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Old 03-28-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
Noodles1985
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Default Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

I own a 1997 Saturn SL. The vehicle was originally equipped with tires sized 175/70R14. What are the wheel specifications (i.e., width/offset/etc.)of the O.E. wheel? Can I install a 195/60R14 sized tire on a stock 14" wheel? Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:33 AM   #2
radi
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

I don't know the specs, but I have looked them up on TireRack.com in the past. They list the numbers for all the common sizes.
Or you could do a visual comparison here:
http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

You can use 195/60R14 tires, so long as you are using conventional NGK spark plugs. Premium spark plugs generally cause the wheels to overspin and interfere with the strut.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

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Originally Posted by SaturnFix View Post
You can use 195/60R14 tires, so long as you are using conventional NGK spark plugs. Premium spark plugs generally cause the wheels to overspin and interfere with the strut.
You can prevent that wheelspin problem by installing a used resin-tip ECTS, a cheap aftermarket EGR, and a Bosch universal O2 sensor.


OP: Please ignore the non-tire related commentary, it is not relevant. Spillover from a different thread.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

Before i get into it i'll explain what the numbers mean in case you don't already know.
195 (or 175) is the width of the tire in millimeters
60 (or 70) is the height of the side wall, its an aspect ratio that is described as a percentage of the tire width

You want to know if the 175/70/R14 and 165/60/R14 are the same height. Its as simple as multiplying the 175 * 70% and 165 * 60% and seeing if there the same:
.70 * 175 = 122.5 millimeters
.60 * 195 = 117 millimeters

There not quite the same therefore your speedometer would be off (slower)
If you used a 195/65/R14 (126.75 millimeter) The speedometer would be a little Fast
If you used a 205/60/R14 (123 millimeters) it would work.
(I know 205's fit on my 96 SC2 with out rubbing on anything)
Hope this helps

Last edited by Red96RaceCar; 03-28-2011 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

Wow, you're good! That's exactly the type of traction control system I install on S-Series at my shop.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

Thank you for the help (and sarcasm). Obviously, I am in dire need of additional traction due to the wheelspin (the engine produces an estimated 60 horspower at the drive wheels). So, naturally, I need the widest contact patch possible.

I'm not planning to recalibrate the speedometer. I'll probably use my girlfriend's GPS unit to check how accurate or inaccurate the speedometer is with the new tires mounted. I know the GPS unit reads accurately (tested in many different vehicles with O.E. equipment).

The primary reason for installing a wider tire is the frightful lack of lateral grip. I'm probably going to install a set of high performance all-season radials, which will also have the benefit of not being cracked and riddled with flat spots. The car will always be slow, but it would be nice if it were a bit more tossable in corners. I'm well versed in the art of momentum driving having driven many painfully underpowered vehicles in my life.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

You should be fine with the wider tires.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

Follow-up:

If you search for tires by vehicle on Discount Tire Direct, the search results include "plus" sizes. Tire Rack does not include this information.

Discount Tire Direct states that a 195/65R14 or 205/60R14 tire will fit the stock wheel. The former size is limited in terms of performance all-season tires (plenty of 195/60R14 tires to choose from though) and Discount Tire Direct (among other retailers, but not Tire Rack) sell the Falken Ziex ZE-512 tire in the latter size.

Additionally, actual tire size may vary according to manufacturer. A magazine did a comparison test among several tires a few years ago and found that tire size was slightly different for each manufacturer even though they were identified as being the same size tire. I think it was Sport Compact Car (RIP), but I'm not certain. Tire Rack includes a warning about this in their tire size guide.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

That has always been the case. They all use a different ruler. If it were me I would find a local tire dealer and see what he says. They do have good inside info. The national chains are just pushing tires. The is about 725lb on each front whee and 450lb on each back so tire size, rubber compound, and tread pattern are critical. You can also fit the 15" rims and the 195 tires. I suspect there are some 195/60s that put more rubber on the road than the 205s. The 195/60/15s are very close to the strut and on the smaller rim will be closer..
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The is about 725lb on each front whee and 450lb on each back so tire size, rubber compound, and tread pattern are critical.
Ha! It's no wonder the europeans dominate the Saturn in rally and race.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tire Size Help (widest tire on OE wheel)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
They all use a different ruler. If it were me I would find a local tire dealer and see what he says.
Holy schnitzels do they use a different ruler. My grandfathers winter tread measured around 7.25"/185mm (contact patch) and they're marked as 215/60's. My summer tires measured around an inch larger, or 210mm and they're marked as 205/40's.
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