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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last year we purchased a 2015 Limited Premium FWD van to replace our 2008 LE FWD. Being a Subaru guy we strongly considered (both times) the AWD version of the Sienna, but the runflats were a major detractor along with reports of a bigger than expected fuel economy hit. Plus on the 2015 they had to keep the weight in check and deleted several items my family wanted (like the Ottoman middle row seats and the Power Folding 3rd Row). In the end, we decided to go FWD and just keep buying winter tires as we have for upteen years.

The Limited uses 18”x7” +35 offset, 5x114.3 bolt pattern, 60.1 mm hubcentric wheels with 235/55-R18 (99V) tires.
I’m used to going -1 on winter tires when it’s practical to do for a number of reasons:
1) Lower overall cost for wheels & tires.
2) Typical narrower tread patch can mean better bite (downforce pounds per square inch).
3) Higher profile sidewalls can give a better ride on plow blade damaged roads with reduced chance of tire/wheel pothole damage.

The tires size for the 17” wheel is 235/60-R17 (100-102 T or H)
My research seems to indicate that brakes are the same size on all models, so going down to the wheel/tire size used on the L, LE & XLE should be OK. Weight limits are actually slightly higher on the higher profile (102 vs 99). The speed value V does typically indicate a stiffer sidewall (better handling) and better overall construction, but it’s rare to find winter tires in V, and probably overkill anyhow….

One thing became quickly evident; both are the same section width (235). Good for handling on dry, not so good for the desired ‘narrow tire = more grip’. Fortunately, some snow tires have a tread width that’s a little narrower than typical all-season tires of the same section width, so you do get some advantage. Blizzak WS-80 tread patches are particularly narrow for the width of the tire.

So, let’s talk about wheel options. For years I simply placed an order with Tirerack for a “Winter Tire Package”. They have a wide selection of nicely built, good looking and economical styles to choose from. I’ve had several, and they can really spruce up the look of your ride! But there’s a practical downside to custom wheels. If say 2 years from now you damage one, your chance of that style still being current and available is slim. Now you are faced with possibly having to buy 4 new wheels to get you back rolling.

Last year when buying winter tires for my daughters CRV (and knowing she has a habit of curbing wheels!), I decided to go Craig’s List and pick up a set of base model OEM takeoffs. They were relatively inexpensive and will be plentiful for years into the future should she mangle one (or two, or three….) down the road.

So that’s what I decided to do for the Sienna. Look for stock 17x7” 5 spoke rims, Toyota part # 4261108080 or 4261108070. These also go by the designation 69584, 560-69584, W69584, etc.

New they run around $350. Basic wrecking yard finds in “B to B+” condition (light to medium scratches, possible curb rash edges) sell for $85 - $120. Nice take-offs were around $150. “Remanufactured” (take a C+ to A- wheel, sandblast off the paint, fill the damage, grind smooth & repaint) go for $120 - $160. And then there’s the Insurance quality OE Replacement wheels. Often you'll need to add in tax, shipping or a long distance drive.

OE Replacements? I called around and was told that unless you push hard for all Toyota OEM parts, autobody repair shops order Remanufactured or OE Replacement wheels just as they do fenders, lights, etc.

Are they any good? Probably at least as good as what you’ll get from Tirerack or many other tire dealers and custom shops. Several places said they preferred them to remanufactured. They are all sourced from Asia today, made by The Wheel Group, Master Pacific and others that produce their own lines and OE Replacements.

At $125 a wheel (inc tax & shipping), I decided to take a chance. Build quality looks great. Inside casting marks are similar but not identical to OEM Toyota. Weight is 24.5 lbs (about a ½ lb lighter than stock). Some pictures attached.

Next up: Center caps, TPMS sensors, Tires, then mount & balance.
 

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You should be able to use the center caps from your 18" wheels with the 17" replica wheels you bought for Winter use if they are designed to the same specification as the OEM 17" 5-spoke Sienna wheels like the refurbished ones I bought from http://www.wheelsandcaps.com/p-21148-aluminum-alloy-wheel-rim-17x7-69584.aspx

The tread width of the 235/60-R17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter tires appears to be nearly one inch less than that of the 235/55-18 Michelin Premier A/S tires I bought for 3-season use a few weeks ago but they sure have been wonderful the past two Winters. I'll probably replace them after this coming winter when they will be at around 15,000 miles and down to about 5/32 inch tread depth.

I think you would be happy with WS80's - very quiet and wonderful traction and braking on ice and snow. Dry pavement performance is certainly noticeably less but Blizzaks are weighted towards Winter performance more than most other Winter tires. If you want better dry pavement performance at the cost of a little less Winter performance, go with Michelin X-ice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're jumping ahead! But I'll play....

Prices on Replica center caps are crazy cheap. I have a set on order from Amazon for around $2 a piece. It's not worth popping them out and moving them for that price.
I received the TPMS sensors, but only just opened the package. New, current part number TRW (Toyota OEM from a Toyota dealer) for $8 each!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For the past few winter tire purchases (the 2008 Sienna, daughter's CRV and my Subaru Outback) I went with Consumer Reports and Tirerack's highly recommended Continental ExtremeWinter Contact. That tire gave up a little ultimate snow & ice grip for commendable dry & wet road performance. But as the DW is really concerned that the FWD van won't be as good as an AWD van might have been on some of the barely plowed roads and long driveways she sometimes has to contend with, I decided to go hardcore snow/ice biased this time. Still, the WS-80 seems to be getting better reviews than the prior WS-70 got, so I expect it will be decent all around as long as you don't drive like a maniac. Fingers crossed....

One issue is the general lack of choice available in this tire size. Some popular tires just aren't available unless you want to start really deviating from the recommended size.
 

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Having used both BS WS series tires and Michelin X-Ice 2, my experience has been that the BS are grippier on both ice and snow than the Michelins, but the Michelins give almost all season tire ride and noise performance. The BS were definitely mushier feeling and poorer handling, in addition to being noiser and wearing out faster.

If you put on a lot of winter mileage, especially high speed driving, I'd say look at the X-Ice. If not, and you don't care about handling and noise, BS may be your better choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have the WS-80's on reserve with my regular sales guy at Tirerack, but not paid for yet. Hmmmmm...... what to do...... what to do.....

They are predicting a nasty winter for the NE. Mother Nature making up for the woosey winter we had last year?
 

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nice thread!
i'm looking at running the WS80's on my OEM 17's this winter, and look for a set of 20's over the winter to run for the summer
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I realized I neglected to state where I got the rims. No endorsement, just telling where the parts came from and how much....

4 New OEM Reproduction 17" Rims: http://www.ebay.com/itm/361554658982

Final price with tax & shipping. Exactly why they collect tax when most e-bay sellers do not, I don't know. But the price was still right at $125 or so per wheel.

It is unlikely you will find a seller including center caps or TPMS hardware on either new or re-manufactured rims. Even most of the wrecking yards strip these parts off when they clean up the rims for sale. Budget for those parts....
 

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You'll just be annoyed. There's a "generic" TPMS module that is supposed to be compatible with our vans, if I remember I'll post it tonight
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
By law, a tire dealer or installer can not "MAKE INOPERABLE" a Federally Mandated safety or emissions system. It's like asking your shop to remove your catalytic converter. So if you drive in with a working TPMS system (light off), most shops know they are not allowed to let you drive out with the system disabled!

Can you get around that? Sure.... Just bring in the wheels & tires and lie about the model and year. Should you? I don't think so....

Why TPMS? Think of that monitor as the equivalent of your oil pressure light. Having a monitor is NOT a substitute for regular maintenance. You don't wait for the oil pressure light to remind you that you haven't check your oil in a year! The light is there to tell you of a pending crisis. Act now or risk damage or injury!

TPMS is a hot topic on any automotive forum. Many say they don't need another nanny. But plenty of folks tell about having picked up nails or screws, and the slow leak remained non-obvious to them until the TPMS alerted them. That early warning can be the difference between a repairable puncture and a tire loss.

We had a more ominous situation, in which TPMS might have saved a life! My wife hit some small debris on the interstate, and a mile or so later the light came on. She pulled off the road, and watched the front left tire go flat. The tire was toast, but at minimum it saved a $350 rim from damage. It could have been much worse....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sensors contain and report 4 pieces of information: A unique ID code, tire air pressure, tire air temperature, and the on-board battery health.

There are dedicated TPMS which have the unique ID preprinted on the sensor body and transmit a subcode that talks only to the specific vehicle. You need to buy the right sensor for your vehicle, and you will need to upload the codes for the 4 sensors to the van's computer thru the OBD port. These sensors are the cheapest to buy (as low as under $10 each), but you need a tool to upload the codes each time you swap winter/summer tires. You can buy a $100 tool to do the code upload.

There are universal sensors like the Schrader 33000. The selling dealer programs in the protocol for a Toyota Sienna, but I believe they still have a pre-programmed ID. Lots of tire stores sell these, as they only have to stock a few part numbers to match with a large variety of vehicles.

The ultimate in convenience, but at a higher initial price are totally programmable Clone sensors, like the Alligator. With a scan tool the technician reads out all the information from your existing sensors, and programs up 4 new ones that are an exact match. When you swap in these 4 mounted to your winter tires, the van never notices any difference!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wrote to them and asked the same question! I found the same thing when I've shopped for filters and other things for these vans. Most catalog information seems to trail reality by several years. We know that Toyota has offered the exact same wheels for 6 model years, and yet the sellers rarely mention anything beyond the first 3.

In response to my query, they said no problem with the wheels fitting, but their info showed a style change for 2014. My research does show a part number change along the way (4261108070 became 4261108080), but I can't see any difference. More than likely this just indicates a manufacturer/supplier change.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Buying TPMS Sensors:

As I said earlier, CLONED sensors offer the ultimate in convenience. You obtain the hex ID numbers of your current sensors and a shop (or mail order) supplier programs up a set of 4 that are an exact duplicate of what you already have on the van. Swap the winter wheel/tire package for your all seasons, and the van never misses a beat. The issues are obtaining the existing codes, and the upfront cost.

With the right tools, you can download the existing ID numbers thru the OBD port, or you can RF Query the sensors at each valve stem. Most likely you’ll have to pay someone to perform this service and record the values for you.

An Alligator sensor (a well-respected German brand) programmed with your ID will cost you about $60 each, plus the cost of obtaining your numbers. So you are likely looking at $250-$275 as a one-time investment, but it's "easy sailing" after that!

If you shop at Tirerack, they will likely supply Schrader or other compatible factory programmed sensors. Always ask them for the ID numbers if you have an interest in uploading them yourself! They currently charge $50 each, or $200 for a set of 4 installed when they build up your package.

If you are going to build your own wheel/tire package at home, Toyota OEM sensors are pretty cheap to buy if you shop around…..

Toyota has yet to commit to a single transmission protocol for their vehicles. Right now I believe there are 3 different incompatible TPMS systems in use on vehicles sold in North America. The Sienna, Sequoia, & Tundra use the TRW system. The current part number is 42607-0C070. Prior part numbers include 42607-08010, 42607-0C030, 42607-0C050. They are technically all compatible, reflecting the drive to lower cost manufacturing, lower power draw, longer battery life, stronger transmission signal, etc. We had 42607-08010 sensors on our 2008, so if someone tries to sell you these, even if they are brand new, beware they are likely very old stock. I also wouldn’t buy ‘used tested certified good’ sensors, when brand new stock just isn’t that much more expensive.

Prices vary all over the place, and bounce daily. This is a picture of my new 4 sensors just delivered. I bought them on Amazon from NorthCoast Keyless for the amazing price of $7.94 each ($31.76 total)! SAE-Parts and others are about as cheap. Could they be rebranded Chinese clones? They look to have all the right molding marks, but anything is possible….. Unfortunately the market is rife with cheats (counterfeit parts) these days.

What they are missing is the external retaining nut and washer. They typically come with the lower black seal, valve core & cap. You can obtain those missing parts locally, or ask Tirerack to include the kits with your tire order. They sell them for less than $3 per valve. So for $45 you are sensor ready.

Demand that any shop installing these things use a TPMS kit torque wrench! Typical spec is around 35-38 inch-lbs (around 3 ft-lbs). It’s easy to destroy them if you overtighten them.
 

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reserved a set of WS80's, gonna pick them up just so I have them, then go again probably start of dec to get installed.
we don't really get snow here in Toronto until mid-dec, I don't want to run the WS80's now on 2 months of dry pavement lol
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
After three weeks of deliberation I decided to move on my shopping cart at Tirerack and buy the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80. It was a hard choice, but they are predicting a winter similar to what we had 2 years ago, when the Conti ExtremeWinter tires on our last Sienna just weren't quite good enough. There isn't a lot of choice in the stock size, so it came down to a choice between the WS80 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi2. The survey data (admittedly not terribly scientific) favored the WS80 in most of the important categories. Consumer Reports testing gave a small edge to the new Xi3 (noise & rolling resistance), but that's not yet available in our size.

I'll get them mounted but also don't intend to put them on the van until the snow flies for real!
 

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deep snow traction > ice IMO. The Michelins never cut it for me.

I do love the Toyo snow tires, ran the GO2+'s on my accord 6spd and the new GSi5's on our Mazda 3 and love love love them. The price point on the toyo's in sienna size where much more than I planned to spend.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
The WS80's in 235/60-R17 were only $120.08 each plus shipping, and no sales tax. There is a $70 Visa gift card with purchase this month, which more than covers the shipping. The net will be around $118 per tires, and that includes 2 year (?) road hazard insurance. You can't beat that price anywhere. It's almost $120 less for the set of 4 compared to cross-shopping Costco.

I also bundled in 4 TPMS 'kits' (nut, washer, seal, etc.) to complete the sensors I bought on Amazon. $2.50 per kit - that's about half what anybody else sells them for.
 
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