Which tires for chains?

So I have a 98 wrangler 4x4 and have a pair of chains. I get mixed reviews on which tires to put them on. I would think if engaged in 4wd that the front would be the best since that is where the weight and control is…any advice?

Generally, you’re not going to be in a situation in which you need the 4wd AND chains. The only exception would be if you’re driving through very very deep snow (definitely nothing you’d encounter on a maintained road), in which case you need 'em on all four wheels.

That is a tough question. Normally when driving you want the best traction on the back. You want it there because in an emergency situation if you hit the brakes and the front has better traction you will end up with the back slipping out and ending up in the front. I doubt if you are going to get this situation and chains at the same time.

If you need chains on a 4WD then I would suggest you need them all around. I agree with Greasy, it seems unlikely you should need them at the same time.

Could you tell us what kind of situations you are pondering using both?

I would put them on the rear. Driving with chains on ANY wheels is not much fun. The vehicle vibrates and you can’t go more than a few miles per hour. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to drive with chains on the front wheels.

If you need chains on a 4WD, I suggest you stay home.

My wife, daughter and I are driving into the mountains on some FS roads and I just wanted to be prepared. I doubt I will need them, but I don’t like getting caught with my pants down.

If you insist on using chains make CERTAIN you put them on STEEL wheels, NOT alloys.

Don’t forget the tighteners. It’s better to put the vibrations on the back tires. You don’t want to put a lot more traction in the front or you might spin in a circle when you turn.

I usually put them on the rear, it doesn’t matter if it is based on a FWD or RWD.

I don’t like getting caught with my pants down

Agreed, that would be unacceptable getting caught wide stance with Hammer pants down in a men’s room.

FS roads? Put them on the back and leave it in 2WD. If you get STUCK, put it in 4WD, turn around, and get out of there. Always leave yourself some safety margin. If you start off in 4WD and get stuck, you are stuck maybe for good…

The rear axle is TWICE as strong as the front. It can take the punishment chains can dish out. If you chain the front, some VERY expensive and somewhat fragile parts are at risk… Steering knuckles, locking hubs, the axles themselves. I used to plow snow with a 3/4 ton Dodge, a W-250 Power -Wagon. I NEVER chained up the front axle, only the rear. A half ton of gravel in the back makes all the difference…Use the front drive to GET OUT of trouble, not to GET INTO trouble…

sound advice…

If you need chains, that means you are looking for maximum traction in some nasty stuff, so put them on the front.

I’ve run them both front and rear on 4wd trucks. I’ve found they work best in the front, as there is more weight over the front wheels and it’s the only way to retain steering on steep, slippery slopes.

You can also chain up all four, my father used to do this with his trucks.

Where did you come up with the rear being twice as strong as the front? That’s just not true.

His Jeeps D30 front is about the same strength as the D35 rear.