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Discussion Starter #1
My brother-in-law has a slightly used set of good snow tires off a car he just junked - 205/65-15
This is a hair smaller than the minimum size on the placard for my 1995 Intrepid - 205/70-15
I am currently running a ("one more season left on them maybe") set of 215/65-15 snows
Original tires are 225/60-16
So I know with the current snows will read speed high by 2.5% maybe more with the wear on them.
The 205-65 15s would read 4-5% high (smaller tire)
But is there really a risk to go that little bit below the minimum tire size?

I might also consider them for my wife's '99 Town and Country but they are even slightly larger original tires 215/65-16
I don't see a minimum tire size on teh T&C placard
Does anyone know what the minimum size is for a '99 T&C or Grand Voyager 3.8l FWD?

Thanks Roy
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Not advisable to put 15" tires on a 16" wheel.
 

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For the Intrepid (that's presumably already using 15" wheels for its current snow tires), I'd think the 205/65R15's would fit where the 215/65R15's were used. As you noted the speedometer will be off a little more from the diameter difference. The only risk I could foresee is if the 205-width tire is too narrow for the wheel being used. A tire store that sells that brand of tire should be able to tell you if the tire is compatible with your rim width.

I don't know the answer for the van but I'd be concerned that the 15" wheel might be too small for clearance to the suspension or the front brake calipers.
 

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You need to see what the weight rating is on the sidewall and if that will be sufficient for the weight of the car or van.

As for the van, all 1999 Town and Country vans had 16" wheels, the Caravan and Grand Voyager could be had with 215-65-15 tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks - good points on the weight rating and the rim width. Will check that out.
Certainly I do have 15" rims for both vehicles already - I have 15" snows on both now.
The intrepid 215/65-15s as noted in the original post. These were bought used off a Gen 2 minivan actually
The van has 215/70-15s to closely match the circumference of the original 215/65-16s. These were sold to me new for our previous '96 Grand Voyager and clear everything on the '99 T&C fine (susp and brakes pretty much identical to the '96). I chose the 15" cause they were significantly cheaper - the dealer listed both for the GV and the original tires on the '96 same size as the '99.
 

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10 mm width on a 65 series tire is only 6.5 mm shorter height in the sidewall from the 215s you have, and I don't think that is going to be enough to make it dangerous to drive any more than she is now. As long as the tires are in good shape, no reason to waste them.
 

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Radioactive
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To put the difference into perspective, a new tire has 11/32 inches of tread, and they are legal down to 2/32nds. So the correct size tire has 18/32nds range in height... 0.5625 inch.

14 mm
 

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Maybe this is a good place to hijack the thread and ask about my little '95 Spirit. The door decal says 195X70/14, but the tires just look way too fat for the OEM wheels. They wear on the outside front and rear even with 35 lbs inflation. This cannot be correct. I've owned too many cars to get the wool pulled over my eyes with regard to width relationships. Any chance the factory made a boo boo? Is there any websites that offer some clue as to the height of different size tires?
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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What size is stamped on the tire itself? It should be close to what is on the door. I know you can use 185/70/14 or 195/70/14 on the Spirit/Acclaim models.

Abnormal wear usually means the alignment is off and not correct. The rear tires can be adjusted by using shims. When was the last alignment?
 

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Yeah but abnormal wear on both outsides of each tire on all four corners at 35 psi? The tread bar tattletales are showing only between the extreme outside grooves and next to last grooves. The rest of the grooves more toward the center show more actual depth in 32nds. All four tires? The front end needs a camber alignment as it has positive camber, 1-2 degrees. But the opposite side of the tread is also wearing faster than the center. Toe is 1/16" no feather edge. The "look" of the tire to wheel relationship seems to be ridiculously fat. 195X70X14" and the door sticker agrees. This is a second owner grandma purchased motor vehicle.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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It would help if you could post pics of the tires and treadwear, but it sounds like the tires are pretty much wearing normal. And if you are rotating the tires on a consistent basis, that would explain the same wear on all 4 tires. I think some positive camber is normal for this model.
 

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195mm (the section width) is around 7.7", the rim should be 70-75% of the section width in most cases this is the ideal range, so a rim in the 5.5-5.75" range is ideal.
The steel wheels were 14x5.5, the aluminum wheels were 14x6. Sounds like they are pretty well matched to the tire size.

If all the tires are wearing on the outside only, it's an alignment issue. If they are wearing on both the inside and outside edge of each tire, it's an inflation issue.
I can't really tell from your description which is the case.

Tirerack.com lists both 185-70-14 and 195-70-14 tires, though it's possible the 185 tires were only offered on 4 cylinders.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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Doug D said:
Not advisable to put 15" tires on a 16" wheel.
:D

I once ended up with a bad tire in the middle of nowhere, and the podunk tire shop put a 16.5 on my 16" wheel. The tire came apart several miles later. So, I had to put the junky wheel and tire back on and limp the rest of the hundred miles home on that instead...
 
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