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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Taller Tires Not Possible?

I drive forest service roads for hiking/photography/cycling, so I want to put on taller tires with a bit more tread. But there's barely space between the strut and the top of the rubber... Is it not possible to put taller tires on these cars? I've never driven a vehicle where suspension components were the limiting factor to the height of a tire. Are there struts or coil-overs that don't sit directly over the rubber? I've always put taller tires on my trucks/suv's/cars, so I'm a little confused by this scenario.

It's a new to me, base 2005 Sedan, with 195/60R15 on steelies.

Yes I've used the search function, and read the suggested threads, but feel free to provide a link if this has been covered before.

Thanks in advance,

~C
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 03:46 PM
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You should be able to go marginally bigger just not much bigger. Just get a more aggressive tire if that's what you're looking for. These cars can be made to handle great, now for raising them I have no idea.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 05:04 PM
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195/65/15 fit no problem at all


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 05:43 PM
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You can fit a pretty big tire on a base cobalt. I have a base model which has been lowered around 2" in the front and I am running 215/45/18 tires which is the stock size for the ss/sc model. So in that regard you can fit a pretty tall 15" tire with stock suspension setup. You will just have to use a tire calculator to judge how much your speedo will be off or have the car reprogrammed. I just know that mine is off about 5 mph at 70 mph. So you could run like a 215/70/15 without a problem

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 07:42 PM
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Is the strut tower really that close? Never paid much attention to it... you could possibly run some spacers to push them out a little farther

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andrewcarr1993 View Post
You should be able to go marginally bigger just not much bigger. Just get a more aggressive tire if that's what you're looking for. These cars can be made to handle great, now for raising them I have no idea.
While a little extra ground clearance would be appreciated, that's not the main reason for the taller tires. Potential increases in mpg (dependent upon rotational mass and torque), better "roll-over" on debris/etc, thicker stronger sidewall... Those would be some of the reasons I always put taller tires on my vehicles. The balt is tons of fun, I can only imagine how awesome these cars handle with coil overs!

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You can fit a pretty big tire on a base cobalt. I have a base model which has been lowered around 2" in the front and I am running 215/45/18 tires which is the stock size for the ss/sc model. So in that regard you can fit a pretty tall 15" tire with stock suspension setup. You will just have to use a tire calculator to judge how much your speedo will be off or have the car reprogrammed. I just know that mine is off about 5 mph at 70 mph. So you could run like a 215/70/15 without a problem
Yeah there's tons of room in the wheel well, doesn't surprise me that you were able to drop it with those

215/45R18 = 25.62", 215/70/15 is 26.85", do you know this will fit or you just applied your 70 aspect ratio to the 15" tire size? That's a whole inch taller than you're tires. Do you know how much room you have between the rubber and the bottom of the strut?

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Is the strut tower really that close? Never paid much attention to it... you could possibly run some spacers to push them out a little farther
Yeah it's a little over an inch above the rubber that's on there now... Don't have a precise measurement because the tires have a lot of miles/wear on them, so it could be less than that with a new tire of the same size. So in theory I can throw on a tire that's two inches taller, roughly 26.2"... But Since I've never had a suspension like this, I've always just thrown on whatever would fit in the wheel well Basically I'm not sure what clearances are necessary to prevent rubbing of the tire on the bottom of the strut, and would really like to avoid trial and error at the local tire shop But I guess that's what I might end up doing



Thanks for the replies!

~C
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 10:47 AM
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Just get some spacers and skinny tires haha should be able to clear it easily enough... how big do you want to go?

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Just get some spacers and skinny tires haha should be able to clear it easily enough... how big do you want to go?
The way I drive in the mountains, the idea of spacers makes me nervous... Especially since the strut hangs over the wheel by like 1/2" (from the looks of it). How well do spacers hold up against lateral forces (or whatever it's called)?

As far as how big, I'm down with sticking to a 195 or 205, I don't need width. And the height doesn't have a goal per say, 26.3" is 205/70R15 which would open me up to a limited selection of tires made for samurais/Subaru's/small trucks/etc. This size MIGHT fit, but since I don't know jack about strut clearance, I am clueless... Meanwhile 27" would open up pretty much every "aggressive" and A/T tire on the market, although the weight of the rubber would most likely lead to a fairly noticeable loss in MPG.

~C
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 06:24 AM
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I just went out and measured and mine are really close to the strut towers. It appears I only have about another 3/8 to 1/2 clearance. So a 70 would not fit. A 65 would actually pushing the limits as well. I thought for sure a 65 would fit no problem. a 215/65/15 = 26.1 given my tires are around 25.6 That is almost exactly 1/2 an inch and would be really close to rubbing. I wasn't thinking earlier, I was thinking about the fender or wheel well rubbing and was considering the extra room that would be available if you were not lowered. Strut tower however is entirely different lol.

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Last edited by biniecki; 05-09-2015 at 06:41 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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I just went out and measured and mine are really close to the strut towers. It appears I only have about another 3/8 to 1/2 clearance. So a 70 would not fit. A 65 would actually pushing the limits as well. I thought for sure a 65 would fit no problem. a 215/65/15 = 26.1 given my tires are around 25.6 That is almost exactly 1/2 an inch and would be really close to rubbing. I wasn't thinking earlier, I was thinking about the fender or wheel well rubbing and was considering the extra room that would be available if you were not lowered. Strut tower however is entirely different lol.
Thanks so much for measuring! But no thanks for confirming my fears lol I totally understand about the mistake, our wheel wells are huge, and one would think that we could fit ANY tire in there

If I can ever track down the spring rates for SS/TC stock springs, I will probably just do a coil over sleeve and 2.5" springs. Should give me enough clearance in the skinnier 195/205 tire range, and really wake up the suspension (relatively speaking). Doesn't seem like this is common in the Balt community, but it's pretty common in other areas of the tuner/rally/racing community.


~C
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