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What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread!
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bobbyblack Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Nankang Cross-Sport All-Season SP-9 215/60R16 99V. A directional road tire. I mounted these on Merc C320 rims, and in turn on the Vanagon with the proper T3Technique hardware. About 1000 Miles on them now. I live off the paved roads about 2 miles, Limestone gravel - been fine on loose and washboard rock. I was a bit more nervous when hitting the muddy wallows on wet days than I was with the BFG's. I've had a few rainy days, but I would not say I have enough water under the tires to give a better than so-so eval on how they handle in heavy rain on the highway.

My impression thus far is that they are a quiet tire, handle well at a variety of pressures and loads. They track nicely (better than my BFG's did) and stand up well in hard cornering. They are not for off roading, don't expect these to do well in wet grass even on flat spots. For my kind of driving, which is 50/50 [grocery getter / long road trips], these are good tires.

The combination of Merc rims and these tires do not fit in the stock spare clam in a Manual Trans Vanagon. I have not tried to fit them in an Automatic spare clam.

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And, they are fun to drive in grass if you actually like to spin your wheels Wink

(90 deg F on a dry August afternoon)

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2000 Mile Update:

Spare was hard to fit in the clam, I did hack the stock clam pan at the rear edge and drop it an inch which visually looked to not be helpful. The spare does fit now though with a sleeve on a longer bolt at the front. It clears the steering shaft by about an inch. It might be pushing up on one of the coolant lines, but has not observably been a problem for the temps or perhaps 'flow' of coolant in driving.

In Real World driving, I have not found any real trouble with the traction. I've been in a few situations where I would have expected to slip, like hilly wet grass, etc. and the tires were at least as grippy as the BFGs (well, take into account that the tire pressure is significant in each scenario..) had been.

Also, I was in some serious water on a trip last weekend. Hit some real nasty puddles on a freeway where I am very certain that the tires were actually the only reason I didn't hit the ditch. They seemed to keep a good bite through several inches of water at 65+ mph, which I am quite impressed with. Or, as impressed as anyone would be that had not ended up on the loosing end of a flatbed.

My impression at this point is that these are decent tires.
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Last edited by bobbyblack on Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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danbar
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Advice needed, I had a blowout in the Syncro yesterday so it's time for new tires. Currently I'm running stock suspension in a 5200ish lb syncro camper with between 17-17.5" from the wheel center to bottom of the fender lip. I have 15" Projekt Zwo (Ronal R9) wheels. Current tires are an older Michelin 4x4 tire in 205/70/15

I plan on raising the van a tad bit this winter with new shocks and springs but want to keep things reasonable. I want a little more tire but not a huge jump and something that feels tough for gnarly back roads but is also civilized enough for highway miles. I also want something that is readily available, as in if I shred a tire on a road trip they won't be hard to get, such that happened with the Nokian's on my GF's car.

This leads me to the BFG KO2 in 215/75/15. What say you syncro folks that have these? I know it's the smallest size they make, am I being too conservative? Are they not as good as people say? Do they totally rule?

Another option is the Geolandar G015. They don't make a 75 series tire so I'd probably try something along the lines of a 225/70/15. I have these on my Outback and I like them, with the exception that the on center feel was very vague for the first several thousand miles. Not sure I want any more vagueness in that feel in a high top syncro.

Anything else I should consider? Michelin Defender??? Am I way off with my sizes? Really curious to hear from people running these tires.

Oh, and for a long shot I'd love to find a narrower AT or similar tire that I can mount to the stock spare rim and still fit behind the front bumper, if I can match the diameter even better. Too much to ask?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Hey danbar,

I’ve been running the geolander G015 , 215/75 15 for a couple of years now. Very happy with them, surprised you saying they don’t do 215 , maybe they dropped that.

Anyway, harder wearing than the older generation geolander, work well on logging roads, I haven’t noticed off Center vagueness new or worn in. I do run them at 39 front, 44 rear on my Syncro westy . They feel a bit firm, firmer than when new, but I like that. The rubber must be hardening a bit or the reduced lug depth etc etc.

I’m sure the bfg equally good, that would be my choice other than the g015.

I love the van, the colour, the panel conversion. Looks great .

Cheers

Alistair
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erste
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

danbar wrote:
Currently I'm running stock suspension in a 5200ish lb syncro camper with between 17-17.5"
This leads me to the BFG KO2 in 215/75/15. What say you syncro folks that have these?

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Not syncro folk, but I just put 215/75/15 KO2s on my 2wd TDI. They replaced Firestone Destination A/Ts in the same size. I noticed a pretty big change in acceleration. The KO2 is a heavy tire. Reverse gear takes a lot more throttle to get moving than before. 1st and 2nd are slower as well. Maybe a -2mpg difference in fuel economy with them. Need some more miles / trips to tell for sure.

Some of these observations might be due to the taller size of the brand new tires vs. the worn down old ones. But I think most of it has to do with the weight of the KO2s. You might look at the Toyo Open Country in 215/75/15. I've read good things about them.

Airing way down on the 2wd, I feel better with the KO2s. But I've also been on some really gnarly trails with those Firestones aired down without an issue.

You should be able to fit an aired down 215/75/15 under the front with the van cafe carrier bars and a spacer/longer bolt. For what that's worth.
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danbar
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Thanks guys! I forgot how much I like the Firestones too, had Destination AT's on a 2wd van. Maybe some of those or the AT2? So many possibilities. I love hearing people's real world experience. I need to figure this out quick, the van ain't moving anymore on that spare until I do.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

danbar wrote:
Thanks guys! I forgot how much I like the Firestones too, had Destination AT's on a 2wd van. Maybe some of those or the AT2? So many possibilities. I love hearing people's real world experience. I need to figure this out quick, the van ain't moving anymore on that spare until I do.


https://www.nokiantires.com/all-weather-tires/nokian-wr-c3/
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

fyi 215/70/15 load range 98 winter tires $66ea shipped




https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-New-215-70R15-Mastercra...3373141186
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

It is time for Nelly to get a new set of shoes. I am currently running the Geolanders in a 215/65 R16 on Mercedes CLK rims. It looks like the Geolanders have been discontinued and while they have a replacement, I am concerned with the load rating.

So two questions:

1) anyone running CLK's with no additional modifications and putting a 215/70 R16 on them and do they rub? The key point in this line is I want to go from a 65 to a 70.

2) how noisy are the BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A® KO2? I like the look but when I originally bought the Geolander's it was due to them being quieter.

Thank you,
David
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

I had 215 70 16 on the clk with no rubbing BUT, I had 18" from the fender lip to center of the axle.

It was still pretty close, so I found that a very thin spacer (maybe it was 2mm ?), still allowed me 7 1/2 turns of the bolts.

This is with the 98-99 clk btw.
Being forged it's not as thick through the bolt area, making this possible.
As always, ymmv.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Interesting story on Discount Tires.

Took Nelly in and everything was good. Ordered the Geolander AT's. When they came it the guy there said they couldn't install them as the load rating wasn't' high enough. While I didn't like that answer, I agreed to put on the BF Goodrich AT's. Well, while they are putting on the new tires, one of my after market studs came out. Not a huge deal. But they were concerned. I asked them to nit tighten the lug to the recommended 130 from VW as the after market studs needed to be at 95 Ft lbs. That is where the trouble started. First, they told me that they would not be able to work on my van in the future as they are not allowed to work on vehicles that have been modified. I.E., after market studs. Then they said they could only go by the VW specs for liability reasons. We argues for fifteen minutes and eventually they called corporate. Corporate said they could do it this once but that would be it.

Ug, traditionally I have loved Discount Tire but this really left a bad taste. With that said, I love the way Nelly looks with the aggressive tires!
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1988M5
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Has anyone used Nokian “cLine” “Van” or “Cargo” tires?

https://www.nokiantires.com/company/news-article/n...ability-2/

The load ratings numbers are incredibly high, especially on the “Cargo” version.
I stumbled onto these while shopping for my 2002 Eurovan powered Winnebago Vista that needs new tires due to age, not tread wear.


“Van” version in the size I’m looking for.
205/65R16 C 107/105T
up to 118 mph, max load 2150 lb

“Cargo” version in my size (nearly) and larger that I may bite on for the rear because I can fit them and it won’t screw up my particular situation.
205/75R16 C 113/111S
up to 112 mph, max load 2540 lb

215/75R16 C 116/114S
up to 112 mph, max load 2760 lb

225/65R16 C 112/110T
up to 118 mph, max load 2470 lb

225/75R16 C 121/120R
up to 106 mph, max load 3200 lb

Brian

PS I also own a 1991 tin top that needs the front two 185R14’s replaced and the “Van” version is available in that size.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

1988M5 wrote:
Has anyone used Nokian “cLine” “Van” or “Cargo” tires?

https://www.nokiantires.com/company/news-article/n...ability-2/

The load ratings numbers are incredibly high, especially on the “Cargo” version.
I stumbled onto these while shopping for my 2002 Eurovan powered Winnebago Vista that needs new tires due to age, not tread wear.


“Van” version in the size I’m looking for.
205/65R16 C 107/105T
up to 118 mph, max load 2150 lb

Not Nokians, but a decent affordable Achilles tire in the size you want from tires-easy.com:
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Achilles tire Mounted.
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And compared to my "aged not worn" (left) and emergency replacement stock sized Nexen SV820.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Ebay has the 205/70/15 Nokian Entyres for $52 shipped
4 New 205/70R15 Nokian Entyre Load Range XL Tires 205 70 15 2057015

we've used these tires for a few years including the snow in Yellowstone..
while not a snow tire, they did well in 'all seasons'
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Winter is coming so it's time to ask about snow tires again. Has anyone run the new Firestone Winterforce CV tire yet? Clearly meant to compete with the Nokian Hakkapeliitta CR3 in the relatively small winter commercial van market. Available in the coveted 195/75/16 size with a 107/105 load rating.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?message=s...=975R6WFCV
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

ok it's that time again.

I see some Hercules 185r14 snow tires popped up
$85ea
https://www.ebay.com/itm/185R14C-Hercules-HSI-S-102-100R-D-8-Ply-Winter-Tire/372829857518

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old_man
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Quick question. Shopping for winter tires.

215/60R16 or 215/65R16

I know the former is closer to stock size. Will the larger size hurt me much? I know in some cases is can cause loss of mileage due to not having HP to turn them efficiently. Anyone with personal experience?

It's going on a 1.6 turbo diesel.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I replaced these Kumho tires today. Nice when new, they cupped and became very loud. That's no surprise given give the tread design, but it was quite a contrast to my perfectly evenly worn and still perfectly quiet Nokians. I'd rate them as effective in the rain and on forest trails, actually good handling on curvy roads, but horribly noisy.

MrPolak wrote:
Before, Nokian WRC 205/65R15. These had a correct load rating, but are no longer made. Very, very good tires, if expensive and a little quick-wearing. True 4-season tire handled snow and heat very well. These were quiet and comfortable to the end.

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Replacements. Kumho Road Venture AT51 in 215/75R15. Massive 106 load rating, D sidewall for 8-ply construction. Tire Rack has them with a mail-in rebate, making these a bit of a bargain.

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After. These look juuuust right and ride very well. I will report back after they've accumulated at least 10,000 miles.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

Here is a diameter comparison of the tires I've used on my Syncro:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

old_man wrote:
Quick question. Shopping for winter tires.

215/60R16 or 215/65R16

I know the former is closer to stock size. Will the larger size hurt me much? I know in some cases is can cause loss of mileage due to not having HP to turn them efficiently. Anyone with personal experience?

It's going on a 1.6 turbo diesel.


My gasser sure notices it. Bet your oil burner will too!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire thread! Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
old_man wrote:
Quick question. Shopping for winter tires.

215/60R16 or 215/65R16

I know the former is closer to stock size. Will the larger size hurt me much? I know in some cases is can cause loss of mileage due to not having HP to turn them efficiently. Anyone with personal experience?

It's going on a 1.6 turbo diesel.


My gasser sure notices it. Bet your oil burner will too!


How did it notice it? In a good or bad way?
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