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Making Snow Chains Bigger

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by charliegolf, 12 Oct 2021.

  1. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    Context: Bought a Volvo 3 years back. Bummer, it can only take front-fit chains. Bought snow chains and winter tyres for its 17 inch wheels, all good.

    Now I have another Volvo, 18 inch wheels, and a 38mm larger circumference.

    With the uncertainty about, I don't really want to pay £300+ for chains I almost certainly won't use in the Alps, but which I pretty well have to have. Second hand is a no go, if the 'bay' is any guide. I will be getting winter tyres.

    Any ideas? Are they made of super-duper kryptonite metal links; or just steel. If the latter, is there a doo-dah I could use to extend the circumference. I'm thinking (very small) bottle screws, like on boat rigging?

    Help!

    CG (tight-arse!)
     
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  3. conny

    conny

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    The danger of modifying something like this is if they fail they may well flail! In which case your car, (or someone elses' if they are passing), may probably suffer severe damage as a result. Don't think that would be covered under your insurance.
     
  4. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Where you driving to need snow chains, never needed on my Volvo’s.
     
  5. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    I briefly mentioned the Alps (for skiing) in my post: shoulda been clearer.
     
  6. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    Obviously. But several of the main 'grip' surfaces on them are plastic/nylon and they are mechanically attached to the chains. I'm thinking, "Surely I can arrange for joins stronger than the originals." Maybe via a local machine shop?
     
  7. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Eh?
     
  8. Lower

    Lower

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    You can buy them for about £150 from Halfords if you only need them for the driven wheels.

    I wouldn't mess about with trying to modify them. In the event that you do need them, you really don't want them coming off.
     
  9. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    Which bit is not clear?

    Going to the Alps
    Must have chains
    98% chance of not needing them
     
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  11. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    I can't find any front-fit chains for £150*, and Halfords has none to fit my car.

    Not even SH off ebay.
     
  12. Lower

    Lower

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    Really? I can get them for my BMW with 19" wheels from halfords for £150 for the pair.

    Maybe the volvo fitment is different.
     
  13. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    Yep, 235/45/18
     
  14. SomebodyElseDoIt

    SomebodyElseDoIt

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    Snow chains are not made of super metal. Mine came with some repair links in case they broke. One did, because after 14 hours of nightmare driving and no sleep I didn't take enough care about fitting. It did indeed flail about, destroying the wiring and therefore disabling both ABS and traction control. We were able to repair it in the resort, and could have on the road with pliers or a mole wrench. I didn't even think about claiming on insurance.

    I don't think there is any chance of safely modifying a set to be a larger size. I don't think you'll even be able to modify to actually fit. Get some in the right size e.g. these: https://www.snowchainstore.co.uk/snow-chain-pewag-n-76-st-nordic-star (no affiliation, I haven't used this store).

    If you only want technical compliance, then take the ones you have and you can wave them at anyone who stops you and asks to see that you have chains. They won't do that though - if it is properly snowing they'll want to see that you have chains already fitted or they won't let you up the hill.
     
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  15. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    SomebodyElse... You're (all) going to be right. But with regard to the ones you linked- my car* can't have behind the wheel chains, it has to be front fit only. Like these.

    https://www.snowchainstore.co.uk/konig-k-summit-k23

    I'd buy em happily if I was confident of 3 seasons worth of use (non-use!). I will prob be buying them unhappily lol.

    CG

    * Crazy when you think the car originates from a cold, snowy place!
     
  16. SomebodyElseDoIt

    SomebodyElseDoIt

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    Ah I see. I misunderstood what front-fit meant.

    I wonder if they specify front-fit only because there simply isn't room at all, or because there is no clearance at some specific condition - like full lock and full suspension travel. Might be worth a look behind the wheel at each lock to see. If it were my car I might be prepared to use a non-front fit set and just drive a bit carefully which I should be doing anyway.

    There are also Autosocks which do go behind the tyre a bit but are pretty minimal.

    Also find a Volvo forum, even a Swedish one, and ask on there.
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2021
  17. Lower

    Lower

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    You're right. The ones that i thought i'd found for my car aren't £150 :(
     
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