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Thread: Rolled The Fenders On This Little Beast

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    Member Fopeano's Avatar
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    Rolled The Fenders On This Little Beast

    I've been having a lot of rubbing running 195/60/15 snow tires. Since I had the tool for it, I rolled the fenders to make additional clearance because of there was a lot of scrubbing over sharp dips or bumps (rapid front suspension compression). To be clear, there is till some rubbing from the front of the skirts at least. I'm still figuring it out, but rolling the fenders was worth it. Not easy even with the proper tool, and certainly requires that I have and artistic side.

    Some pictures....

    Before:



    After:



    A pic of the tool, Schwaben brand available from ECS Tuning:




    Sitting on it's wheels after:




    It's really amazing how little it shows in the pictures how much the fenders are puffed out. It was a heathy 1/2" of clearance added. Maybe that means I did a good job? Anyway, it helps. I've tested it over the dips and it's not catching the edge of the fender anymore. It still is hitting on the front of the black side skirt piece here and there.

    Just a note about fender rolling...

    The heat gun there is meant to heat up the paint so it doesn't crack when you bend the metal it's bonded to. The paint should be hot enough to not burn by touching it, but burn if you hold it for more than a moment.


    Last edited by Fopeano; 12-29-2022 at 10:39 AM.
    Mitsu master tech since 2009, German car guy, recently bought a 14 Mirage 5spd with 145k. Youtube Channel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fopeano View Post
    I've been having a lot of rubbing running 195/60/15 snow tires. Since I had the tool for it, I rolled the fenders to make additional clearance because of there was a lot of scrubbing over sharp dips or bumps (rapid front suspension compression). To be clear, there is till some rubbing from the front of the skirts at least. I'm still figuring it out, but rolling the fenders was worth it. Not easy even with the proper tool, and certainly requires that I have and artistic side.
    175/55r15 (factory size 15" tire) = 22.6" diameter, 6.9" width, outside diameter variance of 0%

    185/55r15 = 23" diameter, 7.3" width, outside diameter variance of 1.8%

    195/60r15 = 24.2" diameter, 7.7" width, outside diameter variance of 7.1%

    You most likely already know all this, because you already have the tires. I am sharing this for anyone else reading this thread.

    When buying alternative tires, an outside diameter variance of 3% or less is considered acceptable in the tire industry. Obviously, not everyone follows this guideline, and this is a good example of that.

    175/55r15 size tires offer limited options in the States. Using Walmart as an example, there are 78 tire options today (which is way better than it used to be a few years ago). Walmart offers 247 tires options for the more common alternative 185/55r15 tire size used by some on the Mirage. I didn't take the time to analyze/count duplicates and things like that.

    I have never heard anyone on this forum having any rub issues with a 185/55r15 tire. The outside diameter variance is only 1.8%. I can't say I remember anyone having an issue with an 185/60r15 tire either, even though the outside diameter variance is 4.9%.

    Someone in a different thread shared they were using 195/45r16 tires. Those tires are 22.9" in diameter, and the outside diameter variance is only 1.3%. I don't know if they are clear of rubbing issues, but their tire diameter is in an acceptable range.

    A 195/65r15 is a huge tire for a small car like the Mirage. As you increase your width, your aspect ratio (2nd number) should be lower. In this case, both the width & aspect ratio were increased at the same time resulting in an oversize tire for the car. A 195/60r15 tire has an outside diameter variance (7.1%), & that is twice the recommended (staying with 3%) amount. I must admit Walmart has 702 tire options in that size, however.

    In my 30+ years of driving winter ridge roads in SW Wisconsin with small, light, FWD vehicles - added width is a huge killer of winter driving performance. I would take a 145 wide tire over anything larger, because the narrower the better for my needs at least. Having said that, I would much rather run a 165/65r14 snow tire over a 175/65r14 tire (or wider). My Mirage would be pretty useless some days with wide snow tires slapped on it.

    I realize some think a Mirage looks better & maybe handle better with larger tires. I won't argue that, except when it comes to climbing hills in snow.
    Last edited by Mark; 12-29-2022 at 11:41 AM.

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    Member Fopeano's Avatar
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    You're 100% right that narrow and tall is better for snow performance, which is also true for rain, and I agree with all the other information you provided here.

    These tires are from the broken car I expected to take into this winter. I would never have selected that size for the car. I will say that the dry traction, even on salty dirty roads, takes the Mirage to levels of cornering that I've never experienced in one before. I've driven so many of these cars over the years, but now I have my own to experiment with. I've only driven these in shallow snow, but I'm looking forward to some real powder to see if it's an overall gain even while the width and sidewall height is not ideal for inclement weather.
    Mitsu master tech since 2009, German car guy, recently bought a 14 Mirage 5spd with 145k. Youtube Channel

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 30.5 mpg (US) ... 13.0 km/L ... 7.7 L/100 km ... 36.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Wallythacker's Avatar
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    I've been running 175/75-14 snow tires since 2017. there wasn't many choices of snows in 2017and I went with walmart simply because I could get service and support if needed. Once my current winter tires are done, maybe this spring, I'll likely hunt for all weather LRR 165/65-14 for my new winter choice. I've settled on 185/55-15 for my 3 season tires as I'm splurging on lowering springs, Konig wheels and the I forget LRR tires people went with. I hope there's no rubbing with the new tires and lowered springs.
    Zero, 2014 ES Plus 5MT, written off but not forgotten.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallythacker View Post
    I've been running 175/75-14 snow tires since 2017. there wasn't many choices of snows in 2017and I went with walmart simply because I could get service and support if needed. Once my current winter tires are done, maybe this spring, I'll likely hunt for all weather LRR 165/65-14 for my new winter choice. I've settled on 185/55-15 for my 3 season tires as I'm splurging on lowering springs, Konig wheels and the I forget LRR tires people went with. I hope there's no rubbing with the new tires and lowered springs.
    I sort of explored tires before I bought my Mirage. When I drove my 1990 Ford Festiva from 1990-2004, shopping for tires was a bit of an issue. In that case, however, I was shopping for 12" tires (which have become even more rare today). Some converted their Festiva cars to 13" tires, & I don't really blame them in that case.

    Back in those days, I just noticed a huge difference between the Festiva with narrow tires versus our VW Golf with wide tires. There were times when the Festiva would fly up & down the ridge road with cheap all-season tires, and the Golf with wider snow tires could barely make it down the same hill without sliding off the road. The difference was quite noticeable. My Mirage with 165/65r14 dedicated snow tires doesn't climb as well as my Festiva with 145SR12 all-season tires did, but it's better than the Golf was with wider tires.

    If I didn't value winter traction so much, I wouldn't hesitate to run 175/65r14 (23") tires on my Mirage. As long as 165/65r14 (22.4") tire options exist, I prefer going that route for now. Likewise, if I had 15" rims I wouldn't hesitate to use 185/55r15 (23") tires, too.

    I somehow ended up with 4 different pairs of 165/65r14 tires for my Mirage. I currently have my Nokian Nordman 7 snow tires up front & my new pair of all-season tires (Kumho Solus TA31) on the rear. If I get the Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires (backordered), I will give them a try on the rear this winter. Otherwise, I will give them a try next winter for sure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wallythacker's Avatar
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    I saw nice Kuhmo all weather tires at Quattro https://quattrotires.com/tires/kumho...-ice-wi31/2566

    with the rebate they might be as low as $270/4 which is fine with me for 165/65/14. I might get 6-7 seasons from them provided I swap them off at first chance.
    Zero, 2014 ES Plus 5MT, written off but not forgotten.
    Zero II, 2014 SE, 5MT, climate She's HOME now!
    Shelby AKA "Cute", 2017 ES 5MT, A/C.

    Mirage owners look at the world differently than everyone else, but in a better way
    We're driving the Beetle of the 21st century, the greatest small car now available!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2017 Mirage ES PLus 1.2 manual: 39.0 mpg (US) ... 16.6 km/L ... 6.0 L/100 km ... 46.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallythacker View Post
    I saw nice Kuhmo all weather tires at Quattro https://quattrotires.com/tires/kumho...-ice-wi31/2566

    with the rebate they might be as low as $270/4 which is fine with me for 165/65/14. I might get 6-7 seasons from them provided I swap them off at first chance.
    Those look like full blown Kumho directional snow tires to me? That's a great price, however.

    I hope my order for the Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires for about that same price comes through. I have never used an asymmetrical tire like the Quatrac 5 before. I am not a fan of directional tires, but most snow tires have become that.

    I see tire options (few examples below) as being

    summer -
    all-season - Kumho Solus TA31 or Nexen N'Priz AH5
    all-weather - Vredestein Quatrac 5
    winter/snow - Nokian Nordman 7, Dunlop Winter Maxx 2



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