Time for new tires and rims for my '91 Stealth

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319
Location
Tampabay, Florida
Anyone here have a 3000GT or Stealth? Looking to go to 17" or 18" wheels but I want to make sure those sizes will be OK and that they won't rub in the wheel wells. If anyone here REALLY knows about fitment I would really appreciate some info and advice/recommendations. It's a 1991 base model Stealth, no all wheel drive(too bad), it has the original 15" wheels on it now. What I'm looking for is to know the offset, what width the rims should be and what size tires would be best and in general all the wheel dimensions that I need to know to shop them. Been looking on ebay to see if I can snag a good deal on tires and rims. Thnx in advance.
 
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40,717
Location
Great Lakes
Not a Stealth owner, but if you punch in your car details on TireRack.com it'll tell you exactly what tire sizes and rim sizes are recommended. They are very diligent about ensuring fitment, so if they recommend it, it means it'll fit. By checking out the specs of rims that they offer for your car, you'll know what you need to look for if you decide to buy rims elswhere (ebay).
 

stogiedude

Thread starter
Messages
319
Location
Tampabay, Florida
Ok, good suggestion. I just went and checked tirerack.com and the wheels they came up with list a 38mm offset. On another board I was told the offset is 46mm. On the tirerack website they explain offset and that it can affect the handling of the car if it's not right. This is the main thing I would like to clear up about the rims before I go buy something. I need a 114mm/4.5" bolt pattern with 5 lugs, now I just need to know about the offset and if you can go + or - and how many millimeters without affecting handling and/or wear. I'm also wondering about wheel width and what determines the width. Is it the diameter of the rim? Bigger diameter=wider rims? Some are 7.5, 8", etc.
 

stogiedude

Thread starter
Messages
319
Location
Tampabay, Florida
I would consider used tires and rims in good condition, no problem there. I've put about $2,500 into the car since I got it and I only paid $1,300 for it. I'm sure I have a lot more $$$ into it than it's worth already, but I like the car and plan on painting it and driving it for 2-3 years. I'm just looking for a good deal and want to make sure that I get the right wheels for the car. The interior is near mint, the AC blows ice cold, the engine runs great and the car handles real nice. I imagine it will ride and corner even better when I go from the original 15" rims I have on there to 17" or 18" alloy rims with good tires.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
I personally would skip the 18" wheels as that turns to poorer ride and given your budget cheaper tires/rims. Your ride will be better on 15" wheels vs 17" or 18" since the profile decreases (the distance between edge of tire and edge of rim). 17" is nice looking compromise with better handling than 15" by far. Rims are in the eye of the beholder, however on tires if you are looking for all-seasons for a few years the Kumho Ecsta ASX are excellent and inexpensive ultra high performance tires. tirerack.com 's wheel configurator is nice as it will picture your car with rims on the site.
 
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757
Location
Fla.
quote:
Originally posted by rjundi: I personally would skip the 18" wheels as that turns to poorer ride and given your budget cheaper tires. Your ride will be better on 15" wheels vs 17" or 18" since the profile decreases (the distance between edge of tire and edge of rim).
x2. Larger than stock rims generally = harsher ride. I'm not convinced of the handling gains claimed by the likes of those whose goal is to sell you rims. Now if you just want cooler looking rims by going larger, then IMO that's legit. Justifying 'upgrading' rims is kind of like folks who talk themselves into buying a motorcycle to 'save gas'. Riiiiight.
 
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18
Location
Akron, Ohio
The TireRack and Discount Tire sites are normally pretty good about knowing what fits. But, if you're going to go up to 18", you might want to try to find a local shop that can do a trial fit before you buy anything. You're correct to be concerned about offset, because, even if the wheel fits, improper offset can affect handling and cause excessive wheel bearing loads. Best to stay close to stock here. Wheel width is theoretically independent of diameter, but when manufacturers make large diameter wheels, they have to make the wheels wider to accomodate the wider tires that are necessary to have sufficient load capacity. Think of the tire like an air chamber. It has to have enough volume to support the weight of the car. If you go from a 60 aspect ratio (such as a 215/60-15)tire to a 40 series tire, the tire has to be wider (probably about a 245/40-17)to have the same air volume. All tires have a suggested rim width range. Lower aspect ratio tires typically require wider rims for a given cross section (the 215, 245, etc. number). An important issue, often overlooked, is the weight of the wheel and tire assembly. Those big rims are often very heavy and a heavier wheel and tire is not good for handling or overall performance. It would be a good idea to talk to someone like TireRack's customer service to see what is realistic for your car. Bigger is not always better. I've seen more than one race car slow down by putting on bigger tires.
 
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40,717
Location
Great Lakes
quote:
Originally posted by stogiedude: I need a 114mm/4.5" bolt pattern with 5 lugs, now I just need to know about the offset and if you can go + or - and how many millimeters without affecting handling and/or wear. I'm also wondering about wheel width and what determines the width. Is it the diameter of the rim? Bigger diameter=wider rims? Some are 7.5, 8", etc.
Actually, offset somewhat depends on rim width. If you get a wider rim (not talking about diamater for now), you're going to have to reduce the offset a little to push the rim out a bit so that it doesn't rub against suspension components on the inside. So, while an ET46 offset may be good on a 7"-wide rim, if you go with an 8" rim, an ET35-38 may be more appropriate. Rim width and rim diameter aren't really related. You should choose a rim width depending on how wide of a tire you're planning to use. Obviously wider tires will require a wider rim. When you look at tire specs (even on TireRack's website), for each tire size it'll tell you what is the recommended rim width range.
 
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40,717
Location
Great Lakes
quote:
Originally posted by rashley: An important issue, often overlooked, is the weight of the wheel and tire assembly. Those big rims are often very heavy and a heavier wheel and tire is not good for handling or overall performance.
Absolutely. For performance reasons, the rim should only be big enough to fit over the brakes. Of course if you're into performance, most likely you've already upgraded your brakes and that forced you to increase the rim diameter. However, if one is upgrading rims for looks, sky is the limit. [Smile]
 

stogiedude

Thread starter
Messages
319
Location
Tampabay, Florida
Wow, excellent info. This is a lot of help. Some important considerations to take into account before making the decision to change the rims. I really like the way the car rides and handles with the 15" wheels that are on there. I had no idea that I could mess things up by going to a much bigger diameter rim. I was under the impression that the new rims are all alloy, highly machined to reduce weight and lighter than stock rims, but that may not necessarily be the case based on what has been said here. If there is little or no benefit to upgrading the rims as far as handling and ride, then maybe I just need to look at getting new tires? I like the way the larger rims look, but I don't want to sacrifice safety, ride or handling by going to a larger diameter rim.
 
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40,717
Location
Great Lakes
The ride comfort will definitely suffer as you go up to larger rim diameters. As for handling, There may be some benefit of going up to 16" or 17", but I wouldn't go as high as 18". When you are checking out new rims, you need to pay attention to their weight. It is possible to find 16" or 17" rims that will weigh no more or close to your 15" rims; however, those would most likely be the forged ones and will be very expensive. It's also possible to find cheap and light cast alloy wheels, but those will have rather weak construction and will bend easily. If your stock tire size is 205/65/15, then you may have a hard time finding a more performance-oriented tire. In this size, it's generally all about comfort. But when you go up to say 16" rims and 225/55/16 tires, suddenly your tire selection becomes much better and you can find some nice responsive tires. But again, better responsiveness comes at the expense of less comfy ride, so you have to decide what your priorities are before you upgrade.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,137
Location
New Jersey
Tirerack does have good calculators. What if you found wheels from a higher-end stealth/3000GT in good conditions and use them with some top-notch tires? JMH
 
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9,614
Location
Pennsylbammyvania
quote:
Originally posted by Quattro Pete: When you are checking out new rims, you need to pay attention to their weight. It is possible to find 16" or 17" rims that will weigh no more or close to your 15" rims; however, those would most likely be the forged ones and will be very expensive.
Also, the bigger width/diameter tires needed will almost always add unsprung weight (with the exception of pure race tires). Usually more weight than the original OEM size/package, no matter how much lighter, for how much $$$ you spend on those forged rims, most times it does not make up for the added tire weight.
 
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