Noob Wheel/Tyre Questions - R14 to R15 for Disk Brakes

Early Bay Forum

Help Support Early Bay Forum:

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Hello again everybody. I have more noob questions, apologies in advance...

I am looking to replace the front drum brakes with a disk brake kit before the van gets back on the road. I did have the Fellows kit bookmarked, but then stumbled upon a post showing David Slack's kit, which by all accounts is good engineering for the money. Anyhow, after a phonecall with the man I am now aware I will need 15" wheels to use the kit, the stock 14" won't fit.

Question #1: I see various size 'smoothie' wheels for sale on JK (though out of stock atm) - 4.5x15, 5x15, 6x15 etc. What width wheel should I be looking for, and does it make a huge difference to handling etc? 5.5 all round has been suggested to me as ok. I'm keen to run the same front and back.

Question #2: I believe the stock tyre size for an early bay (according to the owners manual) is 7.00-14 (1430lbs at 36psi for station wagon/1520lbs at 40psi all other models) which translates to 185R14 C-Rated or 185/82/14. So I went searching for info on tyre sizes that would give the same/very similar overall tyre diameter so the speedo will read correctly. A couple of good posts turned up and pointed me to the Speedo Error Calculator and also that a 195/70 R15C would give the same overall diameter as stock tyres. Is this correct? So running a 15" wheel with a 195/70 R15C tyre should be pretty similar to running a 14" wheel with a 185/82 R14C?

Question #3: Would you recommend anything different? Why?
 

67westy

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
3,033
Reaction score
9
Location
Lincoln
CSP do a kit that fits with 14's. I recently fitted one and very pleased with it

Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk

 

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
I'm aware of the CSP kit. I have a CSP "Stainless" Python exhaust system I bought early before Brexit hit, stored in a dry workshop, has never been used (still got the stickers on it!) and the mounting flanges are already starting to rust. Never mind that I had to chop the muffler pipework up and get it re-welded so it didn't foul on the engine mounting bracket on the chassis - customer service started off ok, then simply ignored my (very polite) emails when their replacement muffler unit never turned up.

So, no I am in no hurry to give CSP any more of my money, and I would prefer a kit that uses Willwood calipers (the Fellows kit also requires 15" wheels).
 

Moseley

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,468
Reaction score
32
Location
Worcester
If it’s any help, I’ve just fitted a set of 4” width stock Beetle wheels that have been banded outwards to 5.5” (you’d have to do the calc on what the new offset would be)! With a 195/65 tyre, it clears the arch by no more than 2 or 3mm at the rear under an early arch. There is more clearance once it is on the ground, the worst is as the tyre starts to tuck underneath it.

Something to bear in mind, I believe the aftermarket steels that JK etc sell require the use of inner tubes.
 

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Thanks Moseley. I'm still getting my head around all the tyre language tbh, but I recon I understand offset - can I ask why you have banded the stock 4" wheels, and why 5.5" specifically? If I understand right the extra material has been added on the 'outside' edge of the wheel, so you would have more offset than a 'standard' 5.5" wheel, which presumably would be more centre-set?
 

Moseley

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,468
Reaction score
32
Location
Worcester
Bay_Buster said:
Thanks Moseley. I'm still getting my head around all the tyre language tbh, but I recon I understand offset - can I ask why you have banded the stock 4" wheels, and why 5.5" specifically? If I understand right the extra material has been added on the 'outside' edge of the wheel, so you would have more offset than a 'standard' 5.5" wheel, which presumably would be more centre-set?
Other way round, by adding material to the outside of the wheel, the offset reduces - the centre line of the wheel is now further away from the hub.

The Beetle steels have a very high positive offset to start with, I.e. they are quite tucked under the arches. By adding the band, it gives a nice deep-dish look, but by not going too massive, I’ve got no issues getting the wheels off and on. Any wider, and I’d have to deflate the tyre, or pull on the arch to get the tyre past it. Been there, done that with standard BRM alloys, and I wouldn’t do it again!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Cheers! This whole area is a bloody minefield for the inexperienced. I'm not too bad with the Mig welder now, but tyres and wheels are something I've not had to think about so far :shock:
 

Moseley

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,468
Reaction score
32
Location
Worcester
By the sounds of what you’ve said, you are going to need to go to 15” to suit whichever brake option you plump for. If steel wheels are your thing, I would personally recommend you look for a set of split screen wheels, some of which are affectionately called ‘crows foot’ wheels. They have a nice high offset, so will suit more tyre options than most aftermarket alloys. The design is slightly different to the Beetle smoothie (which look similar to the standard early bay 5x205 wheels) but retain that more original look.
 

sparkywig

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
11,782
Reaction score
292
Location
mostly here, sometimes there


Stock 15" Beetle steels have the lowest ET available, and are only 4" width. Not really suitable for a bus. Ask me how I know.
I think "crows feet" steels my be out of your price range at the moment, as a set of 4 are selling for almost £1k.
 

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Thanks for the table sparkywig! My German is terrible, but from what I understand that says stock wheels for an early bay are 5x14" with 47.5mm offset (EinpreBtief = ET = Offset) and 205mm PCD.

So moving up to a 15" wheel I should be looking for the same figures, but obviously 15"?
Does anybody know if going with similar specs to the late bay wheels, so 5.5x15" 41mm ET 205mm PCD would cause any problems on an early bay? I've no idea how much you can 'piss about' with the offset and wheel width before you get into trouble.

Annnd going back to my original question #2 should I be looking for 195/70 R15C tyres to match the stock tyre diameter?

I'm sure I'm not gonna be the first person who's moved from a 14" stock wheel to a 15" stock-style. If you have done this I'd love to hear from you!
 

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
sparkywig said:
I'm running 195/70/15 on the rear

I'm guessing there's no problems with these on the rear axel then - can I ask what tyre you went for too? So far I've bookmarked Continental Van Contact 200, Michelin Agilis CrossClimate and Hankook Vantra RA18.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 8, 2008
Messages
4,880
Reaction score
268
Location
Felixstowe, Suffolk
Year of Van
1970
Van Type
Westfalia pop-top
LOCATION
Suffolk wilderness
It’s a shame you don’t want 15’s, I’ve fitted a few of David’s kits and they are outstanding!

Pretty sure last time I spoke to him he said he’s looking at trying to do a 14” kit also.
 

Bay_Buster

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
I think you've had a skim-reading malfunction there [email protected] I'm trying to find a set of 15" specifically so I can fit one of David's kits. 14" kit is apparently being worked on, but no idea when/if that will be available.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 8, 2008
Messages
4,880
Reaction score
268
Location
Felixstowe, Suffolk
Year of Van
1970
Van Type
Westfalia pop-top
LOCATION
Suffolk wilderness
Bay_Buster said:
I think you've had a skim-reading malfunction there [email protected] I'm trying to find a set of 15" specifically so I can fit one of David's kits. 14" kit is apparently being worked on, but no idea when/if that will be available.

You would be correct :oops: I was knackered after work and had been at the rum….. :lol:
 

Bendym2

New member
Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
It’s a shame you don’t want 15’s, I’ve fitted a few of David’s kits and they are outstanding!

Pretty sure last time I spoke to him he said he’s looking at trying to do a 14” kit also.
Do you know if he’s managed to come up with a kit for 14” yet? Just looking to upgrade my drums!
 

Latest posts

Top