Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

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Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby RhodyM20 on Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:32 am

Hey guys.

I am going batty trying to decide which tire size to get based on sidewall profile. I've seen multiple posters comment about having clearance issues with the front struts.

I am going to be running the stock Impreza RS wheels (16") and lowering the car with Ground Control coilover sleeves. I've noticed most everyone running 17s goes to a 215/45; the stock Impreza tire size is 205/55, would it be wise to go with a 205/50 or can I stick with the original size?

I know width is the main factor behind clearance issues but I've found a few isolated posts where other forum members have complained of rubbing issues with 16s as well.

Any thoughts / advice?

Thanks,

Jeff
Last edited by RhodyM20 on Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/55 or 205/50?

Postby john in KY on Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:37 am

205/55/16 tires fit all day without problems. 205/50/16 are a poor choice. Tried them once. Just too small in height. Made the car look funny. Don't know about the 17s. Take a look at the Tirerack site. there you will find all the specs for each size.

Just saw you are lowering the car. This throws a wrench into the above comments.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/55 or 205/50?

Postby RhodyM20 on Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:57 am

Exactly. And I found one of Austin's old comments that make me think I need to go even smaller:

Word of warning - I had to get 205/45/16s to keep my tires from rubbing the inner suspension bits. :roll: It might be different with your 4WD setup but I doubt it. I had 205/50/16s on there and they rubbed... enough that you could hear it over my exhaust! :shock:

From this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8764&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=rubbing&start=15
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby john in KY on Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:14 pm

That's really odd. The 3 XT6s I previously owned all had 205/55/16 tires on Subaru wheels and never had a rubbing problem. Stock Subaru wheels have a fairly large offset. Thinking around 53mm. Most if not all wheels, wheels from other manufacturers, have a lot less offset which means a non stock Subaru wheel with less offset will move the wheel/tire away from the suspension, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby RhodyM20 on Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:20 pm

john in KY wrote:That's really odd. The 3 XT6s I previously owned all had 205/55/16 tires on Subaru wheels and never had a rubbing problem. Stock Subaru wheels have a fairly large offset. Thinking around 53mm. Most if not all wheels, wheels from other manufacturers, have a lot less offset which means a non stock Subaru wheel with less offset will move the wheel/tire away from the suspension, if I remember correctly.


I did some more digging and found numerous posts from Moodybluesr referencing his preference for 45 series rubber. I went back a bit further and since he is running the same suspension I will be, I took that as a sign to go with the 205/45/16s that Tirerack had on sale.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10262&p=113943&hilit=+tires#p113943

Although I was perhaps a bit too conservative, I'd rather sacrifice some width than have my shop run into issues trying to get the suspension sorted.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby john in KY on Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:46 pm

Let us know how they look mounted on the car.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby grossgary on Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:16 pm

205-55-16's clear my EJ and AWD XT6 suspension just fine, like that's what I have on it right now and have been running for a long time. no issues and I've done it lots of times on countless XT6's as John suggests. Probably 5 or 8 different XT6's both manual and automatic.

Austin used to have a FWD XT6 - maybe that's different?

If there's 10 examples of something working and one example of it not - it's hard to ignore Occams Razor - most likely that one example is an outlier for some specific reason.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby RhodyM20 on Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:59 pm

Fair point, but I am hoping to get this car a good amount closer to the ground than those of you who use it for either daily driving or off-road purposes. Any poster who has used the Ground Control setup to lower the vehicle seems to run into issues with anything other than a 45-series tire, so I consider myself a bit of an outlier.

Believe me - I could have gotten a set of 55-series rubber for $50 less than what I paid for the 45s, so I hope it's appropriate as well. Since user Moodybluesr was running the exact same setup as I will be, I'm pretty confident this will work out OK.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby Numbchux on Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:32 am

FWD does have lower ride height, and shorter struts, so clearance will be different.

These are 205/55r16s on 16x6.5 +55
Image

These are 215/65r15s (bigger in every dimension than 205/55r16s) on 15x6 +55s with the rear suspension collapsed, still didn't rub...
Image


These are 205/50r16s on 16x6.5 +48:
Image

And 205/50r16 on 16x6.5 +55:
Image

They look a little goofy, I like them on my current car because the fender liners aren't mounted correctly due to the bashed up body work, and do rub on the 215/65r15s.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby q.c.chewy on Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:48 pm

these helped me when i was buying rims for my 15 wrx, sounds like i may be a little late, but....

http://www.fastwrx.com/pages/subaru-wrx-and-sti-wheel-information

http://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby Caboobaroo on Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:50 pm

A lot of the factory wheels have a bit too much offset, especially when you get into 17s. I've had a set of Pro drive P1 on the car with 225/45 tires and they rubbed on the rear springs. They also have a 55mm offset, 17x7 or 7.5. My RPF1 are 17x8 with a 45mm offset with 215/45 tires with just enough clearance to the rear springs. Under hard cornering, the tire will barely touch the springs, just enough to take off the paint on the springs.

I plan to run a 3mm spacer in the rear and step up to a 225/45 tire.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby RhodyM20 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:23 am

And I believe the 16" Impreza wheels I plan on running have a +55 offset, so I had some concerns about that as well. But I'm hoping the narrower tire and shorter sidewall will allow me to get the car a fair bit lower than it currently sits.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby grossgary on Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:15 pm

What struts are you currently running? Do you know?

Can you post links here to those that have rubbing, and then maybe we can find out what the variables are?

I've had rubbing on an AWD XT6 rear inner chassis with failed/weak rear EA82 struts (conventional stock EA82 coil spring struts) and 205 55 16 tires on WRX rims. By "failed" I mean they were sending my head into the ceiling on bridge abutments and potholes and bent two top strut mounts. I would assume the rubbing was due to the bent strut mounts, but who knows, those were about the worst struts I've ever driven on.

RhodyM20 wrote:Fair point, but I am hoping to get this car a good amount closer to the ground than those of you who use it for either daily driving or off-road purposes.
An AWD with air suspension completely deflated will ride without rubbing on 205 55 16's. It doesn't look like it should as the tires are really tucked up under there, but somehow it works. I've even driven like that a couple times in the past week as I've tinkered with my air suspension.
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Re: Tire confusion! 205/50 or 205/45??

Postby RhodyM20 on Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:24 am

Hey guys,

Well, it would appear I took the Chicken Little approach for no good reason.

I don't have pictures yet but I checked out the car yesterday after the suspension was squared away. I definitely have room for more sidewall and it looks - well, it looks fine, but it could look better.

Not sure what I'm going to do for now. I'm going to live with it while the car is at the body shop and either get new tires or do something different entirely wheel-wise, as I went the affordable route with some repainted junkyard RS wheels. They're OK - but I'm not sure they fit the old-school look of the car.

One thing I am learning about cars without a lot of aftermarket support: there are a ton of variables and you might do things once or twice before you get it right.
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