Rims & Tires Table of Contents

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Best cheap tire
Shade tree alignment procedure

Nate Pierce wrote:

> I just got some 15x7 Eurospec wheels (they look almost exactly like the BBS on
> the Golf 4). For tires: a set of Comp TA's in back (the guy I bought the car
> from threw them in 3 yrs ago), and in the front some H rated Sumatomo's not my
> favorites but $53 a peice! Anyway all 4 tires are 195/50/15 and fitting was no
> problem. The tires went on the rims easily and the wheels fit under the wheel
> wells nicely. Actually the 50/15's were slightly smaller in dia. than my
> 60/14's <-------(yok. AVS Intermediate). A funny side note is that durring the
> whole mounting process I was at two shops and at both places the manegers
> complemented and raved about my Sumotomos and said nothing about the comp
> TA's! Interesting. If anyone wants to volenteer I would love to see my car on
> a web site, any volenteers? I dont have my own page yet.

I think the best cheap tire is a Dunlop D60 A2 JLB.  Has anyone driven on these?
I think they're hard to beat for the money and all around traction and wear.  I
just reinstalled a set on my scirocco, replacing a set of GAG Goodyear (read: most
overmarketed, under quality tire made), and the difference was more than I could
have imagined.  Wet traction, dry grip, crisp turn-in response, smooth ride.  On a
related note, VWoA has a semi-trailer sized dumpster out back full of GA's.  When
I asked what that was about, they told me "these aren't even round".  "Goodyear
Serious Quality Control".

> I keep hearing good things about the D60 A2's but I've been told they don't
> come in 13". Is this true? I looked around for them when I needed new tires
> a few months ago, but none were to be found. Ended up going with
> Bridgestone Insignias (about $60 a piece) which seem ok, but I don't know
> about calling them the best of anything. Solidly mediocre maybe.
> Is there a good source of 13" tires around or do I have to go to larger
> wheels to get decent tires?

I just got tires a month ago.  I wanted to stay with my 13" wheels 
too.  The Dunlops do not come in 13", I looked around a lot and was 
told this by everyone.  What I got was Faulken FK60U, 205/60HR13.  
Work well on the 5.5" wiide wheels, not as good as they would on 
wider.  Cost me close to $300 with everything added on.   I think 
they were $63 each.  

They don't have a lot of siping but they sure do well in the rain.  
That was my biggest concern.  I like them but can't give any idea of 
wear as they are not on long enough.  I'm thinking the treadwear 
rating was around 300 or so.  I'd recommend them.

On a side note, you gotta love Les Schwab Tires.  They give great 
warranties and service.  I had one of my new tires go flat while I 
was driving on I-5 yesterday.  Of course it ran flat before I could 
detect the problem and get off the road.  They didn't even ask to see 
the reciept, they just threw a new one on no charge.  they even had 
to go to another store to get the tire as they had none in stock.  
This all happened at 5:30 pm, 1/2 hour before they closed.  I offered 
to let them put something used on it and come back, they said no way, 
we're getting you fixed up right now.  If you're in the PNW and near 
one of these places I highly recommend them.  Even if you didn't buy 
your tires from them they'll fix your flat for free.  That's what I 
first went to them for and have been going back and buying from them 
since.  They usually are lower than the competition and give you free 
rotation and re-balancing for the life of the tires too.

85 Scirocco 8V  Wolfsburg
Everett, WA

 2. Shade tree alignment  

This procedure requires that you have three things:
1. an absoloutely level surface (like the floor of a garage that's been
2. one of those toe-in/toe-out checker thingies or just any other way of
measuring the distance between the inside of the two front rims
3. a level that can check if something is perfectly vertical (a 1' level
is great for this, like one of those ones made by Stanley- I think
they're called torpedo levels)
Note that this procedure cannot be used if you want to get anything other
than 0 degree camber, which is always how I have run my car (with no
problems). You can set it to other settings, but you won't be able to
tell exactly what they are.
This procedure may work only with certain wheels on the car. Mine (stock
1985 Jetta GLi wheels) have an easy way to put a level against the side
of them. I think that this will work with any of the rims that came stock
on our Sciroccos, too, but I'm not absoloutely sure. When putting the
level on the wheel, make sure that it's in the middle and pointing more
or less straight up and down. Otherwise, your readings will be off.

1. Park your car on a level surface, ebrake off and out of gear, wheels
turned straight ahead.
2. Bounce it up and down and push it back and forth a few inches to
settle the suspension and make sure that there is zero stress on the
3. First, you want to set the camber. First, check if the wheels are
vertical. If they are, then you are all set. If they aren't, then do the
following: For each side, loosen the upper and lower strut bolts.
Loosening the lower one merely allows you adjust it, while turning the
upper strut bolt is what actually adjusts the camber, due to an eccentric
nut that is on it. Because of this, when loosening the top bolt, loosen
the nut while holding the bolt (don't turn the bolt). Check the
verticalness of the wheel with the level and turn the top bolt
accordingly (looking at the eccentric nuts will help you understand
exactly what is going on). When you get it right, tighten the nut on the
top bolt carefully.... (don't turn the eccentric washers). It may take
more than a few times to get it right. When it's tight and vertical, then
tighten it pretty hard and check it again to make sure it's still right
(it's delicate). Repeat for the other wheel, if necessary.
4. Then crawl under the car and loosen the adjustable tie rod end locknut
(on cars where the original equipment non-adjustable one has been
replaced, both will be adjustable). Then check the distance between the
inside fronts of your rims (both ends of whatever you're using to measure
must be at exactly the same distance from the ground) and compare it with
the inside rear of your rims. You want to get those two distances the
same. If the rear distance is smaller than the front, then you have
toe-out. If the rear distance is bigger than the front, then you have toe
in. The way you adjust the distance is to turn the actual tie rod.
Bentley is helpful in this... it will show you where the tie rod ends,
locknuts and stuff are. Anyway, when you get it right, tighten the
locknut and you're done.

NOTE: If the camber is correct, you are really psyched because adjusting
camber is a bit of a bitch (though not that bad), while adjusting toe-in
in really easy (unless your tie-rod locknut()s is/are frozen, which