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Im thinking of purchasing a SVTF. As it will be a dialy driver I need to be able to drive it in the snow. Will a 15" rim fit with the SVT brakes? Or would I need to stick to a 16"? How do they handle the snow and rain?
 

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16" is required. The stock Conti's are a summer-only tire so you need to either go down to a 16 or put snows on the stockers.
Nah, you can drive in the snow in Conti's. Of course, you get about as much traction as you do spinning innertubes across the top of a pool.
 

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Find a set of those pretty 16s that come on ZX3s and ZX5s - you can get them on ebay for $200. Get 205/50R16 Blizzaks, and you're good to go.

Basically, it's a FWD car with ABS and traction control and snow tires all around - you tell me.
 

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I have 205 55 16" as the correct Winter size from the SVT manual supplement. I imagine 205 50 16" is the standard ZX3 size, but other than the standard ZX3 size being a bit smaller (I think), is there any reason the 205 55 16" was recommended by SVT for our cars or won't work?

I plan to place an order for 4 snow tires ASAP as I had the misfortune to bend a wheel during a very light snow storm after I bought the car in late March 2003.
FWIW, you simply MUST purchase snow tires if you plan on driving your SVTF in the winter, ya gotta do it, the stock tires are useless in wintry conditions, even more so than those stock tires on other sport compact cars. Saves on your insurance deductible.
 

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I decided to use my stock wheels for winter tires this year since they are laying around with no tire on them anyway. I am going to go with the Dunlop Winter Sport M2's at 225/45/17. Expensive tires, but I think they will be pretty good for what I need. I drove on my conti's last winter and that was not an experience I want to do again.
 

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I have 205 55 16" as the correct Winter size from the SVT manual supplement. I imagine 205 50 16" is the standard ZX3 size, but other than the standard ZX3 size being a bit smaller (I think), is there any reason the 205 55 16" was recommended by SVT for our cars or won't work?
You are correct - I used the Tire Rack calculator (and it calls out the SVT, not just a ZX3 or 5), which gave the 205/50. Running the numbers manually just now though, I get a diameter of 24.618" for the stock rubber, and 24.071 for the 50s and 24.878 for the 55s. So, the 55s look closer to me - Tire Rack is wrong.
 

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Rumor has it that some SCCA Club (or was it Pro?) Rally guys are running 15" rims over regular SVT brakes.
Of course these are beefy rally rims that probably cost a bit more than standard "street grade" rims... But if you want to pay, it can be done.
 

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I think I am going to pick up some ContiExtremeContact ( 215 45 17) high performance all season tires for my winter use. They are about $89 each on TireRack with good reviews. I will put them on my stock wheels and retire them to winter use.

Then I will pick up some new wheels over the winter for warm weather use.

If your looking for 16 inch wheels check the classifieds at www.contour.org for some stock SVT contour wheels. That way you can retain the SVT theme if you like. I have a set but will probably sell them as 16 inch wheels seem small now.
 
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