17" tires vs 18" - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-20-2008, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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17" tires vs 18"

hey,

i have 17" tires on my 2006 wrx, stage 2 . and am thinking of going to 18" rims and tires... nothing bigger (anything over 18 imo is goddy and looks retarded) what performance gains or losses can i expect to see if any?

i know STI's use 18" so thats why im asking...

thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-21-2008, 06:50 AM
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It depends on what width of rim and tire you are wanting or looking at. Or even what most of your driving or driving habits are. If you are still on the stock rims (17 x 7.7) I switched to Rota Boost (17 x 8) and could tell the difference immediately, for the better. And that was for just about all the driving I did.

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post #3 of 17 Old 07-21-2008, 09:46 AM
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all else being equal (such as overall diameter - tire included), there will be less sidewall with an 18" wheel to absorb the small jolts that occur due to uneven or worn road surfaces. If you have smooth streets to drive on then 18" is not a problem IMHO.

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post #4 of 17 Old 07-21-2008, 10:23 AM
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More sidewall is more cushion, less sidewall is stiffer.
More sidewall is more flex, less sidewall is stiffer.

The choice of rim diameter is also effected by brake size but that's largely not an issue on the 17" vs 18" debate for Subys.

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Last edited by awd4life; 07-21-2008 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Engineers cant spell!
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-21-2008, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCondoRX View Post
hey,

i have 17" tires on my 2006 wrx, stage 2 . and am thinking of going to 18" rims and tires... nothing bigger (anything over 18 imo is goddy and looks retarded) what performance gains or losses can i expect to see if any?

i know STI's use 18" so thats why im asking...

thanks!
Actually all STi's have 17's stock as well (except the 08's)

12.7 @ 109
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-24-2008, 09:26 AM
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the choice for 18's is generally a aesthetic choice. in the performance realm the only reason to choose 18's would be to clear bigger brakes, on the Impreza most wider 17's clear the more popular big brake setup

17's are generally going to be lighter, less rotational mass (this influences acceleration and braking) and tires are generally going to be cheaper

nothing wrong choosing a rim for aesthetics as long as you realize could be sacrificing some performance

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post #7 of 17 Old 07-24-2008, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtothegame View Post
It depends on what width of rim and tire you are wanting or looking at. Or even what most of your driving or driving habits are. If you are still on the stock rims (17 x 7.7) I switched to Rota Boost (17 x 8) and could tell the difference immediately, for the better. And that was for just about all the driving I did.
what are the rims on the '02?? i was planning on 17X7 but i kno nothing abuot wheels. so the less sidewall the better?? meaning i stick wit 215 right??
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-24-2008, 07:28 PM
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Correct me if Im wrong but I believe all 02-05 WRX's are 16x6.5
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-24-2008, 07:44 PM
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that's correct, 06/07's (08's for that matter) are 17x7

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post #10 of 17 Old 07-24-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
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the choice for 18's is generally a aesthetic choice. in the performance realm the only reason to choose 18's would be to clear bigger brakes, on the Impreza most wider 17's clear the more popular big brake setup

17's are generally going to be lighter, less rotational mass (this influences acceleration and braking) and tires are generally going to be cheaper

nothing wrong choosing a rim for aesthetics as long as you realize could be sacrificing some performance
That said, there are plenty of heavy 17" rims and light 18" rims. I disagree that one is inherently lighter than the other. The price difference is noticeable though. The tires cost more and the rims cost more.

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post #11 of 17 Old 07-24-2008, 09:12 PM
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That said, there are plenty of heavy 17" rims and light 18" rims. I disagree that one is inherently lighter than the other. The price difference is noticeable though. The tires cost more and the rims cost more.
agreed- there are plenty of heavy 17" and some light 18" rims- however there are MORE light 17" wheels than light 18" wheels- simply a function of an added 1" of diameter of wheel

the best example is to compare same width wheels, in the same model line- 17" vs 18"- the 17 will always be lighter

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post #12 of 17 Old 07-25-2008, 03:54 AM
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aright well if i were to upgrade to 17s would that raise my car an inch??
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-25-2008, 09:03 AM
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no- the tire dictates the overall height, not the rim- the oe tire (on the 02-05) is 205/55/16 which is right at 25" in height, the 06/07 WRX uses 17" rims and a 205/50/17 tire which is also right at 25"

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post #14 of 17 Old 07-25-2008, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by subarooster View Post
aright well if i were to upgrade to 17s would that raise my car an inch??
The wheels aren't going to be what raises or lowers your ride, it will be the sidewall of the tires you use. If you go to 17" but get shorter sidewalls, you could keep your stock height. Heck, you could keep your stocker wheels and go with taller sidewalls to raise your car if you wanted. It's personal preference based on what performance/look you want from your car.

As a general rule though, the bigger the wheels, the more expensive the tires...

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post #15 of 17 Old 07-27-2008, 05:45 AM
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wow this stuff makes no sense to me i know nothing about the wheel sizes well ok i wanna get 17's on mine but i definately want my car lower than higher so how doess that work?? or if someone could link me to a very clear diagram or simple illustration of wheels n sizes n how to read n handle that bs i'd appreciate it thnx
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