[Vwdiesel] 83 diesel into 84 Vanagon

Mary Beth and Chris Geiser geiser at execpc.com
Fri Mar 28 13:24:11 EST 2003

"my name is Chris and I've been addicted to slow for 4 years now"...

I've been artificially limiting my top speed to around 60 - just doesn't
sound like that engine should go any faster.  There's plenty of oomph
left at that speed.  It was an awesome feeling going from 185/65/14's to
205/65/15's, that got me about 3-4 MPH more at the same RPM.  When we
got my wife's 2002 Eurovan, it came with 225/60/16's on alloy rims, but
they weren't all season as advertised in VW's brochures, so VW had a
program that you could buy 205/60/16's (4) on steel rims for $100 - a no
brainer.  Just for experimentation purposes, I'm going to try those
205's on steel rims on my diesel for a few days... have to wait until
the snow is for sure done here before I take them off the Eurovan again
and free up the others.  Taking them off too soon is just asking for a
huge May blizzard!!!


-----Original Message-----
From: vwdiesel-admin at vwfans.com [mailto:vwdiesel-admin at vwfans.com] On
Behalf Of Michael Snow
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 12:16 AM
To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] 83 diesel into 84 Vanagon

Mary Beth and Chris Geiser wrote:
> Mine's not a Westy, and I think it would pull a little taller
> I went up to 205/65/15's with no problems at all - it would have been
> problem with the injection pump I first had on there... not sure what
> was wrong with it, but I have much better power with the present one.
> If I had time I'd track down why and report, but as long as it runs
> little effort, that's what it's going to do!!
> I'd be tempted to try the 225/60/16's from my wife's Eurovan on the
> Vanagon just to see, but just looking at it, I believe the rim offset
> way too deep to try to accommodate.
> Chris

Before you throw yourself into the bottomless pit of Vanagon tire
selection, I suggest you look at


and use the tire and gearing calculators at


to assess the end result of your changes prior to spending money.  In
the Vanagon world, it is very common to use a non-stock tire size as a
less expensive alternative to gearing changes.  The stock diesel engine
does not have enough power to turn large and heavy tires.  Small gearing
changes make a large difference in driveability.  Due to the low-powered
engine and aerodynamic drag, even the largest gearing changes don't have
a large effect on maximum cruising speed.

The vast majority of North American diesel Vanagons have DZ
transmissions.  They all came with 185R14 tires, which have an aspect
ratio of 82 (185/82R14).  The DM 4 speed transmission works superbly
with the stock tires, even on a loaded camper.  No tire that will fit on
the Vanagon can make up the difference in gearing between these two
transmissions.  Being satisfied with a diesel Vanagon is all about
learning to enjoy the "slow road".  If you can't live with that, there
are several options for larger engines and turbocharging.

Mike Snow
1982 Wesfalia diesel 5 speed

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