Driving on 17" vs 18" wheels for HPDE - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 03-06-2010, 04:01 PM
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Driving on 17" vs 18" wheels for HPDE

I have a 06 wrx the I'm going to use in HPDEs. I know 17s are lighter, but besides that, it there any other advantages to having 17s over 18s? Advantages or disadvantages in cornering? Could the 18s with lower profile tires be more responsive?
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#2 Old 03-07-2010, 02:32 PM
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Generally, tires for 18" wheels are more expensive than tires for 17" wheels. Keep in mind that you'll have to buy four tires at a time, so that's a pretty good chunk of change right there if anything should happen and one of your tires gets destroyed for any reason (sidewall damage from driving on a flat, blowout, etc.).

Also, 18" wheels tend to bend easier due to potholes and other road debris that are sometimes unavoidable. Replacing wheels can become expensive too.

It's sort of unfair to use a blanket statement to describe the weight of 17" wheels vs. 18" wheels. True, a 17" wheel in the exact same style as an 18" wheel will be lighter, but there are certain 18" wheels that can be lighter than some 17" wheels. Wheel weight is definitely something to take into consideration when buying any wheel though.

Looks-wise, I prefer the 18" wheels to the 17" wheels in most cases.

You'll also feel more bumps with an 18" wheel than a 17" wheel.

As far as which one is more "responsive," there are other factors involved than just tire sidewall height. I'd wager that ultra high performance sticky summer tires mounted on 17" wheels would outperform a set of all season or otherwise crappy quality tires mounted on 18" wheels.

So basically, if cost and ride comfort are important to you, buy a set of 17" wheels. If you have extra cash to blow and want to look good, go for the 18" wheels. It's really your decision.

If I were you, I would spend the majority of my money on tires and use whatever is left on wheels. The tires should definitely be a priority.

John
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Jorge Carrillo Tuned (365 whp/340 wtq)
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#3 Old 03-07-2010, 04:46 PM
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I find most high performance tires are most comfortable in the 40 sidewall range. For a 25" diameter car like a Suby, that generally means 17" wheels. People will claim firmer sidewalls with more wheel but there is a limit to that. Tires start to sacrifice performance for aspect ratio when you push too far.

Besides, anybody serious is probably limited to 245 wide by class so stick with 245/40/17

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#4 Old 03-13-2010, 05:00 AM
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Just picked up a set of 17X8 volks ce28ns for dirt cheap on re070 tires 225/45 all for 1500. Good buy??
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#5 Old 03-13-2010, 08:29 AM
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Nice, wish I could have found a deal like that, one of my top 5 favorite rims.What color are the Volks? Can you post up some pics? I think its a fair price.

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
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#6 Old 03-13-2010, 10:58 AM
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WRX benefits a great deal form shorter tires. I recommend 235/40/17 to the WRX guys, especially the 02-05 folks.

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