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Old 08-09-2010, 05:03 AM #1
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Snow Cables or good old fashioned chains for 33" tires?

Ok, 1st the good news. Thanks to a job promotion, I may be moving to Lake Tahoe by the end of the month. Won't know for sure until this week sometime.

Bad news....holy sch-nikes it's expensive to live on the North Shore. Which is the side where the office is and where I'll have to be since they often close the hwy from the South. Those of you from Cali. will know what I mean. And no...I'm not commuting from Reno! Have you ever done that pass in a snow storm? Never again, I thought I was going to die.

So looking like Truckee or if I'm lucky, North shore somewhere. Hopefully for less than $1400 a month. Sigh.....

Need to get those 33's on there ASAP after Sierra Trek this upcoming weekend. So with that in mind, how many of you have used cables on 33's?

I know chains, but I hate installing them. Not a big deal for every great now and then for a High Sierra's get away, but if I'm living there and will be putting them or leaving them on etc., need something a bit fancier. This is what I've come up with so far. Want to buy them now and not wait for the 1st snow fall. Honestly, I'm leaning towards the SCC Z8's because I can use them off road. The others have that plastic (dorky looking but may make installation really easy) plastic cap that I can see being destroyed with one high curb or rock rub!

SCC Super Z8

SCC Super Z8

Alpine model from Spider USA is the only one that will fit 285/70/17.

Spikes-Spider :: Models
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:15 AM #2
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Congrats (if it works out) on the new job!

I'm moving to gen in the hopes the other gen guys will see it too as they may some input too...
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:12 PM #3
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^x2 Congrats! I lived out in Steamboat Springs, CO which gets a lot more snow than Tahoe on average and I never needed chains or anything like that. I had BFG AT's and those coupled with the AWD or full time 4wd with the V8 was almost like driving with Velcro as tires. I literally have never really understood why the chains are necessary on a 4wd SUV unless you are living out of town where snow maintenance is sketchy at best. I would just get a set of BFG ATs and call it a day. I also had to drive 45 minutes into town for work everyday while i was living out there so I had my fair share of storms to drive through.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:20 PM #4
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I have and use Rudd Grip 4x4 chains for off-road in deep snow. They are easy to put on but not the cheapest out there. Never needed them on-road.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:10 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffian View Post
....how many of you have used cables on 33's?

I'm leaning towards the SCC Z8's because I can use them off road.
Not on 33s but I have and use both (on 32s). The cables are the SCC Super Z8, chains are Rudd 4X4. The cables work great in almost all circumstances. Obviously, the grip is not quite what the chains give but it's way more than adequate for a 4X4 in nearly all road conditions. I got the chains only because the cables came off one time off-pavement when spinning tires in deep snow. I thought about modifying them so they wouldn't come off but went ahead and got the chains for the extra grip. The cables light weight and ease of installation make them my first choice in nearly every circumstance (though I might have to try something like those Spikes). If you're going to use cables offroad in conditions where aggressive spinning of the rears is a possibility, I'd suggest supplementing the rubber ring fastening system in some way to make sure they stay on.
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Last edited by JB.; 08-10-2010 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:21 PM #6
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I live in Alaska, and have never needed chains or cables for on road driving. I have Dueller RVT's and use 4wd when needed.

As I drive on ice most of the winter, I purchased a set of Blizzaks to add some traction when needed. I'll post a review later when winter sets in about October or November.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:16 AM #7
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Thank you everyone. Spoke with a fellow who's lived in Truckee his whole life. He said pretty much what I'm getting from you guys here as well as over at toyota120.com.
Won't need them, but by law have to have them. CHP gets pretty pissed off at all the snow-noob caused fender benders and just start cracking down on everyone, even locals. (I know I won't use them, but CA has become such a fricken nanny state.) He also said it's any easy way to make $20 by yanking stuck L.A. drivers in their Hummers off the snow plowed berms in the Safeway parking lot. Trying to show off, they like to bury the Hummer or high center it. And every 4x4 owner loves making Hummer noobs eat crow. The chains will help the BFG's bite the packed snow to yank those heavy vehicles. So along with gloves & water proof pants, will keep my yank strap in the back too.
So I sent an email to the RUD guys. This is what I'll be getting as soon as they send me an invoice. The true selling factor of these is they help with the dreaded sideways slide. And I can use them for off roading.

RUD Chains - Grip 4x4

Tire Chains - Snow Chains
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Last edited by Ruffian; 08-10-2010 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:20 PM #8
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Chains are 100xs better than cables because for one, you won't loose them as easy which is like a 50/50 chance everytime you put cables on. Chains give you way more traction too. Chains with ice breakers on them are the best. I haven't put my chains on in the entire 9+ years I've owned my truck and I live in the CA mountains too.

BFG A/Ts are marginal at best in snow IMO. The design is like 20 or 30 years old and tire technology has come a long way since then. Nothing comes close to Goodyear Duratracs as far as I'm concerned. I had Dunlop M/T Maxx Tactions last year and they felt like I had chains on they gripped so good. Get a tire with the severe winter srvice symbol (it's the mountain/snowflake symbol). Severe service tires are a whole step up from mud+snow tires.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:31 PM #9
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Never needed chains, even with a FWD Accord.

The secret is get awesome snow tires.

Does CHP require 4WD /w Snow Tires to carry chains? In UT, a chain restriction means either AWD/4WD+Snows OR chains.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:39 PM #10
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CA requires 4x4s to carry chains because our roads are on average are much steeper and curvier than CO (or any other state's roads). Every mtn state has a few steep roads, but I've been all over Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, etc.. in the winter and our conditions are worse to drive in - not because of how much snow there is, but because many of our towns are not on a flat grid and lying in a flat valley like Denver or the like. There are a hundred roads in my town that a FWD Accord would not even have a chance on for several days after a storm (I know because I used to have a Civic and own a FWD CR-V now), regardless of if the plow has come or not. I climb 600 ft in elevation in 2 minutes to get to my house from the main "village" in town.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:21 PM #11
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I've got the SCC cables and have had no problems. Easy to put on and take off. Granted I have only needed them once going over the 50 pass. Most of the time 4x4 is all I needed.
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