Posted by Miled on February 07, 1997 at 22:35:11:
In Reply to: Michelin XGT V-4 tires posted by Sandy Zdrojewski on February 01, 1997 at 12:37:28:
Just read your note. First of all, I want to commend you for taking the time to write in your question. I browse the BBS once in a while and found your request interesting and will try and help you.
It's nice to see that you have taken the time and interest in what tires would best suit your vehicle. If you haven't already purchased a set, I can recommend you the following:
YOKOHAMA AVID MDH-4
I don't know if you are going to find a retailer where you live that will carry this tire. I got my set for my '87 Honda Prelude from The Tire Rack. They are very quiet and handle very nicely, on wet, dry and even snow (if you live in an area that has it).
I live in New York and The Tire Rack is located in South Bend, Indiana. You can call their 800# at: (800) 445-0179. Just give them the year, make and model of your vehicle and they will do the rest. Tell them what you want from a tire (i.e comfort, handling, wet, dry, etc.) and they will recommend what tire will best suit your needs.
As far as putting a bigger 16" tire than what the factory specs call for (205/55-16) on your original equipment wheels (if I'm not mistaken, the wheel size on your Volvo is 16 X 7) would be a bad thing to do. Your car was fitted with this wheel and tire size for a specific reason and many factors were considered when it was done (i.e. comfort, handling, brake caliper clearance, car weight, etc.). I'm sure there are many people who will (incorrectly) upgrade the tire size on their current factory wheel without upgrading the wheel width as well. A 16 X 7 wheel was designed to have a 205/55-16 size tire on it. Once you start upgrading a 16" tire (whether by height or width) on the same wheel, you have now affected the handling and speedometer reading as well, not to mention that (more than likely) it will rub against the shock, strut and even wheel well.
The only way to properly upgrade your tires is to do what is called a PLUS concept. A plus concept means that you can PROPERLY upgrade both your wheel and tire to a larger size than what originally came with your car (i.e. 17" or 18") and still maintain the proper ride height (so that your speedometer is not affected and you will maintain proper clearance from your shock, strut, wheel well) and most important of all, proper offset.
In your case, a plus one (upgrade to 17") or even a plus two (upgrade to 18") can be done on your car. By the way, there is a Volvo 850 Wagon that comes directly from the factory with an 18" set up. I've seen it and it looks awsome! How many manufacturers (that build wagons) do you know of that comes with an 18" set up. The only shortcoming of a plus upgrade is that the bigger the wheel gets, the smaller the side wall on your tire will be, hence a little loss in the comfort department and will also be more susceptible to denting the wheel from pot holes, etc. Better handling will be noticed immediately, though!
My other car ('94 Toyota Supra Turbo) came with a 17" set up from the factory and I have since upgraded it to 18". I lost a little bit of comfort, however, the benefits (in the handling dept.) far outwheigh the loss of comfort.
Offset is measured in millimeters (25.4 mm = 1 inch) and is the distance between the wheel hub (the back flat part of the center of the wheel where the lug nuts get tightened in) and the acutal center of the wheel. That little distance is your offset. When your car was built, your wheels were designed with a certain offset. This offset is a result of many factors that were taken into account when your car was designed (i.e. brake caliper size, shock or strut clearance, etc.) and MUST be maintained at all times when upgrading to a plus one or two concept which many people (even some retailers who sell to the public) ignore when selling or purchasing a set.
Sorry for going off on a tangent here, however, I felt I had an obligation to at least explain to you about such an important topic which many people are either unaware of, or worst yet, blatantly disregard it.
Bottom line is, do not put a larger size tire on the same wheels you had a smaller but correct size.
Hope I've been of some help. Take care.
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