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Old 09-04-2004, 01:41 PM   #1
makofoto
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Default Wheel Weight Vs. Wheel Width ... What's more important ...

From previous threads and magazine articles, it seems that extra light, ie. expensive wheels, are "only" worth perhaps 0.2 seconds on a 60 second course ... what is wheel width worth?

When I bought my 225/45/17 Hoosiers ... Hoosier says that wheel width should equal tread width. Since I'm waiting for the new inexpensive Rota SlipStreams in 17X8.5 ... I asked around if it was O.K. to use my 17X7.5 wheels. Even TireRack said sure, no problem.

I notice that people run everything from narrow to extra wide wheels ... relative to tread width. Can anyone quantify how much one gains from having wheels that are at least as wide as the tread? I've seen wheels considerable wider then the tread width!

This pertains specifically to Auto Cross ....
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Last edited by makofoto; 09-11-2004 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:21 PM   #2
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The rim size usually has more to do with the amount of money they want to spend and what they have around already. At least that's the case as far as my own situation. Technically you do want the tread width to match the wheel width, but often times people just don't have the wheels around or don't want to spend more money on them. I've run 245 Hoosiers on 8" rims for the last year, and now I'm running 275 tires on the same rims. While I'd love to get some custom 10" wide rims, that's just not in the game plan. Even though I lose some of the section width mounting them on an 8" rim, it's still considerably wider than the 245.
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Old 09-04-2004, 11:07 PM   #3
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My intuition tells me that width is more important than weight for wheels, at least until you've matched your tread width.

Earlier this year I switched from 17x8 15.5 lb wheels to 17x9 19 lb wheels. Same tire dimension (245/40R17) in both cases, although I did switch from the A3S03 Hoosier to the A3S04 when I went to the wider wheel. My results have improved substantially since switching to the wider heavier wheel. Before the switch, I ran three local SCCA regional events this year with PAX results of 37/224, 22/225, and 18/248. After the switch, I've run two local SCCA regional events with PAX results of 1/233 and 6/232.

Unfortunately, it's hard to draw a firm conclusion from this, because of the switch to a different tire model, and because the first event on the wider wheels was also the first event where I felt that my new suspension was finally sorted out. But certainly the addition of 14 pounds of rotational unsprung weight (actually more than that, because I switched to a heavier tire as well) doesn't seem to have hurt me any.
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:48 PM   #4
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If you get wide wheels to match your tiresize, you'll never have to guess if a narrower wheel would be better.

Go wide.......it's finally becoming "the thing" to do with Scoobs.

Jay Storm
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Old 09-11-2004, 03:10 AM   #5
Patrick Olsen
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I don't have any performance comparison, but just based on tread wear on my car it seems readily apparent that wider wheels definitely make better use of the tire. My first set of R-compounds was 225/50-15 V700s on my 15x6" Subaru take-off alloys (my winter wheels, probably 15# each (just guessing)). That first batch of tires had really weird tread wear - I can't really think of a good way to describe it, but the shoulders wore unlike any tires I've ever seen before. I then shifted to the same tires on 15x7" Raceline RL-7s (19.75# each on a shipping scale). The tread wear over the life of the tires became much more uniform, no weird shoulder wear, etc etc. Just looking at how the tires wear it's easy to see that the wider wheels help maximize the contact patch.

I now run 15x8" Volk TE-37s (so I went lighter and wider ) with the same size tires. I've even run the 8" wheels with 205/50-15 V710s, since a 225 isn't available yet. I'm glad I went with the wider wheel, even though it meant I had to wait forever for a special order.

Pat Olsen
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Old 09-11-2004, 03:28 AM   #6
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I guess it depends on what you use the tires for. More width means more tire contact and that means increased stress when turning...or something like that.
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Old 09-11-2004, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuro
I guess it depends on what you use the tires for. More width means more tire contact and that means increased stress when turning...or something like that.
For motorsports use....as is the subject of the thread.....it means you get around the corner faster. It can cause more stress on bearings, bushings and strut shafts, but it's motorsports.

Jay Storm
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:37 PM   #8
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I wonder what the folks who are out at Nats have to say about this?
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:15 PM   #9
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Take Pat's advice- go wider and lighter. You not only increase slightly the contact patch w/ wider rims (on the same tire) but also increase the stiffness of the sidewall as well. No need to go heavy, there are plenty of light, wide rims available.
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGSKYWRX
No need to go heavy, there are plenty of light, wide rims available.
Great. I'll take a 17x9" with a +35mm offset please.

Makafoto: Per Tire Rack, "The industry rule of thumb is that for every 1/2" change in rim width, the tire's section width will correspondingly change by approximately 2/10"."

Fitz
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:11 PM   #11
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I would agree that it is best to put as much tyre under the car as possible. At a recent divisional autoX, we were pretty much all running 225/45-17 Falkens. One guy (with his co-driver) was running Kumho MX's in 245 width.

Having run both, the Kumhos are no match for the Falkens. But they did very well (taking 3rd and 5th, I believe, out of 9).

I'd go with width.
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz
Great. I'll take a 17x9" with a +35mm offset please.


Fitz
www.Flat4Racing.com
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:54 PM   #13
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz
Great. I'll take a 17x9" with a +35mm offset please. www.Flat4Racing.com
For what? It's not like you race or anything, you poser.

If you've got the $$$, there may be some options in the Japanese tuner wheels. Unfortunately for you, I think most of the bigger/wider sizes are for Supras, RX-7s, and the like, so the bolt pattern is wrong. Works out well for me, though, as the Mustang is 5x114.3 just like all those Japanese sports cars, and all the available offsets will allow me to find wheels to fit both ends of the car. But I digress....

Pat
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:31 AM   #14
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Its really a case by case basis. For a 225/45/17 Hoosier, the 7.5" is plenty fine. The 8.5" is better, but I wouldn't go to a heavier wheel for that as a 225 on a 7.5" wheel is already sized correctly. My 225 falkens are not any wider on a 8" wheel then on a 7.5" wheel, while the 245 KDs or the 245 MXs or the 245 falkens look/feel better on a 8" rim. I am using the 7.5" lighter wheels for my 225s and the 8" heavier wheels for the 245s.

If you are serious about some wheels, get these http://www.ccwheel.com/old%20site/ra...eels-black.htm
Joel is running those in 18x10.5 and they fit the 285/30s great. If we go ESP we will have these in a 17x10 with 275s, and if we stay STU, 17x8s with a 245.

-Tom

Last edited by trhoppe; 09-13-2004 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:59 AM   #15
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Actually Tom, I am pretty sure he was running 18" wheels; something about the weight of the Hoosier in that size was lighter than the 17". I was about it; just kind of listened and nodded my head.
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:50 AM   #16
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Yes, Joel was running 275 35-18 on the CCW 18x10.5 at the 24.

He will be showing up at Topeka with 285 30-18 on the car though.
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:54 AM   #17
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Yea, I fixed the typo

-Tom
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:29 AM   #18
DrBiggly
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Tom, you already in Topeka?
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:50 AM   #19
Patrick Olsen
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CCW's are definitely the shizzle, very popular in the open tracking crowd.

Is this Joel we're speaking of running 285s on an Impreza of some sort?

Pat
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Old 09-13-2004, 12:26 PM   #20
DrBiggly
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Yes. '05 STi with special cut fenders. ESP.
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