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'87 Westy: 15" wheel conversion
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jbhuber451
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 6:56 am    Post subject: '87 Westy: 15" wheel conversion Reply with quote

Just bought this '87 Westy and want to do the 15" tire conversion (GoWesty). Anyone have problems putting 15" tires on a similar Westy? Or is it all bliss? Do folks feel confident that 15" non-reinforced tires do the job?
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TeamSpatula
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know about the wheels firsthand, but I've heard it's a direct swap.
However, I definitely recommend going with a reinforced tire, no matter what the size. I finally got a correct set of tires for my 87, and the handling is amazingly better, and more importantly safer...
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes get reinforced sidewall tires, the only thing I have heard about bigger tires is the speedometer may not read correct, other than that piece of cake.
Ratwell posted this on the bay-window forum, here's some nice 15" vanagon rims.
http://www.ronalusa.com/cars/vw_vanagon.html
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ProvoCyclist
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered the South African 15" wheels? I got my set from GoWesty, $603 shipped to utah, and it comes with the new lug nut and bolts (thats like a $50 item). Im running standard car tyres, and even those are a big improvement over the 14" stuff.

just my $.02

Clark
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supplicationjam
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a set of the gowesty 15x7 alloys a couple of months ago. They came with the michelin hydroedge tires filled and balanced. It took no time to replace them and it's amazing what a difference they made!!!!! The van no longer walks all over the road and I don't have to give the steering wheel the death grip everytime I see a semi coming. The gowesty alloys are a little more expensive but they sure do look cool.
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have the 15" from GoWesty with Michelin 215/65/15. The speedo is right on the money for me. On my baywindow it is tight in the rear (1/4" of clearance), but I am getting to be OK with it. Handling is much better.

Even those these are "car tires" they more than support the bus wieght and the lack of sidewall means there is less to flex. Greatly reduced the windwag, but make sure your rear torsion beam is properly adjusted before you spend the $1000 to buy them.

I think you vanagons have a little more room back there.
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mjamgb
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 3:44 pm    Post subject: Or... Reply with quote

Recently did a conversion to Mercedes rims (the turbine-look units). Still 14", however. Wife was unhappy as she preferred the stock wheels with the Merc. hubcaps we found (oh, well. Maybe for the snows).
In any event, I wrestled with the tire issue for months and ended up getting 205/70R-14. Stability has been as good as the 185-14R so far and there is lots of room (although I'm at about the limit for 14-inchers unless I go to LT tires). Only drawback is the speedo is "optimistic" by about 5%.

Had to drill out the lug holes and source Porsche lug bolts and drag race rear studs to make it fit (rear studs are TOO long).

Pretty happy overall.

Best was the inexpensive nature of the deal (under $500 for all the parts, wheels, tires, mount and balance, shipping, etc...).
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Pillow
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go cheap and get some Passat or Audi wheels.

I am running 15"x6" Audi 200 Quatro wheels (BBS mesh painted Pearl White) and paid $100 off of e-bay.

Just wathc the offset and you are fine. I think 35 for bays/vanagon and early Eurovan, 45mm for late Eurovan... Do not quote me on that though as I might be flip flopped.
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Pillow
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That being said does anyone want '92 Eurovan 15" steel wheels on the cheap? With hubcaps. Again will fit bay and Vanagons straight up.

... Easy way to get into 215/75R15 load "C" tires Smile Some say too big, I say just right. I am always in traffic so correct speedos mean nothing to me, I go as fast as the person slowing me down in front! LOL
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mjamgb
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 5:52 pm    Post subject: Speedo error Reply with quote

Turns out (as I read my Bentley for another issue) that VW interpreted some arcane DOT regulations to mean that the speedo must read high. VW added, like, 2.5 mph plus 5% or some-such (sample calc in Bentley stated at 50 speedo would indicate between 55 and 58.5 mph) +/- 2%.

So, tire size is spot-on, speedo is whacked (apparently on purpose!).

mike!
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densteele
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 2:24 am    Post subject: 15" wheel conversion Reply with quote

I bought the gowesty 15" wheels and michelin tires. It's very nice, a direct fit and works well. The car is much more stable and feels better. Of course, it's $1000, but what the heck.

Dennis
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NapaBavarian
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Speedo error Reply with quote

mjamgb wrote:
Turns out (as I read my Bentley for another issue) that VW interpreted some arcane DOT regulations to mean that the speedo must read high. VW added, like, 2.5 mph plus 5% or some-such (sample calc in Bentley stated at 50 speedo would indicate between 55 and 58.5 mph) +/- 2%.

So, tire size is spot-on, speedo is whacked (apparently on purpose!).

mike!


I've been using this as an excuse to go with slightly larger tires...
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bought the GoWesty South African Rhein wheels, with the Michelin Hydro Edge tires (215/75/R15), and what a difference it makes! Prob'ly one of the best investments you'll make for your Westy.

-Jared
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I went with the Audi 5000 turbo wheels, had the bore modified for the syncro. I went with the Agilis 205/65 r15. The speedo was way off when I changed. However, if you take a gps, get the ground speed at lets say 55 mph on the speedo. Take out the speedo from the cluster. If you notice there is a break away plug on the back, and you can pry it off. then move the needle to 55 mph, and put you finger in the hole on the back and hold the speedo wheel at 55 mph reading. Pull the needle off from the spindle, and push it back on at the speed the gps indicated. Violá, correct speed on the speedo, regardless of DOT, vw, tires or other influences.

Cheers,
James
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wbx
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogpilot wrote:
Violá, correct speed on the speedo, regardless of DOT, vw, tires or other influences.


Not to hijack the thread, but this will only give you a correct speedo at 55mph. It will read increasingly too low at lower speeds and too high at higher speeds. However, it will be more accurate, overall.

On to 15" wheels - the reason i did it is that pretty much every brake upgrade requires 15" wheels. I had good 14" tires, and the 15s aren't hugely better in terms of handling. But it does look a lot cooler Smile

-Damon
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually after doing it to mine. It seems to track very closely from 75-35 according to the gps. It does not ride on the peg when stopped now and shows 12 when stopped. Prior to that it was 12mph off.
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sc-surfer
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with the SA wheels form Van-Cafe with 225/75 BFG AT light truck tires. Van drives perfect, there are no clearance issues. As everyone else has said, get the LT tires. I wouldn't mess around with any no-reinforced sidewall. Your van will drive so much better with the right tires.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pillow wrote:
Go cheap and get some Passat or Audi wheels.

I am running 15"x6" Audi 200 Quatro wheels (BBS mesh painted Pearl White) and paid $100 off of e-bay.

Just wathc the offset and you are fine. I think 35 for bays/vanagon and early Eurovan, 45mm for late Eurovan... Do not quote me on that though as I might be flip flopped.

Got pix?
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gonewesty4good
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are running OEM 15" South African Steelies, perfect fit and offset. I am not a fan of any of the OEM alloys or Gowesty wheels, looks wise. Some adapted wheels look good, especially from the Audis.

Got mine from the good people in SC at www.vancafe.com
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tangojeff
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:45 pm    Post subject: 15' GoWesty wheels Reply with quote

Don't forget mudflaps. Your Vanagon will now need them.
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