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Old 12-07-2015, 09:43 AM   #1
'79 Bonneville
 
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tire chains

We are putting tire chains on all 6 wheels. We live in Hinesburg, VT at 1,400' elevation on a mountain at the end of a long (1,100') steep, winding gravel driveway so the chains will be needed if/when we want to leave mid-winter and the driveway is slippery. We will stop at a truck service place on the highway about 5 miles from home to have the chains removed and be on our way to Florida.

The chains are being installed now at the truck place and we have been informed that the front chains make contact with the shock absorbers. These are not cable chains - they are heavy duty with the angled teeth.

Has anyone had experience with aggressive chains on the front wheels?

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Old 12-07-2015, 12:54 PM   #2
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I've never heard of putting chains on the front wheels? I served on the Fire dept. for 32 years and we would chain up the outside rear duels which was enough to take care of getting around in the snow and ice in Iowa. Maybe chain both rear duels I have seen that done before with cables but not with chains.
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Old 12-07-2015, 01:17 PM   #3
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ah - but you didn't try to drive your fire trucks down my driveway when it's slippery and your front wheels need pretty good traction to stay out of the ditches on both sides and the trees lining the other side of the ditches

So far in the past 25 years I have ended up off the road in a Toyota and a Subaru - both with 4WD and aggressive studded snow tires. My experience with a vehicle like the Solera is it will barely be under control with chains on all 6 wheels and, without the front chains, would leave the road in the first steep curve.


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Old 12-07-2015, 01:47 PM   #4
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True, but your not responding to a heart attack and house on fire in a Solera.
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Old 12-07-2015, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcunning View Post
We are putting tire chains on all 6 wheels. We live in Hinesburg, VT at 1,400' elevation on a mountain at the end of a long (1,100') steep, winding gravel driveway so the chains will be needed if/when we want to leave mid-winter and the driveway is slippery. We will stop at a truck service place on the highway about 5 miles from home to have the chains removed and be on our way to Florida.

The chains are being installed now at the truck place and we have been informed that the front chains make contact with the shock absorbers. These are not cable chains - they are heavy duty with the angled teeth.

Has anyone had experience with aggressive chains on the front wheels?

If they are hitting your front shocks, does not sound like you will have experience with them either.. By the time you make the 5 miles you'll buzz saw a hole into your shocks probably. Might need to go a bit less aggressive.

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Old 12-13-2015, 09:10 AM   #6
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The chains are installed and I drove the 4 miles home. Lots of vibration and shaking at low speeds but it smoothed out at 15 mph. There was a little noise off and on from the left front wheel caused by a short end of an inside tensioning chain that was hanging loose and it did tear a hole in the side of the rubber cover on the left front shock. I secured the chain end with a zip tie. If there is any more contact, it will be mild and on the upper sliding outer cover on the top of the shock and will do no more than scratch the surface. It will be inspected closely when the chains are removed and worst case is replacement of the shock - a small price to pay for winter freedom.

I'm confident that we can do the 4-mile return trip to get the chains removed without damage when we decide to leave - probably in January. We don't expect to need them while traveling but we will have them on board just in case ...


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Old 12-13-2015, 02:26 PM   #7
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Should have moved it to an alternate location as you got closer to your departure window. Hope you don't shake something lose befote you're able to remove them.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:03 PM   #8
'79 Bonneville
 
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Good thought. We did try to arrange for such a location and could not find anything either close enough or within a reasonable price. There is a storage facility practically next door to where the chains were installed with two indoor locked storage bays large enough and with AC power for the Solera. They are both on long term rentals with no end date. We even offered to buy out the current renters but neither was willing to even name a price so we gave up. We want the freedom of being able to leave on short notice and being in our driveway is the best way to achieve that.


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Old 12-13-2015, 03:06 PM   #9
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The cost of putting your TV and rig in the ditch vs storing the rig at the bottom of the mountain would be a consideration IMO. Good luck with the chains.
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