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2008 9-7x manual says no chains. I have a set of autosock chain alternatives for normal times. (In WA 4x4 must carry chains or alternatives when 4x2 are chains required)

I would like to hear about anyone's story of making chains work. Basically, I would like to run chains on all four corners.

I have also heard (always dangerous) that taller narrow tires are better in snow than short fat tires. My thinking is going taller and narrower on the 9-7x 18" rims, and that perhaps this would allow chains to clear. Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

I am two hours (normally) from my 90 year old dad. I have 4000 foot Stevens Pass to contend with, and potentially 5 miles of not plowed road and 200 yards of not plowed driveway. I have for many years had a Dodge 3500 dual rear wheels 4x4 with four chains for this purpose. I would like to set up the 9-7x Aero to take over the Dodge's purpose here. When you absolutely positively need to get there :smile:


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If you had a truck with a full time 4x4, you would be fine. The problem arises from the A4WD locking/slipping in and out. During a slip, chain grip, and engagement, you could snap some part of the system, as it wasnt designed for this.

I would thing if there is a way to get full engagement out of the system, you should be OK? But I dont know if this is possible with the AutoTC.


A little sidestep but possibly a consideration., albeit more $$. The next best thing to tire chains, a very close 2nd.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2.


They defy logic in terms of snow and ice performance.

I mounted mine on a used set of wheels and after one mount /dismount and balance that would almost pay for the set of used wheels.
If you live in a snow belt, it's not a bad option.


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Thread Starter
I have a set of 18x8 stock GM wheels for my 9-7x. I also have the 20" wheels with Nitto all season tires. I am looking for snow tires for the 18" rims. I thought I would want the option for chains on the 9-7x.

Sounds like you are saying chains are of dubious advantage over these Blizzak DM2 tires. Can you elaborate?

I am looking for snow tires underneath the (potential) chains. I was thinking 225/60-18 to allow room for chains. All of these are 104 weight rating rather than 109 weight rating.

The Blizzak DM2 are not available in this size, though the LM001 are. I don't need run flat. I've heard good things about the Hakkapeliitta tires which are available in this size at a lower price not run flat.

So questions:
Is a 104 weight rating OK for a 9-7x?

Will 225/60-18 allow clearance for chains? These are actually smaller in diameter and width.

Is there a better "tall" size? 235/60-18 give a small width advantage. Though now we ate talking GT Radial or Falken snow tire (Good), not Blizzaks (Best).


You can get the DM-V2 in your size.

The ability to stop in a quick and controlled manner with dedicated winter tires are worth the price of admission. I could do as much, if not a little more in 2WD with the Blizzaks than I could in 4WD with a half-worn set of all-season tires.

I used chains for a season on an older BMW, was a pita to R&R when needed.

With winter tires mounted on wheels, at the first snow, I install them, and during the thaw, I remove them. I average about 2-3K miles a season, if it's warm for a couple weeks, I'll switch back for awhile to save wear.

They wear fast, make sure your alignment is in check. Also, they have light road noise above 50 but as expected, not bad though.

Blizzaks and Michelin X-Ice are my 1st choices, in that order.


I think you'll run out of ground clearance long before you loose traction. These GMT360's ride too close to the road to do serious snow bogging. I even had the accessory belt on the 4200 stop turning when the lower engine compartment packed in with snow. I'd think a Jeep Rubicon would be the answer....and you could chain the front end.


The ground clearance is an issue, but honestly never been in a situation (yet) where I was hung up. I've been able to get around in some deep stuff with all-season tires also with some minor hurdles.

However, with the Blizzaks, snow is no longer an issue, even hard packed, glazed over roads that are hard to walk on, that's the most challenging and presents a lot of danger when it comes to braking.

A good analogy is having a back up generator when the power goes out, it doesn't matter and you remove any amount of concern for inclimate weather, except for others running into you.

I apologize for the crappy video, but realized after the fact the resolution changed when emailed, this was on an older smartphone.

This was a full-ABS stop from 25 MPH on a hard packed, icy street a number of years ago. You cannot see in the video but the car in front of me slid sideways through the stop sign.

No chance I could stop like this with all-season tires.

The road was not wet, it was about 20 deg out, maybe colder.



Registered Member
Thread Starter
Thanks all for the Tire advice. I'm actually a big fan of decent winter tires. Long time ago my wife had to chain up to get home in her FWD Saab 9-5. Four gals all helped each other out from the park and ride, and they all made it home. I was informed by my wifre she would never again be putting chains on. I went and got a set of Michelin X-Ice for the car.

Some time later we had a Seattle classic snow, melt just a bit and freeze. A nearby 8% hill was literally sheet ice. "I'm going out in the 9-5 to see how the snow tires do..." The 9-5 FWD could start going uphill on the steepest parts of the hill. Turned around and the 9-5 stopped with authority at any point on the hill. Never engaged traction control on the way up or ABS on the way down. Cool.

So I go home and: "I'm going back out with the AWD Toyota Sienna to see how 4x4 and All-Season tires compare..." Well, the Sienna could start up at almost any point on the hill going uphill, but it was traction control working 100% to try and make that happen. Interesting. Turned around and came down the hill. Gently braked, ABS kicks in and the Sienna continues to toboggan down the hill. Eventually it did stop.

I put winter tires on new rims on the Sienna the next day. Big fan of winter tires :smile:

I am thinking of trying 235/65-18 or 235/60-18 on the 9-7x. Trying to get clearance for chains with a slightly more narrow tire. Need for chains TBD, sounds like I probably would not gain anything on ice. Wondering about packed snow?


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The big downfall to chains, or even tire straps... When one of them breaks.. the damage can be stupendous. I have seen them take out struts, springs (or air springs), CV axles, frame cross members, brake hoses, ABS sensors, and pretty much anything that is within 12 inchs of the tire. I always vote for good Tires.

I live in Denver, and I have these Michelin LTX M/S on my Envoy, they have been on there for 70k miles, and the tread is.. well I need to replace them. I had 6-12 inchs of snow to drive thru on my way to work, and these tires didnt even slip except once on a hard brake (someone couldnt stop at a 4 way stop and came into my lane). I swear by these tires. Not knocking the snow tires, just saying I love these M/S all seasons.

I have new tires, was supposed to put them on Saturday.. But got lazy :Zzzz:


Need for chains TBD, sounds like I probably would not gain anything on ice. Wondering about packed snow?

Maybe a steep incline that is so packed and glazed over you could not stand up on the surface, or after a freezing rain.

The Blizzaks and the X-Ice are rated for ice, I've used the Blizzaks on some very hard packed surfaces and was able to drive on them easily.

A 15 + deg grade that's glazed over, that would likely be a different story. I would keep a set of cable chains if I encountered situations like that often and would only use them on the rear and only in an emergency.

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