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Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:41 pm    Post subject: Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC Reply with quote

Before: Michelin Hydroedge 215/70R15
Now: Nokian WR C Van 205/70R15

http://www.nokiantyres.com/tyre?id=10360797&group=3.01&name=Nokian%20WR C Van

I got the Nokians here:

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1150_1404/nokian_tire_2057015c_wrc.html

Nokian WR C have an inside/outside thread design but they are not directional.

I could not be more happy with this tire change. The first thing I noticed is how much power I was gaining back by changing from 215s to 205s. Stock 2.1 engine in the back. The van feels live again, acceleration improved, crisp response, the van wants to go, faster off the mark. I personally thing that, after riding on 195s, 205s and 215s, it is silly going wider than 205s.

The second thing I noticed is how quiet and silent the Nokian are. It feels like you have almost no friction against the pavement. It is so easy to get used to the silent ride you forget about this advantage by the second day. I think there are some features in the sidewall design that help reduce road noise.

The third thing I noticed is how well these tires track, like a train. Steering is more precise, the van feels very solid on its four wheels. Very grippy. The tires are D ply rated so cornering also improved, they hold up very well in turns and resist very well to rolling.

These are also four season tires with the mud and snow stamp, coupled with my soon to be installed Peloquin, I feel much better driving my Westy in the winter.

I have close to 200 miles on these tires now and I could not be more happy about this purchase. I still need to put more miles on them to really understand how they perform under different conditions.

I'm currently running them at 50 psi all around as a baseline. The idea is to start playing around a bit with tire pressure to get on the sweet spot. Most likely I will try a bit lower pressure in the front and a bit higher in the back and will report back.
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Al Gilliland
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Madspaniard

Great write up and perfect time as I am just purchasing some new Nokians WRC's vans. Tell me.. the 215/65/R16's did they fit on your westy without any problems (no rubbing on the wheel wells, side door opening etc). I have 4 on hold with tiresbyweb for my 2wd westy but it will have the 2.5 subie installed by the next couple of weeks..Chris from T3 was telling me I may need some spacers in the front which is no problem

Cheers
Al
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Al

I have not tried the size you mention (215/65R16). My previous tires were Michelin Hydroedge 215/70/R15 and they never rubbed or hit the sliding door. I agree with Chris that for your tire sizecyou might need spacerscto avoid rubbing against front end/suspension components
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> I'm currently running them at 50 psi all around as a baseline.

congrats on your nokians, great to hear you like them. I agree their D rated sidewalls and 106 load rating are far stiffer than the B rated hydroedge with their load rating of 98.

for sake of math nerds like me
could you please post the max inflation and max load listed on the sidewall of the nokian?

according to this
http://www.nokiantires.com/files/nokiantires/PDF/HAK_C_-_WR_C.pdf
the Nokian has 794 rotations per mile, or 3% taller than stock.

also for sake of comparison, what pressure did you run the hydroedge at? your hydroedge was rated at 1653 lbs @ 44 psi, and was 26.6" diameter (782 rotations per mile, 5% taller than stock)

and now to the personal opinion.
I would try to run the tire inflation that produces 1500 lbs of load capacity per front tire.
For the hydroedge you took off, that would be 1500/1653*44= 40 psi front, and I would have used 44psi rear.

for the nokian, 1500/max load * max psi = inflation for Nokian to carry 1500 lbs.. and I would use 5-10 psi more in the rear, based on how it drives in curves.

If the front tires squish into a turn in a way that makes the van hook into the turn more, the front is too soft relative to the back.
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Last edited by Jon_slider on Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:24 am; edited 3 times in total
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Al Gilliland
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mad

I thinking that perhaps the 215' are going to cause me some problems..I'm kinda leaning now to the 205's..Seems like they may be a better fit

Cheers
Al
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Bruce Wayne
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
The tires are D ply rated so cornering also improved, they hold up very well in turns and resist very well to rolling.

I thought these were C ply because of the name,Nokian 205/70/15C WRC. does it say D on the tire somewhere? after talking to Peter at VC the other day,he had me convinced to go with the Michelin Agilis tires and 15' alloys,now I'm not so sure after your review. I'm running 14's now with a C rated tire,much more aggressive tread than either of the two tires above. looking to quiet the ride down some as we stick mostly to paved roads,but sometimes hit gravel and dirt. how do the Nokian's perform "off road"?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:

I'm currently running them at 50 psi all around as a baseline. The idea is to start playing around a bit with tire pressure to get on the sweet spot. Most likely I will try a bit lower pressure in the front and a bit higher in the back and will report back.


You might get some center wear with pressure at 50, I settled on 40rear and 38 up front and got even wear from that and a comfortable ride, the lower air pressure helped a lot on dirt roads.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC Reply with quote

> I thought these were C ply because of the name,Nokian 205/70/15C WRC. does it say D on the tire somewhere?

not on the tire, here:
http://www.tiresbyweb.com/p-8980-nokian-wr-c-van-tires.aspx

the nokian is superior to the Agilis offroad
the nokian is superior to the Agilis in snow

I have Agilis on my 2wd westy that lives in California. Works great on wet or dry pavement, only, not snow, not dirt.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC Reply with quote

The C right after the tire rim diameter stands for COMMERCIAL use, and tires with that C can be load C,D,E......

Mark


Bruce Wayne wrote:
madspaniard wrote:
The tires are D ply rated so cornering also improved, they hold up very well in turns and resist very well to rolling.

I thought these were C ply because of the name,Nokian 205/70/15C WRC. does it say D on the tire somewhere? .....
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What gave you the idea that Hydroedge are C rated?

I'm pretty sure they are only Load B, like most ordinary passenger car tires.

Mark

Jon_slider wrote:
I agree their D rated sidewalls and 106 load rating are far stiffer than the C rated hydroedge with their load rating of 98....
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> What gave you the idea that Hydroedge are C rated?

my mistake, thanks Mark
hydroedge, B rated
Agilis, C rated
Nokian D rated
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Review: from Hydroedge to Nokian WRC Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
> I thought these were C ply because of the name,Nokian 205/70/15C WRC. does it say D on the tire somewhere?

not on the tire, here:
http://www.tiresbyweb.com/p-8980-nokian-wr-c-van-tires.aspx

the nokian is superior to the Agilis offroad
the nokian is superior to the Agilis in snow

I have Agilis on my 2wd westy that lives in California. Works great on wet or dry pavement, only, not snow, not dirt.

I found that website about 2 minutes after my post above. now you guys got me leaning towards the Nokian's. doesn't snow much,if at all up here (Oregon),does rain a little bit from time to time. would like the peace of mind if there is snow, that I have the proper tire. my main concern with buying my tires from VC,is that I get no warranty as I get from Costco. if I buy the wheels from VC,Costco can get the Agilis (didn't ask them about the Nokian's,but I will) for me,and for what they charge for the tire,mounting,balancing and their warranty,it would be about the same as buying a "package" from VC with no warranty.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my Hydroedge from Costco for the same reasons you are thinking about with the Agilis. This time around I decided to get the right tires, after some research, and don't look at whether I could get a better deal with Costco tires and service, plus I though I like doing business with Peter because they have always treated me very well.

Jon. I will get those numbers for you.
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Bruce Wayne
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
I got my Hydroedge from Costco for the same reasons you are thinking about with the Agilis. This time around I decided to get the right tires, after some research, and don't look at whether I could get a better deal with Costco tires and service, plus I though I like doing business with Peter because they have always treated me very well.


Peter was very informative and cordial on the phone the other day. you are probably a lot closer to VC than I am too. they are out of the 15' alloys right now,I think he said some more are due on the 20th. should find out tomorrow if a guy at work is going to buy my dobro,and I have one of my Strats on CL to help finance the purchase. we are more than likely going through Santa Cruz on our trip,wonder if they can put the new ones on,and ship my 14's back to my house for me?
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Last edited by Bruce Wayne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using nokians on syncros for more than a decade, primarily the older C models and later the WRC, in 15" and 16".

So far they are the best compromise I've ever experienced. I say compromise because there isn't a tire that's best in all weather/application circumstances. But the nokian is close ... rain, dry, mud, snow, etc.

My first clue long ago was when I got caught in a large snow storm in the high Sierras ... plowed thru 2' of snow (syncro) and tracked well, stuck to packed snow and ice without any hint of slipping.

The nokian is tough enough to handle wet/dry off-roading but I usually use BFG's for dry off-roading if I know in advance.

Of course the nokians are expensive but they are always well worth the cost.

What the nokians, like any other tire, won't do is stay on course if you're driving too fast for the situation or overwhelm the tires through poor handling.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestyBob wrote:
I've been using nokians on syncros for more than a decade, primarily the older C models and later the WRC, in 15" and 16".

So far they are the best compromise I've ever experienced. I say compromise because there isn't a tire that's best in all weather/application circumstances. But the nokian is close ... rain, dry, mud, snow, etc.

My first clue long ago was when I got caught in a large snow storm in the high Sierras ... plowed thru 2' of snow (syncro) and tracked well, stuck to packed snow and ice without any hint of slipping.

The nokian is tough enough to handle wet/dry off-roading but I usually use BFG's for dry off-roading if I know in advance.

Of course the nokians are expensive but they are always well worth the cost.

What the nokians, like any other tire, won't do is stay on course if you're driving too fast for the situation or overwhelm the tires through poor handling.


good info. I'm just down the road from you (8 miles south of Eugene). it's good to have input from someone a little closer to home,with similar road and weather conditions. anybody have any "rubbing" issues. I'm a 2wd GL,with a poptop bolted on over the big sunroof,not the weight of a full on Westy. if I go directly to VC when we go through Santa Cruz,does anybody know if they will put the new wheels and tires on the van for me,and if there is a cost?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce Wayne wrote:
anybody have any "rubbing" issues ... if I go directly to VC when we go through Santa Cruz,does anybody know if they will put the new wheels and tires on the van for me,and if there is a cost?


My speculation ...

With 205/70R15 tires you should haven't any rubbing on a 2wd.

I've heard VC has installed for others if buying from them. I don't know if they'll charge you for that but would be surprised if they did considering the size of the purchase.

Shipping your old wheels/tires back ... they may assist you. Ask for the owner, Peter, to discuss this.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After much research on this topic, about 2 years ago I went with the exact same tires on my 2WD Westy - Nokian WR-C, 205/70/15.

I rate them "S-D" for Super Duper!

Van Cafe has the goods. Peter (owner) is the tire expert there. He very patiently explained why he felt these were the best option for NW driving. I got superb customer service, and fast shipping. (I like to support a store like VC that offers our community so much, as opposed to Costco.)

Re tire pressure, Peter at VC also suggested I run them at 48 psi front and rear.

Nokian is a very established manufacturer and thus I feel the warranty issued is not really a factor here.

For anyone driving on occasional snow-ice and lots of wet, these tires are S-D.

I lived in Finland (the homeland of Nokian tires) for two years, harsh winters included, and you can bet the Finns know a thing or two about driving in the snow. There's a reason many champion rally car drivers are from Scandinavia . . . but I digress.

And, to top it off, the tires have tiny reindeer all around the edge, how cool is that!

Tires are not a place to go cheap; spend some now and get top quality; you'll be glad you did so, long into the future.

My 2 bits,
CJ

-CJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

after many,many phone calls to wrecking yards,stopping at quite a few car lots,shops and garages,I have come to the conclusion that it is much easier to just buy a set of wheels and tires that are "plug and play". I found a couple of sets of (used) Merc wheels at one shop for $200. order spacers,lug nuts,studs,enlarge the center bore. order tires take tires and wheels to a shop get them mounted and balanced for a fee. for only a $150 or so (plus $118 for shipping) more I can get a set of wheels (new),tires (Nokian's) and all new lugnuts/bolts delivered to my door. after talking to Peter again today,it looks like I can get a new set up here before we leave on our trip (August 5th). VC is out of the 15' alloys at the moment,but should get them next week.

so my question is: I'm running 195/75/14's now,how much of a bigger "footprint" will I get with the 205/70/15 Nokian WRC's? will the Nokian's be taller,wider?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce Wayne wrote:
so my question is: I'm running 195/75/14's now,how much of a bigger "footprint" will I get with the 205/70/15 Nokian WRC's? will the Nokian's be taller,wider?


I like using the Miata tire calculator. Just plug in your numbers and it will aslo give you a visual representation.

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
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