Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need to buy cables for my drives to Tahoe, as CHP requires carrying them. I see many people advise to get the Z6 cables, but they are pricey, so I am wondering whether I can just use the ladder-type cables that run about $25 instead... would there be any issue regarding clearance? I think they should be similar in clearance to the Z6, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
You mean CHAIN? Some CHP are pretty nice just carry a cheap one and when they saw your car is a Subaru all wheel drive they won't bother you. Tha't what my daugther told me, they don't even ask the chain they just ask if the car is 4 wheel drive, and she's driving CRV. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
They did this to me going though Mt Shasta a few years ago in the LGT. The chain's don't even fit the LGT (and none do :(), and they just asked if I had them and let me by. They stopped a CRV AWD and made them chain up, but not my subie ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
I need to buy cables for my drives to Tahoe, as CHP requires carrying them. I see many people advise to get the Z6 cables, but they are pricey, so I am wondering whether I can just use the ladder-type cables that run about $25 instead... would there be any issue regarding clearance? I think they should be similar in clearance to the Z6, right?
Get the cheapest things that qualify for the visual check IF THEY EVER STOP YOU!
15yrs going to Tahoe on Epic storm trips with the Subaru even the Legacy and ZERO stops the chains are still zip tied in the bag with the same zip tie the bag had at the store 15yrs later.

My only advice would be make sure you have decent tread on your tires just shy of the wear bar does not qualify as good tread for Tahoe storms- if you have two tires that have slightly better tread than the other two - put the better tires on the rear! YES THE REAR!
This will help keep the back of the car behind the front of the car if you do find your self in some bad road conditions.

Down hill like say 80 dropping over the pass down into Truckee is where it gets ugly for everyone and the Subaru will have its worst moments if you have any. Out side of that even the legacy could plow its way out of the parking lot at might night after skiing all day - then spending the evening eating and goofing off with friends at the resort. 2ft of snow in the parking lot only made getting into the car difficult being that it was above the door sill on the legacy. Driving home was the easy part. Just go with stock or good quality all season tires. If you live in Tahoe then dedicated snows for a couple of months isn't a bad idea but for us Bay Area storm chasers good tread on quality allweather tires strapped to the subaru will get you to Tahoe every single time with zero issues or stops.

One year we even left during a very small lull massive storm 180mph winds at the ridge tops - damage to the lodge we were staying at - no power for several days. I got a call out of a weather router friend in the sail boat racing circles and he mentioned a minor lull in the action and then it would be full on again for another 12hrs or so. We rolled out of Tahoe City at 3am over a foot of snow on the main drag only other people out on the road were line repairmen and plow drivers. We rolled into Sac around 5:30 in the morning to hear that the not only were they not letting anyone on the roads at that point but even emergency vehicles were in some cases not able to make calls.

All in the little old Legacy running stock tires never had an issue with it. The OB with higher ground clearance and far superior ABS and stability control technology is going to offer an even better experience.

Have fun sounds like a decent load of snow dumped today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well, thanks to you all!
Actually, the biggest problem for me will not be HW 80 going down to Donner Lake, but Northwoods Boulevard going up to Tahoe Donner, for those of you who know what that is! The initial uphill, and downhill in the other direction especially, are pretty steep. Still, I want to wait and see how my (new) stock Conti tires do before I go buy snow tires.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,131 Posts
Most states allow 4wd/AWD vehicles to continue without chaining up when it is posted "chains required". The two caveats are; must have all-weather or winter tires and must carry chains in the vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
My expereince with the Sierra storms if awd/4wd need to chain up the highway is closed anyway. Chains are/were required right now over Donner Summit. Road is/was closed not due to snow but due to idjuts attempting to drive 50 mph and spinning out on the slush. Sierra storms will clog I80 to an average speed of 2mph especially westbound after a 3 day weekend.
BTW, if chains were required to be installed on OB, where do they go? Front or rear? My last recollection in reading the owners manual is they are not recommended. Why carry them if they can't be installed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
If you've only got chains/cables for two wheels, they go on the back. Putting them on the front would cause the arse end to get pretty squirrely during braking.
Ok, but wheel well clearance looks very tight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
If you've only got chains/cables for two wheels, they go on the back. Putting them on the front would cause the arse end to get pretty squirrely during braking.
Wrong very wrong!

With the AWD subaru IF! big IF you ever put cables on they go on the front ALWAYS! This is actually covered in your owners manual!

By the way I recall that spot in Tahoe I don't ever remember climbing it or coming down it being an issue at all. Granted the surface can't be ice or crusty nasty old snow given short of having a snow machine your not going to have much if any traction regardless of which direction your going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Wrong very wrong!

With the AWD subaru IF! big IF you ever put cables on they go on the front ALWAYS! This is actually covered in your owners manual!

By the way I recall that spot in Tahoe I don't ever remember climbing it or coming down it being an issue at all. Granted the surface can't be ice or crusty nasty old snow given short of having a snow machine your not going to have much if any traction regardless of which direction your going.

For starters, my owners manual says never to put them on.


With chains only on the front, if you're going anything but dead straight, the arse end will come around when you brake. Don't believe me? Go try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
For starters, my owners manual says never to put them on.


With chains only on the front, if you're going anything but dead straight, the arse end will come around when you brake. Don't believe me? Go try it.
You can do what ever it you want but giving very bad advice is just bad karma.

AWD car like the subarus if you ever strap on cables are treated like a front wheel drive car they go on the front. You can do anything you like but as I said your advice is ASS backwards in a big way.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,109 Posts
Older manuals state front wheels only.

I hate to say it...but subiesailor is right. Also, the cables typically won't physically fit the rear wheels of these cars.

Also, if you two start tossing out insults at each other....actually, just don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
I don't recall insulting anyone. I also know what the older manuals say but I've driven both ways. In a perfect world you want them on all 4; anything else is a trade-off. I prefer to drive slow enough to steer properly and know I can stop when/where I want.

You do what you think is right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
Not trying to pick sides but this is straight out of the Ca DMV website,

"Which axle do I install the chains on? Chains must be installed on the drive axle. All-wheel drive vehicles and 4-wheel drive vehicles may have chains installed on either drive axle, but the rear axle is preferred, unless the vehicle manufacturer recommends the front axle".


Blucorn is technically correct but the caveat is to follow what the vehicle mfg says.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Subaru's are typically a little more front biased with the AWD so putting them on the front may give better traction for steering. Putting them on the back will not guarantee you do unintentional donuts. The Brake system is also front biased so there is a danger of the car spinning out under heavy braking.

That said I have spun out in cars that had too much brake force from the rear too. Know your car and learn to drive in the elements if you have to drive in them.

The vehicle will not perform well with chains on only one axle so you get to decided: Do I want to be able to steer, or stop? :p

If it's me, I'm putting them on the front. Most of the time you can't stop anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
My car is a 6MT so it is not front biased, but I have to check whether the cables fit in the back. My plan is to try to avoid using them, and otherwise, get winter tires. There would be no point in having a Subaru and still having to put chains on!
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
About this Discussion
44 Replies
19 Participants
AltaBrig
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top