Benefits of 18/19" vs 17" Wheels? -

S197 Handling Section For everything suspension related, inlcuding brakes, tires, and wheels.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-17-2009, 08:45 PM   #1
Darth Evader
1st Gear Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 67
Default Benefits of 18/19" vs 17" Wheels?

Other than appearance reasons, is there a benefit of using a larger 18 or 19" wheel vs a 17"? I'm just curious why all of the new cars (Mustangs/Camaros, etc) are being equipped with larger, heavier wheels.

Darth Evader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
5th Gear Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Near Wash. DC Posts: 13,541
Posts: 2,497

40-45 profile is approximately the ideal sidewall stiffness of a sports car. Anything over that has a tire that flexes too much naturally. The Mustang with 19" wheels has 45 profile tires, so does the Camaro (45 & 40 ), so does the mustang with 18" wheels (45). So does the mustang with 20s (40 rear)

These actually provide some performance benefit on a clean smooth street at the cost of reduced performance on gravel and bad roads etc.

However the larger wheels on passenger cars started out as a trend for looks having nothing to do with performance and ended up luckily putting most sports cars with ideal tire sizes by accident. Very high end sports cars like BMWs and Mercedes actually use 35 profile tires now which hurt the performance rather than help it thanks to the trend for larger wheels.

Larger wheels were originally put on sports cars to clear larger brakes but what I'm saying is that they don't hurt performance in our cars and it's competitors. The wheel weight is an issue but on a street car it's not that important because there are 20" wheels that are lighter than 16" wheels, the steeda 20s for example or the Saleen forged 5 wheels which are also light wheels. so it depends on if you choose a cheap heavy big wheel or a light one more than anything in terms of weight.

Last edited by Legion5; 05-17-2009 at 09:09 PM.
Legion5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #3
Darth Evader
1st Gear Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 67

Great info Legion5, thanks!
Darth Evader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 12:26 AM   #4
5th Gear Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 2,179

Like Legion5 said, the 18's or larger on these cars are required to clear Big Brake Kits.
Texotic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 04:51 AM   #5
5th Gear Member
Diabolical!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 4,495

In my experience, my 18" fanblades were good for costing me 2/10ths of a second at the drag strip. I dumped them for a set of stock 17"s and couldn't be happier.
Diabolical! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
4th Gear Member
Argonaut's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Harrisburg PA
Posts: 1,778

On race tracks a lot of guys favor the 17" over the 18" simply because of the cost of tires, at least that has been the conventional wisdom. But I think its changing. Several racing series are now using 18" and its getting easy to find 18" scrubs for $50 - 100 each. Plus - if you want/need bigger brakes you'll need the 18s.
Argonaut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
4th Gear Member
Sleeper_08's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,692

I just had a look at the specs for Porsches USA and they fit 235/35 ZR 19 front, 305/30 ZR 19 rear on the GT3 and Turbos and it says the Turbo rims are Forged alloy 8.5J x 19 ET 56 front, 11J x 19 ET 51 rear. It looks like their reason for going to 19s is the brakes since on the Turbo it says -

"A range of optional 18- and 19-inch winter wheels (all snow chain-compatible) are available from Porsche Tequipment. Vehicles equipped with the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) may only be fitted with the larger 19-inch winter wheels."

It would be interesting to see a Turbo with snow chains
Sleeper_08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Va
Posts: 171

Originally Posted by nineinchnail1024 View Post
In my experience, my 18" fanblades were good for costing me 2/10ths of a second at the drag strip. I dumped them for a set of stock 17"s and couldn't be happier.
I have the 17 inch wheels from the factory, however, I wanted to run a wider tire. 255/50R17 will work, but there are just so few tires offered in that size. It's a real oddball. I was pretty much forced to go with 18 inch wheels in order to fit 255/45R18. Tires in that size are more plentiful, generally lighter and usually the same cost, if not cheaper, than 255/50R17, after all.

The biggest problem is the weight. The 18 inch fan blades you mentioned weigh 26.5 lbs each! The 17 inch machined aluminum wheels are about 22 lbs each. Total weight with the stock 235/55R17 tires is about 50 lbs each. When you take into account the tires (maybe an additional 2 lbs or so), you're probably looking at an extra 6.5 lbs per wheel! That's a lot of extra rotating mass.

The only solution are light weight wheels. I have some 18 inch OZ Racing wheels that should be here soon. Total weight is 19 lbs per wheel. Total tire weight for the BFGoodrich g-froce T/A KDW 2 tires I ordered are 29 lbs per tire. That should mean a combined weight of 48 lbs. That's two pounds less than the stock wheels and tires with the same overall diameter while still running a wider tire!

The big downside is expense. Cost for the wheels and the tires was $2k, that's with a 17% discount on the wheels from Tire Rack. I hope it's worth it...

Last edited by mustangtestuser; 05-18-2009 at 04:44 PM.
mustangtestuser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #9
5th Gear Member
Rubrignitz's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 4,897

I'll gladly sacrifice a few lbs rotating weight with the hp these cars output for the extra meat on the road. With my 275/40's fr and 305/35's rear (and the sticky DR rubber seems to help substantially) the car really sticks to the road like glue. It's very hard to get my rearend to let loose anymore in curves or when shifting gears. I'm really prepared for FI now.
Rubrignitz is offline   Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Snow performance stage 2 MAF boos cooler install jwog666 Pipes, Boost & Juice 6 01-07-2018 08:16 AM
20 inch Wheels a mistake on 2015 Mustang GT? mungodrums The New S550 2015-2017 Mustang 10 09-28-2015 11:54 PM
RIPOFF-Mustang Dream Giveaway popsotto New Member Area 1 09-28-2015 07:58 AM
Polished wheels folivier Detailing 0 09-26-2015 03:28 PM
2 or 4 wheel alignment? lincolnshibuya V6 (1994-2004) Mustangs 1 09-24-2015 11:46 PM

17, 18, 19, 2010, benefits, buy, handling, inch, mustang, porsche, versus, vs, weight, wheel, wheels

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:28 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.