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Snow chains on Defender


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Please can someone with experience advise me on the use of snow chains? I've got a Defender 110 CSW, and I've just been on the LR site (http://www.landrover.com/gb/en/lr/defender/accessories/) which advises use of snow chains on the front wheels - and rear if necessary - but should the centre diff be locked or open? My guess is that it should be locked, but does anybody know, please? Thanks in advance.

Mike

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Please can someone with experience advise me on the use of snow chains? I've got a Defender 110 CSW, and I've just been on the LR site (http://www.landrover.com/gb/en/lr/defender/accessories/) which advises use of snow chains on the front wheels - and rear if necessary - but should the centre diff be locked or open? My guess is that it should be locked, but does anybody know, please? Thanks in advance.

Mike

If you're fitting chains to both axles, I'd say leave it open. The chains should give grip to each wheel and will therefore be best left open. If you only fit them to one axle then I'd lock it.

HTH.

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i read somewhere that all wheels should have chains, if you put them on rear then steering affected , if you put them on front then rear can try to overtake you. makes sense i suppose. i would leave diff open unless trying to get up a steep track where i would normally use the diff lock without chains,

hope that makes sense?

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Surely, fitting chains to one axle only on a permanent 4WD LR, and driving with open centre diff, would mean if any one wheel (without chain) lost traction, the other axle (with chain)would end up with none either. As long as the surface is slippery (which is why you're running chains) I would lock the centre diff.

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Extract from Defender owners handbook referring to snow chain fitting & usage

Thank you all for your input, and not for the first time, Western has come up with the definitive answer. My Owners Manual had gone walkies before I had my vehicle, so thank you very much.

I've now got to fit my non-LR approved chains and check for any possibility of interference with the brakes. If so, I'll have to hunt for LR approved ones this side of the pond.:angry: If anybody knows any manufacturer of LR approved chains, that info would be a great help, please.

Mike

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Please can someone with experience advise me on the use of snow chains? I've got a Defender 110 CSW, and I've just been on the LR site (http://www.landrover.com/gb/en/lr/defender/accessories/) which advises use of snow chains on the front wheels - and rear if necessary - but should the centre diff be locked or open? My guess is that it should be locked, but does anybody know, please? Thanks in advance.

Mike

The principle is that if you difflock the center differential, the number of rotations of front and back propshafts are equal, meaning that if you lose traction on the front that will not influence the back axle.

Left/right is not an issue unless you also can difflock front and/or back diffs. As per the advice in the booklet, you only are to use difflock if you are on slippery terrain but you should unlock asap.

That said, it is also unwise to make sharp turns with difflock on, it's quite easy to wind up your gear in such a way you cannot unlock the diff anymore. If so, drive backwards untill you can unlock. What you do then is unwinding again...

If you have snowchains, you probably will not loose traction very fast so there is no need for difflocking I presume.

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On snow I don't lock the centre difflock. Locking it will force one of the wheels to slip in corners, and you don't realy want that.

I think you are getting confused with the in axle diff lock.

With centre diff lock engaged, the diffs in both axles are still open allowing differential between inside and outside wheels.

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I think you are getting confused with the in axle diff lock.

With centre diff lock engaged, the diffs in both axles are still open allowing differential between inside and outside wheels.

Front and rear axles describe a substantially different arc around corners.

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From experience , In snow or slippery conditions I use centre diff locked, its also a good idea to lock centre diff if on hard surface when crossing windrows of snow , eg between lanes on road, and then unlocking as soon a cleared . This counteracts the vehicle trying to pivot round the front wheel that first contacts the windrow.

With 2 or 4 wheel chains definately centre diff locked

beware of using chains going into deep snow as they will drag you in to becoming high centred ,(unless you have a plough on the front) whereas fitting them after will usually get you out .

With centre diff locked the vehicle will tend to understeer(run wide round bends) especially under acceleration , under heavy braking this can also occur unless abs

The quick fit spider type chains seem to becoming very popular with 4wd as they are much tougher than the sox type for 4wd use. HTSH

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Guys,

Honestly, when do you put snow chains on? Me personally when I'm driving in deeper snow or when it's very slippy. Therefore usually the center diff should be locked. Putting chains on the front tires first is right, you only have to be careful when going downhill, breaking or going in turns as the rear tends to pass front of the car :blink:

I like the OM in saying "not driving off-road" HAHA. Next time I'll go by feet. Would have saved my front right stub axle (cracked when going with 4 chains on and all 3 diffs locked in deep snow steep uphill :( ...)

Cheers - Robert

PS: I got a good and cheep source for unused snow chains of older military inventory. If somebody wants more info pm me with the tire size including the dia (horizontal measured) and the width of the cap of the tire, not the balloon (e.g. 235/35R16; dia 806mm, width 200mm => 235 is not the real width therefore you've to measure; see below)

5758535.jpg

5758643.jpg

5758645.jpg

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Chains on all wheels, and difflock off unless you need it. In the snow you really want a BW with viscous coupling, it does all that for you :wub:

Chains on one axle and then driving with difflock on would be a bad idea, as you're forcing your other axle to go faster than it can, so it'll start slipping and dragging. You really don't want that. It's like driving with different size tyres on one end.

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Chains on one axle and then driving with difflock on would be a bad idea, as you're forcing your other axle to go faster than it can
As mentioned above snow chains are put on when the traction of the tires alone are not enough. What happens when you are driving on slippery ground w/o difflock is only that the rear wheels will spin and the truck gets stuck. On the photo above I had all 3 diffs locked and I would have done the same even if I had only snow chains on the front axle.

Sorry mate, but what you are talking about might work on flat ground where none of us would put snow chains on or where you put them on to get better brake performance (but then you are at risk loosing control as the rear wheels will jam). It won't work in the tyrolean alps where I live. The photo above was just another day in winter.

Cheers - r

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  • 4 years later...

can someone please help, i have read all 16 replies to this chaps question and not one is definitive or at least if it is its contradicted by the others ? my 110 manual says centre diff must be locked whenever any chains are used and fit chains to either front /back or both ? unless they are not approved Land rover chains then fit to back only ?

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Difflock in with chains , whether on one axle or two , reason , if you have chains on 3 wheels !!! , then it would only need the 4th wheel to spin and you would be going no where . You are operating in conditions of low grip , so "wind up" is not really a problem , as with

berti with all three diffs locked ( makes steering very difficult) then the chances of wind up are more , but even tho he had a component failure , I have done the same usage on countless occasions and had no failures , wind up is usually very apparent , as you find that you need considerably more power to overcome the induced drag . I always work on the get out principle , dont use all of the vehicles capability when going into a difficult situation , that way you always have something in reserve to get you out backwards , unless you like shovelling /winching etc. HTSH

approved chains are only those that have been checked for clearance , you can do the same check yourself . if unsure what to look at get someone who does.

these are a good source for chains of all sizes , no connection other than as satisfied customer

http://www.barland.co.uk/

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can someone please help, i have read all 16 replies to this chaps question and not one is definitive or at least if it is its contradicted by the others ? my 110 manual says centre diff must be locked whenever any chains are used and fit chains to either front /back or both ? unless they are not approved Land rover chains then fit to back only ?

see my reply with extract from LR Owners handbook,

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I've never seen the point of chains in the uk. Half an inch of snow and an idiot has blocked the road anyway. Lol

On a more serious note I've never known the snow be deep enough on the highway to use chains without damaging the tarmac. My road truck is only part time 4wd so I have to run in rwd unless the roads covered and I still have never been stuck. One year I volunteered to take nurses to work that couldn't get in as they lived in remote places and I still didn't get stuck. Lost yes, but not stuck.

Obviously they'd be useful if you have to get down lanes to look after livestock or something.

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