Expedition Exchange Bulletin Boards

Expedition Exchange Bulletin Boards (http://www.expeditionexchange.com/forums/index.php)
-   Technical Discussions (http://www.expeditionexchange.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=6)
-   -   My experience with RUD chains (http://www.expeditionexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=764)

michael March 16th, 2006 03:16 PM

My experience with RUD chains
23 Attachment(s)
Here is my recent experience with RUD chains. I found out a few things the hard way but nothing can teach quicker than missteps. Thought I would post my efforts – maybe someone else will not make the same errors I did.

I knew we were in for a dump… that day and the day before we got some serious accumulation. And I had this feeling…. Better put the chains on now, this afternoon, cause tomorrow it just might be bitch to get them on, and perhaps impossible to get out. I decided to use my camera and document my process.

Here is the weather and my DSII with one chain installed. Notice the flat tire/wheel chock kit to the left. I used that to save my knees from freezing – the kit did not protect my knees. Installing any type of chains in snow in Levis is a mistake.

Clearly a day for RUD's:

I have carried my RUDs in my trusty Pelican case in their original vinyl slip cases since November. Tip: check to see if the mounting instructions are included. Both my slip cases only had the removal instructions. I had to go back inside the house, log on to the RUD site, print the mounting instructions, put them in a plastic sleeve and go back outside. It is highly unlikely that you will have internet access when you install the chains on the highway.. Secondly, make sure the plastic tie that binds the two zippers together for each slip case is cut before you carry your chains. I had a very hard time cutting the tie – my hands were cold and I could not get a grip, my ski gloves totally sucked. Ski gloves are warm and toasty for skiing and they are totally useless for any mechanical task.

Eventually I ditched the ski gloves and put on my never-used PMI gloves. What a difference! I could feel what I was doing, I could do the work – and my hands stayed dry and warm almost through the whole process (but I was experimenting with different approaches in attempting to correct an error).

You can seem the snowfall is increasing, and the back of the DSII is getting a dusting. My black Pelican case now has a snow outline which makes a nice contrast, giving my Disco a festive holiday flavor with a nice Christmassy look.

Thanks to John for recommending the gloves! This job would have been very, very difficult without them.

Here the left rear tire with the RUDs installed:

Here is the red hook that joins the chains together. The notice that free swinging hook is oriented aft, towards the rear of the DSII. The direction of the hook is important.

Here is a close up of the hook. Again, the free swinging hook which joins the chains is oriented aft, towards the rear, of the DSII:

Here is a finished tire with A marking the correct orientation of the hook and B marking the problem area:

The more I looked at this tire, the more something just did not feel right. The chain was tight against the wheel, it looked good but there something about ratchet system (B) did not look right. I uninstalled and reinstalled the chains several times and still B did not look right. It felt off, and I clearly could not solve the problem.

It was at this point I called Bill Burke and asked for help. I talked to Rachel and explained my trouble. She said she would call Bill, who was in California and tell him I had called. He was great!!! He called me at home within a half hour! What service wayyyyyy after the sale (this was the first time in two years that I used the chains I bought from them). As I carefully described what I did, it was clear that B was the problem area. From my description, Bill recognized what I had done incorrectly and instructed me how B was supposed to be done and how it should look. Here is a close up of the problem area:

As C shows, the force exerted by the blue chain makes the whole thing feel wrong: The larger flat piece of the ratchet system with the oval opening is not flat against the tire. While the ratchet system will work in this configuration and you still can thread the yellow tightening chain through the ratchet, in this position the ratchet would have caused noise during driving and might have worn the side of my tire. When you install the chains, make sure the _flat_ piece of the ratchet is against the tire, and the shorter piece with the square opening outward, towards the road. Since the chain is not flat against the tire, the gap might be susceptible to material becoming wedged against the tire.

Here is the correct way the ratchet should look:

To install the chains in this correct position, there are two requirements:
1. The red hook as shown in several pictures above (A) has to point to the rear and
2. The yellow tightening chain must be threaded through the larger flat plate in this manner:

In this position, the ratchet locks the yellow chain in place by the force of the blue chain. In the incorrect manner as shown above, the ratchet holds the yellow chain more by tire pressure that pinches the yellow chain. As I said earlier, the incorrect way will work and will feel tight but there will be more rubbing pressure on the tire, and the tire makes more noise..

RUDs use a cable lock system:

The hex nut attached to the cable is placed into the opening, pulled tight and fits roughly into its female component. Again, here the PMI gloves made the job easier to feel the correct fit.

However, there can be difficulty in disengaging the cable lock system after driving. Therefore, carry your trusty blade or side mounted Swiss tool kit. This is not a good picture of the problem, and it was taken before driving with the chains, but look closely:

The top portion of the cable lock is exposed to the elements and there is a gap :

When driving snow gets packed into this opening. We wheeled for an hour in the mesas behind the house. BTW: The chains did all Bill said they could do and more. The DSII with chains is a phenomenal vehicle. I have to admit I felt utterly bad-ass wheeling through drifts, meadows, and hills! Back to the cable lock: Snow gets packed in the opening and can form a perfectly clear cylinder of ice. In two of my chains, ice was firmly molded into the locking system, and I used my ever ready Benchmade to pry and chisel out the ice. I am not sure why or how this occurred, the cable lock is low against the back side of the tire, it is not in contact with the road. Only two of my chains had this problem – I could not press the ends together to unlock the cables. A tool can be useful when disengaging the cable lock.

To take the chains off, it is a good idea to orient the red hook to the 12:00 O'Clock position:

Do NOT take the chains off in a position as shown below!! This is absolutely wrong:

If you take the chains off with the red hook at noon, the cables fall away from the wheel and lay them selves flat on the ground. You take one end and simply pull the chains out from under the Disco. IF you take the chains off with the red hook in any other position other than 12 O’Clock, as shown above, the upper portion of the cable with all its chainy goodness will right drop onto your brake lines –and they do drop with force. In the snow it would extremely difficult to disentangle the chains from the brake lines. You cannot and must not pull the chains out while they are tangled with the brake lines. While I did not make this mistake when I removed the chains in the snow, I did make this error when I practiced after the snow storm. I had to lay on my back, scoot under the Disco and gently lift the chains upwards off the brake lines. I would NOT want to do that in any type of winter conditions.

Getting ready to hit the the trail:

I put the RUDs on in the afternoon, that night, it snowed another 8 inches. The wind was fast and furious and the snow heavy at times. I woke up to winter wonderland. I knew the chains were on the truck and I felt damn proud of my foresight -- damn proud! However, going to the truck, the door, seeing I left the back windows open about 5 inches, I felt like a total moron:

Here I was faced with potential mess. If that snow melted while I was using my hands to scoop the snow out, I was in deep shit. However…. A moment of clarity came to me. I realized I had my PowerTank in the garage! 10 minutes with the doors open and using the PowerTank (the snow was incredibly light – true New Mexican powder) ALL that snow was blown out the doors! A simple remaining wipe with a dish cloth and dash and seats were dry and clean. There was a little snow dust left in crooks and corners that I could not blow out before melting, but the inside was very, very clean. The PowerTank proved its worth in an entirely unexpected way. Had I not the PowerTank, the inside would have been a soggy mess within 10-15 minutes as the sun was heating the Disco rapidly.

In summary, I took a long time installing the chains, and that was due to installing forwards and backwards in futile attempts to solve the ratchet problem. The chains do install quickly, but not quite as easily or as quickly as the advertisments claim. However, had I experience, I have no doubt I would have remained far drier than if I had installed the usual ladder style chains. RUDs are remarkably engineered -- of that there is no doubt. They are pricey but I have never seen chains that performed as well as these. Their off-road capabilities work in synergy with the DSII.

However, there are key points which simply are not covered in the instructions. The locking ratchet might be clear to others, I was puzzled to the point I needed to call Bill Burke.

I have been cautioned that using chains on a lifted DSII with 265 R16 tires would be dicey as the turning radius would be affected and the lack of clearance might cause rubbing, or possibly interfere with brakes lines. I experienced none of these problems. I turned hard once and felt the chains rub -- and that was during some rough wheeling and tight turns. There is plenty of clearance and the concerns of loosing turn radius are exaggerated. I drove city streets, pulling in and out of parking spots and had no problems. RUDs and a DSII are a formidable combination.

traveltoad March 16th, 2006 03:32 PM

Awesome! Thanks for the write up!!!

So who's up for a snow run?

johnlee March 16th, 2006 04:01 PM


sheki March 16th, 2006 07:46 PM

thanks for the write up. I brought my chains to RR6, as snow was a possibility. I too did a practice install after setting up camp on Friday. I had the same issue with the yellow chain, pulling it tight just didn't feel right. I had the instructions with me; however, they did not mention how imperative it is to keep the cinching section facing out.

Thanks again

JSQ March 17th, 2006 10:17 AM


Originally Posted by johnlee


Ok, I changed my mind.

It's the D2 air conditioning system that blows the coldest of any rover.

nprovo99 May 6th, 2006 11:10 PM

nice.... did you ever get any pics of you wheeling in deep snow with the chains?.. try to post some deep stuff


rav March 1st, 2007 08:27 AM

Old post but saw it and had to comment. These chains are great but a HUGE PIA to get on, especially in deep snow. So much so I have abandoned the idea of using them more often then I've actually used them. When I have used them in deep snow I really didn't get any further than I would without them. Once your in snow up to the diffs in a DII you're pretty much done for anyway.
Anyone want a slightly used pair of RUD's?

Matt Kendrick March 1st, 2007 09:49 AM

are you really going to get rid of them? i'd be interested.

mattkendrick - at - earthlink - dot - net

JSQ March 5th, 2007 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by rav
Old post but saw it and had to comment. These chains are great but a HUGE PIA to get on, especially in deep snow. So much so I have abandoned the idea of using them more often then I've actually used them. When I have used them in deep snow I really didn't get any further than I would without them. Once your in snow up to the diffs in a DII you're pretty much done for anyway.
Anyone want a slightly used pair of RUD's?


so they don't deploy with the push of a button.
they're still the best thing you can use.

dmarchand March 5th, 2007 02:59 PM

They do swell in deep snow.

JSQ March 5th, 2007 03:21 PM

You'll still be breaking out the winch, but you'll get farther with them than without them.

montanablur March 7th, 2007 02:02 PM

That is a great pic... Diving in!

parantaeyang March 7th, 2007 05:54 PM


Originally Posted by dmarchand
They do swell in deep snow.

2 fuel tanks?

johnlee March 7th, 2007 05:56 PM

I wish I had two fuel tanks.

dmarchand March 7th, 2007 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by parantaeyang
2 fuel tanks?

Yes. Aluminum tank under the passenger seat. You can barely see the reflection of the tank bottom under the rock slider.

It definitely comes in handy John. You can do away with the jerry can action (well 1.85 cans to be exact).

johnlee March 7th, 2007 07:41 PM


Is your auxiliary tank the old Rover Accessories tank or some other one?

I'm sick of 200-mile range.

dmarchand March 7th, 2007 08:06 PM

I hear you. It is not the RA one. We tried one of those and found it didn't fit properly (sat below the frame rail by about .25"). I've heard others had good luck with the RA tank fitment but it never worked for me.

It's a custom job by a local boat tank builder. The welds are a thing of beauty. If you're interested, I (or Jesse) can see if he is interested in building another. I bet any boat builder in your area could put one together for you as well.

You might also get away from cutting the body panel if you adapt one of these: http://www.yankeetoys.org/mangler/auxtank.htm

Toyota had a dual filler neck system. Cut the neck down a bit and I bet it would fit in the d-90 wheel well. Just didn't have the time to make it work.

It is pretty nice being able to flip the fuel pump switch while cruising down the road, transferring the fuel while never stopping. I believe Sheki had some kind of dual setup on his LE.

parantaeyang March 7th, 2007 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by johnlee

Is your auxiliary tank the old Rover Accessories tank or some other one?

I'm sick of 200-mile range.

You get 200 miles? timeout

johnlee March 8th, 2007 08:59 AM

That dual filler is cool.

The things that have stopped me from getting an auxiliary tank are:

(1) I'm afraid a tank below the passenger seat will get mangled or punctured on the trail; and

(2) I don't understand the fuel pump thing. Aren't fuel pumps liquid-cooled? If you're repeatedly pumping from the auxiliary tank to the main tank and run the auxiliary tank dry, won't this smoke the auxiliary fuel pump?

dmarchand March 8th, 2007 09:44 AM

Good questions.

You are correct on the pump. I do two things currently, I have a mark on the main gauge that I trigger the pump on and another when I know the tank is empty. I also time it when I have the appropriate watch on.

But for this reason, I'm putting in a second fuel gauge and sender in the tank whenever I get around to it. The gauge is already in, I just need to drop that tank.

As far as bashing it, it is a concern. The bottom of the tank is pretty thick (it is baffled), I've yet to put a dent in it in two years. The important piece is the design of being above the frame rail with the slider there as well. It's not fool proof to your point.

johnlee March 8th, 2007 09:58 AM

I really like your auxiliary tank. If I were to get one, it would probably be like yours with the tank bottom angled like that.

I just wish somebody made some kind of kit for this stuff--a kit that I could see pics of and gauge the quality of. I don't going where no man has gone before. This is especially true for auxiliary tanks, because I've seen a lot of shitty auxiliary tanks on customers' rides.

JSQ March 8th, 2007 10:12 AM

What about doing the Series fuel tank thing?

hochung March 8th, 2007 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by parantaeyang
You get 200 miles? timeout

I get 200 miles with the disco... well, city only.

johnlee March 8th, 2007 12:39 PM

I didn't feel it on the Series tank set-up. The tank sits very low, below the slider level even. It's bound to get mangled.

Also, I don't like either the exterior appearance:

or the interior appearance:

Also, I don't want some beater Series parts on my truck. My truck is already enough of a beater as is.

Of the auxiliary tanks I've seen, my favorite one is the sloping design that's on David's Defender. However, pics like this worry me:

Both of my frame ears are pretty mangled, and the damage isn't just on the bottom. My PS frame ear is actually much more mangled (and higher up too) than the DS frame shown above. I'm afraid even a sloping tank will get mangled.

dmarchand March 8th, 2007 02:29 PM

Does Sheki still have the harmonic balancer?

I'll take some close up of the undercarriage, post them and you can tell me what your thoughts are. My frame ears have seen some abuse, I have a feeling the difference in terrain in west vs. east plays a factor. Boulder heavy trails by you where we have more solid rock shelves, etc. I see what you mean.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2001-2012 Expedition Exchange Incorporated. All rights reserved.