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Tire type and size assistance please!

This is a discussion on Tire type and size assistance please! within the Wheels and Tires forums, part of the General Help category; '00 WS6 6spd, pleasure vehicle that I cruise more than anything, took it to the track 3 times last year ...

  1. #1
    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am WS6

    Tire type and size assistance please!

    '00 WS6 6spd, pleasure vehicle that I cruise more than anything, took it to the track 3 times last year ( so track is not primary ) and I like going fast in it. I keep it out of rain butgot caught in it twice last year, and it's on OEM WS6 wheels.

    I have intentions on suspension work ( lowering, bolt in 2 point SFCs, LCAs, rear adj. control arms, adj. panhard bar ), and a built rear with 4.10s, but this is distant planning ( suspension may all happen this spring though ). I do have a lien so that needs abolished first before bigger things, but right now it does need two tires. The rears are fresh within last 2yrs and are 275/40-17 Nitto NT555 tires.

    I have 255/40-17s up front, they have been on the car long before I bought it. They are old, pitting, worn, just need changed. I don't like how twitchy and responsive the steering feels on back roads, I believe the 255 is too skinny for the car. I planned to return it to a 275/40-17 tire. So I was going to put the rear wheels up front and buy new tires for rear. I am up in the air on a choice. I wanted the Nitto NT05 street for its rugged appearance and grip, then I wanted the NT555-R for track use but fear it won't be good for back road driving and would wear out easy being a radial. Then I thought just put NT555 on and have the same tire in the same size all around. Now I am back to considering the NT05 street ( not NT05-R ). Any suggestions?

    I'm not after longevity but that is always nice. I don't want a good grabbing tire for the track due to the 10 bolt rear end, I actually feel better hearing it spin/squeal LOL. I don't abuse my stock car, but I do like to try to light them up a little and I have the occasional fish-tail for fun. The NT555s were about new when I bought the car, they have held up great in 4,000 miles and with my track use and also back road fun. I am impressed with them.

    Also I see a lot of folks run a 315/35-17 on the rear with 275/40-17 up front. Is that asking for trouble on a 10 bolt? I love the look of a wider tire, but I will not cut up my car to make them fit. Keeping WS6 wheels for awhile, I like them but if I could afford Torq Thrust IIs I would probably run 17x9.5 front and 17x11 rear. Distant future again.

    Thanks!
    -Darren

    Last edited by DarrenWS6; 03-06-2016 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Picture!
    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    SLP lid & bellow w/ K&N, GMMG catback w/ Corsa Clones, UMI SFC, UMI Adj. Panhard, UMI Adj. TQ arm w/ relocation kit, Eibach prokit, Bilstein HDs, Nitto NT555s, skip shift elim, whiteface overlays, 20% tint, matte black decal/overlays

  2. #2
    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    2002 Trans Am WS6 M6

    To get the 315 to fit correctly you should only have to grind the bump stops down and maybe hammer the inner fender well some. 295 to 305 size just requires messing with the bump stops usually. Anything wider and you will most likely have to "massage" some sheet metal. But it all comes down to the tire 315 isn't universal across the board. Some 315s are wider then others.

    10 bolt is just trouble in general. The better hooking the tire the more likely to destroy your gears. So the wider and stickier the tire the more likely you are to break the rear.

    As for the tire if it's mainly going to depend on what you want to do. If your going to have only one set then get one that's oriented towards what your mainly going to use the car for.
    Last edited by raynor139; 03-06-2016 at 08:15 PM.
    Mods - Lid, Skip Shift Eliminator, MGW shifter, UMI SFCs, Founders Lower Control Arms, Founders Panhard Bar, Founders Adj. Torque Arm, UMI Torque arm mount, MWC Drive shaft safety loop, KONI Yellows, Strano Springs, Strano Sway bars, UMI Upper and lower A Arms, 160 thermostat, TSP headers and TSP true duals Monster stage 2 clutch, racetronix fuel pump, Strange S60 rear axle and tune by Frost.

  3. #3
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    If you get the same size and tire type as the front, you can rotate front to back, or side to side.

    I ran a Nitto 555R drag radial for close to 8 years and they hooked extremely hard on the street, even when I added a lot of power.

    If you're worried about your rear end, I'd stick with a general street tire.
    It's on jackstands.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    98 Z28 Vert M6

    I agree with Jon on all points. I've recently converted to a square set up with 275s at all 4 corners.

    As for my own research, there aren't a lot of tires available in our stock size that I like... Based on what I have read on forums, watched on youtube and seen in magazine articles, etc, etc... I would go with Continental Extreme Contact DW (it's a summer tire). According to testing among some of its peers, it apparently has the best wet traction of any tire on the market, while its dry traction is a shade less impressive than some of the other summer tires (but still excellent).

    Full disclosure: I'd go with Michelins, myself, but that would require a wheel swap... which is $$$.

    One of my coworkers drives an FR-S and he said he put a set of Nitto 555s on it (might have been the NT05s... can't remember), but he was disappointed with the side wall flex compared to whatever he had on there before. Took them back to the tire shop the next day and got different tires. I've never driven on Nittos, or any "drag racing" type of street tires (Mickey Thompson, etc) so take that for what its worth.

    With regards to your plans to lower the car, I'll share some of my own experience.

    I have the Strano springs which lower the car 1.25" or so. With my recent wheel/tire swap, I've gone from a 17x8.5 wheel with 255/45/17 to 18x9 with 275/35/17 up front. At full lock, there is an extremely slight rub on the front (not the top) of the wheel well. The regular wear of the tire will eventually eliminate the rub, but for that matter, I'm not sure I ever turn the wheel to full lock (maybe just when parking, I guess).

    In any case, check with the tire shop for fitment if you do decide to up the front wheel size (some places online will not sell you a set of 4 tires in 275, claiming that they cannot guarantee front fitment...)
    Last edited by Naaman; 03-06-2016 at 10:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks folks. I like the NT555 on the rear, they seem good and grab well, and spin when I want them to. Got a 13.5 on a cool day at the track. Being that I have mental fears with the 10 bolt, I feel I will be going with the NT555 tire over the NT555R, or NT05. I am not Nitto preferred per say, but my rear tires have held up great. I look forward to having better tires up front.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    '02 Trans Am WS-6, 6M

    I am running Continental Extreme Contact DW 285/40/17, on 4 17x9.5 factory Z06 wheels (no rubbing at all). The tires grip very well, and suspensions parts are my limitation right now. I plan on new upper and lower UMI tublar control arms and SFC's soon.

    I'd love to find a good, and inexpensive, Watts link too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    I am running Continental Extreme Contact DW 285/40/17, on 4 17x9.5 factory Z06 wheels (no rubbing at all). The tires grip very well, and suspensions parts are my limitation right now. I plan on new upper and lower UMI tublar control arms and SFC's soon.

    I'd love to find a good, and inexpensive, Watts link too.
    Not to hijack the thread...

    Have you seen the one Sam Strano sells? It's a "Fayes 2" I think. It's $700, so I'm not sure whether you consider that "inexpensive." I've never seen another one for our cars, though (haven't looked, either). A coworker of mine has one on his Mustang. He likes it, but I didn't ask him for many specifics, nor have I ridden/driven his car.
    Lid, Throttle Body, LS6 Intake, Heads, Cam, Magnaflow, LS7 Clutch, SFCs, STB, Panhard Bar, Strano Springs, Hollow Sway Bars, Poly/Roto LCAs, Konis, MGW Shifter

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