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Discussion Starter #1
I cant decide what size to go with on my '94 bird. The 17's will prolly look better but tires are cheaper for 16's and the 16 combo is lighter than the 17" combo. Suggestions to help me decide? Theres a $52 difference between the 16" wheels and the 17".
 

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Either ones will be good. Does the $52 difference include tires in the price? 17" tires may be more money.

I went with 17" wheels just because it felt like more of an upgrade and I was only spending money for wheels one time, and I didn't want to regret getting the 16's after a while.

Here are my 17's:


My vote is go for at least 17" wheels unless your budget is really tight. In that case wait until the Xmas bills are paid and buy at least 17's then :)
 

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I would debate between 17 and 18s.

I am kicking myself 10 years after getting the 17s, and not getting the 18s. Better tire selection is one reason, even if they might be a little bit more expensive. I wouldn't be doing all season radials on 16s anyways, once you move on the UHP/max performance summer tires they can get pricey and not great long wear characteristics anyways.

Personally having seen MN10s on 19 inch wheels, I think those are the sweet spot, but your right about the weight, I would have to put out the money for forged 19 inchers to be able to save on the weight.
 

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I should add that the wheels I were really interested in, the ones I bought, the largest size was 17" that would fit MN12s. If they had them available in 18" I probably would have gone up to 18. I'm not really into the look of bigger 20"+ but I think 17/18s look just about perfect.
 

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19s look too big in the front to me, at least on cars without GFX, I often wonder how a 18/19 stagger would look though. Proportionally speaking I really like the look of 17s on these cars but the available tire sizes pretty much necessitate going down in overall diameter from factory spec, especially if you want a wide performance tire. 18s pretty much have all the same widths/aspect ratios 17s + 1" so they end up right where they should be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
tire rack recommends 235/55/17 tire, does that sound about right to keep the speedo pretty accurate?
 

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tire rack recommends 235/55/17 tire, does that sound about right to keep the speedo pretty accurate?
This site is a great tool for tire comparisons...
http://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp

The 235/55/17 is .6" taller than a 225/60/16. A much closer size is 245/50/17 which is 26.7" inches tall, so you'd only be off by a small amount, not enough to worry about.

For 18" wheels, 275/40/18 is the closest OD to stock 225/60/16", a 245/45/18 is same OD, but is a tight fit on a 9" wide wheel, but would look good on an 8" wide wheel.
 

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235/55/17 is good on a 7 to 8 inch wide rim, can't be done on a 9 inch wide rim. When you are going 60 mph the speedo would read 61.4 mph. There is a wide range of tires available in this size across all types of tires.

245/50/17 has a limited available set of tires, many more than a year ago when I was looking for tires, 255/50/17 used to be sport truck only tires, but there are a couple of UHP all season tires available.

I have ran 245/45/17 on a 1.5 inch lowered Cougar, and height was okay, but a lot of open wheel well front and back (and still quite a bit on the top). 245/45/17 has a really large selection across UHP, Max performance, all season, touring, grand touring, etc. BUT they are almost an inch shorter.

I am now running 255/45/17 which are .5 inches shorter than stock, and I like the look. A pretty big gap all around, but equal. I have only lightly touched sidewall to fender with 5 people in the car, a trunk full of stuff, and hitting a big dip. This is with my 97 Mark VIII with coil springs.

255/45/17 on replacement coil springs:




225/60/16 and 215/60/16 tires are not wide enough for my 4.6 powered Cougar or Mark VIII. Forget about traction taking off, 1-2 shift, or even 2-3 shift. 245/45/17 still went up in smoke, 255 seems to be sufficient, I have to really pound on it to get them to spin (don't get me wrong, they still go up in smoke frequently) and only get 1-2 scratch when they are cold (but almost always trigger traction control 1-2 shift in Mark VIII).

I also don't need an all season tire, touring tire, or even a performance all season. I can and do run UHP summer. Any of the extreme performance or max performance are just low wear rating, and I am done with 10,000 miles tires, spending 700 bucks a year on tires. I looked for a asymmetrical tire that I liked, but couldn't find one, so once again I have directional tires, but same size front and back so I can at least go front to back rotation without dismounting them.
 

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235/55/17 is good on a 7 to 8 inch wide rim, can't be done on a 9 inch wide rim. When you are going 60 mph the speedo would read 61.4 mph. There is a wide range of tires available in this size across all types of tires.

245/50/17 has a limited available set of tires, many more than a year ago when I was looking for tires, 255/50/17 used to be sport truck only tires, but there are a couple of UHP all season tires available.

I have ran 245/45/17 on a 1.5 inch lowered Cougar, and height was okay, but a lot of open wheel well front and back (and still quite a bit on the top). 245/45/17 has a really large selection across UHP, Max performance, all season, touring, grand touring, etc. BUT they are almost an inch shorter.

I am now running 255/45/17 which are .5 inches shorter than stock, and I like the look. A pretty big gap all around, but equal. I have only lightly touched sidewall to fender with 5 people in the car, a trunk full of stuff, and hitting a big dip. This is with my 97 Mark VIII with coil springs.

255/45/17 on replacement coil springs:




225/60/16 and 215/60/16 tires are not wide enough for my 4.6 powered Cougar or Mark VIII. Forget about traction taking off, 1-2 shift, or even 2-3 shift. 245/45/17 still went up in smoke, 255 seems to be sufficient, I have to really pound on it to get them to spin (don't get me wrong, they still go up in smoke frequently) and only get 1-2 scratch when they are cold (but almost always trigger traction control 1-2 shift in Mark VIII).

I also don't need an all season tire, touring tire, or even a performance all season. I can and do run UHP summer. Any of the extreme performance or max performance are just low wear rating, and I am done with 10,000 miles tires, spending 700 bucks a year on tires. I looked for a asymmetrical tire that I liked, but couldn't find one, so once again I have directional tires, but same size front and back so I can at least go front to back rotation without dismounting them.
I'm running 255/50/16's on my Thunderbird with 3.73:1 gears, the correction gear in the transmission, and by luck the speedometer is dead on perfect. I agree the 255 width is great on these cars, and I'm planning on running either a 255/45/17 or 255/40/18 when I buy new wheels as the OD will be the same as what I currently have.
 

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tire rack recommends 235/55/17 tire, does that sound about right to keep the speedo pretty accurate?

Yeah..That sounds pretty close..

I'm running 225/55/17 on a 17 x7 wheel, and my speedometer is only off a couple miles an hour..

If you run a wider wheel you should try to run a wider tire to match..Plus it will help protect the rim from curb rash..

I chose to go with a larger sidewall in an effort to swallow up some of the fender gap, and to keep the ride quality..

Once you start getting into the lower profile tires like 45 series and under the ride quality starts to diminish..

However..The lower profile tires offer less sidewall flex which is better for performance if you're a corner carver..





Rayo..
 

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Remember it's not about the diameter of the wheel but rather the width of the tire
That is pretty misleading.

put 235/55/16 and 235/55/17 in a tire size calculator and then say that wheel diameter doesn't matter. Of course it does, given the same width and same aspect ratio, the larger wheel diameter is going to be taller.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So the guys running 17" wheels, do you have an extra 17" wheel for a spare or what?
 

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In the end, you should be able to come close to the same overall tire diameter no matter the rim diameter. If you were trying for 20 or larger rims you might have to go with a larger overall diameter.

I like mentioned, Lincoln LS, 02-05 Thunderbird, and some Jags like the S Type have a compatible 17 inch temporary spare that can clear the 13 inch Cobra rotors. I have a Volvo 17 inch spare but due to the shape of the face of the wheel it hits the Cobra calipers (but I still use it with the smaller PBR calipers and Sport caliper/larger rotor combo.
 

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So the guys running 17" wheels, do you have an extra 17" wheel for a spare or what?
Factory spare. If I get a flat on the front, no problem. If I get a flat on the rear, well, I'm gonna have to swap a few tires so the rear tires are the same size (limited slip diff), so the spare would wind up at the front anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thinking about staying with stock fan blades and getting them powder coated, but only if I can put 245/60/15 on without any problems since the rims is only 6.5" wide
 
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