LXXXVI. Tested Żuk wheel setups

I wrote several articles describing how I went from the original Żuk tube-type 6.50/100 R16 wheels to tubeless 205/75 R16 mount on Lublin rims: reasons to switch from original tubetype 100%-ratio tyres (6.50 R16) to tubeless usual ratio (75/80) tyres, choosing new rim choices to accommodate such new tyres and, finally, how I mounted tubeless rims on my Żuk. I won’t cover once again all these topics.

While picking a solution, the following issues must be taken into account:

  • tyres availability: some dimensions would be very convenient but are impossible, or almost (then overpriced), to find, especially with “C” cargo necessary marker;
  • diameter difference: normally, speedometer error difference (directly tied to diameter) should not be significantly more than 3%;
  • ET of the rims: low ET is necessary not to risk the (original) front suspension to block the wheels; this SVG can be used/modified to predict how wheels with specific ET will fit.

Some other parameters consequences are less obvious than often said. It is often said that wider (so heavier) wheels means more rolling resistance. But apparently it can be the opposite: contact patch of a wide tyre is shorter and wider compared to the longer, slimmer elliptical shape created on a narrow tyre, which equates to less deformation of the tyre carcass overall as it rolls and less deformation is less wasted energy. Tire rolling resistance would have an impact on vehicle fuel consumption estimated to range from about 4% during urban driving to 7% during highway driving, so it is not something that matter that much here.

I checked on Złombol forum and it seems: many people got fooled by the same ET issue as I did; in many case people switched to disc-brake reducing/removing the ET issue with the front suspension; most of them use very 4×4-looking rims; often, they are beyond the 3% speedo error allowed.

This page is dedicated to document any tested alternative approach to the original tube-type 6.50 / 100 R16. You are welcome to suggest any other tested setup you know of or to correct/complete info (rims names/reference, ET info, etc).


195/70 R15, unnown rims

massive 12.6% speedo error; 4×4-looking; ET? (rims easily found new with various ET, like ET0, ET-25, etc)

195/85 R15, ’95 Samurai rims

acceptable 3.35% speedo error; 4×4-looking; ET?

215/80 R15, unknown rims

725mm ⌀ quite near the original 732mm ⌀, hence only 1.27% speedo error; 215mm width is considerably big; 4×4-looking; ET?


195/75 R16, original rims

5.37% speedo error; tubeless tires mounted on the original tube-type rims, 195mm large that is forbidden on 4.5″ width rims, this setup seem illegal and unsafe.

(I don’t think the owner actually kept and used this setup in the end)

205/75 R16, Lublin rims

Żukowka choice: Lublin 16″ rims with 25mm spacers (final ET22), 3.15% speedo error.

About rims durability

Note also that Grzmiący Rydwan pointed out that Suzuki Samurai rims, maybe other 4×4-style rims for lightweight 4×4, might not be robust enough to be used with Żuk. He noticed cracks on his set and is sure the rims where not damaged when he acquired them:

2 thoughts on “LXXXVI. Tested Żuk wheel setups

  1. Impressive picture of the chassis, which looks completely newly done from scratch? Have lots of corrosion on my “new” Żuk’s chassis (while the top looks comparatively good) and it would be interesting so see if there are places in Poland where I can have such a chassis done? I wonder if this might me more cost effektive than trying to “patch up” corroded chassis.
    Couldn’t find anything about it in your other articles.


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