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Old 05-06-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
skikid89
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Larger Tire Size

Hey guys. Okay the title is confusing, kind of. But here is my question. I have a set of stock 16" rims. The "correct" tire size would be 205 55 16. But, I want to get a tire that has a ton of meat on it. I know your all going why. Well I have 17" summer rims with nice summer tires. Now living in Indiana, we have super messed up weather. In fall/winter it can go from 60 and sunny one day to 20 and snowy the next day. Now, in the snowy season, we can get from an inch of powder to 3 feet of snow, then a mix of ice... and everything in the middle.

What I want to do is get a nice non high performance tire to run on the dd focus in the fall/winter on the stock 16's. Snow tires are an option, but I would rather not go that route for the fact that it can go from 50 on day to snow the next which would be hard on a snow tire and I don't want to have to switch rims and tires more than once each fall and spring.

I am looking at something like a Firestone Destination A/T's. I know thats a light truck/suv tire, but I think the tread is suited for what I want and we have had good luck with this tire on our trucks and suvs.

Now the question is how big of a tire can I run on the focus with out rubbing issues? I am not worried about the car riding rough or not handling as well. But how big can I go on a stock suspension? note I am not trying to make the car look lifted or like a truck, but if the tire fills the wheel well that would be nice!


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Old 05-06-2009, 02:36 PM   #2
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You could go with a 215/55 16 which is a little more wider. go on Tirerack.com an look up 215/55 16 an see your option's.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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The stock 16 inch size is 205/50-16 not 205/55-16. The latter will, however, work and is a popular Focus snow tire size but will work with some all season tires as well. Bigger is not better so stick to one of the sizes mentioned. I also don't buy the need or desire to go with a light truck tire. They are insanely heavy even in the correct size. Rotating mass and unsprung weight is the enemy to a relatively low powered car like a focus. The extra weight also makes the brakes and suspension work so much harder and wear quicker. Indiana is no better or worse than any other northern or midwestern state weather wise so I wouldn't be using that as justification to do something as extreme as you're suggesting. To fill the wheel well you need to lower the car to do it correctly but that kinda flies in the face of what you are trying to accomplish.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:58 PM   #4
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I have 205/55/16 Fuzion ZRi's and they did great this winter. Didn't get stuck once, well once but that was thinking my focus was a monster truck and could take on a 3 foot drift....i couldn't. lol
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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wider is not better in the winter, think of it like this, to cuz a pizza you use a pizza cutter, a thin blade, and it cuts right through, now try to cut the pizza with a rolling pin, and you know how thats gonna work. same concept with tires in the snow. get yourself a good set of decated snow tires, you do make a good point about the higher temps on the tires, however the long term effects are little at best, i had customers that ran snow tires year round in western ny, where the temp goes from -20 to 90 and they had no issues, not recommended of course, but it will work. so get some snow tires and you will be fine when the warm weather comes, untill the snow is gone for good.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:17 PM   #6
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anything larger than a 215/50/16 will rub, no reason to go any bigger.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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Okay good input guys. I liked sky pilots analogy. I'm not trying to justify Indiana has crazy winters worse than any other. Its just that a snow tire isn't a good choice for me because it can be in the 50's for a week, then be five and snow the next day, so it would tear up the snow tire.

I have upgraded breaks cause I run the 17's so the rotational mass shouldn't be a factor.
I'm not trying for looks of filling the wheel well. My 17's do that in the summer. In fact I don't care at all about looks for the winter set up. It is just to get the car to freaking go some where. Where I live, i have country roads that never ever get plowed, so I just got to get this little car to move. I don't care about "summer" and fun performance, or the ride. I just wanted to know the size I can put on it so I can have some more options for a meaty tire.

The 205 50 16 just doesn't have a ton of options. Everything I have found that is reasonably priced is just not that meaty and are more for summer.

I guess I was actually thinking of increasing the diameter more than the width. But just so I can have an answer here, we should be able to run a 215 55 16 right?
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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That's quite a tall tire. 205/50s run around 24" tall, 205/55s are usually 24.9" diameter, but the 215/55 is 25.8"
I'd say 205/55 is probably best for your situation.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:05 PM   #9
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go with width it looks damn cool on a focus
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:09 AM   #10
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Wide and snow don't mix well as SkyPilot had said before. I ran on my 215/45/17's this winter but I hardly drive my car so it didn't make much of a difference to me. But definately noticed a big difference having the wider stance on snow though. Felt as if I was losing traction. A good Mud & Snow tire would work for the winter though. The Destinations I had on my Toyota sucked because they would chunk off after 20,000 miles or so. Not something i would want to have happen or recommend to anyone. Other opinions may vary though. The weather you get in your area is similar to mine since I just live up the river from you in Cincinnati. 60 degrees and sunny one day and 15 degrees and snowing the next. Do your home work on this and find the best all season tire you can. I would suggest sticking to the recommended tire size for your car as a good starter and just select a tire that comes in all season which would work fine in the snow.
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