Looking for some tires.

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Lanval
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Lanval » Sat May 26, 2012 6:11 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Lanval wrote:I've never felt totally safe on the little 14" 185s,
Oh dear me, those factory engineers and their silly little oversights . . . :blackeye:

Here, let's lap Vanagons around the 200 foot skidpad.
Vanagon #1 has factory 185s.
Vanagon #2 has manly 235s

Look!

Vanagon #1 breaks away in a controlled slide at .67g (an outstanding number for a van)
Vanagon #2 peels inwards and flips the f**k over, not too manly seeing the driver try to pull himself out of the driver's door "sunroof".
Colin :alien:
An emotionally powerful argument, but not terribly convincing, given that the late US vanagons came with a 205/70R 14 tire OEM, and the vanagons made in South Africa up until 2002 used 15 in wheels with a range of widths out to 215 or so. Besides, you'll not see me on any skidpads in my vanagon. It's just a pad, man; a place to rest my weary head.

ML

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dtrumbo
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by dtrumbo » Sun May 27, 2012 7:00 am

Lanval wrote:Besides, you'll not see me on any skidpads in my vanagon.
Yes we will. When the distracted driver in front of you veers over into your lane and you have to make a sharp correction in one direction just in time to have to make another sharp correction in the other direction to avoid a fixed obstacle (Jersey barrier, etc.). That, my friend, is a skid pad.
- Dick

1970 Transporter. 2015cc, dual Weber IDF 40's
1978 Riviera Camper. Bone stock GE 2.0L F.I.
1979 Super Beetle convertible.

... as it turns out, it was the coil!

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SlowLane
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by SlowLane » Sun May 27, 2012 10:08 am

dtrumbo wrote:When the distracted driver in front of you veers over into your lane and you have to make a sharp correction in one direction

Whilst laying on the horn in anger and being rewarded with that pathetically friendly little "meeeeeeeeeeeep!". Yeah, like that's gonna wake 'em up.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
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tristessa
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by tristessa » Sun May 27, 2012 4:53 pm

Image

This thread is getting .. entertaining.
Remember, only YOU can prevent narcissism!

Lanval
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Lanval » Sun May 27, 2012 7:39 pm

SlowLane wrote:
dtrumbo wrote:When the distracted driver in front of you veers over into your lane and you have to make a sharp correction in one direction

Whilst laying on the horn in anger and being rewarded with that pathetically friendly little "meeeeeeeeeeeep!". Yeah, like that's gonna wake 'em up.

Awwww, don't worry. The switch over to a Mercedes horn is in the works; I've got the thread over on TS linked, I just need time to go to the junkyard to get my parts. In all fairness, I'd prefer one of those horn setup on JCWhitless that play songs... something like this would be about right:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5mtclwloEQ

As an aside: Dtrumbo, you may not have been down in SoCal recently, but I assure you ~ at the 60mph I cruise at on the "free"way, I am far and away the slowest thing on the road, planted firmly in the right lane, and causing traffic bunching. Anyone who drifted in front of me would also be accelerating away from me so fast that they'd escape the sound-waves of my horn, let alone force me to react! :geek:

Just so this post keeps within the realm of the original thread: the wheel tire combo I bought is about 1" in diameter larger than stock 185/14s that originally came on the vanagon, but as I pointed out, the later US vanagons increased the diameter and sidewall height of the OE tire, and the SA vanagons continued in that direction, by moving to a 15" wheel, and using a wider footprint tire (205 or 215 I can't remember now). Clearly the VW engineers were OK with the move to larger dimensioned tire in both diameter and cross section.

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Kubelwagen
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Kubelwagen » Mon May 28, 2012 9:37 am

I have my "music" horn rigged to a switch. Makes me happy to turn on the ice cream music, slow down by the park, watch the kids run, speed away.

Yes I'm going to hell. But, this all needs to be over in the "horns and musical instruments" part of the forum.
Patience the 81 Adventurewagen

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Amskeptic
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Amskeptic » Mon May 28, 2012 1:54 pm

The Air-Cooled Ranch wrote:You know... maybe I'm missing something here,
Maybe . . .
A) the gist of my reply, 185 14s are "totally" safe enough.
B) the more metaphorical element of my communication was to consider the "unintended consequences" aspect to modifications borne of subjective concerns.
If you missed anything here, please let me know.
Colin
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
December 2003

Effect of Oversize Tires on Stopping Capability and Handling Stability of an Altered-Height Vehicle
Rollover Propensity
The installation of larger size tires lowered the Static Stability Factor (SSF) and increased the calculated CG height of the test vehicle. The four-star SSF rating with 29-inch tires in the as-built configuration reduced to a single star rating with 38-inch tires. The change in rating increased the risk of rollover from 10 and 20 percent in the as-built state to more than 40 percent with 38-inch tires (see Table 3).

Risk of Rollover NHTSA SSF Star Rating
28-inch As-built 10 - 20 % 2222
28-inch 3-inch 4-inch 20 - 30 % 222
32-inch 3-inch 4-inch 20 - 30 % 222
35-inch 3-inch 4-inch 30 - 40 % 22
38-inch 3-inch 4-inch > 40 % 2
TABLE 3 – Propensity to Rollover by Tire/Suspension Configuration
Please note, that these tests were performed on an oxcart of a Ford F-150. A Vanagon's chassis engineering is exemplary, and I would not expect it to misbehave except for transitory obstacles like curbs and potholes. A Baywindow and more importantly, a splitty, will be more sensitive to basic traction capability of the tire.
If cornering force exceeds .58g in a bay and your grippy tires can hang on for more than that, you are flipping over.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

Lanval
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Lanval » Mon May 28, 2012 2:45 pm

Amskeptic wrote: consider the "unintended consequences" aspect to modifications borne of subjective concerns.
Colin
That was part of my point too; the driving characteristics of the Volvo improved dramatically by moving to the OEM size. The shift up in width and down in diameter was a net loss for driving characteristics in that vehicle.

The 185s on the vanagon though, have never given me a sense of firmness/stability, and I have D rated tires on. So I'm interested to try the larger size, which has been much ballyhooed by both Vanagon owners and vendors alike. Doesn't mean I'll like it, or that it'll perform as well as the OEM model, and I'm as irritated by the "what's the biggest tire I can fit on a vanagon?!" attitude (a Samba issue, not here) as I am by the "Bone stock is the only acceptable way" (everywhere I've seen car people talking).

That said, I doubt very much whether the change we're after here will have meaningfully severe consequences; if they did, I suspect Van Cafe and Go Westy would long ago have been sued out of using those sizes. We'll see; I'll have a month on them when you get here (have to get an alignment too ~ remember how badly worn those tires were on the outside?) and as I said, it may well be that alignment+shocks+new bushings will have a dramatically more powerful (and positive) affect on the driving feel of the Van than any wheel/tire could or would. If nothing else, I'll use your own argument here; "let's not talk about statistics and standards; let's get our hands dirty and trust to our experience" ~ that's what I'm doing, and frankly, if they suck, I'll sell them and get ahold of a stock 15" wheel and go from there.

Drive safely (whatever tires you're using),

Michael L

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Amskeptic
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Amskeptic » Mon May 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Lanval wrote: The 185s on the vanagon though, have never given me a sense of firmness/stability, and I have D rated tires on.
This may relate to the dynamics of your specific tires. If you like, we can go tear around in a parking lot until your brain rewrites its rules about what qualifies for "stability". The original Vanagon reviews from Road & Track and Car & Driver were characterized by amazement that the Vanagon could be thrown in turns with those widdle iddy-biddy 185-75-14s, which I had on my steel wheeled '89 Vanagon as well. With the addition of the 15" alloy wheels in the '90 models, VW dropped the aspect ratio to 70 with no real net increase in tire diameter.
In the Vanagon Bentley manual, there is a discussion of lowered chassis clearance, I do not know which models. The Westy baywindows have a lowered chassis in the rear, based on spring plate angle, and you just know it was because VW wanted the c.o.g. to remain exactly as designed.
out in left-field somewhere and made up outta Pure-D Brand Thin-Air Horsey-Sauce, apparently...
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Randy in Maine
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Randy in Maine » Mon May 28, 2012 6:11 pm

Lanval wrote:
Amskeptic wrote: consider the "unintended consequences" aspect to modifications borne of subjective concerns.
Colin
That was part of my point too; the driving characteristics of the Volvo improved dramatically by moving to the OEM size. The shift up in width and down in diameter was a net loss for driving characteristics in that vehicle.

The 185s on the vanagon though, have never given me a sense of firmness/stability, and I have D rated tires on. So I'm interested to try the larger size, which has been much ballyhooed by both Vanagon owners and vendors alike. Doesn't mean I'll like it, or that it'll perform as well as the OEM model, and I'm as irritated by the "what's the biggest tire I can fit on a vanagon?!" attitude (a Samba issue, not here) as I am by the "Bone stock is the only acceptable way" (everywhere I've seen car people talking).

That said, I doubt very much whether the change we're after here will have meaningfully severe consequences; if they did, I suspect Van Cafe and Go Westy would long ago have been sued out of using those sizes. We'll see; I'll have a month on them when you get here (have to get an alignment too ~ remember how badly worn those tires were on the outside?) and as I said, it may well be that alignment+shocks+new bushings will have a dramatically more powerful (and positive) affect on the driving feel of the Van than any wheel/tire could or would. If nothing else, I'll use your own argument here; "let's not talk about statistics and standards; let's get our hands dirty and trust to our experience" ~ that's what I'm doing, and frankly, if they suck, I'll sell them and get ahold of a stock 15" wheel and go from there.

Drive safely (whatever tires you're using),

Michael L
I bought the GoWesty 15" alloys with the 215/65/15 95 load index Michelins car tires. Nice wheels, lousy tires. I gave the tires away with about 10K on them.

Just buy the wheels naked and put on some nice properly rated Nokians, Michelin Agillis or the Vredestein Contracs from Bus Depot. Mine are the Vredesteins. Huge improvment. The perfect size would be 205/70/15s but mine are 205/65/15. Load index of 100.
79 VW Bus

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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Lanval » Mon May 28, 2012 8:44 pm

Randy in Maine wrote:
Lanval wrote: ** edit ** Michael L
I bought the GoWesty 15" alloys with the 215/65/15 95 load index Michelins car tires. Nice wheels, lousy tires. I gave the tires away with about 10K on them.

Just buy the wheels naked and put on some nice properly rated Nokians, Michelin Agillis or the Vredestein Contracs from Bus Depot. Mine are the Vredesteins. Huge improvment. The perfect size would be 205/70/15s but mine are 205/65/15. Load index of 100.

Randy, I thought I linked to it above, but here's the link, just in case:

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1 ... kages.html

I got the 205/65/16 Nokian Hakka C tires on the 16 in wheels. Hopefully I don't suffer too much from the shorter sidewall, but then I don't get off road, or even rough pavement very often.

Here's a comment from the Samba from a guy who has the same vehicle/tires I do/will have:

"I put a set of Nokian Hakka C's from Van Cafe on two years ago and was amazed at how much quieter and what a nicer ride they provide than my previous Geolanders. The downside is they are no bueno in snow or off road.

_________________
1985 Westfalia 2.1"

Considering I put Geolanders on our Volvo, and they are extremely quiet, that's quite a statement...

****************************

Colin,

The tires are certainly not top-of-the-line, and cornering isn't awesome, but I'm mainly talking about freeway driving, blowby from semis and so on; the tires don't track well (grooved pavement, which we don't have down here much, is a horror) and don't inspire a sense of confidence in my connection to the road. That's why I'm thinking the suspension components may be as important, or more important, than the tires. That said, I appreciate your concern and willingness to apply your expertise here; I'll be more attentive as I drive on the new tires, and will look forward to giving you a chance to drive them and see what you think, and your feelings about how the tires respond. Hopefully, the suspension will be done by the time of your arrival, so we can get an honest sense of what the tires can do.

Best,

Michael L

**edit ~ Randy, I forgot to say "thanks" for your input; I thought about getting the 15", but wanted a steel rather than an alloy rim (cost was the main issue). Good tip on the Vredsteins ~ I'll keep those on the list for the next go-around.

ML

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Amskeptic
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by Amskeptic » Tue May 29, 2012 9:25 am

Lanval wrote:
Randy in Maine wrote:
Lanval wrote: ** edit ** Michael L
I bought the GoWesty 15" alloys with the 215/65/15 95 load index Michelins car tires. Nice wheels, lousy tires. I gave the tires away with about 10K on them.

Just buy the wheels naked and put on some nice properly rated Nokians, Michelin Agillis or the Vredestein Contracs from Bus Depot. Mine are the Vredesteins. Huge improvment. The perfect size would be 205/70/15s but mine are 205/65/15. Load index of 100.

Randy, I thought I linked to it above, but here's the link, just in case:

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1 ... kages.html

I got the 205/65/16 Nokian Hakka C tires on the 16 in wheels. Hopefully I don't suffer too much from the shorter sidewall, but then I don't get off road, or even rough pavement very often.

Here's a comment from the Samba from a guy who has the same vehicle/tires I do/will have:

"I put a set of Nokian Hakka C's from Van Cafe on two years ago and was amazed at how much quieter and what a nicer ride they provide than my previous Geolanders. The downside is they are no bueno in snow or off road.

_________________
1985 Westfalia 2.1"

Considering I put Geolanders on our Volvo, and they are extremely quiet, that's quite a statement...

****************************

Colin,

The tires are certainly not top-of-the-line, and cornering isn't awesome, but I'm mainly talking about freeway driving, blowby from semis and so on; the tires don't track well (grooved pavement, which we don't have down here much, is a horror) and don't inspire a sense of confidence in my connection to the road. That's why I'm thinking the suspension components may be as important, or more important, than the tires. That said, I appreciate your concern and willingness to apply your expertise here; I'll be more attentive as I drive on the new tires, and will look forward to giving you a chance to drive them and see what you think, and your feelings about how the tires respond. Hopefully, the suspension will be done by the time of your arrival, so we can get an honest sense of what the tires can do.

Best,

Michael L
We will all have to become more creative and adaptable as evolution leaves us little dinosaurs shivering in the cold with our old VWs, no doubt.

I am all for applying good science to the decisions we will have to make.

Suspension components are in the service of making the tires happy. It does not go the other way around. Our very lives depend on those four little contact patches with the road.

However vaguely or inartfully I may communicate, the truth of that final law of automotive physics is unassailable.
ColinEgoOnlyGetsInTheWay
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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airkooledchris
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by airkooledchris » Wed May 30, 2012 10:54 am

I don't think anyone WANTS to see how many G's their bus pulls.

Ideally you pick a tire that will break loose at the right point in a slide Vs grabbing tight to the road and flipping your bus over the side of a cliff.

Then you'll see LOTS of G's -

Gee this sucks, Gee these rocks hurt my face, Gee my super wide tires must look sweet now that their pointed skyward (and then at the ground, and then at the sky, and then in the ditch)


Personally - I like tires with outlined white lettering. Always have. It's stupid, I know, but ever since I was a kid I always thought cars looked cooler with them. I try to stick to tire brands and sizes where I can still get OWL as an option. When im upside down in a ditch, im gonna look KOOL as a cucumber. 27x8.5R14's have served me well these past 6 years and I may stick with that size, though I am tempted by the BFG's in the 195/75-14 size, but im not going that route if they are still $150 a pop before mounting/balancing.
1979 California Transporter

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tristessa
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by tristessa » Thu May 31, 2012 4:01 pm

airkooledchris wrote:I am tempted by the BFG's in the 195/75-14 size, but im not going that route if they are still $150 a pop before mounting/balancing.
They ain't gonna get *cheaper* down the road...

:flower:
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the miz
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Re: Looking for some tires.

Post by the miz » Thu May 31, 2012 4:43 pm

...for what it is worth at this point in the thread, I put a set of Conti Vanco 2's on my "new" '82 Westy, and like them so far. Granted, I've only driven it ~1800 mi from Phoenix to Minneapolis...but it was in February, so it was an interesting 1800 mi. They handled light blowing rain, blowing snow/freezing precip and 50 mi gusts and an 8% pass and 80mph (when the 50 mph wind was at our back) aok...these are all conditions (8% pass aside) that I don't plan/expect to drive my Vanagon in, but nice to know the tires are up to more than I expect our of them. Mainly I liked that they are made in Czech Rep., as I like to avoid buying things made in China (Hankook) as much as possible...but hey, that's just me. Also, they are available at Discount Tire and online at Tire Rack.com for a reasonable price.
1982 Westy- Vana White

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