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 > Tire chains: ok to cut off extra links at end points?

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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 02/26/19 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just got a new set of very heavy duty snow chains. I know I will probably never need them, but you have to carry chains in Calif. in the mountains, and there might be times when I am in the back country during a snow storm.

These are real chains, not cables. When I put them on in my driveway and tightened them up as much as I could, there were a couple of extra links at the end points, both inside the tire and outside. These are at the places where the hooks meet the other side of the chain.

I am a little concerned about these extra links flopping around and hitting my wheel well -- there is plenty of clearance, but it still looks like it could happen.

So I am asking experienced chain users -- is it ok to cut off some of that extra chain? Or should I leave it on, in case I need extra slack while installing the chain under difficult conditions? (I understand that once the chain is on, you roll a little bit and then take up as much slack as possible.)

Thanks in advance for your advice!


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time2roll

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Posted: 02/26/19 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the tires are brand new then yes. Although I would still leave one. In difficult conditions you may want some slack to get them on. Once you roll 100 yards they may need tightened but at least you have them on. If you have them on a few times and want to cut that last link then fine.

If the tires are a bit worn and you get new tires next year you might be looking for those extra links. Put some wire in with the set of chains to tie them back if needed.

I would leave one or two max.


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enblethen

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Posted: 02/26/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, you can cut extra links but leave at least two. Carry cable ties to secure flopping links back to other links.
Make sure they are the correct size for your tires before cutting.


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hornet28

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Posted: 02/26/19 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave the extra length there may come a time when you'll need it. Tie the extra links off. I always use wire not cable ties as wire is stronger and less likely to break





crosscheck

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Posted: 02/26/19 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My plow truck has all 4 wheels chained up and all have extra Link's which are secured to the opposite side of the chain by good bungee cords. Have been doing this for 11 years. You might want to sell them somedayto someone who has slightly bigger tires. I have 4 extra Link's on all 4 tires Leave the extra links.

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wnjj

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Posted: 02/26/19 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ve used carabiners to clip the extra length back to the side chains. I’ve run miles with chains that had several extra links.

profdant139

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Posted: 02/26/19 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great tips, great wisdom! It did not occur to me that older tires are a little smaller than new ones. Yes, these are middle-aged tires (three years) but it is always possible that I could replace them with new ones and would then need the extra slack. So no, I won't cut the extra links!

I like the idea of a carabiner on the extra link, especially the one on the inside of the tire -- it would be hard to reach in and twist a wire (and then un-twist it when it is time to remove the chains).

Thanks, folks!! This is exactly the kind of exchange of "best practices" that this forum is known for. (An awkwardly-built sentence, but you get what I mean.)

RedRollingRoadblock

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Posted: 02/26/19 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple of short bungees. Good stout ones not the cheap cord type. I do like the carabiner is a good idea though.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 02/26/19 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd keep the extra couple of links and tie them back as others have mentioned. That is what I do.
Why?

1) tire diameter for a given size does vary even within a tire brand. Your next set of tires of the same "size" may actually be a different diameter, larger or smaller. Not a lot, but enough to make you wish you had the extra link or 2
2) and unless the tires are brand new, you may need the extra links again anyway.
3) while installing them in the driveway in nice weather is easy peasy, doing the same in a chain up area is not as easy peasy. you may end up using all the links then drive a few hundred yards, get out and tighten, drive again and repeat to get them as tight as you want. And you'll like the extra links.


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noteven

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Posted: 02/26/19 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yep keep the extra links and zip tie or bungee them

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