Re: VW Rabbit 60,000 fronts, 100,000 rears



My wife had one of these cars and no, this is baloney. The tires VW supplied were really cheap and wore out quickly. Most people bought the cheapest narrow replacement tires they could find, we are talking the $11.95 come-in and loss-leaders here, and those wore out quickly too.
If when the factory tires wore out you went out and bought some expensive high mileage tires then yes you could get a long life. We are talking a pretty lightweight car, that is why they lasted long. But a lightweight car in combination with high mileage tires which have very hard rubber and little grip, with narrow tires, well that car was all over the road if it was windy. And the handling was not that hot, but they didn't go all that fast either. The VW Rabbits were like the Nissan/Datsun 210s, they were products of an end of an era of very simply built and simply designed cars, using very old engine and fuel designs that were very basic. Because they were cheap, they were very popular and lots of young pups who couldn't afford to pay mechanics to work on their cars would buy them. But, damn they were cheesy! I remember replacing the water pump in my wife's car (then girlfriend) I had to do it 3 times because the first two water pumps I put in leaked right out of the box.

Not true. The only thing that is a problem with the wear patterns on wide tires is that they are more sensitive to under or over inflation. If inflated properly they wear the same as high profile tires of the same material on the same weight vehicle.
I think low profile tires are pretty stupid, for a lot of reasons not the least is that if you hit a chuckhole you bend a rim. But wear on a standard passenger car isn't one of those reasons.
Ted
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My GTi 1800 ran slightly lower profile, 175/70 I seem to remember, tyres especially made for the GTi by Pirelli. While being very good tyres for their time I seldom got more than nine or ten thousand miles from the front. Same went for my fathers dreadful Santana five cylinder.
I am certainly not a fan of very low profile rubber which tend to tramline and have a rough ride, I would say that it all depends on the vehicle. My old Jaguar XK8 sports coupe tourer had very low profile tyres but suffered little for it.
Huw
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I owned two early edition Rabbits and your report about tire life is a pure myth! Mine were equipped at the factory with 70 series tires that went about 30,000 miles on sets that were properly rotated and inflated.
Richard.
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Was yours a GTi driven as it was meant to be on rural minor roads? How in Hell can you say that my tyre life is a myth? If I say I never got more than 10,000 miles from the fronts that is what I got. No skin off my nose if others got better.
Huw
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Huw wrote:

    I think he was probably replying to the original poster.
--
Mauricio raub-kudria-com
(if you need to email me, use this address =)
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Actually, the last Rabbit I owned was a Platinum Edition that I converted to GTI Euro specs but installing the factory rear sway bar and variable rate rear springs from the VW parts bin. The wheels and tires were already the same size as those on the Euro GTI at the time. Perhaps the factory GTI's were delivered with "performance" tires that were not good on wear. The French tires mine wore lasted 30,000 miles or so.
Richard.
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Was the engine uprated to 1.8GTi spec, around 112hp which gave a 0-60mph time of just over 8 seconds?
Huw
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My that is low tire mileage for such a light car.
On my last two Chrysler's, leBaron GTS 86 and Concord '95, I changed the Michelin all season tires at about 70K miles because they were 8 yrs old and showing aging, but still had adequate tread for winter driving. If I put mileage on more quickly I'm sure I could get 100K miles on a set.
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Tires have significantly improved since the 1970's in just about every respect. It is true you could pick up a Michelin X-Stop in the late 40's that would go 90,000 miles, but you would not want to take a sharp turn on those stiff, unforgiving tires.
Richard.
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