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Old 08-16-2006, 10:01 AM   #1
ride5000
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Default playing around with tire sizes: 215/40-17 and 215/65-16

it's getting time to order new shoes for my ride, for both seasons. here's some of my latest reasoning:

proposed summer tire is 215/40-17. compared to oem 205/55-16, i'll lose about 1" of overall diameter, so ride height will be reduced by ~0.5". that's also about a 4.4% decrease in circumference ratio.

my current summers are 225/45-17. these proposed tires will be 1.2" smaller diameter, so a drop of 0.6", and a 4.8% difference in circumference.

proposed winter tires are 215/65-16. compared to oem 205/55-16, i'll gain about 2.1" of diameter, so ride height will be increased by ~1", and 8.5% increase in circumference.

compared to proposed summer tires there's a 3.2" difference in diameter, so ride height will be different by ~1.6" and yeild a 13.6% difference in circumference.

why all of this?

summer:
low profile for quick response
low ride height for improved stability
smaller circumference for lower effective gear ratios
less rubber weight for quicker acceleration

winter:
taller profile for better contact patch
increased ride height provides ground clearance for obstructions/snow/etc.
larger circumference for higher effective gear ratios

in the winter i don't care about "high performance" tires nearly as much as i do in the summer. i care about traction and ground clearance. i actually take more long highway trips in the winter as i am a skier, so a taller gear ratio would come in handy for economy. i don't toss the car into corners, in fact i go so far as to reduce negative camber to improve overall traction at low speeds. i've even disconnected front and rear sway bars when it's really nasty out.

in the summer it's time to tear it up. dial back in the camber, and every entrance/exit ramp is a skidpad.

as far as load ratings, i'm pushing things a bit with the 215/40-17, but it's not unsafe.

has anyone tried such drastic tire sizes for their winter/summer choices? if so, were you happy with your decision(s)?

ken
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:16 AM   #2
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how about 1 notch narrower on the winter tire? might save some money and get a better tire at the same time. (for most conditions a narrower winter tire is better)
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:08 AM   #3
ride5000
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i was looking at that, but there aren't a lot of options for winters with a 65 profile and a 205 section width. narrower is better in the winter.
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:19 PM   #4
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Watch the load ratings on those 215/40R17s.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:34 PM   #5
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u will probably rub with the winter tyres when lowered. probably even if u are not lowered.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:10 PM   #6
ride5000
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boxy, what is it in particular that i should be concerned with wrt rubbing? tire to strut/spring perch?

ken
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:58 PM   #7
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Are you concerned about highway cruising gas mileage or resale value? You are going to rack up a lot of miles quickly with a tire size that small. Regardless, I'd go 245/35
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
ride5000
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fwiw, eventually went with 215/40-17 falken fk452s for summer tires. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&postcount=109

indicated speedometer is 5% low according to GPS. 1mph low for every 20.

having lighter, smaller diameter tires has proven to be pretty sweet so far. i keep the pressure around 40psi for a bit of extra bump

the winter shoes are 205/60-16 hankook icebear w300. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1205596 there's an 8% circumferential difference between the two.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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Nice use of your brain Ken....exactly the kind of thing I'd expect from you. I'm using 205/45-16s year round. 4.16 final drive FTW!!!
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:08 AM   #10
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What's with all you skinny minies?!?!

205s ewwww...I'll never go back!
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:50 AM   #11
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I'm also considering going with a 215/40-17 in the FK452.

Currently running 235/40-17 FK452 on 7.5" wide wheels and I'd really like the gearing advantage for my hybrid setup <--- crazy TQ down low = shockload.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #12
ride5000
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FINALLY pinched one of the 215/40-17 fk452s yesterday in a monster winter pothole.

thankfully enough tread wear not to make me cry at replacing all 4.

unfortunately that seems to be a tough size to find widely available. i might end up going back to 225/45s (huge ****ing balloons! lol)
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:44 PM   #13
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In another 2 years you can post up and let us know with what tires you replaced the Falkens!
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