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Tire Switchout


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19 replies to this topic

#1 JohnW2

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

It's probably a no brainer but I'll ask anyway before I jump into the changeover! I've got a 2002 Forester with 215-60-R16 tires on it. Up here in the Great White North we just got about 12" of fresh white powder. A friend of mine has offered me some not so old 225-60-R16 snow tires for "free"......any problem with clearances in the wheel wells.....any problems with anything else?

#2 grossgary

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

type in tire size calculator on google and go to the miata one. compare dimensions and stick your fingers between the tire and the front strut....you'll likely find that tire is barely any bigger and nowhere near causing an issue.

#3 edrach

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

Having had issues using RS 7" rims on our '97 Impreza, I found the clearance in the rear is more critical than in the front when going to oversize rims/tires.

#4 Rooster2

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

I am sure that you will not have any problem. On my 99 OBW, I went from 205/70/15 to 215/70/15 with no problem. Your Forester will sit prolly just a tad taller then before. It is important to know that all four of your tires HAVE to be the same size, so no mixing with your current tires. Otherwise, you would be causing trouble with your AWD.

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:20 PM

the new tire is about 1/2 inch taller, diameter, than your current tire. this means it will be 1/4 inch closer to what ever the limiting factor is on the rear of your car. usually the rear spring perch.

stick your finger in there and see if you have more than 1/4 inch of space on the inside top of thew tire. you probably do, but double check.

#6 JohnW2

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

thanks for the sage advice gentlemen, I believe I'll slide down there tomorrow and pick up some free tires. Then I have to get my hands on some ugly rims....which should be the same size as the stock ones that are on there, right?:grin:

#7 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

Then I have to get my hands on some ugly rims....which should be the same size as the stock ones that are on there, right?


the most important thing is that the tire fit the wheel. it is hard to put 16'' tires on a 15'' wheel.

#8 JohnW2

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

sorry, should have been a little bit clearer on that last post.....I will be using 16" rims but I am assuming that they will be the same width, across the wheel sideways from rim to rim.....

#9 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

subaru rims with the 5 x 100 bolt pattern will all have the right off set. but there are other car company wheels with 5 x 100 wheels. i do not know the offset but someone will. and if you stick with subaru wheels you do not need to worry about it.

#10 JohnW2

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

Thanks John, I thought I would hunt around in the local wreckers for dead subies and make sure they were the 16" that I need before I drag them to the local tire changer and get a little more grip in my winter's life.....am I to understand that any Subaru with 16" rims would fit my situation?

#11 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

am I to understand that any Subaru with 16" rims would fit my situation?


any 95 - 04 legacy, outback, forester, certainly. most imprezas, but maybe not WRX. and probably a lot of 05+ but i'm not familiar with them.

#12 bratman18

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

To get the same offset, you will want wheels from an Outback or Forester. The Impreza, or regular Legacy models will have an offset that sets the wheel in towards the vehicle more, and you may have more clearance issues. The 225 60 16 tire comes on the 2000-04 Outbacks from the factory, so they should fit just fine on your Forester, but they are taller and wider, so using the correct offset wheel, is probably a good idea.

#13 edrach

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

Subaru rims are usually 48 to 55mm offset. Most aftermarket wheels are around 35mm offset. They'll work but your wheel bearings might suffer since the loading is designed around the Subaru offset. Almost all the 16" Subaru alloys will fit, but you might have an issue with the RS 6 spoke rims; they are 7" width and with a 225 width tire there's a good chance they'll rub on the rear strut perch. I solved that problem by installing a 5mm spacer on the rear wheels.

#14 89Ru

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Doublecheck first but WRX wheels are 55 mm offset, at least the ones I am using. 16" WRX wheels should work. All my '95-'97 outbacks (two legacies, one impreza) have WRX wheels, no known issues although I did have one rear wb slowly fail on a legacy out of 12 wheels upgraded.

As a bonus, WRX wheels have less corrosion around the bead surface than the stock outback wheels which is why I switched them all over, was frequently topping off the tire pressure due to flaking wheel coatings from salt intrusion.

Look for the "55" molded into the wheel inside surface to be sure the offset is right.

#15 Haight

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

the new tire is about 1/2 inch taller, diameter, than your current tire. this means it will be 1/4 inch closer to what ever the limiting factor is on the rear of your car. usually the rear spring perch.

stick your finger in there and see if you have more than 1/4 inch of space on the inside top of thew tire. you probably do, but double check.


Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldnt a 225/60/16 be wider, not taller than a 215/60/16?

#16 johnceggleston

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldnt a 225/60/16 be wider, not taller than a 215/60/16?


both, 10mm wider and 10mm x .60 = 6mm taller.

#17 forester2002s

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

My 2002 Forester came equipped with P215/60/R16 tires, and stock wheels with a 55-mm offset.

I bought the same size snow-tires 5-years ago, and mounted them on steel-rims with a 42-mm offset. I've had no clearance problems at all.

I bought the steel-rims at Canadian Tire (Item No.09-6099-8, which I now cannot find on their website).

I keep my snow-tires on all winter - anytime when the ambient temperature is below about 5C (40F). The softer rubber on the snow-tires makes for much surer road handling, even on a dry pavement. On a snow-covered road, the AWD plus snow-tires are amazing.

I see from the weather forecast that Ontario is being blasted with cold weather and snow. You'll love those snow-tires.

#18 JohnW2

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

Thanks to everyone for their input and after the additional 6" of white stuff last night, and the temp out the window of -18, I'll ponder and make phone calls this morning. Now with all the facts and figures and lots of variables that you, the venerable and knowledgable contributors have made, I should be able to make the correct, informed decision. On to the next problem..........thanx again to all..

#19 subaruplatt

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

My 2002 Forester came equipped with P215/60/R16 tires, and stock wheels with a 55-mm offset.

I bought the same size snow-tires 5-years ago, and mounted them on steel-rims with a 42-mm offset. I've had no clearance problems at all.

I bought the steel-rims at Canadian Tire (Item No.09-6099-8, which I now cannot find on their website).

I keep my snow-tires on all winter - anytime when the ambient temperature is below about 5C (40F). The softer rubber on the snow-tires makes for much surer road handling, even on a dry pavement. On a snow-covered road, the AWD plus snow-tires are amazing.

I see from the weather forecast that Ontario is being blasted with cold weather and snow. You'll love those snow-tires.


6.5jj, offset 48, bolt pattern 5-100
2005-2004 X, XS, XT
2003: X, XS 215/60R16 94H M+S 6.5 jj, XS, XT, alloy, offset 48 (1.89)
2002: L 205/70R15 95S M+S 6jj, offset 48 (1.89)
2002: S 215/60R16 94H M+S 6.5jj alloy, offset 48 (1.89)
2001-1998: S 215/70R16 94H M+S 6.5jj alloy, offset 48 (1.89)
2001-1998: L
1998 standard 205/70R15 95S M+S 6.5jj, offset 48 (1.89)

#20 johnceggleston

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

as long as you use subaru wheels you do not have to worry about the offset. they designed so the center line of the wheel falls in the right place, despite the width of the tire.

steel wheels are going to be the cheapest option unless you happen across some trying to get rid of some alloys fast because hie wife says they are going in the trash on saturday.

00 - 01 outbacks came with 16'' alloys but the legacy L came with 15''. but in later years they both got bigger, i think.

check out www.car-part.com start around 05 and go forward. they will show an assortment of wheels, steel, alloy 15'', 16'' and maybe more. it may nor be the best place or price to buy, but it will show what is available ofr each year. this will help you know what to look for.

edit: forester has some 16" steel ''spoked'' wheels in 04?. they may or may not be cheaper.

Edited by johnceggleston, 23 January 2013 - 11:40 AM.





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