Westy OE & OEM tires (only)


bobCamp

New member
I recently got the Hankook RA08 tires put on. I have to admit, I love them. They are very smooth and quiet. They also do a good job on dirt roads. I wanted a tire that had a little more tread than just a summer tire. These work great, but they are also the first tire I've had on that meet the load requirements. Therefore, I'm comparing them to the 'marshmellows' that were on before. I have to admit, I was expecting to feel more bumps more with the stiffer tire, that has not been the case. Assuming these tires last, I think they are a good choice.
 

nagster

New member
I am looking for tires as well. I read that Bob put on the Hancook RA08 but Hancook is telling my dealers that they are now discontinued. I am in The Toronto area, where did you get yours, also do you know where they are made? I have hear the Nexen are poor quality. If I cannnot find a good alternative it appears I will have to go with the Michelin, $140 CND each! Ouch.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Read the entire topic; "Where made" was answered above May 20, '05. CIP, which is a Canadian operation, still shows them in stock. Hankook's Judi Hirschberg, Technical Representative for Hankook corporate says (5/12/07 @ 0937 AM), "The tire is not being discontinued. If I hear otherwise, you will be the first to be notified." This is exactly why we don't allow "Where can I get" posts. Instead of taking the word of a single dealer -- not necessarily the sharpest knives in the drawer -- go to the source! This is how rumors get started. Westy owners hear a rumor they can't get the tire so quit trying (& buying) and then they DO get discontinued because there are no more sales.
 

corn

New member
I recently bought a set of Hankook RA08's for our 1989 camper.I have gone through 3 sets of Michelin's so after much research I went with the Hankook's. I am very pleased with them. Ride is very smooth and quiet. I got them in size 195R14.
 

nagster

New member
Thanks Pat for your message. Hankook Canada told me directly that I cannot get the RA08s in Canada as they are only supported in the US etc... still trying to sort this out. Sounds likey this tire is technically sound and the one that most Westy owners like.
 

corn

New member
Nagster, If they are unavailable in Canada, why not mail order from Bus Depot and have them installed there. I got mine from Discount Tire. I went to the store prepared with information off the internet and as I was discussing the info with a sales associate another sales associate overheard us and told me and the sales associate I was working with that the the tire was "not available" My salesman promptly said "yes they are I am looking at them." Had I simply gone in and asked for the tires I would have left without the tires. This was the second Discount Tire I had visited, the first one was unaware of the tire and even though they said they would follow up they did not so I pulled my own information off the net and went to another Discount Tire store. They were listed on Hankooks site. I wish you the best as the tire situation for our Vanagon has been a point of consternation for us over the years.So far this tire appears well worth the effort and research to find it. Good Luck If I can assist with any information let me know.
 

Lanval

New member
I'd lean towards the internet also. There are a number of tires that will work, including Bridgestone, Yokohama and some others that aren't mentioned on the popular Bus/Vanagon/Eurovan sites.

The retailers are at best sketchily informed, and at worst, operating against your best interests.

I've called a couple of places in the past two days, and heard responses like, "I can't get those" and "They haven't made those for years". One of those responses came from a retailer whose own parent company makes a tire that fits these specs.

Both Tire Rack and Tire-Easy (which has a specifically Canadian site) offer a number of tires in a variety of choices.

For fun, be sure to take them to your local retailer, the one who told you that they aren't available, and tell them you'd have them mount the tires, but hey, 'they're not available!' so they can't.

The sad truth is that their interest is driven by the majority of their customers, who are driving largish American (well, here in the states, anyway) vehicles which consume too much of everything, including road rubber. Alas.

Best,

Lanval

I ended up going with a tire called Capitol - according to the June 1 Tire Review, this brand is made by two different companies: Sumitomo and Nexen. The ones I have are marked "Made in Korea" so I'll assume they originated with Nexen.

I bought them from a local dealer of the Tire Pros in Costa Mesa, CA; he got them from his warehouse in about 24 hours.

They are 185R14C, load rating 'D', 8 ply. Total cost on the car, was $65 p/tire, or $267+tax. I will drive them for awhile, then post back with results/opinions/experiences.

Best,

Lanval
 

nagster

New member
Just a quick note on the Hankooks. After much evaluation the only decent nearest equivalent available in Canada is the Michelin. After looking at it I found it to be too beefy for 3 season driving and therefore crossed the border to Niagara NY where I had the Hankooks installed. I could not be more pleased with them, they are ideal for the Vanagon and live up to the reviews I have read. This was also a savings of exactly $210 Canadian minus the gas for the drive!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
sebastian toombs
user_offline.gif
Junior Member

We bought our 95 Eurovan camper in January, and it came with a set of winter tires. when it came time to get set for a trip from Toronto to Vancouver and back, I did a lot of research online and eventually decided to go for the Michelin "Agilis." after 15,000 kms, can't say I have any complaints. [Mod. note: Tire size referenced 205/65R14C, std. on Eurovans.]

http://www.michelinman.com/tires/lig...specifications
progress.gif
 
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brecka99

New member
General Altimax RT tire

Does anyone have comments on this tire in size 205/70R14?
It seems to be a relatively new tire and is rated as XL or extra load, which some tire sites equate to reinforced. It has a load index of 98 and max load of 1653 LB at 51PSI.
The price is definitely reasonable at $54.00.

Jerry
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Altimax HP questionable.

The 205/70R14 was a standard Westy size, usually found OE on the 6J"x14 mag wheels. However, General's spec sheet for the Altimax HP does not show it availalbe in that size. In fact, General lists NO tire on their web site in that size. If speced as you say, it would equivilate to a Load Range D LT tire and would be acceptable, assuming it is capable of the necessary Westy psi, but the first tire in the Altimax HP listing to reach that level was a 16".

They do list a 205/60R14 but the specs are pitiful at load rating 82 (1047 lb.) and not safe on a Westy. It's the only one allowed on a 6" rim (and not suitable for the std. steel 5½" VW rim). The price is also suspicious -- to reach the LT level a Westy requires is rarely found at that price and it is not listed in General's LT line.

Although it doesn't so state on their web site, the Altimax HP is listed as a performace tire and appears to be unidirectional. As such it would not be suitable for Westy use, which requires 4- or 5-tire rotation.
 
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brecka99

New member
Altimax RT not HP

General Tire is owned by Continental and you can find it on their web site, but with sketchy details unless you download the whole PDF file. Easier to see all the specs at tirerack.com:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/Spec.jsp?make=General&model=Altimax+RT

And it is only that one size, 20570R14, that is rated XL or extra load.

The price ($54) is certainly right to go on my "backup" Westy, an '88, now with wrong Big O pass. tires, and an original MXL for spare, little tread and 20 years old!

Thanks,
Jerry
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
That tire does meet the Westy load & air pressure requirements and can be fitted on both 5½" & 6" rims. The photo Tire Rack posts does NOT appear to be uni-directional and could thus be used as a touring tire. Good hunt -- the first time I went to General's website, it would only let me into the HP, thus the confustion. I can't speak for the tire's effectiveness or wear (rated at 600 -- a little above avg.) but it's sure an economical alternative. We'll be interested in an extended mileage report. I'm impressed it still has 11/32" tread depth -- many are cutting to 9 or 10/32.
 
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jimmy60

New member
New van, new tires?

I just bought an '87 Westfalia that has 205/75 R14 tires (mixed makes, mostly Michelin) on it. Are these tires the proper size? I read in previous threads that tires are mostly 205/70 or 195/70.
 

debbiej

New member
piping up in one area I can. we test drove our westy with "just tires" on it. our van does not have power steering and we thought that would be a real problem. and the ride was bad and we did suspect the tires as the cause of that. I wanted ithe van enough to deal with the steering and the ride, but after research, tires became our first priority before driving home. we put a set of hankooks on. we were lucky to find a set in stock before we drove home. the difference was truly night and day. no need for power steering at all, it steers and rides like a dream.
 

redgant

New member
Tire Size -

Not sure where to post this and this seemed like a good place to put it. Not sure what size tire I want on my van (76 Westy). It has 185/75/14 on it currently. It seems like, from reading this thread it was spec'd originally with 205/70/14. I think those are essentially the same size.

I need new tires and didn't know if getting a different size would give me any advantages. I live in Kansas City. As well, my speedo says I am going 70 when my GPS says I am traveling 66-67. Thought this might be a mis-sized tire issue but I don't believe so. Any opinions would be great!
 

siva

New member
Ok, I looked closer at the tires that are currently on the vehicle. They have been on there for 5 yrs and made their way across Canada too. Here is the info:

Jupiter 185r14c
Max Load (Single): 1875 lbs at 65 psi
Tread: 4 plies (2 poly + 2 steel)
Sidewall: 2 plies (2 poly)

Does that translate into "6 ply" ? Isn't that under spec? Am I driving with unsafe tires?

btw: What is the recommended PSI on 14" tires for an 83 Vanagon? My book doesn't specify...

Thanks!

[Moderator Note: This is an original size & rated tire for Vanagons. The 'c' in this case stands for commercial and it meets the VW specs. See above for explanation of plys vs. ply ratings in opening post. Pressures are on the door sticker (sometimes on the underdash panel) AND discussed this topic. A chart of load vs. pressure is in the Tech Drawings Link.]
 
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tigergary

New member
Nokian tires

Capt Mike,
I just put Nokian Hakka C 185R14 tires (load range D, max 65 psi, running 58 psi) on my 1990 Vanagon, and at freeway speeds I feel a sway that I did not notice with the oversized tires the previous owner had on the vehicle. In one of your earlier posts I believe you mentioned that you put Nokian on your Vanagon. How did Nokians work for you? Why do I now have this squirrelly sense at freeway speeds? What kind of warrantee did you get from Nokian?
Thank you,
Gary Bailey
 

pointlomajett

New member
Bfg

Has anyone tried this tire?

It is a BFGoodrich all-terrain 195/75R14 with a load rating D max load 1710lbs and max psi 65. It’s kind of price at $125 per tire at tire rack but it looks like a good fit to me. I am looking for new tries for my 2wd 87 Westy with steel rims and thinking of going with this tire. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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