wheels and tires

VW underneath a classic Italian body design.

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JHHeiger
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wheels and tires

Post by JHHeiger » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:41 am

What is the largest tire i could comfortably fit on the rear of my KG using 5.5" x 15'' wheels and stock wheel wells

thanks, J

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FJCamper
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by FJCamper » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:16 pm

Hi JHHeiger,

A 60-series 185-15 will fit.

Wider than that is a matter of the amount of backspace of the wheel itself. I've known of guys who managed to fit 205-15 tires, very tight.

More backspace moves the tire under the fender lip. On the rear, if the tire is too wide, the first thing you'll hit is the spring plate. In the front, you'll rub the tire against the body as you turn the steering wheel.

You may have heard about "rolling the fenders" which is taking either a hydraulic rolling tool or a metal baseball bat and using the tire as a backstop, roll the tool across the tire, pressure against the fender, and you'll start to bend out the sheet metal. Go easy, increase the pressure on each pass, and you won't even break the paint.

A last resort is to run 50-series tires, which lets a wider tire fit in the well because there is less tire above the wheel rim!

We road race our Historic Sportscar Racing on 185-60 tires.

FJC

JHHeiger
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by JHHeiger » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:31 pm

thanks very much

Say, Do you run a larger sway bar in the front?

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FJCamper
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by FJCamper » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:52 pm

Hi J-

We run a 19mm nonadjustable up front but no bar in the rear.

Nearing the limit, a rear bar promotes oversteer. For us that is 100mph sweepers or faster. We tried 19mm rear nonadjustable, and 22mm adjustable. We were faster without any rear bar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1d3Swrn-YI

If you watch this old video of us practicing at Roebling Road, you'll see how far out you can swing the tail of a KG on a 90mph sweeper.

This test day was on 175x15 Avon racing radials, and an 11:1 1600 engine on Kadrons, 40mm throttle bodies and 32mm venturis. All at 7000 RPM.

FJC

Bruce2
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by Bruce2 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:02 am

You should try and find a cameraman without Parkinson's next time. ;)
If you still have the original video, reload it on Youtube. Their image stabilization will really fix it up.

helowrench
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by helowrench » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:46 am

I am running a 205/65-15 on a 5.5 Mahle 914 rim.
Has around 3/8"-1/2" clearance everywhere on the rear.
On the front, I got a bit of rub, and had to turn the steering stops, and lose a bit of turning radius. I guess I could have put spacers in there......

the 914, 4lug rims have a good backspacing/offset for the Ghias, but NOTE: you must use the correct length wheel bolts.

the Mahles are running a OHTSU FP6000 tire, which is a re-release of the Falken Ziex 512 tire. Pretty soft for a street tire. Grips well.
19mm front sway bar, no rear. a bit of understeer when pushed hard.
My Beetle has the same tires, 19mm front, and 14mm rear, and handles like a dream with less understeer, I need more engine, as I suspect it would be steerable with the right foot.

Rob

KarmannMarco
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by KarmannMarco » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:12 am

Are the rear factory wheels on 69 Ghia 5.5" wide ?
I also would like to upgrade from a 165 to something a little bit wider with stock wheels and without modifying the fenders.

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Max Welton
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by Max Welton » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:54 pm

Used to be able to get Mangels in 5.5".

Max

Bruce2
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by Bruce2 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:25 pm

KarmannMarco wrote:Are the rear factory wheels on 69 Ghia 5.5" wide ?
No, the largest wheel Karmann shipped with a Ghia was 4½".

A 185/65/15 is a common tire to see on KGs. Look for a 5½" wheel with large offset, usually greater than 40mm. Beware, this wheel and tire will increase your turning radius making U-turns more difficult.

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Re: wheels and tires

Post by KarmannMarco » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:25 am

Thanks Bruce. I'm currently sunning 145s in the front and 165s in the rear but next winter I will be doing a Subi swap and I'll want to go with a meatier tire. I always though the rear wheels on the Ghia was a 5.5 for some reason. I'd LOVE to get my hands on some Fuchs though!

Bruce2
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by Bruce2 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:07 am

What year is your car?
5½" Fuchs are nearly perfect for the front. They have an offset of 42mm.

helowrench
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by helowrench » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:52 am

Look for the 914 rims. Most came in 15x5.5, and the backpacking is perfect for our Ghias and type 3s.
Edit: also, the 4lug 914 was 4x130, so, no adapter needed.

KarmannMarco
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by KarmannMarco » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:58 am

My Ghia is a 69 IRS car.
I like the look for the Fuchs the best but Im aware there will be more work/parts needed to make them work.
The 914 wheels are also nice and would make for a simple solution.
I also enjoy the simple look of the steel wheels without hubcaps. Widened steelies are another option I'd consider.

helowrench
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by helowrench » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:22 am

KArmannMarco, I have never seen a set of 5.5 steelies with the correct offset for a Ghia.
I am not saying that they were never made, just that the Beetle offset ones are much much more common.

Now, it is entirely possible to have a set of Beetle ones cut/welded to fix the offset..........

Bruce2
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Re: wheels and tires

Post by Bruce2 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:45 am

helowrench wrote:KArmannMarco, I have never seen a set of 5.5 steelies with the correct offset for a Ghia.
They exist. The most common steel wheel that came on a 914 was the 5½" SunBug style wheel with an offset of 41mm. There also exists a wheel with the same dimensions with a center that takes a stock VW hubcap. The hubcaps on those wheels were exactly the same as Beetle hubcaps, but without the VW logo.
I bet if you looked at scans of sales brochures, you will see pics of 914s with hubcaps.

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