I probably could find some to buy, but I am interested in making a set. Shouldn't be to hard, just wondering what is a good way to fab a clasp that will stay closed.
Why not just look at the clasp on store-bought chains and copy that?
That may be what I have to do, just wondering if anyone has come up with a home brew version that worked.
Just wrap rope around the tire and rim all the way around. Works great.
Years ago I put the 6.70-15 chains from my 52 Ford sedan on my 27 Coupe wire wheels. I think you could find some NOS chains, or some good used one's from the 50's or 60's that someone would be glad to get rid of. I had a set of strap on chains, steel chain and latch with heavy canvas strap that I gave to my daughter since I had rarely used them and they would not work with the disc brakes on my truck. This type might also be a possibility. I think it would be simpler to modify a set of chains for a "factory" fit on a Model T than to make them from scratch.
I've got a great idea. Why don't you pay postage and I will send you an NOS set of 30 X 3 1/2" Weed tire chains. You can copy them and make another set if you want.
I've got another set with a nicer bag - I don't think we will ever get enough snow here in Texas to warrant me owning two sets.
Royce, that is generous but I only have 21 inchers. I hate to put you to the trouble. I am just looking for a project, more than a real need. Just thinking up how to do it from scratch.
If there for sale I could use them on me Snow unit. Send me an E mail.
A common 15 inch tire set ( X 7.00? ) will fit either model T 21 inch or 30 inch tires pretty well. The only real problem is that the narrower tire in effect spreads the cross chains out a bit too much. To work better, add another cross chain as close to the middle between all the original cross chains (double the total number of cross chains). Use cross chains about the same X width as the old chains, or slightly narrower.
BE CERTAIN to install them the proper direction as they can otherwise chew up your tires. If you are familiar with tire chains, you should know what I am talking about.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I can appreciate your endeavour I have a pair of original 440/450 21 chain clasps. The chains were destroyed but I kept the clasps. They would be very easy to fabricate. The hook component is only 1 1/2" long by 3/16 thick and semi curved. It has two hooks for the chain and one 1/4" hole at one end where the locking clasp is secured. The hook component has two dimples for the clasp to lock into. The hook component is mild steel but the clasp component is hard. The chain would be secured through the 1/4" hole also securing the clasp. The chain would be attached to the hook and the clasp would lock down over the chain and the wings of the clasp would lock into the dimples. There were probably several clasp and chain manufacturers, but this is one style you could duplicate. Chain is available that is very close to original at Home Depot a chain tool would be a must. I plan on making a set my self
David, you wouldn't happen to be able to post a photo or two of that clasp? I have a good imagination but was it like this?
Yes that is the clasp.
Chain sets for 14-15" or so tires (1950's-1980's vintage) are a dime a dozen. Get yourself 2 good sets that match. Good ones will have hardened cross chains and the really good ones will have hardened traction bars or crosses across the face of the cross-chains. Open up the ends of each link that holds the cross chain to the side chain (shown in Erich's picture above) and use a torch or cutoff wheel to open up and remove a link or two off each end of every cross chain so you have the correct width of cross chain for your Model T Wheel. The tire chain for each side will have to be lengthened if I recall correctly... That is where the second set comes in. When figuring length, leave at least one more link on the end than you will need... It will help during installation. It is also good to make sure these fit both 21" and 30x3+1/2" tires regardless of what you have now so they will fit any T you will eventually own. These should be the only set of chains you will ever need.
Many "original" T chains are not hardened and will wear thru pretty quick if you use them a lot... A worn thru cross chain has the potential for heavy fender damage...
A WORD OF WARNING WHEN USING CHAINS ON A MODEL T. Take it easy when driving because the T seems pretty much unstoppable with good chains on it, but what it seems to handle with no problem may not be very good for it... The rear wheels have tons more grab than they would have if they were on a clean dry road without chains. Lugging thru heavy snow, quick stops, & heavy pulls in low gear or reverse will seem to be working well, but actually are putting A GREAT DEAL OF EXTRA STRAIN on everything from the crank shaft to the rear axle keys. Old time T mechanics were pretty familiar with things like sheared axle shaft keys, pinion gear keys, broken axle shafts, or even split pinion gears, and other damage that could arise while using tire chains...
Jay, I read the advertisement on the tire chains. I guess I lived in a rural area to long. Tire chains are something I used for driving on mud roads or off the road driving and maybe snow which we rarely get. Driving on pavement with chains is something I would think would make the car skid more, not less.
I also have used the straps or "mud Hooks" as we called them to get that 33 Ford out when I stuck it in a muddy pasture.
Erich, I have made chains by adding or cutting down old sets bought at the local Thrift store. that way you have cross chain parts and have fasteners. Also, you might check out chains for tractors and semi's, you might find a size that will fit a T, in circumference and all you have to do is narrow them. Always, put one chain or maybe a pair on the front so you are able to turn.
Good ideas everyone. Getting a few sets second hand and working at fabrication from there gets all the fasteners/clasps, the hardened cross chains, and still a good project. I knew I came to the right place.
if you live in snow country every junk yard has lots. they come in the trunk of dead cars. get a couple narrow sets and splice them to what fits
You might try the wrecking yard or your local towing company. I use to own a towing co. and we use to end up with all sorts of stuff including chains out of abandon vehicles. Chain pliers make the job a whole lot easier and you get a new tool!
I have used my chains quite a bit and love them, they are always on the car.
I have several local u-pull-it yards. Great idea.
I think the intent here is to duplicate the original era chains as much as possible and not just a "set of chains". 99% of their life they will be hanging on a nail in the garage and I don't think you want to hang ANY chains for display, they should look era. The post about extra strain on the drive train is most accurate combine that with a Ruckstell and you are sure to break or bend something. I picked up a T chassis some years ago that was converted for pulling and everything that could be bent was bent. The frame was bent (bowed downward) cracked near the front motor mount, rear cross member was bent back and the frame was twisted. The differential housing had holes warn through on both sides from chains attached for pulling. Some conversions had lugs welded on the housings to attach implements. The yoke housing was pulled out and broken. The car was used in rough terrain because the starting crank was bent as was the front cross member to a point the crank could not be rotated. When I started to assemble all the various parts nothing would fit properly, the engine had to be forced into place and the bell coupling was about 1 1/2" short. To look at the frame you couldn't tell anything was out. I had the differential and rear springs in and they did fit ok but the assembly would not tie together. After removal of everything it was still difficult to determine where the discrepancy was as nothing appeared different. The only possible place for any issues was the rear cross member, with very close scrutiny there was slight evidence of the assembly being bent back only about 1 1/2" coincidently that was the amount I was out at the bell. With some very substantial bracing and bending with a hydraulic jack I relocated the cross member 1 1/2" forward. All the issues I had were from excessive strain on the frame and related parts. However today these cars are toys and not put to such strains. I don't think today anybody will put a Ruckstell through it's intended design/purpose other than a lower gear for going slow. I would like to have a Ruckstell for no other purpose other than just to have one. The frames were designed for carrying people and no other purpose, when converted for pulling heavy loads there were sacrifices.
I have a set for my 24 Depot Hack. It has original 30 X 3.5 demountables. We have snow....maybe I should give them a try