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Registered Member
26 June 2000
Ok, im thinking about purchasing a 93 nsx 5 speed. The first thing im going to do is replace the wheels and tires and get lower springs most likely. Ive read the posts in here about not putting huge wheels on the cars. Why do you guys say this? because of the unsprung weight it adds? I have to tell you before hand that im not too concerned with a detraction in ride comfort, but i am wondering if putting big wheels on would detract that much from the performance. Any comments would be appreciated.
Many people appreciate the NSX for what it does the way that the engineers designed it at the factory. Its handling characteristics have been carefully designed to deliver crisp turn-in, slight understeer, and a given degree of tire scrub. Everything in the suspensiuon was carefully considered in the packaging of the NSX right down to the rim and tire size (small front wheels for less footspace intrusion, smaller frontal mass to deliver a Cd of .32, and to give that slight understeer). Remember that Honda even had Yokohama design and build tires specifically for each corner of the car according to Honda's needs and specifications.
Many people change and manipulate the wheels, tires, springs, shocks, etc. in order to get the car set up for the way they intend to use it. I too, as you may know, have changed a few of my car's settings. But what you may want to do is first experience the car the way it is delivered from the factory, if it is still in that form, before you try to second guess the engineers from Honda. I don't know you GBM, but I'm willing to guess that the NSX designers have a little more experience than you in this field. I still track my car with OEM wheels and Yok's just to experience the street set-up at 9/10ths performance. I am still not at the limit of this set-up in my driving ability, and I'm not a bad driver.
Good luck to you with your new NSX! And happy driving.
Well, im not going to be tracking this car. Ive got a bmw 2002 and a 911 lightweight that i run in SCCA and vintage events so i dont really take my street cars out on the track. Dont get me wrong, track days are fun, but at the same time i think street cars are street cars and race cars are race cars and i wouldnt really want to take the nsx out on the track and hammer it. But thats just my feeling. And i think slight understeer is fine for average tooling around but im curious why you would still want that dialed in on the track? A front end that pushes is extremely annoying, at least i think so. So i guess i should clarify, im interested in how much unsprung weight you guys think adding big wheels would put on the car, how much power it would sap, and i would also like to know if anyone has done a 19 in the rear 18 up front application and how much heavier this would be than a 17 up front 18 in the rear.

one more thing, in response to your comment about the honda engineers knowing best, i agree that a 15 inch wheel up front was probably the best back in '90 but that was '90... dont you think there's room for improvement 10 yrs later?
and i dont care what anyone says, there is ALWAYS room for improvement in something, so i dont really buy the 'honda knows best no matter what theory'

[This message has been edited by GBM (edited 26 June 2000).]
There is no "best" because different people want different things from the car. It sounds like you are more interested in show than go for the NSX since you already have other cars you take to the track. That probably makes you a good candidate for putting big wheels on the car because they do look good (in my opinion anyway).

As for why people have been largely recommending against it - most people on here I believe are not willing to trade off the performance as much for looks. Cost is a factor for some people since obviously big wheels and tires are more expensive than smaller ones.

The low-profile tires on the larger wheels are also more likely to result in a damaged wheel if you hit a pothole, etc. If you live where potholes are rare this may not be of any concern. But if you live in say Pennsylvania which has roads that look like they were carpet bombed it may be something you need to factor in.

The amount of weight you'll add with larger wheels and tires depends entirely on the model and size of the wheels and tires you select. I'm not sure how to answer the question for you otherwise. Find the weight of the tires/wheels you are thinking about adding and compare it to stock. It's possible to get some pretty big lightweight wheels but there are no street tires in those large sizes which are very light. Since you race SCCA I'm sure you already know how the increased weight and larger diameters will affect acceleration and handling.

Wide low-profile fronts also increase the "tramline" effect of the car following grooves in the pavement caused by traffic. Wider tires are also worse for snow or heavy rain. This may or may not concern you depending how you plan to use the car.

18/19 has been done but your choice of tires becomes very limited and the fronts will amost certainly rub at full lock. This may not be of any concern to some people while it would frustrate others.
Well yeah i have to admit, a big part of the reason i want an nsx is because of the looks. Even though the styling was created ten years ago, i still think it is one of the cleanest, best looking sports car designs out. But at the same time i have a serious addiction to acceleration. As soon as i get the car im looking to do some type of sc'ing at least for sure short gears, different r/p and headers/intake/exhaust so i definitely want go as much as show. Lets put it this way. my dads got a renntech e60rs. if i cant keep up with it, im gonna be mad..
i was just wondering how much of a performance detraction you guys felt bigger wheels added to the car. Maybe ill go with some type of forged or magnesium wheel.
I have 19's in the rear and 18's in the front. Everyone always gives me complements on the wheels and I had a few nsx'ers asking me to get them the wheels. Along with the looks comes problems. Once you get much bigger wheels than the factory intended, the performance is not as good as the factory wheels. You can forget racing on the street with this set up unless you have a supercharger. Another thing is that the tires are freakin expensive...the michellin's that I run in the back costs $330 a piece. And no matter what..if you lower your make sure you get an alignment or a camber kit cuz its gonna eat up your tires quick.....trust me on this....
yeah i know about tires.... the SO2 PP's i have on my car now run almost 400 bucks. Yeah i read that the nsx chews thru tires extremely fast. why? And also is there soemplace on the net where i can read about the alignment/camber kit. When you say that it will go thru tires quick how many miles are you refering to
thanks i was refering to the 19's and wear rate with and without the adjustment plates though.
Originally posted by GBM:
thanks i was refering to the 19's and wear rate with and without the adjustment plates though.

When you drop most cars you end up with more camber than you really want for street driving. This wears the inside edges of the tires. This is not specific to the size of the wheel or the NSX.
ah ok i see what youre saying, thanks. I thought it was nsx specific with the larger dia. wheels
Mr GBM, I'm surprised you are not knowledgeable in terms of car set-up when you have two "race" cars. Also, maybe you could RTFFAQ before posting your question.

well, to add my comment to your "original" question, a set of 18/18s will add up to more than 200lbs of unsprung weight depending on the construction of the rims(forged vs. cast, 1 peice vs. 2 peice, etc) no shit!

Please visit my NSX tuning page! Mods, Japanese NSX related stuff, pics!
what parts of car set up are you refering to? Camber? I havent asked any questions about set up except for wheels. i was curious about 19inchnsx's personal experience with 19in wheels. i understand the dynamics of toe in ad out and camber of cars, i was curious for nsx specific data. BTW i got to this forum off a different website, not nsxprime so i did not see the faq off the bat. I couldnt find info on wheel and tire weight combos so i thought id ask, thought that was what a forum was for, getting info.

[This message has been edited by GBM (edited 27 June 2000).]
Originally posted by maomaonsx:
a set of 18/18s will add up to more than 200lbs of unsprung weight

200 pounds extra for wheels and tires? I'm not sure this is what you meant. Perhaps you really meant to say that larger wheels/tires will add enough weight (say 25 pounds) to unsprung weight that would be the equivalent of adding 200 pounds to sprung weight.
I had a pair of 18's in the front replaced before I knew the car was out of alignment. The mechanic at acura said it was such a waste of a tire because the inside edge had completely worn off while the center had a good 15,000 miles left. After I got the alignment done, the tires were wearing much more evenly.
Hm. Think im going to go with 17/18 combo and try to keep the diameter as close to stock as possible. Im such a big wheel addict though. =\
I drove an NSX with heavy aftermarket wheels
before I purchased my light forged wheels, and I can tell you I felt a difference in acceleration. The car felt sluggish off the line and over bumps it didn't feel as composed, for performance I do not recommend heavy wheels. Correct me if im wrong but isn't it for every 1 extra pound of unsprung weight its like adding 6 pounds of static weight. So if you get a wheel and tire combo that weighs 10 more pounds at each corner then what came from the factory it would be like adding 240lb to your car.