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Negative events from using passenger tires on Vans
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jobenaus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Negative events from using passenger tires on Vans Reply with quote

After reading all the tire related threads I can find here and on other sites its become clear that its a pretty hot and controversial subject. Some are pretty adamant that only LT type tires should be used for these vans and others say with lower sidewalls using properly rated passenger tires are not a problem. This site seems to suggest using passenger tires is not that uncommon of a practice. http://www.tirereview.com/tire-types-and-load-capacity/#

As I'm currently looking to put some rubber on my newly aquired 16 inch rims that ride a bit softer than the hard and noisy 14 inch rubber that is now on there my question is.....

Has anyone ever had a negative, dangerous or catastrophic event directly related to using properly rated passenger tires on their van.

As this is not a race vehicle and sees mostly highway driving I'm leaning towards getting 98 load rated passenger tires.


Last edited by jobenaus on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I suggest adding on to an existing thread, or if your found that your focus, which I assume your bolded text, is not addressed in those threads, then please (please Exclamation ) let the title reflect such so a search will find it, else it is YATT (yet another tire thread)
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jobenaus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanagonjr wrote:
May I suggest adding on to an existing thread, or if your found that your focus, which I assume your bolded text, is not addressed in those threads, then please (please Exclamation ) let the title reflect such so a search will find it, else it is YATT (yet another tire thread)



John, no I have'nt found an answer to my bolded question hence the post. There is a lot of data, but no real "yes my tire blew and I wrecked my van because I used passenger tires" type answer.

Wasn't really sure what to title it to make it searchable but how about this?


Last edited by jobenaus on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Tires again.... Reply with quote

I'm interested to see the results but I'm not sure what you think it will prove either way. I have experienced negative, dangerous and catastrophic events even with LT tires and Commercial tires with ratings above those taken as gospel by some. There are too many factors and unknowns to squarely blame a single aspect. Strong tires are good on VW vans. Dance around that fact at your peril. IMHO just as important for your question and maybe even more so is adequate inflation, at all times in the life of the tire. There is a lot of room for subjective opinion but I would question the use any SL 98 tire that could not be inflated to 44 psi or more.

Mark

jobenaus wrote:
After reading all the tire related threads I can find here and on other sites its become clear that its a pretty hot and controversial subject. Some are pretty adamant that only LT type tires should be used for these vans and others say with lower sidewalls using properly rated passenger tires are not a problem. This site seems to suggest using passenger tires is not that uncommon of a practice. http://www.tirereview.com/tire-types-and-load-capacity/#

As I'm currently looking to put some rubber on my newly aquired 16 inch rims that ride a bit softer than the hard and noisy 14 inch rubber that is now on there my question is.....

Has anyone ever had a negative, dangerous or catastrophic event directly related to using properly rated passenger tires on their van.

As this is not a race vehicle and sees mostly highway driving I'm leaning towards getting 98 load rated passenger tires.
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jobenaus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark...I understand that the lt tires are stronger and may well hold up better especially if used off road, but what I guess I would like to hear is are they actually dangerous to use at normal speeds and use? I agree any tire can let you down if you overdrive it.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently 2 of my vans have XL tires that I purchased new and these are technically passenger tires. One of the sets are 15" Nokian 100XL and the other 16" Nexen 102XL. Both are 51 psi max tires and with a couple years on both sets I am comfortable with them.

I have used quite a few lesser passenger tires over the years just because they were on the wheels when I got them. I have not had any failures from doing so but I immediately replaced any that had sidewall cracking and in general was cautious to keep them inflated and avoided really heavy loads until I could replace them with new. I don't fully trust any tires that I did not buy new since I can't be sure they were properly treated.

Mark

jobenaus wrote:
Mark...I understand that the lt tires are stronger and may well hold up better especially if used off road, but what I guess I would like to hear is are they actually dangerous to use at normal speeds and use? I agree any tire can let you down if you overdrive it.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone rolled a van because a LT195/75r14 (Wildcat?) failed a while back, not sure I have heard of any other wrecks due to tire failure. I have certainly had some crappy tires over the years, I ran the same tires as caused the above wreck way back when, but hated them and bought as set of passenger tires to replace them. Strangely others have praised the same tires??? Have also had a set of highly recommended 195r14 that got really squirrelly with even a moderate load.

Did have an old fairly worn P185/75r14 on a "new to me" bus get a big bubble under the tread before I got new tires for it. No idea of the age of those tires, but they would have been very under rated.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Negative events from using passenger tires on Vans Reply with quote

jobenaus wrote:
I'm leaning towards getting 98 load rated passenger tires.


Please post the max load and max psi of the tire you run now, and what inflation you are using now. Also post the specs for the tire you are considering

from your link
http://www.tirereview.com/tire-types-and-load-capacity/#
"Caution and common sense dictate that itís probably best to stay with the type of tire the vehicle manufacturer specified"

now look at the load rating for the VW OEM tires
http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/VW%20Vanagon%20Original%20Equipment%20Tires%201984%20-%201991.html

see any rated 98? Why in the world would you buy an underrated tire, intentionally? You are educated enough to know better. Think about how much money you are saving, divide it by the life of the tire, and discover youre gambling over pennies per day saved. Feeling Lucky?

You seem to be a candidate for Darwinian selection.

Use correct inflation, and keep an eye on your tires, look for cracks, bulges and ripples
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=159

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6132621&highlight=disaster#6132621
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jobenaus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Negative events from using passenger tires on Vans Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:

You seem to be a candidate for Darwinian selection.


First let me say....thanks for your kind words Confused

Your response is exactly why I'm asking this question. I understand the theory behind this but if many people are running passenger tires and now one is having issues (or maybe they are) then possibly it may not be as big of an issues as it once was when these vans came to market. I have not as yet decided on a tire.... just browsing and asking questions to make well informed decision. I do know that the roads where I drive are generally chip seal and there are a lot of frost heaves and I'm tired of the noise and jarring from the lt tires that I now have on there. That may be a lot different driving than a 6 or 8 lane smooth concrete highway going 70- 80 mph.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Negative events from using passenger tires on Vans Reply with quote

jobenaus wrote:
Some are pretty adamant that only LT type tires should be used for these vans and others say with lower sidewalls using properly rated passenger tires are not a problem.


From the tire sticky:

Original Equipment (Vanagon 2WD):
185R14C 6PR
Load Index: 99
Load Range: C
Max Load: 1710 lbs.
Max Inflation: 55 psi
VW-recommended Inflation: 39-43 (front); 48-53 (rear)

205/70R14 97R
Load Index: 97
Load Range: XL/RF
Max Load: 1580 lbs.
Max Inflation: 40 psi
VW-recommended inflation: 30 (front); 40 (rear)
Notes: Reinforced passenger car tire
--------

I wouldn't be surprised if the top tire was for Westies (since they're heavier), the bottom tire for 2WD tin-tops. Regardless, as you can see, VW installed passenger car tires on these vans, albeit tires that were reinforced and fell within VW's minimum specifications.

Jon_slider wrote:
now look at the load rating for the VW OEM tires
http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/VW%20Vanagon%20Original%20Equipment%20Tires%201984%20-%201991.html

see any rated 98?


There isn't a 98, but there is a 97, as noted above. Wink

jobenaus wrote:
Has anyone ever had a negative, dangerous or catastrophic event directly related to using properly rated passenger tires on their van.


I had slightly underrated P-metric tires on my '90 Westy. Only negatives: Van was "wishy-washy" in turns and in strong winds, premature hairline cracks on sidewalls, premature tread wear, slightly less MPG's. When I discovered they were not the appropriate tires, I kept thinking in the back of my mind that they'd have some catastrophic failure out on the road. Finally replaced them with properly-spec'd tires this year; van drives much better (aided with suspension work).
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The underlying assumption of the original question seems to be that properly rated tires will have a harsh ride.

I don't think that is correct, but I can't tell unless you answer the questions I asked earlier, what tire specs and inflation are you using now?

Also, yes, some of us have survived underrated tires. For example the 1520lb capacity General Grabber AT2 in 27x8.5x14

Also yes One on the tires VW used was not C rated, but the other Seven were C rated
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not super useful info since I can't remember the specs at this point - aside from being fairly certain they were improperly rated passenger tires - but back in 1994 I loaded my '78 Bus (Non-Westy) up with 5 people and gear for a 2 week surf trip.

Had 2 flats on that trip and on the way back I had the front left tire blow out in the fast lane doing about 100k near Olympia. It was scary as hell but I managed to get to the side of the highway relatively unscathed.

My current van has 98 rated passenger tires on it and it is not a good feeling. If I had been aware of the Samba Cool and hadn't been so clueless back when I bought them (all the tire places in town convinced me that proper load rated tires were no longer available in my size) I for sure would have bucked up for the correct specs.

So, to answer your question - yes, I have had negative events caused by passenger tires: One blowout in the past and current sense of dread whenever I load up the van for a trip.... Can't wait until I can afford some new rubber!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently running the same passenger tires installed on the rims when they were on my Mercedes; a vehicle which has a curb weight roughly the same as the unladen tintop van.

The reason VW opted for LT tires is due to the GVWR, which is pretty substantial, and the fact that they need to hold up at max load capacity in all sorts of the extreme climates we have here in NA. I think the primary failure mode would be tread separation leading to an out of round condition. I've never experienced anything like this, on any of my T1/T2/T3 vehicles, all of which ran passenger tires at one point or another. Having said that, if you're in the market for tires, other than the higher price point and relative rarity for some wheel sizes, I can't see any reason not to upgrade to VWs very conservative tire ratings. I'll be doing this when I raise up the van and put taller tires on the rims. It's sound insurance
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm currently running 195R 14 Cload yokohamas and while they give a nice stiff ride they they have to be the noisiest tires I've ever had and are getting worse as they wear. I have tried inflation from about 32 to max. I recently came into some mercedes 16 inch rims and know I don't want that kind of ride again. From my understanding of the artilce I linked to ( and correct me if I'm wrong ) that load capacities are calculated at maximum pressures. Increasing the pressure will not increase the load capacity of the tire. On the other hand underinflating a tire by any significant amount created heat and potential for problems. So whether its a C or D rated tire with 50psi max or a B rated tire with a 35 psi max it should still be kept in the upper end of its max pressure. Running a 50 psi max tire at even 40psi is still going to give a really stiff sidewall and ride wheras running a 35 psi tire at say 32 is going to be softer and still theoretically meet load requirements. Poke holes in my theory please.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobenaus wrote:

Wasn't really sure what to title it to make it searchable but how about this?

Applause Thank you for making it clear and changing the title!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you consider blowing two tires at once at highway speed a negative event, then yes. Coming over Mount Shasta in January a few years back. Slept at the rest area just south of the summit. Freezing rain froze the tires to the ground during the night. The next day, blew two in quick succession. Very, very scary.

Get the proper tires. I wouldn't run my van on anything less than BFG TA KO.

(and like it or not, we are all candidates for Darwinian Selection Smile )
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jobenaus wrote:
From my understanding of the artilce I linked to ( and correct me if I'm wrong ) that load capacities are calculated at maximum pressures. .

No, SL passenger car tires are rated for max load at 35 psi (36 for euro-metric sizes). Even if max inflation pressure is higher, the max load stays the same.

Xl passenger tires are rated at 41 psi. Both the above are to have their max load reduced by 9% when applied to a truck,

For LT tires - "C" are rated at 50 psi and "D" at 65 psi. See the whole story here if you are interested http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=195&currentpage=159
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't found that passenger tires give a softer ride than truck tires. A P215/70r14 weights in at pretty much the same as a 185r14C. The 185r14C puts more of it's weight in the sidewall making it stiffer but leaving the belts lighter and more flexible, while the P215/70r14 puts it's weight in the belts thus making a stiff tread that will notice every crack and pebble in the road. All in all I think some of the 185r14 give a better ride than a P215/70r14, but a 27x8.5r14 might be the best overall. I would think that a 27x8.5r14 on a 6.5 or 7.0" rim would give very good overall results.

In my opinion the stock 205/70r14 Reinforced tires were the best I have run. They lasted a lot of mile and gave very precise handling and had no bad tendencies that I can remember other than lack of winter traction. If they could be had, that is what I would still want to buy.

Don't have any experience with 16" wheels to know what will work best there.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing catastrophic, but our van's PO had passenger tires on the front when we bought it.
Records showed he had to buy them out on a road trip, where selection was certainly limited.
They were probably the best available, and probably looked "OK" if just going by numbers.

My experience was that they were VERY squirrely in crosswinds, accentuating the top-heaviness
of the van to an extent that felt dangerous. Several times, out on a very tight, winding paved
road*, I though I was hearing noise from wheel bearings. The van was new to us at the time and
I was tuned in to every unusual sound, so I checked it out. Come to find that the weight of the
van was forcing the tires over onto the sidewalls; there was distinct wear shown after just one trip
there & back on that road. The noise I heard was the tires and tread complaining the whole time... Shocked

<EDIT> [This was a 44psi max passenger tire; I ran it at 40 psi...]

Long story short, I replaced with properly rated tires ASAP, resulting in obviously less body roll,
ABSOLUTELY NO squirrelly noise on the same highway*, and no complaints at all from me.

...and the wheel bearings are just fine... Cool

Long story short: it's your money and your life - do whatever you want;
but if you choose poorly, I hope you're not driving next to me... Rolling Eyes

FWIW - this is not about ride quality, it's about adequate load rating and safety...

---------------------

* = MN Hwy 1...fun! Posted 25 to 50 MPH; every curve is different...
https://goo.gl/maps/OR82k)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> I'm currently running 195R 14 Cload yokohamas and while they give a nice stiff ride they they have to be the noisiest tires I've ever had and are getting worse as they wear. I have tried inflation from about 32 to max.

You still have not provided specs from which to calculate correct inflation. Please list the max load and max psi of your tire, if you want an intelligent answer.

> So whether its a C or D rated tire with 50psi max or a B rated tire with a 35 psi max it should still be kept in the upper end of its max pressure.

I disagree
Best to put numbers to your general statements.

> Running a 50 psi max tire at even 40psi is still going to give a really stiff sidewall and ride

Disagree

> wheras running a 35 psi tire at say 32 is going to be softer and still theoretically meet load requirements.

Disagree

> Poke holes in my theory please.

You assumption that tires need to run at max pressure is not correct. They need to run at correct load inflation

Your assumption that a passenger tire at 32 psi will have correct load inflation is not correct

If you provide specific max load and max psi for a P tire and a C tire, we can verify your assumptions, otherwise you're just guessing, based on possibly inaccurate assumptions.
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