Repair of winter studded rubber with their own hands
Safety of driving in winter directly depends on what tires are installed on the car. Summer rubber for this purpose is not suitable – in the cold it “freezes”, losing traction with the asphalt. “Velcro” is more adapted for driving on winter roads, but the highest level of safety when driving on a slippery road surface is provided by studded tires. Alas, studs have a limited lifespan and depend on the surface on which you are supposed to drive. When you leave on a clean asphalt they quickly wear out, and sometimes even fly out. But buying a new set of studded tires is not a cheap pleasure, so many car owners are wondering if they can do the repair-renewal job themselves. The answer will be affirmative, but there are a lot of nuances, and we will tell you about them.
When a studded tire requires repair
The main condition for studding – the presence of unworn tread and the absence of serious defects in the surface of the tire. In such cases, the repair is possible, it will allow you to restore the concealed technical characteristics of the rubber without having to buy new expensive tires.
The main symptoms that allow you to determine that the tire needs stud repair:
- The surface of the rubber shows empty holes from which the studs have fallen out;
- There is a noticeable gap of size between the tread and the stud;
- the residual height of the studs is less than 1.5 millimetres, and the metal surface itself has clearly visible traces of mechanical impact (deformation, bends, scuffs);
- The studs don’t really lock into place, they sink into the tire either completely or partly when pressing them in, and they have a strong lateral movement.
What are the requirements for the tires to be repaired?
Such work is subject to a number of basic conditions:
- The tire is factory-fitted with studs, i.e. the fitting holes are in a defined, calculated and optimized layout;
- A tread depth of at least seven millimetres;
- the age of the tire must not be older than 5 years, otherwise its physical properties will deteriorate significantly;
- superficial inspection of the rubber does not reveal significant mechanical defects.
Is it worth installing spikes on the tire, not intended for this purpose? Definitely not, because such rubber is characterized by a soft consistency, providing optimal traction with the surface of the winter road surface. But precisely because of this, you can not achieve a reliable fixation of the stud, it will wobble and will quickly fall out. Moreover, the all-season rubber is not suitable for this purpose, as it, though stiffer, loses elasticity at subzero temperatures, so that the fixing mechanism loosens, and the place of a stud landing is destroyed.
The basics of a correct choice of repair studs
A metal stud for winter rubber consists of two main elements: a core and a body. The core is made of a hard metal alloy and extends slightly beyond the body, which is made of a softer metal. The stud is equipped with several flanges for reliable fixation in the tire hole.
To find the right winter tire repair studs, the following simple guidelines should be followed when selecting them for your vehicle’s tires:
- It is best to buy the original, manufacturer-recommended repair set. Most companies have such sets in their range, at least for the most popular models, and the studs are 100% identical to the factory, ensuring the absence of problems during installation and restoration of technical characteristics of the tire. If you cannot find the original kits on sale, it is acceptable to use studs from third-party brands. The main thing is that they should have the same dimensions and geometric shape, and be made of the same or similar materials;
- if the conditions of winter use of the vehicle involve frequent driving on clean asphalt, and the departure on slippery icy roads is rare, preference should be given to single-flanged studs;
- Otherwise, when winters in your area of residence are harsh and snowy, i.e. you have to drive on snowy highways or on ice, products with several (2-3) flanges, more powerful and durable, are more suitable.
Several varieties of spikes can be found on sale, which are classified according to several main features:
- body material (steel ones are marked with the abbreviation SD), aluminum ones – AD, plastic ones – MD;
- Shape – there are repair spikes of classic round section, tetrahedral, oval (OD), diamond (DD), and these are only the most common shapes;
- The latter are characterized by high reliability and safety. The latter are characterized by high reliability of fixation, but they are recommended only for those motorists who prefer high-speed driving on highways;
- Type of core. There are rod, tubular and other types of cores.
At the same time, a certain combination of these features is quite common. For example, single-flange spikes are most often round, sometimes oval, and for two-flange products, the characteristic shape is “shot glass”.
Since there is no one-size-fits-all model, there are three most important factors to consider when choosing repair studs for your own hands:
- What your preferred driving style is;
- The speed at which you normally drive;
- What are the characteristics of the rubber you use (hardness, shape and wear of the tread, etc.).
Note that there are restrictions on the size of repair spikes for winter tires, or rather, on the length of the protruding part – the height must not exceed 1.3 millimeters, otherwise such spikes will quickly fall out.
There are also recommendations regarding the number of studs to be installed. Russian regulations do not stipulate this parameter, but the European standards are quite unambiguous:
- For 13-inch wheels, the number of mounted studs should not exceed 90 units;
- For 14- to 15-inch wheels, the number of metal pieces is limited to 110;
- For 16-inch and larger diameter wheels, the number of studs shall not exceed 150.
Selection and oshipovkoy winter tires should be concerned in advance. The fact is that after the selection of studs and performing this operation tire should rest for a couple of months – as a result of fixing the studs will be better and the rubber will last longer.
Studded rubber, like a new/rebuilt engine, needs a running-in period, i.e. about 500 km should be driven at low speeds, avoiding sudden braking/acceleration.
For self-bonding of tires without a blowgun, you will need the following set of tools:
|The tool is .||Purpose|
|A container filled with warm soapy water||Pre-wetting the tread|
|Handheld/electric spray gun||For the same purposes. If not equipped with a spray gun, you may use a sponge, rag or brush|
|Hammer||For hammering in cleats|
|Pliers||To enlarge the technological holes in the rubber for stud mounting|
|Pliers||Remove old studs|
A screwdriver can be used instead of a screwdriver to make the stud mounting procedure much easier. But the most automated procedure for installing repair studs is to use a pneumatic gun, a specialized tool used in service stations.
Installation of repair studs with your own hands
As we have already noted, the easiest way to perform this operation is with the help of a pneumatic gun. This is quite an expensive tool, so it does not make sense to buy it for personal use, but if in collaboration with friends – it will be quite acceptable option.
The procedure itself is not complicated:
- inflate the wheels to the recommended pressure;
- put another spike in the groove of the gun;
- firmly press the working part of the pneumatic tool to the seating hole;
- the trigger is pressed, and the stud is literally plunged into the tire and securely fixed in the socket.
It is important to keep the gun perpendicular – if it is skewed, it will need to be removed and the operation performed again.
You can also perform the installation of repair spikes with your own hands, using an alternative tool – a screwdriver. Here it is important to work at low speed, using a special nozzle (sold in auto stores).
Manual technique is more complicated and time-consuming. The tire must be thoroughly washed in advance, no dirt should be present when mounting the studs. To facilitate the insertion of studs into the technological holes, the surface of the tire must be well moistened.
Before you make the winter tire self studding with the help of repairing studs, you must slightly enlarge the seating slot with a screwdriver, the diameter of which must be slightly larger than the diameter of the body, and the metal product itself must be smeared with soapy solution. The use of other liquids (e.g. oils) is inadmissible, because it can cause destruction of the tire material.
If the mounting hole is worn, so that you can not achieve reliable fixation, when you insert the repair stud, you can lubricate it with a special glue (as recommended composition of Loctite 480).
Tire studding with your own hands: instructions with photos and video
Few car owners know that it is possible to stud winter tires yourself. This procedure will be relevant in the case of the need to save money on the purchase of new tires, as well as in the case of their repair to continue operation.
However, equipping tires with studs outside the rubber shop has its own nuances and peculiarities, which should be taken into account before starting such a process.
Table of contents:
What tires to choose for studding
Having made the decision to do self studding, you should seriously consider the issue of selecting tires.
The most suitable tyre will be a tyre that has already been prepared by the factory for self studding, i.e. it will already have technological holes for stud installation.
Studded tire with holes for studs
It is possible to buy the rubber, not prepared for studding by homemade method. Here, the main attention should be paid to the composition of the rubber compound. As a general rule, stud-free winter tires have a very soft consistency, in order to have the best traction with the winter surface. However, a self-installed stud in such tire would not hold for a long time, in view of the absence of reliable fastening.
It is not recommended to use all-season rubber for tire treading due to lack of proper traction qualities at subzero temperatures. But, despite this, the composition of all-season rubber has a harder structure, so the stud in it will be fixed more firmly than in the friction winter tire.
It is categorically forbidden to stud and use in winter conditions summer rubber not intended for this purpose.
It is desirable to use new rubber, but with limited finances will do and previously used products. In this case, its early life should not exceed 3 years, and the balance of the tread – not less than 4 mm.
What studs are better to choose
The main task of studs is to provide reliable traction with the road. Maximum load falls on this element of the winter tire at the time of acceleration and braking of the car. When driving on the highway or in the city at a steady speed, the load decreases and increases again when making maneuvers.
Different driving conditions have their own effect on stud wear and tire wear in general, so by selecting studs for your driving style, you can significantly increase the service life of your wheels.
Spikes differ in shape, volume, weight, and composition. Each parameter corresponds to a certain behavior of a stud in road conditions.
The body of studs can be made of:
- soft alloys (e.g. aluminum);
- hard metals (iron);
- Non-metallic elements (plastic).
Different types of tire spikes
Because spikes are under serious strain, holding the weight of the car, the strongest products should be used. Soft metal alloys or other substances in an aggressive driving style are likely to lose their original form, and will no longer perform their direct purpose.
The shape of the working surface of the spike is also of great importance. The most common are the following types:
- oval or round;
- square or rectangular;
Shapes of tire spikes
It is easy to imagine that the more sharp protruding edges of the stud will cut into the road surface, the better the traction will be.
Thus, preference should be given to multifaceted or sharp-angled studs . Their only disadvantage is an increase in price, depending on the number of edges.
The last thing you should pay attention to when choosing a spike is its fastening in the rubber. It also has different variants, depending on which varies the degree of shrinkage and strength of the resulting structure. The most preferable are two- or multiflange studs, whose base has two or more expansions, due to which the reliability of fixation is ensured.
The more flange grooves the stud has, the more securely it sits in the tire
There are also other parameters that determine durability and quality of exploitation of studded rubber, but they are less significant than the abovementioned parameters.
What you need to know before studding
Having selected suitable studs and rubber, it is necessary to return once again to the basic rules, observance of which will provide longevity and safety of use of winter wheels, studded in artisanal conditions:
- It is better to use winter tires before the winter season to let the tires “rest” for two-three months before usage;
- The important role will be played by correct running-in of rubber, with observance of a speed mode (no more than 80-90 km/h) during not less than 500 km;
- It is necessary to observe the proportions of studs, depending on the radius. For example, for 13-inch wheels 90-95 pcs. per one cylinder would be enough. For 14, 15-th radius – 100-110 pcs., for 16, 17 – 150-165 pcs.
- The cost of one stud starts from 10-15 rubles on average, some organizations offer to make a stud at the price of 500-650 rubles regardless of the number of studs.
Tools for studding tires
There are several ways to perform the procedure of studding. The simplest, but at the same time labor-intensive is the manual method. To do it you need the following tools:
- a container with a soap solution and a device for applying it;
- a heavy object for hammering in the studs (an ordinary hammer will do) or semicircular pliers and a screwdriver (for the usual insertion of studs);
- pliers and a screwdriver may be needed to remove loose or old pieces.
This method is very rudimentary, time-consuming, and it takes a lot of experience and skill to evenly shrink the studs.
The most simple is the semi-automatic method. This is a screwdriver with a special nozzle which allows you to drive the stud to the right depth which is the same for everybody.
Tire studding can be done with a screwdriver
The most advanced and acceptable in terms of quality and durability of the finished product is the automatic method. It is carried out with the automatic pneumatic gun, which under high air pressure literally hammering studs into the sockets, immediately giving them the necessary fixation.
The cost of such equipment is very high. Its purchase is unprofitable for the sake of studding one set of wheels. However, almost every tire fitting service has such tools, therefore after buying tires and studs you may safely go to the nearest service station for deflecting.
Tire deflecting with your own hands without a blowgun.
As indicated above, the manual method involves shrinking the studs with the use of a screwdriver and the nozzle to it, as well as without the use of this tool. In either case, the initial step will look about identical.
If the studs do not have technological holes, they must be made using an awl (not recommended), or using a drill with a depth stop. The drill should be chosen with a diameter slightly smaller than the base of the stud. All the holes must be the same depth and correspond to the length of the studs. For example, if the studs are 9 mm long, then the depth of the hole should be 8-9 mm. If necessary, it is recommended to make measurements with a caliper.
Drilling holes in tires before studding
The rubber drilling procedure should be done very carefully, as there is a high probability of damaging the rubber by making a through hole.
After that the following steps are performed:
- The tire is firmly fixed in an upright position.
:The tire is held firmly in an upright position and then placed on a special rack.
Remove the studs from the rubber with pliers.
Measuring the depth of the studs with a caliper
Wetting the rubber with soapy water
If the installation is done manually, either a hammer or half-round narrow pliers and a screwdriver are used. Use the hammer to drive the studs into the hole one at a time. Care must be taken not to knock the edges of the studs. The alternative is to first enlarge the technical hole for the stud with pliers, and then insert and secure the stud in the hole with a screwdriver.
Tire studding with half-round pliers and a screwdriver
Tire studding with a screwdriver
After the procedure is finished, the rubber must be dried and then stored. Under no circumstances should you immediately start testing it, this will cause the studs to fall out and nullify all the efforts made.
You can also watch a few useful videos about studding the tires with your own hands without a blowgun:
Tire studding with a blowgun with your own hands
At the initial stage of preparation of the tire for tire treading with the above method, there are no differences. All the specifics lies only in the correct use of the gun:
A stud is placed in the tool.
Inserting a stud into the air gun
Tire studding with a blowgun.
After performing this action, the shrinkage height is measured, and the angle of the stud is checked. If a defect is found, it is removed and the procedure is repeated.
You may also watch a few video tutorials on how to make a rubber repair with a blowgun:
Secondary tire treading: to do or not to do?
Reinsertion of winter tires means installing new studs in the holes where a previously installed stud fell out or was otherwise removed.
This procedure has its opponents and supporters.
Of course, the main advantage is a significant saving on the purchase of new wheels, again increase the level of comfort and safety of the secondary studded rubber. Especially, if before it had almost no studs left.
However, there are several reasons why this procedure may not make sense.
First, you should check whether you can use the tire in the future. After all, using rubber that is more than 4 years old and has less than 4 mm of tread residue is considered unsafe.
Secondly, the state of the hole, where a stud is planned to be reinserted, is very important for the reinsertion. In the presence of cracks, tears, thickening of the walls of the seating place, and other damage, the re-insertion of studs is not allowed.
The absence of such damage is highly questionable, as the previously installed element has already fallen out.
Re-treading is not recommended!
In case, if the recently purchased rubber is missing a few pieces for some reason, you should not buy a new tire because of this. In this case, it will be more profitable to make repeated studding.