Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After switching to a Forester late last year from 3 previous WRX's, I really wanted to get a beefier tire. I hadn't been too active on NASIOC anymore so I was happy to come across SubaruForester.org.

I did the obligatory search and came across plenty of threads with stock Foresters running a beefier tire. The two threads I gravitated towards however were Boone's 2014 Forester XT Touring & Boone's 2018 Forester XT Touring. I must admit I really loved SuBooneru's setup. Well, that and he had some great photographs. The '18 setup was exactly what I was looking for. 17" wheels with bigger rubber, a better look, some improved off-road capability and keeping the OEM suspension.

I looked at various different wheels. On Friday morning, I headed to my local Discount Tire. Like always, they worked up some magical deal on the wheels and tires. In the end, I decided on the same Drag DR-31's with a +35 offset that Boone had. Well, why stop there? I've always had good luck with Hankook Dynapro's so I ordered some 235/65 R17's. I did go with the newer Dynapro AT2 RF11 though. It's their newer version, and a bit better for the street. I live in Texas, Houston to be exact. I'm on roads nearly 95% of the time, and I like to road trip long distances to National Parks. So a bigger tire would be nice for the crappy roads here and the few times I'm exploring off-road.

Done, they're on order and I'm departing for a 3000-mile road trip to Colorado & Rocky Mountain National Park in 1 weeks time with the wifey. I was on the fence at the time about a lift and was considering a Subtle Solutions setup, something from 1 1/2" to 2". Since I was there at Discount Tire, I decided to call Subtle Solutions. I mentioned I had ordered some 235/65 R17's and was still on the stock OEM suspension setup. I could be wrong, but I felt as though they pitched some dire situation of constant rubbing during our road trip if I went with the 235/65 R17's. I had this feeling like it was a high-pressure sales pitch. One, the lift was really not in the budget, and two I just didn't want to wrench 1 whole day right before my road trip. All this after I had seen multiple posts about that size tire working on a stock Forester. What I hadn't seen though was how that tire worked with a loaded down Forester with 2 bikes on the back.

This was really in my head quite a bit. I talked to the manager at Discount Tire but I already knew they would recommend the more conservative size. I shot Boone a PM but don't think he ever saw it. I really wanted to know if he ever had his Forester loaded down with gear and if the tires rubbed. I couldn't really find an answer regarding that so I started a new thread search for other tires sizes that would surely work with no issues on a stock Forester. It came down to two really, either a 225/65 R17 or a 235/60 R17. I hit up a wheel offset visualizer to see the difference of various combinations. Indeed I think the 235/65 setup would work but it was pushing things very tight. On the other hand, the 235/60 setup was pretty close to stock. So, I could get a beefier tire, off-road tread and the speedo would read about the same.

Tire choices at this size are nill so I went with the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S. I can honestly say, this tire is awesome. I didn't notice much of a drop in MPG in the city if any at all. On my 3000-mile road trip, I really can't give an accurate measurement. The first part of my trip about 300 miles through flat land, I noticed about a -1 MPG difference. Keep in mind, my Forester was loaded down, had a roof rack now, cargo basket and loaded cargo bag. That along with a Thule rack on the back with 2 mountain bikes. When my Forester was new I went to Lubbock, TX and back (about 1100 miles) and averaged 24.5 MPG. This trip, I did about 3000 miles, hit the mountains, 1 tornado warning storm, 1 blizzard, a desert and averaged 21.0 MPG. The Coopers have no additional road noise, they felt great in the rain and way confident in the snow and ice. I'm definitely a Cooper convert now.

In the end, I'm 100% happy that I went with the 235/60 R17. I experienced absolutely no rubbing, even at full lock tight turns, off-road loaded down with gear and the tires look great. Hope this helps anyone trying to decide on which tire size to go with on their stock setup.

https://tiresize.com/wheel-offset-calculator/

Comparison between 235/65 R17 and 235/60 R17 vs the stock XT setup of 225/55 R18:





The new Drag DR-31's with Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S (235/60 R17)







Setup on unloaded Forester





Setup with loaded down Forester with bikes on the back





Closeup of the clearance when loaded down

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Man, I came to this Forester forum from NASIOC. Sent 2 PMs to peeps, 1 to a moderator and no response. No replies to comments or questions on threads. Thought this was an active forum?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Without any type of A/B test, it would be difficult to determine if the changes that you made improved the handling or were just for looks.. Were any comparisons made before your trip and what did all of the changes cost?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I was going back and forth on tire brands and sizes recently. In the end, on my '19, I went with the Discoverer AT3 4S as well but in 215/65R17 and on Drag DR-66 in 17 x 7 +40. The overall weight was a match to the OEM setup and the height only increased by 3/8". Next time, I might go with them in the 235/60R17 fitment. The Cooper tire has been great, in my limited amount of miles on them so far (just over 1K). The ride quality is excellent and noise level, as far as I can tell, hasn't changed from stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Could you speak a little about why you decided to go with 235/60 R17 over the 225/65 R17? Just to stay closer to stock wheel diameter?

I went with the 225/65/17s (Geolander G015) on my '18xt to counteract the loss of clearance after I put on the primitive racing skid plates. I don't plan on doing anything crazy - mostly a daily driver - but I want to feel more comfortable driving to dispersed camping sites on BLM/Forest service/National parks.

The Discoverer looks a little more aggressive tread wise, too. Whats your opinion on the wider tire now that you've driven it for awhile?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Looks great man! Giving me ideas.
Thanks man! And yay, this thread is alive.

Without any type of A/B test, it would be difficult to determine if the changes that you made improved the handling or were just for looks.. Were any comparisons made before your trip and what did all of the changes cost?
Well I didn't expect the changes to improve the handling. I simply wanted a bit better off-road capability and of course I like the look. The only type of A/B testing I did was a few road trips. My Forester is still relatively new so had only done one long trip with the OEM setup.

I was going back and forth on tire brands and sizes recently. In the end, on my '19, I went with the Discoverer AT3 4S as well but in 215/65R17 and on Drag DR-66 in 17 x 7 +40. The overall weight was a match to the OEM setup and the height only increased by 3/8". Next time, I might go with them in the 235/60R17 fitment. The Cooper tire has been great, in my limited amount of miles on them so far (just over 1K). The ride quality is excellent and noise level, as far as I can tell, hasn't changed from stock.
Same here, the ride quality is excellent. I'm also happy I dropped down a wheel size for some crappy inner city roads.

Could you speak a little about why you decided to go with 235/60 R17 over the 225/65 R17? Just to stay closer to stock wheel diameter?

I went with the 225/65/17s (Geolander G015) on my '18xt to counteract the loss of clearance after I put on the primitive racing skid plates. I don't plan on doing anything crazy - mostly a daily driver - but I want to feel more comfortable driving to dispersed camping sites on BLM/Forest service/National parks.

The Discoverer looks a little more aggressive tread wise, too. Whats your opinion on the wider tire now that you've driven it for awhile?
Correct, once I decided I wasn't going with the 235/65 R17 I decided to stay close to the OEM wheel diameter. And your reason for BLM/Forest service/National parks, etc... is the exaxt reason I wanted to change the setup. The wider tire feels a tad bit heavier on the steering response but nothing too noticeable. And as aggressive as the tires look, I really can't tell the difference between them and the OEM ones. I can tell you they worked EXCELLENTLY in snow, ice and in heavy rainfall.

Another reason for going with a 60 instead of the taller 65 was the fear of rubbing when loaded down. I also want the primitive racing skid plates but I do think I'll lose a little ground clearance. Especially if loaded down for camping. I am thinking of a small lift just to counter the loaded down drop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Thanks for this thread. Looking to change a 2019's wheels and tires and this thread has the best explanations of the trade offs in a comprehendible manner that I've come across yet.

Any link to the wheel visualizer in the first post?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
Man, I came to this Forester forum from NASIOC. Sent 2 PMs to peeps, 1 to a moderator and no response. No replies to comments or questions on threads. Thought this was an active forum?
Welcome to the forums and nice first thread..... I thought that username was familiar.... ex old school Nabisco person here too. (SCIC, don't hate) :Banane37:

This forum is active and the mods do respond. The lack of response may have been from XYZ life reasons...

I think the necessity to have the mods babysit the threads like those on Nasioc isn't as pressing here. But I can understand any frustration if you were looking for answers in a time crunch.

Thanks for sharing the pictures/feedback. The Coopers have a great following and were on the list for me when I ended up going with Michelin LTX M/S.

And of course... :thumbsup:

Quote:

For the best forum experience, we recommend completing your "Public Profile". Specifically, the "About Me" section (Edit Your Details). This displays every time you make a post on the forum. This will provide information members may need to reply to your forum posts. You can edit this field via the "User Control Panel", aka, "User CP.

If you're using a mobile device, you may need to use a laptop or desktop computer to see all the user tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for this thread. Looking to change a 2019's wheels and tires and this thread has the best explanations of the trade offs in a comprehendible manner that I've come across yet.

Any link to the wheel visualizer in the first post?
Thanks! And ask and you shall receive - https://tiresize.com/wheel-offset-calculator/

Welcome to the forums and nice first thread..... I thought that username was familiar.... ex old school Nabisco person here too. (SCIC, don't hate) :Banane37:

This forum is active and the mods do respond. The lack of response may have been from XYZ life reasons...

I think the necessity to have the mods babysit the threads like those on Nasioc isn't as pressing here. But I can understand any frustration if you were looking for answers in a time crunch.

Thanks for sharing the pictures/feedback. The Coopers have a great following and were on the list for me when I ended up going with Michelin LTX M/S.

And of course... :thumbsup:
Haha, got it man. I updated my profile a bit. So when can I group all the photos under the original post instead of having like 4 separate replies? And to hotlink the photos do I need one of those optional memberships?
 

·
Supporting Vendor
Joined
·
866 Posts
hotrodguru. welcome to the forum. Excellent post on your tire/wheel choice and fitment. We know there are a lot of choices when it comes to tires and wheels these days, we appreciate you sharing your buying experience with Discount tire.

Thank you for posting the awesome photos as well. That was a ton of snow in a couple of them. Glad to hear you are happy with their performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
hotrodguru. welcome to the forum. Excellent post on your tire/wheel choice and fitment. We know there are a lot of choices when it comes to tires and wheels these days, we appreciate you sharing your buying experience with Discount tire.

Thank you for posting the awesome photos as well. That was a ton of snow in a couple of them. Glad to hear you are happy with their performance.
Thank you!

I also showed Discount Tire some love on the Cooper Tire site! - Hotrodguru's contributions
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
I link pictures from my Flickr account as I find it faster/easier to manage than uploading them through the site. The normal
works...

C.

Thanks! And ask and you shall receive - https://tiresize.com/wheel-offset-calculator/


Haha, got it man. I updated my profile a bit. So when can I group all the photos under the original post instead of having like 4 separate replies? And to hotlink the photos do I need one of those optional memberships?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Just saw this thread and my mention in it. Glad my Foresters and pics helped you to go a similar route with yours. Sorry I haven't been as active on the forum as I used to and didn't see/answer your PM in time.

The 235/65 17 would have only given you very minor rubbing on the fender liner with or without a lift. Lift doesn't really affect it. Tires only slightly rub when steering near full lock at slow speeds like mostly in and out of parking spots. Just a minor amount of noise, but not enough for me to even put the effort into getting rid of it by heat gun and massaging the plastic. The rubbing gets less as the tires wear down.

Either way looks like you made a good choice that you are happy with in the Coopers. They definitely look good. I just went with the Hankooks because I wanted maximum lift, weight savings, and snow performance. The Coopers at the time didn't seem as good in the snow, which is very important to me but maybe the new model is comparable to the Hankook. Happy trails!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I link pictures from my Flickr account as I find it faster/easier to manage than uploading them through the site. The normal
works...

C.
So I figured out why my linked images aren't working. They're not on a SSL website meaning mine isn't https, and I think that's required here for hot linking which isn't on NASIOC. I tried to enable SSL on my site but man is that a job.

So yeah, back to Flickr for ease haha.

Just saw this thread and my mention in it. Glad my Foresters and pics helped you to go a similar route with yours. Sorry I haven't been as active on the forum as I used to and didn't see/answer your PM in time.

The 235/65 17 would have only given you very minor rubbing on the fender liner with or without a lift. Lift doesn't really affect it. Tires only slightly rub when steering near full lock at slow speeds like mostly in and out of parking spots. Just a minor amount of noise, but not enough for me to even put the effort into getting rid of it by heat gun and massaging the plastic. The rubbing gets less as the tires wear down.

Either way looks like you made a good choice that you are happy with in the Coopers. They definitely look good. I just went with the Hankooks because I wanted maximum lift, weight savings, and snow performance. The Coopers at the time didn't seem as good in the snow, which is very important to me but maybe the new model is comparable to the Hankook. Happy trails!
Thanks man! And keep in mind they have a newer Hankook also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well the XT didn't last long. Switched out for a 2019 Forester Sport. Don't miss the power as much as I thought I would. Then again, I'm at sea-level and it would probably be a lot different in the mountains.

Way cool that the Drag wheels did fit the new 2019 which has 5x114.3 as opposed to 5x100 of the 2018 Forester. Some quick phone pics.





 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top