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2009 09 Forester 2.5 AT
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone w/ an 09 Forester have any experience w/ the low profile cable type chains called Z chains?

I a in western Noprth Carolina west of Asheville and sometimes get snow and ice. The terrain is not flat...the grade ois around 6% into my development and I think the chains would be beneficial. My neihbor uss them on his 02 Outback and swears by them. The ForesternOM says NO to chains as it mihgt be a problem with the "wheel well" clearance. It seems as though there is sufficient clearance and the Z chain info says it onlytakes 1/4 inch clearance.
 

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2016 Forester XT AT
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1,295 Posts
Can you provide a link to some info on these chains? They sound interesting! We get some roads that will have mandatory chain use for passenger vehicles regardless of AWD or not, so these may fit the bill for those times.

The clearance issue is with the suspension parts, not the wheel well specifically. Feel behind the tire to see how much clearance there is to the strut assembly, you may be surprised! I had this same issue with the Pathfinder I had before the Forester and getting "chains" that fitted was real tough. Ended up with cable chains that worked OK, but nothing like the ice chains I used on my F250.
 

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2010 2010 2.5X AT Premium
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104 Posts
I have a set of the SCC Z6s mentioned in this thread. As discussed there, the Z6 cable chains fit my 2010 Forester fairly well, but I wouldn't recommend them for anything very serious -- in my case they're mostly to carry with me so I can show the CHP that I have the required chains for chain control areas without actually having to put them on. With a bit of care I suspect they'd get you out of or through trouble, but they're no substitute for real snow tires or something like that.
 

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2009 09 Forester 2.5 AT
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Apparently I do not have enough posts to include a URL....so the Manufacturer is SCC jsut google Z Chains and select thier website. I had some local auto parts guy order them for me. I suppose I will put them on in the garage to see what clearance I have, so that they will not be to messed up in the event I need to return them. We are in Cleveland now and will be returning to Asheville next week. I'll post here after I try them on.

Appreciate any other information.
 

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2009 09 Forester 2.5 AT
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info Jingletown. I'll feel more comfortable putting them on now. We get very few instances of snow / ice where I would need them. But going up the road to my development in a snow/ice situation would be much safer with the Z cables. I've got maybe a 3 or 4 mile stretch that I might need them and thatis only for the steep climb. Otherwise the Forester will be great. It soldiered on excellently durng the big snow storm we had in theAsheville area last week. I made it through very deep snow in excess of 10 inches when others were trashed all over the road. I only got stuck at the entrance to my development where the snow was over 12 inches and I just couldn't muscle through that with 9 inches of ground clearance. Th Forester is the thing as far as I'm concerned.
 

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2010 Forester XT Premium
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Jingletown and Lawrence Spencer:

Read your posts and the earlier thread with great interest. The the OM's instructions not to use chains caught me by surprise (embarrassed), and I am trying to figure out what to get for when there is a chains requirement in Colorado.

What size tires do you have? Also, did you get Z-chains for all four wheels or just the front ones?
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,071 Posts
I have a set I carry, I have not used them on a Subaru (haven't had to yet) but I have on a 4WD vehicle I use to own. They work OK but they are only to be used in an emergency and not to be used on pavement that isn't covered in ice or packed snow of some sort. Bare pavement will destroy the wound coils on the cables I only put them on the front tires as I only had one set. My situation was where it was very ICY and another time some very slick hard packed snow. They say you need to keep your speed under 30MPH I believe. To tell the truth, aside from the dangerous conditions, the vibration is killer so you aren't going to want to go fast anyway. I have to say they do work as advertised.

This is the website:

Welcome to SCC Winter Traction Products online

I have these:

SCC Shur Grip Z

I don't think the lower profile Z6 were available when I got mine, I've had them for a while. I've had the ones that fit my Forester for a long time. I think I got them way back in 96 or 97 but, until recently, I've never had need to put them in the car. I initially got them because I expected winters in KS to be like the ones we got in Central PA. I was going to offer them up for sale but it seems I've had to start carrying them lately as we are having one of the worst winters on record. Are they worth it? I think so, if you really need to get out of a jam they may be your only bet. I would not put them on for the heck of it just to tool around though.

Having said all this, unless it's super cold and fluffy snow (and even then) if you get into deep snow and it packs under the car, you will get "Hi Centered". That will lift the wheels off the ground and chain or no you aren't going to go anywhere. Once it was super cold and I as able to drive up to the headlamps in my dads Brat in some fresh powdery snow, for quite a distance till I drove off the road because I couldn't tell the road from the fields. Not a fun day. In deep snow the only thing chains will do is allow you to get stuck further out is all :)
 

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2009 Forester AT
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The SCC Super Z6 will fit the 2009 Forester - I assume they will also fit the 2010.

They fit... but I wouldn't drive them over 20 MPH and would not use them unless forced to do so. The only reason I carry them is to meet the occasional requirement to have them; with snow tires we've never actually needed to put them on.

I purchased from Vulcan Tire Sales - Best price I could find, really fast shipping, great service.
 

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2009 09 Forester 2.5 AT
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My tires are factory supplied Geo Lander 225/55 HR 17's. My Forester is an 09 Premium with All Weather Package. I purchased chains only for the front. I have friends who have older model Subaru's that state chains on front only.
 

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2009 09 Forester 2.5 AT
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I completely agree with Peaty. I drove my 09 in terriblbe conditions during the recent snow storm in Western Carolina (Ahseville), she performed fantastically until I got into fresh snow of 10 - 11 inches on a secondary road and got "centered" (see attached pic). I live at around 3500 feet and the road into my development is pretty steep. Nverethe less she made it up. The only thing stooping me was the lack of ground clearance. I got the chains because we did get some ice and frozen snow as a result of the storm. I will use them only for extra traction in those conditions.
 

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2018 XT Touring CVT
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If you get winter tires, you should go smaller. This will give you the extra clearance, and skinny is better for snow and ice.

My 2002 owners manual says to put chains on the front wheels ONLY.
Every high end tire shop, and every Subaru dealer shop, says that is crazy.
Chains are best on all 4 tires.
 
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