Need smaller wheels for 2002 ZX5

I have low profile tires on 16 inch wheels on my ZX5 and they've been a huge headache. Because of the outrageous pothole problem around the George Washington Bridge I have blown 6 tires and had to replace three aluminum
wheels.
I would like to take the 16 inch wheels off and put 14 inch and standard tires on. I was told earlier on this newsgroup that it can be done. Can someone advise as to exactly what size wheels and tires I will need to buy?
Thanks much for your help.
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Hello
.
You might want to replace them with 15 inch wheels and Tires. You can get 15 inch steel wheels at Wal-Mart for about $39 each a lot cheaper than the bend you over price from the dealer. The direct replacement for 205/50/16 Tire would be 195/60/15 a common tire size and can be bought very inexpensively and if you have ABS brakes the correct info input to the ABS computer is the same. I run 15 inch rims and snow tires in the winter time on my Focus. I considered 14 inch the size would have been 185/70/14 but the tire cost was the same or even a bit cheaper for 15 inch ones
I was given this website for a tire calculator when I was looking for an alternative tire size, hope this helps http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
Henri
I have low profile tires on 16 inch wheels on my ZX5 and they've been a huge headache. Because of the outrageous pothole problem around the George Washington Bridge I have blown 6 tires and had to replace three aluminum wheels.
I would like to take the 16 inch wheels off and put 14 inch and standard tires on. I was told earlier on this newsgroup that it can be done. Can someone advise as to exactly what size wheels and tires I will need to buy?
Thanks much for your help.
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I have low profile tires on 16 inch wheels on my ZX5 and they've been a huge headache. Because of the outrageous pothole problem around the George Washington Bridge I have blown 6 tires and had to replace three aluminum wheels.
I would like to take the 16 inch wheels off and put 14 inch and standard tires on. I was told earlier on this newsgroup that it can be done. Can someone advise as to exactly what size wheels and tires I will need to buy?
Thanks much for your help.
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Thank you, Henri. This information is most helpful.

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Like you, I was up to three bent rims and five tires. The 14' combo has improved my winter handling also. (the wagon had a feeling like it was swaying all the time).
Bill
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I agree with Henri. 195/60-15s are the obvious choice. The standard tires are 185/65-14s but these are too small, and would cause problems with inaccurate speedometer, distance measurement etc, as well as excessively high engine revs on the highway. You will need 185/70-14s if you insist on the 14 inch wheel. Alternately, 185/65s will work on the 15s, but I doubt they would be much stronger than the 60s.
I hate the fact that so many manufacturers are pushing these 50-series tires. Even the new Kia Spectra5 has them as standard. Ford, however, has gotten a little more sensible on the 2005 Focus by providing only 195/60-15s on the wagons, including the SES models.
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Most of the young buyers can't wait to ditch the 50 series 16" and install everything up to 18" rims! Crazy.
Over here (Switzerland) the roads are in generally good condition, so the 16" wheel is the best choice for handling versus ride and wheel/tire weight.
Stephen
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I was living in Geneva in 2001 when I first took notice of the Focus .When I was preparing to move back to the USA I made an offer, ordered the car and paid for it over the phone after scrutinizing the inventories of New York dealerships via ford.com's website.
Virtually all the Focus models I saw on the street in Geneva had the 16 inch wheels so it never occured to me that these wheels and tires simply wouldn't work in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. I blew the first tire one week after picking up the car.

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I'm not insisting on a 14 inch wheel but I want to get as far away from low profile tires as possible so that the replacement won't blow out in a typical, not overly deep, pothole. At the moment my wife won't even drive the Focus because of this problem.
We ended up getting a second car, a Toyota Rav-4, a small SUV, that she feels comfortable driving. It and she have done very well handling the same potholes that have blown the tires and bent the rims of the Focus with 16 inch wheels. So I figured 14 inch wheels are even better protection from this problem than 15 inch. But if they are not significantly better then 15 inch with 195/60-15's sounds good to me. I should still stick with steel wheels, though, don't you think?

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Alloys vary in their characteristics, but since strength is your concern here, steel is certainly the way to go. They're cheaper as well as stronger.
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Dave Gower wrote:

A steel wheel will deform, where an alloy will break. Either way, the wheel is destroyed.
In the UK, if you fit alloys to a car originally equipped with steel wheels it is likely that your insurer will raise the premium. This is not, as might be thought, that the vehicle is more likely to be stolen. It is because an accident that involves sliding into the kerb or where the wheel takes the force of a collision will usually just bend a steel wheel. If an alloy is fitted the force is transferred to the suspension and/or suspension mountings, potentially causing a more expensive repair.
It is one of the reasons I would never have alloys.....
Chris.
--
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Here in Ontario, alloys are also known to respond negatively to extreme cold and winter salt. I won't go into details because I've never owned them and I've heard different things, but I know the dealerships definitely recommend steel wheels for winter. That works well, since having winter tires mounted on a separate set of rims is a good idea anyway.
I'm thinking of replacing my 2000 Focus wagon with a 2005, maybe next spring. The one I want is the SES wagon, with traction control. But alloys come mandatory. Bummer.
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Either get the dealer to delete the alloys and get a rebate, or sell them right away on Ebay.
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I put 185/70/14 studded snows on steel Tempo or Topaz wheels for my 2001 Focus wagon. The same in aluminum will not work need steel. Dirt cheap at the junkyard.Ran them 2 yrs now
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