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chattathing
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Tire Pressure Reply with quote

I read somewhere that the front tire pressure on the Thing should be 18. Is this accurate for any tire and what is the pressure suppose to be on the back tires?
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radioman
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was OK for belted tires. Most tires now are radial...18 is too low. Keep tire pressure at or very near to what is indicated on the tire currently on your Thing. I have radials (cheap) and I run 30 psi all the way around. And I check pressure on all my vehicles every two weeks.
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Towel Rail
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Radial tires were spec for US Things. Keep them at 18 psi front, 29 psi rear.
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radioman
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry...I would never run 18 psi in a Thing I planned to drive. Not with the tires I am using. Good luck.
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chattathing
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.K. I'm getting confused here.
I read the "Shimmies & Shakes" article out of the Nov/Dec. 1998 issue of 181 Magazine. The first thing it says to do is check the tire pressure. It says, "...your car (Thing) requires only 18 pounds of pressure in the front tires."
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Towel Rail
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...which is true. VW based all of their recommendations on extensive testing. 18 psi is the right pressure to keep the maximum amount of tread on the ground in the (light) front. Excessive pressure will compromise traction.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Pressure Reply with quote

Hmmmm. Very plausible arguments on both sides. Time to get out the tire gauge and some orange cones and find a big empty parking lot somewhere to conduct some empirical testing . . . Cool
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chinarider
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm....I'm a little skeptical about such low pressure in contemporary tires. For whatever it's worth, I'm running on stock size Kelly Metric steel-belted radials. I keep my front tires at around 35psi, and my rear tires around 40psi. I do not have any shake or shimmy issues, and the car handles rock solid even up to roughly 70mph (I don't push it any faster). Back road handling is tight, and better than many other cars I've owned, and tire wear has been textbook even. I did spend a lot of time and effort replacing pretty much every component of my suspension (front and rear), and I had my wheels balanced very accurately. I would be more open to running lower tire pressure off-road - but (again, this is my experience), 18 seems a bit low for street use in modern tires.
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Towel Rail
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point I should probably mention that I have a lot of respect for you folks and your experiences -- if you get even tread wear and a good ride with your preferred tire psi, more power to you.

However, I remain unconvinced* that passenger radial tires have changed fundamentally since 1973. The advertizing, sure. The tires, not so much. VW's recommendations seem weird because we have grown up with much heavier cars with even weight distributions. My Beretta needs 30-35 psi in each tire because it has a chassis, a heavy steel body, and a watercooled engine. Our light Things, OTOH, with all their weight in the back, require a different approach.

- Scott


P.S. *If anyone has some good data/references to refute this, I'm all ears. Smile
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Thing specs call for 18 psi front and 29 psi rear.
Typ 181 German civil service specs call for 1.4 aut front and 1.8 aut rear. An aut is one atmosphere of pressure or 14.8 psi

That comes out to about 21 psi front and 27 psi rear. That is for a stock 185r 14 tire.

I have been driving VWs my entire life and have never inflated tires for highway use like that. I am running 195 75 15 M+S studded Hankook tires on my road car with Porsche cookie cutters wheels. I run 32 psi all around.

When we go offroad on my other Thing I drop the pressure to 20 up front and 25 rear. Once we hit pavement I go back to 32 psi. But the offroad cars have 7.00 x 15 tires up front and 30 x 10.5 x15 BFG A/T rear.
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Spanky
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: This thread is now THREE years old Reply with quote

It's been THREE years since this thread was active.... has no one a definitive answer to the quesion?

WHAT IS PROPER THING TIRE PRESSURE?

Is it either 18/29, 21/27, 32/32 Question Question

Or something else?

Have tires changed in the intervening THIRTY FIVE YEARS? ( Unlike Europe, Japan, the rest of the world, our Roads and bridges certainly have not!!)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go by what is written on the side of the tire, now with gas prices what they are I put in a couple extra PSI, get better gas mileage.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tire pressures on the side of the tire are the MAX pressure safe to use in that tire.

You should use what it says in the Owner's Manual. If you owner's manual has pressure for the older bias ply tires, you add 2-3 psi for radials.

The front tire pressures may seem low but that is because there is not much weight up front.

If you use 30+ psi up front, you are reducing your contact patch. Notice how much easier it is to turn the wheel at these pressures. This is unsafe.
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Spanky
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Everett. I think you are correct. Problem is our courageous owner's manual doesn't give us a TP.... only says to look in the trunk for the label.
Label ain't there.

I think Kubleman may have been right on with 21/27PSI though he doesn't recommend it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put 30 psi all around in my Thing - right before I wrecked it.

I'm going to go with recommended from here on out. It's been expensive.
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n0limdon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember the manual/tag label was printed about 35 years ago, the manual also indicates that the tires were radial ply with TUBES. I doubt that many are running tubes in their tires but rather tubeless radials.
Thats why I think going by the manufactors listing is the way to go.
Not being mechanically minded, I would think if the wheels turned easier at higher pressure that would be good for the front suspension???
30 - 32 as others have indicated should be good. I've been driving mine for 6 -7 years on pavement, blacktop and country gravel roads at 32 PSI and never had an accident?? With tubeless radials I'd be afraid at 18 PSI you could hit a pothole or rock and lose pressure???
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

n0limdon wrote:
With tubeless radials I'd be afraid at 18 PSI you could hit a pothole or rock and lose pressure???

Not likely. I've run similar tires to the one on my Thing on much heavier vehicles, aired down to 12 p.s.i. for off-roading, and never unseated the tire from the bead. Just sayin'.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

n0limdon wrote:
Thats why I think going by the manufactors listing is the way to go.

Correct - go with the VEHICLE manufacturer's listing. Smile

I am curious why Things came with radials with tubes? This is inconsistent with other VW types that came with tubeless radials. Even the bias plies used right before radials became common were tubeless.
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volksworker
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Run the pressure indicated on the side of the tire listed as max pressure less up to 20 percent maximum [28 would be the least I would run in a 165]. 35 year old stickers are not accurate. At 18lbs pressure with a modern tubeless radial, the tire will heat up at speed and delaminate. Heat [tire temp] is what causes the chunks of rubber you have to dodge on the freeway, that and samba tire pressure advice. The safest pressure to use at highway speeds is the max pressure since it will prevent the tire from building up heat.........I use 5 percent less to account for heat expansion even though the tire manufacturer has already figured this in. Also just because the car doesnt weigh as much as the listed max weight on the tire that doesnt mean you can run half the max pressure. The H,S and Z type speed ratings are a measure of how much heat a tire can take before it shreds.......rolling resistance [like low inflation pressure] increases heat build up.......the less pressure the more heat .......extrapolate from there regarding your safety. All the tire companies list underinflation as the number 1 cause of failure. I use 30-32 lbs in most normal tires which have a 35 psi max as does everyone I know and have known in the auto business. I would say talk to your local tire shop, but they are so afraid of lawsuits as are the manufacturers that they probably wont talk about it...but none of them ever lets any tire leave their shop at 18lbs psi unless its for a wheel barrow. There is info on the web available also but again due to the threat of lawsuits its not very complete. Frankly, at 18lbs pressure you can see the tire is underinflated if its a radial, yes they are supposed to have some sidewall bulge but not be riding on the sidewall which is very soft on a radial as compared to a bias ply tire. Original thing tires used tubes and a stiff tire casing much like a bias ply. [I still have my original spare] Front end weight is considerable, especially on a thing with gas heater, 10 gallons of gas, 2 passengers, the glass window curtains, tools, spare tire fuel tank, spare tire and any other stuff in the trunk. Its way heavier than a bug, but even on a bug I would obey the max less 20 percent rule. Low tire pressures also conveniently mask front end troubles like bad ball joints, loose steering boxes and out of balance conditions so they feel better to some people. The wheel is also hard to turn when parking......it should not be. Fuel mileage is increased as rolling resistance decreases so better gas mileage comes with increased pressure..........now if you are putting around town at 40 mph you wont have a problem other than increased tire wear and worse mileage. I drive all my cars at top speed on the freeways and highways of the west and I have never had a blowout on a VW. Now in snow or off road I might run a lower tire pressure for traction but thats a whole different thing. I think most people think of a tire as a balloon..........the more air you put in it the more explosive it becomes.........tires are just the opposite as long as you dont inflate over the max pressure .
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run my front tires at 18 lbs. Tire pressure differential compensates for the car's inclination to oversteer. Over inflating front tires will only ensure that the rear of the car will oversteer. The Corvair runs even lower pressure in the front. The Cadillac Eldorado used very low REAR pressures to balance handling.
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