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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
17" wheels look sweet on the wagons! However, the ride quality is typically affected.

Chime in and let us know what suffers in ride quality on the stock suspension - with 17" wheels verses the 15" wheels. How is handling affected? Can you feel every pit in the road?

What tires and air pressure have you found to improve the ride quality with 17's.

Who thinks that the 15's look just fine and would recommend keeping the wagon's wheels stock?
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chime in and let us know what suffers in ride quality on the stock suspension - with 17" wheels verses the 15" wheels.
Not that much of a difference at all, as long as you run a tire with a decent sidewall like the 255 50 17 or a taller 255 55 17 (which exactly matches the stock wagon 225 75 15, btw).

How is handling affected?
Handling will be better due to wider rubber on the road, and less sidewall squirm (not to mention that most 17" tires are designed to have much better grip than 15s).
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just went from stock sized michelins on the stock wheels to impala ss rims with kumho 255/50's and yes the car finds more bumps in the road (I'm workin with NYC here) but its still a more than tolerable ride, and there's quite a bit less sidewall roll. No complaints in a month so far.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think quality is affected that much, unless you decide to run O-ring tires.

I think what you go with should be up to your personal tastes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i would go 15" or 18". 17" tires, in my opinion, are not tall enough for wagons. they look funny on the back. only 26" tall.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the ride quality of my 255/35/"20's" and my stiff Bilstein shocks and my swaybars over the ride of the stock 15's with the marshmellow suspension.

I think it's a matter of taste and preference- We don't all desire the same thing.

I run 41 lbs. pressure in the tires and I guess the bumps in the roads out West just aren't the maneaters of the "lEast Coast" sink holes! :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have tried many tire/wheel combinations on my wagons. Best for ride for me is Impala Wheels with Nitto 450 275/50/17 110V tires. ~27.8" tall so about the same as a 225/75/15 (~28.3").
David
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With those 275/50/17's on the car, is there any rubbing issues on he car in the front or rear? Please be specific.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The stock Impala 255/50/17 is roughly 27" the stock tires on my wagon are closer to 28" I believe. I have not put the SS wheels on the wagon yet but on the Caprice they do affect ride quality but not negatively, they offer more response and a little more feel, the only downside I found is the wide rubber finds ruts in the road you didn't notice before. I like the SS wheels and 255/50 rubber yes it is a taller wheel than stock but is a good balance it gives some benifits without the drawbacks to the 20"+ crap. This is coming from someone who thinks anything over 18" is BAD so I am not saying go big for the look I am all about enjoyment and performance.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by basso83:
With those 275/50/17's on the car, is there any rubbing issues on he car in the front or rear? Please be specific.
There was none on my '95. There was a problem on my '94 because the body was not centered on the frame. It was only a fraction of an inch of clearance on the driver's side rear skirt. I took a come along and eased the skirt out a bit and now I have almost 1/2" of clearance on that side. Been running it for several years that way. I get these Nittos at my local Discount Tire pretty reasonably priced.
No problem in the front.
Tire is within 1/2" of factory tire height.
David
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I second what guys are saying about tires.
I'm going to new tires this spring, the 275/40/17 in the back are way too bumpy and you know our interiors...they sound like a coffee can full of pennies and miscellaneous plastic pieces.

Going for 255/55/17 all the way around this time.

Bottom line, 17's are fine with a decent sidewall.

Mark
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
285/40-17 here on 17x9.5 wheels, I think they look great and handle excellent. I have QA1s so ride quality is adjustable, it can be about as soft as stock or stiff enough to make the car fall appart...or feel like it anyway :D

Another thing to keep in mind...

Buick Variable Effort Steering and lazy ratio + WIDE front tires + Crappy Wisconsin Backroads = :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: .

Im going to remove VES and put in a 9C1 steering box but if I wasnt id have to switch to something more narrow up front or id just cause an accident sooner or later
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Zugdud,

If your car is wandering over the road I would strongly suggest checking the center link where it attaches to the pitman arm and the steering wheel shaft to the steering box.

I replaced my centerlink and the car is perfect now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think it is a comparitive thing, he is coming from driving a 9C1 those offer a whole lot more road feel through the wheel. I know going from my civi to the wagon the wagon felt sloppy and I was ready to rip out the VES. I have not driven the civi since nov. and am now accustomed to the wagons mushy feel, once I start drivning the Caprice again though I am sure I will again hate the VES as it does kill road feel(as designed).
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I elected not to put much money into roling stock as we use the wagon as a family car, but I did do several things one at a time, and their effect was VERY noticable at each step. In this order, Hotchkiss rear bar & LCA's (w/F40 HD bar up front), ZQ8's & Monroe Severe Service shocks w/coil-overs in rear (no G67 auto-level), replaced stock size rubber w/235/70/15ww Yokohama Avid Touring tires. Very happy w/results thanks to tips from forum. The ride might be stiffer than some would like, but that's the direction I wanted to go in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The front suspension is in good condition, the car doesn't wonder at all. its just that the wide front tires like to follow all the ruts in the road. And with the buick steering you can't even feel it happening! Your car will just start moving around while your steering wheel is giving you zero feedback to alert you...and the slower steering ratio doesn't help the situation. To be honest its SCARY :eek:

Luckly i can avoid the questionable roads for awhile until i put the new steering box in and figure out how to eliminate ves :D
 
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