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· Smot-Poker
1,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a question that has been boggling my car-iliterate mind for a while..

Lets say you replace your wheels.. your stock wheels are lets say 15 inchs. If you replace those with say 17 inches, will it make your car go faster or slower??

I figure that since the tire is bigger in diameter, it covers more ground for each rotation. However, also since the tires is bigger, it takes more engine power to push the rotation of the tire. Does this make sense to any one? keep in mind Im obviously NOT a physics proffesor :) :)

anyone anyone?

· Registered
1,168 Posts
well the formula for velocity is delta d (distance) over delta t (time)... but u dont need that to answer your problem... i think 17" tires would not make much of a difference but it might be a little slower... i think to get max performance 16 is the way to go... let me refer to my sources and get a full explanation of why it will slow down the car

· Registered
2,235 Posts

It all depends on two things.

First, and most importantly, how heavy is your new wheel? If you go and get a really nice wheel it can be lighter then your stock wheel and that is obviously good. What you are actually looking for is the weight while rotating -- that is, if the weight is in the middle of the wheel it doesn't take a lot to turn it, however if the weight tends to be at the edge and your going 100km/hr then that is A LOT of weight. (This is the difference between the 'bargin' 17" wheels you see and the expensive ones.) Their is a name for this weight rating but it escapes me right now.

The second thing is the actual diameter of the new wheel. Most people, when they get new wheels, get a smaller, low profile tire to go with it so the over all diameter is the same and you get better handling because their isn't as much flex in the wheel. (The tire wall is smaller) Hypothetically, if you did increase the diameter then you were right about the bigger rotations meaning more speed and distance travelled, however it would be weighed against the first point and combined to see whether you would have an easier time rotating the larger tire.

Rims, as they are called now, were once made out of magnesium alloys (the root of the term mags) which is far lighter then conventonal materials, however mag. is too expensive and delicate so hey came out with other alloys which work but have to be compared and contrasted for best performance. (looks vs performance?)

I am just putting together what I've heard with a little commen sense, if i am wrong please correct me someone.
Hope that helps.
Cya all,
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