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We’ve been looking for new wheels for the Vanagon for quite awhile now. Why do we want new wheels? It’s all about the ride. Some people want nice looks, but we want a nice ride. The stock wheels come with reinforced sidewalls which makes the ride quite rough. We think we can get a larger rim, with a shorter tire and it will actually feel better because the sidewalls won’t be quite as stiff. We’d also like slightly wider tires for better handling.

We have a set of Mercedes 16″ wheels with brand new tires that would be perfect for the vanagon but we cannot find lug nuts that fit. We have to drill the Mercedes wheels to make them fit but unless we find the lug nuts, we can’t do it.

You can see our comparison shot. The short one is the vanagon bolt and the longer one is the Mercedes bolt. We need a bolt that is as long as the Mercedes, but as thick as the Vanagon’s bolt. I’m not an expert so this is quite a hassle. Nobody seems to have what we need.

We’ll probably have to end up purchasing the Go Westy Wheels but they won’t ship the tires to Honolulu. They recommend 15″ wheels for our Carat but we’re seriously looking at going with the 16″ wheels. We’ll put a slightly lower profile Michelin tire on it and see how it goes.

UPDATE: We decided to skip the Mercedes wheels as finding the right lugnuts was a hassle.  We bought Go Westy 16″ Wheels and they work like a charm.

We bought Michelin tires from Amazon and it was perfect. Free shipping!


  • We order 16″ wheels from Stockton Wheels. They fit great but you have to paint them. The paint they came with should be considered primer. They rusted in a week without some nice Hammerite.

    Running some nice tires on it now, the look is fantastic and the grip is impressive.

  • s_mutt1

    Should check out T3 technique. They have all types of wheel hardware for these types of applications. I put on passat 16″ steels and the ride is like a M5 compared to what it used to be!! lol

  • Crash

    Talk to Christopher at T3 Technique http://www.t3technique.com

    I fitted 7×16 inch Mercedes rims on my 91 High-top, and he sorted out everything for me, and even supplied the parts…he figured out the perfect offset, what spacers were required, and supplied those together with new conversion studs & nuts. He’s like the Vanagon wheel guru! I went with his screw-in studs for the front to get rid of the bolts, and now all the chrome nuts match. I’m an automotive journalist by profession, so I’m rather careful who I recommend, but I’ve no hesitation in sending you to him, he’s awesome!
    BTW: I fitted 215/65/16 Continental Vanco 2 tires…Not cheap but worth every penny! Slightly higher geared now, but as mine is a UK Transporter with carburetor and no emission junk, I have plenty of power.




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