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Old 03-04-2005, 11:52 AM   #1
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17", 18", 19" Wheels?

I am a new Boxster owner. I have a 2001 Boxster S with 17" wheels. Besides looking cool, are there any advantages or disadvantages of upgrading to larger wheels. How is the ride affected?

Don

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Old 03-04-2005, 12:08 PM   #2
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The larger the wheel, the lower the profile of the tire. Generally, this will give marginally better handling with the penalties being a much harsher ride and much quicker tire wear. Overall, there is very little air between the road and the wheel.

The trade offs depend on how you feel about the above.

Good luck!

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Old 03-04-2005, 12:11 PM   #3
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This is my first sports car and I think that the ride is harsh enough with 17" wheels. I think that I'll stay with that size.

Don
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:34 PM   #4
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its not necessarily strictly the size affecting ride quality.
You can have a set of lightweight wheels at 18" which will be
smoother than a much heavier set of 17" and possibly even 16" wheels.

In my experience wheels at 20 pounds and below offer quicker accleration and
their reduced weight allow the springs and shocks to react in a much less severe manner.

THe most important factor in my opinion is the spring rate. You want to have springs hard enough to keep the the car from bottoming out while still allowing shock travel. I think coilovers are the best solution. You can tinker endlessly with the ride height to find the best setup with wheels,tires,suspension. A perfectly setup sportscar will never fell like a Lexus but it can feel pretty darn nice for daily use.
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Old 03-04-2005, 01:41 PM   #5
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Its not necessarily strictly the size affecting ride quality.
You can have a set of lightweight wheels at 18" which will be
smoother than a much heavier set of 17" and possibly even 16" wheels.

I guess I will disagree with this statement. I am not saying that size is the ONLY thing impacting harshness, However, if you use a lower profile tire, irrespective of the weight of the wheel, you have less "cushioning space" than with a higher profile tire. Hence, more of the noise, vibration, and jolting will be transmitted to the wheel and upward to you.


To wit, If a have a wheel that weights just 2 lbs but I have a half inch of profile, my money says that the ride will be very harsh indeed.
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Old 03-04-2005, 01:42 PM   #6
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Good move. Think of the money you will save and spend on more useful things, like Porsche apparel and such!





Quote:
Originally Posted by Dons986
This is my first sports car and I think that the ride is harsh enough with 17" wheels. I think that I'll stay with that size.

Don
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:43 PM   #7
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The ride will probably be a tad "harsher" and you may accelerate slower as well unless the larger wheels are as light or lighter than your current wheels due to the extra rotational mass.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:10 PM   #8
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I think 18" makes a nice compromise in terms of looks, handling and comfort.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:40 PM   #9
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i got 19inch

i use to have the 17 inch and now i got 19's.
the ride is surprisingly okay. i also dropped it about 1.2 inch with eibach springs.
i was fairly careful around bumps and potholes even with the 17's.......
but the 19's just look soooooo much nicer. complete chick magnet.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhead
I think 18" makes a nice compromise in terms of looks, handling and comfort.
I completely agree. The 18" Carrera light wheels were the deal maker for me on my car. They show off the beautiful brakes nicely and are even lighter than the standard 17's to boot. They are still my fav Porsche wheel.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
I completely agree. The 18" Carrera light wheels were the deal maker for me on my car. They show off the beautiful brakes nicely and are even lighter than the standard 17's to boot. They are still my fav Porsche wheel.
Are they really that light? Mine came with 18" Sports Classic II. Driving me nuts to clean those calipers I seriously thinking of getting them Carreras... Only thing they cost so damn much
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:16 AM   #12
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carreras are my favorite rims imo!
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Old 03-05-2005, 05:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhead
Are they really that light? Mine came with 18" Sports Classic II. Driving me nuts to clean those calipers I seriously thinking of getting them Carreras... Only thing they cost so damn much
Yeah, they are really quite light. I read that they save a total of 24lbs over the standard 17's. And since the Sports classic wheel is a heavy 2 or 3 piece design I believe you would save considerably more weight. 24+ lbs in rotating mass is a huge savings.
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Old 03-05-2005, 10:28 AM   #14
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I love my Carrera Lightweights!





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Old 03-05-2005, 10:31 AM   #15
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Nice pics Frank and Lux. Maybe I will pony up the dough for the colored crests someday.
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:50 PM   #16
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The wheels in the picture above are 8.5 x 18 and 10.5 x 18 aftermarket Sport Design style wheels. The wheels I actually have on the car now are the factory 17" wheels. I would say the ride is noticeably less harsh with the 17", but the 18s weren't butt-bustingly bad, either.
I would also say that driving the car on the street I have never had occasion to drive it hard enough to really tell any difference in handling qualities between the two.
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Nice pics Frank and Lux. Maybe I will pony up the dough for the colored crests someday.
Pony the dough up now! You can get them from ebay at very reasonable prices. I got mine for $119 through Porschemaid. Would highly recommend this guy. He's located in Germany and gets his hands on these items at almost half the price the US dealers are asking for.

I'm now considering the smoked clear brake lights from him....

Very fast shipping as well. Only thing is I'm waiting for my Carrera lights to fit them on

You've shelled out what, US$70 grand on the car and you're saving on these!! Come on.... do yourself a favour!
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:51 PM   #18
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Angry Center Cap Theft

Something tells me that a lot of these ebay jokers are running around stealing center caps and headlights / litronics. It doesn't seem like it would be a very challenging caper. I have colored center caps, but can't say I really expect them to be there for long, as I park my car outside.
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