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2WD Setup Like a 4WD
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ddye
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject: 2WD Setup Like a 4WD Reply with quote

OK so I just purchased some 16" rims that I am going to add to Kiki. Now I am looking for tires. As I couldn't afford the Syncro when I bought my baby I want to set her up as off-road capable as possible. My thought is to put on 215/70/16 BFG AT tires and a 1" lift down the road. What are anyone's thoughts on this setup? I will not be doing any hard core off-road just want to the ability to go where I want on two tracks and mildly un-improved roads without bottoming out or getting by but stuck. Now to complicate the issue most of my driving will still be highway.

Thoughts on what I should be worried about?

D

Adding image of new rims

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BlackDogVan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go Westy 2wd springs with the ball joint spacers, Bilstien HD's & a really good alignment with you sitting in the drivers seat.

I'll just assume you know what kiki means in the Philippines....
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wolfsburg4x4
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Making those changes will give you additional ground clearance and the BFG's will be more durable off road, but you may sacrifice acceleration due to the larger tire size and depending on how you accomplish the lift you may have worse handling and wind stability
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ddye
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackDogVan wrote:


I'll just assume you know what kiki means in the Philippines....


Yeah I know. I didn't growing up when it was my mom's nickname and she only found out much later in life. I named it after her. Who knew Very Happy
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ddye
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolfsburg4x4 wrote:
Making those changes will give you additional ground clearance and the BFG's will be more durable off road, but you may sacrifice acceleration due to the larger tire size and depending on how you accomplish the lift you may have worse handling and wind stability


Excellent points. I was thinking I would use the GoWesty springs. I just finished adding the Bilstein HD shocks. Do you think I should maybe go with a shorter sidewall like a 60 or 65? Not even sure I can get this but maybe. BTW are the BFG AT tires rated high enough for the Westy? I think so but have not been able to tell for sure. I thought I saw a specific tire thread somewhere but in the search all I could find is the wheel thread. I am beyond that now Very Happy
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BFG tires are rated adequately. I've been running them for 10 years on a heavily loaded westy. I have the older 27x8.5x14 tires on a 2wd that has been slightly modified for higher lift. I would not want to go much more than 27" diameter with the tires. The GW springs will give you a lot more lift, but any bigger in diameter will be hard on the stock engines.

The Yokohama Geolander is also an excellent choice in the 215/65/16

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Y...;tab=Specs
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Corwyn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not many can afford a Syncro (financially, emotionally, psychologically); but I've taken my stock van where some 2wd pickups feared to tread. I think the ground clearance is sufficient, though the power lacking sometimes. I think the shocks are a good idea, bit I'd go with BFGs on 14" rims.
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wolfsburg4x4
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ddye wrote:
wolfsburg4x4 wrote:
Making those changes will give you additional ground clearance and the BFG's will be more durable off road, but you may sacrifice acceleration due to the larger tire size and depending on how you accomplish the lift you may have worse handling and wind stability


Excellent points. I was thinking I would use the GoWesty springs. I just finished adding the Bilstein HD shocks. Do you think I should maybe go with a shorter sidewall like a 60 or 65? Not even sure I can get this but maybe. BTW are the BFG AT tires rated high enough for the Westy? I think so but have not been able to tell for sure. I thought I saw a specific tire thread somewhere but in the search all I could find is the wheel thread. I am beyond that now Very Happy


The bfg 215/70/16 is an excellent tire and sidewall flex should not be a problem because its a triple sidewall contruction and 70 series is not overly tall, plus it looks like you are mounting them on 7" rims which also helps vs a 6" rim

I beive they are load range C and can take 50 psi, so also good there

I can't comment on the springs/shocks but I've had those tires before.
They might rub on your fenders however...
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outwesty Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am running CLK's with 215 70 16's. The front would rub during extreme offroading and actually damaged the passenger side arch pretty good on a really bad two track. I added Gowesty lift springs and Bilsteins and it never hits now. It sits really high. I like it. Tahoe got over 100 inches of snow in 3 days and the 2wd did just fine this week.

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BlackDogVan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ddye wrote:
BlackDogVan wrote:


I'll just assume you know what kiki means in the Philippines....


Yeah I know. I didn't growing up when it was my mom's nickname and she only found out much later in life. I named it after her. Who knew Very Happy


I only know cause it's a old employers daughters nickname... His wife was from the Philippines tho!! Laughing
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aswah
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had pretty much the same set up you are talking about and just switched from BFG KO's to Geolanders... did so because the specific size I used isn't being made anymore and the Geolanders cost at least 1/3 less and are rated the same or better depending on who you talk to. I go down many a road I shouldn't and, knock on wood, haven't gotten stuck going where the water tastes like wine... I say this on the eve of a two week trip fully loaded and ready to go.
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ZimZam
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X2 on the Yokohama Geolander.
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1621
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Search around and you'll find a good number of Samba posters set up their vans exactly as you intend to. With a stock engine those tires may be a bit tall. Consider those Geolandars (I've got them on both of my vehicles) or a set of 65 series Nokians. The WRC Van tires are nice and have fantastic load ratings.

Outwesty makes a valid point about tires contacting the body, could certainly present a problem. Another reason why I would recommend the 65 series tire.
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outwesty Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will just add this. I ran the 215 70 16's for about 9k miles before I tdi swapped it. The stock 2.1 didn't have any troubles turning them even on some pretty intense mtn passes.
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have the best of both worlds, a 2wd can go most of the places a Syncro can plus it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to keep it running. I have a 2wd that has been running 27 x 8.50 14 BFG A/T's and have been all over So.Utah and down into Baja several times. The BFGs are the preferred tire for Baja travel because of the tough sidewalls. Also I understand that it is preferable to have a taller sidewall than a lower profile tire for offroad because it is better to be rubbing you sidewalls on the rocks than your rims. If you look at rockcrawlers, they are not running 70 series tires on huge rims but have a lot of sidewall exposure. They also run really low air pressure.

As far as raising your van, I have found my van to have plenty of ground clearance (I have a weekender, without the propane tank) to go most places, and raising it up will only make it more suseptable to crosswinds.

The place where a Syncro has us beat is the lower gear for climbing steep hills, and adding larger tires will only make that worse by effectivly raising your gear ratio.

You also need to get a really good air pump so that you can air your tires down to 20 psi for travel in sand. That's where my van has left me stuck in the past. Also, you need to get a high lift jack and the vanagon adapter, and carry some sand pads to extricate you if you do get stuck.
Be sure to take a good shovel.

Some might call my van a Syncro wanna be, but I'm just as happy with my 2wd the way I have set it up. I can be out enjoying it instead of working to pay for all that extra Syncro stuff.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You have the best of both worlds, a 2wd can go most of the places a Syncro can plus it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to keep it running.

I have both 2wd and syncros and I can tell you that this statement isn't true- sorry.

Enjoy your van Smile
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kayakwesty
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Some might call my van a Syncro wanna be,


How about a Pre-Runner set-up instead : )
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

outwesty wrote:
Tahoe got over 100 inches of snow in 3 days
Shocked

We don't get that in 3 winters!

RonC
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jimmy79/88
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Yokohama Geolander A/T-S 215/60 16" rims (88 2WD...no lift). I do light off Rd. but mostly to just get somewhere rather than for sport. The tires still get great gas mi. for long hauls (not a lot of noise either). The tires are a compromise between off road / hwy. I have been really happy with them so far. Good luck

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funagon
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolfsburg4x4 wrote:
you may sacrifice acceleration due to the larger tire size and depending on how you accomplish the lift you may have worse handling and wind stability


Love My Westy wrote:
The place where a Syncro has us beat is the lower gear for climbing steep hills, and adding larger tires will only make that worse by effectivly raising your gear ratio.


Those are both true. The BFG's are good tires and your van would look cool lifted with big tires, yes. But you have a camper (heavy) with a stock 2.1 WBX (underpowered). Any tire/wheel combo that gives you a larger diameter tire will effectively rob you of power, so that your van accelerates even slower, and you have to downshift on hills sooner.

When I've mentioned this before on the samba others have posted and said "so what?" and "I didn't notice any loss of power!" So maybe I'm just sensitive to it. Yes you can still drive the same places but you have to downshift to a lower gear and go slower up hills! In my mind, it's not acceptable to buy a set of tires that make me go slower!

I haven't been to Dallas in about 35 years and I can't remember how hilly it is. My general impression of Texas is: not very. So if you just want to drive around local roads in your van you might not mind the loss of performance. If you want to take long road trips and drive over mountain passes I'd say "Don't Do It!"

If you put larger diameter tires on your van, it will make your van slower, and then you'll start reading all the samba posts about engine conversions and bored-and-stroked waterboxers. And telling your family that you HAVE TO get a different engine to match your wheels! Then they'll think you're crazy.

I'd recommend a tire with a good aggressive tread (look at snow tires too) that maintains a smaller overall diameter. So lower shorter sidewall on a larger rim, as you mentioned, would be good.

Look at the Geolander or the Nokian WRC for starters.
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