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Gen 1 off road tire selection


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17 replies to this topic

#1 RavenTBK

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 04:41 PM

After various tweaks to my carb, I've restored quite a bit of power to the 79. It feels like a damn rocket ship compared to what she used to give me. Because of this newfound power, I'll scrap the plans for a 13b swap... for now.

With all this new power, I've since taken the ol pile of scraps out into the woods a few more times and I've only found two things that would stop me dead in my tracks.... slick mud, and sugar sand. Those of you in the great northwest probably dont know what sugar sand is.. but just imagine exactly what its name implies.. soft sand that behaves like you're driving on sugar.

Before you ask "Wheres the Beef?".. here it is.

I'm wanting to know specific suggestions as to the most agressive tread tire that would put the largest contact patch on the ground, and still fit under my stock height on my 13" jacks. All out ground clearance isnt an issue.. just the contact patch is whats important.

The idea is I'd like to restore the 79 to its former stock glory, but still DRIVE it. The tire choice would let me pass slick mud with agressive tread tires, and a large contact patch would help me float the sand better... all being able to go back to the skinny stock tires later.

I havent been able to find my measuring tape, but what do ya think of 205/60s? I did those on my last Honda, and the difference was night and day in the sand. Just couldnt find any tread designs more agressive than summer touring in that size. Any other size suggestions that fit what I said above?

What say you?

#2 Caboobaroo

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 04:46 PM

well not so sure on what size tires to run but I do have something that can make you give your carn an extra 1-2 inches in just a few hours. In the front at the bottom of the springs, there should be an adjuster and if you adjust this up as high as it'll go, then you'll be sittin about an inch and a half higher. The back is a little harder seeing you have to pull the torsion bars out but if there is anyone in your area (ie a friend) that has experience lowering minitrucks or lifting something that has torsion bars, you should be set.

#3 eyesore

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 06:32 PM

I searched for some time for an aggressive 13" tire. I finally went with Firestone Winterfire 175/70's (biggest I could get). Yes, these are snows, and as such, they have a shorter on road lifespan, but I have been quite happy with their wear so far. AND, they were $33 each from Tire Rack. They are great in snow, and pretty decent on slick mud and deep sand. (ask Miles Fox & crew...they saw Eyesore in sand.)

#4 bushbasher

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 07:11 PM

I got my wagon with winterfires on the back, they worked pretty well, still, they are not a true off-road tire, and they don't have much for sidelugs, which is important in mud. Still better than highway tread though

#5 eyesore

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 07:40 PM

Unfortunately, nobody makes a true off road tire in a 13". There are a very few companies that make a 13" rally tire, but they are very pricey. The Winterfires have the most aggressive lug pattern/depth I could find in a 13".

#6 bushbasher

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 08:12 PM

well if you look hard enough, you can find a TRUE off-road tire for a 13" rim, but you wouldnt want to get caught on-road with them ;) I understand what you are saying though.

#7 RavenTBK

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 09:06 AM

I like the width of the 205(215)/60s in comparison to the stock 155s as they share the same small diameter, so a lift or body work shouldnt be required.. I spend more time in the sand... so the wider the better. The mud performance is secondary. Ground clearance isnt an issue.. so tire height is unimportant.

I've done quite a bit of searching myself for some agresseive meats for the 13 inch rim. I came up empty handed which is why I asked. So, I guess considering my options, an A/S touring tire would work..

So pretty much, anything wider than a 175 series is not possible in stock form? What is the width limit with the 79 Wagon?

#8 northguy

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:15 AM

If you're not concerned with ground clearance, you might try looking at 4 wheeler tires and rims. They come in 12" sizes and have a very aggressive tread variety to choose from. You just couldn't use them on the street very well.

#9 MorganM

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 12:15 PM

If you're not concerned with ground clearance, you might try looking at 4 wheeler tires and rims. They come in 12" sizes and have a very aggressive tread variety to choose from. You just couldn't use them on the street very well.


I considerd these before I had a lift. Make sure the tires are rated for the weight you will be throwing on them. Also note what speeds they are rated for :)

Might consider a hub mod and change your bolt pattern. Find yoruself a MUCH larger selection in rims and tires depending on the pattern you choose. Even 14" rims would bump you up into Light Truck tires but I love the selection I find with 15"s. 13" rims are passenger vehicle rims and finding any sort of A/T tire will be VERY hard. You will have to look in the M/S rated tires for any sort of aggressive tread and R13 sizes.

This link rules for tire size comparrison. Great way to waste some time at work :) http://www.miata.net...e/tirecalc.html Really lets you see the difference in say a 235/75/15 vs a 225/75/15.

Good luck!

#10 RavenTBK

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 12:47 PM

I appreciate the varied responses, but to clarify my first post.. I'm not wanting to make any major mods to the Ru. Only wrap different style rubber around my jacks.

Since everyone else has pretty much the same luck finding agressive treads for the 13 as I have, my question was modified to be something along the lines of the probability of fitting 205/60 or 215/60 tires under the Ru without any difficulty, as those tires are roughly the same diameter as stock, but slightly wider. Since the sugar sand is the most formidable obstacle encountered daily on my drive home, the size of the contact patch is the #1 factor.. as the Ru floats like a lead brick on the stock 155R13 rubber.

#11 Caboobaroo

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 12:55 PM

well you can always find a different set of rims like Cal-Masters http://www.ultimates...2/calmaster.jpg which are a little wider than stock 13's. So you could run a larger width tire on it, giving you a better stance in the sand. As for fitting 205's or 215, you can do it on stock rims, but I would NOT recommend it. You'd be popping beads so easily by taking a turn just a hair too fast, wheelin in the sand, etc.

#12 Meeky Moose

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:17 PM

Blizzak's are pretty good for just about anything, lol.. and yes they make them in 13"

#13 s'ko

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:33 PM

not sure if this is what you need for sand but I was thinking of getting these for my BRAT
Kumho Escta R700.
http://www.tirerack....odel=ECSTA R700

they have a 195-70-r13. for 69 bucks

#14 RavenTBK

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:41 PM

As for fitting 205's or 215, you can do it on stock rims, but I would NOT recommend it. You'd be popping beads so easily by taking a turn just a hair too fast, wheelin in the sand, etc.

Actually, I'm surprised that I havent lost a bead yet. The 155s are a whole helluva lot narrower than the rims. The tops of the sidewalls are actually part of the contact patch with the current setup (and yes, inflation pressures are correct). If I remember right, the Jackman rims are either 13x5.5 or 13x6. The section width of the 205/60s would be 8.07 inches according to my crude math, which would be on the high end of perfect fitment on 13x6 wheels.

Am I beating down the wrong trail here?

#15 RavenTBK

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:44 PM

not sure if this is what you need for sand but I was thinking of getting these for my BRAT
Kumho Escta R700.
http://www.tirerack....odel=ECSTA R700

they have a 195-70-r13. for 69 bucks


I've looked at those too. Only thing is 205/60 isnt offered till you reach a 15" wheel. If I am unable to find a satisfactory solution for the wide meats, I think this would be the route I'd take.

#16 MorganM

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 02:46 PM

Actually, I'm surprised that I havent lost a bead yet. The 155s are a whole helluva lot narrower than the rims. The tops of the sidewalls are actually part of the contact patch with the current setup (and yes, inflation pressures are correct). If I remember right, the Jackman rims are either 13x5.5 or 13x6. The section width of the 205/60s would be 8.07 inches according to my crude math, which would be on the high end of perfect fitment on 13x6 wheels.

Am I beating down the wrong trail here?


I wouldnt be worried at all with 205's on your stock rim. Only time it will be an issue for you is if you air down and take sharp turns. With the wider tires you shouldnt need to air down.

I have 10.5" wide tires on 6" rims and they are fine. That's 2"s on each side hanging out. It doesnt look awkward and they had no problems mounting or seating the bead.

Have you also considerd modifying rims to fit your bolt pattern? That requirs no modification of the Subaru itself. Then you could get some 14" rims and find the tires you WANT and not have to settle for the ones you can MANAGE to find :)

#17 RavenTBK

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:04 PM

Well, its good to know they'll fit. My only worries were rubbing the fender or other items when turning.

I've considered going the alternate rim route.. just finding suitable rims is the issue. Not too much stock around here to play with.

I have no problems locating 205/60 or even 215/60 all season touring tires for the 13s.. all my old sources from back in my Honda days still can get them for me. I was just sorta hopin there was some more agressive stuff out there that I hadnt heard of. Nice to know I'm still on top of things.. heh.

If I can find a set of suitable rims.. I'll drill em out and run. What *is* the stock setup anyways? 4x100 w/ 0 offset?

#18 MorganM

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:09 PM

If I can find a set of suitable rims.. I'll drill em out and run. What *is* the stock setup anyways? 4x100 w/ 0 offset?

4x140mm is the stock Subaru bolt pattern Toyota rims easily conver to Subaru pattern becuase they are 6x140mm

Stock rims have lots of negative offset. I thought it was neg 50 offset? This was so the center of the tire was over the center of the hub and bearings I belive.

Hopefully someone can confirm an offset value.




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