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Discussion Starter #1
I live in California, where sometimes in the mountains they require cables in snow. Just looked in my 6 sportwagon's manual and see it says the 6 can't use cables. This sounds crazy--I've never heard of such a thing. Even my Honda S2000 can use cables.

Snow tires aren't an option for me--in California when it snows they require chains or cables for any car that isn't a 4-wheel drive, regardless of the tires. No chains and they turn you around.

What are the facts here? Is this owner's manual note just Mazda covering their asses, or is it the truth? If I use chains it would only be for very short mountain stretches at very slow (30mph and below) speeds.

Can I get away with S-cables on my 215/50/17s?
 

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I used cables on my 6 sedan for a whole season, no problems. Got me through Tahoe in the worst conditions. Don't use chains, first time I put on a set of chains I broke both of them and chewed up my fenders. They rub on the control arm or whatever it is and break after a few miles, even going slow. Not to mention, cables are a lot easier to put on.

Are you running the stock wheels or aftermarket ones? I was useing the stock 17's, so I can't comment on anything else.

PS: I loved cruising past SUVs in the ditch. Watch out, there are some horrible snow drivers out there, especially around Tahoe.
 

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Glad to hear this. Yes, they are the stock 17's (215/50/17). I have the sport wagon, but I'm assuming that clearance-wise, the front of my wagon is the same as the front of your sedan.

I just picked up some s-cables at Pep Boys, got the pricier ones becuase they guy told me they are a little less fat than the cheaper version, so I'm hoping the clearance is a little better.

Do you happen to recall the brand/model of cables that worked well for you?
 

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I just test fit a set of cables from Pep Boys and they don't clear. The metal closing tab on the cables brushes against the suspension at the top inside of the tire. There's barely any clearance there at all.

I'm going to try another brand cables, but wanted to ask, are your tires the 215/50/17's? Are they the stock Michelins? I just can't imagine any cables fitting with these tires.
 

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good questions. i read that as well and never planned on taking the 6 up to tahoe when there's snow on the road.

Aiserou - can you recall where you bought them?

toecheese - if you find the perfect one let us know the brand/model.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know. Those grey clips look pretty thick, and that's the area where there's a clearance problem, on the very top inside of the tire. If you put your hand back there you'll be astonished how small the gap is.

I had the metal clasp of the cables hit there, and I think that was smaller than the snow claws. But at least if the snow clasw break they won't damage anything.

I also don't know if the state troopers out here in Calif. who require chains on the roads accept the claws.
 

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OK, I just tried a second set of cables from Pep Boys (these are the ones in the black box--the other ones I tried were the more expensive version in the grey box). These cables are thinner but still the clearance is just too tight.

They *might* work, but the space between the cable latch and the suspension at the the inside top of the tire is literally millimeters. It just makes me too nervous--if the cables aren't perfectly tight, or if they loosen or give then the latch will brush against the suspension and the cable latch will likely break off after a few rotations. Then who knows what--body damage, or worse the broken cables could jam the steering or the brakes.

The only alternative I can think of is to buy a set of steel wheels with snow tires that are not as wide as the stock 6 wheels. Then chains should fit OK, plus I have snow tires. It's a pain though, besides the expense I would have to change my wheels every time I head up to the mountains in winter.

I'm really hoping SOMEONE here can tell me a working cable solution (brand, store).
 

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Can someone explain the difference between chains and cables? (I had chains for my last car, but never could get them on dry, let alone in a pile of snow!)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can someone explain the difference between chains and cables? (I had chains for my last car, but never could get them on dry, let alone in a pile of snow!)
[/b]

Chains are just that--chains. Chains with links, they look like something you might use to lock a gate, except they are linked in a form that fits around a tire.

Cables are made of metal stranded cabling fastened together with crimped brackets, and fit the exact shape of the tire. Much thinner, quieter, tighter fitting and less likely to break.
 

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so did anybody find a suitable cable solution for the 6? im running the stock 17" wheels.
 
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OK, I just tried a second set of cables from Pep Boys (these are the ones in the black box--the other ones I tried were the more expensive version in the grey box). These cables are thinner but still the clearance is just too tight.

They *might* work, but the space between the cable latch and the suspension at the the inside top of the tire is literally millimeters. It just makes me too nervous--if the cables aren't perfectly tight, or if they loosen or give then the latch will brush against the suspension and the cable latch will likely break off after a few rotations. Then who knows what--body damage, or worse the broken cables could jam the steering or the brakes.

The only alternative I can think of is to buy a set of steel wheels with snow tires that are not as wide as the stock 6 wheels. Then chains should fit OK, plus I have snow tires. It's a pain though, besides the expense I would have to change my wheels every time I head up to the mountains in winter.

I'm really hoping SOMEONE here can tell me a working cable solution (brand, store).
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Toecheese,

I am having a parallel experience. 6 wagon, with sport package, consequently 17'' rims. I bought the Pep boys
cables, cheaper ones. They did not fit, about 3" short. Then read the manual, amazed to find cables and chains not a possibility. I ended up not taking my Mazda to Sequoia. I am going to call Mazda North America as I find it inconcieveable they could manufacture a wagon that cannot take cahins or cables. If you get any info on cables that work, I would love to know.

Regards

Sebring
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Toecheese,

I am having a parallel experience. 6 wagon, with sport package, consequently 17'' rims. I bought the Pep boys
cables, cheaper ones. They did not fit, about 3" short. Then read the manual, amazed to find cables and chains not a possibility. I ended up not taking my Mazda to Sequoia. I am going to call Mazda North America as I find it inconcieveable they could manufacture a wagon that cannot take cahins or cables. If you get any info on cables that work, I would love to know.

[/b]


No, I haven't found a solution. I even tried a set of steel wheels off a Camry (205/65/15, I think... not sure if I am remembering the profile size correctly). They had better clearance and were closer to working but still the space was just too close to the suspension for comfort. Ended up not taking the car to Sequoia over New Years.

I think I'm going to have to find a narrower set of tires on steel wheels, probably 195's. I'm going to contact tirerack.com and see if they have any recommendations. Please let me know if you get any info from Mazda.

Just curious, where in Sequoia did you go? We were at the John Muir lodge in Grant Grove.
 

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if you are still at stock hight, one option might be to buy some spacers for the front wheels? i run a 5mm spacer on the track and don't have any issues. it's a bit of a pain to throw those on before a trip i guess, but if you are thinking about a whole other set of tires it might save you a bit. usually you can hit up your local tire store on who can get them for you.

i'm never going to the snow in my car, but trying to help
 

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Has anyone found a solution that works for these yet?

I honestly don't need chains to drive - I lived in PA for 10 years and never put chains on a car.

But these stupid ski resorts here in CA require that you have chains on your tires when it snows... pretty lame - but I've actually been turned away trying to get to Mammoth once.

Any suggestions??

I really need to find something that looks like it fits - even if I drive 2 miles - away from cops - and then take them back off...

Thanks

Andre
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Same here, I grew up in NY, they would laugh at the idea of chains there.

So far, I have no solution. Cables just will not work safely. Next step is to try snow claws to see if they fit. Don't know if California will allow them for snow though.

Anyone tried them yet?
 

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I have SCC Shur Grip Z cables on my 6, model #SZ331. I just made sure they remained tight, haven't tried them on it since its been lowered.
 

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Hi all,

I was up at Mammoth and it dumped about 3 feet of snow in 24 hours. I bought a set of Z cables for my stock 04 Mazda6 SW and ended up not even leaving. The cables made a clicking noise every time they would go around - they were hitting the arm that is right above the front wheels. Check your car out and you will see that there is only about 1/4" of clearance for any sort of chain or cable. Is this clicking detrimental? I was afraid of getting a few miles out of town and having them come flying off.

Please let us know if anybody has a specific brand and size they have successfully used!
 
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