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Chains on stock tire size for a Bison

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  • Chains on stock tire size for a Bison

    Hello All:

    Wondering what folks are doing in regards to tire chains. California requires you to carry chains even if the vehicle is four wheel drive. Never been inspected to see if I actually have them, but the CHP asks at control check points to enforce those rules and I have heard of them turning people around that are not carrying them. Checking the owners manual and found that with the stock tire size on the Bison 265/65/17 you can NOT use tire chains/cables. There is not even a notation/provision for Class S chains. In 45 yrs of driving I have only chained up one time for a highway on I5 during a blizzard when they closed it behind me. So other than my current plan of just tossing my chains from my AEV JKU (35inch tires) into the Bison so I can say I have a set of “chains” anyone encountered and addressed this themselves? (Other than moving out of California - which is the plan in 2 years following retirement)


    If I have 4-wheel-drive, do I need to carry chains?

    Yes. Even though weather conditions may not warrant the use of chains on 4-wheel-drive vehicles at a particular time, to enter a chain control area, you must have a set of chains (for one drive axle) for your vehicle in your possession. If conditions worsen or you have trouble controlling your vehicle, you must stop and install the chains.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	153D3A84-F813-487F-8FD5-3A2B769793EF.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	4.45 MB ID:	264589
    Last edited by dpsmedic; 12-20-2020, 02:14 PM.
    2013 AEV JK350 4dr

  • #2
    The stock wheel offset and backspacing places the wheel/tire far too close to the upper control arm and spindle in relation to the tire rotation; there simply isn't room for either a linked chain or cable type 'tire chains'.

    I never measured the distance from the ball joint to the side bulge of the tire on the stock 265/65R17 tires, but when I went up in size to first 285/70R17s and then eventually to 285/75R17s with the OEM Bison wheels, the clearance is around 6-8mm (~5/16"). With the 265s, I'd wager 10mm (3/8") or so.

    Common options would be to:
    a) try spacers with the stock wheels, or
    b) aftermarket wheels with greater (negative) offset

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    • #3
      So decided to search the California Codes and learned that Textile Traction Control Devices are allowed in place of chains. Further online research located these in attached link. I can now tell CHP and CalTrans at checkpoints I have traction devices..
      Textile Snow Socks tire chains especially suitable for limited clearance applications
      2013 AEV JK350 4dr

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