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If I go with a wider rim (8.5inches vs OEM 7.5) what will my offset parameters be that I can work with and not cause handling issues or fender issues? Suspension is stock as is the tires. If I purchase a wider rim will change what offset is acceptable.
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BadHabitt
 

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Something like +45 will work if you want to fit wider wheels. My buddy has 20x8.5 vision wheels with a 45mm offset. The tires are 255/35's. His car has a 1-inch drop though.
 

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You are quite right to be hesitant to change the ET value much. The way I view it, ET and section width are carefully chosen by the Mfr of the car to minimize torque steer and tram-tracking. I defer to my more sage brothers and sisters here to advise what has worked well for them by way of changes to the wheel/tire combination.
 
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