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Old 26th February 2014, 17:39   #1
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Default How to get Snow Chains in India

***As of 1 July 2014, Amazon has discontinued Global saver free shipping to India***
Glacier chains set of 2 costs 125$ all inclusive now

This is a small guide I think will help fellow offroaders, esp those who like venturing out to play in the snow.
Snow chains are available in mountains, and I am told even some people in the plains have them.
Cost 4000-4500 a pair, and they are thick chains.

However with modern SUVs, clearance is limited.
A friend purchased snow chains from manali, and they cut his front brake line of the Safari.

The issue? Not much clearance.

So what to do?

The answer lies in Amazon.com USA site.
In the west, you get "S-clearance" snow chains for all tire sized which can be used on FWD cars, and SUVs with low clearance.

Normally, ordering stuff from amazon.com means a hefty shipping charge for heavy items, but amazon.com has a scheme where orders above 130-140$ per order qualify for free shipping to India.

Customs clearance is charged upfront, and costs about ~40-45% of your order price.
Due to low initial cost, you can get snow chains for a little more than the local stuff even if you buy the high end stuff

If two people can club their order, you can buy cheap stuff.

Now let me guide you what you need to buy

Case 1 - An SUV like Safari or Scorpio with low clearance in front, and low, but not very low clearance at the rear

What you need is 1 set of cables and 1 set of Chains and your order size will cross threshold
For rear tires get This:
8$+50$
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
80$
For front tires get this(Comes with tensioner)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Total cost to India including duty is approx 200 USD. This translates to around 13000 INR.

In india, 4500-5000 INR chain can barely fit the rear without damage, and is definitely not suitable for the Front wheels. For around 3000-5000 more you the complete solution for all your wheels

Case 2 : Need just rear chains
Rear chains in 235/70R16 are about 58 USD(including tensioner)
So you need to be 3 people
Total cost including customs = 250$ = 16500 INR approx

This comes to around 5300 per person for chain+tensioner

Other vehicles
All you need to do is know your tire size.
Glacier and SCC both make stuff.
SCC has more variety and some nice tire cables
Glacier mostly does square link stuff

SCC website : http://www.scc-chain.com/tire-chain-...ion/tirechains
Glacier: http://www.glacierchain.com/uploads/..._2010-2011.pdf

Using these you can enter your tire size and see the entire range of products which fit your tire size.

Then search in amazon for product numbers, and you will get to know the price.
Remember, if AMAZON does not give you free shipping option it means your order is below threshold.
So either order something more, or order a more expensive item, or find a friend.

Hope this helps!

FAQ
Q. How many days to arrive
A. Amazon says 15, but it takes usually 5-7 working days
Q. Do I have to do customs clearance?
A. No you don't have to do anything
Q. Will I be charged extra on item arrival
A. No, everything is prepaid
Q. Is it easy to fit snow chains?
A. No its not. It took two of us 15 minutes/chain first time. So practice. After that it should be no more than 5 minutes for the cables and 8min or so for the chains
Q. I want ease of installation
A. Get the SCC cables.
Q.With chains can I cross Rohtang in late winters when its not cleared?
A. No, you cannot, buy a helicopter. But amazon does not sell them

Last edited by tsk1979 : 1st May 2016 at 16:27.
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Old 26th February 2014, 19:21   #2
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Default re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This is a small guide I think will help fellow offroaders, esp those who like venturing out to play in the snow.

Q.With chains can I cross Rohtang in late winters when its not cleared?
A. No, you cannot, buy a helicopter. But amazon does not sell them

Never mind Rohtang, even closer to home there are times when a helicopter would be nice (Photo: The Marshal hopelessly buried a couple weeks back - just north of Manali).

Ground clearance becomes your main enemy in these cases, especially if the snow is wet/heavy vs. light and powdery. I do okay even without chains, until the axles / chassis / fuel tank start to drag. Then I'm done for.


P.S. Rs5,000 is reasonable. But if you want to do something even cheaper and just need a temporary solution to drive around a few km for a day or get you out of a tight spot, do what I did: buy some cheap 10-12mm rope (nylon or natural materials), loop it through the wheels 8-10 times till you've gone around the whole circumference of each tire, tie the two ends together and tighten any slack in the loops with a bungee cord. Got me out of the village with over 1ft. of heavy week-old snow on the road. Think the jute rope cost me Rs80 for a few kilos' worth. There's an instructional U-tube video out there.

Chains / cables on the rear wheels only works pretty well. As I said, axle/frame drag will render even chains worthless after a point. I was mighty surprised years ago in the midst of a deep snowstorm to see a lone Maruti van trudging on along confidently at a good pace up past Nehru Kund towards Palchan, with its tire chains on the rear and good natural ground clearance rivaling many 4x4's.

-Eric
Attached Images
 

Last edited by ringoism : 26th February 2014 at 19:38.
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:55   #3
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Now that is what once worried us before taking Innovas to Ladakh, although we never faced any such situation that would need it in that June time.

But this is what I had tried a couple of days before the Ladakh Trip began.

How to get Snow Chains in India-310520131880-custom.jpg

How to get Snow Chains in India-310520131881-custom.jpg

How to get Snow Chains in India-310520131883-custom.jpg

It is half inch thick nylon rope. And we had 2 sets of these ropes for each Innova. The rope would also not touch the brake drums or any other parts so that was no worry.

However, never came to need it and never could know whether something like this would be sufficient. But theoretically it did seem possible and workable and we had kept a provision for it.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 27th February 2014 at 13:43.
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Old 27th February 2014, 13:05   #4
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

On my Recent trip to Himachal i saw a Maruti Eeco with snow chains
So these should be locally available as well in hill stations like Shimla and Manali.
In north India,these are available with an online retailer based out of Gurgaon.
And Also you can get custom chains made in Patiala.
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Old 27th February 2014, 13:25   #5
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Now that is what once worried us before taking Innovas to Ladakh, although we never faced any such situation that would need it in that June time.

But this is what I had tried a couple of days before.

Attachment 1212798

Attachment 1212799

Attachment 1212800

It is half inch thick nylon rope. And we had 2 sets of these ropes for each Innova. The rope would also not touch the brake drums or any other parts so that was no worry.

However, never came to need it and never could know whether something like this would be sufficient. But theoretically it did seem possible and workable and we had kept a provision for it.
This is what I did with the Liva in Feb 2013 when we had 6 inches of snow. The ropes lasted just 5kms before breaking(due to friction) but got us out of the tricky snow spots after which they were not needed.

However, I did not wrap one piece all around. I wrapped small segments.
Reason for that is simple. If your rope breaks at one point while driving, it will wrap around the suspension components and can also cause breakage and sudden locking of wheels.

So take small segments and just tie one segment through each hole so that it falls harmlessly if a segment breaks.

We had 6 segments.
2 broke within 5kms. The rest 4 lasted another 15kms before falling off somewhere.
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Old 27th February 2014, 13:36   #6
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Can this is not achieved with steel wires with 5mm - 10mm diameter? Would it still foul with brake lines? There are abundant of steel wires available in India, need some research and DIY to arrive at solution. Also, it can be fabricated in nearly steel workshop.
The steel wires of 5 - 7 mm can be secured like rope per parsh pic.
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Old 27th February 2014, 14:12   #7
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Unless you have alloy wheels, you cannot use rope/wire solution if you have disc brakes on the driving wheels. Even then, there is a good chance of ropes/wires fouling with the brake caliper.
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Old 27th February 2014, 17:38   #8
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post

Attachment 1212798

It is half inch thick nylon rope....theoretically it did seem possible...
Great photos that perfectly represent what I tried to describe - except that I had also added a bungee cord which I put radially around the sidewall, through the loops, in order to correct for any shifting/slackening that COULD eventually snag on nearby suspension / body parts.

Glad you never had the need, but it definitely does work, at least for limited distances.

Probably anyone traveling in those regions during months where snow is possible on the passes (pretty much anytime but August, maybe?) ought to have some rope on hand for this (and other) purpose(s).

-Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
So these should be locally available as well in hill stations like Shimla and Manali.
Doubt you can get them off-the-shelf here in Manali... will ask around. Despite their potential usefulness, relatively few people are using them, to be honest. Mostly see them on BRO/GREF vehicles. I can think of less than half a dozen local private vehicles / taxis that run them. So less demand than you'd think.

-Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Unless you have alloy wheels, you cannot use rope/wire solution if you have disc brakes on the driving wheels. Even then, there is a good chance of ropes/wires fouling with the brake caliper.
Actually I have 16" Scorpio-type steel wheels on the Marshal, and I do have disc brakes on the driven front axle, and didn't run into any trouble. Tie-rod ball end actually was the closest component, not the caliper. But no actual contact on either.

It's really going to depend on the particular vehicle. And as I said, you've gotta keep the slack out (hence the aforementioned bungee cord).

-Eric

P.S. - Moderator: I promise, I'm going to finally take the plunge and try the multi-quote feature next time. Apologies.

Last edited by .anshuman : 27th February 2014 at 19:19. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 2nd March 2014, 00:58   #9
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Gulmarg-Kashmir, the best skiing destination in India has the most slipperiest snow covered hilly roads.No Vehicle is allowed to proceed ahead of tangmarg without Snow Chains, be it with or without 4x4!

These places give you chains on rent on day basis although making snow chains is no rocket science as most of then are prepared locally by a Blacksmith.

Snow chains are made out of simple iron chain links inter connected in a peculiar way to cover the tyre like 6- 8 spokes around it.
Finally a rope is pulled in the centre (near tyre nuts) to tighten it.
The ride gets rough with constant noise.
I guess except for Kashmir or Himachal no where in the country is the need to own these chains. One can easily rent them and move on.
They are a pain to store. Rust takes its toll very easily!
Till then Happy Snow Driving!
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Old 3rd March 2014, 15:22   #10
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Default Snow Chains for Duster

I recently procured snow chains for my Duster from Amazon and I did almost the same thing which tsk has mentioned:

I bought Thule 12mm CB12 102 size snow chain for Duster which has tyre size 215/65 R16 which fits with Duster.

http://www.amazon.com/Thule-Quality-Passenger-Chain-pairs/dp/B000UNLVKU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393839893&sr=8-1&keywords=thule+cb12+102

I clubbed it with a dozen hdmi cables and I got the shipment free and was just taxed for the entire amount.

The cost of the snow chain came out to be: 4833 plus import duty of around 2200, so the total came out to be 7K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcj3b View Post
I guess except for Kashmir or Himachal no where in the country is the need to own these chains. One can easily rent them and move on.
Well, I recently went to N-Sikkim and I felt that I should have bought snow chains before going there, so there can be few more places in India where you might need snow chains

-Pallav

Last edited by gurha : 3rd March 2014 at 15:30.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 16:29   #11
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

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Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
...In north India,these are available with an online retailer based out of Gurgaon..
Would be helpful if you share the name and contact details.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 16:41   #12
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

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Originally Posted by Kandisa View Post
Would be helpful if you share the name and contact details.
Here it is.

https://www.facebook.com/spiritofoutdoors
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Old 3rd April 2014, 22:51   #13
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Unless you have alloy wheels, you cannot use rope/wire solution if you have disc brakes on the driving wheels. Even then, there is a good chance of ropes/wires fouling with the brake caliper.
Sir,
as per your advice i was looking at buying snow chains from amazon USA website, i placed a combined order of around 270 usd, however during the checkout i get an error message stating that my phone number has insufficient characters.
As a result i am unable to progress ahead .
Pls advise

Regards
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Old 4th April 2014, 00:25   #14
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

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Originally Posted by swsumit View Post
Sir,
as per your advice i was looking at buying snow chains from amazon USA website, i placed a combined order of around 270 usd, however during the checkout i get an error message stating that my phone number has insufficient characters.
As a result i am unable to progress ahead .
Pls advise

Regards
Did you try with +91-10 digit cell number
Or just your 10 digit phone number without +91
Try both cases.
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Old 4th April 2014, 06:08   #15
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Default Re: How to get Snow Chains in India

Hello ,
Could some information be shared on which product based on company performance is better " Thule CB 12 Snow chains " or " SCC SUPER SZ-6 SZ123 "

Regards
Sumit
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