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Wheels and Tyres advice
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emu88
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Wheels and Tyres advice Reply with quote

I am going back home in a week and would like to get some new tyres and clean up the wheels. I have the proper super beetle sport wheels:

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But they're not in good shape really and have several coats of silver spray paint over them.

My tyres are fat and heavily ribbed snow tyres.

My questions are:

1. How can I best clean up and protect the wheels with the tyres off once they're down to the bare metal?

2. What sort of replacement tyres do you recommend? what would have been the original tyres from the factory?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do a search, topic has been covered many times.
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emu88
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I'll do that for the cleaning, but what about the kind of tyres that would be as close to original that would have been on super sports wheels?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the wheels don't have tires mounted, have them bead-blasted and powder coated if you plan to keep them a while.

For tire size, go with 165-80-15 if you want the stock look. You can go up to 185 wide and go all the way down to 55 series if you want. It all depends on your taste.
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Joel
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they the proper 5.5" Sport bug rims or just the normal 4.5" Fuel injection rims?

The sticker in my glovebox says 5.5" sport rims had 175/70 tyres which I'll bet are no longer made but there will be something close availble still like 185/65.
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emu88
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, not sure. How can I tell if they are the proper 5.5" sport bug or 4.5" fuel injection rims?

Just re-read this by Rome in my thread:

Quote:
SportsBug wheels were factory-installed on the 1973 Super Beetle "SportsBug" special edition. In Europe this special model was known translated as the "yellow black racer" because of the predominant color choice of Saturn yellow with blacked out bumpers, hood and engine lid. The model was also available in Marathon Blue metallic, which was the same color as the 1972 "World Champion" Super Beetle special edition. The SportsBug wheels were 5.5" wide and had 26mm offset.

If you check the flat area between lug bolt holes on your wheels, you should see in small stamped digits "ET26" and 5.5J x 15. Those numbers correspond to the offset (26mm) and width (5.5").

Here's the US Sales Brochure, where you can see that the US version did not get the blacked out hood and decklid:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/lit/73sportsbug.php

These wheels were available from VW dealers' parts counters also. It is important to note that the wheel STYLE was utilized on many later Beetles, but with differences in width and offset. Porsche also utilized a version of this wheel on the 914, but even though it also had the same 5.5" width of the SportBug wheel, the 914's offset was 40mm- meaning that the wheels did not stick out as wide as the SportBug's wheels. You can tell the difference between the 914 and the SportBug wheels in your photos because your SportBug wheels have a shallow "groove" midway from the outer edge of the rim and the center section.

In Europe you could also buy a later version of the SportsBug wheel, with 34mm offset but still 5.5" width. I've never seen this wheel here in the USA in person. If that is the wheel you have on your car, then the wheel stamping would be ET34, with "5.5J x 15".


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The width and offset will be two stamps on the face of each wheel. One stamp will be x.5Jx15 and the other will be ETxx.

Like Joel said, if your wheels are 5.5 (and to me they look it), 185/65 is an ideal replacement tire size. If they are 4.5, you pretty much have to stay with 165R15.


Last edited by johnR on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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emu88
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnR wrote:
Thee width and offset will be two stamps on the face of each wheel. One stamp will be x.5Jx15 and the other will be ETxx.

Like Joel said, if your wheels are 5.5 (and to me they look it), 185/65 is an ideal replacement tire size. If they are 4.5, you pretty much have to stay with 165R15.

Great. I've found several in Turkey, but what do these extra bold numbers mean and why the price difference?

185/65R14 86T about $90 per tyre
185/65R15 88T about $105 per tyre
185/65R15 92T about $115 per tyre

Should I get radial or bias? I have read that radial offer less grip at slow speeds.

Also out of interest, what make did VW use from the factory, like continental or something?

Edit: Found out that R means radial, 15 is the diameter of the wheel rim in inches and the T is speed rating. What about the 86, 88 or 92?

It says in the 71 manual that tyres are bias ply 5.6-15. But would that still be stock for my sport wheels?
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emu88
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnR wrote:
Thee width and offset will be two stamps on the face of each wheel. One stamp will be x.5Jx15 and the other will be ETxx.

Like Joel said, if your wheels are 5.5 (and to me they look it), 185/65 is an ideal replacement tire size. If they are 4.5, you pretty much have to stay with 165R15.

Ok. I have 165 SR 15 radial snow tyres fitted. I cannot see any stamps on the alloys though that say if they are 5.5 or 4.5. How else can i tell?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From this thread
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3613646

You can see the tiny stamp towards the bottom of the pic on the right. Sometimes they are hard to see due to rust or thick paint. Maybe in Europe they had a different method of stamping or no stampings?

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



Bare rims can be measured like this (on the left)

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emu88
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnR wrote:
From this thread
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3613646

You can see the tiny stamp towards the bottom of the pic on the right. Sometimes they are hard to see due to rust or thick paint. Maybe in Europe they had a different method of stamping or no stampings?

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



Bare rims can be measured like this (on the left)

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


Dont have any markings on mine. Scraped off paint too!

I measures the width and the 165s sit just flush with the side of the car. If I got 185s the tyres would stick out 20cm!!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a 20% reduction on Pirelli tyres for a limited time only so want to get them!

Now I do NOT have any stampings on my rims at all anywhere I have scraped off paint to see but none.

Shall I get 165/65/R15?

Basically I want a tyre that makes the speedo as accurate as possible and I guess that means as close to stock as possible.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Close as possible Accurate speedo tire sizes would be
165x80x15
175x75x15
185x70x15
195x65x15
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

docdanracy wrote:
Close as possible Accurate speedo tire sizes would be
165x80x15 (available)
175x75x15 (never made, the closest is 175/70 15)
185x70x15 (never seen this one either)
195x65x15 (common on newer Passats and Golfs)


Theoretically, the calculation is correct, but the proper sport wheel quoted in VW litterature from the 70s is the 175/70 15. My tires are Nokian, and I guard them like gold, since they quit making them. Vredestein still makes them, though, they were also used on some Alfa Romeos GTs I reckon. Buy as many as you can to keep production rolling! This is a nice looking tyre with the 5.5 inch rims, not too wide, but noticeable wider than the 165/82. (80 series was normally not marked with the section ratio and were normally 82 % to be precise)

Many shops will try to sell you 185/65 15s but they are really short on diameter and look silly in my opinion. Better then to go for 195/65 rear and 165/80 front then, if you can't get the 175/70s.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnR wrote:


I measures the width and the 165s sit just flush with the side of the car. If I got 185s the tyres would stick out 20cm!!


They are 20mm wider so they would only stick out 10mm further on each side
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies guys!

Ok so I have a bit of a choice, but what you guys mention may not be available here in Turkey. These are the tyres I have available to me here, only the 195's seem to be in this list. Can anyone pick the best one from here please??

http://www.pirelli.com/tyre/tr/tr/car/sheet/cinturato_p1.tab?tab=1
Need to click on 'ölçü yelpazesi' tab to see the list.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsidius wrote:


Many shops will try to sell you 185/65 15s but they are really short on diameter and look silly in my opinion. Better then to go for 195/65 rear and 165/80 front then, if you can't get the 175/70s.


Ok, and 195/65 rear and 165/80 front will be fine with 5.5 sport bug wheels?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emu88 wrote:
allsidius wrote:


Many shops will try to sell you 185/65 15s but they are really short on diameter and look silly in my opinion. Better then to go for 195/65 rear and 165/80 front then, if you can't get the 175/70s.


Ok, and 195/65 rear and 165/80 front will be fine with 5.5 sport bug wheels?


Should be a valid combination, it is what I will go for when my 175s start to crack. If I can't find 175s then. 195/65 will most likely rub on the springs if you try to fit them on the front, but the rears should be clear. 165s are just 10 mm narrower than 175s, so it should be fine fitting them to the 5.5 inch rims. The ideal rim for 165s would be 5.0 width. What you don't want is the rim to stick out beyond the rubber, like all those Beemer kids running 20 inch rims and 35 section tyres have. One nudge against the sidewalk and those 500$ rims are toast.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsidius wrote:
emu88 wrote:
allsidius wrote:


Many shops will try to sell you 185/65 15s but they are really short on diameter and look silly in my opinion. Better then to go for 195/65 rear and 165/80 front then, if you can't get the 175/70s.


Ok, and 195/65 rear and 165/80 front will be fine with 5.5 sport bug wheels?


Should be a valid combination, it is what I will go for when my 175s start to crack. If I can't find 175s then. 195/65 will most likely rub on the springs if you try to fit them on the front, but the rears should be clear. 165s are just 10 mm narrower than 175s, so it should be fine fitting them to the 5.5 inch rims. The ideal rim for 165s would be 5.0 width. What you don't want is the rim to stick out beyond the rubber, like all those Beemer kids running 20 inch rims and 35 section tyres have. One nudge against the sidewalk and those 500$ rims are toast.

I see!!

Is 165/80 all round also ok? Why go for 195s upfront? Also Pirell, here don't stock 165/80s! Only 165/65. They have 175/65/15 though would they be ok all round?

Also if 175 is the ideal one, would 165's not expose the rims too much?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is 165/80 all round also ok?
Yes, that should work, but I would test fit one tyre to check that the rim does not protrude too much.

Quote:
Why go for 195s upfront?
Only if you want that extra wide look, and you already have 195s at the back. But as stated, 195s will most probably rub.

Quote:
Also Pirell, here don't stock 165/80s! Only 165/65. They have 175/65/15 though would they be ok all round?
175/70s are already a tiny bit too small, 65 profile would be far too small in diameter. At that ratio, the correct width is 195, to maintain the overall diameter.

Quote:
Also if 175 is the ideal one, would 165's not expose the rims too much?
Could be, but I don't think so. 5.5 inch equals 135 mm, that is inside the grooves of the rim, where the rubber lies, then the flange is probably 6-7 mm on each side, means that the whole rim is 150 mm wide in total. That leaves 15/2 mm of rubber to protrude. Tire dimensions are not always exact, so a test fit may be the best way to be sure. I had some 165s on a previous set of 5.5s and they fit like a glove.
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