Chains for wheels with their own hands

Homemade snow chains for passenger car: instructions for making

Chains on the wheels: in winter off-road conditions, these devices are of no value. When it comes to their cost in the literal sense, then at the sight of the same sets Pewag conclusion is inescapable – this pleasure is not cheap. In search of an alternative, the editors of suggest stopping at the homemade version: you will get no worse, but cheaper. Where to start, what to buy, and how to assemble with your own hands with the aim of reliability?

Project of an anti-skid device for a car

snow chains on the wheels with their own hands

For a burst of ingenuity we were inspired by last year’s research. Then we were choosing what is better to buy: chains or anti-skid bracelets . The verdict was that there was nothing to do with anti-skid straps on a serious off-road. In addition, the cuffs spoil the alloy wheels, which is crucial for many owners. But the real help to making something with your own hands was the price list for Konig chains. Last year for the ZIP Ultra model, they demanded about 9,000 rubles. For the same money a set of ready-made winter tires of above-average quality for the now popular 15 inches. Agree, this is impressive.

Choosing a chain weave scheme

Before you buy something and make it, you need to have a project in hand: this principle is the basis of any serious invention and tire chains are no exception. When developing devices for wheels that increase the passability of the car in the snow, it is important to choose a braiding scheme that suits your needs.




+ Low price

+ Smooth ride on hard terrain

+ Best handling in class

– Worst lateral traction in class

– Does not prevent the machine from sliding sideways

Link size

Not just a pattern. The caliber of the chain links also determines a number of important characteristics, among which are rideability and durability. So, a thin chain will not run for a long time, but the bigger variant may not fit into the wheel arch. Strictly speaking, you should not focus only on one parameter in this question:

  • As the caliber increases, traction capabilities in snow and mud improve, the anti-skid product life increases, but rubber burn occurs.
  • Fine-track chains are great on ice, have a moderate appetite for rubber, but wear out quickly.

This is abstract reasoning. The “working” link size intervals have long been defined for each class of vehicle and, we must admit, they increase as the weight of the vehicle increases:

  1. Passenger cars and crossovers: 3.5 to 6 mm. Our colleagues from Autocomfort determined by experience that it is better to equip 2-ton SUV with 6 mm chains. And it is better to choose the asymmetric 6×8 mm – then the car demonstrates all that it is capable of. As for the smaller size, 5 mm chain will be not enough for those who are over 2 000 kg.
  2. Trucks and special vehicles: 6-19 mm.
Oil trap for your car


When you see branded kits, it becomes clear that the anti-slip device consists not at all of one chain. The design also provides:

  • Two connecting lines linking the chain sections at the back and front of the tire.
  • A tightening device that locks the chain tightly to the wheel (lock).
  • Fasteners that connect the metal sections directly to each other on the tread (connecting rings).

anti-skid devices on the wheels with their own hands

What exactly can serve as these or those components, determines the budget and nomenclature of the equipment at hand. Here are examples for each of the three groups of fittings:

  • The best option for connecting chain segments on the sides is to use a chain of the same caliber. With this arrangement, maximum strength and durability is guaranteed. The only thing that discourages this solution is the high production cost. That is why the second version appeared – to use rope for this purpose. One meter of the rope is noticeably cheaper, but it can kink and unravel, and therefore is less reliable.
  • The binding on the branded chain is also made of chain. In everyday life it is difficult to implement such a solution, so on homemade products caught on turnbuckles and peculiar locks, known by anti-skid devices “Made in the USSR”. The mass use of turnbuckles is due to their availability in retail sales and the lack of need to make something with your own hands. At the same time, such fastening scheme has an unimportant dirt protection. Hence the opinion that the turnbuckle is difficult to loosen after several trips. The advantage of the Soviet lock design is reliability and trouble-free operation. However, the latch has a single disadvantage – difficulty in manufacturing (requires additional equipment).

chains on the wheels with his own hands drawings

  • Connecting the straight and diamond-shaped sections in the tread zone (refers to the “honeycomb” and “rhombus” weaving schemes) is easiest to produce with special rings. If they are difficult to obtain, you can dispense with the well-known trick: cut a link with a grinder, engage in the mesh and weld with a welder.
USB lighter with my own hands

The listed fittings are the backbone of the antislip means. Depending on the technology of manufacture a number of other compulsory parts are selected:

  • A rope scheme for tying the chain on the sides of the bar. Additionally coils, shackles and clamps are required to secure the cable from unraveling.
  • Chain linking on the sides of the wheel. Plates are needed to connect the chain sections around the perimeter of the front and back of the tire + removable brackets used on the lock/tackle attachment section.

How to make snow chains on car and crossover wheels: 3 schemes

The draft version of the manual assumed a step by step description of making chains of three types: ladder, honeycomb and rhombus. The material turned out to be quite voluminous and we had a thought to present the information in a compacted form. Given that a number of operations in the manufacture of each of the three circuits is the same, you can roll out a detailed instruction on one of the technologies of weaving, and the other to make only remarks. As a basis we decided to take the “rhombus”, and the process of making “ladder” and “honeycomb” describe on the basis of the “rhombus”.

“Rhombus” with our own hands.

The complexity of making a homemade chain is that a number of simple things are unknown. For example, it is not clear what length each of components of the future product should be; how long to make the same rope or chain, located on the sides of the wheel… We suggest that all experiments be carried out in relation to a specific car. Then the percentage of errors is less and the result is obvious.

chains with his own hands

Our colleague Alexander M. gladly agreed to share his experience, which he implemented in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. A car is with 245/75 R16 tires, chain pattern – “rhombus”, connection between sections – cable. Let’s take off one of the wheels and get started:

  • Lay out the chain on one side of the bar. This will help you roughly estimate the number of links included in each of the diamond pattern elements. Use rope and duct tape for easy marking. Rope can tie the product along the contour of the side, and tape – to wrap the outermost links, to be connected by rope on the sides and rings – in the middle.
  • Make a mirror part of the resulting chain. The anti-skid chain conventionally consists of two parts: front and back or left and right. In point #1 we have shaped the front part. To get the back you need to mirror the already obtained section or, simply put, measure the same segment of chain, marking on it the boundary connection points.
HDD sander from a PC

how to make snow chains for trucks

  • Connect the two halves together. The easiest way to do this is with connecting rings. If they are not available, you can use one of the chain links by disconnecting it. Reverse fixation of a link should be inseparable, so without welding is not necessary.
  • Put the chain on the wheel.

how to make snow chains for trucks

  • Measure the required length of the ropes on the sides of the tire. To calculate the exact meter, use a rope, tying the chain front and back with it.
  • Put a turnbuckle lug on the front wire.
  • Finish the ends of both ropes by putting shackles on them and clamping them firmly with clamps.

increased flotation with quick-change snow chains

  • Try on the resulting construction again by tying the rope to the end of the rope and using the turnbuckle.
  • Replace the rope with a shackle, if the turnbuckle provides a secure hold, and the homemade version is ready for combat use.

Important! A tightening with a turnbuckle must be made diagonally.

snow chains for cars

Homemade “honeycomb”

Rhombuses, alternating with straight sections, are made by analogy with the diamond-shaped anti-skid chain. First the outer part is tried on, which consists of half rhombuses and straight sections on the tire tread. If connecting rings will not be used, the outer pattern will consist of a solid section of chain. The mirror part here is not solid – it includes small sections that form a diamond-shaped structure together with the upper half.

The disconnection point is still located at the peripheral vertices of the diamond. If you want to use chain ties instead of cable ties, you must stock up on 10 brackets, and three different configurations. In a budget version the brackets can be replaced with bolts with large washers. And if you are aiming to create indestructible construction, by soviet antiskid chains motives, replace turnbuckle with full-fledged square lock. It is clear from the photo, that this solution is simple in terms of design: two disks (it is allowed to use aluminum) are riveted together. On the same axes are whiskers (steel only).

How to check the temperature sensor, principle of operation.

“Ladder” at home

We left the most traction version, as they say, for an appetizer. For two reasons. The ladder is the easiest option for self-made and at the same time the least popular weaving scheme in the off-road by known prerequisites.

snow chains with their own hands

When making it, it is important to follow a number of rules. For example, the transverse segments here are accepted to be coupled not by rope, but by chain. The matter is that rope coupling many times complicates the installation up to the fact that it is necessary to remove the wheel, and even to lower it, otherwise there is no way. As for the rest, everything is very simple. It is enough to cut 13-15 equal chain segments, fasten them with a chain, make a lock or engage the turnbuckle (again, only in diagonal direction) and the device is ready for use.

How to make snow chains on wheels in 15 minutes

There is a wide range of snow chains for wheels in auto stores. However, more often than not, they are unreasonably overpriced. Therefore, you can not throw money to the wind, and make chains with your own hands in just 15 minutes.

It is worth noting that all the necessary components can be purchased at any hardware store, and a minimum set of tools can be found at any master of “garage business”.

And the first thing you need to “measure” the wheels of the car. This is necessary in order to cut the chain into pieces exactly to size (then it will not dangle while driving).

How to Make Snow Chains on Wheels in 15 Minutes

Main steps

First you need to cut four pieces of chain of suitable length. To do this, we measure off the required size and cut off with a grinder.

How to Make Snow Chains on Wheels in 15 Minutes

And then in the prepared pieces of metal chain (in the first and last link) will need to pass straps with a lock. Four pieces of chain will require eight straps.

How to Make Snow Chains on Wheels in 15 Minutes

And in the end we get ready “elements” – now it’s only necessary to install them on the wheels. No one should have problems with this.

How to Make Snow Chains on Wheels in 15 Minutes

For long rides this “shoe” is unlikely to suit, but if you need to go out for a short time, the homemade chains will do quite well. Especially since the cost of materials is penny. For details on how to make snow chains on auto wheels in 15 minutes, see the video on this site.

A soldering iron for unsoldering LEDs with my own hands

How to Make Snow Chains on Wheels in 15 Minutes

And then a piece of chain will fly to someone’s forehead.

And you have already been hit in the forehead.

Do not think about doing that lock should be super reliable and without ropes. 25 years experience.

I tore that chain like a string on my third pass. Got caught on a pebble.

When I got stuck in a rut after the rain, I wore these exact same chains my friend at work gave me just in case I was about to go fishing, got out with their help and would have sat there two days because of the rains and those who know how to fail in the rain and slush and to sit for a week, I would then read your reviews.

The straps are better made from leather dog collars. To get off the virgin land and onto the road would be fine. But to ride on roads with chains, the more self-made – it is unacceptable!

I took a thicker chain, broke so that the dodger broke at once.

What nonsense, this is not a chain, and some kind of joke. The chain should be thicker, should be easy to install and after use, should be easy to remove. Judging by the roller is these latches that are used in these bracelets and after he tied the straps in a knot in the mud is simply unreal, after it all tightens, the only way to cut it off.

I had a Moskvich 2140, which I used to go fishing, from muddy autumn to spring when it was dry, rode for three seasons on the same chain, never once broke, the chain was the time of the USSR, reliable, and I was not fastening them with some kind of straps, and the tires were lowered, put a link in a link and a bolt with a diameter of 8 mm , and I pumped the wheel to the right pressure. That’s all, but they started: Tearing chains, straps. Tearing can also be caused by the chain slipping on the wheel, or straps tearing. When you skid, the force of the impact is enormous on the chain. And another thing: 4 chains are not enough for one wheel,you need five, so that the interval was more frequent. so like this.You can now say what you want,but I rode three seasons,not removing chains and never complained on the passability, goes like 4 * 4.

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