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Discussion Starter #1
I've read through a lot of these posts so I see the pros and cons of wider tires such as 225s or 235s versus 215s.

But what are the advantages of getting bigger tires (ie bigger diameters) such as 20s or 22s versus the stock 16/18s?

Disadvantages?
 

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I think you are mixing this up. . .

There are two things at play, WHEEL size, and TIRE size.

As far as increasing wheel size, there is almost no tangible performance benefit. It looks better, but they tend to be heavier (which hurts performance) and have more expensive tires. Shorter, stiffer sidewalls help steering response a LITTLE, but almost never enough to offset the performance loss from the increased weight.

Bigger wheels does NOT mean taller overall diameter though. There are some 18" wheel/tire combos that would still be shorter than the stock 16" package. It depends on the tire you put on that wheel. A good site (from our excellent sponsor) to explain tire sizes and the differences you might see.

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direct/brochure/info/tmpInfoTireMath.jsp

As far as 215's versus 225's versus 235's, thats only PART of the tire size. I have 225/70-16's on my E as opposed to the stock 215/70-16 They are wider AND taller. Taller means lower gearing and also means the car sits a bit higher. 235/70's would be taller still.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you are mixing this up. . .

There are two things at play, WHEEL size, and TIRE size.

As far as increasing wheel size, there is almost no tangible performance benefit. It looks better, but they tend to be heavier (which hurts performance) and have more expensive tires. Shorter, stiffer sidewalls help steering response a LITTLE, but almost never enough to offset the performance loss from the increased weight.

Bigger wheels does NOT mean taller overall diameter though. There are some 18" wheel/tire combos that would still be shorter than the stock 16" package. It depends on the tire you put on that wheel. A good site (from our excellent sponsor) to explain tire sizes and the differences you might see.

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direct/brochure/info/tmpInfoTireMath.jsp

As far as 215's versus 225's versus 235's, thats only PART of the tire size. I have 225/70-16's on my E as opposed to the stock 215/70-16 They are wider AND taller. Taller means lower gearing and also means the car sits a bit higher. 235/70's would be taller still.
Thanks, I was confusing TIRE size and WHEEL size.
 

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ITaller means lower gearing and also means the car sits a bit higher. 235/70's would be taller still.
The term 'lower gearing' can be a bit confusing.

225/70/16 are 2% larger in diameter, 235s 4%.

That means for the same engine rpms (and gear), the car goes 2 and 4% faster. It also means you loose a bit of torque. Whether you can actually feel the difference is debatable. The only thing I noticed when switching to 225s was that the seat was bit higher (by 1/4"). It was not much of a change, but enough to notice the first few times I got back in the car.

In contrast, the 'low' gears of the transmission give you higher torque, while high gears, like OD, give less torque.
 

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I put some 225/70/16's on my E recently. While the difference isn't huge, you can definitely tell the car is lugging some extra weight around. Fuel mileage dropped about 1-2mpg and the E doesn't accelerate quite the way it used to. On the plus side, it rides much nicer and is much quieter. Next time I need tires, though, I think I'll be going back to the stock size.
 

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Tire weight varies by manufacturer/model. Not necessarily by tire size. You may be able to find a tire in the 225/70 that is lighter than the stock tire. It really depends on what you are looking for in a tire.

Unless you shell out huge buck on a set of rims the larger the diameter the heavier. If you do find one that it lighter, chances are it is much weaker and susceptible to damage.

Taller sidewalls help prevent rim damage from potholes and rough roads.
 
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