Tires


Capt. Mike

Moderator
Just Tires

A new tire chain has begun massive advertising here in central NC. Just Tires -- "Tires in 30 minutes or less." When one ad specifically touted their stocking of rare & hard-to-find tires you know I just had to make 'em prove it!

So stopped in at one of the bigger ones. What did I get for my 30 minutes? That he had never heard of a tire in the Westy OE sizes (185R14r or 205/70R14r) and couldn't find one of the acceptable substitutes such as 195/75R14D or other D load range in his books or computer. He even called his headquarters. Finally, after I gave him several known tires that were suitable, he said he could get the Bridgestone V603's in 4 days for a price only about 15% higher than my regular dealer.

Just Tires? And maybe a lot of BS!
 
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W

westydriver

Guest
here in denver i work for a pep boys and with all the tires we stock you would think i would get tires for my westy at work. no go. we dont stock load rated 14 inch tires. i got them from tires plus.
jimt

westydriver
82 westy, 2004 at 06:59 AM.]
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Jim Breault Tires

I recently purchased a set of Vredestein 185R14C8PR Transport Snow tires for my '90 Syncro. This was a long decision process as I had not seen the tire and knew no one that had used them. But Vredestein was a main-line Dutch manufacturer with a good reputation that caters to the small, HD European commercial van market.

Vredestein does not have a major US network. Headquarters is NJ. They were polite and cooperative enough but the man I talked to admitted he didn't know a lot about our WEsty application & sizes except that the Transporter Snow was suitable for year-around, highway AND off-road use.

He referred me to a dealer in NJ, Jim Breault Tire, that he said had more experience in VW vans than all the rest combined. Jim answered the phone himself. We had a long discussion of the tech aspects of the tire AND the VW needs and characteristics. He appeared to know his stuff AND did not give me any of the old sales pitch. He sent me some updated info. I finally asked him for a package price and was satisfied. $76 per on a tire that retails for $106. Plus UPS. My 5-tire set cost $447.67 delivered -- well within the market and cheaper than any other Internet source I could find. That's also below most of the other VW-rated tires. Shipped same day; arrived in 3.

Contact: Jim Brealt Tires, Inc.
825 Harrison Ave.
Kearny NJ 07032
Phone 201-997-0400
Fax 201-997-5835

I'll be posting a picture of them on the tech drawings site. Note: Yahoo has change the URL; it's now Westy site tech drawings
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
American Tire (US) & President Tire (CanadaUS)

Recently a Canadian member purchased a set of Vredestein's and recommended a supplier, American Tire.

They supply with free shipping to Canadian addresses at what he felt was a reasonable price.

I've been to their website. It does NOT list Vredestein Transport or Snow. I wrote to them, asking why not -- if they sell them -- and what their conditions for sale to US addresses would be. I got the following reply from David Picard:

We had the Vredestein Transport Snow / ComTrac model on the web site 2 years ago.

We removed it since we don't carry all sizes. So for ordering, it is usually considered
Special Order. We create the product in the "Special" section if needed. We carry 2-3 sizes, other are ordered when needed directly at Vredestein (we receive shipment every 2-3 month).

For shipping to the US, we have to charge the shipping and duty to the customer. We can't aford to cover expedition price out of canada at the price they are sold on website. Since the price get higher, we also refer to a US dealer for Vredestein to provide an alternate choice to the customer (if available).

The reason we can cover shipping in Canada is that we are part of the President Tire networkand can get the tires ship from their warehouse. Usualy the closest to the customer.

President tire did carry the 185R14C8PR 102N and 195/75R14C8PR 106P Transport Snows on their website. Both of these tires are suitable for the Westy. The price on their website was considerably higher than the member quoted, but that may be "list" and not actually market selling price.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Vredestein

Vredestein's president, Al Smoke, just sent me a copy of the most comprehensive tech data manual on their line of tires. Thanks, Al. This is the stuff Michelin thinks you don't have a right to.

I'll have to figure out a way to get it posted -- I think I have Bridgestone's load chart posted on the tech drawings link -- but in the interim I did a home conversion of their table. Caution: I had to convert kg to lb, bar to psi AND axle to wheel so don't take it as gospel. Also see the posts on weighing your Westy. Here's what I came up with, in load per wheel.

Vredestein Transporter & Transporter Snow in 185R14 C 8 PR: 1235 lb @ 36 psi; 1334 @ 40; 1433 @ 44; 1521 @ 47; 1621 @ 51; 1709 @ 54; 1764 @ 58; 1819 @ 62 and the sidewall listed 1874 lb @ max pressure of 65 psi.

As you can see, these are well over the Westy needs. It looks like, subject to wear patterns, we can come off the bone-jarring stiff max pressures of other brands. However, I still strongly urge you to stay at or above VW's recommended pressures for stability and handling even if not needed for the load capacity. Vw specs for Vanagons with this 185R14 C 8PR tire are 43F/48R.
 

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Capt. Mike

Moderator
1010Tires

One of the parts vendors recommended in the PARTS forum, has a crosslink affiliation with 1010tires.com. Out of curiosity, I checked to see what it recommends for VW buses. It shows two Vanagon tires, one that does NOT meet VW specs. They also don't list the full load & pressure info. So you have to deduce that from other sources. Just passing on . . .!

When selling tires is the name of the game, not what's best & safe, it's still up to us to know and demand what we want, not trust a salesman.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
:( More on Just Tires:

Just Tires started sending SPAM -- and I know I'm not on any mail list and have never done any business with them or made any website inquiries to get on a list or given them my email address, so they must buy them from spam harvesters.

However, when I sent them a message via their posted 'contact us' web-site page, it was rejected. So they really don't want to hear from us. When corporate is unethical, it's a little difficult to trust the local stores.
 
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caf

New member
Jim Breault Tires (NJ)

i just bought a set of tires from jim breault tires in harrison nj ,why not 10 min from work ) capt mike jim realy nows his stuff about tires and ratings . he don't hold anything back no sales talk no nothing just the facts . he will not sell anything else if he knows it a vw van involed . same tires as u got for your vn capt mike ,so cudos to u and this wonderful web site .
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Piedmont Truck Tires

Piedmont Truck Tires is one of the largest truck tire dealerships and Michelin recappers in the SE, but also carries a full line of auto tires. I've always had the absolute best in service and prices have usually been within a dollar or two with the deep discount mail-order places by the time you factor in shipping & mounting. They include rotation and follow-up services afterwards. I use them for all my needs oddly enough other than the Westy, and that only because I've switched to Vredestein's that have a poor distribution network in the SE. We've used them for the popular Westy replacement Bridgestones 603V's. Ask for Jim Rice & feel free to use my name.

6125 Westgate Rd.
Raleigh NC 27613
919-781-6563
1-800-948-5606

Other facilities in NC: Asheville, Greensboro, Stodesdale & Warsaw.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
I've run across Tireco, a company that sells two tires suitable for the Westy, a Geostar SV-820 and Nanking N8-10. Both are 185R14D. I know nothing of the brands or company -- it just showed up when I discovered Piedmont Truck Tire had added Geostar to their lineup. Geostar is a Nexen brand and Nanking a Khumo brand; both are Korean.

Tireco's site does not appear to be consumer orientated; no pricing, order info. They may be a distributor only.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
American Tire (Distributors)

American Tire is a distributor of many brands. They claim to be the largest in the country so there is a good possibility your local store is buying their tires from them.

The tire is, of course, a product of the manufacturer. And the retailer that buys from them is your interface. But . . .

I had some more Michelins that didn't come anywhere close to their 80K warranty. I filed a warranty claim and was to receive a 40% refund. All the paperwork, everything filed 12-27-07. Guess what? Still waiting 9 months later. I called Michelin 9-9-08 and they sent the refund to American Tire 4-4-08, 5 months ago.

Next I called American Tire. When I gave him the claim number, their warranty guy quickly tracked down the claim and then gave me the invoice # and date that he had credited the dealer. They had actually credited the dealer 1-2-08 before Michelin credit them. Better yet, he then gave me the date the dealer used the credit against a monthly invoice 3-18-08 and the check number they paid the balance with. So now it's back on the dealer, which I'll post under his name above.

Finding good Westy tires is hassle enough. Michelin, never known for friendly customer service, basically says, "Not our problem." I'm glad a distributor stepped in to isolate the problem. Since they don't sell direct, he could very well have refused to talk to an end customer.
 
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Santa Cruz Girl

New member
Tire Rotation/Balancing

Hi There,

Would you trust a Tire Chain store like Big O Tires or Goodyear Stores to rotate and balance tires? I am not sure where to go for this service.....
Or would you only go to a VW specialist for this?
Thanks,
Tara in Santa Cruz, CA
 

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