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Tire / rim question
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loemerich
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:05 pm    Post subject: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

There have probably dozens of answers to this question but here goes.

I own an 82 Westy on stock 14’ steel rims. Tires are 195/75 14 with insufficient load rating.
Planning to either keep the 14” rims and replace tires with proper Hankooks
OR
Buy a 15” or 16” wheel set used and a set of tires.

Which option is recommended? Is the handling better with the bigger rims as I keep hearing? Do I need to get tires with extra load rating when going with bigger rims or can I use for example standard load 205/60/16 tires?

I have no power steering and only drive about 3000 miles a year if that helps.

Thanks in advance.
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

I don’t have power steering either, I have 15” Mefro steel rims, and once you get into the larger tires, you have more choices.
My snow tires are one load range higher than my all season tires, and you feel the stiffness of the D range versus the C’s.
Figure out which weight, total, of your Westy you might normally be running with and buy tires according to that usage.
Do you travel by yourself with little gear?
Or a couple of people and lots of gear.
A tire that’s common and in a readily available size is easier to replace when traveling as well, so there’s that aspect too since finding correct 14” tires seems to be a roller coaster ride of manufacturers making, then not making, our Vanagon tires in the old 14” sizes AND correct load range.

I'm running 205/65/15 tires, this keeps my overall diameter close to stock while getting nice road handling and decent cross wind resistance as well.
Replace your stock rubber bushings on the manual steering rack while you’re at it, easy and inexpensive as well
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

FWIW, I have run 215/70r14's most of the time over the nearly thirty years I have owned Vanagons. I have tried a couple of different 195/75r14 truck tires, some 195r14C tires, and 27/8.5r14 truck tires and don't see where the 215/70r14's are lacking in comparison to the best of these and certainly way better than the worst. None of the tires I have bought seem to measure up to the 205/70r14R tires that came on many if not most of these rigs.
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

Now this is a can of worms with lots of opinions. I drove my van for many years with under rated 14” tires and never had a problem. I put correctly rated 15” tires on my van and one came apart in less than 1000 miles. Some people here say it was designed with the 14” tires and that is what will perform the best. Others say they get better performance out of the larger rims. Assuming your 82 still has the aircooled engine if the new tires have a lager diameter you won’t be happy with your power. I have a lot more power in my 82 Westy and tires 1 to 2 inches taller than stock. I like the way. It handles better, but I don’t like what it did to my gearing. I don’t think it makes any difference in low speed steering without power steering. I bought new Vision wheels for less money than I could buy any used wheels for. Good luck with your choice. John
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loemerich
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

My 82 is all stock including engine so the new tire diameter should be somewhat close to the original - issues with gearing would be a real problem with 67 horses... Very Happy
So it seems the only real advantage with bigger wheels might be the tire selection.
Thanks for the feedback so far...
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

And they look cooler
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

I often hear there are more choices with 15" or16" tires. I found that if you want the same diameter as stock ( about 25.6"), there are still not a lot of choices. Now, if you accept, or want, larger diameter tires, then yes, the choices certainly do increase.

I'm running 16" rims, and my tires are XL, but they are 27" tall. I have a more powerful motor, but still if I look at the car it came out of, it would have lower gearing. So imagine taking a Passat and filling it to the brim and then changing the gearing and let someone who has one of these drive it and see what they would think.

Of course, in the van, coming from 67 or 95 hp and having higher power and taller gearing, it's still an acceleration improvement, so everyone, well at least me, is happy.
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calo1956
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

Well the much debated topic goes on. I have run GoWesty 16 in rims with Michelin 215/60R16. my top end isn't what i remember it being( but with 40 yrs of owning this van, many things aren't) I have run probably 20,000 miles , 10,000 on these, and about the same on the first set that dry rotted. I had the spare out the other day, and measured the height difference and it was 1 1/2 in. I would like to try the 14 in setup again and see if my top end is any better...
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loemerich
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

For those of us who have to/ want to stay with the same or very similar diameter as stock, here is a summary of sizes that work:
Original size:
185R14 - diameter of 25.7in. - Hankook RA18 102/100
Optional sizes:
195/75/14 - diameter of 25.5in. - insufficient load rating
205/65/15 - diameter of 25.5in. - Michelin Defender LTX 99T (Low stock it seems)
205/60/16 - diameter of 25.7in. - haven’t found proper tire yet
There might be others (Nokian etc.)
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:34 am    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

loemerich wrote:
For those of us who have to/ want to stay with the same or very similar diameter as stock, here is a summary of sizes that work:
Original size:
185R14 - diameter of 25.7in. - Hankook RA18 102/100
Optional sizes:
195/75/14 - diameter of 25.5in. - insufficient load rating
205/65/15 - diameter of 25.5in. - Michelin Defender LTX 99T (Low stock it seems)
205/60/16 - diameter of 25.7in. - haven’t found proper tire yet
There might be others (Nokian etc.)

I prefer to compare Revs per Mile rather than diameter. The speedometer is marked 805, meaning 805 RPM.

Nokian Entyre 2.0 - 205/65R15 99 H XL - 815 RPM
Nokian Entyre 2.0 - 205/60R16 96 H XL - 809 RPM
Nokian Entyre 2.0 - 215/60R16 99 H XL - 797 RPM
Continental ContiProContact - 225/55R16 99H XL - 807 RPM
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surfwagonorangevw
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

aloha , 81 air-cooled tin top , running 205-70-14 Michelin . yes I know they don't have the load rating , I do however like the way they drive . I am biased toward Michelins, have found they last longer and grip is good . Also should add that a near empty tin top is lighter than a loaded camper .
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

With 14" tires getting more and more hard to find, it makes sense to switch to 15" rims for tire selection, and that's a good reason and sufficient in itself.

However, I find the position that the Vanagon handles better or performs better on 15" rims from these tire discussions over the years without merit and not a good reason to switch by itself. A decrease in sidewall height or wider tread is a change that has both pluses and minuses in real world handling.

So, yes on logic for selection, but don't expect any handling improvements over and above the switch from old rubber with hard tread to a modern tread and fresh grippy rubber. And you are wise to stay with stock overall diameter as well.
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AllRad
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

I have a set of Mercedes CLK wheels. Have been waiting for the existing (previous owner) Hankook RA08's to wear out, then going to get some rubber for the new (to me) rims.

Since these rims are 7" wide, I was wondering if the 225/55R16 size would fit "best". As in, the tire will not end up looking kind of squat where it meets the rim and a little more narrow at the actual tread. I'm not sure if this would happen to a 215/60R16, which seems to be the popular choice. But the rims make a difference.

Does anyone run 225/55R16's on CLKs? Would love to see some pictures!

Cheers.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

AllRad wrote:
I have a set of Mercedes CLK wheels. Have been waiting for the existing (previous owner) Hankook RA08's to wear out, then going to get some rubber for the new (to me) rims.

Since these rims are 7" wide, I was wondering if the 225/55R16 size would fit "best". As in, the tire will not end up looking kind of squat where it meets the rim and a little more narrow at the actual tread. I'm not sure if this would happen to a 215/60R16, which seems to be the popular choice. But the rims make a difference.

Does anyone run 225/55R16's on CLKs? Would love to see some pictures!

Cheers.

I have recently switched from 225/55R16 Continentals to 215/60R16 Nokian Entyre 2.0, both on the same 16 x 7 rims. The tires look quite similar on the van: maybe not quite as butch as the Contis but that could be the maker as much as the size. The Nokians have a toothiness around the perimeter that changes the way they look.
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loemerich
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

After taking a long and hard look at the options and cost, I ended up with new Hankook Vantras sized 185R14 (original size) on the original steel rims. Together with new Boge/ Sachs shocks I put in last weekend as well the ride is smooth and driving feels safe again. Nice cornering and no more nose diving when breaking or shifting.
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

loemerich wrote:
After taking a long and hard look at the options and cost, I ended up with new Hankook Vantras sized 185R14 (original size) on the original steel rims. Together with new Boge/ Sachs shocks I put in last weekend as well the ride is smooth and driving feels safe again. Nice cornering and no more nose diving when breaking or shifting.

Congratulations on improving your ride.... Applause
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'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
‘84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire / rim question Reply with quote

Wow, did not know this tire was available. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
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