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I dont understand this obsession with 17" tires on a car designed on 19" tires. Get the correct size equivalent or dont do it at all. 255/55/17 is an exact match and will fit on a stock Mazda 17" wheel.
 

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not that big of a leap from 225/55/17 or 225/45/19
2.2% is a huge jump. As far as the pothole issue, no, more sidewall wont absorb more shock "by default", unless you run less air pressure which causes other issues. Blown struts and shocks can cause damage to tires when hitting a pot hole, i kept popping the side wall on my 1st Gen till i replaced them and then it stopped.

I can agree that if youre getting a set of wheels and tires for under $600 i guess thats not a bad deal, but id replace the suspension first as with 120k, it should have been replaced twice by now.

But yes, they will fit. Youll also have to remember to drive slower, cause you cant calibrate the speedo.
 

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or which premium aftermarket setup to go with?
Ill answer this here even though i responded in the other thread, since its a bit of a different question. Aside from the coil over suggestion, it seems that for lesser performance needs, Bilstein would probably be the way to go. You could prob reuse the factory springs as well as they would be nicely worn in vs newer springs.

Let me elaborate on the other threads reply about C/O's:
Going too soft on springs and the car will sag and swim.
You soften the dampers to try and calm the springiness and now the car doesnt want to track right, continues to bounce a lot longer than it should after a bump.
Then, in order to calm the bouncing you stiffen the dampers, which causes them to overwork either blowing them, or having actual physical damage.
Either way, you have a car thats nearly uncontrollable and coupled with the 17" tires feels extremely vague and lifeless. Kinda like a late 80s Honda.
 
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