Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations

Wheel and tire information and upgrade discussions

Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations

Postby tonyn1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:48 am

I have an 09 AWD with 17" aluminum chrome clad wheels with low profile tires which do ok in the warmer months. However, last winter, while I was traveling out of state, I hit a pothole and put a big dent in my right front wheel. Fortunately, it did not cause the tire to go flat and I kept driving it that way for about three more months until I hit another one back home and finished off the wheel and tire. I couldn't get the wheel straightened because of the chrome cladding and it cost me $400 to get a replacement wheel and tire. If I had know that these wheels were that vulnerable to potholes, I would have gotten others on my vehicle. I was thinking of buying some steel wheels and tires to put on just for winter so that I can protect my original wheels during pothole season. Any recommendations about which way I can go and how much my handling will be affected by different wheels and tires?
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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (tonyn1)

Postby keithvibe » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:16 am

from your title your looking for winter rims... but in your post your talking about summer?
Sorry if i'm confusing this but what do you want help with? summer rims and tires or winter rims and tires?


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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (keithvibe)

Postby djkeev » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:22 am

Quote, originally posted by keithvibe »
from your title your looking for winter rims... but in your post your talking about summer?
Sorry if i'm confusing this but what do you want help with? summer rims and tires or winter rims and tires?

He wants winter wheels and tires.

Read this sentence in his post.

Quote, originally posted by tonyn1 »
I was thinking of buying some steel wheels and tires to put on just for winter so that I can protect my original wheels during pothole season. Any recommendations about which way I can go and how much my handling will be affected by different wheels and tires?
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Postby tonyn1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:24 am

What's to be confused about? I never mentioned summer but I did state that my current set up is good in the warmer months. I am looking for a winter set-up just like the title of the post states. I don't see where any kind of confusion could arise.
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Re: (tonyn1)

Postby djkeev » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:31 am

Do a search on this site, you'll find several threads on this.
From experience you can't go wrong with Blizzaks.

Get rid of those crappy trendy wheels with the high dollar tires, they aren't practical in any way, it's all fashion, not unlike women's high heels that look great but the poor woman can't walk in them with out a lot of pain!

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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (tonyn1)

Postby keithvibe » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:44 am



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Re: (djkeev)

Postby tonyn1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:53 am

Quote, originally posted by djkeev »
Do a search on this site, you'll find several threads on this.
From experience you can't go wrong with Blizzaks.

Get rid of those crappy trendy wheels with the high dollar tires, they aren't practical in any way, it's all fashion, not unlike women's high heels that look great but the poor woman can't walk in them with out a lot of pain!

Dave

It sounds like those tires are just for winter instead of all season. Since I have the AWD model, I can get around fine with the ones I have. My only problem is that they are vulnerable to potholes. I might just go with some all season tires and smaller wheels, which will put more rubber in between the road and the rim. Are there 16" aluminum wheels available for my car or are they all steel? I might have a smoother ride, but I'll lose some in handling. I like the way it handles now with the original low profile tires, but I don't want to be out a bunch again by hitting a pothole.
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Re: (tonyn1)

Postby djkeev » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:06 am

I'm very familiar with your area having family in Greenfield. Snow can be significant not to mention the joys of ice!!

If you've got the $$'s get a set of wheels and winter tires. It will be a purchase you will never regret!

Save your "designer" wheels and tires for the summer.
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Re: (djkeev)

Postby tonyn1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:23 am

Quote, originally posted by djkeev »
I'm very familiar with your area having family in Greenfield. Snow can be significant not to mention the joys of ice!!

If you've got the $$'s get a set of wheels and winter tires. It will be a purchase you will never regret!

Save your "designer" wheels and tires for the summer.
Dave

That would be good if I had all sorts of extra money, but I don't. I'm thinking I might sell my current wheels and tires and buy something more practical. I just want to know what wheels are available along these lines and what I will lose in handling. I might go with something geared more to winter anyway, as I am on two wheels most anytime the weather is decent. Does it hurt the Blizzaks to run them on dry pavement and hotter conditions? Even in winter one is mostly running on dry pavement anyway once the snow is cleared.

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Re: (tonyn1)

Postby vibolista » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:17 am

Don't run Blizzaks in the summer. Not good, they use a special cold weather rubber compound for cold temperature operation. Second, not sure if you're gonna like the looks of a 16 inch wheel/tire on your car. Not sure how you feel about, how much you like the look of your 17s on your car.

You can get a fairly inexpensive set of 16 inch alloy wheels and something like a GoodYear TripleTred tire from TireRack (they live just north of you, of course they have to name the place 'South Bend'), but that is a compromise tire for winter duty.

In the best of all worlds, you would run a Winter snow tire, and then switch over to your summer tires as soon as the cold weather was over.
Like someone that will go "Sub"liminally nameless here on this forum would say, "In snow, every tire sucks, except a true snow tire." (Ok, everyone, that's just paraphrasing) and he is 110% correct.

If you can't fund that, then go for the best of what is available. Do your homework, there are a lot of tire reviews on the web. I used a set of TripleTreds for about 3 years and they did a commendable job in the snow (the car was not used in the Winter very much, but I tried them out on freshly fallen snow and was very surprised by their grip). In the summer, they were a very good performer, dry roads or in the wet.

There are cheaper tires out there that would probably work almost as well, but watch out, 'cause there are a lot of cheap tires out there that are very poor performers, and you won't like the way they handle. Do your homework.

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Re: (vibolista)

Postby tonyn1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:07 am

Quote, originally posted by vibolista »
Don't run Blizzaks in the summer. Not good, they use a special cold weather rubber compound for cold temperature operation. Second, not sure if you're gonna like the looks of a 16 inch wheel/tire on your car. Not sure how you feel about, how much you like the look of your 17s on your car.

You can get a fairly inexpensive set of 16 inch alloy wheels and something like a GoodYear TripleTred tire from TireRack (they live just north of you, of course they have to name the place 'South Bend'), but that is a compromise tire for winter duty.

In the best of all worlds, you would run a Winter snow tire, and then switch over to your summer tires as soon as the cold weather was over.
Like someone that will go "Sub"liminally nameless here on this forum would say, "In snow, every tire sucks, except a true snow tire." (Ok, everyone, that's just paraphrasing) and he is 110% correct.

If you can't fund that, then go for the best of what is available. Do your homework, there are a lot of tire reviews on the web. I used a set of TripleTreds for about 3 years and they did a commendable job in the snow (the car was not used in the Winter very much, but I tried them out on freshly fallen snow and was very surprised by their grip). In the summer, they were a very good performer, dry roads or in the wet.

There are cheaper tires out there that would probably work almost as well, but watch out, 'cause there are a lot of cheap tires out there that are very poor performers, and you won't like the way they handle. Do your homework.


I would think the 16s would not look that bad, as long as they didn't have a low profile tire on them. Then they would look too small, but with 16s and more normal tires, I think they would look OK. As far as what I have on now, I like the looks and the handling, it's just that they can't stand up to a pothole real well. I might also get by with cheaper tires because I have the AWD which handles pretty good in the snow. As far as wheels, did they make a decent looking 16" for the 09 Vibe? I know vibe wheels are different starting with the 09s as I bought a set for a vibe from a dealer when I wrecked my wheel last year, and I took them over to a tire place and had them change them, but when they went to put them on, they found the wheels would not fit. Fortunately, they did not charge me to change them back and the dealer refunded my money. I'm pretty sure there's a way of denoting what the dimensions the mounting holes are so I don't run into that problem again. Anybody know what the dimensions are for the 09 Vibe?
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Re: (tonyn1)

Postby vibolista » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:46 am

You need to keep a sharp eye out for those potholes and miss them altogether. Stay back far enough from traffic ahead to pick up on those damaging little road pits.

The 03-08 and the 1.8L 09/10 have a 5X100 bolt pattern. The 2.4L 09/10 has 5X114 I think. Let one of the 09/10 owners confirm. Another thing you need to find out is the offset range that will fit your car. Someone said that the steel wheel offset is the same for all the years... 39mm. The 16 inch alloys were also 39mm on the 03-08s. Again not sure if there is a 16 inch Vibe alloy for the 09/10s.

Pontiac alloys will be more expensive than aftermarket alloys... unless you find them used. Tire wise, you could probably get a 215/55 16 or 215/60 16, if you like the larger tire look. The normal OEM (Factory) size tire is a smallish 205/55 16.

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Re: (vibolista)

Postby tonyn1 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:16 am

Quote, originally posted by vibolista »
You need to keep a sharp eye out for those potholes and miss them altogether. Stay back far enough from traffic ahead to pick up on those damaging little road pits.

The 03-08 and the 1.8L 09/10 have a 5X100 bolt pattern. The 2.4L 09/10 has 5X114 I think. Let one of the 09/10 owners confirm. Another thing you need to find out is the offset range that will fit your car. Someone said that the steel wheel offset is the same for all the years... 39mm. The 16 inch alloys were also 39mm on the 03-08s. Again not sure if there is a 16 inch Vibe alloy for the 09/10s.

Pontiac alloys will be more expensive than aftermarket alloys... unless you find them used. Tire wies you could probably get a 215/55 16 or 215/60 16, if you like the larger tire look. The normal OEM (Factory) size tire is a smallish 205/55 16.


I try to look out for potholes, but it's impossible to see every one, as sometimes they're hidden by the dark or filled with water so you can't see them very well. What do you mean by offset however?
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Postby ou.grizzly » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:21 am

Welcome to the forum

Find yourself a set of steel from a 2007+ Toyota Camry (which a few members here have done) and then get a set of mid-entry snow tires.

Start hitting craigslist, ebay, and calling local tire shops in your area. Check out http://www.tirerack.com to see reviews and get yourself some ideas about price.

By using the search feature, you will be able to see what other members here have put together for combination and what to look for in a snow tire.

A thread I created on what to look for on snow tires http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=39220

Snow Tires, Rims, and Hubcaps that went on the 2009 Black 2.4L http://forums.genvibe.com/zero...age=1

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Postby tonyn1 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:32 am

I found that Tire Rack has Preferred Winter Snow & Tire Packages for different cars and this might be an option to go with as it is fairly reasonable. However, one of the options when selecting one's vehicle is whether they have OE metal or rubber valve stems. I'm not sure which ones I have. I'm thinking I have the metal ones as I have a tire pressure monitoring system which has units on each wheel. I didn't really think it would make a difference, but I tried the finder with rubber selected and I got a different wheel and tire entirely. Are the wheels for the metal stems made to accommodate these sensors? I wonder why there is even an option to choose because I think it is mandated for all 09s and on to have TPMS.
On another note, I was looking for an option to purchase some wheel and tire road hazard insurance and I Googled and found a company called Sonsio but they only provide that through dealers and won't sell directly to the public. I still have my OEM tires and wheels on, so I could not get any through a tire dealer. Besides, I think most of them only cover the tires. Anybody know of any way I can get my tires and wheels covered after the fact. Do any auto insurance companies offer that? I wish somebody would.
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Re: (ou.grizzly)

Postby vibolista » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:36 am

Thanks, ou... I forgot about the Camry steel wheels. They have the proper offset and bolt pattern. You did put pics of the snows mounted on your car, right. I think I saw them. Been able to put those Hankook snow tires to a test yet?
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Re: (vibolista)

Postby ou.grizzly » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:36 am

Quote, originally posted by vibolista »
Thanks, ou... I forgot about the Camry steel wheels. They have the proper offset and bolt pattern. You did put pics of the snows mounted on your car, right. I think I saw them. Been able to put those Hankook snow tires to a test yet?

I asked the other 1/2 tonight if she noticed a difference with traction and of course she said "no."

I am not sure of the offset, but the Camry Rims have the correct bolt pattern and center (forgot the name for it off the top of my head).

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Re: (ou.grizzly)

Postby vibolista » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:56 am

Take a picture of the car in front of one of the front tires, looking down the side of the car and let us see the Camry offset at work. Would be interesting for some of us, anyway.

How much snow did your wife drive in today?

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Postby northvibe » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:08 pm

dont show this to anyone...its a secret.. here are tire ratings. I just today bought the General Altimax Artic tires for my ford escape. They are the best bang for the buck.



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Re: (tonyn1)

Postby djkeev » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:41 pm

Quote, originally posted by tonyn1 »

What do you mean by offset however?

A wheel exists in many multiple and parallel planes.

You have the plane where the wheel actually mounts onto the hub, this is the area where the lug nuts are.

You then will notice a wheel is dished from the mounting flange. This is the offset. The amount of wheel hanging in towards the center of the car as well as the amount of wheel hanging out into the road away from the mounting flange.

These offsets greatly influence not only if a wheel will fit on a car and not rub horribly but they also determine how the car will drive and corner. If you put on a wheel with a majorly different offset you will throw the front end geometry out of whack, you will notice it and it could actually be dangerous.

Offset can also affect how wheel bearings wear. They are designed to take the load of the car and the stresses of driving in certain manners.

If you suddenly get wheels with a radical offset throwing the bulk of the tire way out beyond the axles you are now subjecting your bearings to stresses that they were never designed to endure.

Offset is very very important. Take pains to get the right wheels, not just ones that will bolt up.

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Re: (djkeev)

Postby vibolista » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:27 pm

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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (tonyn1)

Postby bikeman1 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:57 pm

sounds like you are getting a lot of good ideas and plenty to think about. Here are some more.

First, your summer wheels are vulnerable to potholes in summer as well as winter -- just (in principle) they may be more visible in summer. But spring is a great time for potholes, and if you get winter tires you are going to want to pull them off as soon as the warmer weather starts, or they will wear like the fury. If you like your aluminum 17's (you have already paid for them.....) and live in a snowy climate there, there are 2 things you can do: (1) get snows on steel rimes (you have already got that message here) and (2) run slightly oversize (high) tires rather than the stock size (which I believe is 215/45R17). Some people run 225/45 which gives a wider footprint/better traction as well. Some run 215/50 or 215/55 which just gives a higher profile. A deeper profile puts more rubber + air between the road and your rim and will absorb road shock better and offer more ding protection, at the sacrifice of quick turning response. But you can do this without changing your summer wheels -- just get different tires.

You do have to watch not to overdo it. There are clearance issues even on stock wheels, esp behind the tire (where the strut plate sits in the front) plus your odometer will read in error. But one rule of thumb is that a 5% or less increase in diameter is within limits (see the sticky tire calculator at the top of the forum). However, many tire vendors will only install stock sizes. Even some of the online vendors will sell you oversize tires but have you sign a waiver that you accept risk of a bad fit. If you look around the board however, you'll find a number of people with 09's or 10's running larger tires (I do)

If it was my ride and I lived in Indiana (with all that lake effect snow), I'd keep the summer wheels (they fit well and you've paid for them) and carefully choose new tires for them next time around, and get new winter steel rims + winter tires now. We call this the WTG (Winter Tire Guy) program (no i'm not the WTG). If you choose tires carefully the extra cost of running a 2nd wheelset will be offset by the lower cost of good inexpensive tires, and taking better care of your rims. For snows, the General Altimax Arctic and the Firestone Winterforce are both excellent and economical (and not even Chinese!)

You may have a little trouble finding steel wheels online. Junkyards on late model gear tend to inflate their prices. They should be a bit cheaper than aftermarket aluminum rims. Its worth checking the dealers (Toyota Plus GM) and maybe Tirerack has them. Prices mentioned on the forum are like $50-$75 each. There's a cost advantage if you can find a place online who mounts what they sell. Of course that means you have to get them put on locally, but that may be easier than getting them mounted locally. Your ride also has TPMS so if you install them locally, many states have laws that OEM wheels with TPMS must have them installed tp pass inspection and you would have to buy this too. As the caveman plumber once said thoughtfully, "This not be cheap"! But online places that mount could care less, and maybe Tirerack installers don't either. Check. I got my snows installed (and purchased) at my local gas station - the shop guy and I are buds....

Another good thing about having two wheelsets is that it more or less forces you to rotate your tires annually or better. A good thing.

Anyway, I suppose we have all given you enough to make your head spin if not your wheels. Good luck. There is a lot of good background from some quite knowledgeable people on this board. If you see posts from SublimeWind, KeithVibe, or Vibolista, among others, it is sound advice

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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (bikeman1)

Postby tonyn1 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:02 am

Quote, originally posted by bikeman1 »
sounds like you are getting a lot of good ideas and plenty to think about. Here are some more.

First, your summer wheels are vulnerable to potholes in summer as well as winter -- just (in principle) they may be more visible in summer. But spring is a great time for potholes, and if you get winter tires you are going to want to pull them off as soon as the warmer weather starts, or they will wear like the fury. If you like your aluminum 17's (you have already paid for them.....) and live in a snowy climate there, there are 2 things you can do: (1) get snows on steel rimes (you have already got that message here) and (2) run slightly oversize (high) tires rather than the stock size (which I believe is 215/45R17). Some people run 225/45 which gives a wider footprint/better traction as well. Some run 215/50 or 215/55 which just gives a higher profile. A deeper profile puts more rubber + air between the road and your rim and will absorb road shock better and offer more ding protection, at the sacrifice of quick turning response. But you can do this without changing your summer wheels -- just get different tires.

You do have to watch not to overdo it. There are clearance issues even on stock wheels, esp behind the tire (where the strut plate sits in the front) plus your odometer will read in error. But one rule of thumb is that a 5% or less increase in diameter is within limits (see the sticky tire calculator at the top of the forum). However, many tire vendors will only install stock sizes. Even some of the online vendors will sell you oversize tires but have you sign a waiver that you accept risk of a bad fit. If you look around the board however, you'll find a number of people with 09's or 10's running larger tires (I do)

If it was my ride and I lived in Indiana (with all that lake effect snow), I'd keep the summer wheels (they fit well and you've paid for them) and carefully choose new tires for them next time around, and get new winter steel rims + winter tires now. We call this the WTG (Winter Tire Guy) program (no i'm not the WTG). If you choose tires carefully the extra cost of running a 2nd wheelset will be offset by the lower cost of good inexpensive tires, and taking better care of your rims. For snows, the General Altimax Arctic and the Firestone Winterforce are both excellent and economical (and not even Chinese!)

You may have a little trouble finding steel wheels online. Junkyards on late model gear tend to inflate their prices. They should be a bit cheaper than aftermarket aluminum rims. Its worth checking the dealers (Toyota Plus GM) and maybe Tirerack has them. Prices mentioned on the forum are like $50-$75 each. There's a cost advantage if you can find a place online who mounts what they sell. Of course that means you have to get them put on locally, but that may be easier than getting them mounted locally. Your ride also has TPMS so if you install them locally, many states have laws that OEM wheels with TPMS must have them installed tp pass inspection and you would have to buy this too. As the caveman plumber once said thoughtfully, "This not be cheap"! But online places that mount could care less, and maybe Tirerack installers don't either. Check. I got my snows installed (and purchased) at my local gas station - the shop guy and I are buds....

Another good thing about having two wheelsets is that it more or less forces you to rotate your tires annually or better. A good thing.

Anyway, I suppose we have all given you enough to make your head spin if not your wheels. Good luck. There is a lot of good background from some quite knowledgeable people on this board. If you see posts from SublimeWind, KeithVibe, or Vibolista, among others, it is sound advice


It was in your fair state that I got the first pothole damage on U.S. 35. Fortunately, they have now completed much of the new four lane highway bypassing that miserable stretch of road between the Ohio River and I-64. That had to be the worst stretch of road in the country: a two lane road with non-stop truck traffic and potholes aplenty. Any word on when they might have the whole thing finished? Some good ideas there, but potholes are usually gone by summer. I'll agree that the spring is the worst for them however. And I am not in the area of Indiana that sees lake effect snow. That is much further north up around Gary and South Bend.
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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (tonyn1)

Postby vibolista » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:44 am

Tonyn1... you are suffering from a little known, fairly rare and nearly untreatable problem known as... PPPP or P4.

Profound Pothole Penetration Proclivity

This festers silently in patients (drivers) that secretly or subconsciously really dislike (sometimes hate) their wheels or tires or both.

The only solution is extremely radical, I'm very sorry to report...

**

**Disclaimer... The use of 4 of these products could cause some side effects that may include, but are not limited to... running over other vehicles without noticing, a very bouncy ride causing you to have to take restroom breaks frequently, spacial disorientation, hypoxia, runny nose, and bone loss due to frequent falls when getting out of your vehicle.

Remember to seek professional medical help immediately, if you actually manage to bend another rim with these big babies on, ever again.


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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (vibolista)

Postby bikeman1 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:13 am

and don't forget, always get a full set of four....its poor economy just to replaced the damaged tire or one pair

Quote, originally posted by vibolista »
Tonyn1... you are suffering from a little known, fairly rare and nearly untreatable problem known as... PPPP or P4.

Profound Pothole Penetration Proclivity

This festers silently in patients (drivers) that secretly or subconsciously really dislike (sometimes hate) their wheels or tires or both.

The only solution is extremely radical, I'm very sorry to report...

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Re: Winter Wheel & Tire Recommendations (keithvibe)

Postby JetBlack09VibeGT » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:41 am

I got a set of 16" alloy wheels with Yokohama Ice Guard IG20. Out the door price was $790. They are good tires and from what I've read they wear well. I used to have Blizzaks on my other car and the second the pavement goes dry, the Blizzaks chew up themselves quickly. I went with 16" wheels because it gives me a higher tire wall for a little more traction and I didn't want to destroy a Factory 18" Rim on a good ol'Michigan Pothole.
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JetBlack09VibeGT
 
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