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DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind that any modifications done to your tires may void warranties on new tires and may not be legal to do in all states. Modifying this or any tire may also weaken the tire and since some tires have been documented in "coming apart" at highway speeds in their stock form, it could and should  never be suggested that anyone modify their tires in this or any other procedure or form for use on public roads or anywhere else for that matter.

The solid construction and stiff casing of the Firestone Steel-Tek tire really makes this one of the better towing and hauling tires out there for light truck applications. However, the unfavorable traction characteristics of this tire make it an undesirable choice for any type of wet weather or off highway situations. Rather than buying a additional set of tires and rims you can modify your existing tires to both increase traction as well as retain the favorable towing characteristics of the Firestone Steel-Teks.

After purchasing a common "hot knife" tire grooving tool you are able to improve the traction qualities of your existing Firestone tire dramatically. I used a #4 cutting blade in the examples to the right. It takes about 1 hour to completely groove an entire tire and rebalancing is necessary after this process.

Just a few small cuts on the outer ribs completely open up the tread face for maximum evacuation of water, mud and snow thus reducing hydroplaning and increasing traction significantly. In it's original form, the center tread builds up water, snow and mud until it lifts the side lugs off the traction surface completely resulting in the hydroplane effect.

Once I got my Firestones grooved the extreme Wisconsin winter proved their worth. Traction both during acceleration as well as braking were significantly increased, and even when finally spinning the tires on snowy pavement they retained some traction rather than breaking entirely loose. For example, backing into my angled driveway always broke the tires loose in reverse on lightly rain soaked pavement, not to mention requiring 4wd during snowfalls or it would just sit and spin. Now with them grooved I can back up in 2wd in rain or snow and the tires do not even spin a little bit. And even when applying significant power that I know will spin even the best of tires, the Firestones now act like they are "digging" into the pavement while grinding and clawing their way up the ramped slippery pavement. Traversing wet and muddy grass in 2wd results in non-slip motion rather than having to "Zing" the tires and grind away at the Earths crust to get anywhere as I had to before. In comparison to their original traction performance in the same test conditions, I would almost have to say their traction is almost doubled now by their new found performance.