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Thread: Wheels - which size to get for best performance

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    Charter Platinum DONYMO's Avatar
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    Question Wheels - which size to get for best performance

    I want to upgrade from the stock '92 wheels on my NSX. I want to go to bigger wheels (i.e. 16"/17" or 17"/18"), but I do not want it to affect the speedometer (i.e. I want to maintain the outer tire diameter).

    I see that some people have NSX's with 10" wide rear wheels, or slightly wider front wheels, but I'm not sure if the larger wheels adversely affect performance. Also, I do not want to have any tire rubbing and I don't want to have to modify the car in anyway to accomodate a larger tire.

    How big is not too big?

    Also, besides TireRack.com and Tires.com, does anyone know of other good places to purchase wheels?

    Thanks!

    ------------------
    Don Nowak
    [email protected]
    NSXTC in Georgia
    1992 Red Twin-Turbo
    2002 Honda S2000
    Suzuka Blue - Stock

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    Charter Silver nsxtasy's Avatar
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    For best performance and tire selection, go to 16"/17" wheels. The only reason to go larger than that is if you prefer the looks that way.
    NSX. Spread the word.

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    Charter Patron 2slow2speed's Avatar
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    Dali Racing carries quite a nice selection, specifically for the NSX.

    The website is www.daliracing.com, they carry the entire spectrum of OEM NSX wheels plus others. (Volk Racing and Tecnomagnesio)

    It looks like they are able to even get the Zanardi (Type S) BBS wheels. They do look sweet... I wonder if he is able to get the plus 1 sizes on those ??

    A similar style would be the SE37K/LE37K from Volk Racing, but if you are worried about adversely affecting the car, going with Honda OEM would be the way to go.

    Good Luck!

    ----------------------------
    Rambling Wreck...

    [This message has been edited by 2slow2speed (edited 11 February 2002).]

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    Registered User nsx4fun's Avatar
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    If you are a NSXCA member, you can get wholesale pricing at www.discounttiredirect.com
    They are the same as America's Tire Company.
    As for not changing your speedo accuracy, you want to keep the overall diameter the same. You can calculate this from tire & rim size.
    Take the tire width (e.g. 245) in millimeters and convert to inches (multiply by 0.040). Then multiply this by the percent roundness (e.g. a 245/45 is 45% so multiply by 0.45). Now multiply by 2 to get tire heigth (the tire is both above & below your rim) and add this to the rim diameter (which is already in inches). I have a '92 and I am running 225/40-16 in the front and 255/40-17 in the rear. My calculations yield less than a 1% difference in diameter and my speedo is dead on when compared with my GPS at speeds of 55, 70, & 100. My tires have never rubbed and I like the performance. Other members in my local chapter of the NSXCA have the same type of tire dimensions as well. good luck, Fritz
    Regards, Fritz
    NSX4FUN
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” - Mario Andretti

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    Registered User ilya's Avatar
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    The general consensus seems to be that stock performs best. Stock size and stock tires.
    They're not much too look at, but the difference is noticeable.

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    Originally posted by ilya:
    The general consensus seems to be that stock performs best. Stock size and stock tires.
    They're not much too look at, but the difference is noticeable.

    True, but for a 92 I'd go with the later OEM sizes. I'm holding out to see what the '02 17/17 tires are like and may switch to that if they are still the same design (or better) internally.


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    Registered User Dr.Honda's Avatar
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    I switched my '92's 5 spokes to Forgeline 5-spokes in polished 16" front and 17" rear and I'm running 225 45 series in front and
    255 40 series in back. The ride/ handling characteristics are different (slightly more tire noise, more road feel but performance
    is unchanged) I think you make the switch for purely cosmetic reasons. BTW, NSXman,
    the car is gorgeous, thanks.
    '08 Accord 6 speed, '07 MDX, '02 S2000
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    Charter Patron Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Does anyone know how much those Forgeline 5 spokes weigh?

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    Originally posted by JimK:
    I switched my '92's 5 spokes to Forgeline 5-spokes in polished 16" front and 17" rear and I'm running 225 45 series in front and
    255 40 series in back. The ride/ handling characteristics are different (slightly more tire noise, more road feel but performance
    is unchanged) I think you make the switch for purely cosmetic reasons. BTW, NSXman,
    the car is gorgeous, thanks.
    I think "performance" means very different things to different people. Every time someone says they changed tires and didn't notice a performance change I figure they define it differently than me. If you just drive around town with occasional speed blasts, or feel like you're pushing the envelope at 6 10ths on the back roads, then there probably isn’t much difference. But if you play hard and/or go to the track, the differences are considerable from one tire to the next.

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    Registered User Acuraphile's Avatar
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    I hope the highly knowledgeable NSXers will forgive me for stating this, and I suppose it seems only logical to assume everybody knows, but I did not notice any reference to NSX Prime FAQ in your query, or in any of the responses. There is a great deal of ground already trodden in this area, at least as far as what fits the wheel wells, and what tire brands/sizes go with what wheel sizes, in FAQ Wheel Tech and Tire Tech. You can also check Tire Reviews for subjective opinions on OEM vs aftermarket.

    My feeling, also, is that the 17/18" OEM wheels, or near equals, should be your goal. They spent years engineering one of the best handling cars in the world, matching tires and wheels to suspension, while taking noise and ride comfort into consideration. Squeezing the biggest tires possible under your fenders may get you a little more stick in the fast turns, depending on the tire specifications, but are you willing to accept the possible ride, steering, and noise changes? I have read the second thoughts of some wide tire adopters in these forums, and they wanted to know why they weren't warned. I assume the ones who didn't mind believed that it was general knowledge, and wanted the racetrack handling all the time at whatever compromise, even if it meant Nascar at Daytona every day. Their choice. Fine. But, remember, it is every day if you only have the one set of wheels. I knew a man who put superwide wheels on his Camaro, with spacers, and wound up with a car that would not even return the steering wheel to center after a turn. He also wore out his wheel bearings, presumably due to the large offset. An extreme case, sure, but an illustration of what can happen.

    At any rate, it's your choice, and you need to weigh all the factors, as we have been urging.

    Good Luck,

    Bill


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    Charter Silver nsxtasy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Acuraphile:
    My feeling, also, is that the 17/18" OEM wheels, or near equals, should be your goal.
    You mean the 16"/17" OEM wheels, right? (They never made the OEM wheels in 18".)
    NSX. Spread the word.

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    Registered User kenjiMR's Avatar
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    My guess would be using 17" rims all around.
    17x8" front rim, and 17x10" using Yoko A032s. You might want to upgrade your suspension while you're at it as well. Your ride comfort will suck, but you wanted performance right?
    www.kenjim.com - Follow Me To Certain Death

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    Registered User Acuraphile's Avatar
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    Yes, I did mistype the wheel sizes at 17/18", when I knew full well they were not the standard sizes. I usually check my posts carefully for accuracy, but I must have somehow subconsciously been influenced by the sizes mentioned in the original query. It dawned on me this morning what I had mistakenly typed, but didn't get back to fix it in time. I regret the error, and I hope no one was misled.

    I have been doing a lot of research on wheel/tire sizes since I bought a '91 which just happened to have 4-17"x7" wheels(they do look nice), but I would at least like to try and get closer to '94-up tire width and type specs. Not that the handling is not pretty quick when lane-changing, but even decreasing radius interstate exits do not inspire much confidence, much less mountain twisties. I believe this is mostly due to the mixed combo of Sumitomo HRTZ 205/40-17 fronts, Bridgestone RE730 235/45-17 rears, and that the rear wheels on a '91 are 8" wide, not 7". The Traction Control light does not come on.

    Appreciate the sharp eyes of fellow posters. It helps us all to attain the high and accurate knowledge level we need to more fully enjoy our favorite car.

    Regards,

    Bill


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    Question

    Greetings fellow drivers! First time to post on NSX Prime, and first time to experience the thrill of owning an (1991) NSX! And as most of you probably experienced, even perfection can be improved upon - and one of the easiest and most affordable ways to enhance exterior appearance is through upgrading the wheels. (performance parts are still my vision of a future, more financially secure world).

    To my point - I have been able to line up three Antera Type 181 wheels, but have not been able to find one more 17 X 7.5 with the proper offset to fit the vehicle. The style is discontinued, and CEC has been unable to locate what I need. I saw the set up on Sean Elliot's old NSX, and it was condusive to whiplash from bystanders. I am hoping through the extensive network of NSX owners and technicians that someone may be able to steer me in the right direction.

    ------------------
    I've spent too much time planning to do things...
    I've spent too much time planning to do things...

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    Charter Silver nsxtasy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Acuraphile:
    I bought a '91 which just happened to have 4-17"x7" wheels(they do look nice), but I would at least like to try and get closer to '94-up tire width and type specs.
    I don't know if the sizes will match the width of those wheels, but if I were you, I would consider one of the new OEM tires in the 2002 NSX sizes (215/40-17 front, 255/40-17 rear). I know the Bridgestone RE040 comes in these sizes from the factory; I don't know if Yokohama will be making an equivalent OEM-type tire.
    NSX. Spread the word.

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    Registered User MYNSX's Avatar
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    Talking

    I went to discount tire(and searched for hours before we used
    Zinetti rims in chrome, w/red anodized nut and chrome cone that clips in.(17" front/18"rear)
    Pirelli P-7000's
    275/35/18 in rear
    215/40/17 in front
    The entire package cost $2,070.00(Rims and Tires)mounted,balanced,locking lugs on every stud.Out the door.16,000 miles on those tires and still counting..


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    NEVER CEASING NEVER ENDING!!!

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    Originally posted by MYNSX:
    I went to discount tire(and searched for hours before we used
    Zinetti rims in chrome, w/red anodized nut and chrome cone that clips in.(17" front/18"rear)
    Pirelli P-7000's
    275/35/18 in rear
    215/40/17 in front
    The entire package cost $2,070.00(Rims and Tires)mounted,balanced,locking lugs on every stud.Out the door.16,000 miles on those tires and still counting..
    Wheel width on the back?

    Do you have the HP to push all that?


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    Some additional food for thought on this topic. Awhile back, SportCompact Car conducted a test of the performance effects of increasing rim diameter. If I recall correctly, they measured acceleration and lap times. Larger wheels decreased performance. They attributed the decline to the increase in rotational inertia when wheels and tires get larger and heavier.

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    Registered User Vegas Boy's Avatar
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    This is a neat tire size computer that will compare diff sizes.

    http://www.powerdog.com/tiresize.cgi
    91 NSX Red with lots of mods
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    Registered User nsx4fun's Avatar
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    Sven, I concur. I modified my Bronco II for offroad use. Even though I over compensated the change in rolling circumference by changing gears to 5.13:1, I lost acceleration and gas mileage & braking. There is a lot of energy getting rapped up into spinning the large 35" tires. The changes we do on our NSX's aren't as radical, so they are less noticable, but any increase in the moment of inertia of larger tires and/or rims will take energy away from going forward. so even if the rims are lighter, if the majority of mass is further from the center, the rotational inertia might possibly increase. Wider tires will always add exta mass at the very outside of the radius. All the more reason to supercharge ;0)

    Fritz

    Regards, Fritz
    NSX4FUN
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” - Mario Andretti

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    I'm going with some 16/17 rims from Tires.com. I want to improve the look of the car so tall and wide is not my goal. I've read the FAQ here and am still worried about the offset being wrong.

    Could you guys also post what your offsets for front and rear rims are? I want to avoid grinding the wheel wells away!

    TIA

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    What Offsets Have Been Tried?
    ___________________________________________

    [DNG] I have 7.5" width in front and running 45mm I have 9.5" width in rear and also running 45mm. The front wheels could be moved more outwards another 0.25". The rear wheels are perfect IMO.

    [HS] My MIM/Speedline five-spoke modular wheels (8x16 front, 9x17 rear) have the following offsets - F-40, R-48.
    I believe deal for 8-inch fronts would be 44, ideal for 10-inch rears would be 47. I have 225/45/16 & 265/40/17 PZeros with no problems (stock height).

    [TS] My new wheels arrived from Japan last week so I went up this past Saturday to have them installed at Autohaus. The front 17x8 and 37 offset did not fit despite the importer's assurance. (they rubbed against the caliper).The rear 18x10 with 45 offset were fine.

    I have 17" x 8" with an offset of 40 at the front, and 18" x 10" with a 45 offset at the rear. Both fit perfectly without any rubbing. And the tire is right at the edge of the fender without it sticking out.


    FROM MY REVEIW OF THE ABOVE INFO FROM THIS SITE, THE LOWEST I GO WOULD BE 40.





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    Staying with the 16/17 stock set-up will probably provide you with the best acceleration.

    There are reasons other than cosmetics to go larger much to the chagrin of some forum members. There is a school of thought that believes a larger wheel, albeit heavier and thus will take you longer to accelerate, will provide you with a larger contact patch and thus will improve braking, cornering, and corner exit speed, leading to lower overall lap times.

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    Charter Silver nsxtasy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wildrice:
    There is a school of thought that believes a larger wheel, albeit heavier and thus will take you longer to accelerate, will provide you with a larger contact patch
    Absolutely not true. The size of the contact patch depends only on the amount of air pressure in the tires and the weight of the car (assuming that the tires are fully inflated so that the air in the tires is supporting the weight of the car). If the car weighs 3200 pounds and you have 32 psi of pressure in the tires, the size of the four contact patches will be 100 square inches - regardless of whether the tires are 205/50-15 or 275/30-18.

    Wider tires on a bigger wheel will change the SHAPE of the contact patch - it will be wider across the width of the tire, but narrower front to back - but they don't change the SIZE of the contact patch. This is illustrated on the Tire Rack's website here.
    NSX. Spread the word.

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    You are wrong the they are wrong. I have measured the size of the contact patch and the area of a contact patch created by say, a 335 vs a 205 is significantly greater.

    Just think about it for a moment and use some common sense. Do you really think the area of a contact patch created by a 195 vs a 335 tire is the same? Come on now!!!!

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