New Tire Recommendations - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old February 9th, 2019, 13:54 Thread Starter
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New Tire Recommendations

Original and current owner of 1993 Toyota MR2.
Currently running matched set of GoodYear G-Force tires, same size as originals.
Unable to find matched set of replacement tires in original sizes.
Requesting any and all recommended replacement tires, but matched set is preferred.
What are others running?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old February 9th, 2019, 18:04
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As far as I know it is no longer possible (at least in the US) to get a matched set of tires in the stock size. I was able to find one matched set in not stock sizes that would sort of work but they were low quality tires from a company I had never heard of. Most people are running aftermarket wheels.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old February 9th, 2019, 18:22 Thread Starter
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New Tire Recommendations

Thanks for the quick response -BBH-.
I guess after market wheels will be the only way to go.
I was hoping I could keep it original, wheels and all.
Is there a recommended wheel/rim that most are using?
Is there a recommended brand and/or distributor?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old February 9th, 2019, 18:43
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The most important thing is that you want to keep the stagger, and there aren't a whole lot of options if you don't want to do any modification. Enkei RPF1 looks decent, is light, and isn't very expensive. You can get it in 7 and 8, I know prime driven carries them in an mr2 sized set. There are a few different threads on tire size and offset that can give you a general idea of what fits and how it will look if you want something different. I use this for checking how a fit will compare to something I know works or doesn't. https://www.wheel-size.com/calc/
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old February 11th, 2019, 00:46
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Motegi Traklites are a great option. Nice style for the SW20, not particularly expensive, stronger and lighter than full cast wheels but cheaper than forged. I have them in 17x8 and 18x9, but that requires fender modification. You can get them in 17x7 and 17x8 really easily from TireRack, and that requires no fender work (or anything else). You can actually find a photo of an MR2 with this setup in the "Customer Photos" section of the TireRack page, as well as a review. https://www.tirerack.com/wheels/Whee...640BR&i2_Qty=2

Last edited by GreenGhost74; February 11th, 2019 at 00:49.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old February 11th, 2019, 19:02
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Originally Posted by GreenGhost74 View Post
Motegi Traklites are a great option. Nice style for the SW20, not particularly expensive, stronger and lighter than full cast wheels but cheaper than forged. I have them in 17x8 and 18x9, but that requires fender modification. You can get them in 17x7 and 17x8 really easily from TireRack, and that requires no fender work (or anything else). You can actually find a photo of an MR2 with this setup in the "Customer Photos" section of the TireRack page, as well as a review. https://www.tirerack.com/wheels/Whee...640BR&i2_Qty=2
Yup. That's my MR2. Very happy with the Tracklites. An inexpensive option and one that looks great, IMHO.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old February 13th, 2019, 18:47
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Something to think about: We do not want to increase the tire overall diameter because that would affect performance and the odometer/speedometer accuracy. If we go from 15 inch wheels to 16 inch, the tire cross section gets shorter, the wheel weight goes us, and acceleration gets worse. If we go to 17 inch wheels, the wheels get even heavier, the acceleration gets even worse, the tire section height gets shorter, and then the wheels are more susceptible to damage from road surface irregularities (like pot holes).

Not only does the weight of the wheel increase, but also the rotational inertia is increased on all four wheels. This will reduce acceleration and fuel
economy.

For those reasons I will never go to 17 inch wheels. I would go to 16 inch, but tire availability is very limited, so I am stuck. Those of us with stock wheels are being shafted by the tire manufacturers who no longer produce the stock size tires. Michelin makes some great tires that I would like to use, so I called their office and told them about our problem. The rep told me to go to Tire Rack. I did and it said, "no tires are available for your vehicle". He was shocked. If anyone else wants to get something accomplished, I suggest calling a tire manufacturer to tell them that we need tires for our cars.

Goodrich G-force wheels worked well on my car, and Michelin owns Goodrich, so calling Michelin might get something accomplished.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old February 13th, 2019, 21:08
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I think you can still get original size tires

Stock for 1993 to 1995 tires were 195/55/15 for the front and 225/50/15 for the rear, I think. Last year I bought Kumho Ecsta's in those sizes from Tire Rack for stock rims. Looks like they still have them.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old February 13th, 2019, 21:32
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It's a bad situation. I think you should sell the car... to me

Warmbrust has a very good point in that going to larger diameter (and possibly wider) wheels usually means they are heavier than the stock 15" rims. But you can find lightweight forged or semi-forged wheels in 16" or even 17" diameters that are no heavier than the stock 15" rims. Toyota OEM alloys use basic casting tech (low cost) and are quite heavy for their size, so as to be durable enough to reduce any possible warranty issues.
The aforementioned Enkei RPF1s provide are a very good weight vs. cost option.
In the USA, the Kumho Ecsta AST (all-season tire) is the only non-competition tire that Tire Rack shows in 225/50-15. Other countries may have better selection.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old February 14th, 2019, 08:04
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the 15X7 rear 1993 wheel weighs 17.?? lbs. as weighed by me.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old February 14th, 2019, 08:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmbrust View Post
Something to think about: We do not want to increase the tire overall diameter because that would affect performance and the odometer/speedometer accuracy. If we go from 15 inch wheels to 16 inch, the tire cross section gets shorter, the wheel weight goes us, and acceleration gets worse. If we go to 17 inch wheels, the wheels get even heavier, the acceleration gets even worse, the tire section height gets shorter, and then the wheels are more susceptible to damage from road surface irregularities (like pot holes).

Not only does the weight of the wheel increase, but also the rotational inertia is increased on all four wheels. This will reduce acceleration and fuel
economy.

For those reasons I will never go to 17 inch wheels. I would go to 16 inch, but tire availability is very limited, so I am stuck. Those of us with stock wheels are being shafted by the tire manufacturers who no longer produce the stock size tires. Michelin makes some great tires that I would like to use, so I called their office and told them about our problem. The rep told me to go to Tire Rack. I did and it said, "no tires are available for your vehicle". He was shocked. If anyone else wants to get something accomplished, I suggest calling a tire manufacturer to tell them that we need tires for our cars.

Goodrich G-force wheels worked well on my car, and Michelin owns Goodrich, so calling Michelin might get something accomplished.
I feel you are overstating the problem with larger wheels a little. For one thing, the tire itself is almost always more than the weight of the wheel (assuming you get decently light weight wheels). And most of the tire weight is concentrated in the tread at the tires OD. So moving a few lb of wheel weight out from a 15" diameter to a 17" diameter doesn't actually have as big of an impact on the rotational inertia as you might expect, since you still have 20+lb of tire out there at 22-23" diameter. I'm not saying there is no effect, but if the trade-off is between better tire selection, at the expense of having to run 17" wheels, I will go 17s every time.

The increase in OD isn't necessarily all that much. For example, a 235/40-17 is only going to throw your speedometer off by 3%, so, at 75mph you are actually going 77.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old February 14th, 2019, 08:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmbrust View Post
...also the rotational inertia is increased on all four wheels. This will reduce acceleration and fuel economy...

"no tires are available for your vehicle"...
True, but for road wheels this effect is usually insignificant. The effects on suspension and ride are more important.

The Tire Rack tire finder does not work very well, particularly for staggered tires. It will refuse to show you tires that are an exact fit, even if you explicitly tell it what sizes you are looking for. It may reject sets that do not have the same speed rating. Either that, or it is just buggy.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old February 14th, 2019, 08:55
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... For example, a 235/40-17 is only going to throw your speedometer off by 3%, so, at 75mph you are actually going 77.
Speedos are calibrated at the factory to read high by a few percent. Usually going up one size will put it dead on.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old February 14th, 2019, 13:29
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If you want to stick to 16 inch wheels the stock width seems to have decent options for tires, but the only options I was able to find for a set of wheels in that size are three piece.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old February 23rd, 2019, 13:23
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New Tire Recommendation

I have been using Pirelli PZero Asimmetrico in205/50/15 and 225/50/15 for about 3 years now because everything else out there is either not available or junk. I have Discount Tire special order them for me from Pirelli and they are costly but hand great. Just need to make sure the alignment is all set up or it will chew up these expensive tires. I need to buy 2 sets of rear for every set of front tires. I've had them up to 140 MPH and they handled great. I haven't been able to find any other wheels I've felt would fit correctly and save me any money on tires.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old February 23rd, 2019, 21:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeller View Post
True, but for road wheels this effect is usually insignificant. The effects on suspension and ride are more important.

The Tire Rack tire finder does not work very well, particularly for staggered tires. It will refuse to show you tires that are an exact fit, even if you explicitly tell it what sizes you are looking for. It may reject sets that do not have the same speed rating. Either that, or it is just buggy.
To add onto what rmeller said, Tire Rack doesn't show their whole inventory, either. If you plug in different zip codes, you may receive different tire results.

Tire Rack's system also will not show you the staggered tire set you want if the speed ratings are different. Every time I look for tires, I open up multiple tabs and look for one size at a time.

As far as wheel/tire weight goes, I went with 720 Form GTF1s in 17x8/9 +35. My wheel and tire setup is lighter than my factory 15" setup but I can't tell much of a difference at all.

I'm also finding that matching staggered tires for 17s are harder and harder to come by in MR2 friendly sizes. :/

I just did a search on Discount Tire and found Kumho Ecsta ASTs in 205/50/15 and 225/50/15 which has always been a popular alternative front tire size.

Last edited by 1ofthesedays; February 23rd, 2019 at 22:20.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old February 24th, 2019, 08:48
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I have been using Pirelli PZero Asimmetrico in205/50/15 and 225/50/15 for about 3 years now because everything else out there is either not available or junk. I have Discount Tire special order them for me from Pirelli and they are costly but hand great. Just need to make sure the alignment is all set up or it will chew up these expensive tires. I need to buy 2 sets of rear for every set of front tires. I've had them up to 140 MPH and they handled great. I haven't been able to find any other wheels I've felt would fit correctly and save me any money on tires.
It won't fit with 15" wheels unfortunately, but I have found my geometry correction kit to solve the 2:1 rear tire wear issue, at least with the early "short tie rod" rear sub-frame.


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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old February 25th, 2019, 05:38
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I just did a search on Discount Tire and found Kumho Ecsta ASTs in 205/50/15 and 225/50/15 which has always been a popular alternative front tire size.
These are good tires, no doubt. Ran them for a long time. Unfortunately Kumho no longer makes the 205/50/15 size. You'll notice that Discount Tire shows them as "out of stock."

You're really down to track day rubber for 15" tires these days.

I recently upgraded to 17" wheels for this exact reason. There are a few 215/235 setups available, including the popular Yokahome S.drive tire I'm currently running. Been quite happy with them.

Should even these sizes become scarce, then I'm pretty sure you can go" 205/17/40 Fr 225/17/45 rear. These are narrower tires with a significant sidewall difference between front and rear, but (1) they were stock widths for 1993+ and (2) you've got literally dozens of different options.

I've looked for cars running this setup, but haven't found any good pictures online that give a clear picture of what it would look like.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old March 1st, 2019, 00:57
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When I was changing out my wheels, I weighed one of my stock 15x6 fronts with the center cap and the five bolts, and it came in at 17.1 lbs. the 17x8 Motegi Traklite I replaced it with weighed just 17.2 lbs with it's center cap and spline nuts. So not a huge change there. If you fit that 17x8 Traklite in the rear (like dsf3g has), it's actually going to be about a pound lighter than the stock 15x7. Granted, the necessary wider tires might then be a little bit heavier than stock tires, but still.

I'm even running 18x9 Traklites with 255s in the rear on an NA, which might be pushing it for these cars, and the difference in acceleration is pretty negligible. You mostly just notice the difference in steering feel and cornering grip due to the added width on all four corners. Offset and scrub radius play a role there too, but that's another thing... point is, going up to 17s really won't ruin the car if you pick a good set.
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