[Vwdiesel] Diesel rabbit wheels / tires

Gerry Wolfe gjwolfe at telus.net
Fri Feb 18 17:00:45 EST 2005

Optional tiresize on an A2 is 185/60x14... I believe this would also apply
to the A1's.

I have used the 185/60x14 (originally with the car - a '91 Jetta TD).  They
were low quality & worn and were replaced with 195/50x15 aluminum rims and
Goodyear Eagle GT-II's (an H-rated tire).  Better, but still not great.
When the GT-II's wore, I replaced them with Michelin XGT Pilot 205/50x15's.
Much better, but I did encounter some contact probs in the rear (I know, our
rear ends start sagging when we get old and have a lot of wear and tear).
Over the winters, I used Michelin Arctic Alpins on the original steel rims
(175/70x14) and these were fantastic... I used to extricate my nephew's 4x4
Blazer when he got stuck plowing snow in Temagami!

I've moved to Vancouver Island, where winter concerns are less of an issue.
Currently running 195/60x15 Michelin HydroEdge tires, and am very impressed
with them.  They are unbelievable in the rain (Rain??? What Rain???  Is it
raining out there???) and are not too shabby in moderate snow.  Again, some
contact issues.  Excellent in the dry.

What I've found:

1) Stick with the +1 sizes i.e. 185/60x14.  Ride quality is much higher than
with the 195/50 or 205/50x15.  The lower sidewall ratio ends up transmitting
a lot of the road shock, much more than you would expect (unless you're
talking about a later generation vehicle which has suspension tuned to the
lower sidewall ratios).  On the other side, responsiveness with a 50-series
tire is instantaneous, almost dangerous -- very "darty" and ready to follow
grooves in the road.
2) If you're looking for better handling, a hi-perf 185/60x14 setup will be
better than a run-of-the-mill 195/50x50 setup.  All things equal, "wider" is
better for performance.  But a cheap wider tire is no match for a hi-perf
narrower tire.
3) Tire quality is prob'ly the one item which will have the greatest impact
on performance.  You can lower the car, install stiffer springs & shocks &
sways, but you gotta remember that the only parts touching the road are the
soft black ones.  Crappy tires with "performance" suspension doesn't cut it
and is probably unsafe.  Performance tires (same size as OEM) on the
original suspension would prob'ly work much better.

Just my $0.02Cdn (altho I've spent a pile more than that on rubber over the
last few years...)

rgds, g.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bryant Baecht" <bbaecht at sunflower.com>
To: <vwdiesel at audifans.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 21:41
Subject: [Vwdiesel] Diesel rabbit wheels / tires

> Hi all,
>      First off, looks like the email list addy changed to
> vwdiesel at audifans.com.  It appears that www.vwfans.com domain has expired.
> DOHT!  ]
>      Secondly, the more I look at my tiny tires on my '81 rabbit, the more
> think I should do something different with them.  I don't want to go crazy
> with spinners, etc, but would like some nice looking wheels, maybe some
> or 15" with a lower profile?  Obviously, the wheels will be wider and will
> put more tread on the road, and probably give me fewer tire rotations per
> mile.  Just throwing out what people think about this?  I'll lower my
> at speed which should be good for better fuel economy, but will also lose
> some torque as I'm making the engine have to work harder.  Also, having
> rubber on the road, it'll take more energy to keep the wider tires moving.
> So, is it a wash, or will it seriously negatively affect things?
> Bryant
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