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Newbie question about 15" wheel upgrade...
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Lunabus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:20 pm    Post subject: Newbie question about 15" wheel upgrade... Reply with quote

I have been reading a lot of posts about how much people love the upgrade to 15" wheels, for looks but especially control!

The questions...

1. Is there anything else that needs to be changed/adjusted/modified when switching to 15" wheels , besides tires that will fit?

2. Where to find them without breaking the bank?

3. Any other advantages to having them over stock 14" other than look and stability of ride/handling?


Thanks...
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to have a wheel that was either made for the Vanagon or has been modified to fit. The Rhein design South African Vanagon wheel has been a great direct fit upgrade, but rumor has it they are currently unavailable. You should check with VanCafe to see what the current story on these is. GoWesty sells a replica wheel of a Mercedes design that works well, and they look pretty decent. These are probably the best choice right now. The only thing you would need to modify with either of these wheels is to remove the two small bolts that fasten the brake drum to the hub. The factory wheels had a concavity there to clear the bolt heads and the other wheels don't.

In terms of tire size, you have a couple choices if you want to retain stock rolling diameter: 205//65/15 or 215/60/15. Some people upsize the tires, but I personally don't like the look.

The primary improvement will be crosswind performance, steering turn in feel, and to an extent cornering grip.


David
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Ma'ili Pt Westy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: 15" wheel upgrade Reply with quote

I've heard that there is no other upgrade needed. There is alot of information on this subject. Do a search and you will find good info.

I'm waiting to upgrad to a set of 15" South African Rhein Alloy Wheels. These wheel are very popular and difficult to get. Hopefully they come in soon.

Anyone know where I can get a set of 15" SA Rein Wheels?
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wannadrive
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a newbie needin' to upgrade tires on my westy diesel, myself.

And I'd like to know the pros and cons of going 15" or 16"? I've seen GoWesty offers the rims mounted with Michelin Hydroedge for $1000, though I've also read good options at Bus Depot...

So - 15" or 16" - any thoughts?

Thanks,
Byron
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 15" wheel upgrade Reply with quote

Ma'ili Pt Westy wrote:
I've heard that there is no other upgrade needed. There is alot of information on this subject. Do a search and you will find good info.

I'm waiting to upgrad to a set of 15" South African Rhein Alloy Wheels. These wheel are very popular and difficult to get. Hopefully they come in soon.

Anyone know where I can get a set of 15" SA Rein Wheels?


You can get them here....

http://www.foreignautosupply.com/
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go Westy has done their homework with regards to aftermarket rims. I just purchased the 16 x 7.5 rims. They included studs and bolts, center caps and valve stems. I purchased new yokohama 215/65/16 tires from Tire Rack. I don't see how you will get anything bigger without raising the height. I have a TDI conversion and was looking for the taller rim. In fourth gear I am seeing 2000 rpm less with the taller tires over stock at 70 miles an hour.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
In fourth gear I am seeing 2000 rpm less with the taller tires over stock at 70 miles an hour.



2000rpm less? Hmmmm, did you mean 200rpm? Because that would be more accurate.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand corrected 200 rpm. 2000 rpm would be some very "tall" tires. Thanks Cool
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Williamtaylor33
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D Clymer wrote:
The only thing you would need to modify with either of these wheels is to remove the two small bolts that fasten the brake drum to the hub. The factory wheels had a concavity there to clear the bolt heads and the other wheels don't.

I've searched around for another explanation for this but cant find one. When you remove these two small bolts is there anything else to do? Maybe i'm missing something...but those bolts were put there for a reason- to fasten the brake drum to the hub. It doesnt seem good to just undo a couple of bolts and leave them out.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does seem counter-intuitive to remove something the factory put there without replacing it in some way, but these bolts are kinda like a appendix for our van. They may have once had a purpose, but they don't any longer, and you can remove them with absolutely no concern.

The lug studs are going to do a perfectly adequate job of holding the brake drum securely in place in regards to the wheel, and to the hub in turn.
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delta-vanagon
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those 2 little bolts held the drum on during assembly. When the wheels and tires are mounted, the 5 lugnuts will be more than sufficeint to hold the drum on.
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Spinal Tap
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Williamtaylor33 wrote:
Maybe i'm missing something...but those bolts were put there for a reason- to fasten the brake drum to the hub. It doesnt seem good to just undo a couple of bolts and leave them out.


Yes they were there for a reason. As Hiram and Delta pointed out, they are only for assembly. Primarily they were there for toe protection. The screws are to keep the brake drum attached to the hub while your Van was carted down the assembly line. Wheels/tires are usually added towards the end of the assembly line. So from the time the drums are put on, until the time the wheels are put on, there is a very real danger of a drum falling off, and smashing a toe (or ten), and damaging the drum. All easily avoided by adding 2 little screws.

Once the van is out of the factory those screws are, as Hiram pointed out, an appendix. In other words, a leftover artifact from assembly. So it's perfectly safe to remove them. Our Westy is without them right now because the PO put on the GW 15" wheel kit.

This is a common practice for all drum brakes I have seen, across different manufacturers.

Just watch your toes. Laughing
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