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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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chains q's?

ok, so last saturday went up to the mountains here is socal. chains where not required but they should've been. i did my fair share of sliding around on 1" of ice on the roads. luckily i didn't freak out and never hit anything shockingly. my question is with chains will i pretty much be safe as long as i use common sense when driving on ice and snow and what not? also when you buy chains are they for all 4 wheels or just the rear wheels? i know these are probably very stupid questions to some but i have no real winter driving experience.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 04:07 PM
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Just for the rear wheels, and you do not want to drive on regular pavement, only snow. They will rattle the teeth right out of your head.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 05:56 PM
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Get some with bar cleats as they will help with ice. The drive wheels get the chains.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 10:33 PM
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yeah I can't stand chains... I use Cables. Much easier on the body and the car ahah. And you can drive faster.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:20 PM
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Funny, I just posted this a minute ago under miscellaneous for a guy with 225/60-16 tires. If you are running narrower tires, you might get away with the v-bar chains, but if you spin them they'll twist apart from the sides easier as they have a greater tendency to "roll" on the tire between the tire and ice ... because they are taller with those v-bars and bit harder.

I've used them, we used to use them on dept. cars years ago, they'll tear up a fender in a hurry.

I really like these new chains we use, and used them last in 44 hours in 3 days with our 28" snow storm in Dec.

You have to use class S or sub class S ... tire chains on these cars with the wider tires.

My department has been using the "diamond style" Laclede Alpine Premier #1553 class S chains which are listed for

235/60R16; P215/60R17; P215/65R17;
P225/55R17; P225/60R17; P225/70R15;
P245/55R16; P245/60R15; P255/60R15

We use the same #1553 chains on 225/60-16 and 235/55-17 Goodyear Eagle RSA pursuit tires ...
... though they actually list #1550 for the 225/60-16 tire size so that might be a better number to use.

I used them recently two days on my '06 CVPI with 235/55-17s in the December storm for near 200 miles on ice / snow covered roadways with some clear sections in between. Easy to install, just check every few miles at first and tighten very easily, then as time goes, watch wear. They are easy to install, and the ratcheting tension adjustment works like a charm.

Cross chains are small, but appearantly very hard steel for they look like they'ld go another couple hundred like that. Keep speeds down and limit spinning. I'ld run them on a stock height Bird, but not one that's dropped.

Weight added only if air bags can keep rear up.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 12:19 AM
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Moved to far-north California 2 weeks ago, day after it snowed.

Cable chains didn't work too well for me. Lots of trouble getting up the short hill to my house in about 2 inches of snow. Tried various things for about 30mins, then I finally decided I'd balance myself on the passenger-side rear-fender while the wife drove(very dangerous btw at any speed, even 5mph as I would find out.) Got up the 1st hill then she took the turn up to the 2nd hill to our house and I got flung off. Yay, we made it and I didn't get hurt.

I wonder if chains would have worked better than cables. No problems with clearance(lowered 1.25inches) but was a pain putting them on and getting them tight.

Have since bought studded snow tires mounted on spare wheels. Supposed to snow this weekend. Hope I get to try them out.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8_superbirdy View Post
ok, so last saturday went up to the mountains here is socal. chains where not required but they should've been. i did my fair share of sliding around on 1" of ice on the roads. luckily i didn't freak out and never hit anything shockingly. my question is with chains will i pretty much be safe as long as i use common sense when driving on ice and snow and what not? also when you buy chains are they for all 4 wheels or just the rear wheels? i know these are probably very stupid questions to some but i have no real winter driving experience.
Don't bother with chains, just get some studded snow tires and call it good.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 12:34 AM
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I agree, studded tires will do the trick. I had them on my Mustang GT and could go damn near anywhere.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 04:05 AM
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Wow... I made it through 4 winters without anything but normal tires in my RWD cars in MN and you live in SoCal and want to buy chains??
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 10:04 AM
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I believe he clarified that.
"ok, so last saturday went up to the mountains here is socal. chains where not required but they should've been. i did my fair share of sliding around on 1" of ice on the roads."

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kustomizingkid View Post
Wow... I made it through 4 winters without anything but normal tires in my RWD cars in MN and you live in SoCal and want to buy chains??
We live in northern states with little elevation to deal with, snow tires are a nice thing to have, but not a necessity by any means. I drove my '90 Bird in the Appalachian mountains of east TN/western NC for more than a few winters and while they don't get the snowfall amounts, its much more treacherous to deal with. I did it without snow tires, but I learned to drive in the snow (literally). Coming from So-Cal to snowy mountains would be a worst-case scenario.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by skinnytick View Post
Moved to far-north California 2 weeks ago, day after it snowed.

Cable chains didn't work too well for me. Lots of trouble getting up the short hill to my house in about 2 inches of snow. Tried various things for about 30mins, then I finally decided I'd balance myself on the passenger-side rear-fender while the wife drove(very dangerous btw at any speed, even 5mph as I would find out.) Got up the 1st hill then she took the turn up to the 2nd hill to our house and I got flung off. Yay, we made it and I didn't get hurt.

I wonder if chains would have worked better than cables. No problems with clearance(lowered 1.25inches) but was a pain putting them on and getting them tight.

Have since bought studded snow tires mounted on spare wheels. Supposed to snow this weekend. Hope I get to try them out.
Next Time go up there in Reverse. That what i did in the Wintertime, driving Taxi in Germany ! If a Benz can make it, why not a Bird.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 11:59 PM
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Next Time go up there in Reverse. That what i did in the Wintertime, driving Taxi in Germany ! If a Benz can make it, why not a Bird.

-Maic
I don't know the Benz, but these MN12 Birds and Cats have a fairly stiff independent suspension, the slightest irregularity can lead to spinning where earlier Fox cars didn't. Just pulling out of parking lots crossing a slight drainage as one enters traffic can lead to unintended squealing in dry weather where my CVPI or my older Fox with it's live axle and less roll resistance wouldn't squeal even at heavier acceleration.

Combine this more "go cart" like rigid ness with the fact that the rear wheels lean with the car, not with theroad like a live axle, and it don't get better.

Just a slight increase in stiffness like sport springs versus LX will greatly increase the tendency. No way would I drive my '92 Sport in snow here, I know it'ld mean calling a wrecker. My '95 LX ... maybe, if the Mercury GM or truck wouldn't start and I just had to go.

I'm serious, if one is only used to these MN12s, they have forgotten how much better a live axle car with softer roll resistance will go in snow / ice ... or even just rain.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 12:12 AM
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I don't know the Benz, but these MN12 Birds and Cats have a fairly stiff independent suspension, the slightest irregularity can lead to spinning where earlier Fox cars didn't. Just pulling out of parking lots crossing a slight drainage as one enters traffic can lead to unintended squealing in dry weather where my CVPI or my older Fox with it's live axle and less roll resistance wouldn't squeal even at heavier acceleration.

Combine this more "go cart" like rigid ness with the fact that the rear wheels lean with the car, not with theroad like a live axle, and it don't get better.

Just a slight increase in stiffness like sport springs versus LX will greatly increase the tendency. No way would I drive my '92 Sport in snow here, I know it'ld mean calling a wrecker. My '95 LX ... maybe, if the Mercury GM or truck wouldn't start and I just had to go.

I'm serious, if one is only used to these MN12s, they have forgotten how much better a live axle car with softer roll resistance will go in snow / ice ... or even just rain.
Wow...I completely disagree. My 88 Turbo Coupe was a deathtrap in any conditions other than dry pavement, and if it were off balance AT ALL it meant the car spinning around on its nose under heavy acceleration.

My '90 SC w/ 3.27 T Lok would go anywhere in the snow (even closed roads past law enforcement that couldn't give chase in Indiana, just ask the wife).

My '95 LX w/ 3.08 open diff and squishy springs is in the middle. Its not the worst in the snow, but the '90 would have been able to drive in circles around it, and the TC would be in the ditch across the street if I tried driving it in the snow.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 07:15 PM
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Well, of all the cars I've owned since my first '57 Cheby in 1970 ...
... including a 69 Dart 340 Swinger 4 spd, '65 GTO 4 spd, '67 Chevelle SS with 454 and 3x2bbls and 4 spd, two Toyota Celicas ('74 and '76 GTs), '79 Malibu, the '85 T-Bird recently sold ...
... my current '92 T-Bird Sport has to be the worst in this reguard.

My '95 4.6 LX ... I don't know, I think it's maybe some better though because I've never had the excessive spin tendency pulling out of the car wash, etc. It does still have softer LX springs.

The '85 T-Bird had standard suspension and 5.0, not a hot rod, but a nice car. We had it from Feb '86 until this past Nov. In 1996/97 over the new years, we were in Muscadine, Al visiting wife's brother and were going to get up early to head home before a big snow storm that was coming out of Texas. We awoke at 5, and the storm was already there. I left their driveway before 6 with wife and stuff throwed in hurridly, worked my way out to I-20 leaving one wide track. Took us all day, near 20 hours coming across Ga and up 85 to 29N working around the front of the storm.

I was impressed with how that car did then with 225/60-15 Lemans HR all season radials. Tires were new ... but I was making one wide track when I got home that night in the wee morning hours in the Va. mountains. No chains. Wife and I were just talking about it last night.

Anyway .........

I found my favorite snow cars were the '69 VW 1500 4 spd Beetle and the '84 Subaru GL Hatchback, but it was 4WD .... with a 4-Lo that I've used to pull my fullsized polivce cars out of the drive way with.

Having worked over 30 years as a trooper, driving in all kinds of stuff, I didn't count those cars because they have used soft rubber fast wearing pursuit tires which coincidentally, do well in the slick stuff on a full size RWD police car with a ton of stuff stuffed inside. We stopped using "snow" tires in the early '80s, though those old Firestone Town & Country "you go or we payy the tow" snow tires were good in snow ... but they sucked big time at 100+ in the dry working radar or chasing one.

So .... I stand corrected .... maybe as pertains to my '95 LX ...
... for now, though the set of Sport springs I have for it may change that.


A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 01-15-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 08:03 PM
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It just shocks me because of how good the '90 was in the snow, but I guess each car is different. My LX is horrible everywhere.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 08:08 PM
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Trac-lok helps

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 10:17 PM
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Trac-lok helps
No doubt ... I meant to address that, just slipped past it.

Neither of my T-birds has LS rears.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 01-15-2010 at 10:24 PM.
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