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Thread: finally found 14" van/light truck tires

  1. #1
    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    If anyone else has a G10 with the stock 5.5x14" rims and hasn't been able to find suitable van/light truck tires, I finally found some at http://www.vredestein.com/ while shopping for vintage radials for a 60's sport coupe. There is a dealer locator and a sizing guide on the website.

    I just received a set of four of their Comtrac 82-series 185R14's. I bought them through Lucille at Sander Performance Group in Norwood, NJ (201-784-8848) for $100 each plus $8 DHL shipping.

    The tires look very professional and understated, and with 60 psi inflation they could each carry a max load of 3750 lbs, which is more than my van weighs total with two passengers! These should last me a decade or so of Sunday driving with the odd building supply run thrown in.

    I have a JPEG of the specs for the 14" Comtrac sizes which customer support at Vredestein USA sent me that that I can email or post if anyone is interested.

    - Dave

    ------------------
    Dave and his green 1968 (Summer of Love) 108 Window Van "Bertha"

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    Joe Russin
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    Welcome back Dave,I was wondering if you were still around and still had your van......Wookee

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    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    Joe,

    Nice to hear from you.

    My wife and I adopted a baby girl last year, so I was a little busy and broke for vanning.

    Your new ride looks sweet! Hope to see you all at a meet next season.

    I'll be looking up Leadfoot about getting some restoration work done on the old gal this winter.

    Don't worry, they'll have to pry the keys and reg from my cold dead hands before I'll part with her...

    Best,

    Dave

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    VCVC Member leadfoot's Avatar
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    nice to see ya back
    drop me a line anytime ledfoot@gmail.com
    or vaninm@gmail.com


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    Certifiable Vanatic dieselvan's Avatar
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    I run 185R14 Bridgestone V603 truck tires on my 87 Toyota van. They are 8 PR load range D and I run them at 45 PSI. They keep me from being blown all over the road and were a night and day difference from the cheap car tires I was running before. They are not too expensive because they are a fleet tire. It was funny to see the recommended tire pressures printed on the side for both single and dual tires.


    [This message has been edited by dieselvan (edited November 24, 2006).]

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    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    Dieselvan,

    I wouldn't know where to look for fleet tires. Would I go to a truck supply store? It's nice to know there's another, probably cheaper source.

    The Vredestein 185R14's are also rated for dual tire use. A dually van would be quite a sight!

    Leadfoot,

    I'll drop you a line at your email address.

    Dave

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    Certifiable Vanatic dieselvan's Avatar
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    I'm on vacation and away from my normal ISP, but you can send me a message at dieselvan2003@yahoo.com (that's my slumming e-mail address LOL).

    With regards to the fleet tires, they should be available from any retailer that sells Bridgestone tires. The only reason they are called "fleet" tires is because that's their intended use. They are very heavy duty load range D tires with a very good tread life and no white sidewall. That makes them a good deal. I run them at 45 PSI regardless of the load and they work really well on my 87 Toyota van. Combined with KYB shocks and Add-a-leafs on the rear they give a very good (firm and steady) ride and very good stability in crosswinds. I remember settling on 45 PSI by using an infrared point and shoot thermometer and taking reading across the tire tread. I loaded my van and set the tire pressure to 60 PSI. After travelling for about 20 miles at freeway speeds, I pulled over and took my tire temperatures. I took a reading of the edge of the tread first then compared it to a reading of the middle. The middle tread temperature was higher which meant that it was taking most of the load. I then progressively lowered my tire pressures until I arrived at 45 which gave me even temperature reading across the entire treat face. I noticed that even with the van unloaded, the tires still worked well and maintained even temperatures at 45.

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    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    Dieselvan,

    Thanks for the tip. Also the infrared thermometer trick is very cool.

    I tend to keep all my cars (currently two volvos and an audi) inflated to the 5-passengers-plus-baggage recommended inflation pressures so I don't have to pump them up every time I load the whole family and stuff into them, resulting in pressures of 36 front and 36 to 40 PSI (depends which car) in the back. I figure if I'm not seeing excessive tire wear in the middle of the tread then everything is fine, and I'm saving gas keeping them pumped up. I mostly run AA traction rated tires (Yokohama AS430's, recommended!), so I'm not too worried about losing traction.

    The '68 van has been getting 40 front and 42 back with the undersized 185/75R14 passenger tires I had on it, and I used to run it at 45 front and 55 rear back when I had bias-ply truck tires on it.

    I'll have to experiment a bit with these new Vredestein tires. They are also load range D. I'll probably start with 45PSI front rear and go from there...

    Thanks again!

    Dave

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    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    185R14 Hankook Vantra LT M+S for 14x5" rims?

    OK, my van is running again after sitting "for a minute" as they say here in SC. New brake master cylinder, new drums and studs all around, new brake calipers, new re-popped gas tank.

    Needless to say, the 185R14 Vredestein tires are pretty cracked by now, and my mechanic recommended new tires before I drove it anywhere other than to my house or the tire store. In the meantime, Vredestein stopped making the 14" van tires, and only makes 15" and up.

    I'd love to run Cooper Cobras or Firestone Wide Ovals, but they seem to require wider rim widths than the 14x5" rims I have. 5.5" was the minimum on the Cobras, and I think it was 6.5" on the Wide Ovals.

    Bridgestone makes very retro 6.35x14" bias plies that would be very close to the optional equipment on the van, at least if it were a SportVan and not a Chevy Van with the full window option. If the van were fully restored and show-ready, I might go for those.

    In the meantime, I'm considering a set of 185R14 Hankook Vantra LT M+S tires. Anyone have experience with them, or advice?
    "Bertha": 1968 Chevy Van 108, 250L6, 3-speed, Jump Seat, Full Window Option, 3.36 Rear End

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    VCVC Member SAVAGE's Avatar
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    Cool

    Welcome back
    Tom

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    14" tires

    [QUOTE=

    Bridgestone makes very retro 6.35x14" bias plies that would be very close to the optional equipment on the van, at least if it were a SportVan and not a Chevy Van with the full window option. If the van were fully restored and show-ready, I might go for those.

    Do you have any kind of reference or link for the Bridgestone tire? I visited Bridgestone web site & the contact "person" sent me to Coker tires.....
    Gary
    1965 Display

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    Do yourself a favor and stay away from bias ply tires if you're going to actually drive the van.
    Show queen - different story.

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    If you liked your Vredestein 185/14's you may like these Vredestein tires for 5" rims:

    https://www.cokertire.com/tires/vred...row-tread.html

    https://www.universaltire.com/185hr1...blackwall.html

  14. #14
    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    @tinlizzard and [MENTION=381]65Mark[/MENTION],

    Yeah thanks for the valuable feedback!

    I was sort of thinking about the ride on the bias ply tires, but on the other hand I drove the van for a decade with 8-ply Goodyear light truck bias ply tires when I first got the van, so I'm kinda used to the way they handled. On the other hand, radials are a huge ride and traction improvement. So yeah, saving those for the van's trailer queen old age.

    Unfortunately, those Vredestein Sprint Classics are pure summer tires, and you have to let them recover for 24 hours after the temperature goes below 20F. Here in SC we have a lot of what they call "winter" weather here, where is goes below freezing, and yes occasionally below 20F, but then it's 40-50F or even 60F during the afternoon - perfect weather for taking the old girl for a spin. A similar tire without the temperature restriction is the Michelin X, which comes in a 155R14 size (https://www.cokertire.com/tires/155r14-michelin-x.html), but doesn't have a high enough load rating for the van. [I bought a single Michelin X in a 15" rim size to replace the dead lightweight full size/limited speed spare in my '91 Volvo 740 Wagon daily driver, and have been happy with it the once or twice I've had to use it. A plus is that it is "T" speed rated to 118MPH, the OEM spare was limited to 55MPH.]

    The Hankook Vantra LT 185R14 is rated to 1875 lbs. load and 65PSI, plus the look and the price are right.

    https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...artnum=8R4RA18

    The more feedback, the better. I'm open to any and all ideas before I hit the buy button on a set of four. What are you running on your 14x5" rims?

    Summerluvvan Dave
    "Bertha": 1968 Chevy Van 108, 250L6, 3-speed, Jump Seat, Full Window Option, 3.36 Rear End

  15. #15
    VCVC Member summerluvvan's Avatar
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    Gfleduc,

    [QUOTE=gfleduc;276695][QUOTE=

    Bridgestone makes very retro 6.35x14" bias plies that would be very close to the optional equipment on the van, at least if it were a SportVan and not a Chevy Van with the full window option. If the van were fully restored and show-ready, I might go for those.

    Do you have any kind of reference or link for the Bridgestone tire? I visited Bridgestone web site & the contact "person" sent me to Coker tires.....[/QUOTE]

    Here's a link for 7.00x14" BFGoodrich Narrow Tread Bias Ply whitewalls that will fit 14x5.0-5.5" rims, but there are other widths and styles:

    https://www.cokertire.com/tires/bf-g...all-sport.html

    I think I had Bridgestone in my head because of the comments above. I probably meant BFGoodrich. I did find some 6.35x14" tires somewhere, can't find it now.

    Best thing to do is go to the Coker Tire site, narrow the search to Classic 50's-60's tires and 14" rims, then search for the construction, sidewall, and width you want, then make sure the tires fit your rim width.

    Summerluvvan
    "Bertha": 1968 Chevy Van 108, 250L6, 3-speed, Jump Seat, Full Window Option, 3.36 Rear End

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    finally found 14" van/light truck tires

    [QUOTE=summerluvvan;276727]Gfleduc,

    Quote Originally Posted by gfleduc View Post

    Here's a link for 7.00x14" BFGoodrich Narrow Tread Bias Ply whitewalls that will fit 14x5.0-5.5" rims, but there are other widths and styles:

    https://www.cokertire.com/tires/bf-g...all-sport.html

    I think I had Bridgestone in my head because of the comments above. I probably meant BFGoodrich. I did find some 6.35x14" tires somewhere, can't find it now.

    Best thing to do is go to the Coker Tire site, narrow the search to Classic 50's-60's tires and 14" rims, then search for the construction, sidewall, and width you want, then make sure the tires fit your rim width.

    Summerluvvan
    Copy that - thank-you for the detail
    Gary
    1965 Display

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