Tire sizes

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  scubasteve 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
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  • #302348

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

    My TDR is a Duchess built on a 70 VW donor. It has 165R15s on the back and 205/60R15s on the front. The front tires are totally cracked and need to be replaced. I assume the front rims are a different size than the back since the tires are a lot wider. Is there an easy way to check the rim width? Done a bunch of google searches but have not found a good reference chart of rim width to tire size. Any help would be much appreciated.

     

    greg

     

    #302349

    johnsimion
    Participant

    @johnsimion

    Some OEM VW wheels have the wheel size stamped on them in letters about 1/8″ high.  “4Jx15” as I recall.  There’s no guarantee with this.  All of my own wheels look alike but some of them have the stamping and some don’t.

    Also, according to Tire Rack, your 205/60s are actually equivalent to the 165R15s, so I’d bet the wheels are the same front and back.  See http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/45_conversionchart.jsp

    #302350

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    What does it mean to say they are equivalent?  Not much, and it is very misleading.  A 205 tire has a cross section width of 205mm as compared to a 165(mm) tire.  It is 40mm wider, at its widest.  What the tire rack chart is showing is that each of these tires has about the same outer diameter, and would give about the same speed for a given rpm.  The 60 number shows that the tire sidewall height is 60% of the width of the tire.

    A 205 tire has a wider cross sectional width and also has a wider footprint.  It will be considerably heavier than a 165.  Clearances to the body, which may not be a problem with a 165 may be a big problem with a 205 and may cause you to have to use spacers between the rim and the brake drum (this is not necessarily an advised way to “correct” the problem of interference).

    It is customary for TD’s to use all 4 tires of the same profile (205/60R is the profile) 15 is the diameter of the rim that this tire is designed for.  If oversized tires (as the 205) are used, then they are usually mounted on all 4 wheels or on the rear.  You will find that your TDr will steer more easily (especially noticeable when parking) with smaller 165 tires.

    As for what rim width is recommended for a certain tire size, google it.  You will find many opinions, but standard VW rims are about 4″ (I can’t remember exactly) and most all of us use 165R15 on all four wheels.  If you go bigger, you might want to check clearances carefully.

    Disclaimer:  One month ago, I bought four new Yokohama tires to replace the Perreli’s on my classic Mini.  I bought the exact same advertised size.  The Yokohama’s rubbed so badly, I had to install 1/2″ spacers to get them to rotate freely.   Be careful and don’t hurry tire selection as an error can be expensive and even dangerous.  When different sizes are used on front or rear, the larger tires are almost always put on the rear.

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  royal.
    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  royal.
    #302353

    johnsimion
    Participant

    @johnsimion

    Royal is absolutely correct about “equivalency” and the consequences of the wrong profile.  I was only trying to address the OP’s question about determining the width of the rim that the 205/60s are mounted on.  The OP said he was assuming that because the 205/60s were wider than the 165/15s, they must be on a different (i.e., wider) rim.  That isn’t necessarily true.  The 205/60s could fit on common 4″ or 4.5″ VW wheels and therefore it cannot be concluded that the rim must be wider in the front than in the back.  Of course, mounting such wide tires on such narrow rims would never be recommended, but not everybody follows recommendations. Also, a guy who puts 165R-15s on the back and 205/60s on the front is probably not paying attention to recommendations anyway.  Bottom Line:  Unless the wheels are stamped with the width, to be sure of the width the OP has to take the 205/60s off and measure the width of the rim.

    We are in total agreement that 205/60s should not be used on a MG TD replica.  Like Royal, I’m using 165/15s all around on my car.  If I recall correctly, the original TD (and the original VW) used 155/15s, but those may not be readily available.  The difference between 155/15 and 165/15 is negligible anyway.

    #302354

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    Any garage with a wheel balancer can tell you the width of the wheel without dismounting the tire. There is a gauge used so you can set up the machine for correct balancing. Takes two seconds.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 2.3, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #302355

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    I second Roy and John’s comments.

    For stock VW rims on a TDr, 165/15s

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #302357

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

    Thanks for all the information. I did find “4Jx15″ stamped on the rim. I guess that means it’s a 4” rim and the 205s are way to wide for them.

    #302371

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Correct.

    #302396

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    FYI, if you want a slightly wider tire than the 165/80 series, here is what 185/70 series look like on the stock 4″ VW wheels underneath a TDr… they’re the same height as the 165s.

    185/70 on 4

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  kentt.

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #302398

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    My rims are stock, steel, 4-lug, 15 inch rims with a 5.5 offset. The only marking on the 4 rims is the letter T. All 4 are from JBugs in Calif. According to their web site (jbugs.com), this translates to a 4-5/16 inch offset. The tire should fit in the center of the fender openings. (I hope).

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #303347

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

    Finally got the Duchess her new tires, all 5 of them.  Turns out the front tires were 16 years old (205s) and the back tires were 20 years old (165s). Odd since the back tires were in much better shape. Went with 16580R15s all around. Here are a few pictures from the shoe store.

     

     

     

    #303348

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Ah! I bet Duchess thanks you. Plus…she’ll be a safer ride now. You going to Bug-A-Paluza on April 8th? I’ll be there around 11:00 am. Looking for a rim for the spare tire. Doesn’t have to be new, just in good condition.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #303366

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

    I had to google Bug-A-Paluza, looks like it’s in Tennessee. I am in north county San Diego. Are there many kits that go? Looks like fun.

    #303367

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Oops. My bad!

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #303398

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

    It’s amazing how much better the car rides with four new matched tires. As other have mentioned, Discount Tire loaded them up to close to 30 psi. After lowing the front down to 18 the ride and cornering is great. Had to take it the local winery, Orfila, for a test drive.

     

     

     

    #303400

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

     

    #303401

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Probably should set the rears at 22# +/-.

    #303403

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Good on ya, Greg.  And right, same thing happened when I had the tire guys slap on new tires and align it. Driving home I thought I was gonna die. Car wandered and rode so rough. Checked the tire pressure in the driveway: 36 all around.

    Set them at like 16 and 24 and was instantly happy.

    #303523

    rabien73
    Participant

    @rabien73

    On my previous toyo tires 165/80, I’ve run them at 18psi front and 24psi rear. Tried 16 and 17, but 18 in the front was a lot smoother based on my experience.

    #303524

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    Glad you got it all sorted. 😀                                                                                                                                                                                       I know how confusing tire sizing and pressures can be 😕 .  When I purchased wire wheels for my London Roadster, I went with the recommended size. WAY TOO SMALL!Would not even MOUNT on the rim! I gave the company a call and found out THEY MISS PRINTED the data sheet! 8-O. Needless to say the garage was not amused.                                                                                         Thanks for the pics. Did the folks at the shoe store have any comments/questions about your car? It looks like the winery is a great place for a drive.

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #303526

    gregj
    Participant

    @gregj

    The young gentleman at the tire store was afraid to move the car and asked me to. Must be young enough that he had never driven a Beetle.

    We are lucky, lots of small wineries within a 10 mile drive. We could walk to Orfila (or back) if we had to.

    #303528

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    The young gentleman at the tire store was afraid to move the car and asked me to. Must be young enough that he had never driven a Beetle. 

    I had a girl come up to me and ask if she could have my car. I asked her if she could drive a manual transmission. She said no. So I told her, “Then I can’t give you my car. Because it has a manual transmission!”

    Amor Conquista Todo

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