Put my winters on...
Just a quick review:
A mounted and balanced set of (4) 17x7.5 ASA JH3 wheels + (4) 225/50/17 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires for $400 on craigslist.
OEM 189's with Hankook Ventus V12 245/35/18 fronts and 265/35/18 rears. (I would do 40's in the front next time.) I liked them a lot - softer than RFT's, good grip, no prob in rain, quiet, and cheap, despite wearing out kinda quickly.
Tires have 90% tread left, and no air has leaked so far. Black powdery stuff (rusted brake dust?) is kinda coated on the inside of the wheels, but the exterior is decently clean for a used set, and I see no acute damage anywhere.
Put them on over the break, hoping the larger diameter would still fit, and thankfully it did. Closest call after examination was the edge of the tire being about 1/8" away from the bolt that holds the oil cooler vent on the passenger side wheel well. However, if I had a few passengers in my car, I'm just guessing from the way it looks that the rear would rub slightly upon hitting road bumps.
Ride & handling:
Compared to the summer set the Dunlop winters are much, much softer. If I drive normally (just very mild beasting), DSC interferes quite often. In higher speeds, oversteer tendencies are surprisingly apparent; to a point it actually scared me and caught me off guard a few times. Overall I would say it feels less "stable" with the square setup. And knowing the extent of my lack of driving skills, as fun as it could potentially be, this made me question do I really want a square track setup.
That's it, just wanted to share that I realized how easily handling characteristics can change with just tire adjustments. Thanks for reading!