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  1. #1
    Platinum Member MikeInEburg's Avatar
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    Kubota B7800

    Default Modifying chains

    Greetings.
    I purchased 2nd hand chains last winter for a very good price, even though they weren't exactly the correct size. They were OK, but had a lot of slop. My goal is to modify before the snow flies in earnest.

    The chains are duo-grip style. Visualize the chain that goes around the inside/outside perimeter of the tire with one link horizontal, the next link vertical, next horizontal, etc. Right now all of the cross-chains are attached to horizontal links. What I need to do is remove one link between each cross-chain attachment point. The result will be that one cross-chain will be on a horizontal link, and the next on a vertical link. There will be five links between these two points. The question (you knew there HAD to be a question buried in here somewhere) is - will that put undue pressure on the links, leading to premature failure?

    Question two: does anyone have a great way to open the claws on the side chains - other than hammer/chisel/vice combo? With essentially 96 "claws" to open, I'm thinking of a rig involving my wood splitter - but the safety angel on my right shoulder keeps telling me to forget it. I don't have a shop press.

    Thanks
    Mike

    "As you go through life, make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole"

    Kubota B7800
    BH-75A Backhoe
    Rhino 60'' finish mower

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Hardy Co. WV
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    Mahindra 3215 gear

    Default Re: Modifying chains

    There is a tool for opening and closing links, don't know what it's called, but if you find one, make sure it's well made, I've seen lots of cheap one's that are weak. Aaron

  3. #3
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Modifying chains

    I believe www.tirechains.com has such a tool. Their tutorial for installing chains suggests using a cold chisel to spread the link...not sure I'd want to do that for 96 claws.

    ADDED: They do have the tool you need...look on the left of the screen for tire chain repair.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Modifying chains

    As mentioned, there is a tool that works great. I borrowed one from a garage that ran trucks.
    As to the cross chains being on the just the even links (horizontal), I made mine up with the plan you would like to do, because that worked best. I don't think there is any problem (have been running my tractor chains over 10 years now) having one cross chain on a vertical link and the next one attached to a horizontal. A little bit of twist to the side chain, but the chain just doesn't seem to mind at all.
    I think you should carry out your plan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -tire_chains-jpg  

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: Modifying chains

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInEburg View Post
    Greetings.
    I purchased 2nd hand chains last winter for a very good price, even though they weren't exactly the correct size. They were OK, but had a lot of slop. My goal is to modify before the snow flies in earnest.

    The chains are duo-grip style. Visualize the chain that goes around the inside/outside perimeter of the tire with one link horizontal, the next link vertical, next horizontal, etc. Right now all of the cross-chains are attached to horizontal links. What I need to do is remove one link between each cross-chain attachment point. The result will be that one cross-chain will be on a horizontal link, and the next on a vertical link. There will be five links between these two points. The question (you knew there HAD to be a question buried in here somewhere) is - will that put undue pressure on the links, leading to premature failure?

    Question two: does anyone have a great way to open the claws on the side chains - other than hammer/chisel/vice combo? With essentially 96 "claws" to open, I'm thinking of a rig involving my wood splitter - but the safety angel on my right shoulder keeps telling me to forget it. I don't have a shop press.

    Thanks
    Mike
    Have you tried using chain tighteners after you install the chains? They help take out some slop.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member MikeInEburg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modifying chains

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry/MT View Post
    Have you tried using chain tighteners after you install the chains? They help take out some slop.
    We used bungees last year to take up the slop - but it was a lot of slop. Because the bungees aren't super-tight, they allow the chains to twist up and start catching bolt heads on inside of fender. By my calculations, I'll be removing 12'' of side chain and am trying to look "long term".

    I saw the tool on tirechains.com - probably a good way to go. They'll cost about the same as what I paid for the chains... but in the end, I'll still be ahead of the game. Or maybe I'll buy a small shop press and make up a jig - and have a more widely functional tool when I'm finished. Now to convince "She who must be obeyed"...

    Mike

    "As you go through life, make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole"

    Kubota B7800
    BH-75A Backhoe
    Rhino 60'' finish mower

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Modifying chains

    Properly fit tire chains will need no tighteners.
    Good luck on fixing up a jig to open the cross chain holders. They are not real difficult, and a well-thought out jig with cold chisel and bfh will work. They don't have to be opened much to unhook them.
    1-2 hours of punch, hammer and channel locks will have it done.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: Modifying chains

    I've used a large screwdriver, hammer (sometimes) and channel locks in a vice for large garden tractor chains. It's fairly easy to do, but staying untangled is the hardest part.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  9. #9
    Platinum Member FredH's Avatar
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    Ruch , Oregon
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    N.H. TC-30

    Default Re: Modifying chains

    If you have a local truck stop or even a truck sales / parts warehouse around , they may also carry the tool you are looking for . Bought mine at our local freightliner dealer . Also have a couple of bags of cross links .

    With the tool , takes maybe 3 or 4 minutes to replace 2 to 4 cross lengths per chain when I am the repairing mode . Usually end up replacing 1 or 2 cross lengths total on the 6 chains that I normally run when I have to chain up . Just depends on how much bare pavement California makes me run on .

    Fred H.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modifying chains

    Why not just shorten one end of the chains?
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

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