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Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

 
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Old 21 Oct 2017, 07:20 am
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Default Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

Need to change the stock 16" wheels on our 2002 Street Cruiser 2.0l petrol due to severe chrome plating corrosion, but what would be the impact on ride and handling of going up to 17"? Car rides well on 16s but handling could be a tiny bit tighter IMO. Alternatively what about the effect of reducing ride height 30mm with some decent lowered springs and keeping to 16" (and the current tyres which have very little wear)? Or what about doing both?
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Old 21 Oct 2017, 07:48 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

Each to their own, but my 2 pennorth would always get more tire than wheel.

These cars are harsh enough anyway, IMHO - and handling is never going to be amazing unless you throw zillions at it, and even then - it's still a glorified van ... plus, big tyres suit the Old Timer look (again, IMHO)

For which reasons I run oversize tyres - currently 195/65 15 on steelies.

Comfort... and it still hangs on OK on bends.

Most VW wheels will fit a Cruiser by the way - check this, but I think it's up to Golf V and the same dateline of Audis. After that, VW changed PCD on the wheel nuts.
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Old 22 Oct 2017, 04:18 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

Thanks, I am leaning towards sticking with OEM 16" and getting some use out of the current tyres. Mildly lower springs may come in the future if SWMBO permits, but not if this would be at the expense of ride comfort. In our part of the world if the road is not bending to the left, then it is bending to the right, but OTOH the surfaces vary from patchwork quilt to lunar.
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Old 22 Oct 2017, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niggle View Post
Thanks, I am leaning towards sticking with OEM 16" and getting some use out of the current tyres. Mildly lower springs may come in the future if SWMBO permits, but not if this would be at the expense of ride comfort. In our part of the world if the road is not bending to the left, then it is bending to the right, but OTOH the surfaces vary from patchwork quilt to lunar.
There is occasionally LOW TECH lowering spring set for sale on ebay. They are progressive and the rating is actually slightly softer ride up to about an 3/4 inch compression over a stock spring.

Remember size when thinking about tire sizing on a PT Cruiser, taller sidewall is not a freind to these front heavy vehicles and you will sacrifice some emergency steering and handling control.
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Old 23 Oct 2017, 05:46 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

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Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
There is occasionally LOW TECH lowering spring set for sale on ebay. They are progressive and the rating is actually slightly softer ride up to about an 3/4 inch compression over a stock spring.

Remember size when thinking about tire sizing on a PT Cruiser, taller sidewall is not a freind to these front heavy vehicles and you will sacrifice some emergency steering and handling control.
Cannot find Low Tech springs for sale in the UK, but Eibach Pro Kit are readily available and affordable- best price for a set is 116 with free postage. These are also progressive rate and 30mm lower all round, and a well known brand.
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Old 23 Oct 2017, 06:58 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niggle View Post
Cannot find Low Tech springs for sale in the UK, but Eibach Pro Kit are readily available and affordable- best price for a set is 116 with free postage. These are also progressive rate and 30mm lower all round, and a well known brand.
I know someone over here runs the -30mm Eibachs and he has no complaints...
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Old 23 Oct 2017, 07:08 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

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Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
taller sidewall is not a freind to these front heavy vehicles and you will sacrifice some emergency steering and handling control.
Upsizing tyrewall height a tad will not make a shred of difference to handling or braking, but will make a LOT of difference to how compliant the ride is - plus it will give you a tad better miles per revs and better cruising economy.
If you want to screw up the handling, get wheels with the wrong ET and see what happens...

No way would I advise putting more than sensible on the wall height, and even then with the usual caveats that YMMV and do at your own risk - I am just saying what works for me.

Here is a handy calc that can help https://www.wheel-size.com/calc/
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Old 23 Oct 2017, 07:25 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

One way of making sure wheel choice is OK is to check it gets German TuV approval for fitting on the PT. Wheels that have this certification seem to be 6.5J, ET38 and a load rating of 610Kg or more, though the latter is probably for the worst case scenario of five 6'6" Germans plus a boot stuffed with crates of Pilsner , but it is reassuring when wheels are considered safe by the world's most anally retentive nation

Edit: check this TuV approval doc for the ITWheels Emma: https://felgen.jfnet.de/pdf/00256702/00256702.pdf

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Last edited by niggle; 23 Oct 2017 at 07:36 am.
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Old 23 Oct 2017, 07:56 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niggle View Post
One way of making sure wheel choice is OK is to check it gets German TuV approval for fitting on the PT. Wheels that have this certification seem to be 6.5J, ET38 and a load rating of 610Kg or more, though the latter is probably for the worst case scenario of five 6'6" Germans plus a boot stuffed with crates of Pilsner , but it is reassuring when wheels are considered safe by the world's most anally retentive nation

Edit: check this TuV approval doc for the ITWheels Emma: https://felgen.jfnet.de/pdf/00256702/00256702.pdf

Not disagreeing with you, but the ol' TuV is a barsteward - you are stuck with what wheels and tyres are on your "Zulassungsbesheinigung" - how it came from the showroom originally - unless, you can find a PT that was fitted with them at the factory, prove it, and get the TuV chappy to change it for you - which they will if they know and love you, but mostly not.
What most people do over here is put the wheels and tyres you want on and notify the Versicherung (insurance) and hope they don't say "Nein! Verboten!" (they don't unless you are being ridiculous) and keep a set of bog stock wheels (usually your winter wheels & tyres) for when you get the TuV done.
In the UK, I never had any problems getting wheels through the MOT - from carlos fandango steel bandies back in the dim distant past or add on alloys, they never seemed to give a monkeys so long as they were inside the bodywork and had treads on the tyres

Point being, just because a wheel has TuV does not automatically mean it is "right" or will fit - or that the ET will be right and not chuck the suspension geometry down the $hitter - ONLY if it has TuV and it is for that model car, that year, that spec, that engine...
That said, I've run both Golf and Audi steel wheels on mine and had not problems, and since they are 15" wheels and 15" is what's on my zullasung for winter use, I doubt my friendly TuV would give them a second look.
If I had a prang and the ET's were different, the insurance might if handling looked to be an issue in the accident.

That calc I posted up there will serve you well
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Old 23 Oct 2017, 09:53 am
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Default Re: Wheel size and ride height changes: effects on ride and handling?

I own a few sets of performance springs for a PT Cruiser...also a few sets of different tire and wheel combinations...
Quote:
Originally Posted by niggle View Post
Cannot find Low Tech springs for sale in the UK, but Eibach Pro Kit are readily available and affordable- best price for a set is 116 with free postage. These are also progressive rate and 30mm lower all round, and a well known brand.
Eibach will increase the firmness of your ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinbad View Post
Upsizing tyrewall height a tad will not make a shred of difference to handling or braking, but will make a LOT of difference to how compliant the ride is - plus it will give you a tad better miles per revs and better cruising economy.
You play with words like another member on this forum but the results is still the same on a PT Cruiser and can be measured with any device that has a accelerometer, .i.e. D-Pic.
Not going to argue or debate "wrong" anymore it only get people pissed as one says you can read and believe who and what you want!
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