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Tire chains on the front end?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Overlander, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Nov 13, 2011 at 10:34 PM
    #1
    Overlander

    Overlander [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I went out for some snow wheelin up at Liberty, Wa in the cascade mtns. Things started off great and our confidence was building with every mile completed on the fs roads. Towards the late afternoon my buddy in a Lx450 suggested we do the Hole In The Wall trail. He said it was "easy".
    The snow wasn't very deep but I was a little nervous due to the wet slippery conditions and my stock taco with open diffs. He was fully locked with 35's and all the good stuff. I started off leading making about a half mile before I had to chain up the rears. My taco was hooking up pretty good after that but the steep climbs and side hill exposure had me worried still. After another mile the Lx450 took the lead and soon encountered a climb that stopped him in his tracks. After each attempt he had a real hard time controlling his decent and I thought he was going to flop on the fourth try.
    At this point he wanted to turn around and head back down. I didn't want to slip slide my way back down the steep climbs and decided to give it a go in my rig. I hit the climb with momentum taking a alternative line around the roots that seemed to be giving him a hard time. After about one hundred yards of climbing my front wheels broke over the incline and she started spinning with all forward progress stopping. One of my crappy diamond chains had come apart. This was bad.
    When the others hiked up to my position the looks on their faces showed their concern. One of them asked me what are we going to do now and I replied we're going to fix this thing and get out of here. I Had one of them search my cab for a spare shoelace for a hiking boot and I got a short section of rope and some tie downs. After jerryrigging that chain the taco made it over the crest and I turned around and started heading down. Some of the hills had off camber run outs at the bottom but there was just enough rut to keep us from going over. My bandaged chain was holding up well but now my other chain broke. Oh ya by now it had been dark for three hours with driving snow. Well we made it out unscathed and I learned a few important lessons such as street tire chains will not hold up to offroading and have some repair tools for your chains.

    Sorry for the long drawn out story. The reason for it is after searching and reading through many threads on tire chains many of the replies I see are "you don't need chains that's what 4x4 is for". If you still feel this way read this trail report from a jeep group about fifty miles south of where I was but on the same day:
    http://www.pnwjeep.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28856&sid=376aba7afa01634146ef4064603afd66
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgf0AfP7X9Q

    My question for any that have made it this far is I plan on running 255/85/16 with two inch lift and aftermarket uca's do you think I will be able to clear chains on the front end with this setup. If anybody is running this size tire with an aftermarket uca could you please measure how much clearance you have. As I know this is not the most common tire size these days even if you are running the stock uca with this tire would you please see how much room is there.

    Thanks in advance happy trails.
     
  2. Nov 14, 2011 at 1:03 AM
    #2
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    I can't help with that exact tire size, but I'm running 235/85R16's on a stock '06, and clearance to the UCA is still pretty tight. I'm convinced my HD twist link chains (commercial truck chains I sized down) will catch the flaps / inner fenders on tighter turns as well. I thought about a mild wheel spacer (As much as I hate the idea of wheel spacers) to give the UCA clearance, but that still won't solve the rubbing issue unless I lift it or drop back to 245/75R16's. I've come to accept the fact that I'm only going to be chaining up the rear, which isn't too bad with good chains.
     
  3. Nov 14, 2011 at 3:12 AM
    #3
    Mitch

    Mitch Somebody call for a Wambulance?

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    Is the reason Toyota says no to front chains the clearance?

    Even with the lift I think it would be tight
     
  4. Nov 14, 2011 at 9:49 AM
    #4
    Overlander

    Overlander [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. My suspicion is they will not clear and I have thought about trying the S type chain made for low clearance applications. These chains would probably get torn up though. I wouldn't mind trimming the wheel well but the uca will be the limiting factor.

    Chains on the rear alone are pretty darn good but chains on all four would be unreal.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM
    #5
    YotaDan

    YotaDan Dan Vendor

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    Don't worry about chains. Get your self a Tire Deflator, and a Pump to air them back up. Airing down makes a huge difference in the snow.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2011 at 12:12 AM
    #6
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    I had another look at the front clearance on mine the other day, and immediately remembered why I'd given up on the idea. With my pizza cutter tires, there should be room between the tire and the UCA for chains, provided they are kept good and tight. However, there is no clearance between the sidewall and the spindle and ABS sensor cable for the side chain / cross link hooks, at least with stock wheel backspacing.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2011 at 12:27 AM
    #7
    Poke Tako

    Poke Tako Turning the knob from H2 to H4/L4

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  8. Nov 18, 2011 at 8:09 AM
    #8
    Overlander

    Overlander [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I agree without spacing the wheel out it doesn't matter how narrow your tires are there just isn't enough room. The main reason I was thinking of running chains on the front is steering control. With chains on the rear I get good forward drive but if I get offline on a steep climb the front end wants to swing downhill. Braking down steep slopes can also be a little dicey.

    Those devices pictured above are interesting not sure if they would last long offroad though. I do think they would increase the steering control and traction.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2012 at 11:33 AM
    #9
    58 Siesta

    58 Siesta fox in the hen house

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    Just bought my first Taco. 2012. Hadn't heard about this issue before, really bothers me. I often run 4 chains to get in and out of some of my hunting spots - and there's no way it's happening without all 4 most years. There has to be a solution.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2012 at 11:43 AM
    #10
    OffroadToy

    OffroadToy This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok

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    OP...have you ever been on Devils Gulch Trail ...goes between Beehive (below Mission Ridge) and the town of Liberty. Awesome ride (at least it was on dirt bikes back in the 70's.)
     
  11. Mar 6, 2012 at 2:02 PM
    #11
    Overlander

    Overlander [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Devils gulch is a great trail. I love that entire area and try to spend as much time there as I can.

    I think I may have found a way to run chains up front but it requires some work. I will be getting new coil overs and ucas which will give me more clearance. If I were to run a wheel with less backspacing the chains may work. I think the backspacing is the key. The wheels I am considering have a backspacing of 4.5". I have not done much research to see if this will work but I am hoping it will.

    With a stock setup the only option I have come up with is taking some small diameter rope and making old school rope chains. There are some good threads on youtube that detail this. They work ok but are not as durable as a heavy duty chain.
     
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