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Shock Talk! And Tires Too

MVS Forum regular NorthernLights talks about choosing bad tires and oversteer(!):Dunlop performance tires

“I have to respectfully disagree about the Koni vs Bilstein, especially the assumption that they are completely incompatible. Which, in the event it is not obvious, are the Koni Sports (in front) and Bilstein HD/B6’s in the back.

Here’s a little presentation from Koni with some good shock dyno data for a direct comparison, albiet for a Honda.

Prior to the tire swap, using sorry looking 205/55R16 Toyo Versado LX’s at 40 psi with the Konis set at full soft, the handling was outstanding. There was slight oversteer near cornering limits, which to me is where handling is best.

This went completely to pot after the rear tire change to the dreaded Ecopias. Again….dumb, dumb, dumb move on my part!”

Northernlights wrote: I recently had to replace two tires. I developed a bad thump which turned out to be because one tire (a 2007 vintage Toyo) was no longer round, and was at risk of exploding. My vehicle has the 205/55R16 ‘upgrade’ size which means it is now easy to find replacements off the shelf as this size is used by mass-produced late-model Mazda 3’s and Honda Civics, amongst others.

I bought a pair of Bridgestone Ecopias because they were available, and being H-speed rated, I thought ‘They can’t be all bad’.

Big Mistake. I never thought replacing two eccentric, nearly dead tires with new rubber could have such a negative impact on handling. Oversteer is now a huge, huge problem, and as I am not ready to start dirt-tracking I need to replace the new tires with something better. As the front’s don’t look so great, I might as well do all four. I think the short term solution is to put the new tires on the front to balance it better – or remove the rear sway bar! It’s really that bad.

Because I can’t bare to leave better enough alone, this leads to my question. Since I replaced the front springs and struts, I have no rubbing issues at all with the 205/55R16’s. This is part of the problem – new front springs with Koni’s and rear Bilsteins allows the car to easily overdrive non-sticky tires. (Did I say what a bad idea the Ecopias were?) I’ve thought about going back to 205/50R16’s to improve handling, but the risk to the wheels has me concerned.

As an alternative, has anyone experimented with 215/50R16’s? I realize this is a strange size, but they were OEM on Contour SVT’s so they are available. They are also half way in diameter between the 205/50’s and the 205/55’s, so there is more rubber to protect the wheels, and the rubber is wider which is always a plus.

Shock Talk! And Tires Too: Will 215/50R16 Work?

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