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Guest Message by DevFuse

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15" Rims on a 2003 Outback?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 pulloff


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:35 AM

I currently have both a 1999, and a 2003 Outback. The 1999 has 4 snow tires on 15” rims and that car will go through almost anything a Western NY winter can throw at it. The 2003 is a different story allltogether. The stock Potenza tires are not the best on snow packed roads.

I would like to by an extra set of 15” rims for the 2003 and put 4 snow tires on it. Unfortunately I was told that they would not fit. The dealer didn’t seem to know why. They thought it was either because of the dish/backspacing of the rims. But they didn’t know for sure, one mechanic thought the caliper was too tall and it would hit on the smaller diameter rim.

My question is: Is the caliper too tall for the smaller diameter, or is the caliper to wide and the back spacing won’t work?

Has anyone out there successfully put 15 inch rims on a 2000-2004 outback?

I know I could go out tomorrow and buy a set of 16” rims and tires for the car but I would like to have the ability to interchange tires between cars. I would give my wife the 4 best tires next winter and put them on her car.

I plan on pulling the tires off when the weather breaks to do some experimenting on my own but it’s only going to be 2 degrees here and I don’t have a garage yet.

Thanks in advance.

#2 ScoobySchmitty


    I am The Stig.

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 07:25 PM

First off, welcome to the board! 2nd, I'm not sure if I've ever heard of the "calipers being too tall" for the rims you want to mount. What size rims do you have installed now? I'm assuming 16". IDEA!! Sorry, a thought just occured to me:D If the bolt pattern is still 5 lugs @ 100mm diameter, and the hubs are the same size, maybe you can use a set of Forester steel rims @ 16". surf www.car-parts.com for some local junkyards that might have these rims in stock. Hope some of this helps, and good luck!

#3 lmdew



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 07:46 PM

If you go to tirerack.com and check both cars you should be able to tell. They have both stock and other size wheels available. Good Luck

#4 Suzam


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 08:08 PM

There isn't much clearanced between the 16" wheels and the rotors which on your 04MY are larger than any of the pre 01MY Outbacks. 15" will not fit the 04 but 16" would fit your 99MY. The lug patterns are the same for both cars.

#5 gbhrps


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 08:11 PM

I saved the 15 inch steel wheels and Bridgestone Blizzaks from my 97 OBW to use on my 02 OBW. They won't fit on the front wheels, because Subaru increased the diameter of the front rotors on the new body style. Obviously this moved the caliper away from the wheel hub centre, and a 15 inch wheel hits the caliper and won't allow the wheel to mount on the studs. If they won't go on the front, don't waste time with the backs. I sold my set to a fellow forum user who put them on his 98 OBW. Warning!!! You need to go to a 16 inch aftermarket steel wheel (cheaper than Subaru).......................and get the NARROWEST winter tire that you can mounted on it. I made the mistake of using the same width as the 225 60 16's that came with my 02 OBW. They push too much snow and slush and aquaplane at speeds much lower than the 205 70 15's on my 97 OBW.

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