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Buy 16" snow tires w/ wheels or 17" tires alone?

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Old 11-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Buy 16" snow tires w/ wheels or 17" tires alone?

Anyone purchased a set of steel or alloy wheels to mount 16" snow tires on? I'm trying to figure out how much more it would be to buy a set of 16" alloys - preferably the American Racing AR-23s as seen on the SEMA beige truck - as opposed to just buying a set of 17" tires and mounting/dismounting each season.

My hesitation with the 17's is the fact that I've had tires damaged from mounting/dismounting after a couple of seasons. Plus, it's much more expensive for 17" tires than 16".

Does anyone have a set of 16" factory steel or alloys for sale?
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:40 PM   #2
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I just bought some 16 alloys off of Craigslist for $200 and I had my snow tires mounted on them (General AT2 studded from tire rack, I think they were around $500 with the $15/tire studding fee). The wheels were a little scratched but figure for snow rims I didn't really care, I might try and paint them black next summer so I can run black wheels in the winter.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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Right now on Vermont's craigslist there is a set of 2005-10 tacoma 16" steel rims and snow tires used one season for 300 bucks in Milton 15 min north of Burlington. I just saw them on there today.
http://burlington.craigslist.org/pts/1477142594.html
This is the setup I run, different tires though, firestone winterforce.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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These are my stock rims, painted semi-gloss black, with goodyear wrangler Duratracs 265/75R16. The duratracs are rated a 10 for snow, and they look bad ass. So if you could get a set of stock rims off internet, this could be a option for you. These are my year round set.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
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Great lead, Simon's mom. Thanks. I'll check it out.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:01 PM   #6
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I use a set of black 16" steel rims with studded winter tires. This was the cheapest route for me for the winter season. I beleive the 17" rims with tires was more expensive so I just went with 16". No issues here, In fact I love the setup.

I kept my summer tires mounted on the 17" sport rims. That way I can put them on or take them off depending on the weather. No need to pay anyone to change over tires ever season.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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No opinion on your overall debate, but I'm running Michelin's Alpin's in 265/70/16 and I couldn't be happier. They don't offer any pretense of being anything other than a snow tire, but they are awesome at that. When it isn't snowy, they are quiet and comfy.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:25 AM   #8
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My plan is to run a set of studded Nokia Hakkapeliittas - a premium tire $$ wise, but well worth the money. I've had several sets, as well as Gislaveds and Blizzaks on various cars and the Nokias have been the best. Never had studded before. They'll be noisy, no doubt, but I'm more interested in being able to stop more than anything.

What size are people running for 16" tires?
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:44 AM   #9
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17's for 3 seasons, 245/75 16 on steelies for winter. Same diameter, about an inch narrower. At the rate this winter is coming (yawn) wont put them on till Xmas.

Nokia's are awesome tires, but your gonna pay for em. Ran studs for years, but a convert to Blizzaks, not bad for about $100 a pop.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomaworld View Post
... as well as Gislaveds
that was the first true snow tire I owned - had them on a '75 Rabbit and they were awesome. I arrived at work one morning after the roads had been plowed and faced 1 foot of plowed snow about 8 feet wide at the entrance to our lot. With Gislaveds, I just plowed through it, leaving a track the shape of the ground clearance of the car. That convinced me that snows really are worth the trouble and money. And in any case, the extra cost of the snows is offset by extending the tread life of your summer tires (by sharing the wear.)

I would avoid at all cost the need to mount/unmount snows on the same rims every year. An extra set of wheels are the way to go and will take up no additional storage space.

An additional wrinkle with '06 and up vehicles is the TPM sensors. You can either buy another set or block the dash light in winter. I found another set and my tire dealer (Discount Tire) will reprogram the truck twice a year at no extra charge. (Unfortunately Toyota does not use a self programming system so you need to have a scan tool that can do that. Most - if not all - tire dealers should have that.)

For wheels I have factory 16" steelies and for tires I use Hankook W300 Ice Bears. From some of the reviews I've seen, they sacrifice some ice and snow traction to provide better dry pavement handling. That suits me just fine as 95-98% of our winter driving (Chicago area) is on dry pavement, but for that 3-5% of the time when the roads are bad, the Hankooks give me a tremendous edge. I had Yokahama Guardex snows on our GTI. They provided better ice and snow traction but felt pretty squishy on drive pavement. They made lane changes at 70 mph ... interesting.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skistoy View Post


These are my stock rims, painted semi-gloss black, with goodyear wrangler Duratracs 265/75R16. The duratracs are rated a 10 for snow, and they look bad ass. So if you could get a set of stock rims off internet, this could be a option for you. These are my year round set.
That is a sick setup!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:43 AM   #12
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One more thought: I've had both studs and stud-less snow tires. I don't like the way that studs tend to make the car (in my case) a twitchy handler on corners. If you are driving up and down unplowed mountain roads, maybe the studs make sense, but that's an extreme example.

In Oregon, winter kicked in with full force two weeks ago above 3,000 feet. The stud-less I have this year are far superior on noise, handling, cornering grip, comfort and wet weather performance to anything I've driven with studs.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #13
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Firestone Winterforce 245/75/16s studded $400 shipped from TireRack. My friend's shop mounted them for me on oem steel rims. Worked great for our towing trips and icy roads. No more abs kicking in at every icy stop sign.

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Old 11-23-2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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Not the best shot of the tire, but my photo section has a shot in some snow.
I Bought 4 new TPMS sensors , factory aluminum rims, and tires, went to $1200, thought I got in too far but they're worth it. I settled on buying from a NW chain , does good service and has good tires, wont charge to reprogramTPMS ,went with the wintercat model, but michelin bridgestone and good year have good models for the all season or all terrain range.

Did some snow and light hardpack in 2wd on the freeway in 2wd no problem, braking was predictable, had to go firmer to get abs to kick.

If you want snow tires look at the models severe winter rated has the mountain/snowflake symbol. Lots to search and decide over.
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