|Written by Peter|
|Thursday, 31 January 2008|
The saga of fitting 245's on all 4 corners...
Ah, this is the toughest thing that I have had to research for this car yet! I have several games to play:
Height: 16 or 17? 16's are lighter, tougher, less expensive tires, and fit a little better. 17's are just cool. I'd say I'll be going to 16's, I can fit a pretty big brake under 16's.
Width: I would like to get 225/45's all around. I can go either 6.5" or 7" Width and still fit without much hassle. 7"'s are few and far between though, however they'd give me more contact with the ground.
Weight: The lighter, the less availabe and the more expensive. However, saving 3 pounds on the wheel could have a noticible affect on the feel and performance of the car.
Offset: Ultimately, 38mm. Spacers allow for something up to around 45mm.
Bolt Pattern: German I guess: 4x108. WHY couldn't it have just been 4x100!?
Price: I have to be budget concious here. I still have to dress them in tires and participate in events.
Lastly, looks. These will be my only wheels for a while, so I want them to be attractive. Wheels make/break the car in my opinon.
So, What did I do?
I went crazy :-)
My car could end up having 400 BHP. That's a lot of power to get to the ground, so I needed something big and strong. Also, with the brakes I want to put on it, and the speeds I'll hit at the road tracks, I needed some seriosu grip. Compound, alignment, and driver can do a lot for grip, but there's no substutite for a lot of rubber.
So the first deicion I made was to change my bolt pattern to 5x114.3, same as a mustnag and many other fast cars like the 300Z TT, etc. This opened up a WORLD of options for wheels and brake rotors. Check out my 5-lug conversaion page for details on this.
Next, I went searching for wheels, all over again. eBay graced me with an unbeatable deal on Four Kosei K-1 Racing Wheels. $300 for the set. The fronts are 16x7.5, and the rears are 16x8.5. Front offset is 32mm, rear is 37mm. Pretty sweet find!! They weigh in at 15lbs a piece. The entire tire/wheel combo are 3 pounds heaver per wheel/tire than the origional 14" 195's. Not bad for all the extra rubber.
To these, I wrapped 245/24/16 Fuzion tires. They were cheap, and the guys at TireRack promised I'd like them. I'll let you know. The point of this is, 245's :-). That's a lot of rubber!
This project also required some "hubcentric rings" that made sure the aftermarket wheels were centered on the hub. The dimensions I needed were:
I purchased these from Prestige Wheel - 1-800-854-6779 - for I think it was $40 a set (for 4)? Somewhere in that price range. Their part number is HR73-6336.
So naturally, you're saying "How on earth are you going to fit 245's in a space origionalyl designed fro 195's!?
I was asking myself the same question. Suprisingly though, it wasn't too bad.
The first items that had to go were the wheel wells. I removed all four. The fronts came out easily, the rears crumbled! That didn't matter too much to me, as I just threw them away anyhow.
The next step was to roll the fenders. I have a special tool for this that helps get them even and looking nice. More info on the tool can be found here. First you have to remove the moulding from teh wheel well, then remove the plastic anchors that held the screws for the molding. Next, attach the roller and go nuts!
Next, I only got two tires mounted so that I could have two wheels and two wheel/tire combos. This way, I coudl mount a wheel and have enough room to stick my head in the well to check clearance issues. Once the wheel was fitting, I mounted the wheel/tire combo and did some more fitting. I wasn't sure how tough this was going to be so I figured this was the smartest method.
To sum it up, I had to roll all four fenders. The back's fit easily after that. For teh front, I had to pound a little divot in the back part of the wheel well (see pictures below) and everything worked out great.
I used some "ruberized undercoating" from Advance Auto to paint the wheel wells. It works great!
Pictures of the wheels and tires, soem reference pictures of before, and whatever else applies to this project!
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