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14" tire options?
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vanjoe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:35 am    Post subject: 14" tire options? Reply with quote

Ok I have been reading posts on tires. I am wanting to stay with my stock steel wheel. I am going to put a stainless steel mood disc cover over them so I don't need no fancy wheels. I have 205/70/14 tires right now. I can't find any brand with a good load rating in that size. I was speaking with the guy at the tire store about going with a 215/70/14 or a 225/70/14 and that will definately increase the load capacity rating by about 200 lbs per tire. Is anyone running a tire this wide and are you having problems with it rubbing. I am also going to be lowering the van a little. What I am going for is a hot rod look. Flat black paint with moon discs possibly white wall tires in the future. I just want normal black wall right now. Thanks in advance.
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try a 195R14 tire.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: Tire ? Reply with quote

Sadly the selection of strong tires in that size for stock alloys is just about none. Here is one though.

http://www.onlinetires.com/products/vehicle/tires/general/205%252F70-14+general+altimax+rt+98t.html


For 14" tires I follow a few rules.
Only install tires with at least 2 sidewall plies, never just 1 ply.
Only install tires that will inflate to at least 41 psi, never just 35 psi max.
(the number of sidewall plies is stamped in very tiny print into one sidewall of every tire, along with tread plies and max pressure)

Mark



vanjoe wrote:
Ok I have been reading posts on tires. I am wanting to stay with my stock steel wheel. I am going to put a stainless steel mood disc cover over them so I don't need no fancy wheels. I have 205/70/14 tires right now. I can't find any brand with a good load rating in that size....
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(recent posts of mine & others, gleaned & paraphrased from another thread...)

For stock 14" rims, there are THOUSANDS of poor choices for your van, but these three are among the very few to be EXCELLENT:

One word: Hankook - $75 ea. @ Bus Depot: link below... (not for snow/mud, however...)
For snow: Vredestein - $125 ea. @ Bus Depot: link below...
..or...
Nokian - $115 ea. @ Van Cafe... http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1155_1404/nokian_tire_185r_14_hakkapeliitta_cs.html

Good info, plus Hankook & Vrede's specs & links @ BusDepot... http://busdepot.com/details/tires.jsp

MUCH good info, but maybe more than you WANT to read @ Roadhaus... http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/guideline.html

BTW, recommended PSI for stock tires on stock wheels is posted inside your driver's door frame: ~40 PSI fronts / ~50 PSI rears.
This rig needs more support than 35 PSI in a passenger tire!

Happy trails!
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vanjoe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input. I looked at the 195r14 but they are too tall and narrow. I don't like the look. The General definately looks good and the 98t load rating is good. I am going to go down to the tire store and have them get me a price.
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vanjoe
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update...... Found the lowest price tires at tire buyer.com. They actually have 2 different tires for the 205/70/14 there is the General Brand and a Capital brand they both have a 1655 lb rating and a 98t sidewall rating. The Capital brand is about $12.00 cheaper per tires. So for a set of 4 is only $211.00. The way it works after talking to one of there preferred dealers is I pay for the tires online and they drop ship them to the dealer of my chose from there list. They also don't charge for shipping. So my whole package is going to be $297.00 for everything. That is about $100 cheaper than the lowest price that I was quoted from a shop. The guy at the tires shop was cool and said that the way I am buying is the best way to buy tires. Pretty honest of him considering he isn't really profiting from the tires.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanjoe wrote:
Update...... Found the lowest price tires at tire buyer.com. They actually have 2 different tires for the 205/70/14 there is the General Brand and a Capital brand they both have a 1655 lb rating and a 98t sidewall rating.


Those both appear to be passenger car tires. I don't know if I'd want to use them on my van. The General tires appear better than the Capitol though.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
vanjoe wrote:
Update...... Found the lowest price tires at tire buyer.com. They actually have 2 different tires for the 205/70/14 there is the General Brand and a Capital brand they both have a 1655 lb rating and a 98t sidewall rating.


Those both appear to be passenger car tires. I don't know if I'd want to use them on my van. The General tires appear better than the Capitol though.

The Generals (in 205/70R-14) come in an XL-rated version.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chimivee wrote:

The Generals (in 205/70R-14) come in an XL-rated version.


They are still supposed to be derated for use on a truck though because of the passenger car designation.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
chimivee wrote:

The Generals (in 205/70R-14) come in an XL-rated version.


They are still supposed to be derated for use on a truck though because of the passenger car designation.

Good point.

FWIW, the Generals exceed the specs (in both max load and inflation) of the factory-equipped Michelin MXL 205/70R14 (and once popular successor, the MXT) passenger tires.
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that those 205/70/14s were about the lamest tire ever used by VW in a bus application and they went away soon afterwards.

That being said,you are probably OK in them, but you will not have the nice stiff sidewall tires that we enjoy and will likely experience some "wind wag" with them.

Choose wisely is my motto.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the door stickers have specs for different stock sizes. The first few years with 205/70/14 tires said "Reinforced, Load 97" or some such. The XL "Extra Load" designation is comparable to reinforced. These tires are rated XL and Load 98. That meets those factory door sticker requirements, IMHO.

Some vans have "Reinforced, Load 99", use your own judgment on those.

Mark



PDXWesty wrote:
chimivee wrote:

The Generals (in 205/70R-14) come in an XL-rated version.


They are still supposed to be derated for use on a truck though because of the passenger car designation.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most Vanagons came with 205/70R14 extra load tires and ran them without problems. My original set of Michelin 205/70R14s were unquestionably the best tires I have ever had on a Vanagon in more than a half million miles of driving them. If I could still get the 205/70R14 Michelins I would.

An XL rated passenger tire does not need to be derated to work on a multi-purpose passenger vehicle.

That said, I do not have personal experience with either of the passenger tires mentioned above to know how they will perform.
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funagon
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought my current van with a set of Nokian Hakka 205/70/14 tires on it. Those were the best handling tires I've ever had on a vanagon. Very stable and assured when cornering. Those nokians exceeded the load rating for vanagons. They were wide with a very squared off profile like this:

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


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


When I replaced them I cheaped out and bought the General Altimax RT 205/70R14 tires. They have a more rounded profile, and despite being advertised as size 205/70/14, I could see that they were not as wide as my Nokians. They also did not handle very well through corners. I had to seriously reduce my speed because I got that sort of wallowing "marshmallow" feel while driving through corners or in sidewinds. After a few thousand miles two of the General Altimax RT tires developed strange indentations in the sidewalls that hinted at something structural changing beneath the surface of the tire. Looked like this:

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


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


I told myself, "Self, you'd better put some different tires on that van before you have a blowout." But before I got around to it my rear tire blew out while driving on the highway. (Blewout on the inside of the tire--facing the transmission--not the outside where the depressions appeared.) I can't say for sure what caused the blowout. I was on a highway with no shoulder, and since I had to drive on the damaged tire (at low speed!) to get off the highway I don't know how much of the damage was caused by the initial blowout, and how much was caused by driving on it. Here's how it looked:

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


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


So I bought another set of Nokians from Van-Cafe. I bought whatever they had in stock, which was the 185R14 hakka snow tire, designed for vans, load rating 102, good snow tire. Tread looks like this:

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


So here's my subjective evaluation, based on a sample size of 1. (That's me, I'm the single test in this experiment.):

Nokian 185R14's are good tires, handle relatively well. Not as good as the 205's did but road handling is acceptable, and appreciably better then the General Altimax. The Nokians give me peace of mind knowing that they can handle the weight of the van, can handle snow and mud, not showing any wierd deformations in the rubber.

Nokian 205/70/14's were excellent handling, very stable tires, far preferable to other 14 inch choices. The nokian website does not show them for sale anymore and I don't know if you can get them anymore.

General Altimax RT 204/70R14 were inexpensive, and that's the only good thing I can say about them. I was not satisfied with the driving characteristics nor the longevity of these General tires.
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crowinghen
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

funagon wrote:


So I bought another set of Nokians from Van-Cafe. I bought whatever they had in stock, which was the 185R14 hakka snow tire, designed for vans, load rating 102, good snow tire. Tread looks like this:

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


Did you get the Hakka c or the Hakkapeliitta c's?? I thought the Hakka c's were more of a summer tire and the Haakkapeliita's are more of a winter/mud all season tire.

oh I can see the lettering on your picture-- looks like Hakkapeliitta is written on your sidewall.
i'm not nit-picking, i just mention this for clarification.

BTW I have those same tires-- can't say how they handle as Butters is still on blocks, getting the brakes done.

susie
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funagon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are Hakkapeliitta's. I didn't realize there was another version called "Hakka," I just shortened the name because I didn't want to type all those letters.
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VWeGoBeachNow
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

funagon wrote:
After a few thousand miles two of the General Altimax RT tires developed strange indentations in the sidewalls that hinted at something structural changing beneath the surface of the tire.
...
General Altimax RT 204/70R14 were inexpensive, and that's the only good thing I can say about them. I was not satisfied with the driving characteristics nor the longevity of these General tires.


I'm having the exact same problem with these tires. The PO had bought them they have about 10k on them. I'm going to replacing the General Atimax RT this week.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah man. I was just in Nelson, BC this past weekend and ran across a Vanagon with 185/14 tires that were a 102 load rating. It had "802" or "805" in the name and the brand was one I had not heard of. I forgot to write it down as I was out for a walk. The name Capital mentioned here rings a bell. Perhaps they're only available in Canada? Anyhow, they seemed a good all around tread. Ring a bell with anyone? I could only find a Capital Sport model of tire listed when I googled this info...crap.

DougM
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John Of the north
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The name Capital mentioned here rings a bell


Sure it wasn't federal? I have some federal ecovans in 185r14.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
...ran across a Vanagon with 185/14 tires that were a 102 load rating. It had "802" or "805" in the name and the brand was one I had not heard of...the name Capital mentioned here rings a bell...

link: http://www.roadhaus.com/tires.html
(scroll down by manufacturer to find...)
Quote:
Capitol
Model: SV-820
Size: LT185R R14
Load Index: 102
Load Range: D
Max Load: 1874 lbs
Max [email protected] Pressure: 65 psi
Fits in Stock Clamshell: Yes

Meets Specifications: Yes

Note ... made by Kelly-Springfield

Yeah, these sound ok too...now if only they're still available...(BTW, these specs are identical to the Hankook RA-08: link in my previous post)...
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