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newbie needs tutoring on wheels and tires...

 
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Old 23 Feb 2005, 05:44 am
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Default newbie needs tutoring on wheels and tires...

I'm really really new at this stuff (of course I'm addicted.) I've done all sorts of simple exterior and interior upgrades and I think I'm ready for a big one - wheels and tires. I own a PT cruiser convertible, the base model (with the base wheels,) and am ready to upgrade... but I see its so much more than just "choose a design." I need a tutor, bad. I like the look of the larger wheels (18") but want to know how it affects the handling, etc. Also, there what are all the numbers on the wheels when I'm looking at them,
ie:225/40/18?

I know this must seem ridiculous that I don't know these things, but we all gotta start somewhere... also, what about the width? how does that affect things? what's recommended? how does one choose these things? What about tires? what is Wheel offset? professional installation? what about web ordering?

I need help with the whole wheel and tire lexicon and would love it to be from a PT Cruiser owner and lover, so I turn to you all to help...

thanks for all the help...

-Ramon
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Old 23 Feb 2005, 08:40 am
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Here's a place to read up:
http://www.1010tires.com/tech.asp
What I want to add is my experience. Bigger wheels may look cool, but there's less rubber between the rim and the road. That means a harder ride, and because the tire patch is wider, better handling - on dry roads. Dunno where you live, but in rain/snow, low profile tires are not an advantage. Also, I hit a pothole with the stock 16" alloy wheels and 55 series tires and cracked a rim - a $500+ pothole.
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Old 23 Feb 2005, 07:48 pm
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Ramon,
Don't feel bad. We all had to start somewhere. Try tirerack.com They will show your car and how new rims and tires will look on your convertible. Remember that you have a base car with only 150HP (and the convertible is heavier already) so if you put wider, larger rims and tires on you will hurt the straight line performance of PT quite a lot. i.e. more tire to move means it takes more power to move them. If that is not a concern then go with whatever you think looks the best for the $$$$. But DO read all the tech info on tires and rims before you choose. It will help you understand how they affect your car overall. BTW, I have a GT convertible with the 17" chromed star rims and larger factory tires. I will be changing them out soon and will have that set up for sale pretty cheap if you like those rims.
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Old 24 Feb 2005, 10:56 am
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Try this sitehttp://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
IMHO,I wouldn't go above 17.you will get a ruffer ride.
and the larger the rim the smaller the tire.If you hit
a pothole the chances of rim damage goes up. I like the looks of
larger rims,but don't like the risk.At least in cold weather
country.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 01:26 am
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okay... so I'll definitely not go bigger than 17"... and I guess I'll watch the weight load... I'd rather not get much slower, but sometimes I gas the car and the wheels spin a bit (traction? width?-I'm not a lead foot, and have driven manual cars and motorcycles for a long time...I know how to peel out if I have to, and this slippage doesn't seem right.) Is there a weight standard or material I should look for in rims? What about tires?

I'm still on the fence about chrome or not chrome... are there lots of pictures of peoples PT's somwhere?

Thanks for all your help, any advice is always appreciated...

Ramon
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 04:45 am
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The tires you choose will make the most difference in spinning the front tires. The tires that come standard on PT's are certainly not very sticky. Therefore they spin easily and make lot's of squealing noises. The harder tread materials give better life than a softer tread but at the expense of sliding around on corners and spinning on acceleration. Certainly a wider tire will make spinning and slipping less of a problem, at least in the dry. Potholes can really tear your tires (and wheels) up as move to ultra low profile since the side wall is so short. 40 series and potholes don't play well together.

Chrome is really a cost and personal preference issue. Typically wheels are steel or alloy. Lot's of different alloys out there. Alloys are lighter (some much lighter) than steel but can be more brittle and crack rather than bend. Generally, for a given size, a very light weight wheel is going to cost more.

The biggest drawback to the DC wheels is their 6" width which limits how wide a tire you can mount.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 05:13 am
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Remember that when you go to a larger size if you don't go to a lower profile tire your speedometer will be off. There is no way to recalibrate it unless you do it in your head like I do. I had 17" 55 series stock tires on my GT and now I have 17" 40 series tires on. My speedometer reads 3.9 mph slower at 60 mph.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 11:49 am
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Try here for photo's
http://www.ptwarehouse.com/photo_gallery/gallery1.htm
I'm a chrome lover, in the end it's your choice
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Old 26 Feb 2005, 02:03 am
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Here is another "newbie" question:

Will an otherwise identical (make and model) 7" wide tire last longer than a 6" tire?

It would seem to make sense since the tire will be slipping less, and the weight is distributed across a larger area. Don't you use a lower tire pressure on a wider tire since you are distributing the weight across a larger area?

Also, how reliable are the tread wear, traction, and temperature ratings printed on the sides of the tires? Are these determined by the manufacturer, or a standards testing agency of some sort?
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Old 26 Feb 2005, 05:20 am
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by quicksilverdon

Here's a place to read up:
http://www.1010tires.com/tech.asp
What I want to add is my experience. Bigger wheels may look cool, but there's less rubber between the rim and the road. That means a harder ride, and because the tire patch is wider, better handling - on dry roads. Dunno where you live, but in rain/snow, low profile tires are not an advantage. Also, I hit a pothole with the stock 16" alloy wheels and 55 series tires and cracked a rim - a $500+ pothole.
Gotta disagree with you, Don, about low profile tires and handling in the rain. My 40 series Toyo Proxes 4 all seasons tires handle vey well in the rain and they are the best tires I've had on dry pavement. Not a whimper out of them on fast turns and they stick to the road like glue. [?]
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