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Car chains vs 4wd chains...just a tread pattern thing?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Young Angus, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Young Angus

    Young Angus One of Us

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    Just getting some chains for a Subaru Forester and noticed that the tyre size has a suitable chain size in the "car chains" part and also the "4wd chain" section. I'm assuming these different categories are just for smaller actual chain link size for highway tyres vs a larger chain link size (16mm like the ones I have for my 4wd) for putting on 4wd tyres with bigger tread spacings etc. Is this all it is?

    Car chain size is 104 and 4wd chain size 240.

    If the Forester has highway tyres on it, I'd just go the car chain size right? Does everyone with soft roaders just do this? Surely 4wd chains on a highway tyre would make a mess of the tyre right?
     
  2. teleroo

    teleroo Waiting for winter... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pay more attention to the chain pattern and ease of fitment. Is there always a bit of chain on the road for example or are there bigger gaps in one versus another. Dunno where you are, but if in NSW a subie with good tyre tread should rarely need chains. But handy to have I guess. But I'd reckon if you ain't gonna use them much, the lighter duty car ones would be ok. Heavier duty 4WD ones will probably drive worse and be tougher on the car, but may be more durable long term.
     
  3. Young Angus

    Young Angus One of Us

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    I'm in VIC and Hotham is where I'd be going most. I'd rather have something that's more durable but I don't want to wreck the car/tyres if I don't need to. Mind you they wouldn't go on unless they absolutely had to (which has happened to me quite a lot on that road).

    Tyres are another thing I guess, but I'll probably keep the OEM highway tyres on it until they need replacing so they won't do much good in snow.
     
  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Weight
    The difference is most likely in the chain section size.
    My UL chains are semi disposable and about 5mm, [ ALDI] the good chains are 6.5mm but my old HD chains for the Dyna are 8mm and with extra cross diamonds and added wear links.
    I've found that the UL ones are fine if you keep the speed down
    These days I can barely lift the heavy 4*4 chains
     
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  5. Jonathan_P

    Jonathan_P One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you are after snow chain advice give Roof Carrier Systems a call.

    I was struggling to make sense of what to fit and they really helped me out, ensuring that we got the correct chain for conditions and my vehicle.

    Chains I think are one if those things you can’t get wrong as it can do a fair bit of damage.

    This year though upgrading to snow tyres.
     
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  6. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    from what I hear chains are often mandatory for hotham, even for AWDs, in conditions that experienced snow drivers think are quite unnecessary.
     
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  7. Jonathan_P

    Jonathan_P One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Correct, I was planning to visit last year, however could not due to restrictions.

    Only diamond pattern are acceptable.
    https://www.mthotham.com.au/discover/explore/getting-here/chains

     
  8. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Is Hotham insisting on the ban on ladder chains on the rear wheels when diamonds are fitted to the steering wheels when in 4*4 mode?
    When I lived at Falls this was the best advice I ever received although I no longer have the ladder chains.
     
  9. teckel

    teckel "I'm not a cat" Ski Pass: Gold

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    This. (in part. If, as a 65 yr old woman who's lost a lot of strength because of illness in the last 2 years, I can toss the 4WD ones around with ease, they're not too heavy. Chains for large coaches/buses - now they are heavy)
    The difference is the size of the link. eg: 12mm vs 16mm. Many cars simply lack the clearance for a 16mm chain, and the ride is a lot rougher with large gauge chains.
    OTOH Moondog, I wouldn't be going anywhere with 5mm chains!! Not even with 8mm unless your car has 20" tyres and almost no clearance.

    Essentially, for a Forester I'd go with the car ones. Chain gauge really corresponds to the weight of the car. A Forester isn't a hugely heavy car - it's the weight of a sedan, not a landcruiser.
     
  10. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    This. Fantastic service.
     
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  11. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    My experience with 7mm chains is they break fairly easily.

    +10 mm for longivety and a little more resilience to travelling faster than 40
     
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  12. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some good advice in this thread. I have a Subaru Outback AWD and am considering all-terrain tyres to handle the snow/ice/slush in the Snowy Mountains this year. Anything else I should be considering?
     
  13. Jonathan_P

    Jonathan_P One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am going to give the Nokian WR SUV 4 a go as per the below, will fit them before the season and they will stay on the car as they are an all weather tyre.
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/suv-tyres-good-for-snow-highway.81079/page-4#post-4474729

    That being said there are other options available so depends on your budget. The current tyre I have is probably in the premium price range so cost difference for me wasn’t that bad.

    Though if you read through this other thread there are much cheaper options.
     
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  14. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Thing is with speed that quite often the car makers specify a maximum speed when using snow chains, with my current Kia Cerato and the older Renault Scenic Megane that top speed is/was 40kph.
    Partly due no doubt to the minimal clearance in the front wheel wells. I've seen some pretty impressive damage done to some very shiny and very expensive vehicles over the decades with people going much faster than 40kph up at Falls. Chain slap in the wheel wells can be dangerous too I suppose, sometimes very delicate pipes etc.
     
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  15. snow drive solutions

    snow drive solutions Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Only diamond pattern wheel chains comply with the new Victorian Alpine Resorts “wheel chain regulations”
    that were introduced on 18.11.2020.
    The requirements are now the same for each Victorian resort. This means that spider chains (Konig/Thule K-Summit & Rud Centrax) along with any ladder chains or snow socks, will no longer be permitted to be used at Hotham, Falls, Buller, Baw Baw or Lake Mountain.

    ____________________________________________________________
    Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 (November 18 2020)
    Statutory rule as made
    STATUTORY RULE NUMBER 128/2020
    https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/20-128sra authorised.pdf
    Extract from pages 24-28
    Division 2—Wheel chains in alpine resorts
    23 Definitions in this Division
    There are three new definitions in this Division—
    4 wheel drive vehicle includes an all-wheel drive vehicle;
    snow tyre means a tyre whose tread pattern, tread compound and structure are specifically designed to achieve better performance, on a road affected by snow or ice, than that of a normal tyre with regard to its ability to initiate, maintain or stop vehicle motion;
    wheel chains mean devices made up of chains in a diamond pattern that are designed to be fitted to wheels of a motor vehicle to increase the directional stability and traction of the wheels of that vehicle on a road affected by snow or ice.
     
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  16. PG2736

    PG2736 Addicted

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    My 2 cents worth. If you are driving up to Hotham regularly, go and see the guys at Roof Carrier Systems. Spend the $$ and get a pair of good quality Konig/Thule chains, they are easy to fit and you won’t have any issues. I would also give consideration to snow tyres...we have a set on one of our cars and they are absolutely brilliant.
     
  17. Young Angus

    Young Angus One of Us

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    I've driven up to Hotham with a proper 4wd many times and often had to fit chains because the road was so slippery even a good AWD/4WD had very poor chances of staying in control. There's always a couple of nut-sacks who think they don't need to put chains on even in extreme conditions and I've seen that happen a few times and those people very nearly drive straight into other cars, especially in the Lock car park, just because they thought they had a 4WD and that would mean they can get traction on compacted snow and ice with their mud tyres. Most times in a shiny new dual cab 4WD ute too...I would have thought seeing as those things cost so much they might not want to ding them up :confused:
     
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  18. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    How are you all measuring chain?
    Section size or clearance?
    I go by section size; Teckels 16mm chain is for big earth moving equipment in my book and I see that the new model of Konig Polar chains are now only 5.5mm section size, well down from the 8mm of mine so I should go and double check the section size of my quick fits, bearing in mind that I last bought chains a decade ago [ my tyre size has remained the same despite 3 changes in vehicle] and the Polars almost 30 years in the past
     
  19. Jonathan_P

    Jonathan_P One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have the Konig xg-12 pro apparently measures 12 mm inside and on-the-tread clearance.

    Fantastic chain easy to fit, good quality.

    You have to be careful when shopping around for a vehicle some of them either can’t fit chains or require different wheels to fit chains due to clearance.
     
  20. teckel

    teckel "I'm not a cat" Ski Pass: Gold

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    The standard measure for chains is the link size - hence clearance size. eg: Jonathan_P's chains XG-12 = 12mm link size.
     
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  21. MickM

    MickM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Second that, RCS will sort you out no hassles.
     
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  22. Artisan

    Artisan Hard Yards

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    Anybody have experience with chains on a truck ? I been thinking of trying them on slippery hard clay muddy tracks.
     
  23. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Yes when in the old CMF around 1970 and the old trucks. Last resort method as it tears up the road really badly, so much so that it would be impassable for the next vehicle. Only one single experience tho and it wasn't me putting the chains on.
     
  24. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    4WD + Front and Rear Diff Locks+ Snow Rated Tyres ftw. Diff locks are expensive but they are damn good. Double your traction.
     
  25. fenrir

    fenrir One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I got the Pirelli Scorpion All Terain Plus on my xtrail - its rated with the 3PMSF logo and I had no problems last year. Reasonably cheap as snow tyres go and should have something in the right size for an outback in that range.
     
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  26. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have those tyres on my Outback, really good.
     
  27. Nidecker

    Nidecker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Discussed elsewhere, but very popular. Also very cheap at Tempe Tyres for some reason?