After using those tires and rims for about 10 month I came to the conclusion they were not the right fit for our purpose. While I still think the tire size (235/85R16) is perfect, the steel rims and the tire tread are not.
Rims: Steel rims in 16×7 are way to heavy (about 33lbs vs 22lbs in alloy) and take too much power away from this already small engine as well as overstrain the suspension. Going offroading with lighter wheels proofed that the suspension in a Delica is just not made for too heavy wheels and struggled in several situations. For the durability steel rims offer, it is just not worth to accept the downsides for a lightweight overland vehicle like I’m building up.
Tires: Due the cab over design of a Delica, the noise of the mud-terrain tires are pretty noticeable inside. At around 30-60km/h you can hear a loud hauling sound. Also even if we use our van mainly for recreation offroad, I don’t think it’s actually worth to live with the downsides like higher fuel consumption, worse handling in snow/rain and the noise. Good All-Terrain tires offer similar handling off the road AND on the road and just not as good in very muddy situations.
Rims: The 4″ backspacing of the steel rims is perfect and brought the wheel right to the edge of the body panel without hitting anything in full articulation. The problem was it is really hard to find 4″ backspacing (0 offset) on 16×7 in alloy. After weeks of research, emails and calls it came down to two options. Either some indestructible white TX-1 rims from Performance Wheels in Australia or MOD#3 trailer rims from Greenball in the States. Due budget limitations I went with the MOD, but they needed to be sandblasted as well as powder- and clear-coated to fit our aesthetic vision for the van :)
Tires: As stated it my previous wheel post, it is quite important to choose a tire you can get in every country you like to go to. That means most of the smaller brands or some Asian brands are out already which leads again to the big player in the business.
As for the tread it needs to be something less aggressive but still good offroad. Also not all the suitable tires are available in 235/85R16 (31.7″). In the end it was a decision between the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac, BFGoodrich Commercial T/A Traction or the All-Terrain T/A KO.
Due the overall good ratings and availability I went with the the BFG All-Terrain. They are probably better tires out there but considering all our requirements, I think an average, well known and mild aggressive tire is the way to go. Time will tell.
I bought the tires and rims at Discount Tire Direct. They had to special order them but it worked out to be a great deal, fast shipping as well as good customer service.