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Old 09-16-2019, 06:05 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 479682
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default 2018 STI - Wheel choices for dirt

Well, in my quest to make my 2018 STI as capable on dirt as it is on tarmac, I’ve hit a snag, and I need some external opinions. The ultimate goal is to be able to throw on my stock 19” wheels with a summer tire for track days, and swap to a winter/offroad wheel setup for adventures.

I’m essentially staring down three options and I’m hoping somebody with some more experience and technical knowhow can provide advice/cautionary tales. I’m deciding between:

(1) Go with the recommended minimum 18” wheels. Pros: Cheap and easy. Cons: Minimal extra sidewall. Tire thickness will still be primary limiting factor for capability in dirt/rocks.

(2) Go with a 17” wheel that fits. Pros: 1” thicker tire. Starting to find a happy medium between wheel and tire size. Cons: ZERO clearance between wheel and caliper. Tiny piece of gravel could destroy both.

(3) Do it the real way and downgrade to gravel brakes and go with a 15” wheel. Pros: Way better offroad performance. Wider selection of A/T tires available. Cons: Sacrificing tarmac performance. Way more expensive.

The *ideal* option, I think would be #2: Choose a 17” wheel (like the Methods) that can clear the 2018 Brembos, go with 17” and find a happy medium between shiny yellow brakes and off-road capability. But is this a really stupid idea? Would the minimal caliper/wheel clearance just be a ticking time bomb for a small rock getting in there and shredding my wheel?

I was hoping for some outside advice! What have you done to yours? How do you like it?
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
Mach V Dan
Member#: 12029
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Sterling, VA

One other option is you could down-rev to older four-piston STi Brembos. They would be larger than the gravel brakes, but they will still fit under lots of 17" wheels, including all 17" OEM STi wheels. I'm sure you could find an owner of an older (2017 or before) STi who would trade you straight across for your six-pot brakes. (I would, actually...)

But if you want to go with a 17" wheel on your existing six-pots, note that our 17x9" Mach V Awesome wheel fits.

Mach V
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