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Thread: Widest tire fitment

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    Senior Member PGuru's Avatar
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    Default Widest tire fitment

    Hey guys,

    I'm looking into picking up some new tires and rims for my Celeb over the winter while stores are clearing out their summer inventory. I figure now is a good time to buy. I'm planning on going as wide as possible with the wheels and wanted some advice on tire widths you guys have tried.

    These are the size's I'm looking at:

    1) 225/45R17
    2) 215/50R17
    3) 215/40R18

    All three sizes are within the same diameter as stock so my speedo shouldn't be affected. Was curious if anyone has gone with this wide a wheel and if there are rubbing issues?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    On stock, unmodified suspension, I believe the widest you can go is 225. Several years ago, I ran 225-50-16 on 16 x 6.5" wheels from a '97 Lumina on my Celebrity and had no fitment issues at all.

    Also, this is just personal preference, but I don't recommend going any larger than 16 inch wheels. In order to keep your speedometer reading correctly, the tires have to have shorter and shorter sidewalls the larger you go, which greatly compromises ride quality. And larger diameter wheels tend to be wider than OEM, so you may need to use spacers, which may cause abnormal wear on your hubs. If you're okay with that, by all means.

  3. #3
    Senior Member PGuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    On stock, unmodified suspension, I believe the widest you can go is 225. Several years ago, I ran 225-50-16 on 16 x 6.5" wheels from a '97 Lumina on my Celebrity and had no fitment issues at all.

    Also, this is just personal preference, but I don't recommend going any larger than 16 inch wheels. In order to keep your speedometer reading correctly, the tires have to have shorter and shorter sidewalls the larger you go, which greatly compromises ride quality. And larger diameter wheels tend to be wider than OEM, so you may need to use spacers, which may cause abnormal wear on your hubs. If you're okay with that, by all means.
    Stock sidewall is 4.6 inches, the 17's are at about 4 inches, and the 18's are at 3.3 inches. I'm not 100% sure which I'd be comfortable with, but with a solid low-profile tire (from a good brand) I'm not worried too much. Thanks for the info; the biggest reason for wider tires was a more "muscle car" look. My 195's always bother me when looking from the back.

    I'm not against getting smaller rim sizes, but the selection of the 17's and 18's seems to be larger for dished wheels than for the smaller sizes. Anyone know of a dished wheel in a small size?

    I've been looking for specs on stock offset for my car but haven't been able to find it. I'd assume it would be somewhere around +50 but that's just a guess.

    Any idea where I can find this info?
    Last edited by PGuru; 12-12-2015 at 07:08 AM.
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    Senior Member Zaloryan's Avatar
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    Check your RPO code sticker in your trunk if you are unsure which bolt pattern you have.
    JA1= 5x100mm
    JA2= 5x115mm

    Offset that I've been able to find is +40mm, +42mm, or +45mm.
    I'm using 16inch steel wheels off of a 2005ish Impala and 16inch aluminum Oldsmobile Alero wheels on my Cutlass Ciera. The largest tire I can fit without the front strut spring support rubbing the tire is 205/55R16. Converting the front struts to coil-overs will allow a wider rim to fit. I am uncertain if my wheels are 16x6.5 or 16x7. When you start increasing the spring rates, you begin to appreciate a tire with a sidewall. I've performed a van brake conversion on the front of my Cutlass Ciera so the minimum rim diameter I can run is a 15inch for clearance purposes.

    Opinion: I do not care much for large diameter wheels or small diameter wheels. I like to go for a tire sidewall that is proportional to the wheel well size to keep the vehicle looking balanced. I think if you run a wheel larger than 16inch diameter, the rear axle will looks like it has a lot of dead space between the rear drum/rotor and the wheel. That gives me the impression that the brake system doesn't look like it's up to the task of the vehicles intended purpose, but I realize that OEM brake systems function adequately for OEM applications. With that said, I don't think I've seen 17inch wheels on a FWD A-Body, so if I saw some photos I might change my mind.


    Last edited by Zaloryan; 12-12-2015 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Posted the same image twice on accident
    What is this & what does pulling it out do?

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    Member ActionMatt's Avatar
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    I'm running 225/50r16s on 16x8 Grand Prix wheels and still have clearance between the strut, so you should be fine with 225/45r17.

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    Senior Member PGuru's Avatar
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    The tires/wheels I'm running currently are 195/60R16 with Pontiac Rims (16x7 if I'm not mistaken) with JA2.

    @Zaloryan: I've never seen an A-Body on anything over 16" so im still hesitant. I'll probably just go for it becuase why not? But I still need to find wheels that I like, for a good price, so we'll see what I find.

    I did find some SICK caddy wheels but they had a +0 offset and I'm not about to run spacers big enough to fit that. The hunt continues!
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  7. #7

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    Pity guys, am I the only one bold enough to run 17's? I've experimented with the tire sizes and here's what I found. 225/45's fit but rub horribly, even in the back. 215/50's are much better, with the only rubbing being in the passenger front plastic splash shield. This size does throw the speedo off (65mph showing and having an actual 69mph). The handling is much improved, too. One down side is it causes drivablity issues. Our VR had 17" motegi rims that are 7 or 7.5 wide. When going 42mph and the tcc locked up, the car would buck and chug like the drive train was going through some strange mutation and ripping out of the engine bay.
    Future plans will include swapping tires to a 215/45's to bring the speedo in line. After the drive train is built, of course.
    Look on Wednesday Addams build thread, I think there's pics there with the 17's.

    AuSSenseiter

  8. #8

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    Ok, here's some picture proof of what plus sizing the wheels will get you. Yes, this is how we drive Wednesday. Not my favorite look but the 17's just drained too much power and caused drivabiliy problems.
    For reference the front wheels are from a '01 Malibu shod in 215/60r15 the rears are Motegis with 215/55r17.


    AuSSenseiter

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    Senior Member Keiths1976's Avatar
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    I have those Malibu alloys I'm running 205-65-15 on my old girl she handles just great with them

  10. #10

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    Forgot something else. Since the true spirit of the thread is how wide a tire can you fit.... from my x11 days.... you can technically fit 245's in there. I did that for a short while with 14" wheels. While the performance was marginally better... the steering was literally worse than a long semi...

    AuSSenseiter

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    I have a friend who has a car like mine, '93 Century and he's running 225/45/18. Stiff ride but he likes it. I'm running 15's.........205/60/15 and to me that seems perfect for these cars.

    Edit: he got his tires and wheels at discounttiredirect.com as did I.

  12. #12
    Senior Member PGuru's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input guys! I'm leaning towards the 215/50's but I'll have to wait until the spring I guess.
    Last edited by PGuru; 04-03-2016 at 07:50 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member PGuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1987 Black VR wagon Fam View Post
    Ok, here's some picture proof of what plus sizing the wheels will get you. Yes, this is how we drive Wednesday. Not my favorite look but the 17's just drained too much power and caused drivabiliy problems.
    For reference the front wheels are from a '01 Malibu shod in 215/60r15 the rears are Motegis with 215/55r17.


    AuSSenseiter
    I absolutely LOVE how the Motegis' look, although it's a shame it caused problems. What exactly happened?
    Current:
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  14. #14

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    Theres several things that could have caused the problems, and several solutions. First I'm not sure of the weight difference between the two rims. The most likely suspect is the 17's changed the gear ratio. The result was, when cruising at low rpm, the entire drive train bucked and snarled like it was trying to self destruct. Maybe a higher pm stall convertor might work, I don't know. Could be the rotational mass is just great.
    Many theories out there but at this time going back to a smaller rim has cured the problem, so we'll come back to it another time....

    AuSSenseiter

  15. #15
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    Those 17's would work fine with a shorter tire. A 215/55/17 is fairly tall for an A-body.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
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