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Switching from Bigger to smaller Tires

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Col_Macklin, Aug 10, 2022.

  1. Aug 10, 2022 at 11:06 AM
    #1
    Col_Macklin

    Col_Macklin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey all, I'm thinking of switching from 245/75/ 16 to 215/65 16 to improve performance on highway and when hauling. Has anyone switched to a smaller tire and gotten better performance with a 2.7? Any risk of over revving with the smaller tire?
     
  2. Aug 10, 2022 at 11:12 AM
    #2
    rnish

    rnish Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by improve performance. MPG? Try more tire pressure.
     
  3. Aug 10, 2022 at 11:53 AM
    #3
    Col_Macklin

    Col_Macklin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Better performance meaning better acceleration, better hill climbing, and better towing.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2022 at 12:02 PM
    #4
    vicali

    vicali Touch my camera through the fence

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    You are talking more than a -10% difference in size between those two, and almost -15% change compared to the standard TW 265/70r16 and 265/70R17 sizes most of us run.

    You will also need to be pretty careful with the load ratings, 215/65r16 is standard size on a Forester and similar sized CUVs - not a midsize truck.

    I put 13" wheels on my Jetta once, it felt like you were going at an incredible rate of speed, the speedo showed way high - and everyone sailed right passed me.. but it looked cool.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2022 at 12:33 PM
    #5
    Col_Macklin

    Col_Macklin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Looking at a tire with a load index of 98,General Grabber A/TX. OE were 245/75/16 Dunlop AT20 with a load rating of 109. Currently running 245/75/16 General Grabber AT/2 with a load rating of 120 (awesome tires) but need replacing after 7 years of service. The non 4wd models of the same year (2013) were stocked with 215/70/15s. I imagine those trucks have better performance.
     
  6. Aug 10, 2022 at 12:35 PM
    #6
    Rocketball

    Rocketball If The World Didn't Suck, We'd All Fall Off

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    You need to be very careful going to smaller than OEM tire sizes. That can DRASTICALLY change the handling characteristics. Steering response will change and can make it very difficult to control. My wife got new tires on our minivan many years ago from "a guy she worked with", and he put on tires that were smaller than the OEM size because they were cheep. While the look of the tire didn't seem like it was smaller, it was, and it made the steering drastically different, and it was very easy to overcorrect while turning.
     
  7. Aug 10, 2022 at 12:49 PM
    #7
    Col_Macklin

    Col_Macklin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I didn't consider steering issues. I don't mind it changing the appearance. It may even looking goofy with the 3" lift. The truck will actually sit 3.5 inches lower if going with the 215s, which will help with ingress and egress (and perceived performance) but will lose ground clearance and offroad performance. I also have a set of Toyo MTs 255/85/16s which are way too much for the 2.7 without a regear.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2022 at 9:22 PM
    #8
    malatx

    malatx Well-Known Member

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    I have gone down in size about 3% on other cars, i didn't notice anything, but maybe 10% is a different story
     
  9. Sep 8, 2022 at 4:18 PM
    #9
    Col_Macklin

    Col_Macklin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Everyone for your input. I decided to go with 235/70 16 (Falken Wildpeaks). Less than a 10% change. Beyond the speedo being off a bit, the RPMs are up a little bit, most notably on the highway at +75 mph. Around town the RPM difference is negligible. Also the ride seems a lil rougher but the roads are in bad shape around here at the moment (I'll have to report back on this after a long road trip). On the positive side I do notice an increase in acceleration and better performance on the hills.

    On a side note: After the install and an alleged alignment, I had to return for another alignment a few days later. A week or so later I went to a better shop to have the the alignment rechecked. Alignment was good but the tires had to be rebalanced. Lesson learned is to go to the shop you trust and skip the Amazon tire install at an unknown shop. Finally after two weeks of running around I am ready to test these tires out and provide a comparison to the General Grabber AT2, which I think are now called ATX.

    Falken Wildpeaks on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C53CDJA?ie=UTF8

    upload_2022-9-8_19-4-3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
  10. Sep 28, 2022 at 7:04 AM
    #10
    Col_Macklin

    Col_Macklin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So after a few weeks on these tires here are my initial impressions:

    The Falken Wildpeaks (FWs) are very good tires for normal driving. In comparison to the General Grabbers AT2s (GG2s), they are quieter. On the downside, I thought the FWs were able to be studded but I overlooked this aspect on the Amazon details but we don't get a bunch of bad weather around the lower Midwest. But if you live in a area with lots of snow and ice the GG2s can be studded.

    The true problem with the comparison is the tire sizes are different, so the comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges. In my opinion so far both tires are excellent and would buy them both again without a second thought. I've ran the GG2s in the snow and ice without problem but of course with 4x4 engaged. I'll be interested to see how the FWs run in the snow and ice and will report back when we get a good snow, which at this points feels like one is on the way soon.
     

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