Big topic, specific question.
We have a 2002 Mazda Protege5. Love the car, but not the best winter car... because of the tire size (195/50R16). Some kind of performance, vaguely low profile setup going on there. All season tire available, but no studded snow tires in the size we need, not even a dedicated winter tire. It sucks in the snow with the wide, low profile tires.
When I talked about getting a different set of rims--maybe 15"--to accommodate studded snow tires, I was told that it wouldn't work because of interference with the brakes.
1) Is that right? No 15" steel rim that would work with current brake setup that would get me into a snow tire? Anyone tried to go with a 15" rim on a Protege like this?
2) Brakes need work anyway, so it's certainly within the realm to consider even giving up some brake performance by downgrading to smaller disks/calpers in order to make the car useful in the snow. Anyone know what, if any, Mazda parts would swap right over? What it entails? Ideally, I'd be buying someone's older stock setup off ebay, but I'd also entertain a budget performance upgrade.
Also be interested in any forum where this might be more appropriate. Yes, I'll be looking around, but if any of you into cars knows some oft-overlooked but insanely useful site or forum, please chime in...