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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read previous topics about going from 15" rims to 17" rims (currently have 205/65R15 Dunlop Sport A2's on Ford alloy rims), but none mention the problem of belts breaking in the tires. I haven't noticed any suspicious bulges though.

I have put about 10k miles on these tires, and the front ones lost about 75% of their tread, while the rears lost about 25%. The car also has been suffering from bad vibrations at 75mph, which you can barely feel at 60mph. I have had balancing done, but it still vibrates bad at 75mph, and I recently rotated the tires, so the worn ones are now on the back. And I think the vibrating is coming from the worn tires now in the back...

I'm wondering if Dunlop Sport A2's have a problem with belts breaking, or if I'm driving too hard for any tire that size. And if I'm just driving too hard, will tires on 17" rims last longer handling curves?
 

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Kestrel,

It sounds like the problems you are having are either from abuse to your tires, neglecting to maintain your car, or Dunlop A2's are some crappy tires. I really can't speculate.

As far as going to 17" rims.... if your problems are from worn components in your suspension, you will continue to have problems with bigger wheels and wider tires.

If your problems are from abusing your tires.... higher performance 17" tires should handle more abuse and you car will perform better.

Finally, if you just got some sucky tires.... ditch the Dunlops and by something better.

High performance tires have a soft tread compound and can wear out quickly if pushed to their limits on a regular basis. Grip is better at the cost of faster wear.

A 16" performance wheel and tire is the best combination of performance, ride quality, and cost.
 

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I agree with spridget...

you may want to have your alignment and chamber checked. tire inflation pressure will also effect how the tire wears and rides.

In a thread a long time ago it was determined that 16's were the way to go for performance. plus tires are cheaper for 16's than 17's
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ya, I guess I have do some pretty crummy driving... I drive about 16 miles every day, and drive around 8 45mph curves at 60mph, so maybe that's doing it. I also tend to turn into driveways at 15+mph... Hehe

I did have a left ball joint in the steering squeaking, but it stopped squeaking a couple months ago...

I been balancing and aligning the tires about every year (about every 6k miles), and I usually inflate them to a range of 35-40psi (0-5psi higher than the manual says). I was hoping these Dunlop Sport A2's were going to be as good or better than the Firestone FTC420?'s I had. But then I did start breaking belts in those tires too after 20k miles. But these Dunlops only lasted me 10k miles, but then I was driving more highway miles when I had the Firestones...

I just figure if 16" or 17" rims would make my tires last twice as long, then they would pay for themselves. But hell, it's all speculation...
 

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The hitting driveways/potholes at speed tends to destroy tires, and possibly bend a wheel (been there done that). If you go bigger wheels, your chance of bending the wheels increases, but the grip levels would be greater.
 

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I gotta go with Spridget here also. I'm happy I already have 16" rims. I like how they look plus they give good grip. Plus with a beefed up suspension, you can get away with "less"-performace tires because the suspension will keep the car more balanced through the turns. When I had to buy 2 new tires the tire guy tried selling me Yoko Avids. Yeah great tire, but I know that 1) I'll be abusing the tires through turns and 2) I'll be making the suspension better anyways so I said "No way. Give me the cheapest 100,000 mile rocks you have." And even with just a bigger rear sway bar so far, I can hit turns at close to 10 mph more than I used to be able to. And I still have the front sway bar, drop springs, struts, and SFBs to go.

Also, something not many people know. A higher speed rated tire will actually have a less stiff sidewall. That's because the tire maker is banking on that higher speed rating and when pushed to those speeds, the temp and then pressure increases, and will stiffen the sidewall through pressure as well as give the tires more flex at those higher speed to be able to withstand the high speeds. But at typicall low speeds, you're stuck with a sloppy sidewall. Lesson: don't buy a rediculous speed rated tire. You don't seriously need tires rated to go 150mph. And that's a sustained 150mph. Not the instant you hit 151, your tires explode. Now granted, on a low-profile tire it doesn't make as big a difference, but with our big tires and large sidewalls, it makes a big difference.

So there you go, 100,000 mile warranted stone wheels, and lower speed ratings.

-mobiuslogic
 

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Going to bigger rims will force you to run stiffer walled tires as there's less rubber in the sidewall to help hold up the weight of the car. It might help you keep from busting the belts on the tires, but considering how you can break a belt on a tire, you'll most likely end up bending the more expensive, 17" rim. (The sidewall is there to act as a cushion against bumps and other road hazards for the rim). Our minivan has the Dunlop Sport tires...I havent had any problem with them, especially considering that NYC is notorious for having some of the worst streets in the country. You may want to change tire brands first before upgrading to bigger rims. Also like mobius said, don't go with the higher speed rating - go with the higher LOAD rating. The higher the load rating, the stiffer the sidewall to allow the tire to carry more weight. Our cars use 92-93 load rating tires AFAIK...you may want to go with a 95 or something like that.

Also, properly inflate your tires - the handling of the car might feel better when the tires are overinflated, but you will have less grip, more uneven wear, and most importantly in your case, more likelyhood to bust a belt because when you hit an obstruction, the tire will absorb less of the impact than when it is underinflated (think of an overinflated and underinflated basketball hitting the ground). I think you should review your driving habits if you consistently bust belts and wear down your tires excessively. Avoiding large potholes, speedbumps at decent speed, and any other road obstruction to begin with will end up saving you $$ in the long run.
 

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This problem sounds like the aforementioned tire abuse-- either poor maintenance, bad driving, or probably both.

He rotated his tires at 10,000 miles? That's nuts on any car, and particularly a FWD car. A2s aren't great tires, but they're far from "crappy" tires.

Tire size and brand are the least of his problems.
 

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Also 5-10psi over-inflated it nuts. Ford says run them at 32psi. I run mine at 35psi cold. And at the absolute MOST hottest temp after driving they don't go over 40. Typical is about 37 with normal driving. And yes, I've checked on all that. My pressure gauge is in my driver door panel; good and close.

-mobiuslogic
 

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When I had problems with tread separation, broken belts, etc, the problems was because I was driving the tires harder than what they were designed for. I was running standard passenger type tires on my 240Z that I drove very hard. I started to use Michelin XWX VR rated tires and my problems went away. I rotate my tires every 3000 miles and I get about 24,000 miles a set (BFG CompT/A, Dunlop SP8000). I haven't had any tire failures with the BFG or Dunlops. Both tires are Z rated. I inflate the tires to 38 to 40 psi cold. I check my tires at each oil change. I would make sure that you don't have any suspension problems. Check the shocks (worn shocks can cause cupping which in turn causes vibration), tie rods (Taurus tie rods wear quickly and have no grease fittings, ball joints, etc.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Took me a while to get back...

I don't have any potholes or speed bumps on the regular route I drive, and only hit curbs when I parallel park in town (a couple times a year). I know that I should have rotated my tires earlier, but they each individual tire wore pretty evenly. It's just that my fronts wore twice as fast as my rears. I'll have to check out this load rating. I never noticed it before when on tirerack.com. Also, I didn't think of my tire pressure. I usually inflate mine to about 38-40 psi. That might be a bit of my problem.
 
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