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Discussion Starter #1
I understand the stock 18" Sahara wheels should not be used with chains (so says the Manual). Mine is a 2015.

We get mostly ice storms here, rather than snow. I live on a hill. I just want to get out and, more preferably, get back.

Can I put a set of 16" 225/75's on her (from a '17 JK Sport) with chains (e.g., ONORMDIAMONDs from Tirechains.com)?

stock JK sport wheel has the same offset as the Sahara, correct? For moving/stopping on ice, is 225 better than a 255 or a 245 (in 16" or 17")?

Thanks
 

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If just to get up the hill, how about this
AutoSock – The Alternative Traction Device
Do you need chains often in N.C. ?
I have a '13 Sahara(same wheels) and we go to the mountains(up to 9600') and my tires have not let me down yet. We just put tires on that had the snow flake symbol on them. Supposed to be 60k mile tire and their not loud on dry roads going 70 mph and handle real good. I did lose 1 1/2 mpg with these tires over the stock Bridgestone tires. I did move up to a 265/70-18 whereas the stock tires were 255/70-18.

ROD
 

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You might want to call Jeep and ask them why you can't use chains. It might not have anything to do with the wheels. It could be that the chains might damage other components on the vehicle. Where I used to work, they stop putting chains on the Crown Vics, claiming that the chains damaged to quarter panels and fuel lines.
 

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I needed chains this weekend regardless. There were check points in Big Bear, CA and they wouldn't even allow rwd with snow chains at one point. I had to go back down the mountain and purchase snow chains for my 35's ($200). Since I have a willys (oem trimmed rock rails), I couldn't even fit it in the rear tires. I'm guessing the saharas with oem steps have that issue as well. I had to put it on the front.
IMG_5269.jpg
 

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You can put smaller rims on if you like that gives you more room between the tire chain and the vehicle. The frame on my sport and your Sahara is the same the stock tires can easily be switched.

Brand new stock wheels and tires are easy for me to find as a lot of guys at the local Air Force base buy new jeeps and put new wheels on right away. I currently am running a set of stock Sahara wheels/ tires I got off of an airman on my sport. I have been able to buy 5 new tires/wheels for 200 to 300 dollars twice. I needed two wheels/ tires for a trailer I built so it made sense to buy the first set. The other set not so much.

But then I do have a friend that drove to Alaska and back from Missouri this summer who went through 3 tires and a wheel on his toyota and that was just driving on roads no wheeling. I hope to make a similar trip in 2019 with my Jeep and trailer. I will use the same size tire on both and will take at least three spares .

The upgraded tires/wheels most guys run are very expensive but you should be able to obtain a set of sport stock tires pretty inexpensive that you could run during the winter if you need to run chains. Just switch them out in the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The manual calls out (only?) 225/R16 or 235/R17 for chains (I take that as a out of warranty warning) for suspension clearance reasons and to avoid damage. And chains should be put on rear wheels only... (page 510 of the 2015 manual).

That is why I'm interested in 16" - just to be on the safe side. I might consider putting chains on the front as well, however.

That is the plan, get a set of stock 225's or 235's from someone upgrading. Buy a set of chains to fit the tires. Wanted to make sure the plan would work.

I've got the room to keep a spare set of tires for the "what-if" ice storm. I've been stuck for days b/c of icy streets (not yet with the JK, however). Doesn't happen often, but that is the boy scout motto plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone, I do want another set of rims with tires suitable for chains, not a replacement for the ones I have on now.

I've priced a number of new wheel & rim combos (sipped and studs) and found that buying a set of tires with the rims from Craig's list and buying and putting chains on the back and/or front is significantly less cost than buying a set of studdable rims/tires.

I just wanted to know if any other Sahara owners out there does this swap of the stocks with a smaller width & diameter set up for use with chains, as needed.
 

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I needed chains this weekend regardless. There were check points in Big Bear, CA and they wouldn't even allow rwd with snow chains at one point. I had to go back down the mountain and purchase snow chains for my 35's ($200). Since I have a willys (oem trimmed rock rails), I couldn't even fit it in the rear tires. I'm guessing the saharas with oem steps have that issue as well. I had to put it on the front.
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Did you come up the 330, 38 or the 18? I had to sign a form stating I would not put chains on the front wheels and understood if I did the damage would not be covered. I have a 2012 JKU Rubicon. I believe it was due to the disconnects, but could be wrong. What tires are you running? Last year they let me go with the Duratracs, I guess they are considered a snow tire. I have MTR's on now, I was already up the mountain so I didn't have any issues. They did okay driving around town.

Lisa
 

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@Lab Lover ... conditions were R3 (chains required -all vehicles, no exceptions) by the time I got up to the 18. I initially took 38 and there were road blocks headed up the mountain stating road closed. I then backtracked to the 18 and when we got up the mountain, every vehicle was inspected for chains. Unfortunately I didn't have one so I had to travel back down and find a store that carries one. Walmart had a bunch but they don't carry 35's so we made some calls and found a tire shop a couple blocks away from where we were. It was about $200 and we went back up to the 18. By the time we got back, traffic was very bad. It was roughly another 3-4 hour drive on the 18 once I added the chains up front due to the traffic conditions to get to our destination.

Chains on the front tires caused a lot of vibration at low speed. At 20mph, it smoothed out.
 

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@Lab Lover ... conditions were R3 (chains required -all vehicles, no exceptions) by the time I got up to the 18. I initially took 38 and there were road blocks headed up the mountain stating road closed. I then backtracked to the 18 and when we got up the mountain, every vehicle was inspected for chains. Unfortunately I didn't have one so I had to travel back down and find a store that carries one. Walmart had a bunch but they don't carry 35's so we made some calls and found a tire shop a couple blocks away from where we were. It was about $200 and we went back up to the 18. By the time we got back, traffic was very bad. It was roughly another 3-4 hour drive on the 18 once I added the chains up front due to the traffic conditions to get to our destination.

Chains on the front tires caused a lot of vibration at low speed. At 20mph, it smoothed out.
My husband had a couple sets of 35's for his old truck, I should see if he still has them and sell them on the forum. I need to find some for 37's so I don't run into a last minute issue like that.
I always get confused when people say the 18, because we come up through Victorville and the back way which is the 18. Then people coming up the front through Arrowhead are also on the 18 :(
I'm glad you made it, I guess you have chains for any other storms that you need them, lol.

Lisa
 

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Did you come up the 330, 38 or the 18? I had to sign a form stating I would not put chains on the front wheels and understood if I did the damage would not be covered. I have a 2012 JKU Rubicon. I believe it was due to the disconnects, but could be wrong. What tires are you running? Last year they let me go with the Duratracs, I guess they are considered a snow tire. I have MTR's on now, I was already up the mountain so I didn't have any issues. They did okay driving around town.

Lisa
Interested in the form you had to sign? Who gave you a form?

But yes you should not put chains on your front wheels on MOST vehicles. The rubicon is the exception, in my opinion, with d44s on front and back the risk is minimized. But 99% of the other vehicles on the road do not have enough capacity to rely on the front wheels for traction and can cause damage to the driveline in the front. A sahara is in that 99% and chains should be on the back tires only.
 

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My '17 JKUR manual says not to use chains on the front, due to suspension clearance issues. But the lower profile 'S' Class roller chains are OK to use on the rear. This might be a good option for you as well, stock JKUR '17 tire size is: 255/75 R17.

If it's temporary use and not highway use, you might also look at these zip tie thingys I saw on Jalopnik: VSTM or ZipGripGo
 

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Interested in the form you had to sign? Who gave you a form?

But yes you should not put chains on your front wheels on MOST vehicles. The rubicon is the exception, in my opinion, with d44s on front and back the risk is minimized. But 99% of the other vehicles on the road do not have enough capacity to rely on the front wheels for traction and can cause damage to the driveline in the front. A sahara is in that 99% and chains should be on the back tires only.
The form was from the dealer the day I picked up my JKUR. It specifically said, "do not install chains on front wheels" My daughter just bought a Chrysler Town and Country mini van, her manual says to install chains on the front wheels. I would assume it's because it's front wheel drive, as is my son's Honda with the same instructions.

My '17 JKUR manual says not to use chains on the front, due to suspension clearance issues. But the lower profile 'S' Class roller chains are OK to use on the rear. This might be a good option for you as well, stock JKUR '17 tire size is: 255/75 R17.

If it's temporary use and not highway use, you might also look at these zip tie thingys I saw on Jalopnik: VSTM or ZipGripGo
That's the reason I was told to not put chains on front also. I read something about the zip tie type things being not legal in California to use as replacements. I also saw they were to just go a very short distance. That may be something that would work for the OP since it's just the driveway area he needs to get through.

Lisa
 

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Interested in the form you had to sign? Who gave you a form?

But yes you should not put chains on your front wheels on MOST vehicles. The rubicon is the exception, in my opinion, with d44s on front and back the risk is minimized. But 99% of the other vehicles on the road do not have enough capacity to rely on the front wheels for traction and can cause damage to the driveline in the front. A sahara is in that 99% and chains should be on the back tires only.


So what about the majority of the cars on the road, you know the ones with no power to the rear wheels?

Chains on a dana 30 isnt going to hurt a thing.

To the OP, I find it hard to believe that cables wont clear. I prefer cables, unless you are out on the trails in 3 feet of snow.
 

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So what about the majority of the cars on the road, you know the ones with no power to the rear wheels?

Chains on a dana 30 isnt going to hurt a thing.

To the OP, I find it hard to believe that cables wont clear. I prefer cables, unless you are out on the trails in 3 feet of snow.
I guess I will reword my statement. "I" have never chained up the fronts without having chains on the rear. "I" have seen broken diffs on front only chained 4wd vehicles, obviously not FWD or AWD...

Anyone else can do whatever they would like...

I have 4 v-bar chains and I use them several times a year to get home when the roads are not plowed. Cables won't cut it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't know about the plastic cables mentioned above. Metal cables will "probably clear" on the stock 18" but, at least on TireChains.com, they are not rated very well for ice.

I think its the wheel diameter AND width that is the issue with chains - why else would the manual specify R16 or R17 AND not more than 235 width? and isn't the "not on the front rule" because only the fronts can interfere with suspension parts anyway - from turning? you can probably use chains on the rear 18" Sarah tire if you keep it under 30 and don't make hard turns, but why do what the manual says not to do?

Nobody with a stock Sahara with 18" wheel has said they use chains, front or back.....yet

With a portable impact driver and a floor jack, it takes about 30-40mins to swap tires in the garage. So why not have a set of R16/225's from a stock Sport with a pair of chains for the rears and maybe a set of those plastic emergency cables for the fronts ? It's a good work out too!
 

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I carry a full set for my JKUR and try not to use them unless no other way up the steep sets of hills to my home and black ice so not an endorsement for general use. With Rubicons, one can understand the chain warnings as super tight clearance on the suspension/brake lines. I also custom fitted them very tight with a chain tool which makes a big difference. I have not had to use them yet (run DT's in the winter) but sooner or later the shine will be on the hills.

My other jeeps with D30's never had a problem with chains, ran them on the front all the time as well as the F150, it is the clearance that is problematic if you throw a link or they have too much sloop.

A few years ago, I threw a link and lost the brakes on an issued marked FD vehicle on an emergency call, was not too happy......quickly found a snow bank.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The rear set of my 255/R18's are so close to the suspension I can't even get my fingers between sidewall and metal. The chains will stick out from the side as well as from the tread face, so it would be very close tolerance back there with the 255's and a decent set of chains.

I don't have (want) spacers, but I assume they would help for this issue. I assume 225/R16's (~ 1" thinner in width) will give me enough clearance, just like spacers would - Is that correct?
 

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Check out the auto socks.. way faster to put on and off and not heavy.
they work great. I run a trucking company and the drivers that have switched to them on their semi's seem to really like them a lot. of course they have a few more tires than we do.
they seem to be a lot quicker to take on and off.
 
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