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Old 03-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 92725
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Leominster, MA
2004 WRX

Default Am I crazy for wanting to stay with 16 inch wheels?

C/N: Bought car with 17's on it. Seems to ride better with 16's. Buy new aftermarket 16's?

When I bought my car (used 04 WRX from a dealer) three years ago, it had the 17 inch stockers from the '06-'07 WRX on it. I found them to be okay, although the speedometer was off by 2 mph and the wheel gap wasn't to my liking. Also, the ride was a little rougher than I wanted, but that seemed to be due to the shocks, which seem to be on their way out.

After about a year, I had enough money to do my suspension, and changed it out to: Epic Engineering springs, KYB Excel struts, Epic Engineering rear sway bar, Kartboy rear endlinks. Immediately, I noticed that the ride was about the same, if not worse, the car did not like bumps/potholes at all. On the positive side, the butt dyno said that turn in was better, and the wheel gap went from four fingers down to two fingers in height.

Fast forward to three weeks ago, I finally get my car back after it had been out for four months (blown motor, low funds). But when I sent the car to the shop, I swapped my 16 inch steelies/winter tire combo on them due to the weather, so that the shop could test drive it after the motor swap. When I picked the car up and drove it home (a little over an hour drive) I noticed that the car felt really buttoned down, and that the bumps were absorbed without any of the harsh "clunks" that my 17's had.

As the weather warms up, I'm very tempted to buy aftermarket 16's with new tires to replace the 17's that I've been using as my summer tire setup. I'm just trying to figure out if I'm really losing anything major by going back down to 16's. Anyone ever gone back down and found it better? I'm just wondering if I bought into all the "go bigger" hype and found it lacking.

My old setup: 215/45/17 on the 06-07 stock 17x7
My likely new setup: 225/50/16 on 16x7

For the record, this will be a daily driver, and will see absolutely no autocross/HPDE/drag/etc type of driving. Just daily driving on crappy, everyday streets and highways.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:19 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 89628
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hawaii, Oahu
'02 Wagon VF39'd
& Quick Racked


Nothing wrong with 16"s at all. And, if you keep your eyes peeled you can snag '00 RS wheels for stupid cheap. Great looking, quality wheel in 16x7.5. I paid $140 for a set of 4 and am shortly picking up 2 more for $50. All in perfect shape.

(Not my car)

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Old 03-11-2013, 02:33 AM   #3
Uncle Scotty
*** Banned ***
Member#: 16200
Join Date: Mar 2002
OK buy Nates beans


sounds like ya got the wrong tires on the 17's

it shouldnt make that much difference....and winter tires are notably soft
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:24 AM   #4
Aaron'z 2.5RS
Scooby Guru
Member#: 1026
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Hickigan
'00 RS/WRX Stg5
'98 RS Stock


A lower profile A/S or summer tire is going to ride harsher than a higher profile winter tire for sure... thats a no-brainer homie..
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:44 AM   #5
Scooby Guru
Member#: 204578
Join Date: Mar 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Boston
S54 E46, N54 E82,
N55 E84, AKA REX8


Just a heads up, if it's not a stiffer-sidewalled 225, you probably won't like the way it feels on a 7" wheel. Not that it won't fit, but it will be mushy. Consider a 215 wiht a bit shorter overall diameter, if not just a 205.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 8365
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Massachusetts
2013 Ford Focus SE


You did not write what tires are on each set of wheels.
They may make even more difference.

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