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Old August 1st, 2020, 10:49   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Virginia
Default //// How big of a tire can I fit on my 2003 Wagon and other questions ///

Hi All,

Been doing a lot of searching and reading but cannot seem to find good and hard answer to my questions so I figure i would ask it here (or possibly again so sorry).

I am currently running p 205 70 R 15 Ecopia 422 plus tires on my car (I did switch from the steelies than came with my car to junkyard Avus rims).

I seem to have no issue running these tires and even got a small bump in fuel economy in the driving I do (virtually unloaded , mostly highway).

It's time for new tires again and I want to up-size again .... I am keeping the same rims because I need to save some $$ too so no upsizing to 16" rims and new tires,

Anyways, I really want to get p 215 75 R 15 tires BUT that MAY be too big without lift BUT figured I'd ask if it would fit on may car given the set up I have (basically stock suspension except Koni Special Actives all around , Lesjofors VR6 springs up front, while it may not matter upgraded A arms with TT bushings and a rear sway bar).

I believe I saw some posts saying 205 75 R15 will more or less fit without issue so that i my safe fall back if I can't get definitive answers on the larger tires.

FWIW - in the larger tires I have researched I will be getting either Hankook Kinergy ST H735 or Goodyear Assurance A/S in that order ...If Ecopias were available in those sizes I would consider them buy they are not

If a tire is too big , what would hit first in my case ? (I did read about a bump in the rear liner possibly hitting the rear tire but I did not see the bump in my car (may have to look closer) and I have pretty good clearance between the tire and the lower spring perch (no missing or rubbed paint but doesn't the perch move up as the spring compresses?).

Questions other than fitment :

1) I know rotating weight matters more for city than highway BUT is there any formula how much an extra pound tire rotating weight affects MPG's on the car ?

2) I know aero plays a bigger role at highway speeds BUT how much aero MPG is lost by raising the car an additional inch or 2 ? ...

I find it hard to imagine that an inch or 2 really matters since air is getting under the car anyways ? ...

In theory isn't most of the loss from going taller usually the result of the tires (as in the case of 4x4 vehicles going with big aggressive / heavy mudders etc ?

Has anybody actually seen a difference MPGs in our Jettas just by raising the height an inch or two assuming keeping the same exact tires before and after a lift?

3) I read that filling the wheel wells (lessen the air volume) helps with MPG's ... why is that? or is it a false notion since filling the wheel wells with a taller tire getting better fuel economy just by changing the effective gearing and has nothing to do with airspace?

I'm hoping to order tires next week sometime after some sizing feedback / research .... I did PM a few folks too.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

2003 Jetta tdi wagon , 5 sp, 316k miles, 11 mm pump, DLC 520, Malone stage 1, P205 70 R 15 Ecopias on Avus rims, hammer mod
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Old August 1st, 2020, 21:25   #2
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Fuel Economy: 43 mpg average

I don't know exactly how much bigger a wagon wheel well is then a beetle one but I can't imagine it's by much if at all. I have 215 65 R16 on mine right now sitting stock and I'm about ready to put my 2-inch lift in. You hit a bump and it wants to rub, and even started pulling the bra down on the front of the car by hitting the brackets. I don't know how much help that is, but maybe somewhere to start...

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Old August 2nd, 2020, 10:47   #3
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The correct tire size to agree with the odo and speedo (mostly) is 195 65 15 for 15 inch wheels, and 205 55 16 for 16 inch wheels.

Sizes other than this may cause trouble rubbing here and there, depending on many factors not under our control. You shouldn't feel like there are magic solutions for everything since they are not what was designed into the car.


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