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Discussion Starter #1
Much chatter but no definative answers that I have found.
Will 205/55/16 snows fit a stock '08 SES without any clearance issues?
 

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What snow tires are you getting? I put 205/50/16 Blizzaks on my stock wheels with no problem.

As long as your car isn't lowered, the 205/55/16 should have no rubbing issues... But don't quote me on that. You'll also notice a difference in handling, especially right after getting the tires, but it does go away to an extent. Snow tires usually have softer sidewalls that flex more.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"you're golden"
Don't know that phrase...would that be a definite yes to the 55s?

"Should be ok" doesn't cut it. I am looking for a solid answer and no one seems to know for sure or is afraid to say.
 

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Just go 205/50 then. You still haven't answered why you're going 205/55.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not sure it has any relevance, but if I must, 55s are more plentiful and cheaper where I izzat.
 

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If you currently have 205/50 tires on, measure for an extra half an inch of space from the sidewall to your fenders. If you have over half an inch you'll be okay. As said before, stock Focus ride height is more like 4x4 Jeep status.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What Tire Rack says...

"Size 205/55/16 does open up your tire choices, although it is a little larger than recommended by Tire Rack. The 205/55/16 measures about 1" taller in overall diameter. For most driving, you will most likely not have any issues with this. Although in the situation where you have others in the car, going over large bumps in the road, taking corners hard, etc., you may experience rubbing.

205/55/16 is not far off and would most likely be okay 90% of the time. But in the occasions when your suspension is compressed, you will most likely encounter rubbing."

What I find interesting in the ongoing discussion is that rubbing "could" occur at all.
The 55 tire radius increases by less than half an inch and there is so little tolerance in compression space they might rub? Hmmm...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was also given some new info from 2 local trusted tire guys.
1--The '08 Focus SES has a performance vs touring front end so in spite of there only being 0.8" difference in sidewall between 50 and 55, the 55 could rub the struts under certain conditions. It's about suspension not fender clearance.
2---The '08 Focus SES also has larger brakes making it impossible to mount some 15" rims.
 

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The "performance" suspension of the SES is primarily from change in sway bars - rear being included being the largest difference form some other models. Strut/shock valving may be slightly different.

15" wheels designed for the Focus will fit, there are always possible exceptions for types designed to fit other cars (holds for any size wheels).

TR comments play it safe on rubbing. So many variables with different tires that absolute statements on using different sizes can't be made. Shape of tire & width of tread can vary a LOT within the same nominal width measurement/profile percentage.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for even more input.
Makes the whole exercise hardly worth it then.
Unless one finds OEM 15".
 

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Haven't researched the 16" sizes as I haven't had that size wheel (15's & 17"s myself).

With my stock 15's, the std. 195/60-15 isn't as common as a 185/65-15 that has a VERY close overall diameter. So close that speedo variation is minimal & the Dealer used that size for a set of new tires (bought it used).

Could there be a similar one with a change in both width & profile that works for yours (and is more common)?
 

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Much chatter but no definative answers that I have found.
Will 205/55/16 snows fit a stock '08 SES without any clearance issues?
The 205/50R16 has an overall height of 24.1 inches. The 205/55R16 is 24.9 inches. The tallest size we can guarantee is 24.2 (happens to be a 205/45R17). We can be a little conservative with the fitment recommendations due to natural vehicle variations so you could have a little more room, but I would not recommend 205/55R16 for what it's worth.
 

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Well, I'm 99.9% sure that an SVT Focus rides lower than a stock '08 SES, and I've run 205/55/16s - both summer and winter tires - for over four years now.

HOWEVER, I now recall that, they DID rub when I ran wheels with a 42 offset; but they do not rub with the 49.5-offset SVT Contour E1 wheels I currently use.

So: I'd wager you'd be fine, but ride height and offset would be factors.
 
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