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Old 09-29-2008, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on wheel/tire combo

Ok guys, here's the situation, my car needs new tires.

Right now I have 2001 MR-Spyder wheels on the car. The specs on the wheels are:

Front: 15x6 +45 offset, stock MR2 size 185/55

Rear: 15x6.5 +45 offset, stock MR2 size 205/50

I don't care about wet weather or longevity. This car is going to be driven to and at the track, and is a pure weekend/trackday car, with a few autocrosses thrown in.

I have two options:

1) Keep existing wheels and shoehorn 205/50 front and 225/50 rear. I've read staggered is not really the way to go except for more powerful cars. Mine qualifies as powerful I guess.

2) Buy new 15x8 or 15x7.5 wheels. That is gonna get expensive. The only cheap ones I could find are Sport maxx / XXR 501 in +15 offset. Is that too low of an offset for a track car, and will it be sub-optimal?

With option 2 I can buy the tires I want, basically 225/45-15's.

I am looking for maximum grip-to-money ratio, so I think I will go with Hankook Ventus RS2 in either case. The question is, should I or should I not get the wheels? Any alternate suggestions are appreciated.

Posted this on m.net too hoping for some advice, but maybe i posted in the wrong section by mistake.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:41 AM   #2
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Sport Maxx's aren't bad looking and will serve their purpose.
But they are heavy....
The offset you're after with those wheels seems fine, any less and you should start looking into some flairs.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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Don't forget I can save you a little bit of money. Anything Tire rack has I can get. Anything we carry in stock I can get you close to wholesale.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:08 PM   #4
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Wheels are overrated. Get tires and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:15 PM   #5
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plenty of guys out there running a 205/225 combo, if anything it will introduce a touch more understeer.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pipefather View Post
I don't care about wet weather or longevity. This car is going to be driven to and at the track, and is a pure weekend/trackday car, with a few autocrosses thrown in.
(...)
I am looking for maximum grip-to-money ratio, so I think I will go with Hankook Ventus RS2 in either case.
Keeping the "money to grip" ratio concept in mind, our choices, as I see it, are:
1- Spend $600 or so on wheels, plus $400 or so on Hankook RS-2s
2- Spend $0 on wheels, plus $600 or so on Toyo R888s.

Option 2 costs you $400 less, and is going to be a lot more rewarding on the track. If you live close by, they'll survive being driven to and fro just fine. If the track is 400 miles away, budget an extra $150 for a set of junkyard 14" wheels plus the cheapest all-season tires money can buy.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:13 AM   #7
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My advice is the same my SpecMiata builder (DWW motorsports) gave me.

Wheels are gonna get bent at the track. Fact.

Get the cheapest 15x7 you can find. Seems that Kosei K-1 Racing from TireRack, at about $115 each and only 13 lbs are the best choice, that is until TRMotorsports C-1 hits these shores.

For tires, there are plenty of choices that will cost you money.

For a free, as well as guilt-free choice, I'd recommend making friends with your local SpecMiata builder (find one at SpecMiata.com), and asking them if you can have the old run-offs (race tires that are no longer used by the racers, but haven't shown cords yet).
Those will last you at least couple of events, and they're free!

Just make sure you have another set of rims to throw on the car for the ride home.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:17 AM   #8
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I would highly suggest against Rs2's! I have used them before, and known others that used them before. Falken Azenis just flat out have more grip, they have been tested by grassroots motorsports, i don't remember the issue number but the Rs2's don't seem to have much of a surface area which contributes to their lack of grip. I noticed also they were also quick to south once their threshold was reached, azenis have a more linear response. The only plus to using Rs2's is when it is raining, they channel water extremely well and help with hydroplaning, which is where the azenis are hurt by their inability to shed standing water.

Last edited by majorposer; 10-15-2008 at 01:18 AM. Reason: incorrect spelling.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:30 AM   #9
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The RS-2s aren't that great in the wet. I got caught in a downpour in the interstate and the RS-2s plus the autocross alignment on my car almost put me into the guardrail a couple of times. In less violent downpours they were okay, but I was always leary after that. I loved them in the dry though. I thought they were right up there with the RT-615 Azenis I had on a previous car.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:06 PM   #10
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During the test's in Grassroots, and track experince and auto-x experince, i would pick the azenis over the rs-2, i bet the rs-2 would be right up there with the azenis had they not cut so much void area out of the face of the tread. I haven't experienced overheating of the tire yet either, which is something i've run into with the RS-2's.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:24 PM   #11
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I've done the RS-2's and a few Kumho's, but the best I've found are the Nitto NT-01 for Auto X and Track, They stick real well on cold, wet roads and tracks, but will not pump water out after a little mileage is put on them. They don't "tramline" nearly as much as the RS-2, but they will not last 10K miles either.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:52 PM   #12
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If it's strictly a track tire and wheel combo, go r-compound! For wheels, and if lucky tires, look for used. Pound away at craiglslist around your area, however far you are willing to travel. Not just your city if you are willing to drive a bit. Do searches for 15x7, 4x100, race tires, race wheels, light wheels, kosei, autocross and any other phrase you can think of that might relate to what you are looking for. Lot's of searches with lot's of phrases can yield results. I found a set of kosei k1's with new RA-1's on them for $500 by searching the name kosie. Notice the wrong spelling. That set didn't show up with other more common terms as he had all sorts of wrong info in the ad. Didn't end up getting those, he was out of my area and I couldn't get away easily.

I looked for several weeks and came up with a set of 15x7 kosei k-1's with Avon R-comp 225/50/15's on them that had just a couple autocross weekends on them. I've used them for 4 track days now and they still look great. Paid $375 for the set. Those deals are out there, you just have to keep looking till you find the right one.

Don't keep using the 6" and 6.5" wheels. Look for good used lightweight 15x7's or larger. Get race compound tires. There may still inventory on the closeout Hankook 211's and 214 r-compound tires. Great buy at $80 for 205/50/15. Don't know if anyone still has any or not though.

Edit: Check any local Honda forums too. Plenty of guys willing to give up light 15" wheels to go "big".

Last edited by cueball1; 10-15-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:51 PM   #13
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I went from the stock 6" wheels to 7", and it made quite a difference! I'm still stock on power, but my laptimes were forever different because of the change, even though it was the same size tire on either wheels.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:10 PM   #14
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why not just get some normal wheels?
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