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Old 01-04-2009   #1
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Post Snow chains for Touareg

Hi guys, could do with some advice. I have an 04 V8 Touareg and live in Washington, I only moved here recently from a more temparate climate, so snow chains are new to me. I have a couple of questions:
  • Do I need to two chains or four, for all wheels?
  • Do people have any recommendations for specific types of chains?
I'm looking for some that are as easy to put on as possible, (self-tightening etc). My tyre size is 275/45/19 which I gather is a relatively rare size, most places around here in Seattle didn't have anything in that size; so I'm guessing I'll have to order online - any suggestions as to online retailers!?

Thanks in advance for your help.

amcgb

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Old 01-04-2009   #2
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There was a thread a few days ago on VWVORTEX about chains. As I recall, Cal and Ore require you to carry chains where necessary even on 4WD vehicles. You need to find out if Wash is the same way.

I don't think your 19's will do very well in snow, so I am kind of at a loss. I would suggest that you either need chains for the current setup or you need a second set of wheels with good all weather tires for the winter. If you go the chain route, then cable chains would be fine and least expensive and you would only need them on the front. I would probably go the 2nd set of wheels route if I lived in a snow-prone area.

Sorry I cannot be more help, but what the heck, I live in West Texas.

I am sure some of our members in your area will post good advice.

Rick

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Old 01-04-2009   #3
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Seeing as its AWD and sensitive to varying wheel sizes and friction Id advise chains on all 4 wheels.. but thats just me.
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Old 01-04-2009   #4
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Moving to running gear.

I'm pretty sure that the manual states that chains should only be used on the front wheels. That being said, I wouldn't chain up a Touareg unless the snow was up to the hood. It's doesn't need it. What it DOES need is a good set of snow capable tires. The stock 19's are not up to the task.
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Old 01-04-2009   #5
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Interesting, Im not that far into the manual yet

Agree whole heatedly on the snow tires though.
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Old 01-04-2009   #6
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I know here in UT it is either snow tires or chains, not both. I did wonder today though when I was following someone up the canyon in a Tahoe with 20 something wheels on it with street tread if the Sheriff dept would just tell that guy to go back home. I sure as hell would not want to be behind that guy if the road was in bad shape. Fortunately it was clear today, but storms can make the canyons pretty nasty in a hurry.
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Old 01-05-2009   #7
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Just sharing my similar quest...

CALIFORNIA ONLY:

From the CHP-Frequently Asked Questions of the Highway Patrol :

I have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Do I have to carry / use chains? What do the "R" ratings which are associated with chain requirements mean?
"R" ratings on snowy roads indicate chain requirements for various conditions. Some vehicles may not be required to use chains under all conditions, but all vehicles must carry chains. Most vehicles come equipped with snow tires. Look for M+S (mud and snow), All Season, or All Terrain, on the side of the tire.
R-1 chains required except for vehicles with snow tires (chains required for any vehicle pulling a trailer)
R-2 chains required except for 4-wheel drive with snow tires
R-3 chains required for all vehicles

In other discussions of this topic some have said, if it's so bad that the Touareg with snow tires can't handle it, you shouldn't be out in those conditions. But, what if you happen to be enroute when the storm hits, or are somewhere and need to get home or whatever? Waiting it out isn't necessarily always an option.

In SoCal, having two sets of tires for summer/winter is probably overkill for the occasional trip into the local mountains or up the east side of the Sierra, so I've looked for a compromise in the meantime for my 19" rims.

Tires: Nokain WR's 255/50R19. This is the best I could do in an "all season" tire that should be able to handle snow conditions as well as everyday SoCal highway driving.

Chains: The manual says you cannot use chains. But, one could find onself in a situation where the Highway Patrol is requiring them. So, I searched for cables/chains with the maximum clearance / lowest profile possible. Best I could find so far is Security Chain Company (SCC - www.scc-chain.com) "Super Z6" series. These were designed for ultra low-clearance vehicles and SUV's and only require 0.25" clearance on the inside.

Amazon.com: Security Chain Super Z6, SZ435, Cable Chain for Pickups & SUVs: Automotive

Unfortunately, when I went to try out fitting these on my rig in the driveway (before venturing out into the wild), it sure looks like they are still going to rub the ABS and/or brake wear sensor wires coming down from the suspension A-arm.

So, what to do? Probably return them to Amazon. But, I'm thinking of trying to fabricate some sort of shield by wrapping a piece of sheet metal around the upper A-arm, enclosing the wiring inside of it. Why they couldn't have run those wires *inside* of the A-arm frame is beyond me.

The other alternative is to use traction devices that don't go around the inner sidewall of the tire:

Spikes Spiders For 255/50/19 Tires: Spikes-Spider

But at $500 a pair, let's get real!

BTW, IMHO if your're going to put on traction devices, you should put them on all four wheels. I've personally watched folks with chains on just the drive wheels (rear drive) sliding sideways down a hill as they desperately tried to steer the vehicle down a hill with the front wheels having absolutely no traction. The rule for the SAR team I volunteer for is that if you're going to chain-up, you either put them on all four wheels or not at all. And that's on 4x4 trucks.

Has anyone else had any luck finding chains/cables that allow sufficient clearance that you can actually use them on your Touareg? Seems like with the smaller tires, the traction device might even get closer to the A-arm, but if it's working for someone else, maybe a second set of wheels is the way to go - even here in CA.

Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2009   #8
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The Touareg will do very well with good snow tires. If you moved to Seattle area you may just don't bother because all that snow is very rare and you probably won't see it again next Winter and very soon the rain will clean that up.

As someone else has stated in here, I wouldn't chain the Touareg unless if you have snow up to the roof. Good snow tires are the way to go.

If you really insist on the chain, there is a claw option that is made of a special rubber and won't damage your wheels/tires.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-06-2009   #9
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Over the hood yes that was on dec 17 10hours=33" round my neck of the woods
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Old 01-06-2009   #10
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I had great luck up here in the northwest and dove from spokane to tacoma to pick them up and still saved 900 dollars on a set of nokian hak's even after paying for fuel, dinner and have never been happier...on the flip side seattle gets no where near the amount of snow that we recive on this side of the mountians... your reg should do great you should grab about three sand bag tubes at your local home depot- cost of a whopping 20$ and give it a shot

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