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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So my last car was a 2015 Sentra that was a bit low to the ground. Always scrapped the hell out of the bottom/front whenever pulling into or out of parking lots where the pavement was elevated above the road.

I've since traded it in and got a new Versa(yay!). The Versa has much more adequate height. However, i'm still worried and want to get bigger wheels for it to increase car height. Stock wheels are 15". I'm looking for at LEAST 17" if not 18".

Anyone know how big of rims 2015-2017 Versa Sedan can accept?

I'm thinking about these two right now, which according to tirebuyer.com is supposed to be compatible:

17" rims:
https://www.tirebuyer.com/wheels/pacer/83b-fwd-black-mod/p/wv219000544
and
https://www.tirebuyer.com/wheels/icw-racing/218mb-drone/p/wv278000268

or

18" Rims:
https://www.tirebuyer.com/wheels/icw-racing/218mb-drone/p/wv278000272



Also what does offset mean? Does this matter? Anyone else put larger rims/tires on their Versa Sedan?
 

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Err, it would be easier to go to a taller tire like a 70 or 75 series? Thats my idea and go to a light weight rim in oem size to make up for weight of the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Err, it would be easier to go to a taller tire like a 70 or 75 series? Thats my idea and go to a light weight rim in oem size to make up for weight of the tire.

No. I want to spend the extra money to do things right and good.
 

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No. I want to spend the extra money to do things right and good.
You are limited by the size of your wheel well. Larger rim will get you smaller tire wall. The only other option is theoretical: to completely extend your wheels outside the body where your options for rim side are multiple.
 

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You are doing something I am famous for: looking for solutions to imaginary problems.

The Versa has plenty of ground clearance for most intents and purposes. Some people would say too much. If your daily driving puts you into situations where the Versa cannot clear things, you straight up should not be driving a car. You would need a crossover, truck, or SUV.

You can't gain more than probably around an inch at most of clearance via tires without creating other problems for yourself. Larger tires with heavier rims are going to be harder for the engine to turn, which will cost you fuel economy, acceleration, and even hurt breaking performance. Thats a lot of areas to take a loss just to gain a smidge of clearance.

For what you describe, parking lot/driveway approaches, the distance from the front wheels to the bottom of the front valence/bumper is a bigger factor that how much ground clearance you have. Most of the time taking those approaches at an angle if possible is all that needs to be done, though I know that is not always possible in all situations. Also, and this should go without saying, but crawling over those approaches rather than hitting them at 15+ MPH prevents suspension from smashing the nose into the asphalt. If you want to charge into a parking lot with a bad approach at speed there again, you're gonna need a truck or SUV (or a subaru).

Hopefully I don't come off as grouchy but just sit down and really think about it, a few years younger me would constantly be sitting around playing mind games with myself trying to figure out what mods my car needed to "fix" these types of superfluous "problems" and its pretty much a waste of your time & energy not to mention the cons of a lot of these things often far outweigh the pros as I described above.


All that being said, I've been in your shoes before and if you can't shake the concept out of your head then just know that rim size does not matter. If you go to tirerack and ask for taller rims they will give you that and shorter tires and you can add 3 inches to your rims and gain nothing in clearance height as a result. You can keep your same rims and get a smidge taller tire and everything will be fine but don't bother until you wear out your first set of tires (my bet is you won't even have the car by the time it needs new tires).

If anyone anywhere drops the term "spring spacers", forget about it. Been there, done that, same story of the cons outweighing the minuscule pros. If you must learn that for yourself then so be it but don't say I didn't say so when you reach your conclusion.

Adjust the nut between the wheel and the seat instead of trying to turn an economy sedan into some kind of curb hopping baja racer and you will be a lot happier and further ahead in the end my friend.
 

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For ground clearance you can try spring spacers. They make these gizmos to limit spring movement as well as urethane spacers that go between the coils. Coilovers can also give you more ground clearance adjusted all the way up.

When it comes to big rims you need big brakes, not so much with tires. You can also roll your fenders. Worse to worse cut a notch in the front ones so you do not hit the tire when turning at the top of the tire.
 

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Any updates? I had this desire for my suzuki sidekick and ended up using the tirerack website for the over all tire outside diameter. Many cases when you go with larger rims you end up with a selection of lower profile tires so the over all diameter is the same if not less than where you started.

When it comes to rims, many cases those available rims further limit what tires you can use.

I ultimately ended up using the stock rims and going up 3 tire sizes on my kick and love it.

When my tires are up Im going to a 75 series tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Any updates? I had this desire for my suzuki sidekick and ended up using the tirerack website for the over all tire outside diameter. Many cases when you go with larger rims you end up with a selection of lower profile tires so the over all diameter is the same if not less than where you started.

When it comes to rims, many cases those available rims further limit what tires you can use.

I ultimately ended up using the stock rims and going up 3 tire sizes on my kick and love it.

When my tires are up Im going to a 75 series tire.

Have not done anything yet because i'm still thinking on what to do.

So wait, you can just ask to buy larger tires? To add Height? No bigger rims?!

I'm looking to add at LEAST 2 inches to the body height, to insure it rides safely without scraping the bottom on anything.
 

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2 inches higher? Thats ridonkulous. Buy a truck. The versa has more than adequate clearance for anything a compact economy car should be put through. If you put larger height tires on a vehicle that is already almost dangerously unstable in a light breeze at highway speeds your going to end up upside down in a ditch. How safe is that? I personally cannot overstate this as a professional mechanic I strongly advise you not to make modifications that decrease the stability of this car.
 

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If you must change the tires go with a 205/60/15 it will give 20mm wider tire with a larger contact patch. They will be much more stable than stock, better able to handle curbs and potholes and will be slightly taller but not so much that it will throw off your speedometer or cause rubbing or instability due to excessive sidewall deflection.
 

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Grave02 said:
I'm looking to add at LEAST 2 inches to the body height
:badidea:

TWO INCHES? You gotta be trollin. :shocked:

That is not going to happen (without seriously screwing up the car), no way no how. To gain 2 inches via tires would require a tire with 4 inches greater diameter. Trucks hardly get away with adding that kind of height over stock tires, usually requiring a gear change in the differentials which isn't an option on this car. Your speedometer would be off by nearly 10 MPH (with no straightforward way to correct it). The engine would lug like crazy, you'd lose tons of gas mileage and gain gobs of extra braking distance. There's not really any viable tire option thats skinny enough to fit in the fender wells and still be able to turn. This is crazy talk. Go into any tire shop and tell them you want to gain 2 inches of clearance on your sedan from tires, they will probably laugh you out of the building.

Even if you tried to split it up, try to gain an inch from tires and another inch from expanding the springs, then you will start to blow through CV axle joints like crazy, wreck the springs, and still have the gas mileage and braking and stability problems already described.

No no no, this is all bad. Bad juju. :ashamed: go do some searching and study the problem some more. You are not the first person to ask, and you won't be the last, but you just don't realize how nutty the final product would be if you insist on trying.


@Cobb is over here on the edge with @Grave02 like this, he knows the potential problems but wants to see someone try anyways :grin
:74:
 

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Well, I think the car will be fine. Its geared low at least the 5 speed. You will just need to shift later and go 5 mph slower reading your speedo. So for tires you need 2 inches taller and an inch from the suspension. Once you space out the suspension with coilovers, spacers, etc get it realigned.

CVC joints are designed to work at angles. How often do you steer the car vs drive in a straight line? Its when you over flex them that the balls can pop out.

Stock rim and tire

15 185/65r15 out side diameter 24.4 inches

15 205/75r15 27.1

15 215/75r15 27.7

My sidekick I went from a 205/75r15 to a 235/75r15. 5mph diff and about 2 inch diameter.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
2 inches higher? Thats ridonkulous. Buy a truck. The versa has more than adequate clearance for anything a compact economy car should be put through. If you put larger height tires on a vehicle that is already almost dangerously unstable in a light breeze at highway speeds your going to end up upside down in a ditch. How safe is that? I personally cannot overstate this as a professional mechanic I strongly advise you not to make modifications that decrease the stability of this car.

I love my Versa Sedan. Don't want a truck.

I just don't want a repeat of what happened with my 2015 Sentra, where i was constantly scraping the hell out of the bottom. For the record, my two prior cars never had that problem when driving around in the same area. Sentra was just too damn low. What about larger tires for at LEAST 1" higher clearance? Would that still be too drastic a change to the driving dynamics?

If not larger tires or larger rims, then, what would be the safest/best way to add more height?
 

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I just don't want a repeat of what happened with my 2015 Sentra, where i was constantly scraping the hell out of the bottom. For the record, my two prior cars never had that problem when driving around in the same area. Sentra was just too damn low.
Usually a ground clearance for a small car is 5...6 inches. From the 2017 NISSAN VERSA SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS the ground clearance is 6.8 inches. It is not a low clearance by any means. Moving +1 or +2 tires size will give you extra 0.5" in clearance.

Remember 20/80 rule: 20% of effort gives you 80% of desired result, and then to archive remaining 20% of desired result you need to spend 80% of additional effort. Learn to live with a good enough result.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Usually a ground clearance for a small car is 5...6 inches. From the 2017 NISSAN VERSA SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS the ground clearance is 6.8 inches. It is not a low clearance by any means. Moving +1 or +2 tires size will give you extra 0.5" in clearance.

Remember 20/80 rule: 20% of effort gives you 80% of desired result, and then to archive remaining 20% of desired result you need to spend 80% of additional effort. Learn to live with a good enough result.

I think it would be worth buying a full set of slightly larger tires if i can at least gain an additional (1) inch in height/ground clearance.

I've read numerous posts around the net about how upgrading to larger rims or tires could alter the way the car handles or whatever.

But the stock tires on a Versa are already kinda tiny and seem like the minimum for this car. Would moving up a bit really throw things off that much?? Does anyone know??
 

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SlickVersa said:
Remember 20/80 rule: 20% of effort gives you 80% of desired result, and then to archive remaining 20% of desired result you need to spend 80% of additional effort. Learn to live with a good enough result.
Wise words, need to keep those in mind myself on many things.

You can definitely get an inch from tires and things will be OK. You can use the stock rims, or get new ones if you want we are just saying you can get taller tires without rims if you want and will save you money.

If you insist I think just start with the taller tires and see how that goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Wise words, need to keep those in mind myself on many things.

You can definitely get an inch from tires and things will be OK. You can use the stock rims, or get new ones if you want we are just saying you can get taller tires without rims if you want and will save you money.

If you insist I think just start with the taller tires and see how that goes.

At first i was ready to go all-out and buy a full set of new rims and tires for at LEAST a 2 inch, if not 3 inch height change. But from what I've read there are complications to substantially changing rim/tire diameter from the stock size intended. Such as changing how the car handles, fuel economy, and even the speedometer being altered(how?!). I don't want to get the suspension(shocks?) screwed with either.

So the compromise i'm thinking of now, is buying a full set of slightly larger tires for a 1 inch height increase. That would be worth it to protect things.

The Versa's stock tires are already small. So going slightly larger/taller with tire size isn't that drastic a change....is it?

Anyone have any objections?

Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

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At first i was ready to go all-out and buy a full set of new rims and tires for at LEAST a 2 inch, if not 3 inch height change. But from what I've read there are complications to substantially changing rim/tire diameter from the stock size intended. Such as changing how the car handles, fuel economy, and even the speedometer being altered(how?!). I don't want to get the suspension(shocks?) screwed with either.

So the compromise i'm thinking of now, is buying a full set of slightly larger tires for a 1 inch height increase. That would be worth it to protect things.

The Versa's stock tires are already small. So going slightly larger/taller with tire size isn't that drastic a change....is it?

Anyone have any objections?

Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!

As I was saying in my last post the problem you are going to have is that this car was already outfitted from the factory with extremely tall (by todays standards) tires. By that I mean the sidewall height or the distance between the lowest point of the rim and the outside of the tire (or the road surface however you want to think about it) is very large in relation to the width of the tire. This does a couple of things. First is it gives the car a large ground clearance which is why nissan did it to begin with. But on the flip side this is largely to blame(along with alignment specs) for the somewhat "squirrelly" handling characteristics at highway speeds. If you attempt to gain more clearance by increasing tire size without increasing rim size you can only make this problem worse. Imagine your car is a house built on stilts, the wider and more rigid the stilts the more stable the house will be but if you set that house on tall thin rubbery stilts it will blow around in the breeze. If you absolutely must raise this car higher for baja racing or god knows what you intend to do with it you will need to go with larger rims in order to keep the sidewall height of the tires within reasonable, safe, proportions.

Also to my other point if you pit larger tires on the car it will throw off the speedometer because the vehicle only knows how fast the wheels are rotating not how fast the vehicle is going in relation to the road. If you put larger circumfrance tires on the car it will actually be traveling faster than the speedometer reads. How much depends on how much larger tires you go with but an extra 2" would be significant.
 

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Yeah man I don't know, I was just staring at my Versa in the driveway this morning thinking "sure looks like there is plenty of clearance for me" but I don't know what it looks like where you live. Where I live, I drove home through 12 inches of fresh snowfall back around thanksgiving, then the rest of winter deep snow on the roads was never a big issue besides that one time but then spring came and they tore up the pavement to rebuild major sections of the roads around me so I was bumping and bopping along dirt construction path and clawing up out of the dirt holes back onto pavement at both ends of the construction every day, driving through huge pools of water in the construction when it would rain hard (had a lot of rain this spring). Scraping was NEVER a problem through all of that, although I'm sure it was close in some spots.

The car was built and designed for the tires its got. Slightly larger is fine, past a tipping point then you introduce all the problems already described thoroughly above. Like I said when I made my first post, its mostly a mind game you are playing with yourself. You had a different car that had scraping issues, that car is gone. You have a new car that has not demonstrated scraping to be an issue yet, but apparently the memory of your previous car is too fresh in your mind. Are you sure there wasn't something hanging down on your old sentra that made it a worse scraper than it should have been? Just a thought, I see people driving around all the time and if I'm the right distance behind them I can see "wow their exhaust is dangling low, its fallen off at least on hanger, must bang all the time when they go over driveways" or "sheesh, a chunk of their front valance is hanging down and flapping in the wind, must catch on everything" but you know they just keep driving it and are totally oblivious.

Try not to waste your time and money worrying so much about something that is not a proven issue with the new car. Take bad approaches and driveways carefully, angle them when possible and keep the speed low. Let the stock tires wear out and when its time for new tires think about how much you did or didn't have issues with the stock size and then decide whether to go up a size, or two at most. Thats my opinion, you do whatever you want :)
 

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Like you, I've been toying with the idea of changing my tire size. In my case, I want to change my wheel size from 15" to 14". I would then change the tire size from P185-65-R15 to P185-65-R14. Why? Aside from slightly quicker acceleration and lower overall height (the Versa Note is a tall car with a height of 60.5"), I want to buck the trend of ever-increasing tire and wheel sizes.

The Versa sedan/Note is supposed to be a "subcompact" car. 15+ years ago, subcompact cars had 13" wheels. Now a Versa comes with 15" standard. Even a compact car like an Elantra is now available with up to 18" wheels, which is beyond overkill to me. I think this is primarily a result of pedestrian safety standards enacted ~15 years ago in Europe and Japan, which required the hood to be at least 4" (10 cm) above the top of the engine to prevent pedestrian head injuries. Apparently, when a pedestrian is hit by a car and their head hits the hood, they were suffering serious head injuries because there was no vertical clearance between the hood and engine; the head would "hit" the engine as the hood bent under the pressure/weight of the head. This new standard made hoods higher. To even out the proportions of the car design, the beltline (bottom of windows) and roof were raised as well. The wheelwells and, thus, the wheels/tires, also had to be enlarged to even out proportions.

Anyways, I did a lot of research into which specific 14-inch wheels will fit on the Versa Note (lug nut spacing, center hole size, etc.), how to adjust the speedometer, etc. I've already spent a lot of time on research. I will need even more time (and money) to actually buy and install the wheels and speedometer adjustment kit, both of which are really limited now that I have a baby to take care of. I may have to accept the reality that I may never ever complete this project.

Back to your situation, it's a free country (at least in the USA) so you can do what you wish but, as in my case, you may find it's not worth your time or money. Actually, in the past, I was also annoyed by my car's front end scraping the ground. My Versa Note came with a front air dam/spoiler from the factory (only the base S trim level did not include the front spoiler). The front spoiler would scrape the pavement every time I pulled my car out of my garage into the street. Drove me nuts. Eventually, the spoiler broke in two and I had to remove it. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise because, without the front spoiler, there is no more scraping!

If you're still worried about ground clearance, you may want to start by removing the front spoiler (if your car has it). Easy fix and you may get some money by selling it if it's still in good condition.
 
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