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Old 08-10-2003, 02:11 PM   #16
d4d4d4d4
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 38925
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: seattle WA
Vehicle:
1990 legacy wgn
Pig blood for paint

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The first issue is whether or not there are any "SNOW" tires that fit the size and profile needed for the STI brakes. Anyone have good sources?

The second issue is whether or not you drive in snow EVERY day or just once in a while. If you live in the far north and wish to "RALLY" your car around every day, then by all means get some studed or snow dedicated tires. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that driving too fast will result in the need for better braking, especially where the ground is permanently frozen. If you're like me and drive your car more often on pavement than snow, then you should look into getting a set of chunky treaded tires w/out studs. I had snow tires on my Saab 900s for several years and found that they only helped in certain snow conditions where it was icy like a hockey rink. That's when you need the studs. Even then they don't allow enough studs to give you that much more grip. Even after the studs wore down, the tires still worked just as well. I think driving in snow has more to do with how SOFT and chunky your tires are, apposed to having studs or not. BTW SAABs are the best 2wd open diff vehicle ever made for snow!

The third issue is {Vehicle weight/tire surface area}. My car is somewhat heavy by Subaru standards and has skinny tires 185. I've found that I get the best all around wintertime performance by keeping a pump and air gauge in my trunk (yes my wagon does have a trunk I made myself). Stiff for the streets, soft for the snow. That's how 99.9999999% of the Subaru owners do it out here. Just about every Outback I see has the stock tires in the snow and I've never seen one stuck in a ditch! I have seen plenty of SUVs ditched though. BTW If you didn't notice, I live in Subaru ski central. Just about 1 out of 3 cars is a Subie and never have I seen anyone willing to bear the burden of studs on pavement. I've driven with my freind up to Whistler/Blackcomb (ski resort) in his heavily MODed RS. Suspension and tire sizing is almost identical to the Sti. He drove up there every weekend and never once lost control, even when pushing it on icy parkinglots. If his RS can do that on allseasons, then I would think the STI could do even better with any all season tire.

Remember that Subarus are not SUVs! Just because they have AWD doesn't mean they are subject to the same factors as a large SUV. SUVs often have oversized tires where as Subarus have much smaller tires to weight ratio. Here in Washington, people commute and travel through our 6(?) mountain passes every day. The state has done testing on different vehicles to rate which ones perform best on non-snow tires and chains. When the snow starts dumping in the passes, the Highway patrol closes the roads to all vehicles without studed snow tires or chains. Only AWD Subarus are allowed to pass with stock tires even when the patrol requires EVERY other vehicle (including 4x4's with big nobby tires) to stop and apply chains!!

I'm not trying to give any foolish advise here, just trying to show the options available to Subie owners. As stated before, a studed tire that sees 80-90% pavement is just as foolish as getting summer slicks for 90-100% snow driving. My car is by no means a screamer compared to other subies, but it does get me around rather efficiently in the white stuff with all season radials. I could improve my car's snow ablitity slightly by getting studs, but that doesn't outwiegh how crappy they are for road use!

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