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Low profile street tires on "offroad" wheels?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 EA82T_4WD

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 11:16 PM

Hey all, this should be an easy question. I have a set of Allied Armament 15" steel 4 lug wheels NIB. My stock alloys on the 86 RX have worn, worn tires. It's time to replace the tires. So, I want to use these wheels if possible.

Is there any reason not to put low profile street tires on these heavy steel wheels? Specifically I'm looking at something equivalent to a 205/50/15 like Potenza G009 or any other tire that size, to keep overall diameter to match the higher profile stock tire/13" rim combo.

If the combo of low profile and heavy steel is gonna result in poor handling or premature tread wear, I'll just sell the wheels to someone who wants to offroad with em, cause i'm not interested in turning the sedan into an offroad rig right now. Curious what y'alls opinion is.

(The wheels are the ones mentioned in this thread http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=74607)

#2 carfreak85

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 11:31 PM

Besides adding unsprung weight and rotational inertia to your suspension, no it won't hurt anything. Might hurt the ride a bit from trying to get those heavy rims to follow road irregularities, but it will be functional.

#3 Numbchux

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 11:56 PM

steel wheels will definitely yield some mediocre handling compared to some nice alloys (as if that's really an option anyway).


I'd say rock 'em.

#4 EA82T_4WD

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:03 AM

Numbchux, that's kind of where I'm at... can't easily get better large wheels without a 5 lug swap, which I'm not keen on - rather get an Impreza or Legacy if it comes to that. I know people use the 14" Pugs with lower profile but those are alloys, not steel.

Carfreak, I know about the unsprung weight issues affecting handling... I was actually hoping that lower profile tires would make up for that to bring me to a BETTER handling than with the 13s... but maybe not? It sounds like you're implying steelies would be more wear and tear on the suspension? If so maybe I would be better off not doing this. I'm fully open to suggestion...haven't made up my mind yet. Ride quality is not an issue for me, the roads are decent here (mostly) and the vehicle rides great over most of it currently.

Thanks for your feedback so far and hoping to hear from anyone who's tried a similar tire/wheel combo. I realize it's a rare circumstance. :lol:

#5 subynut

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:14 AM

I noticed a difference in handling when I switched from the steel wagon wheels to the alloys on my wagon. Made the car feel "lighter" on it's feet.

#6 EA82T_4WD

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:21 AM

subynut, my other subaru was a wagon with the steel wheels... I thought it handled well enough but I'm pretty sure these Allied Armaments are even heavier, less open space... :eek:

And I agree the difference in handling with alloys is noticeable. That is my other option, keep the stock alloys and go for the cheap 13" OEM specd tires!

edit; If you check this picture of an Impreza it occurs to me that a LOT of subarus do have steel 15s though. So then if it is practical, it comes down to whether the handling with 50 profile is better than 13 alloys with the 185/70 stock tires.

http://images.craigs...991a9001cc7.jpg

#7 subynut

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:55 AM

Yeah, for some strange reason I thought my carbed ea82 wagon was a sports car one minute, then a off-roading machine the next. But, yeah, there be a deffinate drop in performance (acceleration, braking, and cornering) with those 15" steelies VS the stock 13" alloys. I also noticed a difference in acceleration just from switching from 185-80s back to the stock 185-70s tires also. Must be because that engine is on it's last legs.:-\

#8 carfreak85

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 08:54 PM

You will gain mechanical grip with the wider tires, but acceleration, braking and the ability of the tire to follow road irregularities will decrease with heavier wheels.

#9 audio_file

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:50 PM

ya know, there are pugs in 15in and larger (390mm) . . . alloys, light and fairly strong
but believe me i'm wishing there were more options too :dead:

#10 testy

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:10 PM

Go with a 15 inch alloy pug. I could find you a set if you wanted to buy from canada like tomorrow.

#11 EA82T_4WD

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:17 PM

Appreciate the advice and replies all. Looks like I'll just be putting new rubber on the 13s given that the ONLY advantage I am likely to get with the steel 15s is more grip for cornering, and I am likely to lose performance in most measures.

This car has kind of a rough body so I'm not going to invest in the Pugs for a street setup...at the time I bought the steel wheels I was planning on doing more off-road - that hasn't happened.




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