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Crunch time came this weekend for my convertible, off with the 18" wheels!

They were wrong in many ways for the 900 and totally overwhelmed the chassis causing detrimental steering characteristics and excessive suspension noise.

I picked up some 17x7 Kei Racing Speed alloys with appropriate sized rubber in bright aluminium finish :cool: .

Besides being more in proportion visually, they instantly made the car run better and with more control and poise.

I also fitted Viggen brakes with this job and the AP Racing brakes have a new home along with the 18" wheels.

Sorry about the picture quality...

 

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Kudos for the switch!

and those wheels look amazing.....

What was the offset to make them fit with the AP calipers?


EDIT: strike the last question....I just needed to read the post closer ;oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
mike saunders said:
What was the offset to make them fit with the AP calipers?


EDIT: strike the last question....I just needed to read the post closer ;oops:
Mwahaha! :lol:

It is a question I can never the less answer ;) . I tried them with the AP Racing calipers still fitted; rotational clearance was excellent, the clearance behind the spokes was 8mm [5/16th"] which is workable [never go under 6mm [1/4"] due to strut deflection]. The offset is 40mm.

What brand is that and how much do they weigh?
I've not found a rim weight [bought them with tyres fitted] the total is 18kgs [39.5lbs] which is competitive. They are made by Kei and I'm certain they are called Racing Speed.
 

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David in Tallahassee said:
What size rubber did you go with?

D-
Standard size for the chassis, 215-45-17 91W.
 

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Nice wheels...extremely nice wheels. So nice that I checked the US for distributors and found none...:cry:

That's the best variation on the twin five spoke theme I've seen. Saab's own version is a bit portly...

The 215 width is great with the 7" wheels; the 7.5" can handle 225s...

Full marks on that one, Raggy.....
 

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mike saunders said:
Nice wheels...extremely nice wheels. So nice that I checked the US for distributors and found none...:cry:

That's the best variation on the twin five spoke theme I've seen. Saab's own version is a bit portly...

The 215 width is great with the 7" wheels; the 7.5" can handle 225s...

Full marks on that one, Raggy.....
Even on 17x8, I really like the sharpness of 215/45ZR17's. The Eagle F1 GSD3's on the Viggen, coupled with that size rim, offer almost zero deflection.

With the uprated rear sway bar, subrame brace, poly tranny mount and rack clamp, the car feels like it's riding on rails. While a wider tire might indeed offer more physical grip, the instantaneous turn-in with the tighter size makes the car incredibly easy to drive fast. 30mph corners are now 45mph corners, and 45 mph corners are 60 mph corners, with no lag between turning the wheel and turning the front end of the car. The "feedback" from the road is also less "laggy" and you feel every bump while still going over it, so you have more time to react to it.

In any case, the "footprint" of the tire on the road only changes shape with differing tires: the actual area is more or less just weight on tire divided by tire pressure.

So if running bigger tires lets you run less pressure, great. But that's only going to increase footprint at the expense of "sharpness" and response, unless you have seriously rigid sidewalls.

-Adrian
 

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Then get seriously rigid sidewalls....;)

215s are a nice combo, and I agree with the turn-in feel, but there are folks who may want/need to go wider.

I think you're absolutely right with that width being a great match for the stock power, but I'm having traction issues with the 215s and appreciate the added grip.
 

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Raggy, very sharp looking wheels:cool:





--i just rotated my tires a few weeks ago and traction has been "greasy". its been getting better every day. Its actually the right side tire spinning too.

But before when the tires were well bedded, it was tough to break one of them loose. Super Sticky. Only if i really tried, was on uneven ground or hit a bump, was it even an issue.

17x8, 225 45 17 continental contisport ZR, stg 5


What are everyones thoughs on having better traction with stock springs? Softer front springs? I do have Polyurethane bushings. I feel that when I intall a Koni Kit that I may have more spin.

Mark M
 

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I've never regretted going from 18"-16" - the car handles and feels better in every way. Big wheels are just for show - not for go!
 

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mike saunders said:
Then get seriously rigid sidewalls....;)

215s are a nice combo, and I agree with the turn-in feel, but there are folks who may want/need to go wider.

I think you're absolutely right with that width being a great match for the stock power, but I'm having traction issues with the 215s and appreciate the added grip.
Hey Mike,

I am running 235/40/17s on a 7.5" width and they provide some reasonable grip. :cool: They are closer to the overall height of the stock 16" combo and also have very sharp response.

On topic of sidewalls, consider the following:

205/50/16:
Sidewall Height: 4.035
Overall Diameter: 24.07"

215/45/17:
Sidewall Height: 3.809"
Overall Diameter: 24.62"

225/45/17:
Sidewall Height: 3.986"
Overall Diameter: 24.97"

235/40/17:
Sidewall Height: 3.700"
Overall Diameter: 24.40"

D-
 

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Interesting that the biggest difference in sidewall between 16" and 17" is only about as much as tread depth. The real difference is that 17" tyres have higher load index ratings than 16" and this generaly equates as a stiffer sidewall and less deflection under load. To decrease deflection on smaller wheels you can increase tyre pressure but this leads to less contact and less grip. Crucial thing though ( IMO) is rotational mass and how much is concentrated near the rim -less overall and less near the rim being better for acceleration, braking and steering. Big difference for me going from my 18"20.5 KG (225/40/R18) to 16" 18KG (205/50/R16) but maybe more subtle with a lighter and thinner 17".
 

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And I'm thinking, crap....I have to take my 18s off and put my 17 snows on!!

I don't get it, I love the feel and handling of the 18s. 17s are OK but when I had 16s on my Viggen they really sucked (borrowed a set when my OEM rims needed to be straightened)....talk about vague 'feel' and squishy steering.

Of course these are just my opinions but I really don't get what the fuss is about....you guys just like it soft???
Robert
 

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If you have stock suspension then 18" wheels will feel sharper but if you have uprated suspension you may find them too harsh. Also depends on what roads you drive on and the tyres you choose - there can be a vast difference in quality and feel with 16" tyres.
 

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David in Tallahassee said:
Hey Mike,

I am running 235/40/17s on a 7.5" width and they provide some reasonable grip. :cool: They are closer to the overall height of the stock 16" combo and also have very sharp response.
Hey, no fair...you have those smooth new Florida roads! ;)


That's some solid data. Thanks for that. I think I'd want that added sidewall depth when driving on notoriously potholed New England streets....


Mark, stiffer rear suspension (thicker bar, stiffer springs and shocks) will hurt rear traction on rough roads. The back end gets a bit squirmy with tramlining over bumps but the grip on even surfaces is improved....
 

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RBatsch said:
And I'm thinking, crap....I have to take my 18s off and put my 17 snows on!!

I don't get it, I love the feel and handling of the 18s. 17s are OK but when I had 16s on my Viggen they really sucked (borrowed a set when my OEM rims needed to be straightened)....talk about vague 'feel' and squishy steering.

Of course these are just my opinions but I really don't get what the fuss is about....you guys just like it soft???
Robert
Well depending on the condition of the roads it may not be very comfortable to use 18s or even 17s for that matter!

In Montreal, for example, I'm sure you know the roads are soooooooo crappy and full of pot holes that using those wheels is not even an option. And the roads seem to be getting worse by the day :x :nono;

I'm going to refurbish and ditch the Viggen wheels next summer and will be using some 16s instead. The 15s will still be used for the winter tires.
 

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Raggy, what's happened to the old AP calipers, and the wheels?

In house project or have they gone to a new home?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Some slightly better shots; the bright silver finish does not work in the photos...



 
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