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  Volvo 850 T5R Tire Replacements: 17"; 16"; or 15"?

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Author Topic:   Volvo 850 T5R Tire Replacements: 17"; 16"; or 15"?
Luke Adams
unregistered
posted April 24, 2001 12:02 AM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Our 1985 Volvo 850 T5R with 205/45/17 Pzero tires needs new tires AGAIN!

The car handles well, but the number of sidewall bubbles and blowouts have us shy about driving this family car (we have small children)


We live in Austin, Texas, where temperatures reach above 100 degrees during the summer. When it rains in Central Texas, it pours. In January, we get the occasional ice storm. And, on Spring Break we find snow in Colorado and New Mexico. So, we want all season tires.

I understand the following tire sizes might be appropriate:
205/50/16
205/55/16
205/60/16
205/60/15
215/55/16
195/60/15
195/55/15


Should we switch to 15" or 16" wheels, or should we stay with our 17" wheels?


It seems to me that the 205/50/16 or the 195/60/15 might have least impact on the speedometer (according to Powerdog).

The 195/60/15 gives 4.6" on its sidewall versus the 3.6" on my current 205/45/17. This should help minimize sidewall bubbles.

Once the wheel decision is resolved ... with your help ... I can move to the tire decision.

Ideally, we would like a safe riding family car with a wheel/tire combination that provides:
1. Good dry traction;
2. Good wet traction;
3. Long tread wear;
4. Even tread wear;
5. Good warranty;
6. No sidewall bubbles;
7. No bent rims;
8. No scapping inside wheel wells (brake calliper clearance); and
9. Low road noise;


Here are the tire options:

Bridgestone Potenza RE730
Bridgestone Potenza RE930
Dunlop SP Sport 9000
Falken GRB Fk-451
Falken Z-502 60 & 65 Series
Falken Ziex ZE-502
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D2
Kumho Ecsta Supra 712
Michelin Pilot Sport
Michelin Energy MXV4+
Michelin XGT Z4
Nitto NT 450
Nitto Nt 500
Pirelli P-Zero
Pirelli P7000 Supersport
Pirelli P8000 (NTB for $145)
Toyo Proxes FZ4
Yokohama A520
Yokohama Avid
Yokohama AVS

Should we buy 16" wheels; 205/55/16
Falken Z-50 or Pirelli P7000 Supersport tires?

Please let me know your thoughts, especially if you have experience with the Volvo 850 T5R or the tires listed above.

Thanks,

Luke
lukebadams@austin.rr.com


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Ryan
unregistered
posted April 24, 2001 08:45 AM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Did your Volvo come from the factory w/ 17's? I can't imagine that it did and I can't imagine the factory tires being any lower than a 60 profile. Just guessing here. If this is predominantly a family car, I'd find out what size wheel and tire combo came on that car back in the day and go from there.
I don't know all of the tires you've listed but some of them are NOT all season tires as they were on my short list a while ago when I was shopping for "ultra-high performance" tires. You are in texas though so my idea of "all season" (being from Toronto) is going to vary a great deal; from your I guess.
I'd steer clear of the following if you want true all season performance:

Bridgestone Potenza RE730
Dunlop SP Sport 9000
Kumho Ecsta Supra 712
Yokohama A520
Yokohama AVS

I can't say anything about the others.

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laqn
unregistered
posted April 25, 2001 06:26 PM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
The standard 850 Turbo has 205/50-16's. The 850 Turbo T5R came with 205/45-17 Pirellis, but had a no-cost-option of Michelin 205/55-16's. You should look into the specs for these T5R-optional 16's, since Volvo may have custom fitted them to clear the T5R's brakes. (So just any old 16" wheels may not clear your brakes). I can't comment on tire models, but considering you're fitting radically low profile tires on such a heavy car, it's safe to say that you should shop for the highest load-rating in the size that suits you. Personally, I don't think the stock tire's 88 load-rating is robust enough for such a heavy car that can generate potentially extremely high cornering loads.

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GregZ
unregistered
posted April 26, 2001 09:21 AM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Well, Low aspect ratio (and relatively narrow, at 205mm) tires don't have a lot of sidewall for flex/shock absorbing -NOR load carrying capability (due to lower internal volume). Your car's OE tires are 24.26" OD. I know nothing about clearances involved with wheel wells, calipers, etc. I DO know of people stepping up 3x in width, and up to 2" additional OD and it working for them. I doubt it will for you given the minimal clearance/low slung look some Volvos try to achieve. Slogging around a relatively heavy car like yours, in the heat, on 205's, most likely of a 'high performance' (ie: soft compound) tire, you won't get any life outta the tires. Everything is against it. Look at treadwear ratings and tread depths for your replacement tires. Look to something in a 60 series (which will bump you down to a 15" wheel in a 205mm width) Bearing in mind your ride will be 'softer' and it won't corner like it used to....

quote:
Originally posted by Luke Adams:
Our 1985 Volvo 850 T5R with 205/45/17 Pzero tires needs new tires AGAIN!

The car handles well, but the number of sidewall bubbles and blowouts have us shy about driving this family car (we have small children)


We live in Austin, Texas, where temperatures reach above 100 degrees during the summer. When it rains in Central Texas, it pours. In January, we get the occasional ice storm. And, on Spring Break we find snow in Colorado and New Mexico. So, we want all season tires.

I understand the following tire sizes might be appropriate:
205/50/16
205/55/16
205/60/16
205/60/15
215/55/16
195/60/15
195/55/15


Should we switch to 15" or 16" wheels, or should we stay with our 17" wheels?


It seems to me that the 205/50/16 or the 195/60/15 might have least impact on the speedometer (according to Powerdog).

The 195/60/15 gives 4.6" on its sidewall versus the 3.6" on my current 205/45/17. This should help minimize sidewall bubbles.

Once the wheel decision is resolved ... with your help ... I can move to the tire decision.

Ideally, we would like a safe riding family car with a wheel/tire combination that provides:
1. Good dry traction;
2. Good wet traction;
3. Long tread wear;
4. Even tread wear;
5. Good warranty;
6. No sidewall bubbles;
7. No bent rims;
8. No scapping inside wheel wells (brake calliper clearance); and
9. Low road noise;


Here are the tire options:

Bridgestone Potenza RE730
Bridgestone Potenza RE930
Dunlop SP Sport 9000
Falken GRB Fk-451
Falken Z-502 60 & 65 Series
Falken Ziex ZE-502
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D2
Kumho Ecsta Supra 712
Michelin Pilot Sport
Michelin Energy MXV4+
Michelin XGT Z4
Nitto NT 450
Nitto Nt 500
Pirelli P-Zero
Pirelli P7000 Supersport
Pirelli P8000 (NTB for $145)
Toyo Proxes FZ4
Yokohama A520
Yokohama Avid
Yokohama AVS

Should we buy 16" wheels; 205/55/16
Falken Z-50 or Pirelli P7000 Supersport tires?

Please let me know your thoughts, especially if you have experience with the Volvo 850 T5R or the tires listed above.

Thanks,

Luke
lukebadams@austin.rr.com


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David Emanuel
unregistered
posted July 07, 2001 04:56 PM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Well, I have a 94 850 Turbo Wagon and it came with the 205/50/16's, but after many bent rims, Volvo finally lost a class action law suite and gave everyone $500. Big woopi, right? Anyway, I've gone to the 205/55/16 size they recommend now and with no issue, except about a 3% decrease on my odometer and speedometer (that means I have to watch my speeding more). Seems that you mentioned that as an option for your 850. I think it's a good one, and if you're considering new wheels, you can find that size on eBay right now. I also found some wonderfully handling tires...check them out on TireRack, ratings and all...they are the B.F.Goodrich G-Force/TA Kdws. They are comfortable on the road and handle great in wet/snow too. I noticed that you didn't mention BF Goodrich in your posting, but they are very good tires for the money...just over $100 a piece....good luck!

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