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      02-14-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
CliffJumper
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Snow Chain / Cable Review

EDIT: Yes, I know M3s can do amazing things in the snow w/o chains. They are required by law at the ski resorts I go to. Please don't turn this thread into one about whether chains or needed or not; too many other threads have gone in that direction.

(also posted on Bimmerfest)

I didn't find too much info on this when searching in the past, so I thought I'd share some info.

After looking around, the SCC Super Z6 snow cable seems to be the best choice for me. It's low profile (only 6.3 mm of clearance required), and on my second try (though it was my first attempt after reading the instructions ), it took me less than 2 minutes per tire. Cost is about $78.

I'm using them with my snow tires, which are 235/40 R18s. According to a tire size calculator online, the radius of the snow tires is 12.7 inches vs. 13.2 inches of the stock 19s. The difference is 0.5 inch, which is 12.7 mm. Since I'm only adding 6.3 mm to the radius, I should be doing fine.

But, obviously, there are calculations on a computer... and there is real world testing.

I haven't tried them in the snow yet, but I drove down the street a bit with them on. I couldn't hear any rubbing or scraping. I've included the best pics I could.

Hope this helps!
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Last edited by CliffJumper; 02-15-2010 at 01:04 AM.
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      02-14-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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I was thinking about getting that color, looks nice!
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      02-15-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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Nice write-up, but why the chains? I drive with snows here in the mountains and haven't had issues in my E90. I guess good to have in an emergency but I wouldn't put them on unless it was REALLY bad (and still not sure I would do it.) Also, not sure if it is the angle, but your rears look a little worn for snows.
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      02-15-2010, 12:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Nice write-up, but why the chains? I drive with snows here in the mountains and haven't had issues in my E90. I guess good to have in an emergency but I wouldn't put them on unless it was REALLY bad (and still not sure I would do it.) Also, not sure if it is the angle, but your rears look a little worn for snows.
Chains are required by law in the Lake Tahoe and Mammoth ski areas in California. If it's snowing, they won't let you up the mountain w/o them. Even if you have an AWD with snow tires, you're required to have chains in your car. If you tell the police officer at the check point that you have cables in your car, but aren't able to produce them when they ask for 'em it's a $200+ ticket.
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      02-15-2010, 12:44 AM   #5
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There is snow in LA...?
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      02-15-2010, 12:48 AM   #6
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i drive in 3 or 4 in of snow with snow tires and stock suspension and have no problems.. dont think you need chains unless you are going somewhere very extreme... what are you planning to do with your m3 that requires chains?
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      02-15-2010, 01:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
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i drive in 3 or 4 in of snow with snow tires and stock suspension and have no problems.. dont think you need chains unless you are going somewhere very extreme... what are you planning to do with your m3 that requires chains?
I wondered myself too because he lives in LA.
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      02-15-2010, 01:47 AM   #8
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Its probably to keep ppl from So Cal on summer tires driving up the mountain.
Either way, its a serious set up.
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      02-15-2010, 02:41 AM   #9
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he stated that where he goes it is required by law to have the chains and if you get to the checkpoint and the officer see you don't have them your fined

man i bet you can go through some deep ass snow now or for the ice these will be great. i thought my Blizzaks did a great job, man a set of those would be some fun in the snow

does it say how fast you can go on the highway with them or on roads??
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      02-15-2010, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffJumper View Post
Chains are required by law in the Lake Tahoe and Mammoth ski areas in California. If it's snowing, they won't let you up the mountain w/o them. Even if you have an AWD with snow tires, you're required to have chains in your car. If you tell the police officer at the check point that you have cables in your car, but aren't able to produce them when they ask for 'em it's a $200+ ticket.
Didn't know that, thanks for clarifying. They have chain laws here going in to the mountains but generally for trucks only. If it gets bad, they will just close the road period. No explicit chain requirements for cars and they prefer not to - chews up the roads and offers limited additional benefit in most cases. If everyone needs chains, close the road.
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      02-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H Bomb View Post
man i bet you can go through some deep ass snow now or for the ice these will be great. i thought my Blizzaks did a great job, man a set of those would be some fun in the snow

does it say how fast you can go on the highway with them or on roads??
Not sure how much fun they would be... unfortunately, you're limited to 30 mph.
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      02-15-2010, 12:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by signes View Post
Didn't know that, thanks for clarifying. They have chain laws here going in to the mountains but generally for trucks only. If it gets bad, they will just close the road period. No explicit chain requirements for cars and they prefer not to - chews up the roads and offers limited additional benefit in most cases. If everyone needs chains, close the road.
They have 3 tiers of snow for the mountain passes here.

Level 1) RWD/FWD with chains installed OR Must have AWD with snow tires (and chains installed or at least in your car). Most of the time, they don't actually check to see if your AWD actually has snow tires, but that's the reg...

Level 2) AWD with snow tires and chains installed (many roads are closed at this point)

Level 3) Everything is closed. Period.
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      02-15-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
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wow... i didnt know that there are roads where chains are required by law!! even in the rural regions here in quebec, chains are rarely required... in fact in most areas up here, chains are prohibited on the road even in winter.
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      02-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #14
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nevermind

Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffJumper View Post
Not sure how much fun they would be... unfortunately, you're limited to 30 mph.
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      02-15-2010, 05:05 PM   #15
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Wow - thats pretty hardcore - be sure to post a review when you use them.
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      11-11-2012, 09:14 PM   #16
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Any update on how these worked? I'm in the market myself and curious if you liked these.
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      11-12-2012, 07:39 AM   #17
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Great to see another person who is not afraid to drive the M3 in all conditions. Give us a snow review this winter. You won't get stuck with those as long as they stay together, unless the snow is simply too deep for your ground clearance.
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      11-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Any update on how these worked? I'm in the market myself and curious if you liked these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
Great to see another person who is not afraid to drive the M3 in all conditions. Give us a snow review this winter. You won't get stuck with those as long as they stay together, unless the snow is simply too deep for your ground clearance.
They work great! I used them last season to go to Tahoe and Mammoth. They take about 30 seconds per tire to put on, even with gloves on while in the snow. Unfortunately, for reasons I list in this thread, the extra wheels and snow cables are now for sale. I also have a few pictures of it in the snow in that thread as well.
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