Has anyone replaced their front tires to match the rear. I spoke to Jim Linton yesterday, a frequent contributor to this site and very knowledge able about Smart cars. He is planning on doing this. He says it makes for a smoother and more stable ride. I'd like to hear from anybody thats already done this. Thanks

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look at the Russ Barnes reply in the Tire Size discussion right here in Nuts and Bolts
Yes it will, and it's a good thing but the offset is it will also decrease your fuel mileage due to the increased rolling resistance of the larger cross section of the tire.
Brian, it does decrease your MPGs by a whopping 1 MPG.... big deal.
I was one of the first to do this and would encourage everyone to do it. it make the car better handling.. It does not take everything away.. but it sure does improve it allot.
Larry,

I have just had it done, after reading Russ Barnes' recommendations. I simply ordered a set of rear wheels, tires and rims. There was some resistance while at the dealership ("It doesn't fit, the front tires are smaller than the back", my reply, "I know for a fact they fit and that is why I ordered them.").

I immediately felt the improvement in the handling, changing lanes at high speed, and with each sharp curve and even when traveling behind a large truck (much less squirliness). I'm looking forward to a windy day to see how much the lateral wind problem is descreased.

I'm going to go ahead and order the special bag to hold one of the old front tires and use it as a spare.

I was sure to adjust my headlights down.

I would recommend this change to anyone who would like to improve the handling of their smart car. The lower (1 mpg) gas mileage is well worth it. The advantage of having a spare and a better looking car is well worth the extra cost. A hidden, but small advantage: the odometer reading will be slightly lower over the long haul.

Any questions, email me at ernierains@gmail.com

Have fun!

Ernie
thanks Ernie, I think you've sold me on the idea.
I mounted a set of stock rear wheels and tires on the front of my smartie; so now run the 175-60 x 15" on all four corners. Smoother ride, less jarring on pot holes and dips, very little change in mileage. I'm running 33 lbs in the front and 36 lbs in the rear tires. I use one of the fronts as a spare - another plus, IMHO. Good way to tame down the jarring ride and increase stability on the highway. After mounting the only change was having to reset the TPMS system for sensor changes.
Ernie:

Thanks for the update on putting the rear rims and tires on the front end. Can you tell me how much the dealer charged you for the rear rims?

Thanks!

Ernie Rains said:
Larry,

I have just had it done, after reading Russ Barnes' recommendations. I simply ordered a set of rear wheels, tires and rims. There was some resistance while at the dealership ("It doesn't fit, the front tires are smaller than the back", my reply, "I know for a fact they fit and that is why I ordered them.").

I immediately felt the improvement in the handling, changing lanes at high speed, and with each sharp curve and even when traveling behind a large truck (much less squirliness). I'm looking forward to a windy day to see how much the lateral wind problem is descreased.

I'm going to go ahead and order the special bag to hold one of the old front tires and use it as a spare.

I was sure to adjust my headlights down.

I would recommend this change to anyone who would like to improve the handling of their smart car. The lower (1 mpg) gas mileage is well worth it. The advantage of having a spare and a better looking car is well worth the extra cost. A hidden, but small advantage: the odometer reading will be slightly lower over the long haul.

Any questions, email me at ernierains@gmail.com

Have fun!

Ernie
Smartnaz, you ask; "Can you tell me how much the dealer charged you for the rear rims?" If you are truly considering that route you are going to get gauged out of a good lump of money. Either buy a used pair from one of the smarts on the forums (451.com, smartcarofamerica.com, or here) or if you dont trust that route go to smartmadness.com as they are a good retailer of all smart stuff.
I found one of the sites you mentioned that is selling used rear rims for $132 each. I will have to move the pressure sensors from the fronts and will use one of the fronts as a spare. Thanks for the sugguestions!

SATO said:
Smartnaz, you ask; "Can you tell me how much the dealer charged you for the rear rims?" If you are truly considering that route you are going to get gauged out of a good lump of money. Either buy a used pair from one of the smarts on the forums (451.com, smartcarofamerica.com, or here) or if you dont trust that route go to smartmadness.com as they are a good retailer of all smart stuff.

Anyone have a set of good rear tires and wheels for a 08 Cabrio they would like to sell?   Erv

ervlichterman@hotmail.com

I believe the wider rear tires and narrower front tires is a better setup for specifically the smart car, versus matching width at all four wheels.  The handling is more accurate and high speed side to side maneuvers are slightly more composed with narrower fronts. 

I have matching Brabus rims at all 4 corners right now and it's the first thing I noticed when I made the change and ditched the stock Pure rims.

The difference is not big enough IMO to merit worrying about it.  You could probably get 50 professionals on a track test running the car and there will be different opinions about the section width choices.

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