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Going from stock 18s to 16s - going lightweight

8592 Views 37 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mumixam
Philosophy behind the choices is strong and lightweight. I am looking for improved performance and comfort with the change. Looks come in last but i do like the look of bigger sidewalls and the oz wheels. I have a white m3 s-touring model for reference.


OZ Ultraleggara black 16x7 45mm offset - 14.7 lbs which isnt the lightest on tirerack but close. From what i know OZ makes some pretty high quality / strong wheels, the Kosei is lighter but the offset tucks it in more and i have read a few stories about them cracking under normal use. The RPF1s im not a fan of the look/ color available.

Was thinking of matching them to a set of 215/55r16 conti dws tires - they are 21 lbs and i think i would like to keep the same tirewidth. 205/60s dont seem to have as great of tire choices. They are slightly smaller diameter - 1.2% shorter gearing with the change, 69.2 mph actual at 70 indicated - doesnt seem bad to me. Looks like they will fit fine, not sure if scrub will be affected.

Was also thinking of picking up the Koni FSDs at the same time, or maybe slightly after to improve comfort a bit more - wasnt thinking about changing springs at all though, stock ride height is fine by me. Not sure if there is a spring setup more comfort focused - stock seems like it might be the way to go.

Feel free to leave a comment- im interested to hear thoughts or maybe other combinations i haven't thought of, i really have only been browsing tire rack because its easy and they will mount/balance for free and ship to me quickly.

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Below is a list of a set of lightweight options I've worked up for myself. Included at the bottom of the list is the 18" OEM setup that came with my car.

Left to right, the data fields are:

Total Weight of one wheel and tire
Wheel Mfgr
Wheel Model
Wheel Size
Wheel Wt.
Tire Mfgr.
Tire Model
Tire Size
Tire Weight
Tire Circumference
Tire Tread Width.

With its 23.3" circumference, the last lightweight option is probably not realistic, but the three above it are very doable and show that 16" and 17" combos in the 34-35# range are definitely within reach.

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A theory that isn't always true....one just needs to search harder, sir.:)
What examples do you have of light, cheap, and strong wheels, and where did you find them?

My own experience has been that light and strong wheels are forged wheels; unfortunately, they are not cheap.
For the sake of curiosity, why not a 225/50? More potential lateral grip correct? Or is the downside to that the requirement of an 8 inch wide rim? Or could you fit a 225 on a 7.5inch rim?
As @arathol says, a 225 will fit, and it will work on a 7.5" rim.

If you haven't already, you can dive into the specs of the tires of interest to you and see how they compare to what you're already running. For example, in the image below you'll see the specs for a pair of 225mm-wide Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires, one with a 45 aspect ratio and one with 50.

Note that the 225/45 has a measured rim width of 7.5" and the 225/50 has one of 7.0" - those are the widths of the rims on which the tires were mounted when the tread and section widths and the overall diameter were measured. What jumps out at me in those specs is that when mounted on those size rims both tires have a tread width of 7.6", virtually identical to the OEM US-spec car's 215/45-18 Dunlops' 7.7" tread width. If you were set on a 225-wide Conti ECS, depending upon what you're trying to achieve you might choose between the two based on one or more of these specs: weight, aspect ratio, or the overall diameter.

The data are from this page: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+Sport

If you were to look at another 225mm-width tire, you might find some noticeable variation in one or more of these specs.
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Im already sold on getting Firestone Firehawks...
The Firehawk Indy 500s? If so, that sounds like fun!
Check Enkei, TSW, Oz, etc..... & the used market. 5x114 & our allowed offsets are not difficult to find. Rotas are made by PAWI, a known & certified OEM wheel supplier of nippon badges. They're affordable w/ some light, durable models.
This an example of a light, strong wheel: BimmerWorld TE:AL TA16 Forged Race Wheel - 17"

Just a bit of text from the description:

"Wheels are also shot peened and heat treated for exacting strength and increased durability. The construction of the rear rim portion emphasizes extreme strength and quality to be used with super low profile tires and the thrashing typical of pounding curbs on a racetrack, or daily street obstacles."

Granted, this type of wheel won't suit the needs of many drivers, especially given the cost. These are a bargain at $400 each - too bad they're for BMWs.
How much do they actually weigh? I have noticed that many vendors don't or won't post weight.
Good question - I got out of BMWs before I had a chance to find out. Given the volume of spokes, I'd guess ~18# for the 17X9s. The most interesting thing about them is the price.

What's always impressed me about lightweight and inexpensive aftermarket wheels is the weight variation. I've had examples with six ounces difference across a set of wheels.
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