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I have an 00 2.8 wagon (b5) that I put a set of newer VW vision style 17" wheels with 225/45-17 tires on (54mm offset). this makes the car way more fun, but there is very tight clearance to the suspension the car is stock suspension and might get new shocks but will not be lowered by me. I live in WA state and need to be able to run chains for winter mountain passes, so i am thinking of putting a set of 8 or 10mm wheel spacers on to allow for this. is this a reasonable idea? the other option is to buy the swiss spikes of thule summit chains but that is alot more money.
thanks
 

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I have an 00 2.8 wagon (b5) that I put a set of newer VW vision style 17" wheels with 225/45-17 tires on (54mm offset). this makes the car way more fun, but there is very tight clearance to the suspension the car is stock suspension and might get new shocks but will not be lowered by me. I live in WA state and need to be able to run chains for winter mountain passes, so i am thinking of putting a set of 8 or 10mm wheel spacers on to allow for this. is this a reasonable idea? the other option is to buy the swiss spikes of thule summit chains but that is alot more money.
thanks
I've found chains to be a huge PITA on Passats due to the location of the Upper Control Arms and the damage potential if something isn't totally locked down tight or comes loose while driving.

I've used Spikes Spiders on all of my FWD vehicles since 1994 ('92 Saturn SC2, '96 Chevy Cavalier, '99 B5 Passat GLS Sedan, '01 B5 GLX Passat Variant). Yeah, they cost more upfront but they last a long time (13 seasons on my original pair) they're HELLA fast to install and they only cover the outer 1/3 to 1/2 of the tire.

Quick story: We went to the local ski/snowboarding hill last weekend. The uphill access road was 3 miles of packed snow and ice. We got most of the way up to the parking lot with just my Dunlop snows when I had to stop on an incline in the shade (really icy) and when I was able to start again, the fronts just spun. My son and I jumped out and ran to the back where we each grabbed a Spider and its mounting lockring. We trotted up front, spun the plastic cover off the base hub, fitted the Spider and locked it down and tossed the covers in the back as we hopped back in. Total time from e-brake on to e-brake off? 1min, 15 sec. (There was some guy standing by the side of the road who watched the entire thing with his mouth hanging open before whining "Hey, that's not fair!"!) Try THAT with chains! :p

BTW, look on Craigslist. They're constantly for sale on there for less than half what a new set costs...

**EDIT** VERY slow day at work today, bad for me, good for you!

There is a set of Spider Quick's in size 2.5 for sale in Seattle on CL for $190: seattle.craigslist.org/see/pts/973104460.html

They will fit your 225/45-17's perfectly as that's what size summer's I have. They also fit my 195/65-15 snows as well. If you look for (and happen to find) the Compact's, you need a size C3 in that model.

HTH!

-Jon
 
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