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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M Series > E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008 - 2014)

E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008 - 2014)
4th generation E90 M3 sedan, E92 M3 coupe and E93 M3 convertible. The last of the naturally aspirated M3s, powered by a 4.0 liter V8 making 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2009, 06:35 PM
CliffJumper CliffJumper is offline
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Snow Chains / Cables

The only time I'll have to deal with snow in my M3 is when I drive to Tahoe, Mammoth or Big Bear to go snowboarding once in a while so I don't plan buy a 2nd set of rims or snow tires. In fact, I've been able to get by in my lowered G35 with 275 width rear summer tires with no problems until recently.

On my last trip, the roads weren't as clear as stated, and while chains weren't mandatory, most cars had them while I slid around the road and got stuck for a while.

Does anyone have any recommendations of chains or cables that will fit on the M3 sedan with the 19" wheels, won't have clearance issues, and won't scratch up the rims? I'd like to have a set ready to go just in case I'm in a situation like that again.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2010, 08:34 PM
CliffJumper CliffJumper is offline
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Update: Here's an answer to my own question, more than a year later. Since no one replied to my post, I figured there might a lack of knowledge on this point.

After looking around, the SCC Super Z6 snow cable seems to be the best choice for me. It's low profile (only 6.3 mm of clearance required), and on my second try (though it was my first attempt after reading the instructions ), it took me less than 2 minutes per tire. Cost is about $78.

I'm using them with my snow tires, which are 235/40 R18s. According to a tire size calculator online, the radius of the snow tires is 12.7 inches vs. 13.2 inches of the stock 19s. The difference is 0.5 inch, which is 12.7 mm. Since I'm only adding 6.3 mm to the radius, I should be doing fine.

But, obviously, there are calculations on a computer... and there is real world testing.

I haven't tried them in the snow yet, but I drove down the street a bit with them on. I couldn't hear any rubbing or scraping. I've included the best pics I could.
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:26 AM
Minnesota M3 Minnesota M3 is offline
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Perhaps not so much a lack of knowledge as a lack of understanding why someone would do this.

Chains on the M3 so you can go sliding around in the snow?
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2009 E92 M3 - Jerez Black/Black, carbon leather, 6M, technology, convenience, premium, 19" wheels, USB/iPod, satellite radio, H&R springs, Vorsteiner front lip, carbon side gills, carbon kidney grills, Borla exhaust, UUC Evo3 SSK w/ DSSR, power pulley kit, clear bra
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  #4  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:40 AM
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TofuTurkey TofuTurkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffJumper View Post
... it took me less than 2 minutes per tire. Cost is about $78.

I haven't tried them in the snow yet, but I drove down the street a bit with them on. I couldn't hear any rubbing or scraping. I've included the best pics I could.
In the fourth pic, it looks like one of the sections is loose. Did you tighten again after driving a few feet?

In a previous car, I used chains on all the wheels. I practiced quite a bit in a dry parking lot. When it came to putting it on, it was snowing, and the car was half-buried. I needed a shovel to clear the snow around the tires first (which I had). Putting it on was semi-disgusting (sludge all over the wheels). Taking it off later was uber more disgusting (sludge now also all over the chains). Gloves would be helpful (which I had). Also, unless you intend to wash the chains by the roadside, or dirty your trunk, I suggest having plastic bags or containers in there to put the now-sludgy chains in.

My chains also started rusting after that one time. Not too badly, but I don't think they'll last too long...
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:48 AM
CliffJumper CliffJumper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesota M3 View Post
Perhaps not so much a lack of knowledge as a lack of understanding why someone would do this.

Chains on the M3 so you can go sliding around in the snow?
Required by law in California mountain passes (around ski resorts)
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2010, 11:20 AM
Minnesota M3 Minnesota M3 is offline
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Required by law? Ouch....all the more reason to simply buy a winter beater and drive that.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2010, 12:04 PM
CliffJumper CliffJumper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TofuTurkey View Post
In the fourth pic, it looks like one of the sections is loose. Did you tighten again after driving a few feet?

In a previous car, I used chains on all the wheels. I practiced quite a bit in a dry parking lot. When it came to putting it on, it was snowing, and the car was half-buried. I needed a shovel to clear the snow around the tires first (which I had). Putting it on was semi-disgusting (sludge all over the wheels). Taking it off later was uber more disgusting (sludge now also all over the chains). Gloves would be helpful (which I had). Also, unless you intend to wash the chains by the roadside, or dirty your trunk, I suggest having plastic bags or containers in there to put the now-sludgy chains in.

My chains also started rusting after that one time. Not too badly, but I don't think they'll last too long...
They are self-tightening (or so they claim) with the tensioners. I hadn't moved before taking the pics, but they looked better after driving a bit down the street.

Yeah, I'll a few pairs of gloves with me, and I have a bag to store the chains in.
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2010, 08:49 AM
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mlaynemd mlaynemd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffJumper View Post
Required by law in California mountain passes (around ski resorts)
I love the idea of someone driving down the street in CA next to palm trees "testing" out their chains. Great visual.

I noticed that you have winter tires on. Are you certain chains are required if you have snowflake rated winter tires?
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2010, 12:08 PM
CliffJumper CliffJumper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlaynemd View Post
I noticed that you have winter tires on. Are you certain chains are required if you have snowflake rated winter tires?
Yup, they have 3 tiers of snow for the mountain passes here.

Level 1) RWD/FWD with chains installed OR Must have AWD with snow tires (and chains installed or at least in your car). Most of the time, they don't actually check to see if your AWD actually has snow tires, but that's the reg...

Level 2) AWD with snow tires and chains installed (many roads are closed at this point)

Level 3) Everything is closed. Period.

I'm actually leaving to SF today and it's 75F & sunny here in LA, and will only get hotter as I pass through central CA. I hope my tires don't melt on the way there!

But, snow is expected for the weekend in Tahoe, so I'll let you know if I "get" to use them. The chance of needing them in any given season is small, but if when they are required it's really hard to find low profile chains at the last minute AND they all charge ridiculous prices...
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2011, 06:39 PM
mathbiologist mathbiologist is offline
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Cliffjumper - I live in NM, like to do tours through the high country of Arizona, Utah, & Colorado year-round in my 2011 E92, stock 18" wheels. One MUST be prepared to deal with seriously bad snowpacked & icy road conditions that can develop with little or no warning. What has been your experience with those SCC Super Z6's? Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2011, 07:58 PM
rdollie rdollie is offline
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I just recently bought a set of Thule Summit K34s for the 19" M3 tires (rear.) I did a test fit (there's virtually no clearance on this car but this is the only set I see made for this setup which is why they're $300+ per set) and it worked fine but haven't had a chance to try them in the wild yet (and hope not to!)
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2011, 08:18 PM
mathbiologist mathbiologist is offline
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Thanks, rdollie. K34's are apparently the same size I need for my 18" wheels, so I'll start checking around. They're currently $379 on Amazon. It's funny...I drove my 1969 GT6+ and 1972 2002tii through many Colorado high-country winters, without doing more than making sure the Michelin radials were in good shape. Never bothered with snow tires, chains, shovels, sand etc., and never needed them, and only ended up in the ditch one time. Maybe it was the stoopidity of youth. Whatever, now I'm feeling like I want to be prepared for the worst, rather than muddling my way through it. Anyway, here's hoping Snoqualmie Pass never causes you problems!
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:08 PM
rdollie rdollie is offline
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Hi Mathbiologist. I must admit I'm still driving around on my summer performance tires with no problems so far (I test my traction every trip when I find a safe area to do so.) No way I'm taking this car up Snoqualmie Pass this time of the year though! (I'll use the Mrs' Volvo XC90 V8 or my diesel 4x4 Superduty before I'll ever consider taking the M into known snow.)
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:41 PM
rdollie rdollie is offline
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I thought the SCC Super sounded familiar so I had to look them up ( http://www.vulcantire.com/cgi-bin/chainsearch.cgi ). It turns out they were really the only other option for me when I was searching but based on the description it seems these may still scratch your wheels (just not as much as traditional chain setups.) See ratings for which ones scratch your wheels here: http://www.vulcantire.com/chain_rank_info.htm


To see the Thule Summit K34s in action (and see why they can't scratch your wheels) look here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffJumper View Post
Update: Here's an answer to my own question, more than a year later. Since no one replied to my post, I figured there might a lack of knowledge on this point.

After looking around, the SCC Super Z6 snow cable seems to be the best choice for me. It's low profile (only 6.3 mm of clearance required), and on my second try (though it was my first attempt after reading the instructions ), it took me less than 2 minutes per tire. Cost is about $78.

I'm using them with my snow tires, which are 235/40 R18s. According to a tire size calculator online, the radius of the snow tires is 12.7 inches vs. 13.2 inches of the stock 19s. The difference is 0.5 inch, which is 12.7 mm. Since I'm only adding 6.3 mm to the radius, I should be doing fine.

But, obviously, there are calculations on a computer... and there is real world testing.

I haven't tried them in the snow yet, but I drove down the street a bit with them on. I couldn't hear any rubbing or scraping. I've included the best pics I could.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2011, 07:41 AM
CliffJumper CliffJumper is offline
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I've only had to use them a couple times, but both times they were great. I'm not going to claim that the chains suddenly gave me super traction, but I never got stuck and they didn't scratch up my wheels.

BTW, don't forget to put your car in M-Dynamic Mode when you have your chains on; works much better that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mathbiologist View Post
Cliffjumper - I live in NM, like to do tours through the high country of Arizona, Utah, & Colorado year-round in my 2011 E92, stock 18" wheels. One MUST be prepared to deal with seriously bad snowpacked & icy road conditions that can develop with little or no warning. What has been your experience with those SCC Super Z6's? Thanks.
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