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Stock VW Wheel Size Question

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  • #234339
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    I’m a tad bit confused. The owner’s manuals and vehicle maintenance manuals all say the stock steel wheel for a 71 beetle is 4J x 15. So I make that to be a 15 inch wheel. No problem. Measured my donor wheels  and they measured 16 inches. Still no problem as I know I need a 15 inch wheel. Here’s my confusion. What does the 4J equate to, 4-1/2 or 5 inches? And is that the setback? I ask because after sandblasting, the donor wheels are still in bad shape. I’m thinking going with 5 new wheels at $65 each.

     

    Thanks for any help.

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

    #252028
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    j means 4.5 inches. Offset is 1 5/8-inches, more or less.

    You can find a bigger version of this chart here. Scroll down to it and then click on it.

    If I were in the market for new steelies I’d consider these. $50 and a little different, but very old school looking. I’d also buy a set of repro MG TD hubcaps and then fit them, probably by measuring very carefully, about six times, then drilling the wheel and installing three stainless sheet metal screws as “pips” to hold the hubcaps on.

    And because I’m not so precise, despite my best efforts, I’d probably ovalize each of the screw heads with a grinder, the idea being to adjust them a bit if needed after installing the caps and spinning the wheels. I’d turn them as needed until there was no “wow” in the caps when spinning, then dab a bit of epoxy on them to keep them from moving.

    Or just maybe go with the stock Mangle repros & the smoove moonie caps.

    edsnova2012-10-08 20:11:49

    #252029
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     If you measured rim diameter across the center line and it measured 16 inches the tire diameter would be 15 inches. Tire rims have a recess to hold the tire bead.

    #252030
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    OK Ed, you’re establishing yourself as the expert on this. I have a question.

    I’ve look at those bus wheels you linked to in your post.  While the holes around the rim are squared off, they are a bit closer to the multiple holes on an original TD wheel.

    The specs are given as 15 x 4.5 inches, which is good, just like a stock Beetle wheel.

    And a “back space” of 4.25 inches.

    How does “back space” compare to “off set”?

    Specifically, are these wheels “off set” the same as a stock Beetle wheel?

    And to add to your advice, if one buys the bus wheels, one might as well go the TD reproduction hubcaps. The wheels have no lugs for any hub cap. So you’d be going through the “drilling” process regardless of the type of cap.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

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

    #252031
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Those are Beetle wheels, Paul. They’ll fit VW-based TDs. Bus wheels are 14-inch, and five lug.

    I think the offsets on the pictured 20-hole wheels are close to the smaller Mangles, with just a little less backspace. I think they would make the car’s stance almost imperceptibly wider–maybe a half inch, total.

    Here’s a primer on wheel offset. With a diagram so you can picture it.

    “Backspace” is the distance the back (or inside) of the rim is compared to the wheel mounting surface. To measure it, lay the wheel face down on the garage floor, put something straight across the rim and them measure the distance from that flat surface where the bolts or studs go through to your straight edge. With a stock Mangle type VW wheel, 4.5 inches wide (actually closer to 5.5 to account for the thickness of the steel in the flanges that hold the tire bead), you’ll get something like 3.5 inches.

    “Offset” is measured from what it would be if the lug mounting surface was set on center. So on a six-inch wide rim, if it were centered the inside of the rim would be three inches inside, and the outside three inches outside. The rim would have ZERO offset but three inches (plus some wheel material thickness) of backspace. Got it?

    Given the tight fit of the stock wheels inside Bridget’s front fenders, I been thinking about offsets and back-spacings a lot whilst pondering the wire wheel trick Roy pulled off. I think he’s more the expert.

    edsnova2012-10-08 22:14:01

    #252032
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    I agree with everything Ed said. I pretty much wrote, in my earlier posts about wire wheels, everything that I knew and discovered while doing the conversion.   Bring your tape measures to the VaBch show.  Don’t forget that I am now running 185/75R 14″ wheels and tires which have virtually the same OD and circumference as stock 6.50×15 tires.  (Yeah I know that 6.50’s were not stock but the true stocks are expensive.)  My current tires are slightly wider but there is no rubbing.  I think that they look good and I was concerned about the “hot rod” look, – didn’t want it.  Right now I am trying to decide if I like the period correct “original” 2 eared spinner (yes I know that TDs did not come with wires) or the later 60’s hex types that use a wrench/spanner.  The hex looks really nice and clean but I think I prefer the 2 ears.  I have both, maybe I’ll bring them both to the show and take a survey.  

    Royal2012-10-08 22:25:33

    #252033
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    OK, major duh on my part! Product name does say “Beetle” now, doesn’t it?

    Perfect explanation guys. Thanks!

    The stock wheel

    VWC-111-601-025-G is 15 x 4-1/2 INCH with a 4-1/2 inch backspace.

    The older “multi-hole” wheel is 4-1/4 backspace, so each side would be pushed out only a quarter inch. Right?

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

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

    #252034
    ray10
    Participant

    @ray10

    Wire wheel adapters for spoked rims for chevy, I don’t know if they will fit vw’s .scroll to bottom of page.  

     

     

     

     

    ray102012-10-09 00:32:28

    TDREPLICA Map

    http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=7f9174ad614e43b680deba085b0abf48

    #252035
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    ray10, the adapters are dayton style and will not fit VW.  I bought some of these adapters just to test and the 4x130mm VW wheel bolt pattern isn’t there.  Also, there is not enough meat on these “Dayton” styled adapters to re-drill them.  So you’d be talking about some major machine work and then, I’ve yet to see a Dayton styled wheel that had the width, backspace for looks and clearances that our Kits require.  The easiest, but not ideal, and it’s not all that easy, way to go is to buy Triumph adapters. Redrill your brake drums, bolt the TR adapters on, and then use your choice of TR, MG, Austin Healey, Morgan, or Sunbeam wheels.  (Jag wheels are different spline.)  The biggest difference being the number of spokes 48-72 and wheel diameter 13-15″. You will need tubes. I really like the see through look of 48 spokes but these were popular before the “stickier” radial ply tires became common and I feel safer with 72 spokes as used on the bigger 

    AH 3000 and Triumph Stag.  
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