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Old 01-02-2006, 12:50 PM   #1
Siper2
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Impreza GC8 +0 tire sizing questions for 16"s...

Hey all.

Happy new year and stuff.

So... I'm weird. Let me just get that out of the way.

My deal is this: I run 16"s in winter and 17"s every other season.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta RSi 205/50-16 (OE wheels)
Pirelli P-Zero Nero M&S 215/45-17 ('05 Legacy GT wheels)

Formerly I had 205/55-16 Dunlop SP9000s on my OEs, and Nokian Hakka. 1s on 15" steelies. But I upgraded to WRX/H6 front/rear brakes, so the fronts disallowed steelies.

Anyway I bought the winter tires first. Went with 50-series for a couple reasons, primarily because I heard that they had a more accurate speedometer reading, and also
that they of course would have a bit less roll. Didn't concern myself over the "inaccurate" rolling diameter, because that was the OE size overseas anyway (figured that the N.A. market maybe used 55-series just for extra cushiness).

Then I got the Pirellis. 215/40-17 was the best +1 but the weight bearing wasn't high enough. Had to go with 45s, which of course are the perfect +1 for OE anyway.

Here's where I get weird though. It bugs the snot out of me that the 17"s are like well over an inch taller overall... to the point where I regret not just getting 55-series 16"s.


That aside for a second, the 17"s also look pretty big, to me. I may keep them anyway, but have considered maybe going to 16" year-round. Finding a nice rally wheel or something for the other three seasons. But then I'm back to sizing.

I could go with 205/50-16 on summers, too... But! Why not go wider, right? Thing is I'm not sure what size would be best. I've checked the Miata.net size calculator and really can't decide. It seems that 215/45 and 215/40 would make the most sense, but neither seem to be a "better" choice, really.

Also, I could just pick one and not niggle, but I have to be careful, with this SECOND size change, to not stray too far from OE.... I don't want to hose my odometer readings too badly I guess. *shrug*

So has anyone gone up in width from a 205/55-16 or a 205/50-16? What's probably the better option? Thanks.

=S2=
(Too concerned for his own good!)
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:57 AM   #2
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El bumpo.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:21 AM   #3
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Kostamojen had some nice pics of 225/50-16s on his L. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350150

Also, BIGSKYWRX was investigating this topic a few months ago and posted a lot of research.

The problem is, unless you're willing to compromise your alignment settings, you'll end up with fender rolling, camber plates, crash bolts, and other hacks to get REAL, full-travel, all-conditions clearance. The fenders are just about 1/2" too narrow.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Bogert
Kostamojen had some nice pics of 225/50-16s on his L. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350150

Also, BIGSKYWRX was investigating this topic a few months ago and posted a lot of research.

The problem is, unless you're willing to compromise your alignment settings, you'll end up with fender rolling, camber plates, crash bolts, and other hacks to get REAL, full-travel, all-conditions clearance. The fenders are just about 1/2" too narrow.

...how the HELL are any of those 'hacks'????? Ridiculous.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:27 AM   #5
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They're hacks in this context--when you need to do them just to fit the tires.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:31 AM   #6
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...well.....the fender rolling MAYBE....but adding adjustability to the suspension is not a 'hack', and an increase in possible performance is VERY likely.

An '00 RS with the stock 16x7's should do VERY nicely with a 225/50 on it....
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
An '00 RS with the stock 16x7's should do VERY nicely with a 225/50 on it.
Sure. IF you want to run >2 of camber and/or you roll the fenders and/or you choose a 225/50 that is narrow for it's nominal size and/or you don't drive in a manner that ever sees full compression travel, etc etc etc.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Bogert
Sure. IF you want to run >2 of camber and/or you roll the fenders and/or you choose a 225/50 that is narrow for it's nominal size and/or you don't drive in a manner that ever sees full compression travel, etc etc etc.

....so what's yer point????
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:23 AM   #9
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My point is that the fenders are just about 1/2" too narrow to conveniently run all the really cool wheel tire combos that would otherwise work great on the early cars. So if you're going to wander into this area--as Siper2 has expressed an interest in doing--be aware of the cascading compromises you may find yourself facing. I've been there and done that, just trying to be helpful.

There are many, many posts here where people at the bottom of the slippery slope I just described say things like "fits fine" "works great" "no rubbing" when in fact a given combination doesn't fit, doesn't work and rubs like crazy in the real world. This does a disservice to people who fantasize about bolt-ons and assume that everything just sort of works automatically.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:34 AM   #10
Siper2
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I should have mentioned that I don't want 225s. It's commonly known around here that the aforementioned problems exist on the GC/GM/GF cars with that width of tire.

215s are what I'd like, as I did mention.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:41 AM   #11
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Shame there aren't more 215/50-16 choices. Best solution I found at the time was a wide 205/55-16. For example, the Yoko AVS Sport in that size is actually a 215/52-16.
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:00 PM   #12
Siper2
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Yeah I do know that some are wider. Odd, isn't it? It's like jeans... how can one 34 actually be a 32, while another is a 36? For pete's sake get a measuring tape and get it right.

The Honda S2000, when it had 16"s, had 205/55-16 up front. The rears were 225s, but actually measured as 245s. Which caused all kinds of ungodly messes.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:48 AM   #13
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Bump!

Any thoughts on what 215-series 16" would maybe be best? Or should I just stick with 205/50-16 summer tires too maybe?
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:43 AM   #14
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I just had a brainstorm. Maybe something like a Nokian WR would be good for me year-round.....
Hmm....
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:30 AM   #15
Jon Bogert
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The Nokians would be really depressing in the summer. If you really want one set of tires year 'round, everyone seems to like the Pirellis. If you want two sets, I'd go with the 205/55-16 Yokos or BFG KDs in the summer and the Nokians in the winter.

As I've mentioned before, in taller sidewall sizes it's important to avoid the new breed of softer sidewall max performance tires. They work great in low profile applications but a 205/55 really needs an old-school stiff sidewall to perform well.
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Old 01-04-2006, 11:37 AM   #16
Siper2
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Well I have the Pirellis for the off-winter seasons. They're not really good in snow, so I figured the WR might be okay in summer, but maybe not. *shrug*

Dangit I just wish there were a decent +0 option from 205/50-16 but I'm not seeing much.
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