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Old 04-26-2001, 06:16 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 4866
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NOR-CAL
Question lighter wheels=more wheel hp?

i was always thinking this but never really found the answer. every car enuthsiest knows and trys to make their rotaional weight as little as possible. everybody knows about inertia. many people get lightend fly wheel, knife edged cranks, titanium or alluminum connecting rods. all this is done so there is less rotational mass which equals faster revs and more hp. but is it the same relationship with wheels. odviously it wont help hp at the crank but what about at the wheels. maybe this a stupid question but i would really like to know. if i am totally wrong you can all make fun of me.
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Old 04-26-2001, 06:22 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 297
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Wa

look at it this way, if you put lead weights around your shoes would you have less "leg" power? No, it would just be harder for you to run. By having lighter wheels it will help the car put the power to the ground.
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Old 04-26-2001, 09:01 PM   #3

There ws a topic about this not to long ago reguarding stock wheels.

Heres a general jist of the discussion.

Having a lighter rotating part is a big help, weither it be flywheels, turbos, wheels, driveshafts, etc.

However, one thing that CAN cause problems is size. Especially when you are dealing with wheels.

If you do get a lighter wheel, and decide to go with a lower profile tire, make sure that you keep the rotating diameter of the tire the same.

Rotating mass plays a large roll. A lighter object with a larger rotating diameter, takes more torque to spin, and therefor has more rotating mass. This is a simple byproduct of inertia, centrifugal force, and leverage, combined with the weight.

Also, you have to realise that the wheel is not only pulling its weight, but the weight of a 2000+ pound object. The larger the wheel, the more mechanical resistance you have, thus the more torque lost to get the car moving, reguardless of weight. So you could have a 40 pound 18" wheel, and a 55 pund 15" wheel, and the 15" would pull teh car much better. Make sence?

Not to mention that the same problem that causes loss of torque, also works in reverse againse your brakes. By that, the larger diameter of the wheels increases the inertial pull of the car on the wheels (remember leverage?) and that causes your brakes to have to work harder to stop the car then neccasary. Which causes premature brake wear, excess heat, and lots of brake fade.

That added with cut springs is why we see so many honduh's and other riced out cars plowed up into guardrails, and on top of cameros, no brakes, no dampening, no control.

So if you get lighter wheels, make sure that the wheel and the tire match the same rotating diameter of the stock rubber. It will save you alot of headache.
The gains of it wont really be noticable off the line. But from a rolling start you will notice a big more punch (very subtle however), and there will be a definate noticable difference when drifting the car (if your into that sort fo thing), becuase the wheels will spin much more easily. Braking will be the same, and your speedometer, and odometer will read properly.

Hope that helpped. Maybe a bit too descriptive, but what the hell?
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