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Old 10-10-2014, 02:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 2003 Toyota Corolla skinny wheel/tire combo questions

First post boyos!

Im super exited to have joined this site, but I have a nagging question that I figured you guys would be the best to ask. I've just gotten a 2003 toyota corolla with very large tires (205's). I would really like to run 175's or smaller to cut down on rolling resistance. Ive like to consider myself a fairly economic driver (I get 41-42 highway vs epa 36 mpg) but would like to get the extra oomph that i feel skinny tires would provide. I really dont want the tires to be stretched inwards from the bead, and was wondering if you guys know of a tire and wheel combo that would work, or a site, or a forum link that you could point me towards.

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Old 10-10-2014, 07:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site Brown Stallion. Does the car have the stock steel or aluminum rims?
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi,

Looking into skinnier tires for my Volvo took me down a similar path. Then the car was rear-ended so I dropped the subject.

For the sake of your bearings, try to keep the center of pressure in about the same place as it is now. I read some horror stories Fiat X1/9 owners shared, seeking to improve their vehicles' handling only to munch the bearings in short order. They went big without keeping the other geometries correct.

I think it's called "offset." It tells where the wheel's centerline is in comparison to the surface that mounts to the hub. Find out what the factory specs are for your wheels, and then look for skinnier wheels with a similar offset.

If your speedometer reads high, you can also shop for a taller wheel, which ought to open up taller tires which will, in turn, slow your speedo down. This is the expensive way to correct your speedo, but it does work. Some tall/skinny combinations can be hard to find but not impossible; some specialty retailers carry 15" 145- and 135-section tires for VW. You would want to do some research before going to that extreme, however.

Those caveats aside, I'm with you. 205s on a Corolla is an awful lot of tire, and if you're just puttering back and forth to work is a lot more tire than you really need. Besides, living in Colorado you may worry a lot more about snow traction. In my experience, tall skinny tires are a better bet in snow.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Digital rules: I have the stock 15 in aluminum wheels.

Elhigh: thanks for the advise! I was planning on keeping the offset the same. Having a negative or positive offset from the factory rims, I think, would look odd. That being said, the spec for the original wheels are positive 39mm offset. Maybe I could find some trailer wheels that'll work?

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