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      03-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
paradocs98
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Tread splice info and the Nitto issue

After reading about the issues several people have had recently with Nitto NT01s delaminating or opening up along the tread, I decided to investigate other options for track tires for the approaching season.

In researching the new spec racing Toyo Proxes RR, I came across posts on other message boards from a couple months ago complaining of opening up of the tread splice on the new Toyos--it sounds potentially similar to the issue people have been having with the Nittos.

After receiving reports of the tread splice issue, Toyo issued a consumer advisory giving specific details on mounting orientation of the tires, based on the side of the tire that has the DOT date code. Why they didn't include this information with the initial release of the tire is beyond me, but apparently the high stresses and forces encountered by an R-comp tire on the track can open up the tread splice from manufacturing if the tire is rotating in the wrong direction. The front tires see mainly the forces of braking and turning, and the rears the forces of acceleration, so the correct direction of rotation is opposite for fronts and rears.

Who knew this was an issue with tires that by appearance seem to be perfectly symmetric and non-directional? I've learned that this is an issue with almost all R-comps and race slicks, from the Toyos to Hoosiers. So it may explain what's happening with the Nittos as well.

I sent an email to Ben@TireRack for his input. His response was very informative and appreciated. Below is our email communication:
__________

Hi Ben--

I've ordered from you before and I see your posts on m3post frequently.

I have a couple of questions about the new Toyo Proxes RR. I'm looking for a track tire for my 2011 M3 to replace the Nitto NT01s that I had previously been using for track duty.

I was about to order a set of 275/35-18s all around when I came across a post describing delamination or tread splice separation on the new Proxes RR. Some early users of the tire came across this issue in December. Apparently Toyo's response was to issue a consumer alert describing a particular mounting strategy for the tires that suggests they're not truly symmetric afterall, even though it's a semi-slick with two straight tread grooves. You've probably seen the alert--DOT stamps on the sidewalls to point in the same direction (to the left) on both tires on the front, and DOT stamps to point together to the right on the rear. Tire rotation can then occur diagonally to compensate for wear.

This concerns me--why didn't Toyo describe the need to do this from the outset, prior to people having tread separation? Is this considered a defect, or just the nature of the tire's construction? I noticed on your website that the Hankook Ventus 214 semi-slicks have a directional arrow molded into their sidewalls, and they cannot be run backwards, despite appearing to be symmetric in design. Is this because of the same potential tread separation issue?

What about the BFG R1s? They appear to be of a very similar design to the Toyo RR and Hankook 214. Do the R1s also have a certain mounting orientation?

Thanks for your help

Ben's response:

Very good question. I did some research, as this did sound like a familiar thing. It is not uncommon on competition tires for the splice to become visible under hard driving.

We actually have an article about it here:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...jsp?techid=160

and Toyo's specific bulletin here:

http://www.tirerack.com/images/pdf/p...mendations.pdf

BF Goodrich, states in their documentation of the R1 that the tire can be mounted either way without issue. It is possible that there will be some future modification to this advice, but they currently think it should be fine.

If any competition tire exhibits a visible tread splice that has not torn or separated, it is normal procedure to reverse the direction of rotation and keep using it.

If you order online, please reference "Ben" on the order as a previous contact. Thank you.

Ben Rooney | Sales Specialist


__________

Here is page 1 of the Toyo Consumer Advisory:



Click on the link to the bulletin in Ben's email above to see the second page, with specific mounting directions.

Hope this info helps.
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      03-02-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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Excellent work, OP.
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      03-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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In 15000 or so track miles, I've never had a noticeable issue with Hoosier R6's. They will begin to delaminate on the edges when there is no tread left, but I've seen the photos of the Toyo's and never saw anything of that nature.
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      03-02-2013, 09:25 PM   #4
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Interesting link, thank you.

I just got back from Road Atlanta today and found now the 2nd and 3rd tire with a visible splice line showing. These are Nitto NT-01s, only 3 days on them; the first tire showed the splice after only 2 track days back in Nov. (was replaced). The 4th tire is so far OK. I will run on them tomorrow but not happy and not sure if I should take them back to the shop next week or what. Is this the new normal for Nittos?? Kind of a PITA and I do love the these tires otherwise...
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      03-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for sharing, useful info here .
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      03-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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I haven't noticed this in Hoosier R6s, which I mount and rotate according to wear vs. demands of the particular track, but dang, something else to watch for!
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      03-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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I've had this happen to my R6's before although never bad enough for me to remove the tire from service. Here's a picture of my NT01 after one track day. This one has me worried so I'll be calling Nitto on Monday.
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      03-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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that looks to be a little less severe than mine and i had mine replaced. since then the other tires did it also to a lesser degree and have continued to run them until tread was gone and splice no longer visible.
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      03-03-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
I haven't noticed this in Hoosier R6s, which I mount and rotate according to wear vs. demands of the particular track, but dang, something else to watch for!
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Originally Posted by RickyBobby View Post
I've had this happen to my R6's before although never bad enough for me to remove the tire from service.
Taking my own thread off topic for a minute, but how many heat cycles/days did you two get out of your Hoosiers on the E9X M3? Did you run 275/35-18 square?
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      03-03-2013, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Taking my own thread off topic for a minute, but how many heat cycles/days did you two get out of your Hoosiers on the E9X M3? Did you run 275/35-18 square?
On my E92 I ran Continental (Hoosier) slicks, 275 square, yes. I run R6s on my E36 racecar, and it really depends what kind of track for how long they last. Usually one weekend solid, a second weekend okay, after that if they're not shot they're for practice only.
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      03-03-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
After reading about the issues several people have had recently with Nitto NT01s delaminating or opening up along the tread, I decided to investigate other options for track tires for the approaching season.

In researching the new spec racing Toyo Proxes RR, I came across posts on other message boards from a couple months ago complaining of opening up of the tread splice on the new Toyos--it sounds potentially similar to the issue people have been having with the Nittos....
I wonder if this really is the same issue, because Nittos have only one legitimate way to mount onto the wheel -- the "inside" of the tire is always facing inside -- which means that Nittos will be rolling one direction on one side of the car, and the other direction on the other side of the car.
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      03-03-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
I wonder if this really is the same issue, because Nittos have only one legitimate way to mount onto the wheel -- the "inside" of the tire is always facing inside -- which means that Nittos will be rolling one direction on one side of the car, and the other direction on the other side of the car.
correct. something weird i have noticed is that it always happens first on my drivers rear tire which makes no sense on my track as that is least used of any tire being counterclockwise.
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      03-03-2013, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD
Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
I wonder if this really is the same issue, because Nittos have only one legitimate way to mount onto the wheel -- the "inside" of the tire is always facing inside -- which means that Nittos will be rolling one direction on one side of the car, and the other direction on the other side of the car.
correct. something weird i have noticed is that it always happens first on my drivers rear tire which makes no sense on my track as that is least used of any tire being counterclockwise.
Interesting. Mine is drivers rear also.
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      03-03-2013, 08:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Interesting. Mine is drivers rear also.
wow okay anyone else confirm this also?
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      03-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
correct. something weird i have noticed is that it always happens first on my drivers rear tire which makes no sense on my track as that is least used of any tire being counterclockwise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyBobby View Post
Interesting. Mine is drivers rear also.
So I wonder if an NT01 in the LR position rotates "against the grain" of the beveled tread splice, being more likely to open up under the forces of hard acceleration out of corners, whereas the identical tire in the RR position rotates the other direction, "with the grain."
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      03-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
So I wonder if an NT01 in the LR position rotates "against the grain" of the beveled tread splice, being more likely to open up under the forces of hard acceleration out of corners, whereas the identical tire in the RR position rotates the other direction, "with the grain."
interesting. my drive down the front straight which is hardest acceleration i have puts right steering into the car initially so loads drivers rear really hard thru a few dips that also could add to the forces to the left rear.
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      03-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #17
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I posted some pictures of my experience last Fall with new NT-01s in the other thread here. This was my fourth set of NT-01s since 2007, all of them used on my E39 M5 (275/35-18 all around on 9.5" wheels). I ran the other three sets all the way to nothing (cords), and never experienced any tread splice failures or even the slightest sign of an issue.

The NT-01s I bought in early November 2012 *all* started opening up their tread splices. Two of them were clearly worse (large gaps, especially in the large outer tread block) than the others due to rotation direction, but the tires on the other side of the car showed the splice starting to open up also.

This occurred after about 15minutes of all-out high speed autocross use at a CCA event at the BMW PC. Interestingly, I bought this fresh set for that event just like the prior set a few years back. In other words, the life/duty cycle of these tires was essentially the same as the last new set of NT-01s I bought.

Regarding rotation direction and tread splices -- yeah, that's long ago old news, but what's not old news is that this is a new issue with the NT-01. Of course the real issue is that you don't have a rotation direction option with the NT-01 due to the outer tread block design, so simply saying to rotation-bias the installation is useless for this tire.

As an aside, if you want a "street tire" that I think might be faster than the NT-01 but is *definitely* a much better tire to drive behind (seriously, this thing is amazing in its feedback, turn-in and stick), look at the BFG Rival. I just ran my first autox yesterday with the M3 setup for F-stock Tire class, and I am about speechless (been autocrossing for 37 something years, track stuff 30+, so I don't say this lightly). The Rival is going to make some serious waves this year in "street tire" required classes. BFG/Michelin have knocked it out of the park with this tire. I can't wait for the next event as I kept getting more and more out of them yesterday, so I'm anxious to get more seat time with them.
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      03-04-2013, 08:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
I posted some pictures of my experience last Fall with new NT-01s in the other thread here. This was my fourth set of NT-01s since 2007, all of them used on my E39 M5 (275/35-18 all around on 9.5" wheels). I ran the other three sets all the way to nothing (cords), and never experienced any tread splice failures or even the slightest sign of an issue.

The NT-01s I bought in early November 2012 *all* started opening up their tread splices. Two of them were clearly worse (large gaps, especially in the large outer tread block) than the others due to rotation direction, but the tires on the other side of the car showed the splice starting to open up also.

This occurred after about 15minutes of all-out high speed autocross use at a CCA event at the BMW PC. Interestingly, I bought this fresh set for that event just like the prior set a few years back. In other words, the life/duty cycle of these tires was essentially the same as the last new set of NT-01s I bought.

Regarding rotation direction and tread splices -- yeah, that's long ago old news, but what's not old news is that this is a new issue with the NT-01. Of course the real issue is that you don't have a rotation direction option with the NT-01 due to the outer tread block design, so simply saying to rotation-bias the installation is useless for this tire.

As an aside, if you want a "street tire" that I think might be faster than the NT-01 but is *definitely* a much better tire to drive behind (seriously, this thing is amazing in its feedback, turn-in and stick), look at the BFG Rival. I just ran my first autox yesterday with the M3 setup for F-stock Tire class, and I am about speechless (been autocrossing for 37 something years, track stuff 30+, so I don't say this lightly). The Rival is going to make some serious waves this year in "street tire" required classes. BFG/Michelin have knocked it out of the park with this tire. I can't wait for the next event as I kept getting more and more out of them yesterday, so I'm anxious to get more seat time with them.
cool thanks for the info.
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      03-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
I posted some pictures of my experience last Fall with new NT-01s in the other thread here. This was my fourth set of NT-01s since 2007, all of them used on my E39 M5 (275/35-18 all around on 9.5" wheels). I ran the other three sets all the way to nothing (cords), and never experienced any tread splice failures or even the slightest sign of an issue.

The NT-01s I bought in early November 2012 *all* started opening up their tread splices. Two of them were clearly worse (large gaps, especially in the large outer tread block) than the others due to rotation direction, but the tires on the other side of the car showed the splice starting to open up also.

This occurred after about 15minutes of all-out high speed autocross use at a CCA event at the BMW PC. Interestingly, I bought this fresh set for that event just like the prior set a few years back. In other words, the life/duty cycle of these tires was essentially the same as the last new set of NT-01s I bought.

Regarding rotation direction and tread splices -- yeah, that's long ago old news, but what's not old news is that this is a new issue with the NT-01. Of course the real issue is that you don't have a rotation direction option with the NT-01 due to the outer tread block design, so simply saying to rotation-bias the installation is useless for this tire.

As an aside, if you want a "street tire" that I think might be faster than the NT-01 but is *definitely* a much better tire to drive behind (seriously, this thing is amazing in its feedback, turn-in and stick), look at the BFG Rival. I just ran my first autox yesterday with the M3 setup for F-stock Tire class, and I am about speechless (been autocrossing for 37 something years, track stuff 30+, so I don't say this lightly). The Rival is going to make some serious waves this year in "street tire" required classes. BFG/Michelin have knocked it out of the park with this tire. I can't wait for the next event as I kept getting more and more out of them yesterday, so I'm anxious to get more seat time with them.
Agreed about this being a new issue for the NT01s.

I am on my 6th set of NT01s and never encountered any splicing.

Hopefully when it is time to get my next set, Nitto will have resolved this issue.
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      03-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #20
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Bottom line is, what should we do regarding this? I have a tread splice showing in one of my brand new NT01's too. Do I take it back to Discount Tire for a replacement? Do I get it flipped on the rim? Just drive on it?
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      03-04-2013, 11:12 AM   #21
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Bottom line is, what should we do regarding this? I have a tread splice showing in one of my brand new NT01's too. Do I take it back to Discount Tire for a replacement? Do I get it flipped on the rim? Just drive on it?
ive just driven mine except for the first one which was worse. the tear isnt thru the tread block completely so as tires have worn the splice is gone. didnt seperate more.
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      03-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #22
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Contact Steve at nittotech@nittotire.com and tell him you intend to return the tires to Discount Tire for a full refund (perhaps unless Nitto will provide, in writing, their absolute assurance that an opening tread splice is 100% safe for high speed track use, i.e. they will never do that, so just kidding here).
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