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Should I Sipe My New BFG T/A KO's ???

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Rooty, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:53 AM
    #1
    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Hey People,

    I just ordered some new shoes for my rig and am debating whether or not to get them siped. I live in Montana and have siped all of my tires in the past as our winters can get pretty extreme and have had really good results with doing so.

    BUT....I was reading up a bit and came across this thread in a jeep forum.

    http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f15/tire-siping-101-a-805489/

    In it, the author strongly recommends against siping tires that have factory siping installed already. He claims that this can cause chunking of the tread, especially off road. He even has an antecdote about his cousin ruining a set of the same tires I just bought by doing so.

    Now I am not an extreme off roader by any means, but I do live in Montana which has a lot of dirt/gravel roads and I do find myself off road from time to time when tooling around the woods hunting and whatnot. I obviously don't want my tires chunking but I would also like to have the best traction that I can for our snowy roads.

    The thread is well written and the dude seems to know what he's talking about but I wanted to get all yall's opinions and experiences on the matter. Have any of you experienced chunking after siping factory siped tires or heard of it happening on these tires or similar all terrains with factory siping? How good do the factory sipes on this tire perform? Do you think that its worth the risk (if there is any) to get the added traction of having more siping put on?

    Spank you, spank you very much
     
  2. Dec 2, 2009 at 11:28 AM
    #2
    Krazie Sj

    Krazie Sj Resident Jackass

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    Don't sipe them. They're good enough as they are without taking a razor to them. They will chunk like a motherfucker if you do. Even siping tires that don't have factory siping and taking them off road will chunk them bad. You're best bet is just to watch your speed and braking distances. Not only will you save gas and brakes, your tires will last longer saving you money.
     
  3. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:00 PM
    #3
    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Thanks for the input Krazie,

    I've read from several different sources that siping can actually improve the tread life (assuming they don't chunk) because the heat dissipation is superior due to the increased surface area on the running surface of the tread. (much the same way as radiator fins transfer heat) Of course if you meant by increasing braking distances and accelerating slowly you will increase tread life, I fully agree.

    Anybody else wanna chime in ???
     
  4. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:35 PM
    #4
    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    I siped the 35" mud tires (no factory siping) on my Bronco. It made a big improvement in rain and snow. I drove them for years and never chunked... but I siped them myself.

    The tire shop machine just slices every 1/4" regardless of where each block is. This puts some slices very close to the edge of some blocks just by chance of where they lay in relation to the blades. A little 1/8" sliver will chunk real easy off the block.

    I sliced each individual block with a box cutter that had the blade sticking out on its lowest setting of about an 1/8". The two inner rows of blocks, I sliced them every 1/4" but never closer than 1/2" to the edge of the block. On the outer rows of blocks that receive more wear and tear, I put even less slices. This technique took a bit of time but never left less than 1/2" of solid block edge to resist chunking.

    By the way, it didn't take as long as you might think. If I remember correctly, the whole job took less than two hours. I left the tires on the truck, siped the tops of all four tires, drove it up a few feet, siped again, etc. Voila!
     
  5. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Interesting

    I was kind of considering this as well so I could avoid getting too close to any of the factory sipes. There's companies that make heated siping grooving tools as well. May be an easier option.
     
  6. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:53 PM
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    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    I saw those tools too. So I went out and did a couple sipes one evening to see how hard it was with a new razor. If it was difficult, I was either going to pay to have it done (we discussed the drawbacks to that) or order a siping tool. Turned out to be a piece of cake, so I just finished that weekend. I think I changed the blade once or twice in the process.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:55 PM
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    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    Like I said, those were 35" x 12.5" tires. Anything on a Taco has got to be faster. Especially if your avoiding factory sipes. You really won't have to make that many cuts.
     
  8. Dec 2, 2009 at 1:58 PM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Yeah you could buy a crapload of razor blades for the price of one of those tools! Course they would probably be less likely to slip and cause damage to your tires or worse your hands!
     
  9. Dec 2, 2009 at 2:07 PM
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    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    Yes, I forgot to warn you. I was worried I was going to cut the shiite out of myself or sink that blade in the lands between the blocks too. I was just careful, took my time, and pulled each one smoothly. No problems. When the blade is sticking out of the box cutter on that first notch, sink the blade until the leading edge of the cutter drags on the block. That face dragging prevented enough resistance in my case that the slipping was minimal, if at all.

    I made my decision to sipe after I spun into a snow bank at about 45 mph. Driving along, minding my own business, ffssssssssssssssssssss, bam! Historically, I've always gotten a few warning squiggles to let me know it's 4x4 time. Not that day, and not on those mudders. They had nothing on ice and snow. The siping made a big difference. Certainly didn't turn them into snow tires, but a great improvement nevertheless.
     
  10. Dec 2, 2009 at 2:11 PM
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    general61

    general61 Nope.....I wasn't there........

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    I would leave your BFG's alone. Siping, IMO really only works on m\t tires(sticking with the truck tire theme). The BFG's you have are one of the few a\t's that have a severe snow duty rating(the mountain symbol with a snow flake in it on the sidewall) I run michelin a\t2's and i wouldn't sipe those either.....

    BTW, Who ever the author was on that siping post knows his stuff......
     
  11. Dec 2, 2009 at 2:18 PM
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    BirdTRD

    BirdTRD Unsuspectingly striking from above

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    Good point. Like I said, I had non-siped m/t's (The perennial definition of crappy snow and ice tires). I've had BFG A/T KO's before too and they drove fine on crappy roads. In my opinion, you could go either way. Leave them alone and have a decent snow and ice tire, or do some light siping as an added insurance.
     
  12. Dec 2, 2009 at 2:45 PM
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    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

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    I wouldn't sipe the BFG AT's. IMO they'd definitely chunk out on ya. I had my last set of tires (265/70/17 Cooper ST's) siped for winter when they got down to 1/2 tread and the factory siping disappeared.... they chunked like a MFer from offroading and from driving on logging/fire roads until I replaced them the following summer.
     
  13. Dec 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Thanks again for the input everybody.

    I think I will heed the warnings and leave em alone. If they end up being unsatisfactory for me in the snow, I can always just use them in the summer and buy a set of true snow tires I can sipe to my heart's content when the white stuff starts flying. (though I doubt they will be as sexy as the BFG's!!!)

    Hopefully, a few other people learned some things from this thread as well. It would be an epic tragedy to watch your new all terrains chunking to bits cause you thought you were doing something prudent! Spanks again everyone for your time!
     
  14. Dec 2, 2009 at 5:59 PM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Oh hey one more thing on a side note. I just found out that the The BFG T/A KO's I ordered are actually not rated for severe snow!

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/Sizes.jsp?make=BFGoodrich&model=All-Terrain+T/A+KO

    Almost all the models of these tires hold the severe snow rating but I got the 265/75/16 123Q model which does not. The same size also comes in a 123/120S which does hold the severe snow rating. Arrrgh! I got the 123Q cause I wanted black sidewalls. Curse my good taste! I could have got the ones with the 123/120S service description and turned the white lettering to the inside or even painted them out! I wonder why the 123Q's don't have the severe snow rating? I mean they are practically the same tire right? They both have E load ranges and the load index is practically the same. Does it have to do with the 123/120S having what appears to be two separate load indexes (123 and 120)? Whats up with that BTW? The Q speed rating is even 13 MPH slower than the S! Any tire gurus out there who would care to enlighten me?
     
  15. Dec 3, 2009 at 6:40 PM
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    general61

    general61 Nope.....I wasn't there........

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    The blackwall version you picked is made with the BAZ(banded at zero) construction method. They started making the tire with BAZ to improve ride quality and handling characteristics. It is the latest and greatest from BFG. What is curious about it is the fact that unless you work in the industry, they don't list BAZ in the tire construction on their website or anywhere else for that matter, you would never know what it means. As for the snow rating thing not being on this model......hell if I know:) ..........the only thing I can figure is that its a marketing thing. BFG,Uniroyal and Michelin are all the same company(MAST.....Michelin America Small Tires). If you look at all their tire lineups, they are very careful not to compete with another line in another brand. Thats all I can figure......maybe they are trying to sell more snow tires or M\T's.

    As far your purchase....stick with them, they are an excellent tire even if they don't have the snow rating on that particular tire. I wouldn't worry about the speed rating issue unless you plan to run your truck at your local SCCA events. :) Good Luck!
     
  16. Dec 3, 2009 at 8:32 PM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Wow thanks General.:)

    So I suppose its safe to assume you work in the tire industry then? What to they do in the BAZ process that improves ride quality and handling? I assume it has something to do with the banding (duh!) but what does "at zero" mean? Are you saying that all the T/A KO's employ this technology or just the black walled versions? Its funny that they make no mention of it, you would expect them to market the hell out of anything that improves ride quality and handling.

    That's good news though! I'm usually a big fan of anything that is "the latest and greatest!"

    Its my understanding that most of the snow traction performance of a tire comes from it's tread design, and since the tread is identical to the other 95% of these tires that have the severe snow rating its still a little puzzling why these do not. I'm not sure your marketing theory adds up because if that was the case you would expect all the T/A KO's not to have the rating instead of just a few sizes and service descriptions. Maybe it has something to do with the BAZ technology. On tirerack.com they say that the severe snow rating is not available on some E load models, but it can't be just the load range because there are other E rated models that have it. I sent an query to BFG about it so we will see what they come up with if and when they get back to me and I will pass it along. At any rate, like you say I'm sure they will do fine (or at least I'm banking on that assumption!)

    Thanks again for the scholarly wisdom.

    MAN I LOVE THIS FORUM!!!!
     
  17. Dec 4, 2009 at 5:08 PM
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    general61

    general61 Nope.....I wasn't there........

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    I guess the best way to explain BAZ is that instead of going around a tire(like coiling up a garden hose) you turn it 90 degrees. The process is stupid hard to explain.... sorry........

    As far as what it does.....it makes the tire much more stable in all phases. Handling,ride, and to a degree longevity because the tire as whole is much stronger. The marketing aspect is easy to explain(after thinking about it for a day).....they don't want the older versions that are still made to seem obsolete. The BAZ process is also more expensive and takes advanced machinery to build the tire. Plus the more technical stuff they publish, the more confused the general public becomes. Trust me, 90% of people buying tires today don't give a rats a$$ about internal construction of tires or any other technical data(except for TW members :D ). They care about mileage warranty and price...its a serious bummer when you try to tell people how much better this is vs that....then you tell them the price.....and on goes the cheap shit.......

    So....are you tired(pun intended) of talking about tires yet?(this stuff drives my wife nuts...lol) Good luck and have a nice weekend and if you don't mind, I would love to see what BFG responds with
     
  18. Dec 5, 2009 at 12:23 AM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    Thanks for taking the time General,

    So I get the feeling from you that I indvertantly made the best decision without knowing it.

    BFG got back to me with this lame ass response:

    Jesse,

    Thank you for your email. We welcome the opportunity to serve you.

    BFGoodrich manufactured the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO size LT265/75R16E in the black sidewall but not for severe snow, like the raised white letters to give consumers two options for their vehicle.


    WTH does that even mean? We made different options so you can have different options?

    I reiderated my original question in a reply making specific reference as to what differences in the construction of the tire keep it from the severe snow rating. I also asked if it was a case of them not even bothering to apply for it on this size. (of course I asked both of those things in my original e-mail to them so it may be a lost cause :rolleyes:) I'll let you know if the second response is any better.
     
  19. Dec 8, 2009 at 2:56 AM
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    Rooty

    Rooty [OP] Tacfroma

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    OK so BFG got back to me with a more satisfactory response:

    Hi Jesse,

    We have received your return email. Sorry for the confusion!

    The LT265/75R16 and the LT 285/75R16 LRE BSW All-Terrain T/A KO tires are slightly different than the rest of the tire line. The difference is that
    some of the siping is removed from the tread area to provide improved resistance to aggressive wear on rough surfaces like gravel. The removal of some of the siping reduced the snow traction. It still has good snow
    traction but not at the level to met the AAA severe snow requirement.


    So I guess it just comes down to less siping. I'll have to take a look at how much they come with and maybe do a little driving on ice/snow before I decide whether or not to add any more. I definitely don't want any chunking, so unless they are horrible I'll probably leave them alone. If I do decide to sipe, I will probably just hit them up with a utility knife as was suggested, making sure to space them evenly between any factory sipes and be sparing with my cuts.

    Thanks for the input everybody!
     
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