Tire Modification

By Anthony Rivas on Sep 26, 2016



I’m sure most of you have a few old tires laying around. Maybe there are some that you ran a few times, but they didn’t perform how you wanted them too. Tires are one of those things that are really a preference for most. Some guys swear by their tires. I think it has a lot to do with foams, set up, compound, and your terrain.


Well if you have some tires that you are not using for whatever the reason or if you just want to do something different, this may give you some ideas. I am a fan of the Axial Maxxis Trepadors and I have a couple of sets, so I am going to experiment with them and show you this modification process.

Tools and parts you will need:

- Tires (any will work)

- Dremel with cut off wheel

- Wheels

- Wheel weights (optional)



A dremel and a cut off wheel is all I am using. For me a higher rpm seems to really clear out the groove quick and clean.


One pass and I opened the pattern up considerably. You can go smaller or bigger, that is one of the cool things about this. I will also run a factory set of Axial Maxxis Trepadors as well as my modified set. I will record this and give you my opinion of if it really helped or if it just looks cool.


Another pass and I am going to open the other side. You can do something simple like this and stop. Just run it and see what you think. You can immediately see the difference in the picture below.



I am going to open the center cuts in the middle of the tires. You can compare my cuts to the stock factory version and see how much I am opening the tread pattern.



I have gone this far, so I am going to open the horizontal grooves on the small lugs. Just a quick hit with the dremel on these and you’re done.


Well here is my cut beside the factory version. It looks more aggressive for sure, but I am not sure if that translates into better performance. If I had to offer a tip on this, it would be take your time. It’s not hard, but its not quick either. This is 15 to 30 minutes a tire, depending on your skill level. You can squeeze the tire to see your work better, while you are cutting.


To make this a fair comparison I am running 3 oz aluminum wheels, with tape weights on the fronts. Here in Las Vegas this is common because we have some close to vertical climbs. I am going to use the stock Axial foams that come in these tires.




If you have never done weights on your wheels, I can tell you these are just tape weights from a local tire store. Some local Hobby stores actually carry these. Simply peel the backing and wrap it around your wheel. This works on plastic wheels as well.



If you keep the weights in the center this will help you out. You don’t want it to interfere with the beadlocks or anything.



So here is the cut version all mounted up. They look like a new tire at first glance.



Here is the factory version all mounted up.


Now to take these out on some terrain and see how they work. I am going to take them to Logandale and see how they do on sandstone and a little sand. I chose this area to see how they grab onto loose terrain. We will see if modification helped or just changed the look.

So here is the first run out at Logandale. I am going to run each line 5 times, I am posting the best run on video for you to check out. It’s not about the set up; I want the tires to do all the work.

After the first run, I think it’s fair to say the modified tires grabbed the rock more quickly than the factory tires. Though I should tell you that with momentum, both tires made this climb relatively easy. I am crawling it to see how the tires work.

On this second run I will go up an uneven climb, and some loose sandstone, almost like shale.

After the second run I feel the modified tire was again able to grab the rock a little better in some situations. These are the best of 5 runs. I am running an Axial 55T motor, Axial AE-5, with a 2S lipo to ensure smooth steady power at low speeds. On the loose terrain, the very first run was the best pass for the factory tire. As the track wore down it slipped more. Although the modified tire slipped as well, it consistently drove the same in deteriorating conditions. Next I will run in some deep sand with a slight incline.

After running in the sand, I can say when I buried the tires to the point of no more forward progress, both tires were able to reverse and get themselves out. I feel the factory tire did better consistently. If you notice, the factory tire stayed on the sand better. The modified tire almost had the differentials on the sand every run. With lower power, the modified tires wanted to dig. With big power I am sure that maybe it’s fine, but this was with a 55T motor, so advantage factory tire. On this last little run I am going to the rocks of Lone Mountain Park here in Las Vegas.

So after this run I think the negative spacing and cross cuts on the lugs helped out. The factory tires wanted to spin a lot on the vertical flat climb and the modified tires went up easier. The last climb was a vertical climb just so I could see what the modified tires would do. I was impressed.


So what can you take away from this? Maybe you need to break out those old tires and see what you can create. I hope this inspired you to try something new, create your version, and just enjoy what you have. This technique would work great on Axial RTR tires as well. You might end up creating some great working custom tires.


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