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Discussion Starter #1
Any recommendations for the right type of chain to use? I assume cable chains are the least damaging to the wheel wells.

Thanks,

Jon
 

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If you live up North and see snow for more than 4 months, you might consider buying a set of snow tires for the winter months.
 

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schryver,
I have cut_paste TechnoMage's response in the General/snow chains thread... For ultra-analysis of the topic, you can visit the thread...

bluetooth

ps: i got mine yesterday from Pep boys for 79.99 (729)




Our master file show two cables for that size tire and they both meet SAE class "S" limited clearance
that most of your new SUV's and pick-ups have. They are the Z-Chain, part number ZL671 or Super
Z LT, part number ZT729. One word of caution is if your rims are convex and you don't want them
scratched you should avoid using traction products that use rubber tigheners, our Super Z LT uses a
rubber tigheners. The Z-Chain does not use rubber tigheners it uses a fastening system on the side
chains.

Our big retailers are NAPA, Pep Boys or AutoZone, call first because not all locations carry chains. If
you have no luck with them you can try a phone order with JC Whittney at (800) 529-4486 (JC
Whitney does not carry Z-Chain), or you can try International Autosport at (800) 726-1199. The only
on-line source that we know (so far) are:
howardauto.com
jcwhitney.com (does not carry Z-Chain)
vulcantire.com
westfleet.com
 

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Snow chains not needed.

IMHO, I don't believe snow chains are needed on the MDX regardless of the road condition.
The MDX has a very sophisticated 4-wheel drive system with a "locking differential" for ultra-slippery conditions which should be quite adequate (It's like having 4-wheel drive and traction control all-in-one)

Consider GoFast_K' s advice. A set of 4 winter tires is likely a much better way to go.
 

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Re: Snow chains not needed.

vicpai said:
IMHO, I don't believe snow chains are needed on the MDX regardless of the road condition.
The MDX has a very sophisticated 4-wheel drive system with a "locking differential" for ultra-slippery conditions which should be quite adequate (It's like having 4-wheel drive and traction control all-in-one)...[deleted]
Personally, I would agree. However, if you're headed to higher elevations where snowfall is common (e.g. Tahoe, CA), you might need to convince the chain control guys. If you don't at least carry a box that looks like it might contain chains they might not let you pass. The Caltrans guys I passed last weekend hadn't even seen an MDX before...

When conditions were such that all 2WD drive vehicles had to install chains, my MDX performed flawlessly as did the 4-channel ABS that kept the truck true while braking even on the steepest of icy roads.

Chains? I purchased the ZT729 as recommended by my dealer. I hope I never have to use them. Seems like a pain in the butt to get back into the box :).
 

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True.

In CA you can be cited for not CARRYING chains in a chain control zone even if you have M+S rated tires. Even if they are not yet requiring chains for 4wd vehicles.

I have the right size 729s for the MDX, but never use them. For my F250 4x4 I have a old box I throw in the cab. Won't fit, but if they ask- there they are.

Silly Law. Learned to drive in Snow Country and hardly ever used chains, Heck, if I got stuck I'd wait for someone to come by and pull me out....times sure change.

Ard
 

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Veeery True!!!!

wen said:
vicpai said:
IMHO, I don't believe snow chains are needed on the MDX regardless of the road condition.
The MDX has a very sophisticated 4-wheel drive system with a "locking differential" for ultra-slippery conditions which should be quite adequate (It's like having 4-wheel drive and traction control all-in-one)...[deleted]
Personally, I would agree. However, if you're headed to higher elevations where snowfall is common (e.g. Tahoe, CA), you might need to convince the chain control guys. If you don't at least carry a box that looks like it might contain chains they might not let you pass. The Caltrans guys I passed last weekend hadn't even seen an MDX before...

When conditions were such that all 2WD drive vehicles had to install chains, my MDX performed flawlessly as did the 4-channel ABS that kept the truck true while braking even on the steepest of icy roads.

Chains? I purchased the ZT729 as recommended by my dealer. I hope I never have to use them. Seems like a pain in the butt to get back into the box :).
Very Very true. Here in the Southern California, my friend had been to Mountain High in a 4 Runner with 4WD and traction control etc., but guess what - they made sure he had chains with him !!! What a waste of time??
BTW, I'm originally from Minneapolis, MN and have driven all my life there in a 2WD car ,without ABS and without any form of Traction Control and some of those drives included some nasty blizzards and snowstorms - Never had a problem!!!
 

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I was just up at Lake Tahoe, CA a week ago and was looking for the ZT729 chains, just in case. Turns out they are the exact chain I had on my Ford Explorer. So, lucky me I didn't have to get new ones.

But the MDX performed flawlessly on snowy, slippery roads and through 1-2 feet of fresh powder.

It made it through stuff my Explorer struggled through previously.

Fantastic!
 

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bluetooth said:
schryver,
I have cut_paste TechnoMage's response in the General/snow chains thread... For ultra-analysis of the topic, you can visit the thread...

bluetooth

ps: i got mine yesterday from Pep boys for 79.99 (729)




Our master file show two cables for that size tire and they both meet SAE class "S" limited clearance
that most of your new SUV's and pick-ups have. They are the Z-Chain, part number ZL671 or Super
Z LT, part number ZT729. One word of caution is if your rims are convex and you don't want them
scratched you should avoid using traction products that use rubber tighteners, our Super Z LT uses a
rubber tighteners. The Z-Chain does not use rubber tighteners it uses a fastening system on the side


I know this is a bit late in the season for this thread, however, I may be taking off for some Spring skiing. Clearly, it would be rare indeed that you would eve need traction devices (cables), but in theory as commented on in several of the threads on this topic, they must be carried. (at least in California and also so per my cursory search of other Western State laws) Cal Trans (California Dept. of Transportation) can ask to see that you are carrying chains (cables) even when the level of controls does not require on AWD w/M&S tires.

I have narrowed the search to the above SCC (Security Chain Co.) models. The kicker however, is that Acura makes it clear in the manual that you must you cables WITH rubber adjusters. The ZL671, while it will not pose a risk of scratching the wheels, does NOT use rubber tensioner. I presume the Acura requirement is to assure that while driving, they do not loosen and violate the class S clearance requirements. The installation and use instructions for the non-tensioner ZL761 make it clear that you must stop after initial install to re-tighten.

I am curious is anyone has used the ZL729 and experienced any issue with scratches?
 

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Rail said:
Yeah, they had a CalTrans guy on the local news the other day saying how the number one problem is that the 4WD owners all kept saying they didn't need chains -- however the law is that you have to carry them in your vehicle, no matter what you're driving.

Rail
[/QUOTE


That is correct. California Vehicle Code section 27460 provides that while 4X4 with M&S tires can operate on a highway without traction devices notwithstanding a posted requirement, you MUST CARRY at least one set of traction devices (cables, chains, etc.)

As an aside, note that the Hummer H1 and the Ford Excursion XLT can NEVER operate on a chain controlled highway WITHOUT chains or traction devices. The VC 27640 exemption ONLY applies to a vehicle with an unladen weight of 6500 lbs or less. The Hummer H1 is 6814 and the Ford is 7087. What a surprise for those owners.
 

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Yes, you must carry chains, but if you want the chains monkies to install the chains for you on a 4wd. They will laugh and think you are pulling a fast one on them. This is true because I asked one of the chain installer to put the chains on my 4wd about 5 years ago and he was laughing so hard and told me he's been installing chain for about 10 years and nobody ever had chains install on a 4wd.
 

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If you get on a steep enough hill with ice covering it and you have to get up it - you'd wish you had chains. Rubber alone does not have good traction on ice!!!
 

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bluetooth said:
I have narrowed the search to the above SCC (Security Chain Co.) models. The kicker however, is that Acura makes it clear in the manual that you must you cables WITH rubber adjusters. The ZL671, while it will not pose a risk of scratching the wheels, does NOT use rubber tensioner. I presume the Acura requirement is to assure that while driving, they do not loosen and violate the class S clearance requirements. The installation and use instructions for the non-tensioner ZL761 make it clear that you must stop after initial install to re-tighten.

I am curious is anyone has used the ZL729 and experienced any issue with scratches?
I have both models. I understand your concern about he specification in the manual. It is possible for manual writers to be wrong. Especially those unfamiliar with the newer solid hoop style cable chains, otherwise there would be a disclaimer or specific reference to this style of chain that should not be used with rubber tensioners. I am sure that the manual is refering to conventional traction cables. You must look at the logic behind the requirement; it is essential that all link and conventional cable chains be kept tight with rubber tensioners. The issue is not that you need to go out to look specifically for cables that use rubber tensioners, per the owners manual; but that if you use traction cables at all, you should also use the rubber tensioners appropriate for them.
 

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TheyCallMeBruce said:


I have both models. I understand your concern about he specification in the manual. It is possible for manual writers to be wrong. Especially those unfamiliar with the newer solid hoop style cable chains, otherwise there would be a disclaimer or specific reference to this style of chain that should not be used with rubber tensioners. I am sure that the manual is referring to conventional traction cables. You must look at the logic behind the requirement; it is essential that all link and conventional cable chains be kept tight with rubber tensioners. The issue is not that you need to go out to look specifically for cables that use rubber tensioners, per the owners manual; but that if you use traction cables at all, you should also use the rubber tensioners appropriate for them.



Have you found that the 729s caused any abrasion to the clearcoat on the wheels? How many times have you installed/used them? Any install problems? How much clearance is there to the face of the wheel? I just bought the 729s today as I got crazy trying to microanalyze this. The fact is that it is highly unlikely I will need to use them. I inquired today of the service department at the dealer after the parts department told me (wrongly) that you cannot use them. Their standard response is you don't need chains so no reason to buy them. My reply was, well that's not a good answer, as even if you may never need to use them, at least here in California, it is illegal to drive on a chain controlled highway with AWD/4WD unless you at least CARRY chains, and at that at least buy ones that fit. The service guy promised he would check with Acura (I won't hold my breath).

SCC the manufacturer of the ZL671 and ZL729 makes it clear in their literature that you are NOT to use tensioners with the ZL671. ITs' enough to get one crazy. So, I have the ZL729s, bought an extra set of tensioners and am going to take off this weekend for some more skiing after this western storm. Maybe on to Utah and Colorado also.

Any comments you have on the 729s re damage to the wheels would be helpful. Thanks!
 

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norcalchuck said:



Have you found that the 729s caused any abrasion to the clearcoat on the wheels? How many times have you installed/used them? Any install problems? How much clearance is there to the face of the wheel? I just bought the 729s today as I got crazy trying to microanalyze this. The fact is that it is highly unlikely I will need to use them. I inquired today of the service department at the dealer after the parts department told me (wrongly) that you cannot use them. Their standard response is you don't need chains so no reason to buy them. My reply was, well that's not a good answer, as even if you may never need to use them, at least here in California, it is illegal to drive on a chain controlled highway with AWD/4WD unless you at least CARRY chains, and at that at least buy ones that fit. The service guy promised he would check with Acura (I won't hold my breath).

SCC the manufacturer of the ZL671 and ZL729 makes it clear in their literature that you are NOT to use tensioners with the ZL671. ITs' enough to get one crazy. So, I have the ZL729s, bought an extra set of tensioners and am going to take off this weekend for some more skiing after this western storm. Maybe on to Utah and Colorado also.

Any comments you have on the 729s re damage to the wheels would be helpful. Thanks!
Didn't use them on the MDX. Had them from a previous Ford Exploder. Put them on in driveway to test-fit. Saw the 1/8" clearance between tensioner hardware and rim face and, after ordering the 671's from Vulcan Tire, took the 729's off without driving on them. I considered it too much damage risk. Need to query for someone with actual snow-road experience on 729's. Read about a lot of people buying them, can't remember anyone who really used them in the snow. By the way, did you read the SCC recommendation on the package or instructions, that if you ever use traction devices, that you should use them at all four wheels? Hey, its not my advice, its the recommendation of the product manufacturer.

You can put them on and see the clearance for yourself, but if you even drive a few feet on them, you won't be able to return them; there will be wear marks on the cross links.

If you're just gonna have them to show the highway regulators during a snow storm, and have no intention of ever planning to use them, I guess the clearance issue doesn't matter?
 

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Kicking this old thread back up

Sorry about bringing up this old thread but it seemed the right place to pose my question since I'll be visiting Tahoe this stormy weekend. It appears like the CHIPs/Cal Trans can't require you to carry chains unless it is classified as a "R2"...but from what I've heard they close they highways when this happens anyways so it doesn't matter what you have. Here is the text:

Types of Chain Controls
During the winter months motorists may encounter traction device controls in the mountain areas of California. When chain controls are established signs along side the road will be opened indicating the type of requirement. There are three requirements in California.

Requirement One (R1): Chains are required, snow tires are allowed.

Requirement Two (R2): Chains are required on all vehicles except four wheel drive vehicles
with snow tires on all four wheels.
(NOTE: Four wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas)

Requirement Three (R3): Chains are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.


SO, is there any solid proof that people are being turned away from major arteries such as I-80 when they are in a 4wd vehicle and it isn't a "Z2"?

Thoughts? I'm tempted to go buy a box that looks like a chains box and toss it in the back of the X. Chances are you would only encounter an R1 situation on major arteries. Also, it appears like everyone here who has bought them has never used them...so what types might mess up the wheel wouldn't matter...maybe I'll go buy some uber cheap chains that fit like a late model corolla? :)

overtime
 

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I do not believe they close the highways (I-80 or others) always in an R2 situation? If you in fact did need chains, it probably makes sense to actually purchase chains that fit and do the job, even if it means they are never used?
 

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Less than an hour away from snow country. Plan to venture forth later this week if it is clear for some pictures. Expect some snow above 3000'. Hope so....according to a neighbor they did have signs about that altitude that chains would be required. He was driving a Kia coupe so did not venture further. Guess I'll find out regardless if I need them. Anyone know if the fine for not having them costs more than the chains?
Have a garage full of stuff I don't use, but don't get fined for it...
 

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JimH said:
I do not believe they close the highways (I-80 or others) always in an R2 situation? If you in fact did need chains, it probably makes sense to actually purchase chains that fit and do the job, even if it means they are never used?
Ah! Buy the chains, save the receipt. If you don't use them bring them back for a refund. Seems like I did that once upon a time.
 
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