Series IIa is a rolling roadblock...tires for 16" wheels? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 27th, 2013, 02:58 PM
mokimakan
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Bill
1965 Series IIA
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Series IIa is a rolling roadblock...tires for 16" wheels?

Hi all-
Now that the Landy is running again (thanks to the help I got here!), I'm looking into increasing the (very slow) top-end speed. It's an 88" NADA with overdrive and 15" wheels and 215/75/1r tires. The actual speed measured with a GPS is significantly slower than the speedo indicated speed, but I seem to top out aroung 45-50 mph. I'd like to be able to go down the highway at something around at least 55-60.

So I've been looking at replacing the 15" wheels with 16"ers and fitting a 235/85/16 tires. What i've seen online indicates that this was close to the non-NADA rest-of-the-world stock equipment tires (so it shouldn't be a problem for engine/tranny/brakes) and should bump me from 50mph to 57 or so.

Question: I have Bridgestone TA K/Os on currently and would love to get them again for the 16" wheels BUT Rovers North 16" wheels are 5.5" wide and Bridgestone indicates a minimum 6" wheel width. Has anyone tried fitting these tires to the ostensibly too narrow rims? Can one get away with it? Any disadvantages?

Also, I'm open to suggestions on the overall wisdom of this approach to make my Land more highway friendly.

Thanks!
Bill
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  #2  
Old August 27th, 2013, 03:21 PM
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The biggest issue is that the vast majority of land rover wheels are tube type. If you can live with that, 235 85 R16 are fine on 5.5in wheels. You don't say what year your IIa is. I recommend upgrading to 1 1/16th lug nuts if you do not have them. There are two types.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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These are 235's on 5.5 steel wheels. I removed the tubes, touch wood, havent' experienced an air problems yet. I probably shouldn't have said that.

Clay
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  #4  
Old August 27th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Bill Adams
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Dammit Clay, that is far and away my favorite Defender ever. I still say that is what a 110 should look like.
Anyone who sees this in person and doesn't fall in love with it is just dead inside...
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Dammit Clay, that is far and away my favorite Defender ever. I still say that is what a 110 should look like.
Anyone who sees this in person and doesn't fall in love with it is just dead inside...
Even though I've seen this truck in person several times, I was thinking just the same thing you wrote above as I looked through the photos. AND it looks even better in person!
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
...it looks even better in person!
Indeed.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:18 PM
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Thanks Guys. She's a good egg.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
These are 235's on 5.5 steel wheels. I removed the tubes, touch wood, havent' experienced an air problems yet. I probably shouldn't have said that.

Clay
Good to know that about the steel 5.5s. I have a set for sell and I think people would like to run 235 tubeless on them.

Agree with Bill/o2batsea and nathanwind - it is a beautiful truck. I like mine a little more HD but if I had a stocker rig this would be it with the County stripes, exposed galvy, and those wheels! 235s look just right with the rest of the truck too.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:05 PM
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Steve Maietta
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Just as a point of reference for a tire truck speed combo

my 88 (stock 2.25 + overdrive) has 235-75-15 tires (around 29" tall) and will do GPS indicated 60 on flat ground if pushed to do so.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:29 PM
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William Skidmore
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Dont sweat putting tires on without the tubes. Did it years ago and havent looked back since. Engine might just be tired it is an old engine. At the very least like it was said above make sure your carb and timing is set and throw the points out and put in an electronic ignition. When you put the tires on and your going to be driving it mostly on tarmac just air the tires up a little more. I do it and have notice that it drives alot easier. I have no quantitative numbers for it but feels a lot less resistant on the road then when at what pressure it says in the green bible. I round it up to 30 in the front and 40 in the rear. I do drive KM2's at standard rover size.
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  #11  
Old August 27th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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Ive gotten to 72mph on my phone in 4th gear on the merrit on flat ground, i have 255/70/R16, granted my motor (2.25P) was running pretty well, but to the best of my knowledge i have the stock rears in it, and no overdrive installed.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Matthew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airbornrover View Post
Dont sweat putting tires on without the tubes. Did it years ago and havent looked back since.
Agreed. A local friend is a long-time tyre shop owner who knows more about wheels/tyres than anyone should filled me in on the big difference between tube-type and tubeless wheels. On a tubeless wheel, there is a lip on the inside of the wheel that secures the tyre bead to the wheel (bead-lock). A tube-type wheel doesn't have this lip as bead-lock isn't as critical for a tube-type tyre. For those of you who have watched tyres being mounted, the loud "pop" heard during mounting is when the tyre bead snaps over the bead-lock and seats against the rim.

The biggest downside to running a tubeless tyre on a tube-type rim comes at times of low tyre pressure. With a bead-lock, this helps (but doesn't always prevent) the tyre from "debeading" or pulling away from the rim. With 25+ psi in the tyres, that shouldn't be an issue unless you're in deep sand and turning at high speed - at that point, there is significant side-load on the sidewall.

I'm running 235/85-16s on tube-type wheels - the trick when mounting is to ensure that the seating surface is spotlessly clean. I have set of wheels that were galvanized and they won't hold air b/c the seating surface (owing to the galvanizing compound) is very rough and therefore porous.
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  #13  
Old September 9th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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the switch to 235's will help a little. The tiny tires fitted to the NADA late IIa's and III's were kinda limiting. You're out of the torque band by the time you hit 60mph. The 235's will get you back up around 62-65 without overdrive. Assuming all else is functioning correctly.
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