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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to cheat on my first VW love, a 2000 1.8t Passat. I'm at 173k and it still runs like a champ.

I found a 2005 1.8t with 31k miles for a decent price on cars.com. It comes with 17" wheels. I plan on taking it to a Euro shop in Minneapolis for a software upgrade and possibly a full Techtonics exhaust.

My questions:

After running smooth on 15" wheels, will I regret the 17's? Can this be offset with a more plush suspension upgrade? I'm not opposed to lowering...slightly.

Will the Techtonic exhaust be "loud"? I don't mind a little grunt while accelerating, but I don't want the rumble/drone while logging steady highway miles.

Thanks for your input.
 

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The "Odd" one
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You will feel a slight difference on the 17s since they have less sidewall than the 15s have. No that big of a difference though. Lowering it will just firm the suspension up some, so it may even make the drive worse (depends on who you ask around here)

Cannot comment on exhaust
 

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Exhaust Comment

I've had a TT exhaust for over 160,000 mis. I'm on my second aluminized. TT will give you three choices for mufflers - Flowmaster, Dynomax and Borla. YOu will also have the option of none, one or two resonators. I have a full downpipe to a TT system with one resonator and Borla exhaust. I have no porblems with it as my everyday drive. My GF does not complain.

Talk to TT. My understanding is that the FLowmaster can have a bit of a droning sound and is also the least expensive. I've had both the Dynomax and Borla and perceive no difference. If, after you intall you system, there is a noise/sound issue, then consider a second resonator.

TT system fits perfectly with excellent quality hardware.

As for 17" wheels, I have 16" Tangos with Bilstein HD struts and Eibach springs with the appropriate VW sport suspension hardware, alignment set to the 1BA sport suspension spec as opposed to the cars spec'd 1BA. I wouldn't want to go any larger than 17". I am very satisfied with 16", dropped about 1.25" with Audi A8 brake rotors absolutely filling the entire 16" Tango wheel inside diameter. 16" tires cost less than 17" though my 205 55R 16 size is not a real common tire. It is VW's OEM size for our Passats that were purchased with the sport suspension package.
 

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I have 17s for summer and 15s for winter (snows). I guess I am getting old because I now wish I had 16s for summer. The Chicago roads are pretty bad even in summer and the bumps are pretty annoying. I have the 1BE suspension. With 15s(prior to snows) the car deals with the bumps much better but I just couldn't live with them in the summer. :) With the 17s and sport tires (RE760 Bridgstones) I feel every tar strip. They also cost me about 15% in mileage. They are sure fun to drive with though and they look great.

So fun/look vs mileage/tire cost/ride/damage risk. The bottom line for me (now) 16s are probably the best balance of this equation in a poor road area. If your roads are better go 17s. I wouldn't go higher because of wheel weight, ride, etc...
 
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