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Unread 11-04-2015, 10:10 AM   #1
buddastrat
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Tire siping, and other wives' tales..

Over the years/decades.., reading a lot about jeep guys getting their tires siped..and how it's pretty cheap and beneficial for traction on packed snow etc.....Many times I've tried to find a place to do it. Calling every tire shop in the area and even an hour or two drive, and they don't even know what I'm talking about, the mechanics, the manager.. have never heard of anyone doing that. I always go through this same thing, and then give up.

I read about Discount Tire doing siping. I called them and they actually heard of it!!! Yay,....but.....said they stopped that years ago because it voids warranties. I can understand that, but why not for an older tire, or they should allow it to be up to the customer to choose. I could've definitely used some sipes on my rubi's old MTRS through many of the winters.

I almost traded for a Willys JK, (came to senses keeping the TJ) which comes with BFG MT's. I'd want them siped, and started that process again. Same result. It's like looking for Bigfoot or somethin'.

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Unread 11-04-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
Jerry Bransford
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It took me a while to find a shop that did siping too. What's surprising is how many tire shop managers had no clue what siping is or does. One manager even cluelessly asked me why I would want to cut up a perfectly good tire after I failed at explaining what siping was to him. Even pointing it out to him on some street tires in his store lobby.
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Unread 11-04-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
ChrisHager
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I recently called DT inquiring about siping a set of BFG KMs as well. I was told they haven't done it in over a year - their siping machine was recalled and they never replaced it. Before that, I'd always sipe my tires.

You can always do it yourself. I've heard of people using razor blades or flipping the blades in a tire groover.
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Unread 11-04-2015, 10:28 AM   #4
12bravo8
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Speedway.com, Eastwood and others sell a cheap tire groover so you could do it yourself, and take on that liability if you drive them on the highway.
Sawzall with a metal cutting blade works ok too.

http://www.amazon.com/Ideal-Tire-Groover/dp/B004AW7XYU
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Unread 11-04-2015, 10:45 AM   #5
Jerry Bransford
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A tire groover is way different from a tire siper.
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Unread 11-04-2015, 10:48 AM   #6
ChrisHager
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Agreed. If you flip the blade though and use the little prongs, I've heard that works.

Then again, I'm currently keyboard jockeying this knowledge. I've never done it.

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Unread 11-04-2015, 12:15 PM   #7
buddastrat
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Just for the record, I will not being sipin' up my tires. No way, no how.... ha ha. I would let someone with good experience do it. While I can probably get a good bit more out of these original MTRs, I'll just get new ones. The new Kevlars look killer and have some siping. Will be better than these 9.5 year old tires. Also like the BFG KO2s which look great too...
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Unread 11-04-2015, 04:01 PM   #8
mschi772
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Anyone running a tire shop who doesn't know what sipes/kerfs are should be required to tell every customer that walks through their door that they are nothing more than a vendor with no knowledge/expertise. It's frankly pathetic that my tire knowledge can outclass that of most guys whose actual jobs are at tire shops while I'm formally educated as a biologist and a lake/prairie/forest restoration manager/tech by trade (and canine behavioral consultant on the side). Too often I find myself educating mechanics too unfortunately.
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Unread 11-04-2015, 04:25 PM   #9
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I buy my tires with enough cuts and grooves in them already.

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Unread 11-04-2015, 04:31 PM   #10
Fourtrail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddastrat View Post
Just for the record, I will not being sipin' up my tires. No way, no how.... ha ha. I would let someone with good experience do it. While I can probably get a good bit more out of these original MTRs, I'll just get new ones. The new Kevlars look killer and have some siping. Will be better than these 9.5 year old tires. Also like the BFG KO2s which look great too...
Why not DIY? Set the blades shallow and go to town. You will wear the rubber down soon enough if you don't like the pattern you did. You will have to do something really wrong to damage a tire with a siper head in the end of the iron.
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Unread 11-05-2015, 08:54 AM   #11
buddastrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtrail View Post
Why not DIY? Set the blades shallow and go to town. You will wear the rubber down soon enough if you don't like the pattern you did. You will have to do something really wrong to damage a tire with a siper head in the end of the iron.
I guess, I figure there's a science to it. Can't just be as simple as cutting lines in the treads. I wouldn't know the pattern or spacing, and there's no one way to copy. Might end up hydroplaning or something. Only thing I did read is to just do the center treads, not all.


Anyone have a good example of how to do it on the old Goodyear MTRs? I have read I only want to sipe in the middle row. Also, my tread depth is right at 4/32"'s (1/8). Is that too low for an MTRs? The older ones that came on the TJ Rubicons.

This would be a cool project and if I'm gonna get new treads anyhow...
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Unread 11-06-2015, 06:49 AM   #12
KhakiKraken
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I sell tires for a living. Tread siping is designed to allow for water to have a place to go to avoid hydroplaning. If you lay a dime on a tire, that is the distance that water will travel under pressure of the tire, so if you decide to cut your own siping keep that in mind.
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Unread 11-07-2015, 09:27 AM   #13
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This debate is almost as old as studded vs studless snow tires. Most shops won't do aftermarket siping because it will void any warranty on the tire. There's a lot to be said about pros and cons and while it's true that siping generally improves traction, the technology in siping that maximizes that benefit is now a lot more complicated that just a straight cut in a tire - which is the best that any shop can do in the aftermarket. Straight cut sipes can actually destabilize the tread block, resulting in chunking, excessive heat buildup, and significant increases in braking distance. The reason that OE siping is so good (and possibly why shops are attempting to mimic it) is because most OEs are 3D sipes which actually create a firmer, more stable tread block under load while still providing the additional edges for improved traction and braking.
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Unread 11-07-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
buddastrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spbarone View Post
This debate is almost as old as studded vs studless snow tires. Most shops won't do aftermarket siping because it will void any warranty on the tire. There's a lot to be said about pros and cons and while it's true that siping generally improves traction, the technology in siping that maximizes that benefit is now a lot more complicated that just a straight cut in a tire - which is the best that any shop can do in the aftermarket. Straight cut sipes can actually destabilize the tread block, resulting in chunking, excessive heat buildup, and significant increases in braking distance. The reason that OE siping is so good (and possibly why shops are attempting to mimic it) is because most OEs are 3D sipes which actually create a firmer, more stable tread block under load while still providing the additional edges for improved traction and braking.
And that's why I won't try to do on my own. But my old MTR's, are stock from '06, and don't have any warranty issues. So I wanted to find some place to do it and maybe get another year out of 'em. No matter, they are worn enough and good excuse to get some KO2's that have lots of siping.
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Unread 11-08-2015, 07:48 PM   #15
CJ7nvrstk
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Buy a tire grooving tool and sipe them yourself. It's easy enough to do by flipping the blade over as some have already said.
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