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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '91 Turbo with no suspension mods and I have no plans to lower the car. I bought this car new in May of 1990 (1st new car 4 days after college graduation) and am resurrecting it after several years hiding in the back of the garage. I'm looking at a set of XXR 555 wheels. 17x8 +35 fronts and 18x8.5 +35 rear. Tires are 215/40/17 front and 255/35/18 rear.

From the calculators I have played with, I think this combination will work without any major changes but this is my first adventure with aftermarket wheels and I'd rather not waste money on something that doesn't fit.

Pic of the car the day I took delivery:

71650
 

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Cool a one owner MR2!

If you want my opinion 18" wheels are too much on a MR2 normally. Front 17x8 +35 are a good fit that is generally considered flush and 215/40/17 tires are the go to. Rear 17x9 +35 are also considered flush on the rear, most go with 235/40/17 tires.

Looking at the 255/35/18 tires compared to 235/40/17 you will gain 15mm in diameter, I don't see any way around that and a 255 tire might look a little too fat on a 8.5" wide wheel. You may have clearance problems in the fender wells as well with such a wide tire.
 

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I'd say that 18s are too large up front for an SW20, but fine out back. Double-staggered for the win! With a 17x8" +35 front, with careful tire selection you could squeeze on a 235/40-17 tire to get that prized 20mm tire stagger front to rear to maximize handling potential. A 235 front is also a much better match up to the rear sidewall height as well as the rear tire width fitment too.

Though it's not optimal, an 8.5" wide wheel is within the tire's mounting specs & works fine w/ a 255/35-18. It's a bit of a crapshoot on whether it rubs the rear fender w/ a 8.5" +35 though; my bet is it should just barely clear (most of the time).

A word of caution: XXR wheels are boat anchor heavy, they are Chinese cheapies. If you're still running the original OEM wheels, you'll notice a huge difference in extra weight (and thus slightly worse suspension compliance).
 

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Keep in mind that if you put oversize tires on the rear you will change the speedometer calibration.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the insights! The main reason I'm looking at the XXR wheels is that that they appear to be available right now. My original plan was to go with either an Avid AV26 or an Enkei TS-5 but they are all on back-order (At least the 17x9 anyway). The car is headed off to the shop for a Gen-5 swap and I was thinking about upgrading the brakes at the same time which put a rush on getting larger wheels. The more I think about it, I'll probably just get the stock brakes sorted out and run the OEM wheels until either the Enkei or Avid wheels become available. It won't be long until the car goes into hibernation for the winter anyway.......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Keep in mind that if you put oversize tires on the rear you will change the speedometer calibration.
Oddly enough, I think the speedometer was reading a little fast anyway. I parked the car before I had a chance to check it against a GPS though. The change might just put it on target.
 

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A 255 may WORK on an 8.5" wheel, but if you put a 215 on an 8 up front and a 255 on an 8.5 in the back, the difference in how the tire fits the wheel will be very noticible. One will have some stretch, the other will bulge some. Now, if you want to do the 8/8.5 setup, a 215f and 235r wouldn't be a bad option.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
A 255 may WORK on an 8.5" wheel, but if you put a 215 on an 8 up front and a 255 on an 8.5 in the back, the difference in how the tire fits the wheel will be very noticible. One will have some stretch, the other will bulge some. Now, if you want to do the 8/8.5 setup, a 215f and 235r wouldn't be a bad option.
Thanks. I appreciate the suggestion.
For the rear, would the 235 still be a 40 aspect ratio tire?
 

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Oddly enough, I think the speedometer was reading a little fast anyway. I parked the car before I had a chance to check it against a GPS though. The change might just put it on target.
Usually going up 1 cm at the same profile and wheel diameter is what it takes to correct the speedo. For example, 225/50 -> 235/50. About 1-2% in overall diameter.

With 35 profile tires, you may find that the car rides very hard, and if you have potholes where you drive, you run a significant risk of destroying your wheels and tires. I wouldn't recommend that you jump into that unless you are familiar with that kind of ride and are sure that you like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The roads it will likely be on aren't terrible but they aren't pristine either. That said, I think the suggestion to go with an aspect ratio of at least 40 is a good one. I don't mind a fairly stiff ride but I'm not looking to have my car beating the crap out of me either.
 

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Thanks. I appreciate the suggestion.
For the rear, would the 235 still be a 40 aspect ratio tire?
On a 17 yes, on an 18 probably not. A 235/40-18 is quite a bit larger diameter than the 255/35-18, and getting to be a LOT larger than the from 215/40-17 you are looking at for the front.
 

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I think he meant 235/40-17 (not 18) - the 17" 235/40 is about the same diameter as the 255/35-18 rear tire give or take.

And yes, I would wait for the Kosei or Enkei wheels to become available - much better option than XXRs by far.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On a 17 yes, on an 18 probably not. A 235/40-18 is quite a bit larger diameter than the 255/35-18, and getting to be a LOT larger than the from 215/40-17 you are looking at for the front.
So my plan now is that the fronts will be 17x8" wheels with a minimum +35 offset. Tire will be 215/40/17. This is pretty much a fixed starting point since I don't want to start down the road of body modifications for this.
My plan for the rear wheels is in order of preference:
Choice 1: 17x9" wheels with a minimum +35 offset. Tire will be 245/40/17
Choice 2: 18x9.5" wheels with a minimum +35 offset. Tire will be 255/35/18 (I'm pretty sure I'll have to roll the rear fenders for this one.)
Choice 3: 18x8.5" wheels with a minimum +35 offset. Tire will be 235/35/18

For choice 1, I'm looking at a set of Enkei TS-5 Wheels in Storm Grey. The offsets are +40 for both front and rear but a set of 5mm spacers should make it work.
For choice 2, it's a set of Avid AV-27 wheels in hyper black. The offsets are +35 front and +38 rear.
I think I've pretty much dismissed choice 3 unless I just can't find something I like that supports one of the first 2 choices.

The Avid wheels appear to be available right now. The Enkei wheels are supposedly going to be available at the end of September. I'm leaning toward waiting for the Enkei wheels at this point.

Any serious holes in this?
 

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For Choice 1, 245s may rub without some attention to the rear fenders - a 9" +35 is closer to the fender than you may think. Choice 2, definitely have to roll the rear fenders - maybe a bit more than you think considering +41 is flush.

Also, a 40mm tire stagger isn't a handling optimum. That what I have: 235/275 and it looks great, but performance can be much better. From my experience, a 20mm tire stagger is the performance tipping point.
 

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I would go with option 1. The only reason to go to 18's that I have found is that none of the GOOD street tires come in sizes wider than 255 any more. If you aren't trying to run wider than that, then just stick to 17's. For one thing the tires are a lot cheaper.

Also, a 40mm tire stagger isn't a handling optimum. That what I have: 235/275 and it looks great, but performance can be much better. From my experience, a 20mm tire stagger is the performance tipping point.
While I don't disagree with you, it should be possible to tune that out with spring rate or sway bar changes. I am considering going down a similar path with a 245/40-17 front and a 285/30-18 rear. It's the only wide rear option that has a reasonable diameter (exactly the same OD as the 245 front actually). Not crazy about the 40mm stagger though. Wish more tires came in 275/35-17, THAT is a perfect MR2 rear size.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the input. I appreciate it.
I pulled the trigger on the wheels. Enkei TFR 17x8+35 front and 17x9+40 rear. I'm going to wait until the wheels materialize at my door before I spend much time worrying about tires.
 

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Very nice, a one owner MR2 Turbo! On my 91 Turbo I have Enkei Kojin 17x8 35 offset in the front and 17x9 35 offset in the rear on stock suspension, had some challenges finding 215/40 tires for the front so ended up going with 215/45 front and 245/45 rear. I was expecting to have to hammer up the front spring perch (maybe 5mm of clearance) but didn't have to, and it didn't appear that the previous owner did any mods to the suspension. I did a slight roll on the rear fenders because there were some dips in the road at highway speed in my area that would rub on the left rear on the dip.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Very nice, a one owner MR2 Turbo! On my 91 Turbo I have Enkei Kojin 17x8 35 offset in the front and 17x9 35 offset in the rear on stock suspension, had some challenges finding 215/40 tires for the front so ended up going with 215/45 front and 245/45 rear. I was expecting to have to hammer up the front spring perch (maybe 5mm of clearance) but didn't have to, and it didn't appear that the previous owner did any mods to the suspension. I did a slight roll on the rear fenders because there were some dips in the road at highway speed in my area that would rub on the left rear on the dip.
I haven't quite finalized the tires yet. First thing I need to do is make sure the wheels I have on order are actually available rather than back-ordered.
I'm feeling a little old now that a car I bought new is edging into classic territory.
:oldtimer:
 

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Very nice, a one owner MR2 Turbo! On my 91 Turbo I have Enkei Kojin 17x8 35 offset in the front and 17x9 35 offset in the rear on stock suspension, had some challenges finding 215/40 tires for the front so ended up going with 215/45 front and 245/45 rear. I was expecting to have to hammer up the front spring perch (maybe 5mm of clearance) but didn't have to, and it didn't appear that the previous owner did any mods to the suspension. I did a slight roll on the rear fenders because there were some dips in the road at highway speed in my area that would rub on the left rear on the dip.
215/45 and 245/40 would actually be a very nice pairing, assuming the taller front isn't causing problems for you. The diameter and therefore the sidewall heights are nearly identical front and rear.
 
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Not to mention there are over 100 tire models available in 215/45-17 as well as 225/45-17. Car & tire manufacturers absolutely love those sizes. You can find rain, snow only, UHP, you name it.

But it's such a crapshoot fitting those sizes up front that I threw up my hands and went for 235/40-17 instead.
 
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