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View Full Version : Opinion on Where to Run Chains


Bruiser
01-22-2012, 09:08 AM
Anyone have an opinion on whether to put chains on the front or back. I don't use them that often (actually, only once) but it got pretty icy on the trail this weekend and threw them on to see how they would do. I have a set of four but shared my other set and only put on two.

For reference, I have an FJ40 that is locked in the rear. I have a SBC 350 (which decreases weight in the front vs a 2F. I do have the soft top on but have a 22 gal auxiliary tank in the back that I usually run full. Plus I usually carry 100 lbs of gear in the back when I wheel so both of those more than compensate for the weight lost in running the soft top.

Anyway, I ran them in the front this weekend thinking they would help bust through some of the drifts and keep some traction on the front tires. They seemed to do pretty good but was curious what the rest of you have experienced. I certainly see the logic in putting them on the locked rear tires.

Thanks,

Justin

FJBRADY
01-22-2012, 09:22 AM
I can't comment, I have never used them. My opinion is a good set of mud terrains lowered to 10psi works wonders.

Uncle Ben
01-22-2012, 09:42 AM
Fronts will do you more good on the trail. Chains work good on ice and snow you can touch bottom in. Brady is spot on.....a aired down mud tire will take you a lot further on deep snow. If the snow is crystalline (like sugar) nothing works but momentum.

MDH33
01-22-2012, 11:16 AM
On my 40 I like them on all 4 tires. I went with just the front for a awhile, but for an extra $80 it was a lot better on all 4 corners.

subzali
01-22-2012, 11:20 AM
If you have them on the front, you are better able to steer. If you're going up or down steep hills, it is best to have them on the uphill set of tires to prevent the high end from spinning around and passing the low end.

Brady, I know your approach works great when you have big, wide tires, but some of us are constrained by small, skinny tires, u-bolt plates that hang down, etc. At least for the time being.

baja1d
01-22-2012, 11:30 AM
Fronts have always worked good for my 40 when plowing but I did break an axel. However, the air down this past weekend was awesome in the 80.

Uncle Ben
01-22-2012, 11:41 AM
If you have them on the front, you are better able to steer. If you're going up or down steep hills, it is best to have them on the uphill set of tires to prevent the high end from spinning around and passing the low end.

Brady, I know your approach works great when you have big, wide tires, but some of us are constrained by small, skinny tires, u-bolt plates that hang down, etc. At least for the time being.

You should take lessons from Papa Root! His open/open 40 on 9.50 at's barefoot will keep up with the big dogs all day long!

If your rear is trying to pass your front get your foot off the brake and DRIVE!

FJBRADY
01-22-2012, 12:49 PM
Brady is spot on.....

:D:drumsticks::clap::woot::D

SteveH
01-22-2012, 01:32 PM
If you go down a hill slowly with only front chains, your rear end will come around. If you're towing a trailer full of elk hunting gear, it'll come out even faster. Not something I'd ever want to have happen twice.

Since most backcountry areas are hilly (up and down), I'd sure put them on all 4. I'd also carry two spare chains for when you lose one. Chaining up all 4 in mud/snow is a big pain in the neck, but it's fun when you're all dialed in and 'wheeling.

Air Randy
01-22-2012, 01:50 PM
If you're on the trail and only have 2 chains, I put them in front whether going up or down a hill. If you go slow enough you shouldn't have any concerns about swapping ends even on steep downhills. Of course it's more than twice better if you have them on all four.

Driving on pavement with only 2, put them in the rear as you will typically be going at faster speeds and end swapping is a distinct possibility. Plus it is much safer with them in the rear if you pull a trailer. Depending on the size/weight of the trailer and how icey it is, I have actually put my second set of chains on the rear axle of the trailer. Running drag chains will keep the trailer from coming around and adds a lot to your stopping ability assuming the trailer axles have brakes too.

Bruiser
01-22-2012, 09:38 PM
Thanks for all the advice. The plan is to get some better muds and run them low but for the time being, the chains do seem to help in certain instances. I like to have them around just in case. Plus the ones I was able to get fit up to the 33X10.5 on my 40 but I can also swap onto my truck. So, they serve dual purposes.

Randy, I had never thought about putting them on a trailer, probably because I don't have one, but good advice for the future.

Justin

teamextreme
01-22-2012, 11:27 PM
Or you could do like the guy in the Chevy pickup I got stuck behind up hunting this year. He couldn't get up a steep hill, that often is a tough climb, and was chaining up. After he chained up one front tire, he moved to the rear to chain up one rear tire. I had to point out the error in his ways and was at least able to convince him that setup will do literally nothing to help. He then put the second chain on the other front tire.

Corbet
01-23-2012, 03:06 PM
I have chains for all 4. If I'm too lazy to put them all on I do opposite corners once in a while. left front/right rear. I'm locked on both axles. But would never do that on the road.