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Tire to rim choice? Am I stuck...

1948 Views 16 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  4DMR2t
I am looking to buy tires but are not in a position to buy rims with tires at the moment. My mr2, purchased in the fall came with (4) Hankook 225/45zr/16 tires on 5Zegin rims. If I measure the width of the rims they are 8 inches across, outside to outside, I am presuming they are 7.5 by 16 inch rims. What is the best tire setup for these rims? I've read all about staggering and offsetting the tires but without buying new rims can I stagger the aspect ratio in order to increase performance or is this not possible. Any help or suggestions appreciated... The Falken 452's were going to be my tire choice ~

PS: What I am finding wrong with the present setup of the same tires all round is that the car has a tendency to wallow around on hard braking when the road surface is uneven. Staggering front to back I understand decreases this considerably.
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You can still stagger your tires with wider in the rear than the front. With a 7.5" width, you can go as high as 235. So why not go 215/fr and 235/rr ? Spacers in the rear could also help widen the rear stance(if you want to go that way)
Good to see you back.. Where have you been and what have you been up to?
Thanks Russ, was hoping you would be around. That sounds great, I will go with your suggestions on tire size. If I use a spacer should I also get longer studs for the hub, in order to get the lug nuts on? Sorry if thats a dumb ? but it is always nice to hear it from someone familiar with the car. I saw some 1/2 inch spacers on the web somewhere. I know there are some 12.5mm ones on ebay for $15 for two.
Things are good here bro :) Been a real old time winter on the East Coast this year. Have the two tucked away nicely and are getting anxious for the snow to take a hike.
A good set of spacers will bolt over the existing wheel studs. The the spacers will have their own studs to mount the tires.
$15.00 for a set of spacers is dirt cheap. Are you sure of the quality? I spent $60.00 on mine and am very happy with them(though I would rather just have staggered rims). Most of the spacers I came across were $100.00+.
The $15 spacers you are looking at are most likely just that, spacers. They will simply sit in between the hub and your rims. With a 12mm spacer, you won't get too many full turns on your lug nuts, meaning not very safe.

If you want to do it right, save your money and get staggered wheels. If you need stagger now and go with spacers, get the spacers with studs on them, or invest in longer studs. You're simply taking too much of a risk using oem studs with any spacer, no matter what size.

IMO, you will be much happier saving your money to put towards a nice set of staggered wheels.

Good Luck!
I have had a good look at wheel spacers now and the ebay spacers for $15 are probably darn right dangerous. They look like cast iron too. H&R and the ICHBA both look like good bolt on spacers.
I've decided to just go with the same tire size all round again, but put spacers on the back to give me some stagger. Hopefully that will help with the wallowing problem with on hard braking on an uneven road surface.
Wheels are definitely the right way to go though, but having more or less just gotten the car I am going to wait a year on replacing mine and put the money into things like new bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends... improvements. Oh yes and cup holders :)
Trying to find 215's and 235's in the same tire with the same 45/16 profile is also proving impossible sigh.
But back to wheel spacers and ebay! If anyone is thinking on getting them from ebay and you are looking at what you think are good bolt on spacers, be sure that they come with the nuts that attach the spacer to the studs on the hub! Most of the ebay ones in the 40-60 dollar range do not. And the standard Toyota wheel nuts are not necessarily going to work with out being machined.
Also be prepared to cut down the studs on the hub once you attach the wheel spacer otherwise you won't be able to get your wheel on as the studs from the hub will protrude and prevent a flush fit.
So anyway you go it really isn't just a straight bolt on unless you do it with wheels.
Here is a good read on spacers, some suggest you need the alignment (camber I think) adjusted after you install them also. So now you need the alignment kit also...
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This place just recently became a vendor on the mr2oc and they seem to be pretty good as far as price goes
yep, thats what you need Robin until you get the staggered rims. They look good quality. Good site Engineer!
Hey thanks Engineer, appreciate the link. I will have to see about shipping to Canada and if there is duty and wat not ~

The good news is I just paid the car off today so are now in a position to spend a little. We are still into winter here, with another 15 cm of snow last night. By spring I want to have a little supply of parts to play with. I am planning a trip to Newfoundland with the 2 this summer, so everything has to be good for that. Not into engine mods as it is the 5sfe but a swap in a couple of years when everything else runs out would be sweet. The car, handles and runs great was well maintained so all in all I am very happy :)
my best friend makes wheel spacers, and they are good quality, cus they have accn'ts with many companies for yamaha rvs and such,

and just to clarify staggering the wheels is making the wheels in the back further apart in width than the wheels in front right? sry new guy here
Not exactly...Wider wheels/tires in the rear than in the front.
OK what do you think about this. 245/45/16's on the back! Using my present 7 1/2 inch wheel! Will they rub the strut tower? By feel I have probably one and a half inch space there now with the 225's, so I think it should be ok. For the front I would stay with the 225's and use the Toyo Proxes T1R's all round. Forget about spacers, I would rather use the cash on wheels but that will be next year. The 4% on the speedometer I can live with no prob, hardly use it anyway :)

Another good tire size calc can be found here Tire Size Calculator - tire & wheel plus sizing Also with images which can be a handy visual. Canadian site ~
The 205/60/14 are the stock rear shown for speedo purposes...
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OK what do you think about this. 245/45/16's on the back! Using my present 7 1/2 inch wheel! Will they rub the strut tower? By feel I have probably one and a half inch space there now with the 225's, so I think it should be ok. For the front I would stay with the 225's and use the Toyo Proxes T1R's all round.
That will work, but keep in mind how bulgy the tire is gonna be wrapped on a 7.5" rim. You're trying to roll a lot of tire over a small rim. It will work, but you're gonna have quite the bulgy sidewall. But hey, you might like that look. You're also gonna get a much taller rear wheel because of it. I might consider the 215 in front and 235 rear, or just go with the traditional 205 front and 225 rear, if you can find those sizes in the tire you're looking for. You'll still get a bit of stagger from the wider rear tire, and not so much bulge on the sidewall. Plus you'll save a little bit of dough by going with the more common sizes.

Don't get me wrong. Tires, IMO, are the most important part of the car when it comes to handling. So don't ever feel bad about spending a few bucks on the right tires. Just keep in mind, you're already altering the car's characteristics by taking away its staggered setup. I think you'll find you'll be happiest by saving as many pennies as you can now, and getting the right setup later.

Set a goal now of which wheels and tires you would ideally like to get. Get some decent tires now that are gonna last, save your money, and hook yourself up with some hott staggered wheels when you get the $$$ to do it right. You'll thank yourself everytime you look at your car.

Forget about spacers, I would rather use the cash on wheels but that will be next year.
Best idea yet! =D
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Hummm not sure I like the sound of the bulgy look.
Do you ever mix brands front to back? Would seem not such a good idea to me but if you feel otherwise please let me know.
I could go with any number of choices if I used a 50 series profile, Toyo proxes 4's or T1R's and do the 205 front, 225's back that would work nicely but they would have to be in the 50 series. Would put the speedo out 4.7%. Would my brakes be effected by that? With the road conditions around here 50's might not be such a bad idea.
I would have them to sell with the rims next winter too.
I've never used mix matched tires on street, but I used to use Victoracer v710 in front and Hoosier s04 in rear for autox. There's no rule that says you have to use the same front and rear.

Just keep in mind, different tires might ne different compound, might wear differently and might perform completely different. Could be a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, do your research before you buy.

BTW, a 50 will be fairly tall with a 16" rim, but like you said, might save you from some pot holes. Good Luck!
4D Thanks I sure appreciate all the feed back :) I've certainly got a way better understanding of where I stand now. Oh and great sig by the way ~
No problem at all. Rims/tires are one of the things I could discuss at length, so I don't mind at all.

Don't ever be afraid to ask for help/advise. The MR2 is a well documented vehicle, and you'd be surprised how many people are willing to lend a helping hand and share their knowledge.

Hey, that's what these forums are for! Good luck and keep us posted!
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