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Snowball Rally tire advice

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Anybody here do the Snowball Rally in the past? What tires/chains/etc did you run to deal with snow & ice?


I've got a beater set of rims with all season tires mounted... I'm hoping I can get by with those somehow. It seems like overkill to buy snow tires for one rally a year, and I'd never use em otherwise.


I could be convinced to buy off-road tires if they'll work well on snow... I love fire service roads.



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For tires you have several choices, depending on size.


While it’s  certainly possible that there’ll be enough snow on parts of the rally route, it is unlikely that the roads will have enough snow for the local constituencies to close them and or require chains.


Run whatever summer tires you normally would on the car and take the chance that you’ll be turned around if there’s a chain requirement on one or more roads on the rally route.


Run a set of M&S Mud and Snow regular road tires... While not outright winter/snow tires, these M&S rated tires are better suited to cold temps than summer rated ones. You may still be required to add chains to these somewhere on the route.


I agree with tou that buying a set of dedicated winter/snow tires for this one event isn’t worth it.


As for chains, it is vitally important that you are using a set of tires that are small enough that a set of CABLE “chains” clear the fenders, tie rods, control arms and front footwell before you need them. On an ‘02 with stock fenders this means either stock 165r13, 165/80-13, 175/70-13 (which are slightly shorter than stock, allowing slightly more clearance), or possibly 185/70-13 on a set of wheels that don’t have too much positive offset. I am not an experienced winter ‘02 driver, or chain installer, but I suspect that most 14” wheel/tire combinations do not clear chains.


Test install your cable chains beforehand so that you know how to, and that they clear everything properly. That means driving slowly in a parking lot turning left and right to be sure they don’t rub at full lock left or right. 


I would really ask your question in the General Discussion, as many there, like Mike Self, have been driving ‘02s long enough, and in winter, to remember installing and using chains on them. 

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