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Chains and TLCs

Tire Chains Theory:

Don't buy the non-welded dog-leash chain type chains.  
Get real U.S.-made chains (Laclede, Acco-Weed, etc.)  
Test fit them on the spare tire, and make sure you they fit
and the hitching links work smoothly.  Make sure the
chains clear the tie rod end on FJ-40s, and leaf springs,
etc.  Cycle the steering with the truck on jackstands.
You don't want them to snag in the woods, and rip themselves
or your truck apart.

People endlessly debate which axle to put chains on.  If you're 
towing a trailer and have chains only on the front and go down 
a small hill - instant jacknife - not pretty at all.  Been
there, done that - narrowly avoided big rear fender damage.

If you really need them, you need them on both ends.  If you 
sense that the weather is improving, or you're in deep ruts, 
you can get away with them only on the the front, but braking 
will be trickier.  I'd put them on all four, and enjoy the ride.
Use strong baling wire to wire down the extra/loose links and
always listen for loose chains hitting body or frame parts.  
Buy truck-grade rubber chain tensioners, which last much 
longer than car-weight rubber tensioners.  

If, like me, you drive 5-8 miles into the back country during
a winter hunting trip, bring 6 chains.  If you lose one or 
two while trying to outrun a blizzard, and have no spares, 
you're in big trouble, especially if you have open differentials 
- - lose one chain, and you lose the axle.  Bargain hunters - 
people sell 14" (wheel size) tire chains at rummage sales for 
$5/set, because "they don't fit trucks".  Buy a couple sets, 
get some hammer-shut chain links, get out your hacksaw, and 
make spare chains.  While four-wheeling, I've found old rusty, 
filthy chains lying in the mud - grab them, and add to your 
collection.  After winter is over, many stores blow out chains 
for $30/set, that were normally $75/set.  

Final note - if you have 32" tires, and 29" chains, and get stuck,
lay out the chains for extra traction, and drive over them.  A 
friend and I recovered a TLC from 2' of powder snow doing this. 
I was astounded.  





Toyota Land Cruiser Association