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Snow Tires in July? Not really.


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12 replies to this topic

#1 pulloff

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 01:07 PM

I’m a sick person, I’m already starting to plan for winter with our cars and it not even July yet!

I drive a 2003 OBW and want to pick up a set of steel wheels for snow tires. I put steelies with snow tires on our 99 OBW last fall and it was like night and day. So the budget this year should allow me another set.

I know that Tire Rack and a ton of other places sell 16 inch steelies with the 4 on 100 bolt pattern but I’m looking for something narrow. All the steel 16’s I’ve seen are the stock width and I don’t want to ski across the snow I want to cut through it so the narrower the better. If anyone knows where I can buy narrow 16 inch rims I would appreciate it.

Here’s one last dumb idea, would a standard tire fit on the full size spare rim? Would the full size spare rim hold up? Is the full size spare rim too narrow?

I know its months away until snow flies but if I start looking now I won’t have to screw around with this in the fall. Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.

#2 99obw

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 01:56 PM

I don't think you are sick, or at least I am just as sick. I have been thinking about snow tires for my Jeep for several weeks now. Leaning toward studded snows. I have seen slower wear with the studded snows than the studless (blizzak) type snow tires, so I am going to give them a try again.

A guy at work knows about a local JY with a "mountain" of wheels. PM me and remind me and I will ask him about it. You could go to Howbills in Belmont but their prices are very high. Troops creek is a good one and a beatiful drive. eBay might be a good place to look for wheels that might fit, even if you buy them locally.

#3 All_talk

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 02:18 PM

Sick minds think alike I guess, I was thinking snow tires 3 weeks ago. :D And I also thought about using a set of temp rims, for my '87 RX that means 15 x 4, now all I need is to find a good set of snow tires for an old VW and I'll be set, I wish they made Hakkapeliitta's in a 165/75R15.

Gary

#4 SkiGuyGT

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 03:52 AM

Well with my name you know whats on my mind even this time of year :D

I would think a narrow rim would be ok as long as the offset was big enough so your brake calipers had enough room. I'd imagine a 1in or so narrower rim would be all you'd want to use, which would allow a pretty narrow tire. Remember though a narrower tire is going to give you less traction, braking, and cornering on the dry. But even with the stock rim width you could probably put a slightly narrower tire on. I'm not a tire expert, just kind of guessing here...

I think I might throw some snow tires on my stock rims for my '97 GT then buy some new 17's in the summer. Why spend all the money on your '03 just to look at those ugly wheels half the year? You should be able to get 16" for under ~$100 a piece I'd think.

#5 Ranger83

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 07:53 AM

Are there 16" snow tires available that are so narrow they can't fit on 6" rims?

Do you have any data that shows that a narrower tire will actually give you better traction? I'd guess that putting 200 lbs of weight over the rear wheels would make a bigger difference than going a section width or two narrower.

But this is my seat-of-the-pants assumption based on limited ice racing experience. If someone has tests that show otherwise, I'd love to see the data.

If you're going to make such a radical tradeoff for snow traction, why not just go to studded tires?

#6 All_talk

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 10:58 AM

Studs are great for hard pack or ice but do little in the loose snow/slush. The idea behind the narrow tread is better penetration, you need to cut through to harder pack, not float on top. Look at the tires that are used in snow rally, they have sizes like 135/90 R16 with tread widths around 4”. And yes adding/balancing weight can have a big effect, but that’s really a separate issue, don’t under estimate the difference a good winter tire can make.


Gary

#7 iluvdrt

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 01:21 PM

super swamper makes a great snow tire if you dont mind the extreme offroad look. they come in all kinds of sizes too!


for a serious tire i heard goodyear has a new tire called the assurance. it suposedly has some nice features like self cleaning treads, and special tread designs to help "grab" the road when iceing.

#8 pulloff

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 02:37 PM

I thought I was the only weirdo thinking about snow tires but I guess I was wrong. Glad to see there are other sickos out there like me. Now I don’t have to hang my head in shame (at least not about snow tires).

I haven’t really thought much about the rubber side of the equation yet, I.E. studded vs. stud-less, or Blizzaks vs. Michilens vs…, my primary concern was the tires size and especially the corresponding rim size.

I’m willing to take the tradeoff in dry road cornering and handling for a narrow tire in the snow, usually if there are snow tires on the car I’m in winter driving mode already which means I am taking every corner fairly conservative wet or dry. Gary (“All talk”) is exactly right, I want a tire that cuts through all the slush and fluff and gets a solid grip on some firm hardpack or pavement, the wider tires just seem to float on top and ski across the surface (For an extreme example: you can steer an old school runner sled, you can't steer a saucer style sled). There’s probably data out there that will support either argument but I am just going on personal experience with some other cars.

The rims are the tricky part of the equation that I need to work out first. I haven’t been able to find a narrow 16” rim with the 4-100 bolt pattern and the correct offset to run a narrower tire. Everything at tirerack.com etc... is stock width.

I’m not sure on how much narrower I would be willing to go on a stock width rim. Anybody got any suggestions? The stock tire is a 225/60r16, I think the stock rim is a 6.5” width.

The other reason I’d like to go to narrow steel instead of nice alloy is wheel balance. I fought with large chunks of ice freezing to the stock alloy rims on our 03 numerous times last winter. Not sure why because it never once happened on our 99 stock rims (3 NY winters and 2 CO winters), may have something to do with the more open design of the 03 rims (one NY winter). Nothing more fun than getting out of the car a few miles down the road early in the morning in 5 degree weather to unsuccessfully try and chip out some huge chunks of ice that are vibrating the teeth out of your head.

I’m still not sure about using 4 temporary full size spare rims with snow tires on them. I haven’t pulled out my stock spare tire to look at the rim yet but it seems like a viable solution. I’d just throw the emergency doughnut spare tire in the trash and mount up a good snow tire on the rim, then look for 3 more emergency spares from some wrecked 00-04 Subarus. I might pullout the doughnut spare tonight and look at it.

Thanks to everyone that has responded so far.

#9 All_talk

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 03:24 PM

The Nokian Hakkapeliittas are suppose to be the best winter tires (I have never run them), and it looks like they have some narrower ones approved for 6.5 in wheels.



http://www.nokiantires.com/newsite/tiresub.cfm?cid=1&sid=1



Posted Image



For the last couple winters I have run the Cooper Weather-Master S/T2 (no studs), in the stock size and they are the best snow tires I’ve ever run (I’ve never spent the big money on the really fancy brands), I would highly recommend them.



http://www.coopertire.com/us/en/ProductDetails.asp?ProdType=Passenger&id=218



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Gary

#10 Ranger83

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 06:05 AM

Studs are great for hard pack or ice but do little in the loose snow/slush. The idea behind the narrow tread is better penetration, you need to cut through to harder pack, not float on top. Look at the tires that are used in snow rally, they have sizes like 135/90 R16 with tread widths around 4”. And yes adding/balancing weight can have a big effect, but that’s really a separate issue, don’t under estimate the difference a good winter tire can make.


Gary

As a former ice racer and performance rallyist, I don't. That's also why I challenged this assumption.

If you want to drive on dry roads and ice with 135/90 x 16's, knock yourself out. I submit that stopping on ice is the biggest challenge, followed by cornering on ice. In deep slush and snow it's easy enough to rotate the car to get through any turn plenty fast enough - or buy the VDC if you're not familiar with these techniques.

Why people are resorting to extreme tire selections on a car without locking differentials doesn't make the best sense to me, though - it seems more like macho posturing of 20-something males.

I drive all over northern New England with Michelin X Ones and now HydroEdge, and they worked great, and actually have traction on dry roads and rain covered roads as well, something you give up with dedicated snows. The last time I checked a large population of Subarus (at the WalMart in South Burlington, VT, where there were at least 20 Subarus) right after a 10" snowstorm, exactly one of them had dedicated snows.

But if you have performance data that proves otherwise, I'd love to see it.

#11 All_talk

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 11:02 AM

As a former ice racer and performance rallyist, I don't. That's also why I challenged this assumption.

If you want to drive on dry roads and ice with 135/90 x 16's, knock yourself out. I submit that stopping on ice is the biggest challenge, followed by cornering on ice. In deep slush and snow it's easy enough to rotate the car to get through any turn plenty fast enough - or buy the VDC if you're not familiar with these techniques.

Why people are resorting to extreme tire selections on a car without locking differentials doesn't make the best sense to me, though - it seems more like macho posturing of 20-something males.

I drive all over northern New England with Michelin X Ones and now HydroEdge, and they worked great, and actually have traction on dry roads and rain covered roads as well, something you give up with dedicated snows. The last time I checked a large population of Subarus (at the WalMart in South Burlington, VT, where there were at least 20 Subarus) right after a 10" snowstorm, exactly one of them had dedicated snows.

But if you have performance data that proves otherwise, I'd love to see it.

You are correct, for most drivers a good set of all seasons is all they’ll ever need, remember the most important thing in winter driving is the driver. And no, I would never want to run 135/90-16’s on the street, that example was just to illustrate that the idea has foundation.

For me personal, my winter tire are typically a bit taller and a bit thinner than stock with a soft compound and fairly open tread (see the Coopers above), now that I’m driving a Subaru ground clearance is less of an issue so tall isn’t really necessary. Stock for my car is 185/70R13, current winter tire is 175/70R13, they have at least one more season in them, but after that I’ll be looking for something a bit thinner. (BTW, it’s an ’87 RX with a fulltime 4WD, center locking diff and rear LSD :brow: ). My daily commute is 175 miles back and forth over a mountain pass with 70% of it above the snow line most winter days. What I find most challenging is lane changes at speed, common conditions are compact snow in the wheel tracks with 4 to 10+ inches of snow/slush in between, a tire with some penetration is a big advantage… and stay on the power. The very worst I’ve driven in was about 6” of BB sized hail/sleet pellets, I don’t think any tire would have help much… I think a rudder and a prop would have been the right choice.:-\

Gary

(P.S. I’m more 30-something and I’d like to think I’m super machismo, but alas those that know me would likely disagree.)

#12 rugbyben

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 03:45 PM

Have you thought about 15inch rims for snow tires? just saying because they are a little cheaper, and easier to come by with our bold pattern. also the tires are cheaper. since theyre not pretty tires why have pretty rims. look at stock impreza wheels, any model below the RS should have steelies and lots of folks switched to 16s and sell the old ones on ebay.

#13 pulloff

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 11:57 AM

Unfortunately the 15” rims aren’t an option on the 03 OBW. Rotor size was increased on the front and the calipers are too tall and too thick to fit a 15” rim. Under ideal circumstances I would like to go to a 15” and minus size with the tires but it isn’t possible on the 03 OBW (Unless someone has a solution out there?)




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