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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm planning on downgrading to 16 inch alloys from 18 inch. Is it just a straight swap? or do I need to adjust any thing like suspension?
 

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I would like to chime in with questions regarding this.

Going from 18 rims to 16 rims but same diameter gives you more side wall and air, which would soften the ride I would bet, so that would be the upside if you wanted a softer ride, the down side is looks I am assuming, bigger rims just look better?

Is there any other down side to smaller rims?

Is there other benefits to larger rims than looks?

I personally would like to soften the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As long as they fit..........
Why 16"?
Main reason is comfort, as I do enjoy the benifits that come with 18 inch alloys like the handling but unfortunately the roads I drive on are not as smooth so I do feel every bump.

Just a few weeks ago my brother gave me a lift in his 10 year old clio (with 16 inch alloys) and i could swear that it was a smoother ride than mine!!

I've had the car over 2 years and love it but its the only thing that always anoys me.

I will keep hold of my 18 inch wheels and try out smaller alloys.

I will probably buy the Mazda 16 inch alloys hopefully they should be the same diameter
 

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Main reason is comfort, as I do enjoy the benifits that come with 18 inch alloys like the handling but unfortunately the roads I drive on are not as smooth so I do feel every bump.

Just a few weeks ago my brother gave me a lift in his 10 year old clio (with 16 inch alloys) and i could swear that it was a smoother ride than mine!!

I've had the car over 2 years and love it but its the only thing that always anoys me.

I will keep hold of my 18 inch wheels and try out smaller alloys.

I will probably buy the Mazda 16 inch alloys hopefully they should be the same diameter
I would consider moving from 18" to 16" wheels if this results in significantly less road & tyre noise. Pease post whether you notice a significant reduction in noise and what wheel tyre combination you used.
 

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If it helps... we have a 2015 Mazda 3 with stock 16 inch alloys, and it rides nice and soft but still has reasonable handling.
When I bought my top spec 2014 CX-5 it had the stock 19 inch alloys which I felt gave a firm ride. After a couple of months I swapped them for the 17 inch alloys from a lesser spec model, and the ride quality is quite a bit softer. Obviously it loses a bit in the handling side and the steering is slightly heavier, but certainly not a deal breaker. Fuel economy and road noise stayed about the same. I have no intentions of swapping them back.
 

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That's the exact reason I bought the 'Sport' model, it came with the 16's. On my last car I went through the swap from 17 to 16 and the difference was night and day (but that was from runflats to regular tires too). As for road noise, I think the tire will matter more than the sidewall.
 

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In the UK the Sport model is the top of the range and come with 18" alloys, the lesser models are the SE and SE-L which come with 16" alloys.
 

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The Adventure Mazda
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I'll trade you my 16's for your 18's :)
 

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In the UK the Sport model is the top of the range and come with 18" alloys, the lesser models are the SE and SE-L which come with 16" alloys.
Yes, I have the 18" wheels with Dunlop Sport Maxx TT tyres. These are noisy despite having a good 68db EU drive by noise rating.
 

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I bought my Mazda3 with 16-inch alloys as the best choice for me. Why, you might ask.

Well, I concede that for competitive racing cars on smoothly consistent tracks, big-wheels / short sidewalls make sense in terms of superior handling. That's why they were designed in the first place, with wide treads and short sidewalls that don't distort as much around corners and at high speeds while competing on the track.

But by the same token, big wheels / short sidewalls don't yield as well when striking potholes and curbs in real-world streets. So for street cars, they aren't so beneficial, because attempting to realize any difference in handling on the street normally would be dangerous. I.E., trying to take advantage of the ability to go around curves at over-the-speed-limit speeds is a dangerous thing to do on public streets.

So for me, the lighter weight and softer ride of the 16-inch alloy wheels is the best choice in a world full of potholes, school buses, soccer moms and 18-wheelers. I need wheels and tires that perform best on imperfect and crowded roads. I don't need wheels and tires that allow me to turn a corner at high over-the-limit speeds, even if the Corvette ahead of me is doing it.

And to boot, I actually don't like the wagon-wheel look of the increasingly big diameter wheels / small sidewall tires. So the choice was easy for me.

This is just one guy's perspective on the topic. And yep, I'd trade 18 inch alloys for 16 inch alloys, with of course a few extra bucks coming my way solely to reflect the additional cost of all that extra alloy involved in making those big, heavy spokes. :)
 

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I'd advise extreme caution here: it's possible 16" wheels may not fit. I'm not sure, but the brake hardware may be different for the cars that came with 18" wheels than those with 16" wheels, and in that case, the factory 16" wheels may not clear the brake calipers. I advise looking through the parts lists on someplace like tascaparts.com, and comparing the brake parts between the 'i' models and 's' models ('14-'16), to see if the brakes and the suspension arm the brake caliper bolts to are the same or not.

If you want to downsize, a safer path would be to get some 17" wheels; I've seen several people on this board downgrade to 17" wheels on their 's' models for the same reasons you list, so I'm sure they'll fit. It's not as big a difference as with 16", but it's still significant.
 

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Diameter wise, 16s will fit on a GT trim. I had FD RX7 wheels (16x8 +50) with 245/55 tires. The ride was comfortable but handling was terrible.

Also, the rear control arms would hit the barrel of the wheel on dips so I ended up selling the wheels. My guess is if your going to run the stock 16s, it should work.
 

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Well, I concede that for competitive racing cars on smoothly consistent tracks, big-wheels / short sidewalls make sense in terms of superior handling. That's why they were designed in the first place, with wide treads and short sidewalls that don't distort as much around corners and at high speeds while competing on the track.

But by the same token, big wheels / short sidewalls don't yield as well when striking potholes and curbs in real-world streets. So for street cars, they aren't so beneficial, because attempting to realize any difference in handling on the street normally would be dangerous. I.E., trying to take advantage of the ability to go around curves at over-the-speed-limit speeds is a dangerous thing to do on public streets.
Actually the reasons they came about is more like so real race cars (think F1 or Indy) could have 12" wide tires and still stay within the maximum wheel diameter rules. Running 12" wide 60 series tires just won't do. :smile2:
With the right size rims / tires you can get a pretty good compromise. 18" rims with something like Continental DWS06 tires ride pretty good. Its all about sidewall rigidity. The DWS06 has soft sidewalls so it gives on rough pavement. This is not so good for performance though as the soft sidewall rolls pretty easily in a hard corner and the tread face can lose contact with the road.

I'd advise extreme caution here: it's possible 16" wheels may not fit. I'm not sure, but the brake hardware may be different for the cars that came with 18" wheels than those with 16" wheels, and in that case, the factory 16" wheels may not clear the brake calipers. I advise looking through the parts lists on someplace like tascaparts.com, and comparing the brake parts between the 'i' models and 's' models ('14-'16), to see if the brakes and the suspension arm the brake caliper bolts to are the same or not.

If you want to downsize, a safer path would be to get some 17" wheels; I've seen several people on this board downgrade to 17" wheels on their 's' models for the same reasons you list, so I'm sure they'll fit. It's not as big a difference as with 16", but it's still significant.
There is no difference in brake hardware, same calipers and rotors.
17"x7.5" is the best way to go I think. You can run 225/50 tires, the ride will be ok, performance will be good, and you can get some real light wheels (around 16 lbs) in that size.

 

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*The Electrician*
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I have a question about center bore, Honda/Acura Civic/RSX has a smaller center bore than mazda, 64.1mm versus Mazda 3's 67.1mm, a difference of 3mm. Will that become a problem for fitment if I wanted to use some Honda/Acura rims on my Mazda 3?
 

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I have a question about center bore, Honda/Acura Civic/RSX has a smaller center bore than mazda, 64.1mm versus Mazda 3's 67.1mm, a difference of 3mm. Will that become a problem for fitment if I wanted to use some Honda/Acura rims on my Mazda 3?
Yes. It means the rims with the smaller bore won't fit the hubs with the larger bore. Assuming of course the rims have bores that match the hubs. So, they will not work.
 

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*The Electrician*
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Yes. It means the rims with the smaller bore won't fit the hubs with the larger bore. Assuming of course the rims have bores that match the hubs. So, they will not work.
Machine shop to bore out the rims to fit the Mazda hub? Might be able to find a connection thru my local autocross club to have it done cheap enough that its worth while.
 
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