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Old 09-20-2001, 11:13 AM   #1
StinklePink
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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1997 Outback
Blue

Default Wheel and Tire upgrade for a '97 Outback wagon

I have a '97 Outback wagon with the original, factory wheel (15")and tire (Michelin 205/70-15) set-up. I have 65K miles on my rig and am ready for an upgrade.

I've always wanted to go to a Plus-1 set-up, moving to a 16" wheel and as I'm ready for tires, now seems like the best time to make the move. I live in Southern California and do most of my driving on perfectly flat, dry, concrete highway. However, we do get some pretty heavy rain here two months out of the year and from November to June, I spend most of my weekends traveling to and from Mammoth to go skiing. It is not uncommon to encounter snow (lots of snow) on the last 100 miles of that 375 mile trip and consistently in town.

Here are my questions which I hope you guys can help me with:

#1
If I go to a 16" wheel, what size tire can I go to and still maintaining good all-season perormance? I don't want to deal with any wheel well rubbing. My car is running the stock suspension and I don't want it to look like an East LA gang ride when I'm done either. I'm shooting for a slightly improved "Autobahn" look with better braking and handling.

#2
The very nice people @ Tire Rack tell me I can go now lower profile or wider than 205/60-16. However I'm pretty sure the Legacy GT wagons come fitted with 215/55-16s, no? And don't a lot of AWD high-end european cars like the Audi A4 and others come with 55 Series tires? Can't I fit a 55 Series tire under my Outback and still get good all season performance?

#3
Can anyone recommend a good all season H-rated All Season tire? I'm looking at the Continental Contact CH95 or Dunlop SP Sport A2.

Thanx in advance to all who have some input.
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Old 09-20-2001, 11:57 AM   #2
remarcable
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http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

I think dvencleve answered most (if not all) of your questions in your other thread.
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Old 10-11-2001, 10:12 PM   #3
SCOOBER
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I believe the correct "plus1" size is actually a 215/60/16. I have a '97 also and did a plus 0 on it with a 215/65/15 and it BARELY clears the strut body on the back side. The Legacy GT is set up with different tires....you will screw up you speedo accuracy with a different size....the GT tires are ALOT shorter in overall height.
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Old 10-12-2001, 08:48 AM   #4
froggert
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stock gt wheel size is 205/55-16. i've got dunlop sp5000's on my car for cold weather use. they're great in the rain and okay in snow. don't know how they compare to the other two tires mentioned, though.
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Old 10-12-2001, 11:49 AM   #5
remarcable
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So 215/65/15 which claims to be a plus 0 for 205/70/15 will rub on an outback?

Odd.
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Old 10-12-2001, 12:02 PM   #6
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Remarcable,
The 215/65/15 DOES NOT rub.....it is very close, however. It is not possible to get a finger between the strut and the tire now in the back. We went camping in Canada for 10 days (my wife and 3 year old and I....you figure out how much crap we took!) and the car sat very low in the back, but did not rub. I like that size because it is a little wider and looks better than the stcok 205...plus there are some more tire choices!
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Old 10-12-2001, 02:07 PM   #7
remarcable
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Thanks, you had me concerned there for a minute because as soon as I can fund it, I was planning on ordering some RE940's in 215/65/15 size.

Originally was planning on the Dunlop SP5000, but they don't have the asymetric tread pattern in my size.

I doubt the RE940's would be great offroad, but they can't be any worse than the rainforce mx4's I have now. And they'll CERTAINLY be better on road.
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Old 10-12-2001, 03:31 PM   #8
gavin
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I run 215/65/15's, too, and haven't had any rub problems.

You still won't find any truly high-perfomance tires, in this profile, though, or at least I didn't. I'm currently running Toyo Proxes H4's - which is an H rated performance Touring tire. They stick up to the point where the rest of the suspension fails, so that's good enough for me. Very good wet performance, and extremely quiet, too.

The rolling diameter is slightly smaller - about .5 inch, if I remember correctly.
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Old 10-14-2001, 11:17 AM   #9
StinklePink
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Thumbs up Done!

Thanks for all the input, people. I finally just put my trust in Tire Rack and went for it, with their recommendations. I ultimately decided on the ASA JS6 (16 X 7) wheels and Dunlop SP Sport A2 tires (215/60-160).

I went with the ASA wheels because of price and reputation. Appearently ASA is licensed by BBS and that sort of speaks for itself . They were US$167 each.

I didn't plan on getting the Dunlops and was at first looking at the Continental Contact CH95's (US$77 each). After looking a little deeper into the Contis, I realized the Dunlops (US$90 each) were better in the snow, had stiffer sidewalls and were quieter. I guess the tire just came out a couple of months ago and all the testers @ Tire Rack seemed raved about them.

Theh whole package, mounted and delivered, US $950.00 . So far so good. No rubbing, perfect fit. Picture enclosed (I hope).

Thanx again!




PS
If the image doesn't work, try this: http://www.sendpix.com/albums/011013...f54eb7d8407d1/
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Old 10-14-2001, 05:18 PM   #10
lucien2
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sounds good, that's a straight Plus One. Should be no prob.
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