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Will 235/55R20 tires fit?

I'm one of the many Ascent owners/to be who really wish that the 18" wheels and better tires were available for the Limited and Touring models. So I've been looking for better tires for the 20" wheels, and as we all know, there is very limited selection available in the 245/50R20 size.

I live and drive in a rural area with mainly gravel roads, and drive a few hours to snow ski often during the winter. The OEM Falkens do not have a decent treadware rating, and are a primarily highway tire, so they fail my needs on both counts. I'm looking for a much much better treadware rating and the mountain snowflake designation, and if possible an all terrain tire.

There is more selection available, with the exception of all terrains, in the 235/55R20 size. However that size is generally 30.2" diameter and 9.7" wide. I can't find the exact diameter of the OEM 20" tires, but it seems like most 245/50R20 tires run 29.6" diameter and 9.6" to 10" wide.

I currently run and in the past have run Yokahama Geolander AT G015 and AT-S tires on my Outbacks and really like them, but there is no 20" diameter size available in those that would remotely fit the Ascent.

So will the 235/55R20 tires fit, or maybe some other R20 tire?
 

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I assume I will still have my 20" rims, but when the stock tires finally wear out, or wear me out, I will look to replace them with either:

BFGoodrich Advantage T/A's or Michelin Premier LTXs.

If I have a spare set of rims for All-Terrain/Snows, I will look towards the Michelins which are good for 6yr/60K.
If I don't have a spare set, the BFGs are good for 6yr/65K and also come rated in 3PMSF.

Both come in the same tire size as the stock 20s but am unsure how well they will be for daily gravel driving.
 

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Thanks for the tire suggestions.... There are a few others, including Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady and Toyo Celcius CUV, that are available in both the 20" OEM and 235/55 sizes. Because of the gravel/washboard roads, I'm considering a tire with a little more sidewall, in addition to the higher treadwear rating, hence the 235/55's. Problem is, I've no recent personal experience with any brand other than the Geolander AT's, which I've used for the last 10 years as they have been the best tire for my application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

Thanks also for reminding me of the future possibility of 18" wheels. Still wondering, tho', if 235/55R20 will fit to replace the 245/50R20's?
They will likely rub. That's why I went through such ridiculous efforts of finding something that ended up being the same diameter.


Jeremy Needham went with 265/50R20's, which are about the same diameter (30.4" vs your selection's 30.2"), and his are rubbing. He ended up having to shave down some wheel well pieces.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SubaruAscent/permalink/2314019378867567/
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Still Happy, Still No Problems

I am now just shy of 2,000 miles on this setup (94 miles away) and I have had zero rubbing issues of tire to car or caliper to rim. Thoroughly happy with this setup. I've used them off road, up and down mountains, on the beach and done everything I can think of to cause issues.


So, I of course cannot recommend anyone else "modifies" their Ascent, but here's what *I* did.

I wanted an exact tire circumference and width match and I wanted all terrain tires. The only way of achieving that was with 17" rims. I tried nine different rims. Though they all cleared the calipers, only one cleared the calipers with enough space to make me happy (a little over 4mm). Those were Liquid Metal Shadows.

The tires I selected are Kumho Road Venture AT/51's, which are 3 peak winter rated, ridiculously well rated for snow, very well rated for off road, very well rated for rain, and decently rated for road. They also have an amazing treadwear rating, higher load rating, but slightly lower speed rating. Oh, and they're very cheap, especially for a tire with amazing reviews everywhere.

They're a little noisier and mushier than the 20" tires I was running, but that's expected, and has been the case with every all terrain I have run on my Outback as well.

The rim offset moves the tires/rims 6/10 of an inch outward, which I can live with. I'd have preferred they were an exact match or a little closer, but, that's the best I could find that fit over the calipers.

The tire is soooo close that it's 1 one revolution per mile difference from the stock 18" and 2 revolution per mile difference from the stock 20" tires (yes, the stock tires are one revolution per mile different as well)



Discount Tires has the Liquid Metals and can order the Kumhos in the appropriate size. They were a very big help (as was Tire Rack, which is where I bought the Kumhos and half the test rims from).

Eventually, if I find appropriately load rated rims that have enough caliper clearance and a closer offset, I'll likely swap.

ROAD VENTURE AT51 - ALL-TERRAIN LIGHT TRUCK/SUV/CUV | BETTER ALWAYS KUMHO TIRE USA
 

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Thank you for the feedback, interesting about the 265/50R20's. Based on his Facebook posts, he got Terra Grappler G2's. Nitto's web site shows them to be 30.47" diameter and 10.91" wide. Still wondering if the 235/55R20's I'm considering, at 30.2 diameter and 9.7 wide, will rub?
 

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They will likely rub. That's why I went through such ridiculous efforts of finding something that ended up being the same diameter.


Jeremy Needham went with 265/50R20's, which are about the same diameter (30.4" vs your selection's 30.2"), and his are rubbing. He ended up having to shave down some wheel well pieces.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SubaruAscent/permalink/2314019378867567/
with regard to rubbing, where is rubbing occurring? I am wondering, since many 18" rims clear the calipers, what about running a shorter (29.6 vs 29) but wider (9.6 vs 10) AT tire like a 255/55/R18? The K02s come in that size. Sure the speedo will be off, but will they rub?
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Thank you for the feedback, interesting about the 265/50R20's. Based on his Facebook posts, he got Terra Grappler G2's. Nitto's web site shows them to be 30.47" diameter and 10.91" wide. Still wondering if the 235/55R20's I'm considering, at 30.2 diameter and 9.7 wide, will rub?
with regard to rubbing, where is rubbing occurring? I am wondering, since many 18" rims clear the calipers, what about running a shorter (29.6 vs 29) but wider (9.6 vs 10) AT tire like a 255/55/R18? The K02s come in that size. Sure the speedo will be off, but will they rub?
I wish I knew for sure. I just know his were rubbing on the wheel wells. Whether that's the inside our the outer edge where the well's body cladding/molding is, I don't know. You all can ask him. :tango_face_wink:

There's an engineer's post (copied and pasted by someone) buried in the group about why one shouldn't run different circumference wheels (Eyesight, adaptive cruise control and emergency braking), which was something else I took into consideration. Regardless, I can't recommend my method either, since it's a "vehicle modification". Sigh. :sad:

Sorry guys, wish I had more info on how/where, etc.
 

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with regard to rubbing, where is rubbing occurring? I am wondering, since many 18" rims clear the calipers, what about running a shorter (29.6 vs 29) but wider (9.6 vs 10) AT tire like a 255/55/R18? The K02s come in that size. Sure the speedo will be off, but will they rub?
Good suggestion, if I decide to get the 18" wheels. I'm not really concerned about the speedo being off a mile or two up or down.
 

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This is a helpful site for changing wheels/tire sizes.

https://www.willtheyfit.com
I decided to spend the morning doing some data mining on Tire Rack using info from the site Skeeter posted. I put the stock wheel/tire info in there and put what I knew from what Robert and Jeremy have done in the hopes of finding an 18" A/T wheel/tire combo that may fit. The K02 will come in a 255/55R18, but the closest Kumo size was 265/60R18. I picked out some wheels I liked and put them in the spreadsheet. It should be visible in the thumbnail. The Kumo's are a bigger tire close to what Jeremy is running on his 20" Nittos. Rubbing may happen, I don't know. The K02s are smaller and some dimensions seem to be in between what Robert and Jeremy have. Having looked at so many wheels, and the Ascent is a Subaru, I am currently drawn to the Method Racing MR501 Rally's at the moment.
 

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I decided to spend the morning doing some data mining on Tire Rack using info from the site Skeeter posted. I put the stock wheel/tire info in there and put what I knew from what Robert and Jeremy have done in the hopes of finding an 18" A/T wheel/tire combo that may fit. The K02 will come in a 255/55R18, but the closest Kumo size was 265/60R18. I picked out some wheels I liked and put them in the spreadsheet. It should be visible in the thumbnail. The Kumo's are a bigger tire close to what Jeremy is running on his 20" Nittos. Rubbing may happen, I don't know. The K02s are smaller and some dimensions seem to be in between what Robert and Jeremy have. Having looked at so many wheels, and the Ascent is a Subaru, I am currently drawn to the Method Racing MR501 Rally's at the moment.
Thanks for the additional info on AT tires and compatible 18" wheels...I appreciate it. Will update with what I eventually do in a few months. If anyone comes up with any additional info on alternatives using OEM wheels, that will help us all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
MR 501 won't fit.

I decided to spend the morning doing some data mining on Tire Rack using info from the site Skeeter posted. I put the stock wheel/tire info in there and put what I knew from what Robert and Jeremy have done in the hopes of finding an 18" A/T wheel/tire combo that may fit. The K02 will come in a 255/55R18, but the closest Kumo size was 265/60R18. I picked out some wheels I liked and put them in the spreadsheet. It should be visible in the thumbnail. The Kumo's are a bigger tire close to what Jeremy is running on his 20" Nittos. Rubbing may happen, I don't know. The K02s are smaller and some dimensions seem to be in between what Robert and Jeremy have. Having looked at so many wheels, and the Ascent is a Subaru, I am currently drawn to the Method Racing MR501 Rally's at the moment.


Most of the rims they sell will not fit. Including, in my opinion, the Method MR501. It's about a millimeter from the calipers. My fault, I was supposed to post what I'd tried, but forgot. Also, beware the load ratings of the rims.

Here's the LM Shadow compared to the MR501...


Here's the 17" tests...

FAILED:
  • (caliper clearance) Vision Cross 17x7.5 5/114.3 40+10mm
  • (caliper clearance) TSW Bardo 17x8 5/114.3 40+10mm
  • (caliper clearance) Method Race Wheels MR501 Rally 17x8 5/114.30 42
  • (caliper clearance) TSW Ascent 17x8.0 5/114.3 ET40
  • (caliper clearance, load rating) 17x8 Enkei Performance VR5 BLK PAINT
  • (caliper clearance, load rating) 17x8 Sparco Drift BRONZE
  • (everything) 2017 Crosstrek
  • (everything) 2010 Outback
  • (do not fit) Liquid Metal Instinct 17x7.5 40OFF - (tested by @FourMoBro)
  • (do not fit) Liquid Metal Shift 17x7.5 40 OFF - (tested by @FourMoBro)



PASSED:
  • Liquid Metal Shadow 17x7.5 5/114.3 40+10mm
  • TSW Sebring* 17x8 40OFF (tested by @FourMoBro)
 

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Discussion Starter · #117 ·
You tested the 17" MR501, the chart is for 18s.....
Oops. Missed that. Yeah, lol, the 18" will fit with ease, and the load rating is more than enough.
 

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Oops. Missed that. Yeah, lol, the 18" will fit with ease, and the load rating is more than enough.
But is it worth $60 more a tire (K02 245/65/17 vs 255/55/18) and $85 a wheel (shadow 17" vs mr501 18") for a total of ~$600+tax over your similar setup? Well, your setup seems to work just fine and many Outbacks run the same 17" A/T setup so they can be resold to 2017+ owners. I wonder what the bolt pattern on the new Foresters are.

Thanks for the better pic of caliper clearance as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #119 ·
Dunno...

Thanks for the better pic of caliper clearance as well.
Thanks for prompting me to remember to put up the list of what I'd tested - even if I posted it in the wrong place, lol! :grin:


But is it worth $60 more a tire (K02 245/65/17 vs 255/55/18) and $85 a wheel (shadow 17" vs mr501 18") for a total of ~$600+tax over your similar setup? Well, your setup seems to work just fine and many Outbacks run the same 17" A/T setup so they can be resold to 2017+ owners. I wonder what the bolt pattern on the new Foresters are.

I dunno. I guess it depends on need? Many people are just looking for the ability to get better winter tires, and most of the 18" rims are cheaper than the OEM. I (and Jeremy) had the specific desire for off-roading and beach, which limited our options. He went for bigger and a little sanding to avoid rubbing, I went for OEM circumference.
 
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