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Widest tires on stock 17" rims?

I would not. The stock 17 is 8.5" wide. With a 235/40 tire the tire is about flush with the rim. I have a 17x9 rear wheel and have 255/40 and the tire buldges out a little. I think that a 275/40 tire on a 9" rim is pushing it a bit, not to mention that you have to have a pretty big tire in front to maintain your front/rear tire ratio. On the stock rim that is 8.5" wide a 275/40 is way too big.

Woops, forgot to touch on your second question, I think a 255/40 is the max width you should run on a stock rim. 265 maybe, but I think that will buldge out too much.