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Old 01-08-2007, 01:31 AM   #1
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How wide a tire for my 17-in wheels?

This summer I may be replacing my tires. I'm looking to see if there are ways to make the tires fill out the wheel wells a bit. I've seen some Audis and even Jettas with not too wide a tire but they fill out their wheel wells really nicely. My stock sized tires, in particular the rears, are much wider than the Audi/Jetta tires, yet they look slightly anemic in the 986 wheel wells.

I love the look of my 17-in S wheels (in my 01 non-S) so changing wheels is not what I'm looking to do.

I'm thinking of getting the widest tires that will safely fit into the 17-in wheels that I've got.

That and/or perhaps some spacers.

In the past there was the "Plus 1" concept of increasing the width of the tire but go down a bit in sidewall size (e.g. in a previous car, I went from 155/75-13 to 185/60-13 on the same rim--something like that, I can't remember the actual numbers). That was what I was leaning toward.

What would be some things I could do to flesh out the wheel wells a bit.?

How wide a tire can I put on my 17's? Front? Back?

I should say that I drive spiritedly but don't race nor will I track the car. So unltimate grip isn't a big issue for me. In fact, I'd like a more comfy and quiet ride and/or good rain performance rather than ultimate grip (I'm including this info in case that could affect peoples' comments).

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Old 01-08-2007, 04:24 AM   #2
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The Plus 1 concept applies to increasing the rim diameter and adjusting the tire's aspect ratio so the overall rolling diameter is the same. Doesn't apply if you're sticking with the same diameter rim.

Your front wheels are 7" wide and your rears are 8.5" wide. The widest tire that should go on that 7" rim is a 215, not much wider than the stock 205. You can squeeze a 225 on there, but handling will not benefit, in fact it will probably get worse. The narrower tire actually helps steering feel and reduces tramlining, and a 215 or 225 won't be noticably wider on the narrow wheel.

The stock rear for a 8.5" rim is a 255/40 I believe. If you can find a 265 in a 17" diameter that may be an option, but I don't think there are many 265/40s out there (if any).

A better bet would be to try to find a set of wider wheels. Sorry!
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:53 AM   #3
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Interesting. Stock set up on the 17s is 205/50 fronts with 255/40 rears. On the fronts, I was considering going from to the 225/45 size, as many folks have done this to reduce understeer, and keeping the rear tire sizing the same. Sounds like there isn't much benefit from doing this though.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:22 AM   #4
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I'd say go for spacers if all you're trying to do is move the wheels out a little.
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy
I'd say go for spacers if all you're trying to do is move the wheels out a little.
Agree. If its only for cosmetics, I would look for either adaptors or spacers to "push the wheels" out in the fenders. If you are looking to enhance performance, then a jump to wider rims and tires would do much better than simply "larger tires". This can get $$$$ when new/replacement wheels are the direction you choose.

The widest tires for the stock 7 and 8.5" rims are likely 225/275. But a 225/255 would provide a better "balanced" feel.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tire advice guys.

Any thoughts on the thickness of spacers permitted? Front? Rear?
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:03 AM   #7
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The anniversary model used a 5mm spacer I believe. Which is subtle but does give you a lil' something.

Combine that with a slight bump in tire width where it needs it. I'd go for the 225 45 up front, stick with the 255 out back. And maybe fit some of the shorter ROW springs to lower your stance and you should get that more aggressive look you want without too much compromise.

And then of course you should driver faster. That's the best way to get that more aggressive look, with more aggressive action.

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Old 01-09-2007, 03:22 AM   #8
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I've used 7mm front and 14mm rear for a couple of years now and have been very happy with the results.



Be advised that my manual states that using 17mm on the rear axle will not allow the spare tire to fit without first removing the spacer . . .
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:41 AM   #9
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I've used 7mm front and 14mm rear for a couple of years now and have been very happy with the results.



Be advised that my manual states that using 17mm on the rear axle will not allow the spare tire to fit without first removing the spacer . . .
Thanks lwc.

What brand were your spacers and how much did it cost?
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:33 AM   #10
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Im thinking wider wheels is the best way to go. My tires are practically flush with the fender. Ive got an 8.5 up front and a 10.5 in the rear (with 7mm spacers on the rear). Ive got a super aggresive wide stance and it looks great. Your best option is a 7mm spacer in the front with a 14 in the rear (or it could be the other way around, I dont know). Get them from Todd at Epiq, he can set you up with spacers and wheel bolts.

Heres my album, check the second page for pics of the wheels.
http://umkc.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2012570&l=23543&id=66804639

http://photos-579.ak.facebook.com/ip006/v44/81/6/66804639/n66804639_30413579_676.jpg
(thats a pretty good pic, Im running a 275 tire in the rear but I could put a 285 on from what everyone says)
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:14 AM   #11
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License plate "SHIZLE" ?

That's a photoshop, right? Please tell me it's a photoshop?
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:09 PM   #12
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Nice rims Boggtown. What size and brand are they?
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:34 PM   #13
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Its the funniest thing I could think of. Seriously? Whats funnier than that. They are 19 inch Jaz Heros. 8.5 and 10.5 wide.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:42 PM   #14
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Depending how large a "spacer" you use (instead of an adaptor), you may need to change lug bolts to ensure you have enough thread to hold the wheel on.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socratic
Thanks lwc.

What brand were your spacers and how much did it cost?
I don't know the brand . . . the local independent shop did the work for me, they ordered the spacers, longer bolts and did the installation. Parts and labor was $300.00.

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