EDITED: Wheel/Tire Help

EDIT: Yes, I know the tire looks like shit and should have been replaced a while ago. I’m an idiot. In my defense, I did take it to a Ford dealership for an oil change and inspection a month or two ago and was told by the Ford tech that the tires may look a little rough but that they were just fine and did not need to be replaced yet. I decided to trust the tire/lube tech’s opinion, but that’s my own fault, lol. As also stated in the comments, I’m just as surprised as everyone else that they let me leave on those tires knowing now just how bad they are. And my guess for why they didn’t try to sell me new tires is because I was the last car of the day on a Saturday and they were ready to close up and bounce.

Also, additional research seems to show that the style I really want, the steelies with big dog dish cover pictured on the Miami-Dade car, are actually 15's not 16's, and are the exact same size as the wheels I have now. So new question: If I go ahead and put new tires on my current wheels, and order the other wheels a little later down the road, would it be ok to swap the tires from one set of wheels to another? Or would that cause more wear to the tires than it’d be worth?


This is how I found my tire yesterday morning when I went out to my car. Luckily I didn’t have to drive anywhere. But it’s a problem. I was not expecting to need tires just yet, and was waiting to find a set of the black P71 police issue steelies and put tires on those instead. They’re a little bit wider (225 or 235 depending on the year, versus the 215 I have stock). Since I’ve had issues with traction in the rain, I figured going a bit wider on the wheels would help, as would new tires, lol.

I really would prefer the 225s because they’re “period correct” since my car is a ‘97. Basically, it would look like this (minus the police lights and decals of course):


If I end up going with the more common 17" wheels that came on the later models, it’d look like this:


Obviously getting the larger size means tires are going to a be a little bit more expensive, but I’ve come to accept that. My questions are as follows:

  • Would there really be a significant difference between the 225s (16's) versus the 235s (17's)?
  • Does anyone know where in the hell I could even find the 16's to begin with? eBay and Craigslist have come up short. As has the local pick-a-part, for either of those wheels.
  • For either size, what affordable tire would you recommend? I’m trying to keep it less that $120 a tire, which I know is difficult, but I’m trying not to throw a whole bunch of money at this thing. It’s just my daily.

And the main reason I’m doing this is because I’m not a fan of how the stock wheels look, so they’re getting replaced no matter what. But I don’t want to put brand new tires on them if I’m already planning on replacing them. Then that’s two sets of tires I’ll have to buy, and I don’t want to spend that kind of money. Hell, that cost would probably equal the value of the car itself, lol.

Stock wheels when they’re clean:


Anyways, thanks in advance for any/all info/advice. Here’s a Pinto wagon I found in the junkyard yesterday for your time.

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