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Are there any other wheel choices for 14" sized tires?
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richtrek
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Are there any other wheel choices for 14" sized tires? Reply with quote

OK, I did a search before I posted this question, so here goes!

I now understand the VW logic for 14" wheels. I don't want to mess with that. I would like nicer looking wheels than the originals I now have on my '74 Thing. Does anyone have some suggestions, or is the best bet to go to a good tire place and have them search their data base, etc.

Is there anything unique about the Thing when replacing the standard wheels with a same sized new wheel and basic tire? I read about "back spacing," which I did not fully understand, but that does not seem like it would be an issue with the same sized set up.

Thanks!
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Pierre G
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the past some "custom" wheels have been made in 14". I have 2 (unfortunately not 4) white spokes 6x14 in the correct 5x205 bolt pattern. As far as I know, today, they only exist in 15". In the correct bolt pattern I don't think you'll find anything in 14". You could find some cool wheels though in another bolt pattern, but you'll need either adapters or re-drill drums. The best option to me is to step up to 15" : large choice and you'll increase clearance (not bad for off road) while getting lower rpm's. But you'll lose some torque in the battle. I have some 15" wheels right now, like many of us here and it's still very driveable. No issue at all, even with my little 1641cc (stocker except for slight increase of displacement).

Pierre
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1976 181/Thing (daily driver), 1967 fastback, 1973 squareback, 1964 microbus, 1967 Double Cab, 1969 westfalia (currently under resto), 1972 westfalia, 1978 westfalia, 1972 LM1C dune buggy, 1974 jean's bug, 1974 1303 (super beetle, currently under reassembly after new paint) + 2 semi wrecks 181 (1971 and 1972)...
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klokard
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please tell me how you can get anything nicer than a stock wheel and hubcap!?!

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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Are there any other wheel choices for 14" sized tir Reply with quote

richtrek wrote:
I read about "back spacing," which I did not fully understand, but that does not seem like it would be an issue with the same sized set up.

Backspacing is a critical issue when choosing new wheels. There are two terms that are used to describe the same feature of the wheel.

Backspace is the distance from the surface of the wheel that makes contact with the drum to the inboard-most portion of the rim.
Offset is the distance from the surface of the wheel that makes contact with the drum to the centerline of the rim.
Expressing the same thing with two different reference points.

Where it gets really hard to wrap your mind around it is when you start adding in more variables, like increasing the wheel width, or the tire width or diameter, or lowering the front end . . . Basically speaking, if your new wheels have a larger backspace (that will move the tire inboard) you might have rubbing on the suspension. If your new wheels have a smaller backspace, you risk rubbing on the fender.
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richtrek
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like those newer stock wheels and they look clean. I have considered chrome stock wheels. The wheels I presently have seem to be a bit out of "true" and look old. They are painted the same "army green" as my Thing, but the paint does not look "clean."

Another goal I have is to get the best gas mileage I can and I believe that would be staying with the 14" wheels. Please, correct me if that is incorrect.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richtrek wrote:
The wheels I presently have seem to be a bit out of "true" and look old. They are painted the same "army green" as my Thing, but the paint does not look "clean."

If you call up your local tire shop they can recommend someone to true your wheels for you. Once they're trued, pick a color and send them out to be blasted and powdercoated. Very Happy

Quote:
Another goal I have is to get the best gas mileage I can and I believe that would be staying with the 14" wheels. Please, correct me if that is incorrect.

Again (!) It's not the wheel diameter, but the tire diameter that will affect torque, gearing, mileage, etc.. You can go with 15" wheels and get the same mileage as the stockers, as long as your tires don't exceed about 25.5" in diameter.
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Walter Wiseman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Where do I get these tires? Reply with quote

klokard wrote:
Please tell me how you can get anything nicer than a stock wheel and hubcap!?!

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What kind of tires are these? I really like the look! I just looked at tire rack (I install my own) and don't see anything like that. Brand and style?
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