Subject: 18x8"s on a 200q20v?

Dan Cordon cord4530 at
Wed Feb 11 16:56:23 EST 2004

<snip some background on 18" wheels>

 > I understand the wheels themselves weigh about 26lbs each (I would prefer
 > 20-22lbs).  However, once I get wheels I'll be able to shed the G60's 
and put
 > on some big reds.  I don't know if the net weight would be lower (and 
I know
 > it's only unsprung and not rotating).
 > If I got something way lighter like some kind of BBS or SSR or 
something it
 > would obviate many of those concerns, but those would be way more $$ 
which is
 > a factor.  Even so, I would still probably pursue 17"s if it wasn't 
for this
 > particular set that is available.
 > I guess I'm mostly concerned about the tires being more expensive 
than 17"
 > tires, and that they will physically bolt onto the car without 
 > with anything.
 > Any thoughts?

I ran 18" wheels on my civic for a while. Despite most of my state 
having poor roads, the roads around where I live aren't bad at all. I 
can say that the weight difference will be noticeable. Add that to the 
slightly taller tire height and you'll notice for sure. It's not 
horrible, but putting on some light 15's will make the car feel faster.

18" tires are more, but the prices are coming down pretty fast as people 
are putting 19's and 20's on, and factory cars are coming with 18's now. 
  I wouldn't expect to pay much more than $75-100 for the set over 
equivalent 17" tires.

Something to keep in mind is how much harder it is on tires to mount and 
dismount with the lower profile. Our local shops only recommend 2 mounts 
and dismounts for a 35 or 40 series tire. Apparently the sidewalls can 
develop tears in them from too much mount/dismounting. If you get low 
profile tires, plan on mounting them once and removing them when they're 
low on tread. If you need frequent flat repairs (lots of nails and 
screws on your road), count on replacing tires frequently too.

Also, *any* pothole, even if just hit once, can damage the tire and/or 
wheel. I wouldn't even consider 18's in an area with a moderate amount 
of potholes.

Don't buy tires that do not have the rim protector cast in them. As hard 
as you try, you will eventually catch the edge of a curb. The rim 
protector will keep damage to a minimum.

As it is, I went several years running 35 series tires and 18" rims w/o 
damage or flats, but it was a constant battle. I'm switching to 16" 
wheels on the civic, and will run 17" max on the audis. I've found that 
45-50 series sticky tires actually handle much better than 35 series 
street tires ever will. But there's no question that the 35 series tires 
and wheels looked a lot more stunning.

Dan Cordon
Mechanical Engineer
University of Idaho - Engine Research Facility

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