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Re: How much does a VW-powered Gazelle weigh?

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  • lilabner_45
    Thank you, Eric, that s the info I was looking for! I test drove a VW Gazelle yesterday, and was surprised to find that the steering felt considerably heavier
    Message 1 of 6 , May 2, 2009
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      Thank you, Eric, that's the info I was looking for!

      I test drove a VW Gazelle yesterday, and was surprised to find that the steering felt considerably heavier than the air-cooled VW bugs I was used to. When moving it wasn't bad, but when stopped, I remember VW bugs being MUCH lighter in steering. Could that be because of the wider 14" tires on the Gazelle, than the standard 15" ones on the VW bug?

      Do you happen to know why most Gazelles have 14" wheels? Is it a "must-have"? The difference in diameter comes down to less that 1/2 inch, between a 195-75R14 (Gazelle) and 155-80R15 (Bug).

      Steve


      --- In Fiberfab_CMC@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Franke" <efranke@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > --- In Fiberfab_CMC@yahoogroups.com, "lilabner_45" <lilabner_45@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi, all. I'm new here, and have been interested in the Gazelle kit car
      > for quite a while, though I've never done much about it. But now may be
      > the time.
      > >
      > > Does anyone know the approx. curb weight of the VW-powered version of
      > the Gazelle, ready to run? Might vary depending on which VW engine,
      > which extra goodies, wheels etc., I know, but a ballpark figure would be
      > very helpful.
      > >
      > > Thanks!
      > >
      > My Gazelle with a 1600 CC Vw engine weighs approximately 1550 lb.
      >
    • shazzer2k@msn.com
      Chh Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel ... From: lilabner_45 Date: Sat, 02 May 2009 21:44:01 To:
      Message 2 of 6 , May 2, 2009
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        Chh

        Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel


        From: "lilabner_45"
        Date: Sat, 02 May 2009 21:44:01 -0000
        To: <Fiberfab_CMC@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [Fiberfab_CMC] Re: How much does a VW-powered Gazelle weigh?

        Thank you, Eric, that's the info I was looking for!

        I test drove a VW Gazelle yesterday, and was surprised to find that the steering felt considerably heavier than the air-cooled VW bugs I was used to. When moving it wasn't bad, but when stopped, I remember VW bugs being MUCH lighter in steering. Could that be because of the wider 14" tires on the Gazelle, than the standard 15" ones on the VW bug?

        Do you happen to know why most Gazelles have 14" wheels? Is it a "must-have"? The difference in diameter comes down to less that 1/2 inch, between a 195-75R14 (Gazelle) and 155-80R15 (Bug).

        Steve

        --- In Fiberfab_CMC@ yahoogroups. com, "Eric Franke" <efranke@... > wrote:
        >
        >
        > --- In Fiberfab_CMC@ yahoogroups. com, "lilabner_45" <lilabner_45@ >
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi, all. I'm new here, and have been interested in the Gazelle kit car
        > for quite a while, though I've never done much about it. But now may be
        > the time.
        > >
        > > Does anyone know the approx. curb weight of the VW-powered version of
        > the Gazelle, ready to run? Might vary depending on which VW engine,
        > which extra goodies, wheels etc., I know, but a ballpark figure would be
        > very helpful.
        > >
        > > Thanks!
        > >
        > My Gazelle with a 1600 CC Vw engine weighs approximately 1550 lb.
        >

      • Al
        Hey Steve, I haven t heard anyone reply to your questions, so I ll field what I know and the Gazelle experts can correct me. :) You are correct that the
        Message 3 of 6 , May 6, 2009
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          Hey Steve,

          I haven't heard anyone reply to your questions, so I'll field what I know and the Gazelle experts can correct me. :)

          You are correct that the increased resistance of wider tires make the VW steering feel heavier than the narrower stock VW tire size. I know this from my own experience with VWs and various tire widths.


          My guesses as to why Gazelles had 14" wheels would be:
          1. There were more tire size options for 14" wheels back then.
          2. You couldn't get the spoke rims in 15" back then.

          The original size tires on VWs (with 15" wheels) were 5.6 x 15 (this is metric sizing. they hadn't come up with the "R" nomenclature back then) which are actually thinner than the modern 155-80R15, so the front end actually felt lighter than what you remember! :)

          Al
          Houston Volkswagen Club
          http://www.hvwc.org



          --- In Fiberfab_CMC@yahoogroups.com, "lilabner_45" <lilabner_45@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thank you, Eric, that's the info I was looking for!
          >
          > I test drove a VW Gazelle yesterday, and was surprised to find that the steering felt considerably heavier than the air-cooled VW bugs I was used to. When moving it wasn't bad, but when stopped, I remember VW bugs being MUCH lighter in steering. Could that be because of the wider 14" tires on the Gazelle, than the standard 15" ones on the VW bug?
          >
          > Do you happen to know why most Gazelles have 14" wheels? Is it a "must-have"? The difference in diameter comes down to less that 1/2 inch, between a 195-75R14 (Gazelle) and 155-80R15 (Bug).
          >
          > Steve
          >
        • lilabner_45
          Thank you, Al, that was what I kind of suspected. Good to hear confirmation from someone with experience, with VW tires if not Gazelles. You re ahead of me!
          Message 4 of 6 , May 6, 2009
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            Thank you, Al, that was what I kind of suspected. Good to hear confirmation from someone with experience, with VW tires if not Gazelles. You're ahead of me!

            After asking the question, I downloaded thed Gazelle builder's manual for VW Gazelles from this group (if all else fails, read the directions!), and noticed that they saidd the reason you couldn't use the original VW tires and wheels, was because they would rub against the body in some placs. The Gazelle requires the wheels to be a little farther out. Spacers would be too thick, they said, so they said you must use wheels with an offset of 1" to 2", which the original VW wheels didn't have.

            And the rest of what you said comes into play here: Apparently there are a lot more options available for 14" wheels than for 15". So they said to go with 14" wheels witth the proper offset. Unfortunately, those wheels (and tires) are wider, too. Probably good for road racing, but the VW bug was never designed for that in the first place.

            Steering heaviness is probably defined only by the front wheels, I'd guess. Makes me wonder if BOTH the front and rear wheels MUST be offset. The Gazelle (and VW bug) are both pretty skinny in the front, and wider in back. If it turns out that 15" wheels and tires would fit the Gazelle correctly in front, but would rub the body in back, then perhaps I can put 15's in the front and leave the 14's in the back. Might look a little odd, and to be a purist I'd have to carrry two spares, but if I were a purist I'd never put a fiberglass body on a VW chassis in the first place. And since the 14's are probably gripper than the narrow 15's, the car would tend to track straighter if anything.

            And a 14" spare would still go on either front or back in an emergency, actually, just to keep that corner of the car off the pavement until I can get the car to a tire place.

            Well, lots of guesswork. Thanks for your help!

            Steve


            --- In Fiberfab_CMC@yahoogroups.com, "Al" <awpresley@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hey Steve,
            >
            > I haven't heard anyone reply to your questions, so I'll field what I know and the Gazelle experts can correct me. :)
            >
            > You are correct that the increased resistance of wider tires make the VW steering feel heavier than the narrower stock VW tire size. I know this from my own experience with VWs and various tire widths.
            >
            >
            > My guesses as to why Gazelles had 14" wheels would be:
            > 1. There were more tire size options for 14" wheels back then.
            > 2. You couldn't get the spoke rims in 15" back then.
            >
            > The original size tires on VWs (with 15" wheels) were 5.6 x 15 (this is metric sizing. they hadn't come up with the "R" nomenclature back then) which are actually thinner than the modern 155-80R15, so the front end actually felt lighter than what you remember! :)
            >
            > Al
            > Houston Volkswagen Club
            > http://www.hvwc.org
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In Fiberfab_CMC@yahoogroups.com, "lilabner_45" <lilabner_45@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Thank you, Eric, that's the info I was looking for!
            > >
            > > I test drove a VW Gazelle yesterday, and was surprised to find that the steering felt considerably heavier than the air-cooled VW bugs I was used to. When moving it wasn't bad, but when stopped, I remember VW bugs being MUCH lighter in steering. Could that be because of the wider 14" tires on the Gazelle, than the standard 15" ones on the VW bug?
            > >
            > > Do you happen to know why most Gazelles have 14" wheels? Is it a "must-have"? The difference in diameter comes down to less that 1/2 inch, between a 195-75R14 (Gazelle) and 155-80R15 (Bug).
            > >
            > > Steve
            > >
            >
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