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I have a Ford F150 4X4 and I was thinking I should get some snow chains for it. Especially since I will be driving the Siskiyou's this Friday. The questions I have is "Should I buy chains for both the rear and front?" I have read mixed stuff on this issue and thought I would put it to the iFish test. The only thing my owners manual says is if you put them on the front you have to have them on the rear.

Your input is greatly appreciated.
 

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I have one set of chains for my Silverado Z71. In the 5 years I've owned the truck, I've had them out of the box once... and that was in my driveway to make sure they fit. If I ever do have to use them, it'll be on the rear wheels. Unless you're going into backwoods roads that are unplowed, I think you'd be wasting your money buying 2 sets. My .02 cents> :smile:

Day Late
 

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If you need chains on a 4x4 to get over the Siskiyous, they will have it shut down anyway.

IMO, save your money. Wait till you get to Medford, not Ashland, they will be busy as all get out,and swing in Schwabs there if you are required to have them. Same going the other way with Weed and Yreka.
 

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Just for the insurance/security factor get some...most tire stores have a "no use them" return policy. If you dont use the chains you can return them for a full refund. Some folks drive without out them and are fine, if you want the security of the chains put them on. Drive safe :dance:
 

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If the time comes, it's nice to have chains for all four.
 

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There are times when the road conditions are so bad that all vehicles must chain-up, 4x4's included. The logic is that when one vehicle spins out in a curve, I-5 will be literally blocked in a matter of minutes, sometimes so tight that plows and sanders can not get through for a time.

The Siskiyou's are not the only pass you have to worry about. There are a number of other mountain passes that get nasty between Roseburg & Redding. Also, when the passes get shut-down, or severly restricted, you are not likely to find tire chains or motels for many miles in either direction.

I always carry tire chains, even with four-wheel drive. I have cable chains for typical ice & packed snow, but also have heavier link chains that I can use if needed.

It is also a very good idea to plan for being delayed on the road - full tank of gas/diesel, blankets, gloves, hat & extra clothes to keep warm, rain gear (lay on road in snow while putting on chians, hand warmers, drinking water, food or snacks, small shovel (dig out), sand or kitty litter (traction).
 

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I run quik mount front chains and ice breakers on the rear. I have used two sets of chains on my 4x4 for over 35 years. You will find you have more control over the vehicle in a tight situation.

When some idoit in front of you does the circle dance, you will be glad you chained up all four. I travel MT Hood and have had several close calls and everytime I have been able to avoid disater by having all four wheels chained up.

This is just my thought, and maybe you don't need to use chains on all fours.
Hope you have a safe trip.
 

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most tire stores have a "no use them" return policy. If you dont use the chains you can return them for a full refund.

Usually the "refund" is in the form of a credit that you have to use toward a future purchase at the retailer.
Beware the fine print.
When I ran a parts store I didn't take chains back, period. Better to be honest about it than use a gimmick to make a sale.

As far as using the chains, IMHO, just carry 1 set. It ain't really gonna matter if you put them on the front or rear, since you won't be going fast enough or far enough to be a big deal. Just make sure you know how to get 'em on right. They can do a lot of body damage if they break or come loose, and the cross links will puncture a tire if they're on backwards.
When I was driving truck for a living I'd get my chains out every November and put them on to make sure they weren't broken and to check the fit. I'd also stock up on repair links, bungee cords and zip ties.
It's also not a bad idea to get some practice putting them on while in the safety of your driveway. If you have to throw them on on the road in a hurry or at night you'll be glad you know how to do it already. Once I had to chain up right smack dab in the middle of Hwy 58 on a steep hill> That's when you want to be fast. :eek:
 

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I would get some V-bar chains for all four. You never know when they will come in handy and like said above all four chained up on a 4x4 will get you out of some hairy situations. And heck if you ever want ot go play in the mud the v-bar chains are great. rp
 

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I only have ever had to use 1 set at a time, always on the rear.

KChookem has a great list of items to carry on those snowy Mtn pass trips. I would just add a good flashlight to his list of items to carry along and I would think you would be set to go.

Good luck and have a great trip!
the Spoiled Daddy
 

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Having a set on just the front or back will help. But both is even better. If you have them on the front when you slow down sometimes the the rear end will want to pass the front end. If you have them on the back you will loose some steering. Ever try to back up a small hill with chains on the front, The back end will slide the way gravity wants to take it. I have tried all three ways. The best was chains on all 4 tires. Les schwab the last time I was their had their return policy of a full refund the last time I got chains but you need to return them during a certain time period. Not early or late or you own the chains. I also took all my chains and dry fitted them at home. Marked the link on both sides that the hook attached to by painting it black. That way I have no quessing when it is colder than heck and you just want to get back on the road again. I also double up on the rubber bungies. Throw in some tyraps or wire so you can keep that loose chain end from slapping you fender silly. I keep a rubber blanket in my rig so I dont get wet when kneeling down to put them on. Good gloves and a flashlight are allways in my truck.
 

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No debate. ALWAYS chain up the front end of a 4x4 if you only chain one axle. It's like a front wheel drive car---pulls like crazy and steer too. Just moving forward does not help if your front end drifts out or slides downhill, and steering while stopping hard without front chains is equal parts of hope and prayer. With front chains you just keep it straight. If the rear end starts to come around anytime you simply steer into it and bump the throttle to snap the vehicle into line. Chains on all 4 works magic, but it is only needed in the most severe conditions on deep unplowed roads, cross country offroad travel, super steep areas, etc. A single set on the front will work great for any travel on the highways, and 99% of everywhere else.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! When I talk about chains, I mean CHAINS! Cables provide only a small increase in traction, just enough to get people moving at times. Reinforced v-bar chains are the only way to go. They have at least double the traction of cables, probably a lot more. They will also stand up to tremendous use and abuse. I have 25 year old chains with thousands of miles on them, including lots of offroad mud, rocks, etc on heavy 3/4 and 1-ton trucks that are still going strong. Only the v-bars are wearing. Staight link chains come in second.

If you are going to be in snow country a lot it is worth your time to find a snowy area you can't hurt, and that won't hurt you, and try them out. An hour of starts, stops, and turns in an empty parking lot will teach you much about your rig's handling. If you only pass through occasionally you still want to practice installing them in your driveway, and make sure that the chains will work on your truck while turning, etc. Some vehicles do not have enough fender clearance to run chains! (Should be illegal..)

Last tidbit. Installation is quick and easy the trucker way. 1) Lay out the chains and untangle 2) Drape over the tires with one end tucked under the tire and the other end in a pile on the other side. Be sure the v-bars are out, and that the inner catch is to the inside. 3) Move the vehicle a few inches so it just runs over the tucked side, with a few inches sticking out. The other end should be dangling just above. 4) Hook up the ends and apply tighteners. For the fronts I like to back up, so the connections are made at the front of the tire, for easy access.

MM
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All, thanks for your comments. :cheers: They are appreciated. I have decided to get two sets to chain up all four tires. Regarding using just one set. My owners manual states if you are using one set they must go on the near. This is to keep the rear in line during braking. :shrug:

Again, THANKS!
 

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i drive the santiam pass on a weekly to by-weekly basis every winter. I have chains but have never had to use them 4wheel drive with siped tires has provided more then enuph traction. but this year i got free studded mud tires so i hope they will work good atleast half as good as the siped.
 

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just a note, when you change tire brand or tread patterns, you need to refit your chains. just because the tire says it is the same size,265/70/17. will not mean your chains will fit the same as the last pair. a deep lug mud terrain tire will use a shorter chain, than a highway mud/snow at tire.
 
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