01 Saab 9-3 Vert w/215-55-16 Tires???? - The Saab Link Forums

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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:12 PM   #1
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Question 01 Saab 9-3 Vert w/215-55-16 Tires????

OEM size is 205-50-16. Couple of questions:

1) Will this kill my gas mileage adding another 20lbs to the boat?

2) Will the tires even fit the stock 16X6.5" wheels? I have the regular 5 spokers that the 9-5's also got. I think? it's the identical wheel but I could be wrong. I do know the 9-5 uses 215-55-16's.

3) How will the handling/performance be vs. OEM or even just one size up? Will the extra rubber on the road result in better performance and even possibly more comfort, or will it lend itself it worse performance and rougher feeling?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Progression View Post
OEM size is 205-50-16. Couple of questions:

1) Will this kill my gas mileage adding another 20lbs to the boat?

2) Will the tires even fit the stock 16X6.5" wheels? I have the regular 5 spokers that the 9-5's also got. I think? it's the identical wheel but I could be wrong. I do know the 9-5 uses 215-55-16's.

3) How will the handling/performance be vs. OEM or even just one size up? Will the extra rubber on the road result in better performance and even possibly more comfort, or will it lend itself it worse performance and rougher feeling?

Thanks for the help!
1. No.

2. Yes.

3. Depends on the type of tire before vs. after but assuming the same type, more sidewall (50 to 55) = softer = more comfort/less "performance".
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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PS - If you want to see how tire width/diameter changes for different sizes, look it up on a site like Tire Rack and compare the other specs below.

Attached is an example of some Continentals.

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk88 View Post
1. No.

2. Yes.

3. Depends on the type of tire before vs. after but assuming the same type, more sidewall (50 to 55) = softer = more comfort/less "performance".
No good (in bold))

So performance wise, you want to stick with either OEM or even a size down (i.e. 215-225/50/16 OR 225-215/45/16). Is this correct?

I noticed right away you put up the spreadsheet for the DW's I was assuming.

I have the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus tires on order right now and will have them next week, though I'm looking for whatever tire will meet/beat this particular tire.

BTW, you have a beautiful vert!

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
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For a 6.5" wide tire I personally wouldn't go bigger than 205 wide and 55 tall. I think a 215 will "overhang" about an inch on each side of the wheel... like the opposite of stretch. And more than a 55 sidewall will look like balloon tires. The wheels on both my 900s are 6.5 wide and 205/50 is just right for me (I prefer not to feel every single bump).

And thanks for the compliment!
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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For a 6.5" wide tire I personally wouldn't go bigger than 205 wide and 55 tall. I think a 215 will "overhang" about an inch on each side of the wheel... like the opposite of stretch. And more than a 55 sidewall will look like balloon tires. The wheels on both my 900s are 6.5 wide and 205/50 is just right for me (I prefer not to feel every single bump).

And thanks for the compliment!
LOL) I saw a member's Aero with some 225's on it and it the thing was bulging out big time))) Something I simply do not understand is what precisely they did with the 9-3 wheel that is any different than the 9-5 wheel that looks identical and fits the 215-55-16 from the factory??? It is this wheel here: http://saab351.vehicleimg.com/dandcmotorz/img/9419.jpg

What makes no sense to me is that basically 99% of all Saabs with a 16" wheel from the factory is 16X6.5. So how do they manage to stick 215-55-16's onto these wheels that have the exact same specs?
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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That looks fine. They probably just wanted the 9-5 to have a more "premium" ride.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:30 PM   #8
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That looks fine. They probably just wanted the 9-5 to have a more "premium" ride.
LOLOLOLOL)!!!

What tires do you run or think are great bang-buck tires out there? I know the biggest rave is the Continental DW/DWS series and next has to be Hankook V12's or now their RS3's
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
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Where do you live? If you're in snow country, I can't help you.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:48 PM   #10
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Where do you live? If you're in snow country, I can't help you.
Unfortunately, I wish I was either in Snow Country or somewhere to have a Saaber put on a new roof (hint hint) and just to have around as a general mechanic All the parts are out East!!! All the great people around this forum=EAST!!!

I'm in Oregon, lived in Cali 85% (Not sure if that's accurate) of my life. So it's say, 50's-60's, 33% dry, 67% wet.

I could easily use the Direzza Star Specs with their fantastic wet capabilities as much as i could use even a cheapo Evo V12 or whatnot.

I have the Subaru more for performance. This Saab is primarily my wife's, but when we go on trips, it's generally in the Saab and I like to go fast)) Tried the new Kuhmo 4X's and they are quite nice actually. EASILY worth their bang for the road buck I experienced. But I think they did not do well with the stems because I lost 4lbs of pressure and my ABS light started going crazy on the dash for the first time ever! Hence, why I am taking them back and sticking the Michelins on for a trial/error to see what they can do. But I'm all ears for tire recommendations especially if you can find me a set of 4 Direzza Star Specs for $400 shipped in 215-50-16 size I can't believe how cheap they blew those things out for at one point and now Tirerack monopolizes them with a hefty premium!!!
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:47 PM   #11
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Hey, there are some good people on the west coast too. (We have most of the rust free cars, too.)

Where in Oregon? I bought my SPG in Portland in July. I love it up there so much, and would move to the PNW in a heartbeat if I knew more people, and I knew I could handle the grayness.

Anyway, tires. My advice would be to look at the surveys on Tire Rack for the summer performance tires, and find one that is good in the wet but also fits whatever comfort/wear/price needs you have.

My personal favorite tire is the General Exclaim UHP (I'm practically an evangelist). I like the combo of grip, ride quality, price, wear, and when I do drive in what rain we get down here, they have been great. I got some 2 weeks ago for my SPG from tirebuyer.com for $90 each, free shipping to the installer, and then install was $80. Pretty damn good for a solid tire. Disclaimer: They have been discontinued by General so are not in great supply. (I have also had two sets of these on my vert.)

Otherwise, you probably can't go wrong with the usual suspects, Contis, I think the Direzzas are popular around here, and Michelins -- they are always at the top of the price spectrum but they make a great product. The Michelins on my 4Runner are the quietest tire I have ever owned, by 100 miles.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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To confuse you a little more, Saab changed to the 205-55-16 in 2002 on the 9-3. As far as I know, there were no changes to the suspension, gearing, or engine... but they changed to a 55 series instead of the 50 series. I guess they must have made a change in the ECU to accomodate the larger diameter/speed calculations.

I'm running the Michelin Pilot A/S right now. I ran the previous generation on my NG900 and was happy with them. Handling is very good, ride excellent, very quiet. I don't race so I can't tell you how they'd be if you wanted to slalom. My wheels are 7" so I get a little less squirm than you'll get on a 6.5" wheel with the 55, but it's not a huge difference.

If you need an All Season but also want high performance they are a great choice. They won't match a high quality Summer only tire for performance, but they'll beat most tires. You also won't have a lot of the tire related issues we hear of if you pony up the $'s for Mich's andyou'll get long wear, but they will cost you more up front.

When you put them on don't be too worried if they feel a little squirrely at first. That feeling wears off after a couple hundred miles.

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Old 10-13-2011, 05:12 PM   #13
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Hey, there are some good people on the west coast too. (We have most of the rust free cars, too.)

Where in Oregon? I bought my SPG in Portland in July. I love it up there so much, and would move to the PNW in a heartbeat if I knew more people, and I knew I could handle the grayness.

My personal favorite tire is the General Exclaim UHP (I'm practically an evangelist).
Definitely a decent database of Saabers, though they seem to be in Cali) This said, I talked with one guy that had like 16 Saabs and he is in Oregon. Then again, I have also talked with some from Cali that have tons of Saabs. I guess Saabs are like horse ranches for this type) Heck, what can one say...once you have a Saab, everything else feels......just like another car.

I saw that SPG up here and I wanted to buy it, but I just wasn't particularly knowledgeable on what to expect. In other words, I flat out did not know the value of the car. SPG's, especially at that going price, was a good deal. That much I knew. But what I didn't know was what precisely I was getting into. I am happy it went to you because I could well have posted up the ad. and gone after it with only a very short talk with any member around here that would have said, "just inspect...all good...buy!") Hope you are enjoying it so far!!!

As for tires, I went with the DW's. They are a fantastic tire. I know they get the soft sidewall put downs vs. other top tier tires, but in our Saabs, w/exception of the C900's/SPG that I have never been in, but have heard are excellent handling cars vs. any others ever built by Saab (maybe newest ones will outhandle them), I don't think I would want anything more. It's "easily" the most sophisticated tire I have driven on and with the way our 01 boat handles, even if it was loaded with suspension parts, I highly doubt I'd feel that issue people have with steering response. Simply put, the car feels more like a Porsche now...LOL! This sounds stupid, I know, but with ALL the "luxury" type cars out there, I never get any sense of "performance". They all just feel like an ordinairy car that is smooth/quiet/etc. etc. But the Saab has some grunt, especially when good rubber is holding the boat afloat. I'm sure the Direzzas, Advan 08's, RE11's, Pilot Super Sports, etc. etc. would add that bit more sporty feel and sophistication (especially with the RE11/Michelin Super Sports that are quiet/mannered), but for the price, the DW was too tough to not trial/error on. I skipped trying out the Michelin A/S Pilot Plus all-together since the sizing was not OEM as I mentioned in the OP, and with the weather we have, it rarely goes to freezing and when it does, even baldish tires have been just fine around short drives or even longer drives so long as you simply drive safe.

My only curiousity at this point is whether I go with a max tire for my handling Subaru or if the DW will be enough tire for street cornering. I don't track or auto-x, but I definitely like to drive hard, and LOVE fun in the N. Cali coastal roads, those ones from the beach to the interstate that average 20mph per turn for 30-40 miles)))

Thanks to the other poster about tire size. It goes to show just how darn confusing these cars can be, though just how much I love them
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