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Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options?
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dcheek
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:21 am    Post subject: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

I have a totally stock '66 Westy. What is the current consensus on a safe 14" radial tire?

Dave
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BulliBill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of the Hankook RA18 195R 14" "D" rated tires (not the 185 - smaller diameter). They are properly rated for our heavier Buses. DO NOT buy cheaper passenger car rated wish-washy flexible sidewall tires. You and your families lives, nor mine are worth putting lower rated passenger car tires on a Transporter! Always buy a "C" or better yet a "D" rated tire! They are not even much more expensive for the added safety/quality. I run them on my 1967 Westfalia as well as my even heavier 1987 Vanagon Westfalia. Great tires!

Bill
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ryans65
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

There is nothing wrong with P metric tires on your bus, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. A new Jetta for example has an empty weight of nearly 3000lbs. It has a 205/55/17 tire with about a 95 load index which can carry about 1500 lbs per corner! The Jetta can seat four comfortably so add another 600-700 lbs and luggage and we are nearly at the two ton mark. Lets say your bus is 2500 lbs with fuel and you stick the same amount of people and cargo aboard and you are now roughly at the two ton mark. There is no argument of safety nor quality with regards to an LT tire vs. a p metric when it comes to these vehicles. Sure you could spend the money on the LT tire in a D load range but my 97 Toyota came equipped with a p metric and it has a gross rating of 3 tons, not to mention its towing capacity and high center of gravity. Just trying to dispel some myths here and offer you some clarity. Tires are not what they used to be, I'm betting the crowd that keeps pushing these extreme load rated tires still think a 10 ply tire has 10 plys.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

ryans65 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with P metric tires on your bus, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. A new Jetta for example has an empty weight of nearly 3000lbs. It has a 205/55/17 tire with about a 95 load index which can carry about 1500 lbs per corner! The Jetta can seat four comfortably so add another 600-700 lbs and luggage and we are nearly at the two ton mark. Lets say your bus is 2500 lbs with fuel and you stick the same amount of people and cargo aboard and you are now roughly at the two ton mark. There is no argument of safety nor quality with regards to an LT tire vs. a p metric when it comes to these vehicles. Sure you could spend the money on the LT tire in a D load range but my 97 Toyota came equipped with a p metric and it has a gross rating of 3 tons, not to mention its towing capacity and high center of gravity. Just trying to dispel some myths here and offer you some clarity. Tires are not what they used to be, I'm betting the crowd that keeps pushing these extreme load rated tires still think a 10 ply tire has 10 plys.


No offense meant but a P rated tire does not have the sidewall stiffness that an LT rated tire has. This is critical for driving stability in a bus. I've driven both P rated tires and LT rated tires on my Westy and the LT tires were about 100x better.

The RA18's Bill recommended are a great tire.

Here's a good thread on the topic:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=129570&highlight=stock+tire+14+15
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Trailer tires have very stiff, thick sidewalls. I know theyíre not recommended or approved for passenger vehicles, but they sure drive nice on a bus...a little firm over the bumps, but like being on rails in crosswinds and low steering effort at parking lot speeds and parallel parking. Their load and ply ratings are typically very high, probably overkill for a passenger vehicle. So if youíre the type that dares to remove those annoying mattress tags, or eat Chef Boyardee straight out of the can....
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

ryans65 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with P metric tires on your bus, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.



There is a huge difference between the way P rated tires and LT tires handle on a split bus. I've had a few different buses with a few different tire combos and I can tell you for a fact you can feel the difference. I'm sure some P tires are better than others, but they won't compare to the proper LT tire on a split bus.


ryans65 wrote:
Tires are not what they used to be, I'm betting the crowd that keeps pushing these extreme load rated tires still think a 10 ply tire has 10 plys.


Rolling Eyes They're 8 ply "rated", 10 ply "rated" etc. not actually 8 or 10 plies like the old days with bias plies.

ryans65 wrote:
There is no argument of safety nor quality with regards to an LT tire vs. a p metric when it comes to these vehicles.


Truth!!

So do yourself a favor and get proper LT tires for your bus. You will be much happier.
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ryans65
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

oakman wrote:
Rolling Eyes They're 8 ply "rated", 10 ply "rated" etc. not actually 8 or 10 plies like the old days with bias plies.

ryans65 wrote:
There is no argument of safety nor quality with regards to an LT tire vs. a p metric when it comes to these vehicles.


Truth!!

So do yourself a favor and get proper LT tires for your bus. You will be much happier.


This is exactly what I was talking about, thank you.
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BulliBill
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

ryans65 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with P metric tires on your bus, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. A new Jetta for example has an empty weight of nearly 3000lbs. It has a 205/55/17 tire with about a 95 load index which can carry about 1500 lbs per corner! The Jetta can seat four comfortably so add another 600-700 lbs and luggage and we are nearly at the two ton mark. Lets say your bus is 2500 lbs with fuel and you stick the same amount of people and cargo aboard and you are now roughly at the two ton mark. There is no argument of safety nor quality with regards to an LT tire vs. a p metric when it comes to these vehicles. Sure you could spend the money on the LT tire in a D load range but my 97 Toyota came equipped with a p metric and it has a gross rating of 3 tons, not to mention its towing capacity and high center of gravity. Just trying to dispel some myths here and offer you some clarity. Tires are not what they used to be, I'm betting the crowd that keeps pushing these extreme load rated tires still think a 10 ply tire has 10 plys.


Wow, he kinda bitch slapped me, and I was pretty sure (I still am) that I was on the money with my recommendation of those Hankook LT "D" rated 195 tires for 14" wheel Transporters. Oh well, I'm sticking with my recommendation. Drive safe and correct with stiff sidewall tires and stay happy and healthy out there everyone!

Bill Bowman
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Mission VW - San Fernando
Thornton VW - Stockton

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buseric
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

BulliBill wrote:
ryans65 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with P metric tires on your bus, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. A new Jetta for example has an empty weight of nearly 3000lbs. It has a 205/55/17 tire with about a 95 load index which can carry about 1500 lbs per corner! The Jetta can seat four comfortably so add another 600-700 lbs and luggage and we are nearly at the two ton mark. Lets say your bus is 2500 lbs with fuel and you stick the same amount of people and cargo aboard and you are now roughly at the two ton mark. There is no argument of safety nor quality with regards to an LT tire vs. a p metric when it comes to these vehicles. Sure you could spend the money on the LT tire in a D load range but my 97 Toyota came equipped with a p metric and it has a gross rating of 3 tons, not to mention its towing capacity and high center of gravity. Just trying to dispel some myths here and offer you some clarity. Tires are not what they used to be, I'm betting the crowd that keeps pushing these extreme load rated tires still think a 10 ply tire has 10 plys.


Wow, he kinda bitch slapped me, and I was pretty sure (I still am) that I was on the money with my recommendation of those Hankook LT "D" rated 195 tires for 14" wheel Transporters. Oh well, I'm sticking with my recommendation. Drive safe and correct with stiff sidewall tires and stay happy and healthy out there everyone!

Bill Bowman


Yes, you are correct Bill. People who own and drive their buses know the difference. LT tires are the only way to go. If you cant tell the difference then you shouldnt be driving lol.
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dcheek
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Thanks all for chiming in.
After reading as much as I can stand, I've decided on the Hankook RA18's. Its no surprise as I have the previous version, RA 08's on my Vanagon and love them. I'm assuming the RA18's are an updated version??

The only thing I'm debating is whether to go with the 185's or the 195's. Bill, you say the 185's are a smaller diameter - how can that be? The difference is in the width (10 MM) not the diameter right?

Dave
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ryans65
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:26 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

A few of you have sorely missed the point of my post and I expected that from the "anything other than stock is bad" crowd. As far as the "bitch slap" comment is concerned I just don't even know where to begin with that so I'll leave it alone. We are all friends here.

I will steer this conversation back to being more constructive and quote Bill:

BulliBill wrote:
Yea, but is that tire at least "C' or better yet, "D" rated sidewalls? If they are normal passenger tires, they are probably unsafe on a heavier, higher-centered Transporter. VW engineers specified "C" and "D" rated 6 or 8 ply tires, not 2 or 4 plies. Be safe! The Hankook RA-08'S in 14" are great tires. I run them on my heavy '87 Westy. Great sidewall plies and strength.

Bill


Bill, please elaborate on this statement with regards to tire plies. You say the RA-08 had "great sidewall plies" ... just so anyone searching for more information on these tires is interested, what are great sidewall plies?
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Riff Raff
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Ryan
The comments regarding utilizing tires with a stiff sidewall and higher load ratings is borne of experience.
I said this in another post responding to your comments and I will say it again "Anyone who has driven a split bus at highway speeds in a stiff crosswind can tell you why you need load rated tires"

Yes, that is anecdotal evidence.

Yes, P rated metric tires are rated for the weight of a split bus.

I understand your resistance to the "We've always done it this way" ethos, but in this case, there is both good reason and adequate experience to "do it this way".

The weight rating in itself is not enough information to make an informed decision on tire requirements for a split bus.

As these vehicles have significantly higher centres of gravity, significantly greater side surface areas and antiquated anti roll technology than your Jetta example, they will naturally experience both more body roll and more lateral forces in a side wind.
These forces are all ultimately concentrated in the sidewall as the bus is being forced sideways while the tire tread resists the sideways motion. The side wall flexes.
The tires on the outboard side of the forces will literally try tuck under the bus.
It is this excessive flex that is dangerous.
Add the additional weight of a camper interior and the effects are compounded.
That is the reason that the stiff sidewalls (only available on load rated tires) are necessary on a split bus.

And anyone who has driven a split bus at highway speeds in a stiff crosswind understands this.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

I'll politely leave this echo chamber. Sorry everybody.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Okay, now that we've got the bickering out of the way, can someone answer my question 4 posts earlier?

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Dave

If you run the numbers through the tire height calculator, the extra width translates into a little more diameter (height) as well I havenít ran the sizes in question but other sizes Iíve looked at did.

Edit: 25.7Ē height on 185R14, 26.2 on the 195R14
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

The 195/R14 is a bit closer to the original stock dimensions.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Riff Raff said: "And anyone who has driven a split bus at highway speeds in a stiff crosswind understands this."

I have probably driven a couple of hundred thousand miles in split buses, never with a LT tire. Side winds have made me move laterally. I have never felt the tuck-in described by Riff Raff.

It may be that stiff sidewall tires would improve the ride on my bus. However, I have found that tires with a load rating of 1600+ pounds have been adequate for the performance and safety of my buses.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

Don66bus wrote:
Riff Raff said: "And anyone who has driven a split bus at highway speeds in a stiff crosswind understands this."

I have probably driven a couple of hundred thousand miles in split buses, never with a LT tire. Side winds have made me move laterally. I have never felt the tuck-in described by Riff Raff.

It may be that stiff sidewall tires would improve the ride on my bus. However, I have found that tires with a load rating of 1600+ pounds have been adequate for the performance and safety of my buses.


The stiff sidewalls donít improve the ride, the P-tires ride softer. I donít like the LT tires as far as steering effort , theyíre typically wide and the aggressive tread contribute to a lot of effort needed at parking lot speeds and three point turns, etc. If you take your bus off road a lot, theyíre ideal though.

Needless to say, but if the crosswinds are THAT bad, just find somewhere to pull over and relax a while. D rated tires arenít going to magically make your bus capable of chasing an EF-5, and properly inflated P-tires arenít going to make your bus roll over the first 10 mph crosswind you find. From having the various tires on my buses, and driving in the wind gusts, mostly the C and D tires do help reduce the fatigue.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

195 LT tires..... Combine them with a rebuilt front end, sway bar (stock for a 66, but should be put on all busses), rebuilt or preferably NOS steering box, arc turned brakes, new shocks...and you will have a bus that drives BETTER than when it did when it was new.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock '66 Westy - Stock tire options? Reply with quote

AS350driver wrote:
Dave

If you run the numbers through the tire height calculator, the extra width translates into a little more diameter (height) as well I havenít ran the sizes in question but other sizes Iíve looked at did.

Edit: 25.7Ē height on 185R14, 26.2 on the 195R14


for the ones that care:

the sidewall of a radial tire is around 80% of the tire width. since the tirewall measurement shows up twice in the total diameter it does make quite a bit of difference.

185r14 is essentially 185/80R14. low profile tires are 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 % of the width of the tire....

Hope that helps. A little bit of math goes a long way towards getting the tire diameter where you want it.

example, my little ranger came with 235/75/15s stock. I changed them to 265/75/15s, now my speedometer is spot on to the GPS a difference of 10%! my 20 mile commute became an 18 mile commute.
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