Bigger wheels make you slower, decreased gas mileage - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
JeffOden
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Bigger wheels make you slower, decreased gas mileage

I read this article in car and driver back in March(April Issue), they did a good test on the affects of buying bigger wheels for your car.
A lot of people are trying to squeeze out those extra 1/10ths of a second, and better gas mileage in their stangs, and need to understand what those chrome 22 inch wheels do to performance.


Effects of Upsized Wheels and Tires Tested - Tech Dept. - Auto Reviews - Car and Driver

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Really, as far as bigger wheels go, its not the fact they are bigge but that they are heavier. You are looking at two different aspects. The first being rotational inertia and relating directly th wheel and tire weight as well as where that weight is located. The second being rolling and aerodymanic reistance which is related to tire compound, outside diameter and tread width.


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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Tire series also plays a huge role as well. It's all about weight of the wheel/tire, diameter (with tire on) and width. The perfect combination is a lightweight wide wheel (in the rear) with low profile tires. Less sidewall flex & weight with the low pros, better grabbing with the wider wheels and the smaller diameter with the tire on allows for more efficient bwhp transferred to the ground.

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck268 View Post
Really, as far as bigger wheels go, its not the fact they are bigge but that they are heavier. You are looking at two different aspects. The first being rotational inertia and relating directly th wheel and tire weight as well as where that weight is located. The second being rolling and aerodymanic reistance which is related to tire compound, outside diameter and tread width.
Exactly! That's what the article explains to those who didn't already understand. But the title "The first being rotational inertia and relating directly th wheel and tire weight as well as where that weight is located. The second being rolling and aerodymanic reistance which is related to tire compound, outside diameter and tread width." Wouldn't fit in the little title space.
post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Are these too big?

‪Wheels too Big?‬‏ - YouTube

If they reduce the turn radius... they are too big.
If they impact the fuel economy in a negative way... they are too big.
If they impact the handling in a negative way... they are too big.
If they increase the braking distance... they are too big.
If they increase unsprung mass... they are too big.
If they increase rotational inertia... they are too big.
If they contribute to a harsher ride... they are too big.
Those rims are too big.

QTD piwright42 youtube lol
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Anyone who would even consider putting 22" wheels on their Mustang should have the car taken away from him, his license suspended for life and get b*tch slapped!

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltngdrvr View Post
Anyone who would even consider putting 22" wheels on their Mustang should have the car taken away from him, his license suspended for life and get b*tch slapped!
Agreed, 19s is as big as you should go, anything more is just over the top and hurts performance.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitellius View Post

If they reduce the turn radius... they are too big.
If they impact the fuel economy in a negative way... they are too big.
If they impact the handling in a negative way... they are too big.
If they increase the braking distance... they are too big.
If they increase unsprung mass... they are too big.
If they increase rotational inertia... they are too big.
If they contribute to a harsher ride... they are too big.
Those rims are too big.

QTD piwright42 youtube lol
Everyone needs to make a compromise at some point in some of these areas depending upon what they're looking for. The fuel economy factor is tied mainly to rolling resistance and less to weight. You decrease rolling resistance typically with a narrower tire/wheel combo in addition to making the tire compound harder.

An easy examle.The Performance Package tire/wheel combo has a higher rolling resistance and even an increased rotational mass yet it brakes better, handles better, accelerates faster etc. I could throw pizza cutters on my v6 today and break the records for highest mpg on a v6 Mustang but my handling, braking and acceleration will suck monkey butt. I think it's best to look at it from the "diminishing returns" point of view. There comes a point where you're tire is beyond your vehicles capabilities when it comes to handling and power. Once you reach that point you start to negate all of the benefits you're trying to obtain.

The article is a good one. It does a good job of explaining some areas that people often ignore as they're trying to quench their thirst for speed.


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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011
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Heavier wheels can increase braking distances too. I moved up to 17" rims from stock 15" rims on my '96 MX-6 while keeping the same overall diameter. The 17s were 9 pounds lighter than the 15s. Handling improved, mileage stayed to same, and braking was better with the bigger tread. I see a lot of people who did not research wheel weights nor try to match overall diameter and end up with cv joints going bad quickly, decreased performance, etc...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxified View Post
An easy examle.The Performance Package tire/wheel combo has a higher rolling resistance and even an increased rotational mass yet it brakes better, handles better, accelerates faster etc.
In the book 'All Corvettes are Red,' they discuss the huge battle in the development of that car because the engineers in charge of performance demanded the smallest diameter aluminum wheel that cleared the brakes and market research demanded a larger diameter wheel.

I am relatively certain that a wide 17 inch wheel with appropriate rubber could out perform those 19s.

Certainly an 18 inch wheel (where there is a huge selection of max performance summer tires) could do the job too.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirandaddy View Post
Agreed, 19s is as big as you should go, anything more is just over the top and hurts performance.

Why do all these performance cars come with 20"s?

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Because looks sell. Also, forged wheels nearly take out the weight factor, and often times is lighter to go bigger wheels than bigger tires.

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Good read, thanks. I like the 18s that come with the MCA package and have no plans to change them. While I like the big wheels with low profile tires, the price alone makes me just appreciate them on some other vehicles. On a performance car, this article clearly makes them even less desirable.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 740weapon View Post
I am relatively certain that a wide 17 inch wheel with appropriate rubber could out perform those 19s.
Perfect example. Probably right, but who wants to drive around with a gay looking 17" wheel.


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Just let me know where I can find performance brakes for my 17x7's.

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