235/55R17 Tires on a 2004 TBird

Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2004
Hi Everyone!

I'm putting new tires and wheels on my 2004 Tbird (I'm a sucker for originality, but I've got a slow leak in my front left that my mechanic has cautioned me cannot be repaired at this time, so the originals will be stored and I'll have some stand-in wheels until I can afford to repair and re-chrome :( ). I bought 235/55R17 tires, and the site where I ordered them just called (Tire Rack) and wanted to be sure I wanted that since it's not the OEM. I had read on here that a lot of people have done that and I wanted to try it for better handling and the appearance of the wheel wells being more filled out. The Tire Rack rep said I may need to keep the PSI a little higher on these, and the speedometer may be off a little. Could you all offer me some insight into what you do with each of those obstacles? I want to be sure I'm not getting tickets without even realizing I'm speeding, and since I'm a post-slow-leak owner, I'm always very cautious with PSI lol.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2003
It has been reported that Ford originally intended to put 235/55R17 tires on the Retro Birds but at the last minute changed to the smaller tires to save money. The speedometer reading is actually more accurate with the larger tires. Never heard that you had to change the PSI in the tires. I have had the larger tires on my Bird for the past seven years and love the feel and handling.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hi Everyone!

I'm putting new tires and wheels on my 2004 Tbird (I'm a sucker for originality, but I've got a slow leak in my front left that my mechanic has cautioned me cannot be repaired at this time, so the originals will be stored and I'll have some stand-in wheels until I can afford to repair and re-chrome :( ). I bought 235/55R17 tires, and the site where I ordered them just called (Tire Rack) and wanted to be sure I wanted that since it's not the OEM. I had read on here that a lot of people have done that and I wanted to try it for better handling and the appearance of the wheel wells being more filled out. The Tire Rack rep said I may need to keep the PSI a little higher on these, and the speedometer may be off a little. Could you all offer me some insight into what you do with each of those obstacles? I want to be sure I'm not getting tickets without even realizing I'm speeding, and since I'm a post-slow-leak owner, I'm always very cautious with PSI lol.

Thanks!
Speed will now read correct with the 55 tires. Put 32 psi in.
HKS
 

TDC

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2005
What make tires did you order? Still running originals on my '05 but not for long.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
I can't find affordable white wall radials.
Hi Richard,
If it's any help, we just put a set of Coker American Classic White Walls in our 2002 Tbird, the size we got is: P235/55R/17 with a 1.75 inch wide whitewall. This size is slightly different than the stock tires, of P235/50ZR/17 that came off of the car, but we were told it would be fine, and they actually are, even think the ride is a bit better. I did extensive research on whitewalls before we bought them, including talking to Diamondback. Spoke to them twice, the first time they said that they could make the tires with a 2 inch wide whitewall, but when I called back to place the order, I was told they could no longer make them, not sure which info is accurate. Our preference was for a wider whitewall more like the 2 inch wide that Diamondback said they could do. We ended up going with the Cokers, even though the white wall width was 1.75 inches wide, but we're just as happy with them, paid $295 per tire, free shipping, no tax, however they were backordered at the time and we waited 5 weeks for them. There are also BF Goodrich Silvertowns with a 1.5 inch wide whitewall, these are available in P225/55R/17, I was told this is also an acceptable size for the car, these run about $20 less per tire than the Cokers. Hope this info is helpful, they look amazing and we're very happy with our purchase, feel free to look at the pictures of the car with the whitewalls on my profile.
Good luck!

this is a cut and paste from "largest tires" thread
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2003
I went with the Diamondback 2" whitewalls seven years ago and they have held up well. I believe they stopped the 2" whitewall tires when the Fed's changed the law that now states the size and manufacture date must be visible on the outside of the tires. Not sure what I will do when I have to change my tires, but they only have about 15-K on them now, so I they may outlast me.....
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
ON A 2003 TBIRD CAN YOU PUT A 235/55R17 IN PLACE OF THE 235/50R17....WHAT ABOUT THE BOLT ON THE FR
Please follow the posting instructions on future posts. "Tires" is not a summary of your post and the model year is missing.

Please don't POST IN ALL CAPS.
model-year-TBF.jpg
 

Pcrpete

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2004
I've been running the 55's on my 2004 for about 3 years now, no issues at all
I read all the tire postings on Tbird sites and went with high performance Coopers, which a number of people recommended, very happy with them
 

BBird

Active Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hi Bill
The Cokers we had put on are P235/55R/17 and are very close in size to the stock tires, only difference from stock is that the Coker's side wall height from rim to tread is slightly higher, width is the same. I personally feel the ride is a bit better, though my husband says he didn't notice any difference, either way we're happy with the purchase. We had almost new Hancooks in the stock size on the car when we bought it and were able to sell them on Craigslist, to offset what we paid for the whitewalls, though it cost $115 to have them mounted and balanced.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Thunderbird Year
2004
Hi Everyone!

I'm putting new tires and wheels on my 2004 Tbird (I'm a sucker for originality, but I've got a slow leak in my front left that my mechanic has cautioned me cannot be repaired at this time, so the originals will be stored and I'll have some stand-in wheels until I can afford to repair and re-chrome :( ). I bought 235/55R17 tires, and the site where I ordered them just called (Tire Rack) and wanted to be sure I wanted that since it's not the OEM. I had read on here that a lot of people have done that and I wanted to try it for better handling and the appearance of the wheel wells being more filled out. The Tire Rack rep said I may need to keep the PSI a little higher on these, and the speedometer may be off a little. Could you all offer me some insight into what you do with each of those obstacles? I want to be sure I'm not getting tickets without even realizing I'm speeding, and since I'm a post-slow-leak owner, I'm always very cautious with PSI lol.

Thanks!
Hello, how have the 55 tires worked on the Bird? Funny, I also bought 235/55R17 from Tire Rack and received the same call of caution about fitment. Just had them installed - went with Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 - so curious to find if I can tell any difference, and wanted to ask about your experience. Thanks.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
Hello, how have the 55 tires worked on the Bird? Funny, I also bought 235/55R17 from Tire Rack and received the same call of caution about fitment. Just had them installed - went with Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 - so curious to find if I can tell any difference, and wanted to ask about your experience. Thanks.
I have been running 55 series tires on my car for years with absolutely no problem. I would not be concerned about the change in size. Many others have also done the same.
 
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