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Old 12-02-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
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More Tire Width

I read a thread about tire sizes and upgrading rim size but my question has to do more with width. Generally speaking, the more rubber on the ground, the better performance, right? I was wondering what the best size for a ZX5 was. Stock are 195/60R15, but is it possible to put 205/50R15 size tires on it?

Also, if I were to put 16 inch rims on it, would 215/45R16 work or is that too wide? I'm not really planning on it, but it would be helpful to know.

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Old 12-02-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
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Yes you can run 205/50R15s on a 6'' wheel. Your best combo is 16'' wheels w/ a 205/50R16's. You should be able to pick up a set of 16'' alloy oem wheels cheap. For 17's a popular combo is using the SVT wheels=7x17's w/ a oem size 215/45R17.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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205/55-15 would be a little closer to the overall diameter you should be looking for. Try to shoot for an overall tire diameter of 24 to 24.5 inches. This will keep your odo and speedo reasonably accurate. The 205/50-15 size due to its smaller diameter, will result in slightly better acceleration as it modifies the final gear ratios. That size will also result in higher RPM's at higher speeds and reduced fuel economy.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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A 195 from a good brand will perform better than a 205 from a cheap brand.

So don't decrease the quality of your tire so you can afford to go wider...........
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DerbyCityGinger View Post
Generally speaking, the more rubber on the ground, the better performance, right?
Generally, yes, if both tires are of the same rubber compound and construction.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
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NOT to "Pick Nits" here, but at the same inflation pressure ANY size tire will have the SAME "rubber on the ground".

Changing tire width &/or profile changes the SHAPE of that "footprint" leading to advantages or disadvantages in different circumstances.

Wider tires give a shorter, wider footprint - an advantage at high speeds because of less "contact time" heating up the tread - a disadvantage for Snow Tires because the added width causes increased flotation (wider also needs larger rain groves to counteract hydroplaning for the same reason)

Lower profile, commonly used to keep the same overall diameter when adding width, gives quicker steering response due to the reduced sidewall height vs. width. This gives the "Sportier" feel usually attributed to wider tires.

Wider rims to match the wider tires add greatly to the quicker steering response from lessened sidewall deflection. Extreme version is to use wheels that are wider than the tire's tread (stretched). Quite common in racing applications, and a dramatic difference even if the wheel is only slightly wider than the tread width (for example a 5" tread width on a 6" wide rim).

Plenty more "fine points" to the subject, but that gives the general idea...
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