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# 175199 21-Jun-2015 12:59
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I have an imported late model Subaru Legacy, and am thinking of going skiing. Which means snow chains needed.

But I have 2 dilemmas.

1) I don't think there is enough wheel [tyre->strut] clearance (or even brake line clearance acc to google) to fit chunky standard chains, but that can be gotten around with maybe some special ones ...

2) It doesn't have a Jap manual (if someone has the JDM 2012 Legacy GT manual that would be good to link but I haven't managed to find it on google) but the US manual says do not use snow chains!

Rang the dealer he says just put them on however you like!

Anyone with a late model Subaru can comment?




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  # 1328652 21-Jun-2015 13:41
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I had a GT Legacy and lived in the Mackenzie for years, up Ohau, Fox Peak, Mt Cook Village, over a few passes when it was snowing, I remember I used the chains between Geraldine and Fairlie when it was snowing and had no probs, but the ice build up in the wheel arches was a lot, I did have snow tyres which provide far better stability on snow/ice.

Just make sure the chains are modern and light and fit them to the front wheels on a AWD, drive a couple hundred meters and recheck/tighten them.

Also, check youtube to see if anything about fitting chains to your vehicle make.




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  # 1328700 21-Jun-2015 15:14
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Just put them on however you like. Used many times on old wagon and can't see the issue. Make sure they are the right size and fitted properly. Drive a short way and check fitting, then away you go.




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  # 1328701 21-Jun-2015 15:16
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I would prefer to avoid using them, but if you really think you must, as garbonzai said, put them on the front only and do a short distance test, and do not exceed 25kph while the chains are on. Just get some good winter tyres instead imo :P I have seen some too-big chains catch on brake components on Legacys.

For reference, the AU/NZ 2007-2011 Impreza manual appears to copy the US manuals, and reads
Driving on snowy grades or icy roads may require the use of tire chains, in which case put the chains on the front wheels only. Use only chains that are of the correct size for your tires so as not to damage the vehicle body or suspension. When driving with tire chains, drive at speeds below 30km/h.



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  # 1328704 21-Jun-2015 15:18
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can I put them on the rear if there is more clearance (haven't checked)?




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  # 1328730 21-Jun-2015 16:23
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It's up to you really, I have seen chains put on the back wheels of legacy's, but Subaru might say other wise, I have run my current legacy in fwd (front) instead of awd for years (to hopefully save about 10% on gas)and Subaru says its a big no no.

The advantage of chains on the front is obviously far better steering, weight of engine for better grip and it smashes snow/ice up for the following back wheels plus awd usually have a bias of drive to the front wheels, unless a car is 2wd then obviously the chains must go on the wheels that have the drive.

Great cars Legacy's, drives excellent on the road, and great in the slippery stuff, generally one wheel with grip will pull the vehicle out, puts the power to the wheel that has grip (to a certain point), just the low ground clearance kills the ruff stuff.

PS, I'm not a mechanic or Subaru expert, just have owned a few (and current) and used them in snow and ice, a warning about snow tyres they can be dangerous when not used in cold conditions, I used them for a lot of trips from Mackenzie to QT and CHC and never had a prob though.




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  # 1328819 21-Jun-2015 20:19
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garbonzai: It's up to you really, I have seen chains put on the back wheels of legacy's, but Subaru might say other wise, I have run my current legacy in fwd (front) instead of awd for years (to hopefully save about 10% on gas)and Subaru says its a big no no.

The advantage of chains on the front is obviously far better steering, weight of engine for better grip and it smashes snow/ice up for the following back wheels plus awd usually have a bias of drive to the front wheels, unless a car is 2wd then obviously the chains must go on the wheels that have the drive.

Great cars Legacy's, drives excellent on the road, and great in the slippery stuff, generally one wheel with grip will pull the vehicle out, puts the power to the wheel that has grip (to a certain point), just the low ground clearance kills the ruff stuff.

PS, I'm not a mechanic or Subaru expert, just have owned a few (and current) and used them in snow and ice, a warning about snow tyres they can be dangerous when not used in cold conditions, I used them for a lot of trips from Mackenzie to QT and CHC and never had a prob though.



I don't see how running it in FWD will save any petrol. As the driveshaft, rear diff ect will still be spinning, So the mechanical losses will still be there. Im assuming your Legacy is an automatic model. And you have a fuse installed in that connector in the engine bay that forces FWD.





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  # 1328852 21-Jun-2015 21:28
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My Audi S4 with Quattro just walks through snow with performance road tires on haha..


 
 
 
 


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  # 1328853 21-Jun-2015 21:30
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Aredwood:
garbonzai: It's up to you really, I have seen chains put on the back wheels of legacy's, but Subaru might say other wise, I have run my current legacy in fwd (front) instead of awd for years (to hopefully save about 10% on gas)and Subaru says its a big no no.

The advantage of chains on the front is obviously far better steering, weight of engine for better grip and it smashes snow/ice up for the following back wheels plus awd usually have a bias of drive to the front wheels, unless a car is 2wd then obviously the chains must go on the wheels that have the drive.

Great cars Legacy's, drives excellent on the road, and great in the slippery stuff, generally one wheel with grip will pull the vehicle out, puts the power to the wheel that has grip (to a certain point), just the low ground clearance kills the ruff stuff.

PS, I'm not a mechanic or Subaru expert, just have owned a few (and current) and used them in snow and ice, a warning about snow tyres they can be dangerous when not used in cold conditions, I used them for a lot of trips from Mackenzie to QT and CHC and never had a prob though.



I don't see how running it in FWD will save any petrol. As the driveshaft, rear diff ect will still be spinning, So the mechanical losses will still be there. Im assuming your Legacy is an automatic model. And you have a fuse installed in that connector in the engine bay that forces FWD.



Yip, but I first put it in 2wd as it shudders/binds in awd, but is gone in 2wd, so I presume the transfer case is on its way out, sometimes put it back in awd but the shuddering anoys me, so back into 2wd it goes with its little fuse.




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  # 1328858 21-Jun-2015 21:32
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TimA: My Audi S4 with Quattro just walks through snow with performance road tires on haha..



I've driven on snow fine. But to get caught sliding on a frozen mountain road about a bus width wide with 1000m drop ...




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  # 1328861 21-Jun-2015 21:37
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joker97:
TimA: My Audi S4 with Quattro just walks through snow with performance road tires on haha..



I've driven on snow fine. But to get caught sliding on a frozen mountain road about a bus width wide with 1000m drop ...


Mate. S4 will go through anything.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avSxOvJnE68

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  # 1328863 21-Jun-2015 21:38
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TimA: My Audi S4 with Quattro just walks through snow with performance road tires on haha..


And on ice???



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  # 1328864 21-Jun-2015 21:41
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TimA:
joker97:
TimA: My Audi S4 with Quattro just walks through snow with performance road tires on haha..



I've driven on snow fine. But to get caught sliding on a frozen mountain road about a bus width wide with 1000m drop ...


Mate. S4 will go through anything.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avSxOvJnE68


That's in a world without laws of physics right?




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  # 1328866 21-Jun-2015 21:41
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oxnsox:
TimA: My Audi S4 with Quattro just walks through snow with performance road tires on haha..


And on ice???


It has gone over ice and did it nicely. But definitely gave the computer a workout. 



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  # 1328870 21-Jun-2015 22:02
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thanks tim. I'd love to see you ty it out on the remarkables





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  # 1328914 21-Jun-2015 23:16
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joker97: I have an imported late model Subaru Legacy, and am thinking of going skiing. Which means snow chains needed.


If you are going in the north island (excl tukino) it is fairly rare to have a "chains on all vehicles" restriction. Typicaly the Whakapapa / Turoa access roads are "Open, No restriction", "Open, Chains OR 4WD" or "Closed" (or road is open but skifeild closed.

Unless you are some kind or powder hound, you may want to play your odds, and not carry any chains. If (very unlikely) there is a "chains on all vehicles restriction" you could rent chains (with fitting service) at Turoa, Catch a shuttle (whakapapa), or take the day off as the weather is probably bad anyway.



For South island Skiing you should definitely carry chains. We had a rental legacy (2011) (ex-queens town) last year that was supplied with chain's, and instructions to fit them on the front wheels if needed (and to drive really slow, under 15kmph), as our insurance didn't cover damage caused by accessories (I was pissed off about this, they supply car + chains + insurance, yet don't cover their use together. Apparently chains are inspeced (visually only by a non-specilist) between each rental, and only fail if you drive too fast, hence the need to drive slow! I am an engineer and one of the things I deal with for a living is metal failure, and weld specification for pressure pipes, so I know that metals will fail randomly when they hit there fatigue life. I also know that a broken chain can cause thousands of dollars of damage.) Didn't need to use them in the end (although strongly considered putting them on for the trip down the hill when the weather packed in to near blizard level.

Don't do winter tires unless you regularly drive in temperatures below 7 Celsius, and are prepared to swap them out each season. Also they are so rare in NZ that people don't know what they are, hence there are no "chains or winter tires" restrictions like you might see in the rest of the world. Hence you get no respite from chain requirements in NZ (although some guy tried publicly to talk NZski into allowing winter tires without chains during chain restrictions on their access roads).

Take a look at a product called snow socks if you are worried about clearance / body damage with chains.

Ideally chains should be fitted on all four tires (fitting them on the front only can lead to the losing the tail and the car spinning 180 degrees on a downhill decent. Of course in NZ the convention is to fit them to a single axle only.




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