where snow is a major part of life. the most i ever needed with any of my subies was a pair of studded snow tires and i was glue to the road even at highway speed. this winter i am just using my stock tires and they have been great for the last couple storms. but i would still trade weather the LA anytime.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:31 PM   #5
MountainBikerBaja
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Silver

Default

Yeah it kind of sucks but during chain control periods, the California Highway Patrol makes people without chains turn around and go back down the mountain even if you have a 4WD or AWD with snow tires. I got lucky last time because the officer let me go ahead. Like you, I did just fine with my stock tires but yes, I'd rather have chains than drive 4 hours and be turned away 30 minutes from the slopes. On the plus side, if you have AWD you don't have to put the chains on but you must still carry them in the vehicle to be allowed past the chain control area.

I figure it's because most people in CA have no idea how to drive in snow compared to folks who live in areas that get snow every winter.

Anyways, heres some interesting reading for those interested in the CA chain control laws... CA Vehicle Code - Tires
The part that pertains to us Subaru Owners is 27460
-J
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:16 PM   #6
Guzzler
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This got me thinking.

If you do have to put chains on, do you put them on the font tires, back tires, or all tires?
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:00 PM   #7
MountainBikerBaja
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Location: Phoenix AZ
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2006 Baja Turbo 5sp
Silver

Default

According to our owners manual, you put the chains on the front tires only
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:33 PM   #8
blubaja03
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: somerdale, nj
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1999 OB wagon

Default

California is rediculous. I guess they don't believe that Subarus are made so they dont suck in the snow or any inclimate weather.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:46 AM   #9
dhstein313
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2005 Baja Turbo
dark blue

Default

I am from back East and the only people who put chains on were tractors on farms....... like I said earlier I live in the Cal Mountains and have NEVER been required to put them on just have them in the car. So yes the law is stupid but so far in the past four winters the enforcement has been fair - respecting AWD.

Duane
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
MountainBikerBaja
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Member#: 100420
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix AZ
Vehicle:
2006 Baja Turbo 5sp
Silver

Default

Hi all,
I got word from SOA today regarding chains.

In a Nutshell they said that the Baja and Outback are not able to fit chains but they are aware that the Security Chain Company (SCC) claims their chains will fit. The model of chain is the SHUR GRIP Z and that they have heard no customer complaints about this product.

Of course
"SUBARU OF AMERICA cannot endorse these or any other traction devices. However, we can inform any owners who request information on
traction devices of this company's claim that its products are available and suitable for Subaru vehicles. Customers must take the
initiative and responsibility for securing the products and satisfying themselves that it is safe to use them on their vehicles."

Looks like I will be getting the model above the SHUR GRIP Z since it needs even less clearance and should work just fine in case I ever need to put them on.
Everyone, thanks for the feedback and have fun!

Duane, I often go to big bear in the summer for bike races. You in that area? I
-Jason
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:00 PM   #11
dhstein313
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Member#: 88445
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: SoCAL
Vehicle:
2005 Baja Turbo
dark blue

Default

Often in Big Bear but live nearer to Lake Arrowhead
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