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I've heard a surprizing amount of debate on the best size rims for Escorts.

Everyone seems to want 17's but they are heavy.

what's probably the best size for that beloved short burst of speed?
i've heard i shouldnt go higher than 15 because of the weight factoring in.

either way i was just wondering on others opinions and hopefully some technical knowledge.


(i would have used the search feature for this but it doesnt seem to work for me.. sorrys)

rAN
 

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I've ran both 17 and 18inch rims. They look really good but are in fact heavy. I did not like driving on bad roads with them because they sound like they were going to break. I went back to light weight 15's and like them much better, but this is just me.
 

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Onegimp said:
I've ran both 17 and 18inch rims. They look really good but are in fact heavy. I did not like driving on bad roads with them because they sound like they were going to break. I went back to light weight 15's and like them much better, but this is just me.
nope not only you Dennis me too. i loved my 15"Rotas over my RSlimited 17" weight difference, plus the damn speedo is off by 5mph with my 17"
 

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I really like my 15in stock and also my 15 in kosei lightweight rims. I'm thinking in the future I might go with a 16 for a little stiffer side wall in a lightweight rim(it only adds about 2 lbs and you gain a lot of sidewall stiffness) so that i get a little more control around turns.
 

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yeah it totally depends what you want... if you want to run a slick a tiny wheel would be great but if your thinking auto x then to me a 16 would be perfect. thats a size where you can get nearly all of the tire options... given 15s you can get alot of them but really the weight difference between the 15s and 16s of a specific wheel are not much at all. not over 3lbs per wheel on a heavy wheel.
 

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IMO any sport compact that didn't come with 17s (Focus SVT, Sentra Spec V, SRT4, etc) should never have 17s placed on it.

I'm getting 16s for my Civic, the weight will be about the same as with my stock 15s (15 lbs each), it'll help to fill the wheel well a little better and still not look gawdy and distasteful.
 

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Keep this in mind:

for every 1lb that each rim weighs, that is an effective 5 (and I've heard up to 8, but i think it's closer to 5) lbs of rotating mass that your drivetrain "sees". so even a 3lb difference between 15" and 16" rims would be a 60lb difference when you're rolling. This is all unsprung weight, too. Bigger rims are going to put a bigger toll on your brakes too, don't forget, not just because of the weight, but because of the mass of the wheel being further away from the center of rotation. I'm sure Siragan can come up with a bunch of equations and variables if you really want the science of it.. or just look around on the intarweb, it's all there for ya... :) Reminds me of an episode of Sports Car Revolution.. They added a big brake kit to their project car, basically bigger rotors and better calipers... nothing else was changed, and they lost 7hp at the dyno...

You get a lightweight 17" rim weighing about 15lbs, that's going to be 300lbs your car has to spin around. Compare to a lightweight 15" rim that's about 12 lbs, which comes out to 240lbs. 60 lbs of unsprung weight is a very noticeable thing, especially when that's rotating unsprung weight..

I personally run 15x7 SSR Comps, that weigh 9lbs each, for autocross and road racing (with my hoosiers mounted, each rim and tire weighs 28.5lbs), and some 15x6.5 ICW rims that are about 12 lbs each for daily driving (except in winter, when I use stock EGT rims with snowtires on them). I've got a set of 14" steelies that came with my wagon that I've been trying to burn the tires off for 3 years, that will probably end up getting either this year's ice-racing tires, or next year's snow tires on them, depending if my brakes still fit under the 14" rim by then...


That being said, I personally wouldn't really go above a 15 for anything other than a car that needs looks over performance. Perfomance will be best with a 14 or 15. A 16 would be a compromise between looks and performance, with performance being the lesser half... if you get a really lightweight one with a lightweight tire, too.

And seriously, when I took my 12lb rims off, and put my 9lb rims on, I noticed a HUGE difference in handling, and in acceleration too, just with the butt dyno.

--sarge
 

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SgtRauksauff said:
I'm sure Siragan can come up with a bunch of equations and variables
...coming through in spades...

The root of the problem here is that people are trying to cram static equations down dynamic system's throats. Physics will btich slap you if you do this.

The basic fact of the matter is that rotational inertia (the resistance to movement in laymens) is a function of two variables:
  • 1. Mass
    2. Radial distance from the axis of rotation, squared
Things to note:
  • 1. Inertia increases LINEARLY with the addition of 1 unit mass
    2. Inertia increases SQUARELY with movement of that mass radially
Therefore, it is significantly more important to have the brunt of your wheel's mass towards the center than it is to have an "overall" lightweight wheel.

You can have a rim/tire combo that is twice as heavy as another combo that will still require LESS engergy to get moving to an equal angular velocity.
 

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I went with 16x7 wheels because I wanted access to tires that are available for 16" and larger wheels. Because it's practically the norm these days, 16" sticky tires can be had easily, while 15" sticky tires are few and far between. Oddly enough, DOT-R compounds can be found in 15" sizes.. even 13" sizes.

If I had to do it over, I would have gone with the same Rota Slipstreams, but in 15". The 205/50R16 (yes, that's extra sidewall) tires I used had too stiff a sidewall, which led to uneven wear, even when running 45+psi. Tires are supposed to be supported by air pressure, not sidewall pressure.

My car can turn, but it can't accelerate or brake nearly as well as it could have. I took the 16" wheels off this past summer and haven't looked back. The stock 13" steelies make for a more balanced ride.

If I wanted the best all around setup, I'd use 175-width snow tires on 14" stock aluminum wheels, 205-width summer tires on 15" stock GT wheels, and 205-width (or greater) DOT-R stickies on 15" Rota Slipstreams for autocross (STS or FSP).
 
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