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Installing Tire Chains on Your Vehicle

| 12/10/2012 11:28:56 PM

Now that you’ve purchased your chains it’s time to put them on. The first thing to do is lay them out on a long flat surface and get the kinks out of them. Compare photos 1 and 2. Look at the difference where the cross links attach to the outer chains. In photo 1 the bottom cross link is twisted. To correct this, lift up the chain at the outer ends of the lower cross link then roll the attaching ends under the cross link and bring them around inside and back over the top. Then the chain will look like the one pictured in photo 2. That’s how it should be the entire length of the chain.

Inatall Tire Chains Photo 1 

Install Tire Chains Photo 2 

Now that you have the chain straightened out it’s time to put it on the tire. Begin by draping it over the tire as shown in photo 3. Important: be sure that the outer “latch” is to the outside of the tire as shown in the photo. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in front of the tire or behind it. (Usually it will be to the front on one side and to the rear on the other side.)

Install Tire Chains Photo 3 

With the chains draped over the tire, start the vehicle and drive forward. When you’ve gone about half of one revolution on the wheel stop (see photo 4). Now, take the end of the chain towards the center of the car and bring it up to the hook at the top inside of the wheel. You may have to crawl under the vehicle to see what you’re doing. (I always stash a small sheet of plastic in the bag I keep the chains in. I photo 5 I used an old dog food bag.) Once you’ve had some experience you’ll be able to do it by “feel.”

Steven Gregersen
12/14/2012 5:29:16 AM

Hank: How about some more info on that 4WD IH you've got there? I've got a 69 half-ton 4WD IH (which is built stronger than most 1-ton trucks today!) and a 76 Dodge 4WD - One Ton. They're both great trucks and super tough. I also grew up in Emporia, Kansas. We don't get the ice you do there but we get lots more snow.

Hank Will
12/13/2012 10:28:32 PM

Excellent post, Steven! It brought back memories of tossing the chains on my old IH 574 loader tractor for snow-pushing duties and mudding around with large hay bales. Ever since I got a 4-wheel-drive tractor, those chains have simply hung in the shed. We used chains on some of our vehicles way back when also. These days, in Kansas, the 4-wheel drive IH and dodge pickups have managed to get around. It might be fun to get a set for Karen's 2-wheel drive jeep though -- would be worth running them just for the weird looks. Thanks again.

Steven Gregersen
12/12/2012 9:56:17 PM

Thanks Dave: Unfortunately duty still calls at times even though we work at home now (most of our income is derived from writing). I had to chain up yesterday to tow one our kid's cars home in the snow/ice. Maybe we should move to where snow isn't a problem!

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