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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-14-2011, 08:04 AM
ilian007 ilian007 is offline
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Tire Chains

Please, advice me of some ok tire chains for my e39 530i with continental dws 225/55R16 tires.

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2011, 08:21 AM
Qbrozen Qbrozen is offline
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Do you really need chains in Sacramento?

In any case, I stongly advise against them. Back when I was a kid, my folks had one break one time and it shredded the car's fender. They've never used them in the 30 years since without problems, and we live where it actually snows.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2011, 08:29 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qbrozen View Post
Do you really need chains in Sacramento?
Lake Tahoe requires chain during certain weather condition.
If you go to Lake Tahoe, apply chain properly and drive at low speed (below 50 mph).
Remove the chain as soon as condition allows.
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:15 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Are tire cables legal in the Sierra?

I seem to remember reading that, traditionally in Europe, the car manufacturers were required to design the cars so that chains could be used.

So many BMW factory accessories are banned from the USA, for fear of litigation; e.g., towing hitch.
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Last edited by edjack; 11-14-2011 at 09:17 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:25 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qbrozen View Post
Do you really need chains in Sacramento?
This is the car in front of me in Lake Tahoe in late March this year.

Chains are often required by law for non 4wd vehicles ...

Entire chain gangs will be available, on the side of the road, to put your chains on & take them off for you.

The police will be waiting just around the curve.

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  #6  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:29 AM
franka franka is offline
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http://www.tirechain.com also http://www.tirechain.com/CarChains.htm

One of the best chain sellers. They have a lot of different styles of chains to choose from.
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Last edited by franka; 11-14-2011 at 09:46 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:39 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Just get chains that fit the vehicle. I would strongly recommend driving with four snow tyres until the point at which chains are required (by your personal judgement, or the judgement of the CHP. Chains don't work for **** on hard pavement (and they'll just be destroyed) and they're similar on ice. All-seasons, especially AS tyres you'd own in Sacramento, will be totally useless on tiny amounts of snow and ice. For serious mountain driving I drive with snows and carry chains. They're Quality Snow Chains Magic Grip brand, fwiw. The brand matters little. In mountain driving, you want something with a little heft and the standard light-duty passenger car chains that are little more than straps are not as effective as they could be.

Snow chains are last-resort items.
I just had to drive to Alberta for a business trip and my snow tires are still in Ontario. Don't be stupid, use snow tyres and drive slowly!
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Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 11-14-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2011, 10:19 AM
o2sys o2sys is offline
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Get tire socks...safer than chains
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2011, 10:40 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Socks aren't legal (or useful) on mountain passes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TireRack
NOTE: AutoSock is not considered a traction device in severe snow conditions and cannot be substituted for chains for travel through mountain passes.
The situations in which the OP may find themselves (assuming they're driving through mountains) are not suited for tyre socks. Socks are good around town for emergency situations, but they're not good enough for the severe snow accumulation in the mountains. I seem to recall they said they're suitable for short-term replacement of snow tyres. CHP requires chains through passes, when they're open.

Again, Snow chains are only for use in extreme winter conditions (i.e. where you shouldn't be in the first place, but are stuck there for some reason). Use winter tyres instead!

Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 11-14-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2011, 01:01 PM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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I'm a big fan of Textile Snow "Chains" such as the ones made by Isse. They are super easy to install, and are amazing at keeping you out of or even getting you out of slippery situations! Below is a video showing how easy they are to install and how well they work. But for extreme snow passes a more heavy duty option may be needed.

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  #11  
Old 11-14-2011, 07:36 PM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
I'm a big fan of Textile Snow "Chains" such as the ones made by Isse. They are super easy to install, and are amazing at keeping you out of or even getting you out of slippery situations! Below is a video showing how easy they are to install and how well they work. But for extreme snow passes a more heavy duty option may be needed.
Textile snow devices are a waste of money and time. A plain snow tire is better than this thing. It's a gimmick at best.

Good chains are still the best for heavy or deep snow and especially ice on hills. See my previous post for a complete selection of chain types and sizes.

I grew up in Michigan and lived in Alaska for several years and have lived in all road conditions.
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Last edited by franka; 11-14-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2011, 08:38 PM
ilian007 ilian007 is offline
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Thank you for the replies! Today I bought those from a local autozone store: "Quality Chain Corp A1038 Lightning Ez Fit Pass Cable
Quality Chain Corp" might try those in the weekend to lake tahoe.
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  #13  
Old 11-15-2011, 07:57 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
I'm a big fan of Textile Snow "Chains"
I wonder how many miles those things can handle in 'real' snow conditions where the snow varies from 100% to 0% and back depending on the mountain pass you're in?

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  #14  
Old 11-15-2011, 10:55 AM
ilian007 ilian007 is offline
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I guess not too long. I have a friend who often cross sierra trough I-80 he told me to buy cheap ones since they will either way tear off. In fact he has 740il and suggested me to use my wife's front wheel drive car because even if I put chains on the bimmer I still wont have good control over the car.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:16 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilian007 View Post
I have a friend who often cross sierra trough I-80 he told me to buy cheap ones since they will either way tear off.
You should have seen me try to park my bimmer in this garage in Tahoe last Spring!


Note: That piled up snow is three stories high in places on this house (you can walk onto the roof and almost touch power lines from the ground!).
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2011, 07:56 PM
ilian007 ilian007 is offline
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Lol. I do have picture like this too. At tahoe
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  #17  
Old 11-17-2011, 09:58 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilian007 View Post
I guess not too long. I have a friend who often cross sierra trough I-80 he told me to buy cheap ones since they will either way tear off. In fact he has 740il and suggested me to use my wife's front wheel drive car because even if I put chains on the bimmer I still wont have good control over the car.
Two things are wrong about your friend's recommendations (you should find some new friends to take advice from!).

Front wheel drive cars have better traction *when starting* than a RWD car. That's simply because there's >80% of the weight on the front axle. Unfortunately, they can't steer as well as a RWD car (that's just car 101) and they can't stop any better than RWD, just as AWD/4WD cars can't stop any faster. Add the fact that there's no weight on the rear wheels, which like as not have drum brakes, and not even God can predict where the car's going. Handling differences in snow conditions have a lot more to do with tyres than which wheels get drive. I get scared driving FWD cars in snow, because they're so unpredictable.

My chains are like new after about 100mi of driving. YMMV. In conditions where it varies from snow to dry, you NEED snow tyres. Driving on hard pavement with textile socks (which aren't legal anyways) makes them wear out. Same with chains, except that when chains wear out they destroy your car. With chains on, stay out of the ruts that contact (mostly) dry pavement if possible, and drive on the snow instead. The cushioning effect will ensure your chains last longer.

If you're going to be driving through passes more than once, you NEED snow tires.
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  #18  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:22 AM
franka franka is offline
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Chains should never be run on bare pavement or on lite snow. They should be used only in conditions where they will never contact the pavement.
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2011, 12:06 PM
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  #20  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:43 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
Chains should never be run on bare pavement or on lite snow. They should be used only in conditions where they will never contact the pavement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
Rent a car, save a Bimmer. My $.02.
This.
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  #21  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:10 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilian007 View Post
Lol. I do have picture like this too. At tahoe
I lived back east ... so I know snow (it's not Chicago snow ... but it's still snow).

The great thing about living in California is that the weather is never cold (where I am), it's almost always sunny as it doesn't rain for 10 months out of the year, there are no mosquitoes (to speak of), and, best of all - if you 'want' snow - you can drive to Tahoe and have 25 feet of the stuff at your beck and call!

I'm always astounded when I see those Tahoe plows throw five feet of snow off the road at a time just like they do in Vermont (and then read that somewhere in the southern states they're paralyzed by five inches of snow).

Then again, to make fun of Californians, you should see the traffic jams here during the first rainstorm after 10 months of dry weather!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:26 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For cross reference, this thread was updated today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Is it true that snow chains can't be fitted to e39's with 17" +

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  #23  
Old 11-25-2013, 06:23 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was asked today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > 98 E39 Snow Chains recomendation please
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfraynd View Post
Hello I am new to the forum, I have had my e39 for years but am going to driving it into snow for the first time soon. I was hoping someone who has had a good experience with an affordable snow chain/ cable could point me in the right direction. I have been told I need to go with cables due to space between tire and wheel well. I am running the stock 16" Rim with 225/55 touring tires. I am trying to stay under $100. The $500 chains I am sure are great but I live in San Diego and these will only get use once or twice a year. Thank you for any input.
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