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Date:         Thu, 12 Jul 2001 16:08:11 -0000
Reply-To:     Mike Finkbiner <mike_l_f@HOTMAIL.COM>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Mike Finkbiner <mike_l_f@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Kirkland Tire question
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed

David -

I used to have the same opinion. I changed my mind when I got to thinking about the relationship between pressure and carrying capacity.

The max carrying capacity of the tires is at the highest rated pressure. If you have a tire rated 97 at 50 psi, it can handle something like 1900 lbs. At 40 psi, it will be a fair bit less. I'll bet if you look at your tires, the max pressure is 50 psi or higher.

My Westy sticker recommends 40 psi on the rear for 205R/14 with a rating of 97.

The sticker recommends 48 psi on the rear for 185R/14 C, and does not specify a rating. Probably the C refers to the old Load Range C. Most of the tires of that size and type I have seen have a max pressure of 50 and a carrying capacity of 1435 lbs at that pressure, which is load rating 93, like the Kirkland tires we are discussing.

IMO, IF INFLATED TO THE CORRECT PRESSURE, they will be perfectly safe for most driving you are likely to do in this country, except serious off-roading.

I think VW specified a load rating of 97 for larger size tires because they should be inflated to a smaller percentage of the maximum pressure, and so could handle only part of the maximum load specified.

In other words, in terms of carrying capacity, a 185R/14, 50 psi maximum, load rating 93 tire at 48 psi is probably equivalent to a LR 97, 205R/14, 50 psi max tire inflated to VWs recommended 40 psi.

Just make sure you look at your door sticker, and keep the tires close to that pressure. Mine specifies higher pressure on the rears, and it handles better that way.

There's nothing wrong with having stronger tires than needed. My highway tires are Kumho 852's, 195/R14 LR 102. They handle well and were a good price.

Mike Finkbiner '87 Westy Moscow, Idaho

Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 16:26:00 +0100 From: Dave M <dmc@CYBURBAN.COM> Subject: Kirkland tires

>From: "William S. Brown Jr." >Subject: Kirtland Tire question > >First question: Are the COSTCO tires only available in the following >size? > >Kirkland Signature LT 2ply Radial Tires >LT195/75R14 >93/90 Q M&S >Load Range: C > If 93 is the load range, these tires are UNSUITABLE for a Westy. You need a load range of something like 97. They are barely adequate for a standard Vanagon. I run 215-70-14 passenger tires on my Vanagon load range 96 and this is not a Westy.

- David '87 Wolsfburg

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