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Old 04-25-2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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Advantage/disadvantage of 17" and 18" wheels

I'm needing to pull the trigger sooner than I thought on my front tire purchase and i've been crunching some numbers....probably just confusing myself even more.

I currently have 18" wheels on the car. The financial con's are that 18" tires are re-donk-ulously priced. 17's in the same width are much more budget friendly.

From my calculations, I can purchase some 17x9/10 wheels, put the Kumho XS's on them for about 300 more dollars than to just replace my current 18" tires(all four corners obviously).

I'm pretty sure the car will ride better, but is there honestly anything to be gained/lost from the extra inch of wheel? I don't have gi-normous brakes, so clearance isn't an issue there.

PS, for those that have price an XXX width wide 18" tire and compared it to an XXX width 17" tire.....it's like 100$ per tire.

Thanks for the help/advice.
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:48 AM   #2
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I think you pretty much answered your question why pple go with 17's... they are in more OEM production vehicles which drastically reduces the price in making the tires..

anything not in volume or exotic sizes and expect to pay an arm and a leg..
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:48 AM   #3
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Well, thats what I figured....but didn't know if some engineering type would give me some out-landish data on circumference/weight/rotational bla bla bla....

My initial non-educated(read: redneck)reasoning was that, "They put 18's on the Cobra R for SOME reason."
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:54 AM   #4
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so you are saying its cheaper to put tires on an 18 inch? Road race tires?

The only reason to go bigger is for bigger brakes, that is it.

--17's, by nature of inch smaller will be lighter if you compare apples to apples.
--17's, by smaller tires will be cheaper in price
--I run 13inch 4piston alcons in the front of my stang, got my good brakes and smaller tire.

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Old 04-26-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
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The tires I buy are/would be my only set. So I need them to be daily driven on(occasionally), and also be my track/comp. tires.

It is cheaper to just put 18" tires on my current wheels. However, going to 17's NOW.....will make it cheaper in the long run since tires are the biggest part of my replacement pieces.

So yea, it's pay a little more now, pay alot less later on.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
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From my calculations, I can purchase some 17x9/10 wheels, put the Kumho XS's on them for about 300 more dollars than to just replace my current 18" tires(all four corners obviously).
You'll get all of that "$300 more" back when you sell your 18" wheels, too.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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In back to back to back tests of 16's, 17's and 18's on the same day using the same model, treadwidth and diameter tires , the 17 inch wheels have outperformed 16 and 18 inch wheels. The primary reasons are better weight of the 17's vs the 18's. The taller sidewall of the 17 over the 18 helps to maintain tread contact with the road. The 16's were too mushy and the 18's too stiff.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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In back to back to back tests of 16's, 17's and 18's on the same day using the same model, treadwidth and diameter tires , the 17 inch wheels have outperformed 16 and 18 inch wheels. The primary reasons are better weight of the 17's vs the 18's. The taller sidewall of the 17 over the 18 helps to maintain tread contact with the road. The 16's were too mushy and the 18's too stiff.
Then it's settled. I'll spend the extra dough. Thanks!

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You'll get all of that "$300 more" back when you sell your 18" wheels, too.
I hope!
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a79coupe View Post
In back to back to back tests of 16's, 17's and 18's on the same day using the same model, treadwidth and diameter tires , the 17 inch wheels have outperformed 16 and 18 inch wheels. The primary reasons are better weight of the 17's vs the 18's. The taller sidewall of the 17 over the 18 helps to maintain tread contact with the road. The 16's were too mushy and the 18's too stiff.
that is a great report!! thanks, I have 17x10 on all four corners, not changing now!! LOL

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Old 04-26-2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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What 17x10's are they(and what size tire)?
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2GT View Post
What 17x10's are they(and what size tire)?
sorry, CCW classics tire is 275/40/17, I have different tires up front vs rear because I messed up an order.

here is pic




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Old 04-27-2009, 03:00 AM   #12
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Aren't there wider choices in tires for such a wide rim? (285,295....even 315?)
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2GT View Post
Aren't there wider choices in tires for such a wide rim? (285,295....even 315?)

yes there is, I just chose this setup.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:28 AM   #14
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Ok, thanks!
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:22 PM   #15
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Not an issue for you probably, but on S197 mustangs:

I bought 5Zigen FNO1R-C 17x10 with 35 offset. Ran them last weekend, there was a slight grinding of the rear swaybar mounting point and the inside of the wheel. Only under full compression/full rebound.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:34 PM   #16
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Those 5Zigen's are most likely lighter, but I don't think I can afford teh "Import Tax" on them. I'm stuck with heavy replica's.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Well, thats what I figured....but didn't know if some engineering type would give me some out-landish data on circumference/weight/rotational bla bla bla....

My initial non-educated(read: redneck)reasoning was that, "They put 18's on the Cobra R for SOME reason."
the 18's were to clear the Brembo's that came on the R. thats the only reason. i second the go with 17's idea. i and the 17x9/17x10.5 setup with sumitomo HTRZ's and HTRZ2's which are about 100 bucks a peice. the tread wear is 180 rear and 220 front so they are kinda soft but not overly so since its a street car. i like them alot.
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:06 AM   #18
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Cool, thanks.

I sold the 18's and tires yesterday for 700 bucks. That'll be enough to pay for the 4 new 17" wheels and about 1 NT-05 tire. I ended up choosing the Nitto because it was about 8$ cheaper per tire than the Kumho XS. Eight bucks doesn't sound like much(nor does 32 bucks savings for all four), but I am on a budget and this expenditure wasn't really planned.

Another reason was that the Nitto's look like they can be flipped on the rim and provide the same performance. The XS's seem to have outside tread specific design. With me running -1.5 street camber, i'd like to be able to flip the tires on the rim 1/2 way through their use to get the most from them.

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Old 05-01-2009, 08:06 AM   #19
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But numerous 17s clear the R Brembos...
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:24 AM   #20
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They do? I don't forsee myself going to bigger rotor/caliper, but if what I get cleared them....cool.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:55 AM   #21
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Application: 1992 notchback v8, SN95 FCAs, 94-95 spindles, front coil-overs, '98 Cobra brakes, SN 95 axles, no quad shocks.

In the 4 years since this thread, the availability of big 17" tires (> 275s) has, imo, all but disappeared. I currently run 17*10.5s and 17*9s but I think it's time to move up to 18s. I'm debating buying a set of 18*10s (24mm offset) so that I can more easily locate tires wider than 275mm while still running a square setup. I know 10 or 15 years ago we all thought getting 275s on a fox would be enough, but the more I read Terry's updates on his Vorschlag cars, the more I am convinced that 275s are too small for a 3200# car (includes driver).

Re: fitment, car is no longer a street car and has had the inner fender liners removed. I am willing to flare the front fenders with the Datsun Z fender flares to make this work. As 17*10.5s fit in the rear, I'm assuming I won't have to flare the rear fenders. In addition, I will probably have to move to a tubular front FCA. I believe if I get the fitment right, I can avoid spacers and steering rack limiters.

Now, with that being said, should I look at even bigger 18" widths? Anyone else out there have a fox with 18*10s or bigger on the front? I thought we had a thread on 18s o the front of foxbodies but I can't find it. Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:36 PM   #22
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Cool, thanks.

I sold the 18's and tires yesterday for 700 bucks. That'll be enough to pay for the 4 new 17" wheels and about 1 NT-05 tire. I ended up choosing the Nitto because it was about 8$ cheaper per tire than the Kumho XS. Eight bucks doesn't sound like much(nor does 32 bucks savings for all four), but I am on a budget and this expenditure wasn't really planned.

Another reason was that the Nitto's look like they can be flipped on the rim and provide the same performance. The XS's seem to have outside tread specific design. With me running -1.5 street camber, i'd like to be able to flip the tires on the rim 1/2 way through their use to get the most from them.
I run 2 1/2 neg camber and I have to flip my tires to keep from wearing off the outside so I'm sure that you will need to. I use the NT05s and at first you will think that they are gonna be gone in no time but the wear really slows down as they get some sessions on them. They get harder I guess because they also lose some grip with each session but they are a good bang for the buck and there is no trophy at the end of the day anyhow.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:38 PM   #23
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But numerous 17s clear the R Brembos...
I run the Cobra Rs behind my 17s.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:14 PM   #24
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Hey J Rick Kirby. Just down the road from you... Can you post up a picture? I'm trying to determine 13's. or keep it easy and go 11's. Doing the typical sn 95 94/95 spindle etc.... definitely want 17 rims for ride, look and overall handling on our local roads.... Thanks
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:29 PM   #25
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They do? I don't forsee myself going to bigger rotor/caliper, but if what I get cleared them....cool.
I wouldn't waste the money for bigger brakes than the PBR Cobra with 13" rotors. Hell you can pull the ABS fuse and flat spot R-comp tires with stock GT brakes. If can lock up r comp tires you don't need better brakes, just add cooling. My 2 cents.

What happened to the 17s you were running in this thread?
315/35/17 tires on 10" rim, pics please?
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #26
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Hey J Rick Kirby. Just down the road from you... Can you post up a picture? I'm trying to determine 13's. or keep it easy and go 11's. Doing the typical sn 95 94/95 spindle etc.... definitely want 17 rims for ride, look and overall handling on our local roads.... Thanks
Hey man I spend a lot of weekends in Mooresville as my sorta gf lives there. I don't have any pics but what specifically are you trying to figure out?
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #27
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Threadomancy and no one is addressing my reason for raising the dead. Y'all do realize that some of you are responding to posts over 4 years old, right?

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #28
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ROFL. That is funny Pm to you J Rick
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:35 PM   #29
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Threadomancy and no one is addressing my reason for raising the dead. Y'all do realize that some of you are responding to posts over 4 years old, right?

DOH! Guilty as charged. LOL!

But no shortage of 315s out there. I see no reason you shouldn't go wide 17s all the way round.

Here is some inspiration for you skinny tarred fox drivers. 315s on 17x12 CCWs.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:28 AM   #30
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Casey, are you saying no one makes 17" 315s, or that they're not out in the wild?
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:33 AM   #31
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I'm saying I didn't think that I could find a reasonably priced 17" 295s or 315s and I know the selection is very limited in these sizes these days. 18" take offs are CHEAP these days AND there are far more 295 options.

I was originally thinking I would go with a 17*10" up front and run 295s front and rear but I can't find any 295s other than new Hoosiers and I'm not willing to pay $350/tire when I can get a set of new 18" Continental GT tires for $440. If I were to step up to a 17*11 or 12, I could run 315 Hoosier take offs, I suppose, which should be easier to find than the 295s. However, I'm a cheap bastard, I don't want to spend CCW money. Also, I can get a set of 18*10s 24mm offset for cheap anywhere online. Granted, I haven't research prices for 17*11s or 12s, but I was having trouble finding any 17*10s with 24mm offset when I first started thinking about moving up from my 17*9s 36mm.

So, as a result, I'm wondering if anyone auto-xes a foxbody with 18*10s or bigger up front.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:02 PM   #32
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I'm saying I didn't think that I could find a reasonably priced 17" 295s or 315s and I know the selection is very limited in these sizes these days. 18" take offs are CHEAP these days AND there are far more 295 options.

I was originally thinking I would go with a 17*10" up front and run 295s front and rear but I can't find any 295s other than new Hoosiers and I'm not willing to pay $350/tire when I can get a set of new 18" Continental GT tires for $440. If I were to step up to a 17*11 or 12, I could run 315 Hoosier take offs, I suppose, which should be easier to find than the 295s. However, I'm a cheap bastard, I don't want to spend CCW money. Also, I can get a set of 18*10s 24mm offset for cheap anywhere online. Granted, I haven't research prices for 17*11s or 12s, but I was having trouble finding any 17*10s with 24mm offset when I first started thinking about moving up from my 17*9s 36mm.

So, as a result, I'm wondering if anyone auto-xes a foxbody with 18*10s or bigger up front.
Ahhhhhh okay. In your original thread resurrection you just said lack of available large 17s. You didn't mention scrubs. I use to buy the 315/35/17 V710s off one of the T1 Corvette guys but it is true they have all gone to 18s. The used tire supply in that size has all but dried up. They have also gone to A6 Hoosiers and IMHO those are worthless after they have a few heat cycles on them.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:38 AM   #33
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The latest model is 18" only AFAICT, but it looks like Nitto still makes 315x17 tires in the older comp varieties. Maybe you don't care for them?
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:52 AM   #34
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17s are a dying breed; why go to a 17*10.5" or bigger up front when I go 18" and have a much wider availability of awesome take offs and new tires sizes?
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:19 PM   #35
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I'm with you, aurdraco - the selection of wide-ass 17" tires is small, whereas 18" sizes are plentiful and the trend continues to go that way.

I have a set of 18x10 CCWs for my car, but they've basically only seen street driving (for the sake of testing fitment). I did about 3 laps on them at VIR last year before ignition issues ruined my weekend.



That's an 18x10", 7" BS with a 1/2" spacer (so 6.5" BS, or about +25mm offset), Fox length MM zero offset LCAs and MM K-member, '96+ spindles, etc etc. As you can see, I could go a bit thinner on the spacer, so maybe +30mm offset or so, which would make fender clearance a little easier. (I've got the Maier fenders, so clearance isn't an issue, but with stock fenders every bit you can gain will help with fitment.) I've got 275/35-18s on there. I could fit more, but those came off my CTS-V's track wheels, so they were readily available.

Based on your comments, it sounds like you want to go BIG, in which case I wonder if 10" is enough. I'm not sure what bigger take-off/scrub sizes are available, as I haven't really looked into it; I know there are plenty of 275/35s out there. If there's not much availability of tires wider than 275/35 (or getting the wider tires is cost prohibitive), then maybe 18x10" would meet your desires.
__________________
'89 GT convertible, N/A 357W, MM front susp w/425# coil-overs and Koni D/As, MM TA/PB rear setup (Koni Yellows, 390-430# springs), Stoptech 332mm / 12" Baers, MM 6 point rollbar, Maier 1.5" flared fenders & quarters, 18x9.5" front/18x10.5" rear Enkei RPF-1s (street), 18x10" CCW C-10s (track), etc...
Patrick Olsen is offline  
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