Westy OE & OEM tires (only)

Vredestein Comtrac 205r14 Load rating @ 109

Greetings Campers:
In the quest for the perfect tire for my beloved Freida, my 84 Westjetta. I think I might pull the trigger soon on a set of Comtrac's. But before I do, as always I like to reach out the the Westy community for advise. My only question is mounting this size tire on the steel rims. If my memory serves me correct there is a .5 inch difference in the rim width.
I've tried the Bridgestone 603v in 185, rode like a brick, problems with cord damage. Tried the Costco Kirkland's too and had headaches with balancing, But now I'm ready for a little more width for the winds of Colorado and can't justify the cost for the perception or the benefit of getting the ghetto rim set up. To date my off-size Nokian CQ Hakkas run and ride the best, alas only in winter for these tires. If any one out there has an experience with these on steel 14" rims please let me know.

Steve Williams


[Moderator Note: Vredestein's current Internet catalog lists ONLY 185/80R14C 102RC and the 185R14C 102/100C in Westy OEM sized and load rated tires. The difference in /80 and /82 tires is minisule. The 3 target Westy sizes are 185R14D; 195/75R14D & 205/70R14D. The 185 & 195 can go on the "5½J x14 steel wheels and the 205 profiles go on the 6J"x14 rims and but the Westy can handle all 3 on both wheels. Oversize tires won't make any difference on a Westy, especially in wind & snow.

All the rest of the tires you discuss are non-standard Westy tires and have been cut. There is a complete topic for non-standard tires.These sizes have been covered in detail in this and other posts. If you want to ghetto size your rims & tires, have at it, but please keep those posts in their appropriate topics (Guideline #7.]
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New member
OE winter tire options

I am currently using the Continential Vanco 2 in size 285/r14 but this is a summer tire and not intended for freezing weather with ice and snow. Great riding and handling tire for it's limitations and here in the piedmont of NC, for the most part, conditions aren't winter like. If I were to move to the mountains however things would change and I'm wondering what is there for winter driving in the van? Continential does not offer any options in this regard.

Jason Rolfe

New member
So, I'm hoping to get new tires soon.
I've got an 87 Westy Weekender. In my research I've come up with the following options:

Altimax RT 205/70R14

Kumho Solus

Yokohama y356 195/75R14

The Yokohamas are most expensive, while the Kumhos and Altimaxes are a bit less.

Anyone have any thoughts or opinions on any of these? I'd love to hear some feedback from folks who have actually used them.




New member
I just put the hankooks from bus depot on my 83 about 500 miles ago, so I can't comment on longevity or durability yet. However, they made a world of difference in the ride and handling, especially on the highway. I have the psi 35 front 40 rear.

Anyone have any long term use good/bad with the hankooks?

Jason Rolfe

New member
Thanks for the reply.

The Hankooks look good, but are slightly more than the Kumhos and Altimaxes. That's why I'm curious about them--wondering if it might be worth it to save myself a little bit. I just had a new engine put in my vanagon, so I'm a little strapped for cash as you can probably imagine.



New member
I know my mechanic mentioned Kumhos at the time, but I was strapped for time and he could not get them fast enough and they were more than the Hankooks (even with my expedited shipping). I did not look for the Kuhmos online as I was in a hurry. My mechanic specializes in VWs, for the last 30+ yrs. We have only disagreed on one thing: He tried telling me the luggage rack on my 83 used to have a steel rack inside and the holes should be plugged. I disagreed but let him plug the holes up anyway as the drain design is poor from the research I have done and I need to stop collecting water inside the pop top creating mold. It has done the trick.

I hear you on the money. I have had the engine, transmition rebuilt along with suspension work and the coolant pipes replaced with the new stainless steel ones as well as the new tires. Feels like I have a new van, but still find stupid little stuff go wrong.


New member
I bought a 1984 Westaflia in 2007 with 4 new Goodyear Regatta 2 tires. I put 56 000kms on these in 4 summers and had no problems on pavement or gravel. As they did not have enough tread left to handle a 15 ooo km trip across Canada, I just replaced them with Yokohama Y370 195/75R14, purchased from Fountain Tire for $867.55 total bill. I cannot believe the difference in handling - they are quiet on pavement and feel way more stable cornering with added absorbtion from the deeper tread design. I love these tires so far and would definitely recommend them. They only make the one size and even have a Westy on their brochure cover which kinda makes me think they were developed specifically for Westies! http://www.yokohama.ca/tire_pdfs/LtTruck_Y370.pdf


New member
After reading the many posts on this site regarding tires, I still have question. I need to buy tires for our '76 Westfalia (summer use only). I believe that I have settled on either the Continental Vanco 2 or Hankook RA08. The load rating of 102 (1874 @ 65 psi) more than meets the safety requirements. My question is can I under inflate these tires slightly to improve comfort while still meeting the load requirements, or should I fully inflate them to 65 psi?