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Discussion Starter #1
I have a former ES car that I now run in SSM with a 2gr and Koni coilovers. It is not an SSM car by any means, but is built to a similar level as other local competitors in the class (mostly boosted Miatas and a k-swapped S2000.) My old Falkens are about dead so its time to get some competitive 200TW tires. I don't want to deal with changing out tires at events for just local competition.

For wheels, I have two sets of BuddyClub P1/Kosei K1s that I can mix and match.

16x7.5 +32 (currently mounted w/ 215/45R16 Azenis)
16x8.5 +37
17x8+42
17x9+37 (currently mounted w/ 255/40R17 Azenis)

Yokohama A052s are available in sizes that I can take advantage of with these wheels, unlike RE71s, or to a lesser extent Rivals.

Setup 1:

16x7.5 w/ 225/45R16
17x9 w/ 255/40R17

Setup 2:

16x8.5 w/ 245/45R16
17x9 w/ 255/40R17

Setup 1 is plug and play, gets me a better tire and a little more width up front.

Setup 2 will require spacers, new wheel studs, a fender roll/pull and that I refinish my 8.5" wide wheels, but it gets me a lot more grip up front. Even then its on the edge as there doesn't seem to be a well defined path to fitting tires that wide up front. 235/40R17s is the closest that seem to be somewhat documented. So there is a question of, would it even work?

Currently this is a street car that I autox, but over time its starting to become an autox car that I drive on the street. I could see myself going really wide with flares in a couple of years like Mike R or Alex W. But how far do I want to go now?

What is everyone's experience with trying to cram a wide tire up front?
 

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Funny, I'm actually running a 225f 255r setup at the moment (Re71r), granted they are on 17x9 and 17x10 wheels. If any of the top 200tw tires came wider than 255 in 17" sizes I might run a 245 and 265 or 275 setup, but sadly they don't. But honestly, I am super impressed with these tires even in those relatively narrow sizes. I'm seeing 1.2-1.3g lateral, which incidentally is pretty much the same as I was seeing last year on 245/275 Hoosiers (but for less than half the cost). On my local sealed asphalt lot I honestly think I am as quick or quicker on the Bridgestones, if you can believe it (compared to some other fast and consistently fast people in my club). However there is a bigger difference at other venue's. I haven't done any testing to say how much benefit there may be to putting them on such wide wheels, but they feel fantastic and grip better than it seems they should (could also be that modern street tire technology snuck up on me, since I haven't run 200tw tires since the original Dunlop Z1 Star Spec came out ~10 years ago).
 

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Street tires have definitely improved leaps and bounds. I think the hard part about Hoosiers is the way the performance slowly degrades and after a while you're just guessing how much they've lost. I remember the day back in ES that we took 50 run Hoosiers off and went to fresh ones and picked up 2 seconds. I lost my taste for the hohos that day... Fun, definitely, but it's hard to justify.

On our STS car, things get *really* tight when we start trying to fit 225's up front in 16" or 17" sizes. It can be done, but it took a little work. The biggest trouble is that as we offset the wheels out further, the more quickly we would hit the back of the fender opening, but if we go too far inboard with 4.5 deg of camber, the strut clearance gets tight. But, both of those setups you listed seem like they can work. We're squeezing a 225/45/16 up front for Nationals, but we haven't raced on it. I can post our results once we have a chance to test them out down there.

A 215/45/17 was not working for us when we test fit it before the Yok sizes came out. Our alignment is pretty extreme though, and the car barely sees the street these days...

The 235/40/17 could probably be made to work, but I think we'd have to change some things. One thing I would like to try would be an offset bushing in the control arm to pull the whole shizzle forward a bit as the back side clearance is where all our problems seem to happen. SSM lets you do more cool stuff though, so I think you could find a way. :)
 

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I'm playing this game in my head pretty much always. The 245/45/16 is just as tall as the 245/40/17, so I don't see that being any easier to fit up front. I would consider the A052s in 215/40 and 245/40 on the 17x8s and 9s if you want it easy. They run quite wide (check the specs) but that short front tire will make life easier. I will probably try that combo next year for a track set.

If going nuts for street tire autox I would probably try to get the 285/30/18 re71r in the rear and a 245 or 255 in front with some pulling. Tall tires up front seem to be the achilles of this car though, and you won't get very low without running the tire into everything.

To get the car low and avoid fitment issues you can run a 255/17 in the rear and a 245/40/15 in the front, Rivals and RS4s come in this size. I'm going to try this out soon just to see how it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So an update. I hit the easy button and went with option 1 (225/45R16 on 7.5" wide wheels) up front. I'm glad I did, these things run wiiiide. They're a bit puckered. I may end up trying to fit the 225 onto a 8.5" wide rim and dropping down to a 245 rear next go around.

I too wish there were wider tires available in smaller diameters, but I'll probably have to go up a size to a 17/18 setup at some point. Going down to 15s isn't an option with my RCAs.
 

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I'm also looking at going to a 17f / 18r setup to get into some wider rear options. Currently eyeing the 285/30-18 RE71R for the rear, since it's only 24.8" in diameter. All of the other rear options will raise the car quite a bit, these will actually lower it a little compared to my current 255. Probably put them on a 10.5" wide wheel, and pair them with a 245/40-17 front. Might be a little bit more stagger than I really want, but I can probably adjust around that if I need to, and the overall diameters of both are just too perfect.

But it's probably 5 months before I actually buy tires (and wheels, in this case), and who knows what might happen in the tire market in that time. More sizes in the existing tires, new tire options, who knows! The A052 seems to have shaken things up a bit and I wonder if Bridgestone and BFG will have any updates to answer it.
 

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So, when running tire diameters in the 24" range (225/45/16, 225/50/15, 215/40/17, etc.), the upper limit to offset is limited by strut clearance (taking into account camber)?

My question is, does the tire run into the body of the strut, or the spring perch? Judging by the general internet wisdom (ha!) it seems I won't have much issues with a +35 15x7.5 regardless, so long as I don't go for more than about 4 deg of camber. Though, having extra wiggle room to eek out more camber is nice, if it's possible.
 

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Up front you'll have two points of concern with 24" tires. First, the strut clearance like you mentioned. We had 4.5 degrees of camber and are lowered pretty far and it was extremely tight to the strut but didn't rub. The other that's more concerning is the pinch weld in the back of the tire behind the fender liner (and the liner itself if you're not wanting to replace/repair them frequently). It's fine going straight, but as the wheel offset goes down, the clearance to that liner and weld get smaller with the wheel turned about one rotation. We did rub there and destroyed a fender liner with 225/45/16 Yoks, but it was fixable with minor ride height and wheel spacer changes. (And lots of zip ties...)
 
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