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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago, I purchased a Mark III. It has Team III wheels - 17x9 on front, with 275/40/17s, and 17x11 with 315/35/17s.


The first order of business is to get new tires on it. The current ones are 13 year old BFG g-Force KDs. It looks like Nitto 555 G2s are going to be the most likely replacements.


My question has to do with tire size. I have some minor rubbing on the driver's front inner fender, and have noticed the left rear tire shows a mark from rubbing on the wheel lip.


I've read that the BFGs were know for being "wide" for the given size, and that the Nittos are known for being "narrow" for the stated size. My inclination is to move to 255/40/17s in the front, and I'm just not sure on the rear!


I'd hate to install slightly smaller tires and then have the replacements run small on top of that. Has anyone gone through this situation?
 

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You might want to go to TireRack.com and plug in those sizes and then compare the dimensions for the brands you're interested in.

Frank
 

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I just put on the G2's. The 255/40 are actually a fraction of an inch narrow for a 9" rim. If you lie it on its side its hits the rim edge, not rubber. I would have gone 275's, but they would have protruded past the edge of the fender too much for my liking.

the 315's are amazing! Good fit, and look awesome. Great traction when at operating temp.

Geoff
 

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Each tire manufacturer will have specs on their respective websites. You can get the BFG specs and compare them against Nittos numbers for a quick comparison. That said, I ran a 255 width Kumho XS on the front of my MK4 that was the maximum width I could run when using the OEM spindles with FF adapter brackets. If you have the FFR spindles, the 275 is said to fit. If your tire dealer is willing to work with you, purchase 255s and 275s G2 and compare on the car, you would then only be out the shipping for the two tires. I used Discount Tire Direct for purchasing my NT05s for another car, great prices. They have brick and mortar Americas Tire in CA and Discount Tire everywhere else that will mount and balance them for you. Discount Tire here in Prescott did a GREAT job mounting and balancing the NT05s on my custom Team III LT-III wheels. Call Discount Tire Direct and explain what you are looking to do, they should be able to help.

Note, there is an online presence for Discount Tire and Discount Tire Direct, and the latter is cheaper, even though they are part of the same company. The local Discount Tire store will tell you they can match Discount Tire Direct, but they never were able to for me. So I have always had the tires shipped to the house and mounted at the local store. You can also have them shipped to the tire store to eliminate the need to transport them if ready to put them on. The tire sizes for the Cobras are larger than the stores typically stock, so one way or the other, they will likely have to ship to store.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I've dug around on the tire vendors websites, but it seems like all they're including as far as dimension is section width. Nitto does publish an "inflated width" but I haven't found anything for the BFGs. The KD's have been out of production several years, so I was looking at the KDW pages.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are those Team III wheels the one piece that Richard Oben sells? If so, they aren't the width you describe, unless he has something else.
I'm not sure where they came from originally. The car was built several years ago (2005). I've got pretty extensive documentation from the build, and those sizes are referenced in several places. I do see what you mean though from the etmags website. Those sizes are shown as 2 piece wheels today.
 

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Before reducing tire size I would be sure that the rear end is centered. In the front try to know why and when it rubs on just one side. There should be room for the 275/315 combination in a mk 3 with correct back spacing.
 

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I should add that the body could be a little off center too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Before reducing tire size I would be sure that the rear end is centered. In the front try to know why and when it rubs on just one side. There should be room for the 275/315 combination in a mk 3 with correct back spacing.
Its got an IRS, and the clearance on the rear wheel wells seems to be the same side to side. The rub on the rear is very minor/ light, so that's why I've wondered if just moving from BFG to Nitto might clear that up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not sure where they came from originally. The car was built several years ago (2005). I've got pretty extensive documentation from the build, and those sizes are referenced in several places. I do see what you mean though from the etmags website. Those sizes are shown as 2 piece wheels today.
I looked this morning, and they are two piece wheels.
 

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I have the 555G2’s ...245 up front and 315’s in back. Love the tires under all conditions, and the fronts come out beyond the 9” rims.
 

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I would also check the ride height - it may be different side to side and you may want to change it front or back. That may help with tire rubbing issues.
 

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I have a MK3 and the same size tires and rims for the front (Nitto NT-05). I have an extra -1º of camber on the front to remedy rubbing. Looks like more like a race car and I don't mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys. I did the best I could (two long straight edges and measuring tap) to check inflated width of the current tires. It was surprisingly close to the inflated width values on the same size rims as published by Nitto. Think I'm going to keep 315s on the back, and drop down on the front slightly to 255s.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a MK3 and the same size tires and rims for the front (Nitto NT-05). I have an extra -1º of camber on the front to remedy rubbing. Looks like more like a race car and I don't mind.
Great looking car and I love the license plate!
 

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I know some guys get away with it, but I think 275s are pushing it up front. 245 or 255s are great. I’ll bet you can adjust the rub out in the back. Tires should never be used past about 7 years. BFG T/As don’t belong on these cars either. You will be happy with the nitro 555 g2 if it is a cruiser. If you autocross, think about NT-05s
 
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