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Wider rims and tires - should I?
I need some help deciding. Not sure if I should try upgrading to wider rims
and tires. I hate to start another tire/rim thread, but this decision has
been bothering me for a while now.
I am thinking of going to a 15x7 inch rim (Borbet Type H for $129 at the
Tire Rack), with 215/60/15 Comp T/A HR4 tires (at $63 each at the "Rack").
The anxiety I have is that of spending about $800 for something that I might
not like. And I'll tell you why.
When I was buying my Pirelli P4000 SuperTourings, I decided to try the
215/60/15 on the OEM rim, which is 15x6. They definitely handled much better
(which I wanted...), but was very tough to get used to on the straights.
They seemed very unstable at my normal cruising speeds of 70-80 mph (i.e. I
wasn't used to feeling so much of the road??). I just couldn't really get
comfortable with them, so I brought them back to NTW, who graciously put on
the OEM size of 195/65/15.
1. Were the 215/60s too wide for a 6 inch rim? If I go to a 7 inch rim, will
it make a difference?
2. I did not have an alignment done. Should I have? Would the lack of an
alignment have caused a (this) problem?
3. The new rims don't come in the OEM offset of 45mm. I would have to get a
35 mm offset. What will this do overall? Do I need to get an alignment with
the offset change? Will my bearings wear out faster? What affect will the
offset change have on the ride/handling?
4. I am assuming the new rims would be lighter than OEM. What affect will
this have? Would the lighter weight (i.e. unsprung weight) offset the harsh
ride and/or "instability" I felt by going to a wider tire?
5. If I get this 15x7 and 215/60 combo, will I be able to live with them as
"daily drivers"? If I drive enough on them, will I eventually get used to
the change... or will I be forever regretting each day, each mile, the fact
that I just spent over $800 for something I hate?
6. Although I may take this car back to LimeRock again this year, most of my
driving is done on the highway, day in and day out, i.e. not too many track
events etc. Should I just stick with the OEM stuff? I would like a bit
crisper handling, and a more aggressive look... that's why I am considering
this (and besides... I don't want to show up at Pikes Peak with just OEM
stuff, now do I??). Just wondering if I'll be happy with the change.
7. Has anyone with a 92+ 100/A6 upgraded their rims and tires? If so, how
did you like the change? Did you have to upgrade any part of the suspension
i.e new struts/shocks etc??
8. I noticed that the new A6 has the A4 rims and tires. Did they have to
change the suspension to accommodate these rims i.e. different struts
etc...?? If not, then that means there is hope... that I would eventually
get used to the new rims/tires, right? Have I just gotten too used to the
1992 OEM "cushy, designed-for-U.S.-roads" tire/wheel combo? In which case, I
suppose I could just ask..."can you teach an old dog new tricks"?
Thanks for the BW. And thanks in advance for any help. I've never
upgraded/upsized rims and tires before, so I am a bit apprehensive. All
thoughts are appreciated.
"Perception is often stronger than reality!"