Street rubber for a V8 Miata

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Car is a 1991 MX5 with an LS1 and T56 from a 2000 Z28...Flyin' Miatas subframe, 3.45 gears, currently has 15x6 (?) wheels with 205/50R15 Kumho Ecstas. As you might guess, the engine has no problem overpowering these tires...they're also worn out, and the rims (bought used) are scuffed and scraped. Considering 15x8 wheels; a 225/50 is about the biggest that will fit (might end up with a 215/50 in front). So...who makes a light 15x8 wheel with a 4x100mm lug pattern? Alternately...16's...? Suggestions?
 
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I would probably try for 17" wheels with z rated tires. American Racing makes some very nice looking 17's, and that size tire is becoming the norm. Probably can find a good set of 17" tires cheaper than 16's or 15's. If you are set on 15's or 16's, I'd use 8 in wide rims and z rated tires.
 
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I was considering TRmotorsports wheels back when I had a miata. Not the lightest wheel, but for the price it shaves a bit off most stock miata wheels. They look alot like the FM UL series, which of course are the choice for many who want serious performance. Prices are not really that bad for those, considering. Availability is another issue sometimes. I'd got to at least a 16" wheel. Tire selection for summer in low profile 15s is looking pretty limited. Also if you decide to bump up brakes, you'll hane a bit of room.
 
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StarSpes are pretty much the top street rated tire, except for tread life. I just put a set of bf Goodrich comp2s on the legacy. They should go a few summers, and handle pretty good. For lighter weight, look at the conticontact dw as an option. I'd look for tires first then decide on wheels in this case.
 

Jarlaxle

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Originally Posted By: Red91
I would probably try for 17" wheels with z rated tires. American Racing makes some very nice looking 17's, and that size tire is becoming the norm. Probably can find a good set of 17" tires cheaper than 16's or 15's. If you are set on 15's or 16's, I'd use 8 in wide rims and z rated tires.
The problem with 17's on a 2200lb Miata becomes unsprung weight and space...there just isn't much room for that much wheel.
 
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Manchester, England
for tyres in those sizes.you cant go wrong with yokohama, A539 or AO48. compomotive make lightweight wheels, personnaly i like the lightweight oz ultraleggera on mx5s..
 
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California, USA
Some time ago, I was looking for wheels for my DD Miata. I ended up with two sets: 15x6.5 Konig Helium Ultralight and Yokohama S-drive 15x9 949Racing 6UL and Bridgestone RE-11 (later Hankook RS-3) Love both wheels, I'd be hard pressed to change either. The difference between them is night and day, not only in grip, but in everyday driving. The width makes it much more difficult to turn in parking lots and slower speeds, and the unsprung weight can be felt on the road. I keep the Konig on almost full time, but I might just sacrifice drivability for the 9" wide wheels. I might as well, I'm already driving a Miata...
 
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Jupiter, Florida
I installed Hankook V12 evo2's in 255/40/17 on my 400+RWHP Turbo S2000. They have softer sidewalls and they do grip considerably better under acceleration. As is typical of tires with softer sidewalls, they grip better under acceleration and worse during cornering. The softer sidewalls do lessen the steering response somewhat, but the cornering power is still substantial. And, raising tire pressure does help the response. Otherwise, I'd suggest drag radials. There really is no magic way to achieve traction on such a light car.
 
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17" wheels don't have to be heavier than the wheels being replaced. FWIW, I went from 16" to 17" on my SVT Contour and dropped over 3# per corner. The factory Miata wheels are pretty light from what I can remember. Doesn't mean you can't find good 16's or 17's that are the same weight or less.
Originally Posted By: Jarlaxle
Originally Posted By: Red91
I would probably try for 17" wheels with z rated tires. American Racing makes some very nice looking 17's, and that size tire is becoming the norm. Probably can find a good set of 17" tires cheaper than 16's or 15's. If you are set on 15's or 16's, I'd use 8 in wide rims and z rated tires.
The problem with 17's on a 2200lb Miata becomes unsprung weight and space...there just isn't much room for that much wheel.
 
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Jarlaxle

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My opinion of Michelin is no secret here...and from people who have tried it, 17" wheels on an early Miata make for a miserable ride. There just isn't room for anything like a reasonable sidewall.
 
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