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Wheel Size Opinions

Coz

Legendary Member
Joined
28 August 2000
Messages
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Location
Peoria, Arizona, USA
Question for the track rats.......

Most of us run 17" fronts and 18" rears.

What do you think are the advantages or Dis-advantages of running 18" on front & rears ?

Thanks.
 
An important factor in deciding on wheel diameters is tire availability. Before you decide on a wheel diameter, check into what tires are available, and how much they cost. And remember, availability for R compound track tires can be totally different from that for high-performance street tires (as those who ask about using 16" fronts with R compounds rapidly discover).

I don't know what sizes people are using for 18" wheels. I've heard of people running R compounds in 235/40-17 and 275/40-17, though, and I think you've got several to choose from in those sizes. Remember also that if you're using tires only on the track, you might not (or you still might) care about factors like rubbing at full lock, or proper operation of the TCS (which is why those oversized sizes might be okay for you). Also keep in mind that getting larger diameter tires like those will have the same effect on your gearing as getting taller gears in your car, so you may gain cornering ability but lose acceleration.
 
Thanks for the feedback.
The comparison I trying to make is,

Running: 17x8, 235x40 & 18x9.5, 275x35

Vs....

Running: 18x8.5, 225x35 and 18x10.5, 285x35.

Both of which are available in Falkin 452's for street use.
haven't looked into slicks yet.

I'm curious about the handling differences with the NSX since I have only used the staggered set up so far on it.

I don't use TCS at all. Pulled that fuse a long time ago :)
 
If it's for street use, those are not good sizes, because they will rub on full lock and because they will cause problems for the TCS. Stick to 215/40-17 or 215/35-18 front, and 255/35-18 or 265/35-18 rear.

Also, the FK-452 is not very good, period. If you want to take advantage of the performance capabilities of the NSX, you're better off with the Goodyear F1 GS-D3 in 215/40-17 and either 255/35-18 or 265/35-18, or the Pirelli PZero Nero in 215/35-18 and 255/35-18. (Or, you can look into supersticky tires like the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec or Falken Azenis RT-615, if you don't care much about treadlife or rain performance.) If you are willing to degrade the performance for an inexpensive tire, the Yokohama S.drive and Kumho SPT will give you much better performance than the FK-452 for about the same price; both are available in all of these sizes.

Remember, the biggest determinant of performance is the make and model of the tire (i.e. its design and construction), and not treadwidth. A slightly narrower, stickier tire will nearly always perform better than a slightly wider, less sticky tire. So if you're looking for the best performance and handling, concentrate on getting better, stickier tires, and don't worry so much about getting wider tires.
 
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My track tires are 235/40/17 and 275/35/18 RA1s. Rims are 17*8 +42 and 18*10 +42. I find that theyre great track sizes, but far from optimal on the street. They rub on tightish turns. You dont even have to crank the wheel to get them to rub, just a tighter than normal turn.

My street wheels 17*7.5 +38 and 18*10 +42 (I think, offsets may be reversed, I can find out if you need) have 225/40/17 and 285/35/18 GSD3s on them. No issues on the street with rubbing, but TCS may come on easier than normal, to no effect.
 
If you want to run slick tires, I would suggest to keep the 17' front because it's (very) hard to find less than 610mm diameter slick tires on a 18' wheels.

Now I run 240/610 R 17 front and I think this is the real maximum you can go front under the stock fenders. This setup do not rub even at full lock on my lowered NSX but I had to cut the plastic inner fenderat a specific place.
 
I went the other direction for track wheels... 17/17. The difference in price of 18s in the rear for R comps or slicks was $300 for the pair (275/40/18 vs 275/40/17).
 
I personaly know of no one running an 18 in front wheel at the track.Save weight,and increase your tire choices by running a 17 in front.
 
I'm am going to buy a wide body which is why I asked.

I'm running 235x40x17 and 275x35x18 right now on my stock body car. I get some rubbing during full wheel turn lock, but not enough for me to worry about.

Car handles great on the track/street set up the way it is. Of course my suspension and alignment has a lot to do with it as well. Billy has driven my car on the track, he knows how well it handles the way it's set up currently.

With the wide body, it's currently running 225/235 and the 275/285 with +22 front and +22 rear offsets from what I've been told.

More curious about the effects of 18" fronts vs 17" fronts.

As for tires, I like the Falkin 452's. Much better than the Goodyears. But once I get the wide body, I will most likey switch over to Nitto's.

Thanks guys for the feedback, appreciated much.
 
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Coz,
Look for track tire options first if you plan on running the same wheels on and off the track. I think you have few tire options for the front in R compounds. There are a couple racing slicks if the fender openings large enough. The ride height will have a large effect on how the tires clear too.
 
As for tires, I like the Falkin 452's. Much better than the Goodyears.
Wow, you're the only person I've ever heard that from. Are you sure you aren't referring to the Falken Azenis RT-615, rather than the FK-452? I can easily believe that of the RT-615. (On dry pavement, anyway.)
 
Thanks Dave....
The blower is boxed up and I'm sending it your way this coming week...

Coz,
Look for track tire options first if you plan on running the same wheels on and off the track. I think you have few tire options for the front in R compounds. There are a couple racing slicks if the fender openings large enough. The ride height will have a large effect on how the tires clear too.
 
LOL....I'm sure, I like the 452's. Been running them for the last 2 sets of rears and 1 set of fronts.

Wow, you're the only person I've ever heard that from. Are you sure you aren't referring to the Falken Azenis RT-615, rather than the FK-452? I can easily believe that of the RT-615. (On dry pavement, anyway.)
 
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