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  #1  
Unread 23rd January 2017, 04:22 PM
Subaru Man Subaru Man is offline
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Default Ratchet straps to reduce spare tyre circumference

Hi everybody.

I thought you might like to have a look at an experiment I did yesterday, as I've been trying to think of a way to squeeze a larger tyre into my spare wheel well without potentially having to smash & bash or put it on the roof.

I have a 2016 SJ Forester and my stock tyre is 225/60/17. I have bought some 16 inch rims with a view to going either 215/70/16 or possibly 225/70/16 but the problem as others have found is that there is very little excess room in the spare wheel well. Anyway, since the car is still quite new and will normally be used as a daily driver I don't want to bash the metal or cut anything or make a major modification like a rear bar to take a spare. So, the main options I have been thinking of are either having a deflated tyre as a spare or putting the spare on the roof. I don't mind the deflated tyre as I would have the compressor with me regardless and I don't mind the wheel on the roof except that it takes up a lot of room and uses up a lot of the allowable weight.

Anyway, deflating my stock tyre didn't make much difference if any to the size but it was sufficiently soft that I could push the rubber. Since my spare tyre already fits I couldn't really tell how easy it would be to push the rubber to fit something larger although I did think that if something was just a bit bigger it probably would fit (like 215/70/16). I'm not too sure about say 225/70/16 and I am not aware of anyone squeezing this in to the spare wheel well. This size is what got me wondering about how I might be able to fit it.

So... since I've used a belt to tighten and hold my rolled up tent to fit in the tent bag better I thought a similar thing could be done with a deflated tyre, but with some ratchet straps! I've included 3 photos. One photo shows some tic tacs sitting on top, and the other photo shows that after using the straps the tic tacs were able to pass through the space created. I didn't go as tight as I possibly could but it must have been close. Also, while the ratchet mechanism is a little bulky, in my vehicle at least there is plenty of room towards front of the vehicle. It is just at the sides that there is very little room.

I am not sure if being compressed like this has could have a negative effect on the sidewalls but I imagine that if it was only for a relatively short period of time there shouldn't be too many downsides if any. I plan to use my 16 inch wheels only when going up the beach or on some other off-road trip.

So, hopefully others might be able to potentially make use of this technique as well. Hopefully I will be able to use it to fit whatever tyre I end up getting (maximum 225/70/16) and will make a post in the coming weeks with a picture or two of the end result. I figure that with a 70 profile rather than my current 60 profile the sidewalls should compress better again so here's hoping!

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has tried this method as I haven't heard of anyone else doing this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Extra space gained.JPG (16.6 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg In spare wheel well.jpg (14.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Before straps used.jpg (15.8 KB, 19 views)
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  #2  
Unread 23rd January 2017, 06:41 PM
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Interesting approach, I've not heard of anyone trying it before.
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Unread 23rd January 2017, 09:38 PM
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Just check that the 16 inch rims will clear the brakes before you invest in the rubber.
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Unread 24th January 2017, 03:42 PM
Subaru Man Subaru Man is offline
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Hi havachat.

Yes, the 16 inch wheels fit with no problem! Just need to get the tyres in the coming weeks.
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Unread 24th January 2017, 08:44 PM
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Looking forward to seeing some pictures once your Forester is all kitted out
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Unread 26th January 2017, 08:16 AM
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Just an update... I have thought about things a little more and have tried a few variations on a theme.

First one was that while I had previously deflated the tyre as much as I could before applying the straps I hadn't released any more air after applying pressure with the straps. This time around I released more air after applying pressure with the straps and this then allowed me to tighten the straps which in turn allowed me to release more air etc. I ended up being able deflate the tyres a lot more than I had previously.

Second thing was that I experimented with 4 straps rather than 2. While I figured it would help with deflating the tyre more my main aim was to have the tyre change shape more uniformly. This did seem to be the case to some extent at least and it definitely did help release more air. Tightening one strap allowed me to release more air and then tighten another strap etc and it kept on going until I got to the point in the photos which seemed about right.

Thirdly, in my initial post I had returned the tyre to the spare wheel well with two straps, but this time I took three off and just left the tyre with one strap as it was less bulky. In my SJ model there is plenty of room at the front of the wheel well for at least two straps to be used without them hitting bodywork.

Anyway, I hope this might be of interest to you and I would be very interested to hear of anyone who gives this a go. At the moment I've only experimented on my spare tyre that already fits!

Also, I would be interested to hear from anyone as to whether you think that this could potentially damage the tyres in any way? If the tyres were old and brittle it probably wouldn't help them (although they perhaps should be replaced anyway) but maybe it could somehow hurt the steel belts of new tyres even? I pumped my tyre up again after removing the strap and it seemed to be perfectly ok. Even so, I would only ever consider using a spare like this for relatively short trips as it would re a 2nd set of wheels for offroad driving.

Thanks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 4 ratchet straps.jpg (16.9 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg In spare wheel well.JPG (16.1 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Much more space.jpg (17.9 KB, 15 views)
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Unread 26th January 2017, 07:22 PM
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My concerns would be potential deformation of the tire and/or breaking the bead seal, but hey, it worth experimenting!
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Unread 26th January 2017, 08:09 PM
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My concerns would be for potential deformation of the belts (steel?) within the tyre.
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Unread 27th January 2017, 07:34 PM
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I think it will be ok as long as you don't have any sharp bends in the tread (leave out the tic tacs lol ). You're not leaving them in there permanently so I can't see it having any detrimental effect.

Very clever idea!
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Unread 22nd July 2017, 09:52 PM
Subaru Man Subaru Man is offline
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Hi all. Further to posts above I have now been able to fit 225/70/16 to my 2 inch lifted SJ Forester with no issues at all. Of particular interest potentially is that I have been able to fit the spare tyre in the spare wheel well without too much effort, using a ratchet strap as noted in earlier posts. Stock size is 225/60/17.

I deflated tyre and then applied ratchet strap to remove more air again and bag tyre out. I applied a 2nd ratchet strap although this may not have been necessary. The tyre then fit without any more effort than usual and could be tightened and secured in place as per usual. While it was in well I released all pressure from the straps and even then the tyre could be removed and returned to spare wheel well without problem. I imagine that once fully delayed the tyre stayed in its sufficiently bagged out state once straps were removed.

So, I did need to apply and tension strap/s to start with but once tyre fitted I didn't need to apply tension again.

I am going to use this method and I think it will be a good alternative to necessarily mounting on roof or rear bar etc. I will need to carry a compressor but I don't mind this as I would be carrying a compressor anyway. The other thing is that I will usually be running stock rims and tyre size and this method will suit me for off-road treks.

I did this with Yokohama Geolandar GO15 but presume it would work for other brands as well.
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