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Old 10-05-2008, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default Do I really NEED 8" wide wheels?

I'm finally a step away (more-or-less) from finally making that first mx-5 purchase (a '95 base)! Before I say anything else, my driving situation (for now) will be almost all street with maybe a few autox per year. Mostly looking for driving enjoyment (it'll be my daily since I'm parking the CRX). Not looking to turbo right away and even when I do, I'm thinking of going BEGi SSM and upgrading to S4 as I become a better driver and can appreciate more power.

First batch of parts will be roll bar, wheels/tires, clutch and Fidanza fw, maybe some poly bushings and whatever maintenance needs to be done. Then comes some GCs and whatever damper looks best (though some Flex action would be sexy).

I've seen a lot of good talk about the 15x8/x9 6ULs but I'm thinking I won't need that much rubber. I've wanted some SSRs or Volks for years now and I don't know if I can stand it, hehe. For tires, I'm thinking about Hankook RS2s. I did some math and noticed that for the 6UL 8" and 9" both with 225s the weights are 35.8 lbs and 36.4 lbs per corner, respectively. The SSR type-c with a 205 tire comes out to 29.4 lbs at the expense of an extra $170ish per corner. That's a substantial amount (6.4/7 lbs)(especially since the extra weight is in the hoop/tire). What I'm thinking is that the feel of the car with the lighter setup will be more enjoyable than the extra grip (especially since at my driving level, I wouldn't know what to do with 1 lat. G if it flew up and bit me on the left nipple!)

So what's the verdict? Read a little here and also read some over at m.net but can't seem to make up my mind. At .net everyone seemed to be either debating over the merits of 17s and 18s or throwing around a bunch of random-*** kinematics equations they memorized in their high school physics class... (I saw a lot of F=ma bullshit but did anyone mention I=mR^2 (moment of inertia for a symmetric cylindrical shell/hoop)? nope. )The peeps around here seem to speak more from experience rather than blowing sparkly bubbles out their ***.
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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I've been driving around on worn (close to corded) 205/50's in the rear for about 2 months now. They are quite sticky tires, Yokohama Advan A043 that come stock on the MR-Spyder, and have a 160 treadwear. My feeling is that 205/50 are fine provided you are under 200 whp and doing only street/occassional auto-x driving. Get 205/50-15 azenis on 7" wide wheels and you wont be disappointed with either turn-in or overall grip. I've driven a miata on azenis at the limit and there is absolutely nothing that compares for auto-x use.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:02 PM   #3
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Aren't the wear and wet traction supposed to be better on the RS2s than on the azenis? (Or have I misunderstood?) It wouldn't bother me except that I might not be able to get a 2nd parking pass for my apt complex, so this'll have to be my only car. Also, the azenis 615s are listed as 1.8 lbs heavier each for 205s... If I'm paying all that extra cash for pimp wheels, I don't wanna loose it to my tires

Last edited by Phoenix; 10-05-2008 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:24 PM   #4
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weight takes back seat compared to traction and sidewall stiffness, the latter is very important to turn-in feel of the car. The side effect is sidewall stiffness generally increases the weight. RT615 have been known to be the stickiest tire for the money and they have a really good reputation in auto-x circles. And yeah, the RS2 are apparently better in the wet and wear better, but I have not driven a car on RS2 anywhere near the limit.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:35 AM   #5
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get azenis for street. stiff sidewall ftw.

oh, and dont even think about using them on track
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:07 AM   #6
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Imo I wouldn't go 8"+ wide unless you plan on running 225's+. I'm running 215's on a 7.5in wide wheel. Looks and performs beautifully.

Otoh, 6uls are awesome.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:07 AM   #7
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i got some volk 16x7 that are 10 pounds, with some 215-40-16 falken 452. best everyday and hard driving tire that has a 300 tread wear..strong side wall and wet grip. i like my set up because its light and offers great performance for a daily driver with 200whp. my friend has a miata with 225 50 15 on some 15x8 his tread is at 8 inch mine is at 7 inch 1 inch is not worth the weight and more expensive tire.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Aren't the wear and wet traction supposed to be better on the RS2s than on the azenis?
RS2s have better wet traction, better life, and are quieter. However, I still prefer the azenis for their stiffness and improved straightline grip. I've had both this year and they are both fantastic tires. I will most likely run whichever is on sale/cheapest at the time I need tires from now on.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
Imo I wouldn't go 8"+ wide unless you plan on running 225's+. I'm running 215's on a 7.5in wide wheel. Looks and performs beautifully.

Otoh, 6uls are awesome.
Same here, and I agree.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #10
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for street tires, Azenis are the answer hands down for autox. 205/50/15 on drag 15x7's. Excellent bite, and consistant feel.

For my R's I use 13x8 Aero's with a zero offset. 215/50 kumho 710 front, 225/50 rear Hoosier R6. It looks silly, but it works... especially since the wheels were basically free.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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15x9 6UL + 225 RS2 + Stock Power > 205 Azenis + 200whp on a small/test track.

Grip is king.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:33 PM   #12
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195 Azenis + 170rwhp = traction limited
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:50 PM   #13
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Good advice fellas. Thanks a ton! Just one question though: how is the car going to FEEL around town (with heavier vs lighter)? As for grip... I've never actually driven a car at the limit, so if I had something with tons of grip, I don't know if I'd have the ***** to push my daily that hard. There. I admit it, I'm a noob and a *****, hehe. My initial thoughts were that by the time I get my driving skill up a little bit (6-8 months maybe?) I shouldn't have any problems affording some 16x9 6ULs and super gummy tires.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:05 PM   #14
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FYI, Emilio doesn't like the Azenis. The R-S2 provides 95% of the dry grip, more wet grip, are quieter, and last longer (and fit better on 8 and 9" wheels.)
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:10 PM   #15
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The Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs are a better tire than the Azenis both in the dry(street and track) and the wet. Not to say the Azenis is a bad tire, just that this new tire is better.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #16
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The new 225/45/15 R1R out yet? I was waiting for that tire for quite a while, but then it got delayed and I was forced to go with RS2's.

As for FEEL, grip is sweet. I changed my entire suspension, so I can't provide an objective example, but subjectively, the car feels fine around town, I noticed a drop in fuel economy. I was usually pulling 300-350 miles to the tank, now I am seeing 250-300. I can only account this to the increased friction of the new setup.

It's a nice feeling knowing you can do 3-4x the suggested limit in a corner, and pull 1.1+ G on street tires.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
I've never actually driven a car at the limit, so if I had something with tons of grip, I don't know if I'd have the ***** to push my daily that hard. There. I admit it, I'm a noob and a *****, hehe.

Something to keep in mind:

Ultimate grip is nice, but when they let go you are usually going quite quickly and the end result is sometimes quite expensive.

If you put a not so sticky and narrower tire on then you can have some fun at more sane speeds and the consequences of finding the limit is not so expensive.

Having said that, I run RS-2 in a 215/45-16 size on a 6.5 inch wheel and am quite happy with them. The consensus around here though, from guys who have owned the T1-S, RS-2 and the Azenis 615 is that the Azenis is the best choice. That will be my next tire.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:00 PM   #18
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starsky - maybe the azenis work better in the colder climes around here than in the south?
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starsky View Post
Ultimate grip is nice, but when they let go you are usually going quite quickly and the end result is sometimes quite expensive.
I was all worried about this until I finally drove on 225 r-comps. It's over-emphasized. I was backing-in on 85-mph corner entries with elevation changes on my first session in a car I didn't own, and easily corrected when I exceeded max slip-angle.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:09 PM   #20
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Doh, I'm so torn... I think the prudent thing is to go with 9" 6ULs and 225s and use that extra $1k or so for suspension bits. (Maybe use what I save on wheels/tires to get a Tein setup...) Dammit, I'm too tempted by sexy parts! I get blinded by the "ooh cool" factor. Where's my self control when I need it?!
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