Iím curious about how many forum members knew that their stock, non-16Ē 4WD KKs are incompatible with snow chains? If you don't believe it, carefully check your owner's materials.
In California AFAIK we are required to carry chains in the mountains in winter. Itís another matter how often you have to use chains, but I want to always be prepared, and I donít want to repeat being turned back by CHP due to snow chain incompatibility in my 4WD Jeep. Likewise I donít want to be stuck somewhere where the plows donít go or havenít got there yet.
Thatís why I bought my new 4WD KK Liberty Limited Jet Edition in March, 2013 with 5 matching 16Ē wheels tires swapped out for the 20Ē stockers.
Honestly, the 20's are for good for 2 reasons IMO, looks and a paved race track.
The 16's- a better ride because of the taller side walls, tires will be a bit more reasonable priced, and to my knowledge for the snow a tire will an aggressive tread tall and thin is better then wider and less aggressive tread.
Perhaps get 16's for winter/autumn and 20's for summer/spring.
Moreover, living in the east coast, on snow covered roads 3-4" never really needed 4wd because of the traction control.
Make sure you have enough clearance for the chains when you are playing around with your tires.
When you get knee-deep in a situation, floor it.
I've lived in Tahoe 9 years now and have never had the need for chains with 4wd. I've also never seen any highway here require chains if you have 4WD/ AWD, I think your tires just need to say 'M+S' on them.
Of course they don't stop you if you're overkill though. It makes for some hilarious sights when theres a light dusting and you see tourists with 4wd and chains on all 4 tires and a determined look on their face lol.
Yeah, I think its the short sidewall that causes the problems with the snow chains. I'm a high aspect ratio guy. Actually higher than most here, and applaud you for ditching those 20s for proper wheels.
Thanks, Drednot. Yeah, the stock 16s on the 2012 KK are approved for standard snow chains, but only for the rear wheel positions.
Here in So Cal, the roads are getting so bad due to government not prioritizing road maintenance that those thin-sidewall 20s can easily go out with one bump! If a 20wheel is some $600 and the tire over $200, pothole-caused destruction costs can add up really fast. The 16" tires absorb more, and even if destroyed cost way less than the 20s, and destroyed 16" wheels cost way less, too.