Tire Chains? On a Lincoln Town Car?

Welcome to the busiest full-spectrum Lincoln community online!

Please join us! We'd really love to have you as a member...

HighwayStar

Member
91
53
18
As I am still waiting on parts/time to start on some of my other Town Car jobs, I thought I would get a start on this one...

Long story short, I would like to have some tire chains to run on the town car. I don't live in a winter climate, but I will be driving to one and really would prefer to have chains with me (as I have carried with other vehicles) as an option in the event things get ugly.

I have looked a bit at chains for the Town Car, but so far found nothing too definitive. Not even sure what I need.
The manual says

Use only cable type chains offered by Ford Motor Company as an
accessory or equivalent. Using SAE class S or other conventional link
type chains may cause damage to the vehicle’s wheel house and/or
body.


I take from that conventional link chains are a no go, something low profile like a cable chain is required.
However, using SAE class S is a no go? SAE S is the "low profile" standard, so... what is usable?

Anyone run chains on their Town Car at some point have some experience here?
 

Big Old Boy

Member
67
34
18
I was a truck driver my entire life with over 4 million miles of safe driving. Many times I had to carry chains but her is the secret, I never used them and never would if you need chains park and wait the weather will improve. J.M.O.
 

oktowncar

Active member
As I am still waiting on parts/time to start on some of my other Town Car jobs, I thought I would get a start on this one...

Long story short, I would like to have some tire chains to run on the town car. I don't live in a winter climate, but I will be driving to one and really would prefer to have chains with me (as I have carried with other vehicles) as an option in the event things get ugly.

I have looked a bit at chains for the Town Car, but so far found nothing too definitive. Not even sure what I need.
The manual says

Use only cable type chains offered by Ford Motor Company as an
accessory or equivalent. Using SAE class S or other conventional link
type chains may cause damage to the vehicle’s wheel house and/or
body.


I take from that conventional link chains are a no go, something low profile like a cable chain is required.
However, using SAE class S is a no go? SAE S is the "low profile" standard, so... what is usable?

Anyone run chains on their Town Car at some point have some experience here?
look on etrailer.com
They have a help tool to make the selections a bit easier
 

Hound Dog

Active member
129
79
28
If you need chains, you really don't need to be driving a Town Car. Really. I know it's not the response you want but drive the right vehicle. If you are taking mountain passes in the winter, consider a Jeep.
______________________________
 

HighwayStar

Member
91
53
18
If you need chains, you really don't need to be driving a Town Car. Really. I know it's not the response you want but drive the right vehicle. If you are taking mountain passes in the winter, consider a Jeep.
I understand where you are coming from, but that is not a realistic approach.

I live in TX, winter conditions are a complete non-issue for me here and most places that I choose to travel.
That said, once a year or so I go to visit family for the holidays and that involves traveling up the Rocky Mountain front and over several mountain passes.
It is not realistic to buy, maintain, insure, and store another vehicle for the once a year that I go up there, especially since 99% of the drive time I would much rather be in something pleasant like the Town Car than a Jeep. This is one of those times that chains really are the right solution, for someone that does not live in that climate and might need them once every few years, but should certainly have them available if conditions warrant. Did the same thing with the Corolla all these years, carried chains, never needed them, but was glad to have the option.

Having lived in a mountainous snowy climate for decades I would never recomend someone have only a Town Car at their disposal if they lived there, but this is something of an edge case.
 

Hound Dog

Active member
129
79
28
Understand. I just can't see chains on the limited clearance of a Town Car wheel well. I don't know how well itwould play with the airbag suspension either. Maybe cables to get you to the next safest place to stop. And a good cell phone to pull up weather forcasts.
 

Norms1stTC

Well-known member
466
1
318
63
Western Pa here, shitty roads and winters, no chains needed, invest in a good set of tires, the town car is a tank in the snow, no problems getting anywhere.
 

All2kool

Senior Member
1,291
84
48
Portland, OR
I used my Cable Chains on my 2004 - after I got stuck on an snow-packed incline that could not have been more than 10 degrees. Would have never made it home without them. Passed 500 cars stuck in the snow without chains on the way.
______________________________
 

HighwayStar

Member
91
53
18
I used my Cable Chains on my 2004 - after I got stuck on an snow-packed incline that could not have been more than 10 degrees. Would have never made it home without them. Passed 500 cars stuck in the snow without chains on the way.
Did you chain the front and rear or just the rear?
Also do you remember which brand they were by chance?
 

HighwayStar

Member
91
53
18
Western Pa here, shitty roads and winters, no chains needed, invest in a good set of tires, the town car is a tank in the snow, no problems getting anywhere.
Tires not really an option, the car needs to be able to run on dry freeway at 85 MPH all summer on the same tires it uses to traverse ice & snow.
 

All2kool

Senior Member
1,291
84
48
Portland, OR
Did you chain the front and rear or just the rear?
Also do you remember which brand they were by chance?
I chained the REAR only. They were Cobra 1042.

Here's the rub - I spent 15 minutes going back & forth trying to get up that incline before I finally put the chains on - and then drove off instantly.

 

DoubleJ

Member
88
64
18
They have tires now that are 3 Peak rated and can be used all year.

Also, make sure to check for new laws before you travel, we now have a winter tire law in Colorado for the passes, not sure if chains are allowable, I run snow tires on a 4x4 in the winter, so I'm in compliance no matter where or what and not up to speed on what's legal or not.

Also Also, we have open diffs, F that in the snow, I'd be putting an LSD in there for sure if I planned to drive this thing year round, like 400 bucks for our axle, it's pretty common.

Also also also, as some have said above, those rubber bandy type cable 'chains' are going to hit stuff. I used them once on a minivan for work to get up a hill, top speed was 18 if I recall, any faster and they beat the hell outa the fender liners.
______________________________
 

HighwayStar

Member
91
53
18
They have tires now that are 3 Peak rated and can be used all year.

Also, make sure to check for new laws before you travel, we now have a winter tire law in Colorado for the passes, not sure if chains are allowable, I run snow tires on a 4x4 in the winter, so I'm in compliance no matter where or what and not up to speed on what's legal or not.

Also Also, we have open diffs, F that in the snow, I'd be putting an LSD in there for sure if I planned to drive this thing year round, like 400 bucks for our axle, it's pretty common.

Also also also, as some have said above, those rubber bandy type cable 'chains' are going to hit stuff. I used them once on a minivan for work to get up a hill, top speed was 18 if I recall, any faster and they beat the hell outa the fender liners.

Yes, you "can" use them all year, but in my case I don't want to.
They are expensive and use a softer rubber to gain traction in the snow, which is fine, but that rubber also wears faster in the heat.
Needless to say, running 85 MPH down the interstate in Texas all summer when it is 100+ degrees outside is going to eat through those tires like there is no tomorrow, not to mention the excess noise etc. that I don't want for the 99.9% of miles I drive on non-winter pavement.

That said, I would agree with your approach for anyone in a more balanced use case, but for me its just not a good option.

Regarding laws, here is what I could find on Colorado.

Passenger Vehicle Traction Law: All motorists are required to either have an all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle, or (for two-wheel drive vehicles) snow tires or all-weather tires with a mud/snow designation. Tread depth on all tires must be at least 3/16" regardless of vehicle type. Vehicles that do not meet these criteria must carry chain devices or alternative traction devices.

My reading of that is that chains in the trunk count for the Traction Law purposes, and on the tires they count for the chain law purposes.
Now, if you can put chains on during a "traction" event is perhaps a bit of a grey area, but my thinking is that if it is bad enough that I get out and chain the car up then conditions are likely to be in chain law territory anyway.
The other states I need to pass through are pretty lax on everything so I would think it would be fine there as well.
 

DoubleJ

Member
88
64
18
I'd say you're correct about that tire/chain law. We have signs that indicate when the commercial vehicles need to chain up if I remember correctly, so they probably intend everyone to chain up (if necessary) at that point. Reading it though, that's a pretty silly law. AWD and 4WD don't mean anything if your tires are shit. M+S tires are garbage in snow, as snow tires require snow pack to work, and mud tires require the mud to be flung out to work, they're the complete opposite and absolutely asinine as a requirement. 3/16"....I dunno, that's about a 3rd worn, so maybe that's ok, but where do you put the chains, front/rear/both? Chains in the back, shit tires in the front, you still won't be able to stop or steer.

If it has to be 99% summer tires, 1% chained tires for the snow, I'd say at least get a good solid all season with good siping and tread depth like a Michelin Defender (if those come in car sizes) or a Pirelli Cinturato and you'll probably be OK. Of course if it's a 4 foot blizzard like we've been known to get, maybe just stay in Evergreen or Idaho Springs an extra day and wait for the terrible weather to blow through. Even us nutty locals with our 4x4s have been known to do that.
 

HighwayStar

Member
91
53
18
And FWD, AWD & 4WD only work when you are applying the gas.
Yes and no. Some FWD vehicles lack rear brakes, so there is some argument to be made that with AWD or 4WD you have more braking guaranteed, but really its a vehicle by vehicle question.
 

Hound Dog

Active member
129
79
28
Don't you mean some FWD vehicles lack rear disc brakes? I don't think I've ever heard of any modern car with no brakes on the rear..??
Yea, I don't think anyone makes cars without all the wheels having brakes. I have had choppers without front brakes but they were death traps to begin with.
 
Top