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Hi guys,
any guess as to how much our stock 17's weigh?

That being said, should I go for lighter 17's or lighter-than-stock 18s? ;D

-RL
 

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IIRC, wheel and OEM tire together is 43 pounds. That'd put the wheel alone around 20 pounds.

You can go lighter, but make sure you're at least as stiff or handling will suffer.
 

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If the wheels are lighter because better metals were used, thus making them light AND stiff, then they're better.

If the wheels are lighter merely because less metal was used, then they may flex a bit when you turn in hard. Not good.
 

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If the wheels are lighter because better metals were used, thus making them light AND stiff, then they're better.

If the wheels are lighter merely because less metal was used, then they may flex a bit when you turn in hard. Not good.
Um... OK.

I have never heard of a wheel flexing at all, ever, during normal street or track use. I'm not saying it isn't possible, but wow, that would be a heck of a crappy wheel. Breaking or bending under extreme duress or due to an impact, yes. Wheels can bend if you hit an object like a curb, pothole, etc. hard enough, but that would be a sudden impact. Wheels that actually break usually do so because of an extreme impact. Sometime the break can be attributed to a flaw that occurred in the casting process. But flexing when turning too hard? Usually the tire sidewall does that.


There are many aftermarket wheels available for our cars. Most wheels are lighter, some are about as heavy, and some are heavier. If you're new to the Subaru aftermarket wheel realm, I suggest lurking on a few other forums to get an idea of what other people run, and what works. In the US, The Tire Rack has a decent selection of wheels from $100 boat anchor-types to multi-hundred dollar 15 lb forged racing wheels. Rotas, Enkei, and O-Z wheels are pretty popular for our car and are of good quality. Most wheels of those three brands will weigh less than our stockers.
 

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I know you think I'm full of it.

There was a thread on NASIOC about this (wheel weight vs. wheel flex), that pointed to some actual track tests in which lighter wheels that weren't as stiff as heavier wheels resulted in slower lap times.

I'm not talking about bending; I'm talking about flexing under lateral loads.
 

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The NASIOC thread.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1441434

The idea the aluminum, and aluminum rims don't bend is incorrect. Aluminum bends quite readily, it just has poor yield strength. Here's a good explanation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium

Auto rims are aluminum alloys, and one would hope/expect that the manufacturer is considering the material's stength characteristics when designing the rim.
Is it possible for a rim to flex enought to affect handling and tire life? yup. Is it likely, probably not, unless you buy cheapies with a minimal structure.
 

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"I never imagined that rigidity played such a large role and the effects of it!" - My thoughts exactly. I missed taht thread. Too much time in teh OT. I have now been schooled. Thanks.


And yes chrispy, your post did read as being somewhat whacked to me because I was unfamiliar with this 'metal removal' concept. To me, that just does not make sense, as by doing so one would be compromising the strutural integrity of the wheel. But, knowing what types of people are out there, I wouldn't doubt there's some kid in my town who will be taking his dad's Dremel tool to his normally-aspirated Civic wheels this spring to make them lighter so he will be quicker off teh line. Also, does the metal removal concept really apply here? I guess because we do not know the OP's intentions, we don't know. But I'll guess he won't be using is car for any time attack runs.

Sorry. I worked at a dealership that had a contingent of serious performance-oriented customers. Some cars were tracked, and a couple were stripped and raced competetively. Lighter weight wheels were more important to the 'street' guys, but they stuck with actual lightweight manufactured wheels by reputable manufacturers. No one ever dabbled in 'shaving' wheels or anything like that. My belief is that a manufacturer has a pretty good handle on what sort of punishment their wheels will take, whether they are cast or forged, and whether the wheel is intended for street or track use. I believe most customer who are serious about the performance of their vehicle realize this, and never intend to alter their aftermarket wheels.

I'm sure a dozen folks will chime in here now and say they have always shaved their race wheels and I've been living under a rock.

If one buys a decent wheel from a reputable manufacturer, one does not need to be concerned about the stiffness/rigidity of the wheel, especially if one is only going to be driving the car on the street.



To answer the OP's question of 17s or 18s: Get whatever you want. 17s will provide a marginally more comfortable ride, and tires for 18s are more expensive.
 

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"I never imagined that rigidity played such a large role and the effects of it!" - My thoughts exactly. I missed taht thread. Too much time in teh OT. I have now been schooled. Thanks.


And yes chrispy, your post did read as being somewhat whacked to me because I was unfamiliar with this 'metal removal' concept. To me, that just does not make sense, as by doing so one would be compromising the strutural integrity of the wheel. But, knowing what types of people are out there, I wouldn't doubt there's some kid in my town who will be taking his dad's Dremel tool to his normally-aspirated Civic wheels this spring to make them lighter so he will be quicker off teh line. Also, does the metal removal concept really apply here? I guess because we do not know the OP's intentions, we don't know. But I'll guess he won't be using is car for any time attack runs.
I was speaking more to the manufacturer that plays to the "lighter is better, period" crowd, and who is aiming to meet a price point. Such a manufacturer may well make a lighter wheel, but it may not be as stiff as a higher-quality (and higher-priced) wheel. It takes all kinds, and lots of people swallow marketing-speak without question.

And, well, you know, there are morons out there who buy and apply stick-on carbon-fiber-look decals on their motorcycles, so I'm certain there are morons who will attempt to lighten their own wheels (or who will buy cheap, light wheels without regard to the material properties).

I'm not one of those. :)
 
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