Snow chains with 4WD

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Tweekin, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Gimped

    Gimped Active Member

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    Finally got to talk to the secretary manning the phone at mitsubishi australia.
    She refused to put me through to anyone, explaining that only dealers could be put through, despite me telling her that i had been given 4 contradictory answers from 4 dealers.
    Pretty poor customer service actually.
     
  2. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Dedicated Member
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    I do love to have a closing post on a forum thread. It achieves a fleeting personal permanence amongst the rain of bytes.
    But if I cannot have the Last Laugh, I insist on the Last Like !



    The advice that you should have taken to heart is just "Drive Intelligently "
    In some circumstances, a 4WD might even be considered a liability, especially with futile factory tyres.
    On the way to the skimountains from Denver Is the Eisenhower tunnel. One end is usually bright sunshine while the other is often blizzard or sheet ice. Emerging on the icy side in my Explorer, I was often concerned with the sight of an Explorer upside down on the side of the road. Sedans just do a 720 and drive on with their low C of G.
    Chains are usually forbidden on hire vehickles around there..
     
    #52 bawbawbel, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  3. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here
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    Sorry BBB, your's was not the closing post!
     
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  4. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture
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    Usually.
    Except Hotham harrietville approach in a bad storm.....
    You need to do this some time!
     
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  5. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Totally agree, have a FWD van, and rarely actually need chains even on that, with the weight of the thing, and the traction system, its very capable. However, we did put chains on all four wheels of a Hilux a couple of times, once to get out in extreme mud, and the other in a metre of snow. (off road)

    I think the reason some 4WD might say rear wheels, is that the front diff may 'wind up' more than the rear. If you have chains on the thing, you are already in low.
     
  6. Gimped

    Gimped Active Member

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    You should still use high with chains on road.
     
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  7. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Never done it, and my 4WD days were before any of the fancy push a button cars.
     
  8. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    Depends on weight distribution of vehicle. If a ute type config, with no or little load in the back, then chains go on the front where the weight is. If you have a reasonably even or rearward distro of weight (ute or other config) then generally on the back. You need to be realistic about your weight distro (refer to owner's manual) and cargo input (ppl included).

    Front and back if you have challenging conditions (eg: ice and steep).
     
  9. Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

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    This is interesting. Many manuals do not have anything about fitting chains. My previous 4wd was a Nissan Patrol and I fitted to the front. The current 4wd is a dual cab ute and I have not fitted chains to it as yet but I cannot fit them to the front as there is not enough clearance when turning especially if there is any suspension movement. It is very light in the rear and with the power very loose on dirt or ice unless you drive sensibly. As soon as it breaks traction the rear steps out regardless of 4wd. Giving it more traction may help to stop this so chains to the rear would be needed. Last year I drove a Landcruiser ute in heavy snow and we put chains on the back but still had the rear end break away up a steep hill. The only thing that worked was putting a few big rounds in the back from a tree we had cut across the road. My take on this is it is more to do with weight but not adding too much as to cause a problem with power. The Landrover with chains front and back had less problem.
     
  10. dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room
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    Standard winter 4WD ute treatment is to add a bunch of sand bags in the tray over the rear wheels. Better than chains.
     
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  11. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    Just in NZ, and we rented an AWD soft roader (Honda CRV).

    I had asked for snow chains, they gave us ladder chains and no indication where to put them. I ended up googling the manual for the make and year, and it said "this vehicle does not have the clearance for snow chains, only approved cable traction device blah blah blah may be fitted to the front wheels"

    However this is rural NZ where they don't stand for nanny state crap, so I put them on the front anyway when I felt like it (there totally was clearance) and winched up the icy dirt switchbacks on old clubbie roads no worries at 15-20km/h. Chain control, consists of chatting directly to the old guy who drove the grader that morning, and getting some advice!
     
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  12. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    The way it should be.

    Had to admire the safety crowd at Thredbo park entrance yesterday afternoon. It was raining. The road was wet. Temperature was +3. Yet people were pulled over fitting chains. Meanwhile about 10km up the road, the RMS chain police were standing in the rain on the wet road making people fit chains. At thredbo the gutters were running torrents of water. WOuld have though some careful driving of any vehicle would have been enough in those conditions.
     
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  13. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    There were some pretty great pics and stories in the ski club history book. Back in the 1930s there was no road snow clearing in winter, so if you wanted to go skiing on the weekend, you crammed 6 people and 6 shovels in your old-timey motor car in Christchurch, reached the snow banks on Porters Pass at 11pm, and then everyone got out and started digging!
     
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  14. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Dedicated Member
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    On the way down from Turoa the grader driver suggested that I follow him closely in case I lost it in my hire 2WD without chains. I found that using the handbrake swung me towards the embankment and the footbrake swung me towards the abyss.
    Never, never will do stuff like that on the cheap again ....
    Talking about cheap, if you get a BMW "Sport" you need to hire different wheels with chains. 400 bucks should cover it.
     
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  15. Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

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    More trees here than sand but it works the same. Did a live test today with chains on the rear of the dual cab only in deep fresh snow on a bitumen road and they worked fine. I do like having them on the steer but it is just not possible. Two other dual cabs with standard tyres and chains on the rear also did fine. The troopies had chains on the front and no problems either.
     
  16. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    What the woodduck said....put weight in the back of the vehicle as required. Do not undercook it!
     
  17. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    Be mindful that in testing you may not replicate the conditions that actually prevail. Weight over axles can often be a lifesaver.
     
  18. Xplora

    Xplora Active Member

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    I do agree weight will be the decider in bad conditions although testing yesterday was in bad conditions and so I think it replicates the actual. 40cm is deep enough to get a pretty good idea but snow varies so I would not say testing is over. The other dual cabs had weight and I did not. Careful (gentle) placement of the right foot and proper gear selection is also very important, reducing torque by selecting the highest gear possible. Most punters would never drive in these conditions anyway if on their way to a resort but we do not have the luxury. Snow driving skills may be just as important for us to get home. This is the first winter with this vehicle so it is important to know how it will behave.
     
  19. Hemsley

    Hemsley Dedicated Member

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    Fuok that manual. I've never ready a manual in my life. I'd prefer to slide off one of those steep mountain roads in NZ, than read a manual. Always go with "gut feel". I've made it to 46 going off "gut feel". If one day, I get it wrong. I'd like someone to speak at my funeral and say. "At least Hemsley didn't pussy out and start reading manuals, he died doing it his way".
     
  20. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    Good for you, but in my experience, most people who don't read the manual or do their research screw it up, half ass it, and then get all confused as to why things don't work. (Maybe it's my industry - the more detail-oriented you are, the higher quality your work can be, and less time is wasted for others to go back and fix the things you missed)

    Yeah sure there's a lot of crap in most manuals/documentation, but usually a few "a-ha" moments too, it helps to know the rules in order to break them.
     
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  21. Hemsley

    Hemsley Dedicated Member

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  22. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Best to cock it up. Fiddle and try to fix. Only when you are really stuffed do you pull the manual. Grey tape fixes most things.
     
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  23. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    "The problem with only learning by experience, is that sometimes the final exam comes before the lesson"
     
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  24. Hemsley

    Hemsley Dedicated Member

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    so be it.
    such is life.
     
  25. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    You need weight in the back. Plate iron/steel can be useful as it does not take up room (height) but weighs a fair bit. Secure it. Everyone suggests that if they take it easy with the right foot and work the gears they will be OK. Plenty of times I have pulled ppl out of the trees or worse because on the flat they were fine but as soon as they got onto a slope and the wheels ran through to ice underneath or well packed snow they were all over the shop. Especially on a slope. The physics just takes over and you either cannot get enough power to to the wheels without loss of control, or you find yourself sliding backwards (that makes for a scary ride) or you need to dig in under the tyres until you hit dirt and then gun it and risk loss of control again. With weight on the axles you can confidently drive slowly, safely, under control often without too much issue. It may seem a hassle but having learnt from experience - put the weight in. 100 - 200 kg is can be useful depending upon conditions and whatever else you have over the axles.
     
  26. hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member
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    Good reason to not buy a Bitsaremissing.Would not happen with Toyota!
     
  27. hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member
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    How about pool filter sand?Comes in strong bags.
     
  28. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Strong bags don't like constant rubbing on aluminum or steel tray. Gets week, breaks, sand goes everywhere.
     
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  29. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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  30. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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  31. chriscross

    chriscross Dedicated Member
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    At bb on Weds saw a VW Toureg 4WD with chains on the rear wheels. Doh!
     
  32. Gimped

    Gimped Active Member

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    Is that a problem with the tourag?
     
  33. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    The fact it had chains on at all is a worry?? Transporter manual says fit to front.
     
  34. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    does it? have flicked through but never found anything. Only front, or all four?
     
  35. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Mine is on Page 297. Look up "Snow Chains" in the back of the manual.
     
  36. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here
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    They may have been told to fit them!
     
  37. chriscross

    chriscross Dedicated Member
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    But you would put them on the front (steering) wheels, surely?
     
  38. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Will do mate
    Have only ever had a flick through
    Did you end up buying any?
     
  39. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    I got some off a forum member a while back but then put larger diameter tyres on van so they do not fit. You can have those if you want as they should fit standard size tyres.

    The Cooper AT3 i have on mine are more than adequate to deal with any public road conditions. I went looking for chains last weekend because i was worried about possibility of a large fall at Ngarigo and an unploughed exit.
     
  40. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    For grip and control, yes ideally they'd be on the front (or even more ideally, chains on all four tires!) But it depends on the design of the 4wd transmission.

    The wheels with chains on them will have a slightly larger rolling diameter, and so that axle will turn slightly slower than the other, and this can stress the 4wd gearing (the differential aka diff) which is trying to get everything to turn at the same speed. So depending on the exact way the transmission is designed, it is actually better to put them on the front or back.

    It's similar to why you're not supposed to drive some vehicles on sealed roads with the diff locked in true 4wd mode, in that case the tires can wear out quicker without the slight "slip" they would have driving on dirt.
     
  41. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    Bonus jargon: Limited Slip Differential aka LSD, this is a bit of gearing with a clutch or similar clever device, that allows some difference in speed between the wheels, but limits that difference. As well as AWDs and 4WDs they are known for being put in drifting/burnout cars.

    Because in a normal 2WD car without a LSD, if you try to burnout, the wheel that loses traction first will tend to spin as fast as it wants without the other wheel ever breaking free. This leads to a single wheel skid aka a "single pegger", lookout for these in the driveway of your local RSL. Car enthusiasts without the means to install an expensive LSD in their project drift car, will often just weld the 2WD differential solid, allowing sicker burnouts brah, but also meaning the car squeaks through every tight corner as the wheels can't turn at different speeds, and it also tends to lead to vehicle defect notices from the po-po.
     
  42. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Aside from transmission issues.

    For hill climbing more traction at the rear tyres. For descent on the front.

    Related to down force based on angle of the vehicle.
     
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  43. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Mate, will take up that offer thank you.
    See you in the carpark :)

    A Ngarigo exit is where I reckon I might really like some traction.

    Will get better tyres for next season I think, as well.
     
  44. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Let me know when you are down next. I'm thinking weekend after the next for us - or possibly during next week looking at current forecast.
     
  45. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    same likely here :)
     
  46. Pez

    Pez Active Member
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    Standing outside the Black Bear Inn at Thredbo on a busy icy morning / day
    you will soon realise why sometimes it is a good idea to fit chains.
    The hill combined with the intersection, which usually requires stopping equals sliding backwards into the granite wall.
     
  47. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    It's the fact that it's a Touareg that is the problem. :D
     
  48. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    Banjo Drive was the original road built down to the river at Thredbo, apparently Snowy Hydro was told to design it. They gave the job to the student engineer there doing work experience. He did the plan in one night, using the maximum allowable gradient and the minimum allowable turn radius in the Australian road standards the whole way down.
     
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  49. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Roads during the Snowy Scheme were not designed in any conventional sense of the word, unless pointing a dozer at something and engaging first gear counts as "design".
     
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  50. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    Hey at least in this country we point the dozer at something, in the NZ forum @Red_switch told a story that Porters ski field actually ended up in the wrong freaking valley, because the dozer driver got lost!
     
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