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Discussion Starter #1
So my mazda 3 (2014) hatchback is reaching 80k.

I think this might be my forever car or until the engine blow up. I'm getting old and the low profile tires (running continental dws06 w/ 18" rims.) and the low ride height combined with lots of highway miles got me thinking.

Can I improve my ride quality by getting taller springs and softer struts or something?
I figure if I do the springs/struts now then get tires that has a taller wall profile will help too when its time to change tires.

Has anyone done it?
 

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So my mazda 3 (2014) hatchback is reaching 80k.

I think this might be my forever car or until the engine blow up. I'm getting old and the low profile tires (running continental dws06 w/ 18" rims.) and the low ride height combined with lots of highway miles got me thinking.

Can I improve my ride quality by getting taller springs and softer struts or something?
I figure if I do the springs/struts now then get tires that has a taller wall profile will help too when its time to change tires.

Has anyone done it?
You can use smaller 16" rims with 205-60-R16 Tires (same diameter as 215-45-18") ---- more rubber adds cushion
I use this for snow tires, but performance will be noticeable …. low profile tires are fun to drive on.
 

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A good compromise is 17" rims with 50 or 55 series tires. Also, light weight rims can make a difference. OEM 18" rims + tires are about 50 lbs per corner. Good light rims can shave 15 lbs or more off that. That reduction of unsprung weight will help the suspension work a lot better to absorb bumps.
 

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As suggested rims and tires... I've got 16 winters with 60 profile stock and summers 17 225/45's and the difference in feel in big. Much softer on the 16/60's
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions all but I'm trying to do this as cost effectively as possible.
4 new rims would be quite expensive.
 

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I've been looking to see if I can't fit 225/60/16 under there. Pricing of 16 inch wheels is less than you think. You should be able to get them for around 65-75 a piece. If you want better forged ones it will be more.
 

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pick up an OEM set of 16's and some nice floppy rubber.

Taller springs usually are stiffer to increase the ride height as well as have extra coils.

If you change spring ratios and free length too much you need to get better matched dampers for the spring rates and added travel.

Im not aware of any lifting springs for our cars so you'd be looking at coilovers which generally will move the comfort to the other end of the zone you're after.
 

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4 new rims would be quite expensive.
As would having new springs and shocks installed. It would probably be cheaper to get new rims. The 17" rims I have cost about $600, the Konis and H&R springs about $800 for the parts. If you are going to get new tires anyhow, 16s or 17s are much cheaper than the oversize 18s you mentioned.
 

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What about selling your 18s forna few bucks after you grt new wheels and tires.

I agree with above, change wheel and tire before suspension. You can definitely find used wheels for cheap if you are on a budget. Recoup some cost selling your 18s.

At 80k you might need new struts anyway in the future. I don't think anyone makes a specifically soft ride strut spring combo. Also, raising ride height doesn't necessarily nake ride more compliant there is more to it than that.

Overall I would say the easiest and cheapest way to reach your goal is buy used 16" wheels and find a tire that fits your budget with good reviews for comfort.
 

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Just joined the forum a few minutes ago. Bought my 2014 GT last Feb. It came with 18’s. I needed to drive it to my home in northern British Columbia. Bought new Michelin Ices abs steel wheels in 16 inch for same $ as 3 snow tires at 18 inches. Much better tire for winter. Softer ride too.
 

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If you raise the ride height, you will also screw up the (non-adjustable) wheel alignment. Lighter wheels are the way to go.
 

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I've been looking to see if I can't fit 225/60/16 under there. Pricing of 16 inch wheels is less than you think. You should be able to get them for around 65-75 a piece. If you want better forged ones it will be more.
Wife runs 215-55-16 Michelin AS3+, rode better, no rubbing.
If you end up going with the 225/60, please update us on fitment.

I will share that the 215-55-16 in AS3+ flavor offers us a far greater margin of error in buying us additional stopping and handling improvement.
Before handing over the keys, I "broke" them in on a rainy day in the back lot of a walmart. I could not break traction until I start to induce lift-off oversteer at 70-80km/h (around 45-50mph). Lateral stability was surprising composed as well under 50mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I decided to go all in, I'm going to replace current suspension with koniq active struts for both front and rear, as well as go down to 17" wheels with good year weatherready tires, which is a higher end quiet touring tires.

Wish me luck, I'll report back as I'll be doing a 2500 miles road trip right after.
 
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