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luckydave

Chains on all 4 Tires?

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I have a 2005 Polaris 400 and am wondering if chains on all four tires will give the best traction for ice fishing (especially slush). Thanks for your input. This is a very informative forum!

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I would definitely recommend chains on all four because the back will give you speed but you cant steer if you have a load on the back and you be able to stop better also

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luckydave,

Thanks for the compliment. This is definitely the best group of riders on the web.

I have heard dealers say that chains on the front will damage the front differential, but I've never seen it happen. My dad had a '94 Polaris 400L 4x4 that had chains on all 4 with no problems. He was amazed at how much more he could go through and pull with the added traction.

As Outfitter17 and hill7410 mentioned, it helps out the steering tremendously.

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I would put chains on all (4) tires for sure. I ran a few weeks with just the rear and I was very disappointed. I then put them on the front and it made a ton of difference. I can march through anything it seems now.

BUT, be sure to put the spacers on the front tires or you will rip out the shocks immediately.

I have my chains so tight on my tires they don’t move at all even with no bungees or tighteners.

See Pic below 2005 Sportsman 500:

P1010463-1.jpg

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the wheel spacers are a nylon or delrin ring that mount between your rim and hub to push your wheels farther away from the shocks. You will also need to replace the lugs.

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Question? , Ijust put chains on mine ( rear only) How the heck do you get them tight? I worked for about 3 hours last night , straighten, tighten, drive, re-adjust, repear, repeat, repeat, Still seem loose. I even let all the air out of the tires b4 I started.

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Last winter I had chains on just the front of my 04 SP 700 and actually broke a drive shaft. Granted it was partially cracked to start with (that I didn't know about). Dealer told me the same thing LEP7MM said. On the sportsmans, with the way the 4wd works, when the rear tires spin the fronts engage (even when not in 4wd is what the dealer said), and if you only have chains on the front, it puts a lot of strain on the drive components. $400 later, I put them on all 4. GREAT traction in deep snow, slush and ice. Much better than without. I was able to walk through the deep snow and slush we had last year that others without chains got stuck in. IMO its worth the extra $30-40 for all 4.

ERW

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Re: spacers. I found 1-1/2" and 2-1/2". Would the larger ones cause any problems with the machine, or would 1-1/2 be best?

I don't want to put something on that would be detrimental to handling/safety. Should the spacers come back off in spring? Thanks for all the great info.

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machohorn, Are you sure they gave you the right size chains that you needed?

Spacers on the front? I had chains on the front (and back) of my 500 sportsman last year without any spacers and I didn't have a problem. I will have to double check my setup now.

"hooks"

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I know on my dads machine, he didn't have spacers. But the chains did loosen up a little. His caught on the front of the floor board more than the shocks, but they had a lot of hard usage.

Ideally, the chains should be tight. I've never put a set on an ATV. Only the garden tractor.blush But the procedure is the same.

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Last year I only tried them once, Bang piano wire tight, this year I really struggled, I'm heading to LOW next tues, so I want it right, I'm going to drive it around the yard some more and see what happens, Yes they are the correct ones. I hope the rest of the season goes better then this thing, I mean being mechanicaly challenged right from the start, I hope it does not rub off and make me ice/fish challenged!

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I did a quick search for "Installing tire chains on an ATV". I drilled into the top item that showed. There's a step by step with pictures.

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When my front chains arrive I am going to see how they look without spacers. The spacers are over $100 for a pair. I don't normally drive very fast when ice fishing either. Last year I put some large zip ties on the rear chain fasteners to make sure they didn't come loose. Thanks everyone!

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What I normally do is:

A. Remove the valve stems from all (4) tires.

B. I then wrap a good ratchet strap around the tire and cinch it down as tight as possible. (One tire at a time)

C. I install chains and get all cross lugs in place

D. Remove ratchet strap, sometimes this can be a pain.

E. Reinstall valve stem

F. Inflate to 7-8 PSI

Spacers;

I needed the spacers, I installed the chains not knowing anything about them. I could not figure out what the chains were hitting. This was just spinning free hand, it hit the shock almost everytime. I went to order from the local dealer and waited and waited and waited. I then ordered over the phone and had the next day. I use the 1-1/2” version. I used the “Piggy Back Type Studs” (Not the best engineering idea) I stripped out 2 of the 8 studs used. I also leave the spacers on year round but do take the chains off as soon as Ice season is done.

You can tell it does put much additional stress on the whole drive train when on dry non slip type pavement.

I would take & post pictures but I am a long ways from where my wheeler is at right now.

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Thanks for posting the additional info Ice Angular. I should have the chains next week and then decide if I need the spacers. The spacers I found online have studs included. Good luck this winter!

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I recently put chains on all four tires on my Honda but to test the two or four tire debate, I put the rear chains on first and then took the atv for a test drive. I had to almost come to a stop to get it to turn. The front tires would skid alot when turning unless I was just creeping. Then I put the front chains on and what a differance! Steering was greatly improved at all speeds.

To get the chains good and tight, I deflated the tires and made sure the chains were as tight as I could get them before I inflated them. Work the cross chains back and forth and try to get them in between the tire lugs if you can.

Hope this helps.

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Last year I installed chains on all four tires of my Suzuki King Quad and was very impressed. The first time out I only used the rear chains and control of the front steering was terrible. As soon as I placed the front chains on also the machine handled like a totally new machine. I worked on installing the chains again today. So far I only have the rear ones installed and used it briefly. Didnt work to bad on the road but I am going to get the fronts on before we hit the ice...

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S.D. Ice Angular, I ended up ordering the spacers because there was so little clearance. I'd rather spend a little extra than having a bigger expense by damaging something with the chains. Happy New Year to you.

Dave

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