15" steelies on '12 WRX
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This is a discussion on 15" steelies on '12 WRX within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; does anyone have 15" steelies on for their winter setup? tirerack "suggests" either 16" or the OEM 17" but i'm ...

  1. #1
    Registered User carlcarl's Avatar
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    15" steelies on '12 WRX

    does anyone have 15" steelies on for their winter setup? tirerack "suggests" either 16" or the OEM 17" but i'm trying to figure out if the smaller 15" would work. reasons for this is smaller tire width + cheaper tires.

    thanks guys for any inputs!
    2012 DGM WRX Base

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    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    Would there be enough room around the disc and caliper for 15"?

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    Registered User carlcarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    Would there be enough room around the disc and caliper for 15"?
    actually that is the main issue i can think of with a 15". i've been looking around the forum and seems like no one has tried.
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    Registered User Axex's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone that has tried to go smaller, but I have 16" wheels and they are just enough to clear the brakes. I doubt a 15" would fit, but I don't have any numbers for you to back that up. With that big a difference from stock I would think you'd have to get some pretty tall tires too (assuming you want your speedometer to still read properly). 16" used or steel wheels can be had for cheap and if you want to save money there are definitely some affordable snow tires for that size.

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    Registered User carlcarl's Avatar
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    I never thought that the 16s would be that close to the brakes. If that's the case then I'm gonna quit looking for 15s and focus on 16s then.
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    Registered User xFalleNx's Avatar
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    15"s won't fit.
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    Registered User gregroot198521's Avatar
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    15" steelies on '12 WRX

    Quote Originally Posted by xFalleNx View Post
    15"s won't fit.
    You're wrong. Wanna know why? Because I have 15"s on my '11 WRX. Can I comment on 15" steelies? No, but there are 15s that do though, look at the rally rims: Braid, Team Dynamics, couple others too that I can't remember.
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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Not all 15" wheels will fit on the late model WRX. The front caliper clearance is the issue. Any 16" wheel will fit. The only way to know if a 15" will fit is to find somebody that has them or buy 'em & try 'em.

    So to be sure, just stick with 16" wheels and you know they'll fit. Your only other option is to do a lot of research to find 15" wheels that people are already using that you know will fit. That's why Tirerack doesn't recommend them. Most 15" wheels won't fit and they're not going to go through the work to try and test fit every 15" wheel they sell to see which ones will.

    There isn't a significant difference in price between a 15" and 16" wheel or tire either, so there's really no point in going down in size. The weight is very similar too, and the performance of the 16" should be slightly better due to the shorter sidewall. Personally I'd find a 17" wheel that's inexpensive since it'll perform significantly better than a 16" will because of the shorter sidewall.
    Scott
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    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    Not all 15" wheels will fit on the late model WRX. The front caliper clearance is the issue. Any 16" wheel will fit. The only way to know if a 15" will fit is to find somebody that has them or buy 'em & try 'em.

    So to be sure, just stick with 16" wheels and you know they'll fit. Your only other option is to do a lot of research to find 15" wheels that people are already using that you know will fit. That's why Tirerack doesn't recommend them. Most 15" wheels won't fit and they're not going to go through the work to try and test fit every 15" wheel they sell to see which ones will.

    There isn't a significant difference in price between a 15" and 16" wheel or tire either, so there's really no point in going down in size. The weight is very similar too, and the performance of the 16" should be slightly better due to the shorter sidewall. Personally I'd find a 17" wheel that's inexpensive since it'll perform significantly better than a 16" will because of the shorter sidewall.
    I think the OP was looking for smaller diameter wheels because they would likely come up narrower too. The theory being a narrower tire would give better traction in snow. Not that I've experimented with that. Where I live, if it snows, it's melted by the time I've found my car keys.

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    I think the OP was looking for smaller diameter wheels because they would likely come up narrower too. The theory being a narrower tire would give better traction in snow. Not that I've experimented with that. Where I live, if it snows, it's melted by the time I've found my car keys.
    Well whether or not the OP was looking for that, it's a totally outdated and useless strategy. A lot of people still think it's important but it's not. The idea that a narrower tire will cut through snow to the packed snow underneath and give better traction doesn't really apply. It's far better to have the larger contact patch with as many tread blocks (and more importantly the space between the blocks and the sipes in the blocks) to grip as much as possible.

    I've done many thousands of miles of driving on unplowed roads with snow tires, both paved and unpaved, and I'll take a wider tire any day of the week. I'll also take them on any plowed road with or without fresh snow on top of the snowpack. There is of course a limit to this but you're not going to reach it on a Subaru, nor are you going to find a snow tire wide enough that it matters. However, in looking for snow tires for my 911, the widest rear tire I could find up until a couple of years ago was a 265. You can now find a 285 snow tire because there's no need for the tire to be narrow. Like I said the sipes and tread block pattern is really what matters.

    The one time this would matter is if you're running all seasons. Since they don't have the sipes or wide tread blocks, they gum up with snow more easily and become useless in loose snow. The only way they'll give you any traction for braking or steering is if they're on a hard surface like packed snow. They'll still suck, but they'll be better than they are in the loose stuff!
    Scott
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    Registered User carlcarl's Avatar
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    True, the reason I was looking for 15s was due to the more narrow tire width which supports that theory. Unfortunately it seems like finding one that fits would be a PITA. I did notice that tirerack did not put that into their "suggested" packages which would mean they do not recommend it.

    As for running 17s, I feel that due to the amount of snow and salt or whatever they put on the roads here, I would rather save my wheels for better road conditions.

    I used to live in LA and moved here in NY 2 years ago and subtracting last season being "snowless", I only have 1 snow season on my belt (crashed a car in the process too) so with this car I really want to take the best approach.

    Thanks for the inputs! I'm going to start hunting for those 16s then.
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    Registered User gregroot198521's Avatar
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    15" steelies on '12 WRX

    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    Not all 15" wheels will fit on the late model WRX. The front caliper clearance is the issue. Any 16" wheel will fit. The only way to know if a 15" will fit is to find somebody that has them or buy 'em & try 'em.

    So to be sure, just stick with 16" wheels and you know they'll fit. Your only other option is to do a lot of research to find 15" wheels that people are already using that you know will fit. That's why Tirerack doesn't recommend them. Most 15" wheels won't fit and they're not going to go through the work to try and test fit every 15" wheel they sell to see which ones will.

    There isn't a significant difference in price between a 15" and 16" wheel or tire either, so there's really no point in going down in size. The weight is very similar too, and the performance of the 16" should be slightly better due to the shorter sidewall. Personally I'd find a 17" wheel that's inexpensive since it'll perform significantly better than a 16" will because of the shorter sidewall.
    Don't know if you were replying to me, but I didn't say they all will, but there are a decent few that do, like I posted. IIRC, all the 15" Braid rims fit, and there's one Team Dynamics rim that is confirmed to fit also. I have a "late model" WRX, and unless they've suddenly changed the brake diameter between the '11, '12, & '13 MYs, they'll fit. See my pic above: 15x6.5 Braid Acropolis TAs, +45 offset, IIRC, with some 215/75-15 Yokohama Geolander ATS'.

    Though I do agree that if you want less sidewall flex, get some 16"s, unless you ever decide to come to the dirty side, then it's almost impossible to find rally rubber or all-terrain rubber that'll fit bigger than 15"s.
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    Registered User xFalleNx's Avatar
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    Greg, I knew you were gonna reply lol.

    You have rally wheels though. IIRC those are specifically designed to be able to fit over the brakes. I also highly doubt that OP would want to spend that kinda money on rally wheels if he's just looking for something to get him through the winter.

    I knew that some 15" rally wheels would work, but I has just assumed that purchasing rally wheels over 16" steelies wouldn't be an option for the op.
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    Registered User carlcarl's Avatar
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    Yeaaahhh rally wheels would've counted if not for the budget restrictions. Someday maybe when warranty's off and I have extra cash I would take this thing to go rallying.
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    Registered User gregroot198521's Avatar
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    15" steelies on '12 WRX

    Quote Originally Posted by xFalleNx View Post
    Greg, I knew you were gonna reply lol.

    You have rally wheels though. IIRC those are specifically designed to be able to fit over the brakes. I also highly doubt that OP would want to spend that kinda money on rally wheels if he's just looking for something to get him through the winter.

    I knew that some 15" rally wheels would work, but I has just assumed that purchasing rally wheels over 16" steelies wouldn't be an option for the op.
    LOL, yeah, I gotta bring the info to the masses, especially everything I see a thread like this, and a blanket statement of "15" runs don't fit". Definitely designed to fit though, that's for sure. Damned rally rubber sizes.

    Don't think they are that expensive though, $225 a corner, and the tires for 15"s are cheaper too usually. If its still too costly, I'd recommend some 16" steelies and you'll still have lower cost in the tires than for 17"s. Haven't heard of any problems with 16"s fitting from any of the other dirty guys. I'd say search around on DirtyImpreza, there's a few guys who run those ugly steelies, lol.

    Oh, and FYI, you don't have to stick with the 3rd gens either, IIRC, the diameter of the front brakes on the WRX haven't changed since '02 or somewhere back there. I'll see if I can find the thread that listed the diameters.

    EDIT: oh yeah, OP, you might have luck buying some used rims off of DirtyImpreza. There are a few sets that are up for sale right now, just like this one (Team Dynamics 15x7): http://www.dirtyimpreza.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=27222
    Last edited by gregroot198521; 10-21-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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