17" wheels , are they doable

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17" wheels , are they doable

Postby DavieBow » Mon 05.12.2016, 23:19

hi Guys ,
thinking of changing my wheels and going up to 17's , anyone done this and if so what tyres did you fit and whats your experience with the bigger rims ?
Any advice appreciated ,
cheers
Dave
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby lotusflasherman » Tue 06.12.2016, 02:22

Read this ...forum.lotuselancentral.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=4706&start=220#p318213

Got two sets 17" x 7J ET42 with different tyre profiles. 215/45 is slightly greater rolling radius but gives better ride comfort and makes speedo 'spot on'. Correct equivalent is 205/40 but gives a harsh ride

Good points.
No change on handling, though scrub radius is altered slightly so effect of a puncture or losing a brake circuit may be different. (Manufacturers' designs have a huge range of scrub radii and the change on the Elan is quite small.)
17" tyres are more available and cheaper. Set of rims plus tyres costs about the same as one S2 rim !
Fill the wheel arches much better and closer to Peter Stevens' original design.

Bad points.
Throws mud along side sills much more.
Original discs look 'silly small' so you'll be tempted to upgrade - which is an expense and "opens a can of worms". Now got 264 x10mm discs with HiSpec Ultralite 2 calipers on the rear. Fronts is a 'winter project' in progress ... :lol:



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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby Jamie N » Tue 06.12.2016, 10:27

Very debatable subject Dave :D, nothing like a "big alloy wheels" thread to split opinion , personally I wouldn't put anything larger than 16's on an Elan, other folk will disagree and that's fine, but for me from experience of trying loads of 17's on many different cars over the years the general effect was almost always that they ruined the feel of the car, I put a set of fairly lightweight JDM 17" rims with a 45mm offset and 205 45 tyres on mine during the summer, from a car I was working on, it was truly awful, tramlined and pulled like hell over any road imperfections, really rough feeling and the steering compared to the lightweight 15's I normally have was :shock: , but the most apparent thing was the car felt noticeably slower, especially pulling away from a stop.

The best idea is if you could borrow a set, (bound to be someone on here that would let you try their's, Phil maybe?. Put in your location BTW) then you can make your OWN mind up without having to shell out if you feel its the wrong move.

Some good reading here for you, well worth a look... http://www.tuneruniversity.com/blog/201 ... erformance
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby DavieBow » Tue 06.12.2016, 12:43

Thanks Guys ,
some interesting advice there
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby dapinky » Tue 06.12.2016, 12:50

Dave,

When i got my red elan it was fitted with 17" wheels, and as it was the first one I owned, I knew no different. It seemed to drive okay, but was a tad 'harsh' over bumps/road imperfections (and there are plenty of them round here).

It had adjustable suspension units, and a bit of fidling soon got the ride a lot better.

It came with the OE wheels, and when i got round to it I fitted some good tyres and the wheels - it improved the car a lot (no banging head on the roof frame when driving over a matchstick) - and the shock absorbers went back to the settings they were previously on.

As such, my observations are that the wheel size is okay (even though the geometry will be 'wrong'), but if you have fixed shock absorbers/springs you will not get the optimal ride/handling from them.....

.... but if it suits you, and you like the look (plus the ability to increase brake sizes), then go for what you want.

I still have the 17" rims which came on that car (with tyres), so if you are anywhere near Somerset you are welcome to put them on your car and see how you get on with them for a while. They have been sat in the shed for a few years, and the tyres are going to be past their best (lots of tread, but 'aged') so I wouldn't expect them to be great for anything other than seeing how the size feels. The wheels aint the best lookers, but again, if the exercise is only to see how they feel/fill the arches, then i am happy to dig them out for you.

17 wheels.png
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby DavieBow » Tue 06.12.2016, 13:00

dapinky wrote:Dave,

When i got my red elan it was fitted with 17" wheels, and as it was the first one I owned, I knew no different. It seemed to drive okay, but was a tad 'harsh' over bumps/road imperfections (and there are plenty of them round here).

It had adjustable suspension units, and a bit of fidling soon got the ride a lot better.

It came with the OE wheels, and when i got round to it I fitted some good tyres and the wheels - it improved the car a lot (no banging head on the roof frame when driving over a matchstick) - and the shock absorbers went back to the settings they were previously on.

As such, my observations are that the wheel size is okay (even though the geometry will be 'wrong'), but if you have fixed shock absorbers/springs you will not get the optimal ride/handling from them.....

.... but if it suits you, and you like the look (plus the ability to increase brake sizes), then go for what you want.

I still have the 17" rims which came on that car (with tyres), so if you are anywhere near Somerset you are welcome to put them on your car and see how you get on with them for a while. They have been sat in the shed for a few years, and the tyres are going to be past their best (lots of tread, but 'aged') so I wouldn't expect them to be great for anything other than seeing how the size feels. The wheels aint the best lookers, but again, if the exercise is only to see how they feel/fill the arches, then i am happy to dig them out for you.

17 wheels.png



Thanks Dave ,
unfortunately i live up near wolverhampton , so couldn't be any further away from you :-D
I'm starting to doubt if i should go up to 17's now as i really do like how the car drives , i also have a Ferrari 348 and as much as i love her to bits , i do get out of it after a spirited drive feeling like she's just tried to kill me , where as the lotus just handles everything i throw at it whist still feeling refined .... i just don't like those tiny wheels :( :(
Maybe a compromise and 16's are the way to go
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby Elanlover » Tue 06.12.2016, 13:38

I ordered custom 17" wheels for not that much more than off the shelf 17" wheels with the correct +60 offset. Can't recall the tire size offhand but they did result in a slightly harsher ride as they are lower profile. Try these sites to calculate the difference a larger wheel/tire combo will have over the stock size.

http://www.1010tires.com/Tools/Tire-Size-Calculator

http://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby dapinky » Tue 06.12.2016, 16:05

DavieBow wrote:Thanks Dave ,
unfortunately i live up near wolverhampton , so couldn't be any further away from you :-D


Thats actually quite local...... i travel up to Birmingham for the 'Local LEC meeting' on the 3rd Thursday every month :D

I'll be at Weatheroak on Sunday 18th for our Christmas meal (which you would be welcome to join us for - viewtopic.php?f=75&t=23456&start=460) but as I will have Angie in the car, I won't have room to bring the wheels up :(

However, if you fancy having a go with them, I can possibly get them up to Birmingham at some time quite easily - I have a set of Range Rover wheels which I may have to take up to Digbeth for powder coating if they don't paint up very well, so there are always options.....
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby Rambo » Tue 06.12.2016, 16:39

Jamie N wrote:Very debatable subject Dave :D, nothing like a "big alloy wheels" thread to split opinion , personally I wouldn't put anything larger than 16's on an Elan, other folk will disagree and that's fine, but for me from experience of trying loads of 17's on many different cars over the years the general effect was almost always that they ruined the feel of the car, I put a set of fairly lightweight JDM 17" rims with a 45mm offset and 205 45 tyres on mine during the summer, from a car I was working on, it was truly awful, tramlined and pulled like hell over any road imperfections, really rough feeling and the steering compared to the lightweight 15's I normally have was :shock: , but the most apparent thing was the car felt noticeably slower, especially pulling away from a stop.

The best idea is if you could borrow a set, (bound to be someone on here that would let you try their's, Phil maybe?. Put in your location BTW) then you can make your OWN mind up without having to shell out if you feel its the wrong move.

Some good reading here for you, well worth a look... http://www.tuneruniversity.com/blog/201 ... erformance


Good advice Jamie. Try before you buy :wink:

PS And you probably won't :twisted:
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby lotusflasherman » Tue 06.12.2016, 16:51

Jamie N wrote:Very debatable subject Dave :D, nothing like a "big alloy wheels" thread to split opinion , personally I wouldn't put anything larger than 16's on an Elan, other folk will disagree and that's fine, but for me from experience of trying loads of 17's on many different cars over the years the general effect was almost always that they ruined the feel of the car, I put a set of fairly lightweight JDM 17" rims with a 45mm offset and 205 45 tyres on mine during the summer, from a car I was working on, it was truly awful, tramlined and pulled like hell over any road imperfections, really rough feeling and the steering compared to the lightweight 15's I normally have was :shock: , but the most apparent thing was the car felt noticeably slower, especially pulling away from a stop.

The best idea is if you could borrow a set, (bound to be someone on here that would let you try their's, Phil maybe?. Put in your location BTW) then you can make your OWN mind up without having to shell out if you feel its the wrong move.

Some good reading here for you, well worth a look... http://www.tuneruniversity.com/blog/201 ... erformance

Yes indeed ... now seems to be very debatable subject. Love a good debate! Professional Engineer and Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology where a good reasoned debate is considered the lifeblood of progress. :bananasex:

In my view 'good reading' is a few books on my bookshelf:
Racing and Sports Car Chassis Design by Michael Costin & David Phipps (1969 Reprint) (Helped me convert a Lotus 6 to double wishbone front suspension in the late '60's. A good idea at the time but sacrilege today!)
Formula 1 Technology by Peter Wright (2001)
Suspension Geometry and Computation by John C Dixon (2009)

That link is like the curate's egg - good in parts but most of it stinks !

Interesting that cars in our household include my wife's Focus ST170 and my Subaru Forester 2.5XTN, both performance variants that came from the manufacturer on 17" rims but lesser models were not fitted with them.
My first Forester 2.0XT came with a Prodrive Performance Package fitted by the first owner. Prodrive leaflet says "Must be fitted with at least 17" wheels and road tyres to maintain adequate grip and traction with increased torque levels available" so it came on Prodrive 17" rims but I got the original 16" wheels and tyres with it too. Driving home late mid-week I hit some debris and punctured NSF and cut sidewall of NSR and used the spare to get home. Needed to leave early for work next morning so fitted 16" wheels to give me time to sort 2 new 17" tyres. Couldn't do that quick enough because it was 'king awful on original 16" wheels. Too much flexing of taller profile tyres made it very vague and unpredictable.

So my experience of other cars completely different to Jamie, but both irrelevant, as the question relates to the Elan M100. What M100 variant have you got?

The UK SE had 15" x 6.5J O.Z. wheels fitted with Michelin MXX2 205/50 ZR 15 developed specially for the SE and was a lightweight tyre with Kevlar belting. (Discontinued by Michelin in mid 90's)
The NA had 15" x 6.5J O.Z. wheels fitted with Michelin MXV2 205/50 ZR 15 tyres.
The US SE had 16" x 7.0 J O.Z. wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle GS-D 205/45 ZR 16 tyres.

All 3 cars had different spring and dampers dependent upon unsprung weight of wheel & tyre.

The S2 had 16" x 7.0J BBS wheels and yet another spring and damper set up "to deal with a heavier car and heavier wheels and tyres" - to quote Lotus.

All wheels had a 60mm offset - shown as ET60 on the casting.

Lotus also says in the Service Notes GD.1, on the subject of SE 15" v S2 16", 'due to corresponding changes in suspension components, the two types of wheel/tyre assembly are NOT interchangeable". The upper wishbones were revised for the S2 (reinforcing bar) and I believed they may have given greater wheel clearance too but many SE owners, ignorant of this advice, have fitted S2 wheels and had no problems as far as I know.

So choice of wheel and tyre combination should consider unsprung weight and effects of width and offset of the rim. I did some sums and drawings of suspension geometry before I decided to try 17"x7J ET48 or 42 rims.
Offset of 60 is very rare and difficult to find a manufacturer that makes them to buy new so finding secondhand is very unlikely. Holes are 4 x 100mm PCD so Corsa , VW & BMW Mini wheels are possibles, though the later ones went 5 stud.
ET 48 preferred but bought the BBS 17"x7J ET42 rims (secondhand off ebay) and fitted Toyo Proxes and compared their weight on the bathroom scales to the 15" O.Z. tyres with worn Goodyear Eagle NCT and they were heavier, but not a lot...

I haven't checked the Moment of Inertia but both wheels roll around the same - one day I'll spin them on a hub at a known speed and time how long they take to stop. No idea why Jamie should feel the car is slower, other than he read the bullshit on that link... :lol: Moment of Inertia of the wheels is a fart in a hurricane compared to shifting the mass of the car...

Many owners have also upgraded their brakes. One popular group buy has used Subaru 294mm x 24mm discs with Vectra calipers and another used same disc with HiSpec calipers and put the Elan 256 mm x 24mm ventilated front discs onto rear hubs that take bolt on discs. Everybody reports it's a great improvement but nobody says 'my handling is crap' even though the increase in unpsrung weight is considerable. So much that I consider it unacceptable and have engineered a fitment to use a Hispec caliper with a 264 mmx 10 mm drilled and grooved solids disc that turns out only marginally heavier than the OE rear hub/disc and caliper - and the spacesaver spare still fits over !

The theory of going from 6.5J ET60 to 7.0J ET42 is the centre of wheel moves out by 18mm but rim is 12.7mm wider so inside of rim moves out by 11.65mm, outside by 24.35mm (an inch in old money.) Tyres remain completely inside flare of wheelarches but lower section of fronts throws muck along sills. If I was worried I could flit mudflaps.

The orange wheels I bought are slightly lighter than BBS but tyres slightly heavier so end up similar. Wider track and more rubber seems to improve it in my opinion. Never found any tramlining in East Anglia as we never had trams.
Got another SE on SORN on 15" O.Z. so one day I'll do some proper 'back to back testing'.. :lol:

Suggest you take Dave up on his offer, try his 17" wheels and make your own mind up...
Phil

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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby Elanlover » Tue 06.12.2016, 16:54

I have to disagree on the feel being ruined and tramlining but maybe that's just me. If the wheels are no wider than the stock 16 inch ones then they shouldn't tramline any more or less. In fact, I have to wonder if wider wheels don't reduce the tramlining. I never hear any Porsche owners complaining about it with their massive wheels and, if wider, wouldn't they straddle the grooves in the road instead of sinking into them?. My wheels are a tiny bit wider and I don't really feel any difference over stock. As for feel, they are a bit harsher but I can live with that (especially with adjustable shocks). I like the look as its more up to date (I have a custom sized brake upgrade so the calipers look perfect inside the wheels) and fills the arches better with the lowered suspension.

:burnout:

EDIT: Just had a look and the tires are 205/40 17. I really wanted to go with a wider wheel (like up to 8") but wasn't sure about the fit. Handling would have to be improved with more rubber. Not sure how much speed would actually be scrubbed off due to the wider wheels. One might argue that it would be faster off the mark with less wheel spin.
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby lotusflasherman » Tue 06.12.2016, 17:54

Elanlover wrote:I have to disagree on the feel being ruined and tramlining but maybe that's just me. If the wheels are no wider than the stock 16 inch ones then they shouldn't tramline any more or less. In fact, I have to wonder if wider wheels don't reduce the tramlining. I never hear any Porsche owners complaining about it with their massive wheels and, if wider, wouldn't they straddle the grooves in the road instead of sinking into them?. My wheels are a tiny bit wider and I don't really feel any difference over stock. As for feel, they are a bit harsher but I can live with that (especially with adjustable shocks). I like the look as its more up to date (I have a custom sized brake upgrade so the calipers look perfect inside the wheels) and fills the arches better with the lowered suspension.

:burnout:

EDIT: Just had a look and the tires are 205/40 17. I really wanted to go with a wider wheel (like up to 8") but wasn't sure about the fit. Handling would have to be improved with more rubber. Not sure how much speed would actually be scrubbed off due to the wider wheels. One might argue that it would be faster off the mark with less wheel spin.


:agree: have never found any tramlines ... :lol: Feel is better in my opinion, but with more rubber and wider track, that's not surprising.

Have an Everest chip in mine and 17 x 7 is much better than 15 x 6.5 for getting the power down and they hang on for longer. Your stock 16" were already 7 wide so probably not such a marked difference. Others cars in the family run 17" wheels so was already aware of better choice and availability of 17" tyres in UK and cheaper too :banana:
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Re: 17" wheels , are they doable

Postby Giniw » Tue 06.12.2016, 20:32

Elanlover wrote:If the wheels are no wider than the stock 16 inch ones then they shouldn't tramline any more or less. In fact, I have to wonder if wider wheels don't reduce the tramlining. I never hear any Porsche owners complaining about it with their massive wheels and, if wider, wouldn't they straddle the grooves in the road instead of sinking into them?

I think it's the bad offset that cause the tramlining, not the width of the rim/tyre.
Probably because when the rim is too far from the hub it increases the length of the "lever arm".

(When I bought my car I had some after market wheels with not enough offset (around +30 maybe, I can't remember) and it trimlined a lot more than now with the standard OZ 15" — and the steering wheel was much heavier, too.)
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