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Discussion Starter #1
I raised this question on the old site to deafening silence. With the arrival of the latest moderator, this is clearly the place to come! Hope you have some thoughts:

Is it a mistake to put alloy road wheels from a rear-wheel-drive onto an
Escort? I recall when front wheel drive was new, people talked about the
need to use only wheels designed for a front-drive car. Something about the
torque forces being in a different direction. Is that the case with modern
wheels on a car with only moderate torque?

What I´m getting at is why couldn´t I put 14" Miata wheels on my 95 GT? I
could be satisfied with the rim width and it seems like a great way to save
weight for the money. My only other concern would be hub fitment. But steel
wheels from a Miata fit a Mazda 323 so I´m thinking that wouldn´t be an
issue.

Any thoughts, especially from you Miata owners out there?

- Rob
 

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They fit. IIRC, the offset for the OEM 14" is +40. On the flipside, I used to use the racing wheels and tires from my EGT on my Miata. I also would use my street wheels form the Miata on the EGT from time to time (15x7 TSW blades with a +35 offset).

Miata 14" alloys are some of the lightest 14" alloys out there. You shouldn´t have any problems using them.
 

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BTW, the LIGHTEST Miata wheels are the 7 spoke "hollowbacks" from the ´94-´97 Miatas. Expect to pay about $400 a set, used. The BBS wheels from the ´93 LE are also VERY light. Expect to pay $600-800 a set for those, used.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I knew about the 7-spokes. One last question: How wide a tire could I fit on the 7spokes or on those imitation minilites? 195s?
 

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Depends...

They are 5.5 inches wide. I´ve seen 225s on those wheels, but that was for autocross. Not something I would recommend for the street. 195s will give a nice "plant" in corners. 205s will fit fine too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I´m reviving this topic just so I can complain: I´m not willing to pay for pricey aftermarket wheels. After spending some weeks on the look-out for hollow-spoke or semi-hollow-spoke Miata wheels, I spotted a good deal. As an afterthought, I checked to see what models of tires were available for it. Almost none! My first choice, being frugal, are the Kuhmo 712s. But not only do they not come in 195,205 or even 185/14s, almost no companies offer ultra-high performance tires in that 14" size. I´m very disappointed. I want low weight and that seemed to be the best deal around.
- Rob
 

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I would recommend the 14" Yokohama AVS Intermediates. They are terrific tires at a great price. They look a bit old school, but you won´t find too many tires that can out perform it for even twice the price. We run AVSi´s on my wife´s Miata and I switched from Dunlop SP9000´s to Kumhos on my GT. The Dunlops and the Yokos are, both, superior to the Kumhos, in my estimation.

Marcus
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the authoritative feedback. I missed the chance to get that set of wheels but will keep looking after all.
- Rob
 

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No Problem. You might check with Mazmart, or another Mazda specialty used parts joint.

As for the wheels, the originial Minilite style Miata wheel weighed 12.3 lbs each, the 5-spoke 10.3 lbs each, the BBS (super-expensive) 15" 9.6 lbs each, polished 5-spoke even lighter than the BBS, and I have no weight for the later 7-spoke, although it is quite light, as well.

Good luck hunting.

Marcus
 

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Since my wife just had another nail in her tire, we took the opportunity to weigh one of her wheels. The 7-spoke, ´97 Miata wheel and Yokohama 185/60-14 weighed 22 lbs on a questionable bathroom scale. Exact, or not, the scale was probably within 2, or 3 lbs. Damn light.

Marcus
 
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