If you want to maximize speed on an ice racetrack, studded tires are the way to go. But they’re not always cheap, so YouTuber Garage 54 ENG decided to make his own using self-tapping screws and some old tires. The results are actually impressive, even if this idea isn’t exactly “advisable.”
The Russian host—who’s done some other highly questionable things to cars like install wooden pistons and fill the crank-case with Coke—picked up 10,000 self-tapping screws, and zipped them through four tires’ tread areas with a cordless screwdriver.
By his calculations, each tire needed about 1,800 screws, all of which protruded about 0.4-inches once they were installed. Since tires with a bunch of screws in them don’t hold air, the host uses a tire tube and some duct tape against the screws’ heads to keep the tube from pushing directly against them.
From there, he mounts the tire and pumps up the tubes, which then push against the duct tape on the inside of the tire, holding the screws in position.
In the end, the host mounts the wheels and tires onto a VAZ 2102 wagon, and hoons the thing around a lake with impressive results. “This is incredible; we’ve got some serious grip!” he says (translated from Russian by BMI Russia). “This thing has got grip for days!”
“Those who want to do some racing on ice and go really fast, I say go for it...” he advises. “The car goes like hell, and the grip is just astonishing.”
This idea of homemade studded tires isn’t new. I saw a bunch of screws popping out of tires at Speed Weekend on Ice in Sweden back in March, and we’ve even written about some Russians do this very thing on motorcycle tires. And actually, this practice is rather popular in the grassroots rally community, with “butyl” windshield sealant as an apparently popular way to keep air from leaking past bolts.
Either way, it seems sketchy. Anytime someone “modifies” their vehicle without running at least back-of-napkin calculations how how the modification will affect the component’s strength/failure modes worries me, especially when that component is as important as a tire.