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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old August 24th, 2010, 19:02   #1
wesmontage
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Location: Batavia, IL USA
Default Do oversize tires cause problems with ABS or ESP?

After putting Jetta VR6 wagon springs, 10mm front spacers and Koni FSD dampers on my Golf, I started looking at larger tires and wheels. I think the 205/60R16 tires on 16 x 6.5 wheels I am about to order should fit just fine, since my car is now riding about 2" higher than before. I know that the extra height hurts cornering, but I'd like to gain that extra bit of clearance for traveling rutted USFS gravel roads. However, I stumbled across an article in a 2008 issue of Popular Mechanics which says that anything beyond +/- a few percent OEM tire diameter can cause ABS and stability control to respond incorrectly in a panic stop or maneuver. Would upsizing from a 25" to a 26.3" diameter tire cause a problem? Have any of you had a near-death experience on account of this? Was the guy who wrote the article the US corporate product liability lawyer for Bosch or Continental? Should I just get these things and proudly reclaim my right to do donuts in icy parking lots?

Oh yeah, I also plan to tow a 1000lb travel trailer - if I can ever get around to finishing rebuilding it. I have an inertial brake controller and the trailer will have brakes...when I finally put them on.
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'05 Golf TDI GLS w/BEW, 5spd, ESP
Panzer Pan & Full Metal Jacket - Frost Plug Heater - Jetta VR6 Wagon Springs - Koni FSD Shocks & Struts - 10mm Front Strut Spacers - 205/65-16 Tires
"Added two-and-a-half inches overnight. Only cost $2600. Didn't hurt a bit"

Last edited by wesmontage; August 24th, 2010 at 19:11.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 19:05   #2
Dimitri16V
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if the overall diameter changes , it will affect the ABS since the rotational speed changes. whether it will have a negative affect , i doubt it
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Old August 24th, 2010, 21:54   #3
RacerTodd
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I ran my Hakka 5's, size 205/70-15 (26.3" in diameter) during Seattle's monster 2008 snowstorm (6-8" of snow) and put about 1600 miles on them. ABS and ESP worked just fine. I didn't trigger the ESP or ASR much but I had the ABS barking a lot.

Since ABS looks for relative wheels speeds, I'd think that as long as all four tires are the same diameter the ABS controller wouldn't freak out.
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'86 GTI, Red of course. (exciting racey car) 274,000 miles
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'87 Golf, Polar Silver. (retired work car) 654,000 miles <- Gone to a new home
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Old August 25th, 2010, 06:04   #4
wesmontage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerTodd View Post
I ran my Hakka 5's, size 205/70-15 (26.3" in diameter) during Seattle's monster 2008 snowstorm (6-8" of snow) and put about 1600 miles on them. ABS and ESP worked just fine. I didn't trigger the ESP or ASR much but I had the ABS barking a lot.
Was that your 2001 you were describing? I didn't know VW offered ESP back then. Or was that a predecessor to ESP? Does your dash have a deactivation switch?
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'05 Golf TDI GLS w/BEW, 5spd, ESP
Panzer Pan & Full Metal Jacket - Frost Plug Heater - Jetta VR6 Wagon Springs - Koni FSD Shocks & Struts - 10mm Front Strut Spacers - 205/65-16 Tires
"Added two-and-a-half inches overnight. Only cost $2600. Didn't hurt a bit"
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Old August 25th, 2010, 11:45   #5
TDICADDGUY
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I run 205/70/15 tires in the winter and 215/55/17 tires in the summer. Both are 26.3" in diameter. No issues with ABS, no handling issues either. Makes the speedo close to dead on, but the odometer reads less miles traveled than actual. Gives a nice drop in revs too.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 21:33   #6
RacerTodd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesmontage View Post
Was that your 2001 you were describing? I didn't know VW offered ESP back then. Or was that a predecessor to ESP? Does your dash have a deactivation switch?
ESP wasn't an option in 2001. However, with some careful shopping at a local junkyard and a weekend of really annoying wrenching and wiring I retrofitted an ESP/ASR pump and all the associated sensors and wiring. I did wire in the deactivation switch.

A fantastic upgrade, during that big snowstorm the car was unstoppable. I was going up crazy steep hills, plowing through snow so deep the belly pan was leaving a trough in the snow, etc. Never once felt like I was about to get stuck or spin off the road. Mostly due to the tires, but having the ESP/ASR helped as well.
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Seattle,WA
'86 GTI, Red of course. (exciting racey car) 274,000 miles
'01 Golf TDI, silver. (new work car) 558,000 miles!
'87 Golf, Polar Silver. (retired work car) 654,000 miles <- Gone to a new home
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Old August 26th, 2010, 05:24   #7
wesmontage
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Originally Posted by RacerTodd View Post
A fantastic upgrade, during that big snowstorm the car was unstoppable. I was going up crazy steep hills, plowing through snow so deep the belly pan was leaving a trough in the snow, etc. Never once felt like I was about to get stuck or spin off the road. Mostly due to the tires, but having the ESP/ASR helped as well.
Thanks! That's what I needed to hear. A set of new tires and wheels is on the way. This will be my summer set. My 195/65-15 Michelin X-Ice (1st gen) still have another winter of wear left on them. The next set of snows will probably be 205/70-15 like yours.

Just wondering, did you install stiffer springs or gas-charged struts or lift spacers?
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'05 Golf TDI GLS w/BEW, 5spd, ESP
Panzer Pan & Full Metal Jacket - Frost Plug Heater - Jetta VR6 Wagon Springs - Koni FSD Shocks & Struts - 10mm Front Strut Spacers - 205/65-16 Tires
"Added two-and-a-half inches overnight. Only cost $2600. Didn't hurt a bit"
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Old August 27th, 2010, 20:21   #8
RacerTodd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesmontage View Post
Thanks! That's what I needed to hear. A set of new tires and wheels is on the way. This will be my summer set. My 195/65-15 Michelin X-Ice (1st gen) still have another winter of wear left on them. The next set of snows will probably be 205/70-15 like yours.

Just wondering, did you install stiffer springs or gas-charged struts or lift spacers?
I went with the 205/70s for my snows for two reasons - an extra .5-.75" of ground clearance over a 195/65 and they were $20 a tire cheaper. What I really wanted was a taller, skinnier snow tire - I'd love to have a 185/70 or something but the Hakkas didn't come in that size.

She's still on the original struts. I did replace the upper strut bushings and install 10mm spacers in 2009. I did this because the car was brushing the lower lip of the front bumper on the slightest bump or dip. New bushings and the spacers ended that behavior, she never scrapes at all now.
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Seattle,WA
'86 GTI, Red of course. (exciting racey car) 274,000 miles
'01 Golf TDI, silver. (new work car) 558,000 miles!
'87 Golf, Polar Silver. (retired work car) 654,000 miles <- Gone to a new home
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