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Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims?
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magiceddie88
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Curious question; Does your VW Thing Type 181 have stock 15" rims?

I believe I recently stumbled across a 15" VW Thing Rim and am not sure if 1) it's German, or if it's Mexican.

I'm looking to resell, but want to post, to share and give as much valid info as possible on this topic on Thesamba as well as sharing the knowledge amounst us VW heads here.

I'll start off with this diagram showing the tie between an Early Bus Rim ('50-'63) to a VW Thing rim.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


There is a couple things that are similar; both are 15", both share a wide 5 bolt pattern, and both share 4 slots. See photo below; Bus = Rusty, Thing = Black. They do look "different" and not sure exactly why at first glance perhaps you can point something out that I have overlooked.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now the fun part, what makes it different?

I want to denote specifically Bus/Thing Rim differences.

First thing is the width of the rim, though only "just off" there is a noticible difference between them. See below, please note in below photo Bus = Black Thing = Rusty.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Another thing to point out is the location of the valave stem; the Bus always lines up with a lug hole where as a Thing is across from a hubcap clip.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The 1 thing I'm not aware of and would like to find out; is this a German Thing Rim or a Mexico Thing Rim? Please note markings I've found on the VW Thing Rim; 4JX15 & KH 72

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If you happen to have these on your Thing please let me know If it is German built or Mexican built type 181, it would be greatly appriciated!
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Ray Syverson
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: Does you Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

It must be an optical illusion. To me the black Thing rim looks smaller in diameter. Are they really the same diameter? My Thing has 14 inch rims.
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magiceddie88
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Does you Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Ray Syverson wrote:
It must be an optical illusion. To me the black Thing rim looks smaller in diameter. Are they really the same diameter? My Thing has 14 inch rims.


They are both a 15", I just went and layed them on top of each other the Bus rim lip looks like it may be just a MM bigger all the way around.

But as you can see they are very similar. Is you VW Thing German built or Mexican built?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


-Eddie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Does you Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

If it was a Thing 15" rim it would have the markings of 4.5K x 15 not 4J x 15.
Look at the page with the rim pictured. The 15" thing rims have a bus part number also.
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Ray Syverson
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Does you Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

In answer to your question, mine is Mexican made. I am at that point where I want to get new tires and am having no joy in finding much available. I am wondering if I want to go to the extra expense of getting 15 in. rims and tires that are slightly bigger in diam. My Thing looks like it needs bigger wheels.The top of the tires are just 24.3 inches high from the floor. As for the "optical illusion", I see now it was because of the camera angle.
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magiceddie88
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Does you Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Okay, after digging I'm going to leave this here to my understanding this is a repoduction VW rim made by Kelsey Hayes. I believe it was intended to replace stock Bus & Thing rims as noted above. I think this is also why its appearance is simular yet different over all, knowledge is power and now we know.

-Eddie
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Last edited by magiceddie88 on Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ray Syverson
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Does you Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Eddie, That is really interesting that your rim was made by Kelsey-Hayes. I have a 1913 Model T Ford in addition to my Thing, and I know that Kelsey -Hayes made wheels for the Ford cars at that time. Nice to know that there was a distant connection of some kind between my two old cars! Smile
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Eric Goodman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

from 1970-1973 VW Type 181's were made with 15" wheels. it was a 4.5x15" wheel with a 165 R15 tires. They were the same four slotted wheels as on a Type 2. From March 1973 forward, all Things (Type 181's) came with unique 14" wheels with 185 R14 tires. The should have a 181 part number. The 14" Type 181 specific wheels are un-slotted.
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YDBD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

The '73 Thing I had was a German military Personnkraftwagen, Type 183 (maybe 182) made in Germany...it had 14" rims on it. Hard to say if they were the ones that came on the vehicle as the shop had many and could have just swapped them from a later model.
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el_safari
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

[quote="Eric Goodman"]from 1970-1973 VW Type 181's were made with 15" wheels. it was a 4.5x15" wheel with a 165 R15 tires. They were the same four slotted wheels as on a Type 2.

4,5x15 wheel till serial number 1812617370 about march/ april 1971 Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Here's the 4JKx15's I'm running on "Hermann". They came with the car, I don't know if they are original Thing rims.

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Mike
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Windisch
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Also see this thread I started, since it deals not just with tires but with wheels: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672337

My Mexican '73 came with 4.5J X 14 stock steel wheels, but I replaced them recently with 5.0J X 15 steel wheels made in China and offered by a number of sources. They are copies of a German VW original and of a very high quality, made with powder-coated dull silver paint. Important to note is that the ET offset is EXACTLY the same as the stock 14" steel wheel, so no problems with rubbing, range of steering, etc. The above thread details most of the applicable particulars as regards both wheel and tire solutions.

My selection of the 5.0J X 15 steel wheel paired with a 195/65R15 tire resulted in almost a perfect match to the original rolling specs, but with a slight lowering of engine RPMs at highways speeds (a perfect solution to lowering engine 'work' without going to Type 181 compatible tranny final drive ratios). I now do about 3400 PRM at 65 mph, vice the former 3400 at 55 mph. Bottom line torque drops off only slightly, but with a 'stock' Thing, being able to keep up with the semi truck & trailer rigs on the freeway FAR outweighs the need to out-accelerate other vehicles.

Never forget, however, that 'Things'...like actor Rodney Dangerfield...get 'no respect' from other, faster traffic on the freeways (unless they're 'clued-in' VW savvy folks), LoL. Confused A 'Thing' always remains in imminent danger of getting an unexpected Mack Truck enema, even under the most optimal conditions!
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oasis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:01 am    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

YDBD wrote:
The '73 Thing I had was a German military Personnkraftwagen, Type 183 (maybe 182) made in Germany.


Type 183 was an Iltis (1978-81, plus small production runs here and there through 1988 not including Bombardier).

I thought a Type 182 was a RHD Type 181, but I wouldn't bet more than $5 on that. Confused
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Does your Thing have 15" stock Rims? Reply with quote

Type 181 = Kurierwagen (Germany), Thing (US), Safari (South America)

Type 182 = Trekker (RHD-UK)

Type 183 = Iltis

Mark
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