Envious
You shouldn't have a problem at all with those tires. I ran 215/65 R15's on the rear and 145's on the front of my 71 super with a 4.5" drop in the front and a 3.5" drop in the back on 4" backspaced rims (Empi 8's)........but it was reeeaaallly close.....too close. I've since switched to a set of Porsche 2.0 litre fuchs with a 5" backspace with the same tires. That extra inch made the difference so I don't have crawl over curbs.

When I bought the car, I was rolling on a set of riviera with 195/50 R15's on all 4 corners and a 2" drop on the front. I wasn't keen on the look but they did fit and handle well.
71 Custom Beetle
64 Convertible Beetle
63 Beetle Sedan Gulf Blue
64 1500s Squareback Nutria
52 BSA C11G
65 Lambretta Li125
04 Touareg
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Precise1
I have a '78 vert, and I will lower the front about 2" using the Top Line Adjust-A-Strut (thank you Wayne for the good info). Now I'm trying to match up rims & tires. I'm leaning towards the Riviera style (I dislike chrome)http://www.empius.com/w/wheels.html but I can't determine what tire size is appropriate and what will or will not rub. I dont want to go much smaller diameter than stock 165R15 (which I understand is about 24.5") and slightly larger is ok. I'm not sure what the proper back spacing is for what width rim. I would prefer to avoid adapters or spacing plates (more to go wrong, and harder to balance in my book). It seems to me that 195/65/15 would be about the perfect size, etc. Can they fit ? I have done some homework on this, but cant seem to get it all together; Someone with a clue/experience straighten me out (or tell me where to go)! Thanks much, I appreciate it !
Oh, here is a helpful tool that I found which answers some tire questions...
http://secret-secret.com/turbo/DIY/tirecalc/turbotire.html

Bernard
Measure twice; Cut once....
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Precise1
Thanks Envious, sounds like they should fit ! Not that I don't believe you, but does any one alse have any input / do's or don'ts ? Thanks all.

Bernard
Measure twice; Cut once....
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Tobra
Well, I believe a 195-65-15 will be almost as tall as a stock size tire(165-80-15, or whatever the stock size is. Keep in mind that the 65 is a ratio of height to width. On my integra for example, the 205-50-15 on it now is very close to the same diameter as the 195-55-15 that came on it, and is 2 inches shorter than the VW tires. Lower profile tires tend to be higher performance than the high sidewall ones, there are a lot of excellent performance tires out there, will you drive in the snow? Also, if the tires are all the same size, you can rotate them front to rear, which is a lot better for tire life. It looks cool with the big meats on back and the little ones up front, but your braking and handling will suck.
'79 Super Beetle Convertible, Topline Sport+ springs and disc brake conversion. SS brake lines, KYB GR-2struts and Gas-a-just shocks
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Envious

Contrary to Tobra, your braking and handling doesn't "suck" just because you change up your tire sizes. My 71 likely outhandles and outbrakes your integra Tobra. If you stretch 125's over 5" rims then things will get a little squirly but if you research and plan out your braking system, wheels, tires, and suspension, you can put together a combination that not only looks great but is safe and performs well.
71 Custom Beetle
64 Convertible Beetle
63 Beetle Sedan Gulf Blue
64 1500s Squareback Nutria
52 BSA C11G
65 Lambretta Li125
04 Touareg
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javajuice
i'm pretty happy with the stock tire. My only complaint is you can't find a low profile 165 tire and rim combo. If you make more power than stock then you'll want more contact with the pavement in the rear, so you are not spinning your wheels on take offs. I am personally looking around for something in the 185 to 195 range and a 16 or 17 inch rim. Again its the flexy side wall that gives me grief, not he width of the tires. I don't make much power and I have'nt yet gotten her to break traction. If I upgraded the suspension, then maybe I could. I think your fine with different size front and rears, just don't go crazy, and be aware that your front braking may possibly be diminished if you run really small/narrow front tires.
formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer ;)
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Tobra
If you go to a 16 or 17, you will have to redrill your hubs for sure, and larger tires are more expensive typically. There are a lot of choices for 15 inch wheels that will bolt right on, and a lot of tires too. Yokohama and Kumho, for example, make excellent performance tires in 195-50or55-15, going a little shorter gives a bit more clearance for fender. A low profile tire generally will not ride as well, but the shorter, stiffer sidewall will make the handling more direct. You can put a tiny 135 on a 5 inch wide rim, but it won't outhandle anything, and no matter what type of brakes you have, it won't stop well either, no matter how light your car might be(No, I am not arguing about it, it is a fact). You have four little patches of rubber that have a big impact on your vehicles' abilities, if they are small, especially at the front, you just can't stop or turn, because you can't generate enough force to do so. You need to think about what you are doing with the car, cummuting, racing or whatever, how much are you able to spend, and work back from there.
'79 Super Beetle Convertible, Topline Sport+ springs and disc brake conversion. SS brake lines, KYB GR-2struts and Gas-a-just shocks
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javajuice
Actually I am planning a disc conversion front and rear, so I am not too conccerned about redrilling if need be.

Who said anything about 135s, I'd might as well put my mountain bike tires on at that point
formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer ;)
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Tobra
Envious made a comment about little tires. I plan to get the same size wheels and tires on all 4 corners(rotation is not just what you get going around a corner), probably 195-55 on a 5.5x 15 wheel when I get some cash together
'79 Super Beetle Convertible, Topline Sport+ springs and disc brake conversion. SS brake lines, KYB GR-2struts and Gas-a-just shocks
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Precise1
Thanks for good postings guys... From what I can tell the 195/65/15 should fit nicely on my 78 convert (on 5" or 5.5" rims) without spacers or mods. The larger contact patch and same sidewall height(lower percentage though) should be noticably better than the stock set up. I agree with 'the rear fats look cool', but I'm going to stick with 4 same size tires. More versatile, less suspension work. While I'm definitely fixing this bug up, I'm not try to make it trick. Money/time/etc... A tip for convertible owners... I bought a multipurpose (+ vinyl) cleaner for the top. Tested an area, then did the whole thing. While the top has no rips/looked ok, now it literally looks BRAND NEW ! Will clean it 1 more time, then UV Armor-all it. Results are suprising. 'Tuff Stuff' is the cleaner. You can use it on your curtains and asphalt driveway ! LMAO !!
Bernard
Measure twice; Cut once....
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Tobra
Second thought maybe 60's. You have better choices with the lower profile summer tires, and my car won't see much weather
'79 Super Beetle Convertible, Topline Sport+ springs and disc brake conversion. SS brake lines, KYB GR-2struts and Gas-a-just shocks
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