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Peerless Auto-trac

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by TRDsport253, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Oct 24, 2010 at 9:41 PM
    #1
    TRDsport253

    TRDsport253 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It's funny how last year I was looking for these Auto-trac snow chains they were so hard to get and I would have had to order them at $129.99 plus shipping. Now they have them at Wal-Mart for $69.95 plus tax. Does anyone have these? If so can you give me some inputs? I need something for snow this year if we get any because I'm a PreRunner. For those of you who don't know what these are here's a video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIVckhjdcpo
     
  2. Oct 24, 2010 at 11:15 PM
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    Taco11

    Taco11 Well-Known Member

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    Cool. Good idea.
     
  3. Oct 24, 2010 at 11:29 PM
    #3
    TRDsport253

    TRDsport253 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If you needed snow chains would you get these or just the traditional one with out all the self tightening stuff?
     
  4. Dec 13, 2012 at 9:28 PM
    #4
    Don Clement

    Don Clement Member

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    This is my first post to this forum. I have a 2 wheel drive '97 Tacoma and have been living in the mountains at 6K ft elevation here in Southern California for the past 32 years so am quite familiar with using snow chains. I just bought a set of Peerless Autotrac snow chains from Walmart ($60) and used them on the first real snow of the year for the first time today. To begin with the Autotrac chains are easier to mount not having to move the truck over the chains as I would have with conventional tire snow chains. With conventional type snow chains I drape the chains over the top of the tire and then move the truck a small amount , then fasten the inner hook and outer fastener, then put on two rubber tensioners for each tire. In case of failure I want the chains to be pulled out side and not wrap around the axle. Traction appears to be very good with the Peerless Autotrac in snow and ice as the chains are a square cross-section type. I would prefer the ice breaker type but the square cross section works well. The real test will be of how these chains will hold up for the rest of the year. Typically in the San Bernardino mountains one is forced to put on chains further down the mountain and drive about 4 miles on dry (no snow) pavement. This is brutal on snow chains and time will tell how these chains will hold up. So far I am impressed by the traction and ease of installation.
     
  5. Dec 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM
    #5
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    Welcome Don, and thanks for the review.

    If snow was a regular occurance, I'd skip chains and go straight to studless winter tires, but I can understand that not everyone wants to spend that much money or needs snow traction all the time. If you use chains, be very careful not to spin them, inspect them often, and don't exceed the manufacturer's recommended speed limit. It'd be a good idea to buy some repair links to keep in the truck, too.

    Ooooo, just watched the video. I'm a sucker for French cut nails and tire chains.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM
    #6
    That Dude Tim

    That Dude Tim Toyota Technician

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    Not sure about the plastic housings for the "auto" tigheners. i have the older style with made by Peerless that have the red chain that you pull through a metal locking can. Bought them before a pheasant hunting trip to south dakota last year and used them only once, they worked very well and easy to install.
     
  7. Dec 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM
    #7
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    Polycarbonate is pretty tough, but I agree, that's the part most likely to break in the cold. I've used the old style and been happy with them at lower speeds.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2012 at 10:02 AM
    #8
    Don Clement

    Don Clement Member

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    It is mandatory to carry chains and every time it snows chains are required on 2WD vehicles here in the mountains of South California. In the '80s I did run carbide studded snow tires before the rules about chains tightened up. The CHP is getting more paternalistic every year regarding chains requirements. So there is no choice unless I want to pony up and get a 4WD where most of the time one can get away with just M&S rated tires however one must carry chains, no exceptions. Perhaps the biggest danger up here is those LA flatlanders with 4WDs who think they know how to drive in snow and ice but really don’t even have a clue. I passed at least two 4WDs stuck in a snow bank yesterday. Last year I looked into getting a new 4WD Tacoma. Looked at Xcab 6spmanual Tacoma but the 14MPG was a deal breaker. I am just going to keep my ’97 Tacoma as it gets 30+MPG if driven conservatively. The tires are inexpensive Goodyear Viva II that are M&S rated with excellent snow characteristics without chains. I have used Viva II tires for many years because of the very low rolling resistance rating confirmed by the excellentgas mileage of my truck.

    BTW my ’97 Tacoma has 230K miles with no major problems and still has the original clutch. No surprise since my ‘86 Toyota truck had 220K milesbefore replacing the clutch.
     
  9. Dec 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM
    #9
    Don Clement

    Don Clement Member

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    For me the real issue is how well the cross links hold up on dry pavement. My tire chains wear out the cross links first before any other chain parts. Think of dry pavement as being a giant belt sander.
     
  10. Dec 14, 2012 at 7:44 PM
    #10
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    "All vehicles, including four wheel or all wheel drive vehicles must carry chains upon entering a chain control area."

    Lots of other FAQs here. Good to know what CA demands.

    IMO, Caltrans needs to update their definition of "snow tires". Studless winter tires far surpass the performance of M/S tires, and I'd much rather drive with them than with chains. I've driven a FWD car through Colorado passes in a blizzard with Bridgestone Blizzaks and had no problems at all. IME, the only thing that'll stop a FWD car sporting studless winter tires is getting high centered, and chains wouldn't make much difference then. To satisfy Caltrans requirements, I'd have to buy a pair of chains to carry in my vehicle, no matter what tires were used. Colorado doesn't feel the need for the same level of regulation.
     
  11. Dec 15, 2012 at 8:57 AM
    #11
    Don Clement

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    Colorado is ahead of California in the area of regulation in more than just highway snow conditions. In Colorado it's 4:20 all day long whereas California is on prohibition time. Hope California gets sanity in the near future. Prohibition didn't work then and doesn't work now.

    BTW What's up with the lousy mileage of Toyota 4WDs nowadays? Even the original heavy and large military Hummer with independent rear suspension got 15MPG. The puny Toyota Tacoma 4WD with a solid rear axle gets 14MPG. What a crock! I think if I really need 4WD I ‘ll buy a Subaru AWD that gets 30mpg or just keep my Tacoma 2WD that gets 30 MPG and use chains like I have for the last 32 years. Even if I have to buy a set of chains every year it's better than the lousy gas mileage the new 4WD Tacomas get.
     
  12. Dec 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM
    #12
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    On that, we part ways.

    Fuel economy rating schemes have changed since the civilian Hummer was released, as have many other things, such as crash test standards. Also, I don't believe your Tacoma fuel consumption numbers are reflected by many others. If a Subaru would better meet your needs, go for it. I've owned one, and it was fun for what it could do. I bought a Tacoma for what my Subaru couldn't do.
     
  13. Dec 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM
    #13
    JimBCa

    JimBCa Well-Known Member

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    I just put on a set of Duratrac tires, and yet, still need chains for those required times which happen where I go, along with the fact we are required to carry them, 4x4 or not.

    Going through some of the mountains, there have been times when it is just foolish and irresponsible to not have them on, no matter how you drive.

    My issue is clearence, not on the top of the tire, but the inside of the front tires.

    So I purchased a set of Rud Grip 4x4

    http://tirechaindealer.com/grip.php

    Look to be pretty much the same, without the auto tightener, and the links look to be very healthy, both in size and hardness.
     
  14. Dec 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM
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    Don Clement

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    Really! The mileage values posted on the windshield of my'97 Tacoma 4cylinder, 5spd manual, Xcab ,EFI were 23 city 29 Highway. I get ~30 MPG driving conservatively with the ’97 Tacoma.My '86 Toyota truck Xcab, 5spd, 4cylinder, carbureted also got 30MPG. Bothtrucks had Snugtop shells. BTW I also own a 2001 Camry 5spd manual, EFI,4cylinder that gets 32MPG. I have owned many Toyotas over the years startingwith a 1972 Corona. All have gotten 30MPG. All had manual transmissions. Allwere bought new.
     
  15. Dec 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM
    #15
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    Yes, really.

    As I said, many things have changed since the '80s, so a direct comparison between EPA fuel economy numbers isn't possible. Also, I think most everyone is exceeding 14 mpg with all drivetrain configurations of 2nd gen Tacomas. All of your old vehicles probably weighed considerably less, had less power, and offered far worse crash protection than a modern Tacoma. Those improvements take their toll on fuel economy.

    Over the brief time I've owned my truck, actual fuel economy has fairly closely matched EPA estimates of 19/24, city/highway. IMO, if fuel economy is a primary concern, a truck is a poor choice of vehicle.

    And now, back to tire chains ...
     
  16. Dec 15, 2012 at 8:10 PM
    #16
    Don Clement

    Don Clement Member

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    Well my experience with the three trucks I've owned ('97 Tacoma,' 86 Toyota,and a 1980 Mazda Truck) show that what you said is pure BS. They all got 30MPG. It’s too bad Toyota diesel isn’t sold in the US like it is in the UK as a 4WDToyota diesel truck gets pretty good mileage.

    As far as chains I have personally seen a 4WD spin all four wheels on ice. Ice is common in the mountains here in south California as yesterday it snowed about a foot and then today it got above freezing and tonight it’s below freezing. Constant freezing then thawing and most roads up here are not level make for really difficult driving conditions even for 4WDs without carbide studs or chains. Compound non studded tires with no limited slip and 4WD gets one nothing but poor mileage. Tacoma trucks don’t have four wheel limited slip do they? BTW when I was 16 my first car was a ’63 VW bug. My VW had a poor man’s limited slip, a split hand brake. I’d put the VW up against any 4WD Tacoma in snow and ice and the bug was only 2WD. Also the VW bug had independent rear suspension so no solid differentials to hang up on deep snow or high center. With the 1971 BMW 2002 I used to run carbide studded Michelins but the Beemer had limited slip and independent rear suspension and a close ratio ZF 5spd. With studded tires the Beemer did really well in the snow and ice without chains. IMO the Peerless Autotrac chains are the best so far in 32 years of driving in snow and ice.
     
  17. Dec 15, 2012 at 8:35 PM
    #17
    TnRedNeck721

    TnRedNeck721 GO VOLS!

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    idk anything about chains.

    BUT idk how they get14 MPG. unless it’s lifted and has bigger tires. i have the 4.0 V6 auto trans 4x4 trd off road in the DCSB and with 265/70R16 terra grapplers get about 18. with the stock rugged trails/fails(they suck in snow) i got a good 20mpg.

    my MPG has been going down a little. i need to change my spark plugs dad, i think that may have something to do with it.(did not change them at 30k)
     
  18. Dec 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM
    #18
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    "Pure BS", eh? If that's true, show me the EPA numbers for a new truck sold in the U.S. market that gets 30 mpg. I gave some reasons to support what I said. If you don't agree with me, prove those reasons to be false. Calling something "pure BS" is easy. Proving it to be wrong might be a little more difficult.

    You'll note that I called your 14 mpg Tacoma figure into question, but I didn't say it was "pure BS". While doing your research into the mythical MY2013 U.S. truck that's EPA certified to 30 mpg, please take a look at the 2013 Tacoma EPA numbers and recognize that error, too. Before starting another trip down Memory Lane, try to understand that all of that is relatively meaningless. There were some things about my 1980 Chevy LUV 4x4 that I prefer over my 2012 Tacoma, but none of that matters. The same applies to your tales of winter conquests and fuel economy.

    Great. I've driven in the Rockies on modern studless winter tires and they worked fine for me on ice and snow. I've driven a FWD car up a long, steep, ice covered hill while it was raining, and passed 4WD trucks and SUVs in the ditch on my way. Chains would've done fine on that hill, but they also would've been a pain to put on and take off for the rest of the trip. Chains have their place, and I'll probably buy a set for my truck for use on the rare occasions I'm driving it in the mountains in winter, because I won't buy a set of winter tires for it.

    Why are you dredging up the distant automotive past and taking a hostile tone?
     
  19. Dec 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM
    #19
    DoorDing

    DoorDing Intentionally obtuse

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    I'm sure our new friend will be along shortly to show us how wrong we are about this and other things.
     
  20. Dec 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM
    #20
    TnRedNeck721

    TnRedNeck721 GO VOLS!

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    yeah. needles to say a truck that weighs more can’t get better mpg.:rolleyes:(99% sure the dcsb 4x4 weigh more than a AC. i know the DCLB weigh the most)
     
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