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Thread: snow chains

  1. #1
    Petroleum is for sissies ChadS's Avatar
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    snow chains

    As has been noted in other threads, Tesla sells snow chains for the Model S HERE. They are $89 for a pair, plus $32 shipping, plus tax.

    The picture clearly shows that they are SCC Z-chains, so I went to SCC’s site and looked up the size. They are Z-563. Then I searched around for the cheapest price; I found $85 including shipping (but not including tax) at Amazon, and ordered a set.

    Here are some pictures. The chains include gloves and instructions. Installing chains is never easy, but this was as easy as (or at least no harder than) anything I’ve installed before—especially after I thought to raise the suspension. They seem to fit well. First, the bag they came in, including the "Z-563" tag:


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    They come with instructions and gloves:

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    Here is one spread out on the driveway. The red side goes on the inside of the tire. The other side is split in the middle, so you can put the chains on the ground, sweep them around the tire, and then connect and tighten them top and bottom in the front. (You do still have to connect the back side at the top, obviously; but no tightening or anything back there).

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    And here they are mounted:

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    And again, from the back of the car so you can see the cables over the tire:

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    They are small so you can stuff them about anywhere; but they happen to fit nicely in the little cubby in the left rear that typically holds the charging cords:

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    Obviously I put them on the rear wheels, because they are the drive wheels. But I wonder - should I get a second pair for the fronts in case conditions were really bad and I was worried about losing steering? After looking at the front tires, I think not. I can physically get them on the front wheels, but part of the suspension wraps around the tire and I don’t see any way the chains wouldn’t rub.
    Last edited by ChadS; 2012-11-27 at 03:12 PM.
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  2. #2
    Sig X#1100 and X#1618 Discoducky's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks for the 411 Chad! I wonder if the package from TM is any different? Maybe it comes in a Tesla branded carrying case? I'd be willing to pay a bit more for that.

    If not, I'm getting these as we intend to use the Model S as a ski mobile

  3. #3
    Model S R77 efusco's Avatar
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    I went ahead and ordered a set from Amazon too. Don't wanna get caught unable to get to work...or more importantly home from work if there's a big snow. And I won't be able to afford snow tires this year.


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  4. #4
    mod squad NigelM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChadS View Post
    As has been noted in other threads, Tesla sells snow chains for the Model S HERE. They are $89 for a pair, plus $32 shipping, plus tax.
    Thanks for the pictures and update Chad, that will be helpful to many TMC-ers.

    [Slightly OT] WTH is with Tesla's shipping charges!?! I went to the store to get the Emergency Tire Kit for $50, price is not bad but up pops $25 for ground shipping. Aside from the fact that many, many sites offer free shipping as standard (see Amazon), I can't remember the last time I made an online purchase and paid anything like $25 for ground shipping. I didn't buy the Tesla kit, I'll get one via Amazon. [/rant] [/OT]

  5. #5
    Member Ceilidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChadS View Post
    ...After looking at the front tires, I think not. I can physically get them on the front wheels, but part of the suspension wraps around the tire and I don’t see any way the chains wouldn’t rub.
    Have you actually tried driving with them on the front tires to confirm if there is a rub issue or not? According to Tesla when I emailed them the chains should fit fine on the front and rear wheels. When I use chains, I always place them on all 4 tires. In this instance, I purchased a pair of more serious Thule chains for the rear wheels and the same type as you for the fronts. It worries me that your assessment varies from what the rep I emailed sent back to me. I hope I don't have to return a pair of chains and start looking for something insanely low profile...

    Any info would be much appreciated. Like Discoducky, I may need to take this up to the mountains for skiing from time to time, and with chain controls on the way to Tahoe in the winter I don't want to find out on the road that my front chains don't actually fit.

    Cheers.
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  6. #6
    Petroleum is for sissies ChadS's Avatar
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    No, I didn't try driving; but that was because the chains were touching the aluminum just sitting there and I didn't want to cause any damage.

    I sent Tesla an email asking about it.
    Roadster #690; Model S #112; Model X Reserved Plug In America How to plan a road trip - how long will it take?


  7. #7
    4GETOIL SS70, XS4, xR913 dadaleus's Avatar
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    I spent some time researching this for the 21" tires. I suspect the reason they don't offer them is that the wheels stick out and will get scratched up by the chains. I'm still carrying the chains for an emergency when up skiing (if I expect snow, we'll take the ICE car, but sometimes I get surprised). I've packed bubble wrap, scissors, and duct tape as well so I can try and protect the wheels.

  8. #8
    Member Ceilidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChadS View Post
    No, I didn't try driving; but that was because the chains were touching the aluminum just sitting there and I didn't want to cause any damage.

    I sent Tesla an email asking about it.

    I'm quite interested in hearing what the reply says, as I was very specifically told that all you had to meet was S clearance standards for either axle and that the Z chains you purchased were endorsed by TMC as being fine for both axles as well.

    Quite Strange.

    Cheers.
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  9. #9
    Petroleum is for sissies ChadS's Avatar
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    Tesla did indeed answer by saying that class "s" clearance chains like these can be used on the front.

    But I am still not comfortable putting them on. Here are some pictures that illustrate why. First, a long shot of the front tires that shows how the suspension wraps around them:

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    Now a closer shot showing the same thing:

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    As you can see, I can just barely jam my fingers in there (it looks like there is clearance around my index finger, but it is too near the camera to be sandwiched in there - my middle finger was touching on both sides):

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    Now here it is with the chains in there. They are not tightened (I dare not move the car to do so with the chains right there rubbing the car) but they are pressing against the car. Will tightening them really pull them far enough away? Note that these chains only tighten on the outside (and then only by hand). There just doesn't seem to be enough room. Am I not installing them correctly? On the outside of the tire (see pictures above) they look just like the pictures on the instructions, and the connectors come down this far on the tire.

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    This is not critical for me. I am going to try to avoid driving in snow; these are just in case I get stuck somewhere, and I'll just put them on the rear. But I am curious if I'm putting them on incorrectly on the front. It just doesn't seem like there is enough room up there.

    Another possibility is that Tesla sells a smaller size of Z-chain that doesn't come as far down the tire. But the instructions say they have to come at least 2" down the tire to stay on; there still doesn't seem to me to be enough room in there. If anybody has Tesla's chains (or any type!) and gets them on with room to spare, I'd love to see a picture. Thanks.
    Last edited by ChadS; 2012-11-28 at 01:21 PM.
    Roadster #690; Model S #112; Model X Reserved Plug In America How to plan a road trip - how long will it take?


  10. #10
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    Hey ChadS,

    Officially to be class S the S needs to have free: 1.46 inches on the top of the tire, and .59 inches on the sides of it. The way that arm sits, it's unclear if it really has that.

    There are some sub-S class chains available, which may be the real solution to this :-/

    Thanks for posting all the notes and pictures on this, I was getting ready to place my order in the next few days and this been great to see!

    Peter
    Last edited by doug; 2012-11-28 at 04:04 PM. Reason: removed unneeded quote
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