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Experiences with load range 97 tires

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craig View Drop Down
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  Quote craig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Experiences with load range 97 tires
    Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 16:50
I'm looking to replace my summer tires, and want to use 215/55x16 97H or 97V. (I need the load range because I plan on towing.) There doesn't seem to be much choice:

Toyo Proxes 4
Dunlop SP Sport 01
Kumho Ecsta SPT
Hankook Ventus V4 ES H105
Conti Pro Contact
Pirelli P6 All-season
Mich Pilot HX MXM4
Goodyear Eagle LS-2

Any opinions on summer-only performance? I have them listed in order of my prejudices, not having driven any of the tires.
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  Quote craig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2007 at 19:24
Ooookay.

I'll be putting on Ecsta SPT's in a couple of weeks.
If you want a sports saloon, the last two words that'd pop into your head, after, say, "Mister" and "Kipling," are "Volkswagen" and "Passat." - J. Clarkson
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  Quote fitzski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2007 at 08:44
What's the tow rating for the Passat? It's probably still only Class 1 rated, which is 200lbs tongue weight, yes?

How do you think the load rating will affect the handling? I would think you're fine with a 94, and I'm perfectly happy with the 91s on my Variant (though, admittedly, that's really at the absolute edge of what I should be running... 94s would probably be more appropriate).

Fritz and I just drove the Tail of the Dragon with them (Pirelli P-Zero Nero M&S), and they were **amazing**. We pushed it pretty hard, and the hatch was loaded with bike gear and luggage for a 5-day road trip, too.

Tail of the Dragon pics (bottom of the page)
2003 Passat W8 Variant
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  Quote craig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2007 at 21:36
I ignore tow ratings.

But yeah, 200lbs tongue weight is about it. However, that's the static tongue weight. The real weight at any given instance is completely different, e.g., under braking. Yes, the load rating is also static, but I'm also thinking of carrying a lot more weight when towing (because the trunk and back seat are going to be full of clothes, food, fluids, camping stuff, tools, and spare fluids and parts.)

The tow rating in North America also has a lot more to do with bumper regulations than what the vehicle is capable of. The North American hitches are all class 1, but the Euro hitches (or home-built hitches that use the Euro mounting points, perhaps with some additional reinforcement) are good for quite a bit more. I think a Class III is possible with a custom straight receiver through the middle of the bumper.

Now the transmission is going to be an issue. The 2.7t Audi Allroad (A6 ~= stretched B5) uses the same (essentially) 5HP19FLA transmission, and is good for a towing capacity of 3300lbs - even in North America, as a Euro-style mounting for the hitch can be used in an Allroad (because it isn't a car).

Unfortunately, this is marginal, as Audi (and other manufacturers) use the next bigger ZF model, the 5HP24A, in their 4 litre-ish V8's. (The old A8 3.7 l V8 uses the 5HP19FLA, the A6 4.2 l uses the 5HP24A.) The increased fluid capacity of the 5HP19FLA in the W8 is another indication that the trans is close to its limits. (10.10 l vs. 9.36/9.41/9.46 l in all the other VW/Audi's using the same trans, including the S4 2.7t.)

I'll have to add a tranny oil cooler (and thus, greater fluid capacity). I hope to be able to tow 4400lbs (2000kg) over reasonably flat roads for a few hours.

Brakes will get RBF600 fluid to start.

If sway is the only issue, there's always Hensley ...

As for tires, higher ratings (load and speed) generally have, all other things being equal, stiffer sidewalls. I like stiff sidewalls.

However, they're also heavier - a pound heavier than the same tire in 225/50x16 92W, and a couple pounds heavier than a 225/50x16 92W Exalto PE2.

They're also half the price of PE2's ... and I hope they're about 85% of the tire ...
If you want a sports saloon, the last two words that'd pop into your head, after, say, "Mister" and "Kipling," are "Volkswagen" and "Passat." - J. Clarkson
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  Quote fitzski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2007 at 07:50
Sounds good Craig. What are you towing then... a track car, perhaps, hmmmm....?!

re: NA'n tow ratings - no kidding. I think a lot of it has to do with the trailering industry itself being largely unregulated as well. Europe seems to be much more advanced in regards to safety standards, and the OE hitches are a perfect example - you can't even buy the damn things here. Does Bosal make a hitch for the W8?

2003 Passat W8 Variant
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  Quote B5crazy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2007 at 16:52
When I needed snow tires this winter I got a set of 97s since they were cheaper than the 94s. Can;t say they made any difference either way.
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