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Old 10-12-2006, 01:36 PM   #1
Zach Woods
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Default Westfalia Tires and Tire Pressure

The following was an answer I received to my questions about Tires and Tire Pressures on the Westfalia:

*****
Tire Pressure

It's 55 psi in front and 79/80 in rear. Both the Sprinter and
Westfalia Owners Manuals specify that air pressure (as well as sticker
on driver's seat behind the black vinyl wraparound).

The differential in air pressure between the front and rear appears to
be important for handling (and presumably for tire wear as less weight
up front).

Check Tire Pressure

Make sure to check the air pressure yourself, especially after any
maintenance service. No matter what you tell the service folks, they
like to change the air pressure to whatever they think (usually 72 psi
all around). Get a digital tire gauge--these are the most accurate.

Also, many gas stations do not have adequate air compressors to pump up
these tires. So if you find that you can't inflate the tires, it's
most likely the gas station's compressor and not any problems on your
end. Truck stops don't have this problem.

Tire Valve Recall

Check the Dodge site (or your dealer) to make sure that your Westfalia
had the tire valves changed under the March 2004 recall. The recall
does not replace with the better all-metal valves (which can take
higher pressure), but with the same type of rubber boot/metal stem
valves (that way, they can avoid rebalancing the tires).

Hubcaps/Wheel Covers

Under the Tire Valve Recall notice, it was suggested that wheel covers
not be used--although written a bit vaguely to allow for factory
authorized wheel covers.

Alloy Wheels

Westfalias are now coming over with the optional aluminum 5 spoke alloy
wheels. Big advantage is the lighter weight of these wheels (besides
look). These alloys are also 6.5" wide versus the steel 6" wide.
These wheels use different lug bolts than the steel ones.

If you have steel and want to replace with the alloys, check on the
Internet. Yahoo poster at yahoo groups Sprintervan found
dodgeparts.com to be selling the wheel for $77 + 10% s/h--much cheaper
than the previous cheapest of $94-97 each at Tenafly Chrysler in N.J.,
and a lot cheaper than what dealers' standard retail of $127 each
(which is still a great price for alloys). Remember that you'll also
need new lug bolts and a center cap (the new Westfalia's have blank
caps; Dodge will have Dodge logo; you can get Mercedes logo too).

Cross Rotation

Also note that Sprinter Manual (copyright 2003 for 2004 Sprinter)
indicated that tires should not be cross-rotated (like in the old days
fofor radials), but the Michelin A/S are NOT unidirectional and tire
places and Dodge dealers are cross-rotating.

Better Tires than Michelins

On RV.net board, lots of discussion re flexibility of the OEM Michelins
on vans, including Sprinters. Concern that the high flexibility of the
Michelins resulted in squirming/wandering. One guy replaced with
Kumho? The Michelin site has an all-steel sidewall (Highway Rib) tire
they recommend for RVs--downside is the heavy weight. Use of a stiffer
sidewall tire may reduce wandering for these high top vehicles, but
more experience/reports would be useful.
__________________
Zach Woods - zwoods/at/tiac/dot/net
-----
With a Westfalia, home is where you park it!

Last edited by Zach Woods; 02-04-2007 at 06:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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