MSS Widened Wheels
Last fall I had some wheels widened so I would be able to fit better tires to my Sonett for autocrossing. I finally got tires on mounted, so now I’m ready to test them out on the car. Read on for more.
A few weeks ago a co-worker found a guy for me who was willing to powder coat the wheels for $175. The finish doesn’t come through in the photos very well, but they look great.
Once I had sent the wheels of for finishing, I started shopping for tires. I wanted a tire that was sized 195/50-15 because I decided that would be the best trade off between width and low profile. 205 tires would have been too tall. I selected Hankook Ventus R-S2 Z212 tires because they got a decent review from GRM and unlike the higher-rated Falken’s, they come in the size I wanted. Unfortunately, the Falkens only come in 195.
Once I got the wheels back from powercoat, I took them to a tire shop for mounting and balancing. The owner of the shop said that two of the wheels used minimal weights for balancing, 1 oz and 1.7 oz, but the other two used quite a lot: over 3 oz each. Considering how heavy the wheels are anyway, I’m not too worried.
InstallationThe widened wheels make the already-tricky mounting process even harder. Its just hard to line the lug bolts up with the holes when the wheel itself is something like 4 inches thick. On top of that, the new longer lug bolts have normal “short” heads, not deep heads like normal lugnuts. This makes it hard for a normal socket to put any inward pressure on the bolt, to get it to grab the hub’s threads. My solution was to stuff a wad of paper into the socket, which seemed to work decently.
FitSo far I’ve only mounted one rim on the front of the car. Its pretty clear however that I’m going to have to remove the inside lip on the front fenders, and probably in the back as well. Even with the slightly narrower 195 tires, at full lock while cornering, there would be some pretty serious rubbing going on.