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Old 05-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #1
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Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

I need to replace my full size spare to a Donut or Space Saver size tire for my Sportsmobile Chevy Express 3500 that currently has a 245/75R/16 as a spare. This spare would only be used to get me to a shop to repair or replace the bad tire. I would like to have a space saver than go without any spare. Would a 200/75R/16 or smaller work? Thanks for any size recommendations! Should I go with a Tire Plug kit and Slime?
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #2
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

I'm using a compact spare on my van, but haven't driven any real distance with it.

My tires are stock size and same as yours. I first looked at compact tires but they did not have enough load rating. Plus skinny compact tires wouldn't fit the stock wheels due to width. I'm using the smallest tire I could easily find that fits on a 16X7 wheel with enough weight rating to handle the front suspension load.

Like you I'd only drive at 50 MPH to nearest repair/tire shop. And if flat is at rear I know I'll have to do a double change.

By the way, the reason I'm using smaller tire is due to spare being on rear door, and stock tire won't open fully. Plus it weighs less.

And for what it's worth, the new "commercial" rated tires on ProMaster and Ford Transit can handle much higher weight for equal size. The Transit's smaller diameter looks very appealing to me to avoid a double switch, plus it could run further.

The Transit's Dual Rear Wheel tire size is even smaller and may make a great compact spare. Although it may not fit on a 7-inch wide wheel. It may take a 6-inch wide wheel.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

I am thinking of getting the Hankook 195/75/16c commercial as a spare. The tire load is 110, 2337 pounds. I need the smaller tire to be able use the Stowaway which I cannot do at this time due to the original spare width. http://www.stowaway2.com/ Any comments for me?
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpporter
I am thinking of getting the Hankook 195/75/16c commercial as a spare. The tire load is 110, 2337 pounds. I need the smaller tire to be able use the Stowaway which I cannot do at this time due to the original spare width. http://www.stowaway2.com/ Any comments for me?
If you are only looking for a couple of inches (assuming the difference between 245 and 195 solves your clearance problem), have you considered a short receiver extension to move the Stowaway back a little?

I'm not really certain of your setup or where the interference occurs so this suggestion may not apply. If it does, a good receiver and extension should be able to handle the few hundred pounds of typical load.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:48 AM   #5
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

Your spacesaver needs to be the same rolling diameter as your regular tires so if you want to go with a thinner tire you need a higher profile than the stock profile (e.g. 80,85....).

If it isn't the same diameter, at least with your drive axle you risk damaging your limited slip diff/locker if you have one. Or, even if it is an open differential, you'll be spinning the crap out of it.

Another thing to think about it load rating of the tire, even driving at a slower speed. You need to ensure it can handle the load of your rig otherwise you risk having another flat tire.

Finally, the slime is a waste of time. I've tried using it a couple of times, different brands and it never really works well, and you can't re-use the tire after using it. Or at least I couldn't.

I carry a:
- tire plug kit
- compressor
- full sized spare (or 2)

Note there are also space saver tires that require inflation, that might help you save some more space. I know Mercedes and Maserati use them. They are like a donut space-saver but you use a small compressor to inflate them.

I would focus on narrowing your tire options to anything the same rolling diameter and then go from there.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

I have received great advice on this subject in this forum. I also reviewed the literature and spoke to tire shop personnel. I threw out the space saver and simply went with a LT225/75R/16. This tire allows me to use the Stowaway cargo carrier with 3/8 inch to spare. It will handle the heavy weight of the Chevy 3500 extended, and is more easily handled than the 245/75. I recommend going this route when looking for a smaller alternative spare tire over an exotic space saver. (Space saver tires are very expensive.)
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #7
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

That's probably the best route.

Just be sure you don't have the factory locker (aka G80 option). That is enough of a tire difference it you put the tire RPMs right at the edge of where the diff is supposed to lock. And even if it didn't lock, if would overheat the clutches.

If you do have the G80, you would have to run the spare up front and move a front tire to the back, if that's where the bad tire is. If you have an open diff, I wouldn't worry as long as you don't drive long distances that way. If will likely trigger an ABS lights, which just means ABS won't work.

If you have StabilTrac, then the smaller tire is not a good idea. Mismatched tend to confuse stability control, and will probably cause the brakes to overheat.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Replace spare tire with Donut/Space saver

The new C-rated tires, as in Euro and or commercial, not C load range, have higher load capacity. A 225/75r16C as used on ProMaster have a rating of up to 121, which is higher than the factory 245/75r16-E, which are rated at 120. Both at same 80 PSI.

While slightly smaller and more expensive, it solves the problem of mixing sizes. This relatively new type of tire (to us in US) will also be used on Ford Transit vans. I expect they may ride better and roll with less friction or Ford and Ram wouldn't be using them.
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