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Outback tire to strut clearance advice wanted


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38 replies to this topic

#1 daredevil1166

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:49 PM

Ok, I've got a 99 Outback that's lifted.

Due to an irritating tire debacle I now have Yokohama Geolander AT/S's in 215/70-15(instead of Grabber AT/2's in 205/75-15).

The issue(maybe) is that with the new tires I only have about 3/16" - 1/4" of clearance between the top inner sidewall of the rear tires and the strut towers.

So, what do you think of the clearance?

I'm concerned about the tire flexing in corners, bulging when aired down, and then flexing more when aired down.

I would just try them out for awhile and see if it'll be an issue but if they won't work I need to return them ASAP.

Advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

#2 bheinen74

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:15 AM

Tires dont flex really at the tops.
They sure do on the ground level bottom.
didn't we have another thread on this telling about the clearance of the strut perch.

#3 monstaru

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:16 AM

1/4"!!!thats alot!you know, you would not have been able to fit the 75 series anyway without spacers.
oh yeah, spacers.and if you worry about the strength of spacers, i know toyota trucks that are running 36" tires with 1" aluminum spacers beatin the livin hell out of them.......

i also know a couple of soobs doin it..

i personally would not worry about it to much.it is one of those things we have to deal with.cheers, brian

#4 Gloyale

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:23 AM

96-99 Outback struts will clear 235/75/15 with no spacers.

This car:Posted Image

Has 235/75/15s. 2 different makes and tires even in this same size. Been running them over a year now.

205/75/15 would have fit his car perfectly fine.

Tires don't flex or bulge at there tops.

#5 daredevil1166

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:32 PM

I already had 205/75-15's. They were switched out for the 215/70-15's. I guess I wasn't clear about that.

Thanks for the advice. I'll go ahead and keep them.

Just for my own peace of mind I think I'll put some 5mm spacers on.

Then, when these tires are dead I'll have enough space I'll be comfortable jumping up to 215/75-15's.

#6 daredevil1166

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:38 PM

96-99 Outback struts will clear 235/75/15 with no spacers.


It all depends on the wheels and their offset......

There's no way another 20mm wide tire would clear my struts with the stock wheels I have.

#7 monstaru

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 03:04 PM

ZZZZZZZZIIIIINNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!thats eggzachary right !it does depend on offset.i wasna tryin to be a wongleflute before,just to let you know.i was just joshin.....there are solutions around,that have been accomplished for yrs now......but suggest you post your findings from your particular offset and tires and then PM me with it and i will get it put in the outback FAQ that i will be writing.....cheers, brian

Edited by monstaru, 27 January 2010 - 03:05 PM.
get info!


#8 strat

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

i run 215/65/16 general grabber's on wrx wheels with no clearance issues on the outback struts. (mine do rub the fenderwell at full lock just a tad) it's the 2nd car i've run this setup on.

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:41 PM

It all depends on the wheels and their offset......

There's no way another 20mm wide tire would clear my struts with the stock wheels I have.


Those are stock Forrester wheels in the above pic of the red legacy. Pretty sure they are the same offset as your wheels.

#10 daredevil1166

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:20 PM

Those are stock Forrester wheels in the above pic of the red legacy. Pretty sure they are the same offset as your wheels.


Maybe, I don't know. I do know that a 235 wouldn't fit mine though.

Don't know why.

ZZZZZZZZIIIIINNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!thats eggzachary right !it does depend on offset.i wasna tryin to be a wongleflute before,just to let you know.i was just joshin.....there are solutions around,that have been accomplished for yrs now......but suggest you post your findings from your particular offset and tires and then PM me with it and i will get it put in the outback FAQ that i will be writing.....cheers, brian


Didn't have any thought of you deing a wongleflute.

Thanks for the help all.

Edited by daredevil1166, 27 January 2010 - 06:23 PM.


#11 Gloyale

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:15 PM

Maybe, I don't know. I do know that a 235 wouldn't fit mine though.

Don't know why.




unless you've tried it, you don't know.

#12 daredevil1166

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:43 AM

I have a tape measure. It's not hard to figure.

#13 Numbchux

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:45 AM

well, a 20mm wider tire would only be 10mm closer to the strut (and you've already got 6+ clearance to work with). that would easily be achieved from a little camber adjustment.


another vote for zero tire flex at the top. I've got about 1 mm of clearance between the shocks and my snow tires in the back of my XT6. no problems at all.

#14 Gloyale

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:46 AM

I have a tape measure. It's not hard to figure.


i stilll don't understand why people ask question on this board when they already insist they know the answers.

again, if you haven't tried it, you don't know. you are goin by your eyeball and a crude measurment, instead of listening to PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE IT AND KNOW!

#15 mthoodsub

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:19 PM

Those are stock Forrester wheels in the above pic of the red legacy. Pretty sure they are the same offset as your wheels.


But you arent sure of the offset either. Unless YOUVE measured it YOU DONT KNOW EITHER

i stilll don't understand why people ask question on this board when they already insist they know the answers.

again, if you haven't tried it, you don't know. you are goin by your eyeball and a crude measurment, instead of listening to PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE IT AND KNOW! .


When i first came across this website i thought it was great, but now its just a competition of "who knows what and who doesnt"...... lame


And the question of whether a 235/75R15 would fit on his outback. WAS NOT his original question.


Now back to topic. I would say as long as they dont rub at full lock up front, you will be fine in the rear.

#16 Gloyale

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:32 PM

But you arent sure of the offset either. Unless YOUVE measured it YOU DONT KNOW EITHER


He has the 5 spoke late 90's Legacy/Outback rims. They are the same offset as steel Forrester wheels on Clifford.

It's really not an issue because without trimming and a lift he'd never fit that size(235/75) anyhow. Without a lift even 215/75/15 will rub on the fenders.

Not trying to be a jerk......or prove anything.......I just get tired of trying to help and share info that doesn't seem to want to be heard.

#17 bheinen74

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

tires from different brands/makes even of identical tire size are not identical in height and width

example :
my Baja Widetracks 205/75/15 are 27.7 inches tall
whereas another 205/75/15 is only 26.6 inches tall.
and someone else on here has lets say BF goodrich same 205/75/15 and their may be 27 exact.......
get the idea,
the miata tire calculator approximates, but it will never be 100% true.

#18 mthoodsub

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:35 PM

He has the 5 spoke late 90's Legacy/Outback rims. They are the same offset as steel Forrester wheels on Clifford.

It's really not an issue because without trimming and a lift he'd never fit that size(235/75) anyhow. Without a lift even 215/75/15 will rub on the fenders.

Not trying to be a jerk......or prove anything.......I just get tired of trying to help and share info that doesn't seem to want to be heard.




But he will fit the 215/70, since thats what he was inquiring about in his ORIGINAL POST.


And as Bheinen74 not all 75 series tires are same dimensions, in theory ,yes, they should be, but not in reality.

#19 daredevil1166

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:03 PM

He has the 5 spoke late 90's Legacy/Outback rims. They are the same offset as steel Forrester wheels on Clifford.

It's really not an issue because without trimming and a lift he'd never fit that size(235/75) anyhow. Without a lift even 215/75/15 will rub on the fenders.

Not trying to be a jerk......or prove anything.......I just get tired of trying to help and share info that doesn't seem to want to be heard.


You saying that 235's will fit had absolutely nothing to do with my question. Your "advice" you gave was ambiguous and not helpful.

I know the tires I have will fit on the car, they're already on it.

You made a blanket statement which could be misleading to someone that doesn't know better and was only meant to show your supreme knowledge of the subject.

Not trying to be mean, I do appreciate your experiences. I am completely sure that 235's won't fit on my car. I dont know the difference between my car and your setup. It doesn't matter, it has nothing to do with my original question.

Oh, and as I said in my first post, I have a lift.

I've already tried 215/75-15's. They do fit, no rubbing, but they were bald throwaways. They're a little too close to the strut as well though.

Edited by daredevil1166, 28 January 2010 - 06:13 PM.


#20 Gloyale

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:13 PM

Oh, and as I said in my first post, I have a lift.


What type of lift? Just curious If that was you at sandlake in the outback with cut off bumpers....it just didn't look lifted....was that you?

I've already tried 215/75-15's. They do fit, no rubbing, but they were bald throwaways. They're a little too close to the strut as well though.


If it doesn't touch the strut.......it's not too close.

#21 daredevil1166

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:18 PM

What type of lift? Just curious If that was you at sandlake in the outback with cut off bumpers....it just didn't look lifted....was that you?



If it doesn't touch the strut.......it's not too close.


Yes, that was me.

Hmmmm... your opinion of too close and mine are different. The tires I have now are too close for me.

I was at Sandlake again today(1/30) and I aired the 215/70-15's to 18psi. Now I have rub marks on my brand new GR/2's. :(

Not bad marks but I can tell it's touched.

I'll definetly be getting 5mm wheel spacers. I'd feel more comfortable that way.

I even had the alignment checked. The rear camber apparently isn't adjustable but it's within specs.

Edited by daredevil1166, 30 January 2010 - 10:51 PM.


#22 monstaru

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 02:31 PM

"When i first came across this website i thought it was great, but now its just a competition of "who knows what and who doesnt"...... lame"

it's ego....i've done this and that....etc.....no one wants to believe there is more than one way to skin a cat.because their way is best!that is why i always tell peole to try things.if it does not work then you at least know why.

therre are folks on here(myself included) that have tried a million different things, and spent alot of money trying them.
they will mostly tell you there experiences and let it be.therre are others that want to believe that there way is proper because it is tried and true, and there is no reason to spend money on R&D because they already know what youa re trying to figure out.that is all fine and well, except it usually leads to pissing contests...

i think your right though, it is getting lame.....

i for one know that my ************ doesna stink,and all you mutha ************ers don't know diddly....:rolleyes:

sorry for the hijack.cheers, brian

#23 daredevil1166

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:45 PM

therre are folks on here(myself included) that have tried a million different things, and spent alot of money trying them.
they will mostly tell you there experiences and let it be.


sorry for the hijack.cheers, brian



I think that's the great thing about a site like this. The experience of people that have done everything is very valuable, and much appreciated by those of us with less money to try things and less experience.

#24 mthoodsub

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:25 AM

[quote name='Gloyale']What type of lift? /[QUOTE]

Its an 1.5" strut top blocks, based off the AA design.

I have the 4" kit that was going to be on my wagon, and he just reduced the lift to minimize axle strain and without having to drop suspension components.

Edited by mthoodsub, 01 February 2010 - 10:27 AM.


#25 daredevil1166

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:06 PM

[quote name='mthoodsub'][quote name='Gloyale']What type of lift? /[QUOTE]

Its an 1.5" strut top blocks, based off the AA design.

I have the 4" kit that was going to be on my wagon, and he just reduced the lift to minimize axle strain and without having to drop suspension components.[/QUOTE]

1.5" on the front 2" on the rear.




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