Tire siping 101

Discussion in 'Axles / Suspension / Tires' started by GubNi, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. GubNi

    GubNi 8 lug disc brakes?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Jonesborough, TN
    I've always been interested in tire siping. Basically that means to cut the tread on your tires for better traction. For most mud tires you can cut away the wear bars and get the traction from half worn out tires that you would from new tires. If that's not enough you can start taking out bigger pieces for even better traction.

    I recently bought a buggy that was crazy siped. They basically took out 1/2 the tread and made it more like a paddle tire. On the obstacles that I have tried it has made a huge difference and on hill climbs it will throw roster tails of dirt. It's really incredible how much difference it makes.

    My friend Pat has seen this in person and wanted to do the tires on his Bronco. They were down to about half tread and really needed the wear bars cut out. He decided to cut the lugs in half while he was there. The best way to do this is to buy a $300 tire siper. There's a cheaper one for about $60, but I've heard bad things about it. This prompted us to try our own ways.

    The first attempt was a grinding wheel. I've heard of people doing this with good results, but it produced so much smoke it wasn't tolerable. The next step was a cutting wheel. This did better, but still too much smoke. Next we moved to a masonry wheel, then put the masonry wheel on backwards. That did ok, but it was a cold day and I didn't want to open the garage door and turn on the fan. We kept trying new ideals. Next was a sawsall. The standard blade is too short and long blade it too difficult to control. Pat then decided to make a siping tool. He took a piece of thin sheet metal and used the grinder to put an edge on it. He was able to cut the tire with it by simply pushing through the tread. When we added the heat from a propane torch we thought we had the perfect solution. It worked really well, but it left a little to be desired. The next ideal was some 1/2" electrical conduit. Once again we put an edge on it with the grinder and then heated it. It's the perfect siper and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. It's easy to use and will make a huge difference.

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  2. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    That's technically grooving. siping is cutting thin slits in the rubber.
     
  3. Archdukeferdinand

    Archdukeferdinand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    Vilas, NC

    Exactly. Like the tread on a deck shoe.

    Do those tires ever see public roads?

    To hijack, if anyone knows a cheap source for a siping machine, or store near boone that will do it, please let me know. I've heard of one that clamps on to the tire and uses a heat lamp to make the tread more pliable before you cut it. But can't find one. I've also asked all the local tire places about siping them for me and nobody seems to do it these days.
     
  4. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    I did mine myself with the $60 tire grooving tool and laying the tires in the sun for a while beforehand... like a hot knife through buttah...
     

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