eskamobob1
eskamobob1 New Reader
7/14/20 6:41 p.m.

Hey Guys,

 

I have a classic beetle that I am very torn about which direction to go on wheel/tires for. The long short of it is I am debating between:

  1. 205/50R15 Extreme Conti Sport - ~33lbs total ea
  2. 225/45R17 PS4S - ~40lbs ea

My question is, are the PS4s worth it enough to make up for 10lb of unsprung weight a corner on a 2000lbs car? The other question I have is, the 20/50R15s would absolutely annihilate my scrub radius. Should I be worried about that? It would stay roughly the same with the PS4S and the offset I need for them

 

EDIT: Info I forgot to include last night

  • Ignore gearing differences. I am going custom trans anyways and will gear as necessary. It just so happens that the jump between diameters in tires here is almost exactly the difference between final drives I can choose as well so its even easier.
  • The price difference between tires just doesnt matter to me. I want to pick the best option regardless of costs involved (even if that includes custom body work and regearing)
  • This is a 74 standard beetle with a stock width beam and 0-offset disks. Springrates for my torsion bars are not se yet as I want to get good tires before I finalize them
CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/14/20 6:48 p.m.

Are you factoring in the weight of 15 vs 17” wheels too?

what is the purpose of this car? Street only? Track? Autox?

Im curious because there are faster tires than either of those options in 15 inch sizes.

eskamobob1
eskamobob1 New Reader
7/14/20 7:49 p.m.

Yes. The weight difference actually entirely comes from the wheel weight. As for usage, this will be a daily, but I some commute some real tight backroads 3 days a week. Ultimately I wont get even close to using all of either tire, I realize that, but I want to put together the best package I can as the backbone for the rest of my build.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/14/20 8:24 p.m.

In reply to eskamobob1 :

On a car with manual steering I'd definitely watch your scrub radius. On a car that light I think you'll notice an extra 10lbs per corner to. If you were building a street driven autox car, then I'd say go with the widest(competitive) tire possible, in a diameter that compliments your gearing & torque curve. However, on a car that's mostly just used on the street I'd say go with a cheap tire in a size that works for the car. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
7/14/20 9:04 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

100% agreed on the widest rubber that you can make fit and work without Berkeleying your gearing 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/14/20 9:29 p.m.

How wide are the wheels for those 2 options? 8" and 9" respectively?  Option 2 is 2" taller than option 1.  Thats pretty significant.

Without knowing more, I'd go for #1.  Also option 2 is $90 (81%) per corner more expensive for the tires alone.

 

I had 205 ECS on some light 15x8s on my last car.  They were staggeringly light.  I was shocked when the tire alone on my friend's VW (235/x/18) weighed just about what my wheels and tires combined weigh.

(I also have PS4 in 225/40-18 on my current car)

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
7/14/20 10:40 p.m.

Given your needs, I’d go with option 1.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/14/20 11:32 p.m.

I'm assuming this car is being street driven with occasional use in a performance manner .....otherwise we're talking about the totally wrong tires. 

Put the Conti's on .. I can't imagine any class where the bit more grip of the Ps4S is worth the extra weight

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/15/20 1:11 a.m.

That seems to be a bizarre pair of sizes to be comparing -- the 205/50R15s are 23 inch diameter tires, the 225/45R17s are 25 inch, and I think the 1" larger overall radius is going to have a much greater effect on the car than the unsprung weight.  Are they tires you already own or something?

Michelin PS4S are the perfect tire for a big, heavy, fast German sedan (I have them on my Audi), but I don't think I'd put them on an air cooled Beetle.  I'd probably look at Rivals or the Hankoook RS4 instead.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
7/15/20 6:13 a.m.

Also think about your speedometer error. Beetle speedometers are calibrated for a 25.4" tire. The Conti would be 10% slower and you'd loose 10% of your top end speed.

cfvwtuner
cfvwtuner New Reader
7/15/20 6:14 a.m.

Lets go back to the car, a "Classic Beetle" as in aircooled?

Super or standard, narrowed or stock beam?

Offset is very important to get the tires under the fenders.  

the 205/50/15's are way too small of a diameter for a beetle compared to the 165/15's they came with. You will be killing your highway speed.

A 225 is way to wide for the front.  

I run a 185/60/15 front 195/65/15 rear on Empi 5 spokes on the standard bug, along with a 2" narrowed beam

I also run a 205/40/17 front 225/50/17 rear on the super beetle with ET53ish Boxster front wheels.  Rears need a 15MM spacer.  

I think weight is less important than fitting the car and overall diameter at the rear

eskamobob1
eskamobob1 New Reader
7/15/20 11:20 a.m.

Im sorry everyone! I just realized I gave basically 0 info. Thats what I get for drunk posting. Ill respond to all the questions and edit my OP.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

100% agreed on the widest rubber that you can make fit and work without Berkeleying your gearing 

The gearing will change to suit whatever tiresize I go to. Luckily, the difference bewteen the two (the Ps4S are roughly stock diameter and the contis are tiny) is almost perfectly inline with the difference between the R&P options on the trans I am using.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to eskamobob1 :

On a car with manual steering I'd definitely watch your scrub radius. On a car that light I think you'll notice an extra 10lbs per corner to. If you were building a street driven autox car, then I'd say go with the widest(competitive) tire possible, in a diameter that compliments your gearing & torque curve. However, on a car that's mostly just used on the street I'd say go with a cheap tire in a size that works for the car. 

FWIW, I'm not worried about the cost differential between the two at all. As for the scrub radius, do you have a good resource on its effects on handling/steering weight? Im even going over my textbooks and cant find anything concrete at all on what should and should not be considers acceptable. No matter what I do, im going to be a decent bit over stock, but I realy do need to figure out if I should minimize it or if Im going to be ok using something like drop spindles (possibly on top of much smaller tires).

As for the weight though, that was kind of my feeling. Staying a tire size more close to stock diameter obviously simplify things, but if the smaller size is the proper option I will do everything else needed to make it work. My uncertainty is realy just comming from the PS4S basicaly being the god tire for a street car and finding basicaly 0 concrete info on the difference between it and the conti

ProDarwin said:

How wide are the wheels for those 2 options? 8" and 9" respectively?  Option 2 is 2" taller than option 1.  Thats pretty significant.

Without knowing more, I'd go for #1.  Also option 2 is $90 (81%) per corner more expensive for the tires alone.

 

I had 205 ECS on some light 15x8s on my last car.  They were staggeringly light.  I was shocked when the tire alone on my friend's VW (235/x/18) weighed just about what my wheels and tires combined weigh.

(I also have PS4 in 225/40-18 on my current car)

The money just inst a factor for this part of the build, so im not worried about tire cost. As for sizing, both sets would be somewhere between 7-8" wide most likely. Im not dead set on specific wheels yet for either one, so I picked weight I know i can hit with either size (refrenses are momo heritage 6 for 17s and empi BRMs for the 15s which are both pretty heavy for what their sizes - If I go 15s chances are pretty good ima go spoon SW388s or mahle forged gasburners which are both like 9lbs ea). 

CyberEric said:

Given your needs, I’d go with option 1.

Does it just come down to the car being so damn light? That was kind of the direction I was already leaning tbh so I have a better mass damping ratio, but the convenience of the PS4S is pretty massive so I figured I would ask.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm assuming this car is being street driven with occasional use in a performance manner .....otherwise we're talking about the totally wrong tires. 

Put the Conti's on .. I can't imagine any class where the bit more grip of the Ps4S is worth the extra weight

That is exactly the use case. 4 days of highway a week and 3 days of bombing backroads rain or shine. As for the weight, yah. That was basicaly my thought but watching a few interviews with TT teams that have moved for heavier whell/tire combos but for larger rims they have all said the weight wasnt an issue and it made me second guess my choice wondering if that would be true for the street as well. 

codrus (Forum Supporter) said:

That seems to be a bizarre pair of sizes to be comparing -- the 205/50R15s are 23 inch diameter tires, the 225/45R17s are 25 inch, and I think the 1" larger overall radius is going to have a much greater effect on the car than the unsprung weight.  Are they tires you already own or something?

Michelin PS4S are the perfect tire for a big, heavy, fast German sedan (I have them on my Audi), but I don't think I'd put them on an air cooled Beetle.  I'd probably look at Rivals or the Hankoook RS4 instead.

Yes. These are two fairly random seeming sizes. Realy what is being compaired is if I want to stick with roughly stock diameter (the PS4S are ~1% smaller than stock) or if I want to minimize unsprung weight. Luckily gearing wize, im going completely custom ratios anyways and my R&P options basicay match the difference bewteen tire sizes, so that part is a non-issue.

Thats an interesting point on the PS4S being suited to bigger cars. You are right that every comparison I ever see them in has them on 3500+ lbs cars where as I am only 2k or so. As for the RS4s and rivals, my big worry with them (and the 595s, and other simmilar options) is the poor wet performance. This is my daily and is driven wet or dry so I need tires that can do both well. That was realy why i had limited myself to PS4Ss and the extreme contact sports

buzzboy said:

Also think about your speedometer error. Beetle speedometers are calibrated for a 25.4" tire. The Conti would be 10% slower and you'd loose 10% of your top end speed.

 Thats an easy fix. Im already going custom trans and spedo so just changing the final drive and the spedo gearing is no issue at all.

cfvwtuner said:

Lets go back to the car, a "Classic Beetle" as in aircooled?

Super or standard, narrowed or stock beam?

Offset is very important to get the tires under the fenders.  

the 205/50/15's are way too small of a diameter for a beetle compared to the 165/15's they came with. You will be killing your highway speed.

A 225 is way to wide for the front.  

I run a 185/60/15 front 195/65/15 rear on Empi 5 spokes on the standard bug, along with a 2" narrowed beam

I also run a 205/40/17 front 225/50/17 rear on the super beetle with ET53ish Boxster front wheels.  Rears need a 15MM spacer.  

I think weight is less important than fitting the car and overall diameter at the rear

BJ standard width beam, but still trying to decide if ima drop or not. With the 15s I need to figure out what offset I do need still as I will be going wider fenders most likely (realy just like the look of the kafer style flared fenders from KSP). For the 17s, from all my measurements, an ET44 17x7 w/ a 235/45 will just fit. Either way though, before I order my expensive wheels, I will make damn sure I dial in my offset.

As for the massive reduction in tire size, I'm going to be going with a subie trans conversion anyways so I can just pick my R&P based on what size tire I go with, and regearing a spedo is easy. Obviously going with the 17s that are close to stock sizes would be simpler overall, but I realy want to go with the best option overall since I will be regearing already anyways.

As for the 225 being too wide up front, I am a bit concerned with that. I can go 205/45R17 and get the PS4Ss still, but those are far enough away from stock sizing IMO, that I'm not sure the benefit is there if I have to copensate for size difference anyways, why not go super light weight. Do you say that 225 is too wide because of interfearence issues? Or just because that is wide as hell on a 2000lb car?

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
7/15/20 12:24 p.m.

I may throw a monkey wrench in this BUT that old Beetle will be much more fun to drive on narrower tires in sizes such as cfvwtuner pointed out. This is especially so as a road car.

Other than that my vote is always for a lighter wheel

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
7/15/20 12:34 p.m.

Your looking at the wrong tires straight up 

You can do a NT01 in a 205/50/15 and your car does not weight enough or have anywhere near enough camber to eat them up even on the street. Maximum attack and still legal. You will age them out before you kill them on the street unless you are a maniac. 

https://www.amazon.com/Nitto-NT01-High-Performance-Tire/dp/B004QL6Q0C

 

 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
7/15/20 12:39 p.m.

If you want it to be at all driveable in the wet you must go with a narrower tire. 185 at most in front, the weight is so low on the front of a Beetle that anything wider just floats off the pavement.

eskamobob1
eskamobob1 New Reader
7/15/20 12:43 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

I may throw a monkey wrench in this BUT that old Beetle will be much more fun to drive on narrower tires in sizes such as cfvwtuner pointed out. This is especially so as a road car.

Other than that my vote is always for a lighter wheel

Yah. I realize that I very well may be overtiring my car, but I want to make the build around the max grip because I can always go less. If I go something like a weird radial T/A size and gea to that, if I decide I want more grip later im going to have to completely reconfigure my build. If I start at max grip I can always go with E36 M3tier tires later. 

wearymicrobe said:

Your looking at the wrong tires straight up 

You can do a NT01 in a 205/50/15 and your car does not weight enough or have anywhere near enough camber to eat them up even on the street. Maximum attack and still legal. You will age them out before you kill them on the street unless you are a maniac. 

https://www.amazon.com/Nitto-NT01-High-Performance-Tire/dp/B004QL6Q0C

This car is my daily and is driven consistently in rain. That is why I had written off the NT01s, 595-RSRs, R1Rs, 888R, etc. Are there other tires you think I should look into that will handle rain just as well as the contis and PS4Ss?

TurnerX19 said:

If you want it to be at all driveable in the wet you must go with a narrower tire. 185 at most in front, the weight is so low on the front of a Beetle that anything wider just floats off the pavement.

Yah, I would love to stay 185 width, but tbh, they only make E36 M3 tires in that size. Basicay the narrowest I can get with a decent tire (from what i can find) is a 195/50R16

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
7/15/20 12:53 p.m.

I doubt your going to have that much trouble with rain even with a 205 width tire. I used to run a R888 on my spec cobra in the rain with a 285/305 setup and even that handled it semi decently. It's not exactly the safest thing in the world though. 

For rain experience I have run the PS4S on my Viper with ~700whp on 305/355 setup and its about the same as the R888 on the spec racer in the rain. They are NOT a rain tire IMO expecially if you have standing water in your area. 

Sounds like you need two sets of tires. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
7/15/20 3:28 p.m.
eskamobob1 said:

This car is my daily and is driven consistently in rain. That is why I had written off the NT01s, 595-RSRs, R1Rs, 888R, etc. Are there other tires you think I should look into that will handle rain just as well as the contis and PS4Ss?

RE-71Rs are quite acceptable for street driving in the rain, IME.
 

If you want a rain race tire then I think you need two sets.

 

 

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