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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I´d like to upgrade my 94 LX with 16" wheels and tires over the next few months, to replace the stock 14" factory alloys (they´ll go on my 91.)
Can anyone recommend what tire size will be best and fit in the wheel wells without rubbing? I think 40 series tires look awesome, but I´m afraid to run something that low because the roads around here really suck and I don´t want to bend up my new wheels. I´d rather go with 50´s if possible. Also, I will probably put on 1.8" lowering springs and Tokico struts in the future, if that makes any difference.
Any input/advice greatly appreciated!
 

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actually a 40 series tire you´d need a 17" wheel...so 50 series is right

I would say for snow stick to a 195/50 and for the best handling you can get on a 16 go to a 205/50.

205/50 kinda seems like a weird size but I think BFGoodrich makes a radial in that size.
 

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hey man! I had a 93 Lx which had 13´s and I upgraded to 205/35/16 and it was a great setup. the only thing is with the 205 size you will need to roll the back fender lip in. I did this by takeing a mop handal and holding it between the fender and wheel while someone drives the car back and forward a few times. After that injoy!
 

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Hi guys.

The offset is, of course, important in determining whether the wheel will rub. After much trepidation, I bought a set of 16" Miata wheels with a 42mm offset and mounted 205/45s on them. They fit just fine, with about 5mm of space between the tire and both the rear strut and rear fender lip = no problem. I even have a 1" drop on the suspension.

Clearance at the front is no problem at all - a garage even suggested I might want to mount 215s or bigger on the but I want to be able to rotate them.

Note that for a given tire width rating (e.g. 205), the actual dimension of different tires might be different. I have Dunlop SP9000s. Go to the tire manfacturer´s website to see whether the rated width is the actual width; most have a table that lists the actual dimensions.

The rolling diameter of my Dunlops is also more or less stock. This wasn´t something I cared about at the time. But it actually makes a difference. My previous all-seasons were 195/60s -- slightly larger than the stock 185s. Now, with a circumference that is true to stock, the smaller wheel/tire combo raised the engine revs at highway speeds by about 300 rpms. Since this brings me closer to the start of the 1.8 litre engine´s sweet spot at 4000RPM, I´m finding that it´s slightly easier to accelerate without dropping down a gear. Interesting.

- Rob
 

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Josh, you had 35 series tires with a 16? That isn´t right at all. 35 series is what you need to run 18" wheels. 45 or 55 seems more logical.

If you want to know an EXACT replacement for 185/60 15´s that come on a GT is 215/40 17´s (Kumho´s I know for sure, others might be off once you go beyond 2 decimal places.)

That´s a 185/60 for 15´s so for 16´s the best guess would be 50 series. 45-55 would probably work so well you wouldnt notice the difference of actual speed and measured speed on your speedo until 75mph or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How is offset measured?
I remember someone saying that 38 was the ideal offset. This is less than 42mm, right? Does that mean with 38 the tire would be closer to than the struts than with 42, or the other way around?
Remember I probably want to lower 1.8" too. Does this effect the clearance?
I guess I´d lean toward 205´s rather than 195´s, both for looks and handling, but I´ll go with 195´s if that´s what will fit. That would still be an upgrade from stock.
What do you guys think?
 

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Ok I double checked and I was wong,I had 16x7 pacer 471s rims with 205/40/16 tires. Sorry for the wrong info. As for my factory I had 175/70/13. The upgrade worked great with the compass motorsport 1" sway bar and new struts.
 

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I like your plan, Redscorts: 205s are likely a safe bet.

If I recall correctly, if you have a higher offset number (sorry, I can´t remember if this is technically referred to as positive or negative offset -- negative, I think), the point at which the hub meets the wheel will be further toward the outboard (or road-side) face of the wheel. That means that a higher offset number will move the wheel deeper into the wheel well, reducing the chance that the outboard edge of the tire will rub your fender but increasing the chance that the inboard edge of the tire will rub the strut. (Somebody correct me if I got that backward.)

As you point out, it´s possible to roll the fender lip if a wheel has too little offset. But if a wheel has too much offset, you´ll need spacers installed on the hub. (H&R makes them for the 2nd gen, though they´re listed as spacers for the Mazda 323; they´re not cheap but I wouldn´t buy cheap ones myself.)

Last fall I faced the same decision you do. I guesstimated using some crude measurements: With my stock wheel in place, I measured the amount of space between the existing tire and the strut and between the tire and the fender lip. (I used two scraps of wood as feelers and then measured the thickness of the two pieces of wood.) I then went to the tire manufacturer´s website to get the actual width of the tire I wanted to buy; that way I knew how much wider it was than my existing tire. That was enough to know how much of a rubbing risk the new tire itself would be if, hypothetically, my new wheel had the stock offset.

Of course the offset of the wheels I wanted to buy was different but I knew what it was -- 4 mm more. Having done the earlier measurement between my imaginary tire and the strut, it was easy to see that I still had 4mm of spare room between my imaginary tire and the strut. Though it was close, I was then fairly sure that the new tire would fit even with the new offset.

I had bought the wheels by that point but was still nervous about the tire rubbing the strut in hard cornering or when I hit bumps. So, non-risk-taker that I am, I brought the bare wheel to a garage and had them mount it on the car and compress the suspension. They confirmed that, even with the suspension bottomed out, there would be enough room for a 205 tire in the back.

I got my tires mounted on the new wheels just before snowfall. Because they weren´t broken in, I couldn´t test every possible scenario but everything seemed to work just fine. No rubbing on either side; no need for spacers or fender work. Phew!

- Rob

[ This message was edited by: Rob-from-Ottawa on 03-01-2003 13:16 ]

[ This message was edited by: Rob-from-Ottawa on 03-01-2003 13:17 ]
 

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40 series is still a little short for the car, its smaller then fact. spec.

I´m running a +38mm offset with my 17´s And with 205/40 I could drop the car, but with my 215´s I could slam the front but could probably only get about .5" in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So 205/50/16´s should fit ok, as long as I stick with a stock offset of 38? Is this right?
 

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Yeah it should work great, and give you the ability to drop the car too if you wanted. 16´s are a good mix of style and performance too.
 
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