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Old 10-11-2000, 10:48 AM   #1
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Post Why winter steel wheels?

I always see posts about using 15" steel wheels in the winter. What's wrong with just switching tires? Are my 98 gold rims some how going to be effected by winter driving? I have some 15" available to me for free is this what I should be putting on my car? (no tires on them)
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Old 10-11-2000, 10:53 AM   #2
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15" steel rims are cheaper. It is better to mess up a cheap piece of metal rims than your alloys. Also you want narrower tires so that it can cut thru the ice.
Rally cars uses 4" width during ice stages.
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Old 10-11-2000, 11:02 AM   #3
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I got a set of Legacy take-offs (alloy) from tire rack with snows mounted. I just wanted something thinner and already mounted so I can switch back and forth easily. I wouldn't want to bring the car back to the tire shop every winter.
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Old 10-11-2000, 11:22 AM   #4
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Also, the road salt and sand will chip and eat away at your wheels. Plus... if you get any water, slush or snow into your wheels... it can freeze and mess up your wheel balance. The steel wheels are closed, as compared to the open design of the alloys. And yes... if you lose traction in snow or ice, and hit a curb... saying goodbye to a $30 wheel is much nicer than saying goodbye to one that's over $100.

Hey... if you can get them for free... go for it. Plus, with the steels... you don't have to go out and change your tires each season. You just change your wheels. Much easier and cheaper.

[This message has been edited by Pinochle (edited October 11, 2000).]
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Old 10-11-2000, 01:00 PM   #5
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Also by going with a 15" rim you are in effect minus-one sizing, giving you a taller sidewall. The taller sidewall will flex more and absorb energy making your throttle/brake/turning response less crisp, wich is a benefit in low traction conditions.

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Old 10-11-2000, 01:04 PM   #6

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Also if you nail a curb you have to spend a lot less replacing the winter wheel - if it even gets damaged since there is so much sidewall to protect it.
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Old 10-11-2000, 04:11 PM   #7
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Cheep.. started with UGLY black ones now i have forester steel rim ($25 each)
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Old 10-11-2000, 04:24 PM   #8
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Have to go along with Pinochle on this one. The main reason is that the alloy's will fill with snow and turn to ice, weighing about 50 lb.s each. Go for steel. You can change them over yourself at the first storm! They're also narrower, which cuts through snow better.

Ed (36 Vermont winters and counting....)
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Old 10-11-2000, 06:14 PM   #9
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15" steel wheels, dark grey hammereffect spraypaint. Looks cool and at 30.- per wheel a real bargain.
And if they get ruined by salt, who cares!
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Old 10-11-2000, 06:59 PM   #10
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How much does TireRack charge for steelers?
I'll be needing some soon...

Hey what's this "hammereffect spraypaint" ..?

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Old 10-11-2000, 07:10 PM   #11
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What size tire would you run on a 15" rim? What's close to the stock size?

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Old 10-11-2000, 07:29 PM   #12
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You should run 195/65-15 if you are stock ride height, 195/60-15 if you are lowered more than ~1".
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Old 10-12-2000, 04:27 AM   #13
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I think there are two reasons why people get a set of steel wheels for snow tires.

First, as others have pointed out, salt can have a corrosive effect on some alloy wheels, leading to pitting and other unsightly nasties. This isn't a problem with steel (it's probably not a problem with a well-clearcoated alloy rim, either).

Second is the cost. Your snow tires will last for maybe 4 winters. Mounting and balancing a tire costs maybe $12 - $15 per corner. And over the life of your snow tires, you'll be mounting and balancing all 4 corners twice per year (snows on in the fall, off in the spring). So that's easily over $100, never mind the time you spend waiting while BillyBob mounts the tires (and maybe scratches your pretty alloy rim in the process). Much cheaper and more convenient to pick up a set of steel rims and mount the snows on them. If you're concerned about looks, TireRack is selling wheel covers at around $22 per set right now.
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Old 10-12-2000, 05:20 AM   #14
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Didn't you get that backwards? Wouldn't a lowered car need more ground clearance in the Winter than less? Unless you're refering to the tire hitting the wheel well which I don't think'll be a problem, well not as much as getting high centered in the snow (which I've done at stock height ).

Tony - Just keeping you honest

[This message has been edited by Tony (edited October 12, 2000).]
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