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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:22 am
Posts: 16
Car Model: saab 9-3 1998
hi I've been offered a set of mangels 18" wheels with 38 offset. Will these fit ok on my saab 9-3 1998 model? Will I need to run 215 or 225 tyres? I have 16's on my car at the moment and am struggling with grip will these improve things significantly? I've also been offered a set of 17's and am undecided which to go for. Does anyone have experience of both they could tell me about? Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:51 pm 
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Barrelling Along
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:13 pm
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Location: Maidstone
Car Model: 9-5 Aero
The important thing is how wide are the new wheels?
I would say that even 225 sounds a bit narrow for an 18" that is most likely 7.5" or wider.


Once you know the width, plug the figures in here :

https://www.willtheyfit.com

As for grip, that is far more affected by the quality of the rubber than the size of the wheels.......and also your right foot :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:22 am
Posts: 16
Car Model: saab 9-3 1998
Thanks for the response. My tyres at the moment are 205/50/16 and are fitted to 3 (fat) spoke saab alloys I don't suppose you would know the rim size of these for me to enter into that website link you gave me? I spoke to the guy with the wheels and he says they are 7" wide and I looked up that 225 is the max width for this size. Do you think these wheels would fit ok and would they ride ok? Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:26 pm
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Location: South Oxfordshire
Car Model: 9-3ss Aero 2.0T; OG9-3 vert
I have 16 inch Saab wheels on my OG9-3. They are from a 9-3ss so the offset makes them sit a little further out.

I chose to keep these as they offer good grip and comfort if fitted with reasonable tyres. 17 inch rims would possibly look better but grip the same and be less comfortable, 18s more so etc.

Wider tyres of the same spec offer better grip but often at the expense of feel at the limits of grip. In effect, they let go more suddenly. Wheel diameter is mainly for show IMO.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:22 am
Posts: 16
Car Model: saab 9-3 1998
Hi Rob, thanks for the comprehensive response. My tyres on the 16's are uniroyal rainsports and they don't feel particularly grippy. To be honest my desire to fit 18's is mainly down to the fact they're cheap and would look good. How bad would the ride suffer? How likely will I damage 18's with a 40 profile tyre on potholed roads? Thanks. If anyone has 18's fitted that could tell me about there experiences that would be great.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:39 am
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Location: SW Herts
Car Model: 9-5 Aero est. 9-3 Carlsson
Bigger wheels started out as the only way of fitting bigger (drum) brakes. Then they continued as a fashion choice. Tyres developed and lower profile tyres offered more stable tread on the road.

But, in themselves, wider tyres do not put more rubber on the road. The contact area of the patch is really only dependent on the air pressure in the tyre. Wider tyres just make the patch wider and shorter.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:48 pm
Posts: 21893
Location: Fliptop Towers, North Yorks...the flat bit.
Car Model: One or two...
IMHO 18s on a 9-3 are not a great move - the ride is pants, unless the wheels are very light (that usually means forged rims = expensive...)

225/40/18 would be OK on rims up to 8" wide, an ET38 offset on that size rim risks rubbing on the front arches when turning but should be just about OK.

The "standard" 17" tyre size is 215/45 but I've run 225/45s on 7x17 ET41 9-3ss rims with no rubbing issues. Same offset but an inch wider would be OK as the tyre will be in the same position relative to the bodywork, just with the sidewalls less pinched in at the bead. The extra 3mm offset on the wheels you're looking at probably won't be an issue...

willtheyfit.com is a big help :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:22 am
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Car Model: saab 9-3 1998
Thanks for all the responses - been very helpful. Having listened to the advise offered I think i'll go for a set of 17's and maybe get 18's when I can afford some decent 1's. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:49 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
Car Model: 2009.5 9-5 2.3T TE St4 Auto
Fliptop wrote:
IMHO 18s on a 9-3 are not a great move - the ride is pants, unless the wheels are very light (that usually means forged rims = expensive...)

225/40/18 would be OK on rims up to 8" wide, an ET38 offset on that size rim risks rubbing on the front arches when turning but should be just about OK.

The "standard" 17" tyre size is 215/45 but I've run 225/45s on 7x17 ET41 9-3ss rims with no rubbing issues. Same offset but an inch wider would be OK as the tyre will be in the same position relative to the bodywork, just with the sidewalls less pinched in at the bead. The extra 3mm offset on the wheels you're looking at probably won't be an issue...

willtheyfit.com is a big help :wink:


Just to round this off for future reference, 225/40 ARE ok on an 8j x 18 rim. This is std fitment on many VW e.g. mk4 and 5 R32 / Audi TT ... and I believe that the 18's on 9-3SS were this too although the OG9-5 got 235??

235 on 7.5j is over-tyred in my opinion and gives nasty secondary feedback on bumps in corners. Moving down to 225 on 7.5j is just amazing in comparison :-)

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:48 pm
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Location: Fliptop Towers, North Yorks...the flat bit.
Car Model: One or two...
The tyre sizeand rim width comments were specificto the 9-3. 235/45 17 was standard Saab fitment on late 9-5s and 9-3ss using 7.5J rims, so shouldn't be an issue on cars that will take that size tyre. I have never experienced issues with handling on those cars.
You'd struggle not to rub on the back of an og 9-3 with that size though, depends on the actual tyre used and the actual width...not all 235s are 235mm wide.

I've also swapped from 235/40/18 to 225/40/18 and back again on my 2.8T and noticed very little difference apart from the improved ride with the wider, therefore taller, tyres.
Using 225/45 instead of 215/45 on my 2001 9-3 Aero massively reduced tramlining and improved the ride.

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