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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty new to owning a car (MR2 Spyder is my first) and want to buy new wheels and tires for the Summer. I already have a set of wheels with winter tires, so I don't need to worry about All Seasons. I don't really have any idea about what wheels to get, I was hoping to go lighter (maybe obvious) then stock and a little wider in the front and rear, but I did hear that going to wide on a stock car is a quick way to make it feel sluggish and poorly effect handling. Another thing I'm a little confused about is offset and how spacers work and when they are needed.

Any advice is appreciated, and if you have a setup of your own that you like please do share it.

Thanks in advance.
 

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81503


I went off the deep end all at once -
  • Wheels - 17 x 7.5 x 42 offset
  • Tires - 205/40R17
  • All suspension links - Battle Version
  • Polyurethane bushings - Whiteline
  • Coilovers - DGR w/ track kit 10k/8k spring rates
81504


The ride comfort is pretty much out the window, but that was never the goal. It goes like it's on rails and it's a fool's errand to try passing me through a corner.

These wheels are slightly heavier than stock, and the car is anything but sluggish.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
View attachment 81503

I went off the deep end all at once -
  • Wheels - 17 x 7.5 x 42 offset
  • Tires - 205/40R17
  • All suspension links - Battle Version
  • Polyurethane bushings - Whiteline
  • Coilovers - DGR w/ track kit 10k/8k spring rates
View attachment 81504

The ride comfort is pretty much out the window, but that was never the goal. It goes like it's on rails and it's a fool's errand to try passing me through a corner.

These wheels are slightly heavier than stock, and the car is anything but sluggish.
Thanks for the response. Couple questions
What was the fitment process like? And was the car stock otherwise?
 

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Check out tirerack. They have a decent selection and you can get an idea of what they'll look like. Try to avoid spacers and try to keep the overall diameter close to stock. You can whip out a measuring tape and use a wheel/offset calculator to see how much they'll move out/in compared to stocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Check out tirerack. They have a decent selection and you can get an idea of what they'll look like. Try to avoid spacers and try to keep the overall diameter close to stock. You can whip out a measuring tape and use a wheel/offset calculator to see how much they'll move out/in compared to stocks.
I checked out Tire Rack and am eyeing a set of RPF1s. I want to keep the staggered OEM look, so I was looking at 15x7 (they have in a 41 and 35 offset) for the fronts and 16x7 (only in 43 offset) for the rears. I saw some posts around saying 35 offset will fill the fenders better, but I know 41 offset is closer to stock. Also my understanding is that the higher the offset, the less the tire will stick out. Would it be ill advised then to have rear's with a higher offset?
 

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When I got my '03 I immediately replaced the mismatched set of tires it came with to a set of Yokohama S Drives (F: 185, R: 205) on the OEM wheels.

From there, wanting more grip and also seeing that the S Drives were being discontinued, I went with Bridgestone RE-71Rs along with RPF1s to go lighter. Wanting to stay with the OEM 15" in the front and 16" in the back, here's my setup now:
Enkei RPF1 (front: 15x7, +41mm, rear: 16x7, +43mm).
Bridgestone Potenza RE71 (front: 205/50R15, rear: 225/50R16).

I've liked the performance, but the RE-71s ride a little harder than I like, so I'll be trying the A052s soon. My car has Ohlins coilovers, Superpro bushings, and most bracing components to give you a sense of what else is on there affecting the ride quality. Also if you get your car corner balanced, depending on your setup you can adjust the car so it'll feel like it almost wants to turn in more, which is what I had done.

Here's a picture of how the car sits now, ironically I could get you a better picture of how everything sits at night compared to the daytime photos I have:
81507


On a side note, having had the honor to drive @pwnzor 's ride, I didn't notice the bigger 17" wheels at all, rather that I was having a blast basically driving a car version of a motorcycle with his open top and exhaust setup. :cool:(y)
 

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@hardmode The honor was all mine sir. I've had the chance to drive several more since we met, all with some pretty fancy upgrades. My personal opinion is that your car is more well sorted out than any I've driven.

That Ohlins set up you've got is like butter
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice. After looking around a bit more I think I’m going to go with 15x7 35 offset in the front and 16x8 38 offset in the rear. Unsure about tires at the moment.
 

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Thanks for the response. Couple questions
What was the fitment process like? And was the car stock otherwise?
I drove the car and it's completely stock configuration for two years and a few months. The picture in my profile next to my name is me on the dragon just a few months before the car underwent suspension reassignment surgery.

Wheels and tires purchased as a package from tirerack.com all other parts were purchased directly from manufacturers and shipped straight to my mechanic shop. Not mentioned before, I also did a cold air intake, mid pipe and exhaust.

Fitment was no problem, the wheels have plenty of room at the stock height in the fenders, so I put those on myself. At that point the car was sitting so high up in the air I drove it straight out to the mechanic and left it there until the coilovers arrived. Meanwhile got a new soft top for it.

The car is low, but I can get over most of what you might call a standard speed bump. Sorry if I made any grammatical errors oh, I'm dictating this while stuck in a traffic jam on Interstate 85 in Atlanta
 

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I checked out Tire Rack and am eyeing a set of RPF1s. I want to keep the staggered OEM look, so I was looking at 15x7 (they have in a 41 and 35 offset) for the fronts and 16x7 (only in 43 offset) for the rears. I saw some posts around saying 35 offset will fill the fenders better, but I know 41 offset is closer to stock. Also my understanding is that the higher the offset, the less the tire will stick out. Would it be ill advised then to have rear's with a higher offset?
Be aware the information on the Tire Rack web site may be outdated and not quite accurate. We run 16" all-around and ordered tires and wheels from Tire Rack and selected the RFP1. Expected delivery for the wheels is sometime in May. Most online sites just list the Enkei as on backorder. The 43 offset isn't an issue, but you should stay close to 43-45 in the front or the scrub radius will change, affecting the steering.

The supply issue for tires, especially in sizes that fit a Spyder, is currently problematic as well. We were going to switch to 17" rear in the Yokohama Fleva to get a 215 tire, but expected deliver is 60-90 days, at best. Even a 205/45-16 rear is listed on our order as special order with no delivery date
 

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Observations like ´sluggish´ (or not) are difficult; subjective. It requieres reference, both in terms of more sluggish than whát and the perception/experience of the observer.

For the PFL the most responsive set up is the OEM one; The sizes of wheel/tyres, the pressure, all.

There can be valid reasons to divert and there áre gains to be found but as a rule the price is paid elsewehere and the overall compromise is seldomly better handling under real world road conditions.

The OEM set up is a véry good overall compromis. The FL is just that bit less responsive and ditto more understeered which btw is a GREAT illustration; for quite a few it results in a for thém better overall compromise and is still an almost silly responsive little car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Be aware the information on the Tire Rack web site may be outdated and not quite accurate. We run 16" all-around and ordered tires and wheels from Tire Rack and selected the RFP1. Expected delivery for the wheels is sometime in May. Most online sites just list the Enkei as on backorder. The 43 offset isn't an issue, but you should stay close to 43-45 in the front or the scrub radius will change, affecting the steering.

The supply issue for tires, especially in sizes that fit a Spyder, is currently problematic as well. We were going to switch to 17" rear in the Yokohama Fleva to get a 215 tire, but expected deliver is 60-90 days, at best. Even a 205/45-16 rear is listed on our order as special order with no delivery date
So I was gonna go with the 15x7 with a 35 offset in the front but you seem to think it’ll negatively effect steering. I was originally going to go closer to stock offset but others were saying ~35 offset will fill the fenders better and the only negative a saw mentioned was increased wear on the wheel bearings. It makes sense to me that it would effect steering slightly negatively, would it be a good setup to go 15x7 with 41 offset for the fronts and 16x8 with a 38 offset in the rear? (not taking into account supply issues, as that’s a problem I’ll tackle when I can make a decision)

Like I’ve said before I’m a complete newbie too this so sorry if these are silly questions.
 

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Not silly questions at all. But ask yourself a simple question. Are you going to look at the car or drive the car?

Looks matter, but how a tire wheel combination works is (for most people) more important than how it looks. It has to be a "package" where the tire sizes work together, the wheel widths are appropriate for the tire selected, and the offsets don't negatively impact the steering and suspension geometry.

There are a couple good sites that give good information on how different wheel and tire combinations will work for clearance, etc. Start with stock, and plug in what you want to run, and see what you get

Custom rims, wheel tire packages

Rim & Tire Size Calculator. Custom Offsets
 

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So I was gonna go with the 15x7 with a 35 offset in the front but you seem to think it’ll negatively effect steering. I was originally going to go closer to stock offset but others were saying ~35 offset will fill the fenders better and the only negative a saw mentioned was increased wear on the wheel bearings. It makes sense to me that it would effect steering slightly negatively, would it be a good setup to go 15x7 with 41 offset for the fronts and 16x8 with a 38 offset in the rear? (not taking into account supply issues, as that’s a problem I’ll tackle when I can make a decision)

Like I’ve said before I’m a complete newbie too this so sorry if these are silly questions.
I have run three different sets of 15" wheels on my spyder, all staggered width as are the tires, one set at 35mm offset front, which I can feel the difference. IMHO you should keep the front offset as close to 45mm as possible for best results.
 
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I have run three different sets of 15" wheels on my spyder, all staggered width as are the tires, one set at 35mm offset front, which I can feel the difference. IMHO you should keep the front offset as close to 45mm as possible for best results.
Man it's getting pretty deep in here , I call BS if you're saying you can tell a 35 offset from a 45 offset with the same size tire . I'd agree you can tell tire size being different but not those two offsets . !85/55's suck .
 

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Man it's getting pretty deep in here , I call BS if you're saying you can tell a 35 offset from a 45 offset with the same size tire . I'd agree you can tell tire size being different but not those two offsets . !85/55's suck .
Well, I second him; I do too. Mine are notably more sensitive to tramrailing per example.
Another thing is that they give more feedback through the steering but noticing that may be more difficult with the p.a.s.
I have them further out (ET 35) and are sticking with them because it also reduces roll though thát I do not féél. :cautious:

Oh and find 185/55 x 15 up front the sweet spot. 195 is just that bit slower and though I like they reduce understeer, prefer the sharper 185 and will compensate for the balance with the rear ARB.

@OP what about a set of OEM wheels and mount Yokohamas AD08Rs ? Those tyres are áwesome summer rubber and can even handel wet roads surprisingly well. They reallyREALLY excell in a broad area of warning and when you push over the max give gradually increasing slip angles.
They are not the cheapest but imo WELL worth the premium. The rubber is the contact surface of your car with road; the begin and end all of all possibilities.
To use a popular much abused saying; they take the snap out of snap oversteer.

ps. be aware that the OEM wheels have ´flat face´ wheel nut seats and after market ones ,most time conical. You will need matching nuts ofcourse.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
While I probably should just go with OEM my stubbornness is getting the better of me.

I think I’m gonna go with 15x7 with 41 offset in the front to keep steering hopefully similar, and 16x8 with 38 offset in the rear. My understanding also is a larger track width in the rear then the front promotes understeer over oversteer which seems like a positive too.

Tire recommendations for those sizes would be greatly appreciated but y’all have already helped a ton.
 

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My understanding also is a larger track width in the rear then the front promotes understeer over oversteer which seems like a positive too.
Why?

First thing Í did was reducing the understeer.
Than some more.
Than some more still.
Etcetera ;)

The much halowed TRD Sportivo kit also reduced understeer quite a bit with a combination of 100% instead of 50% stiffer rear springs and a relatively stiffer rear ARB.

The famous touge tuner of the Spirit S MR-S went WAY oversteer. Now thát you most definitely want NÓT to replicate; it is an example of horses for courses.

Imo it is something you should not be worrying abou untill you get some miles behind you; get to know the behaviour of the car under different circumstance, especially nearing the adhesion limits.
The OEM set up is réally good and messing with it is usually nót better and certainly best left to when you knów the car.
 
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