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Darkman

Swapping Car Wheels....

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I visited a scrap car yard recently and was blown away by how cheap everything was. I needed a spare wheel so I grabbed one from the same model car, but the wheel was a slightly different radius. Think it was a 180 and my car is a 190. I asked here at a tyre place about the 180 spare wheel and was told it wasn't a big deal, & the car might pull a little on the steering.

This car is a banger and I'm not spending anything big on it that's for sure. The two front tyres are going to need replacing soon. So I'm wondering if I can just buy some wheels cheap from the yard and put them on instead? Some of those wheels had good tyres on them. I can get a good old wheel with tyre for $10, while a new tyre costs $90 put on professionally all in. So we're talking about a massive potential saving.

I know tracking is important, and too much difference in wheels will put the balance out. But if the wheels are fairly close will it be a problem to mix and match? I'd try to make the two front ones the same of course, but they might not match the rear two. How much do the wheels differ from car to car anyway?

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As long as the PCD and studs/nuts to holes matches and the tyre is the same overall diameter it will probably be fine.

New tyres won't cause a need to alter tracking but incorrect tracking can cause tyres to wear/scrub prematurely. If this is happening you may want to get the tracking done. Assuming the car's not been accident damaged it should solve the wear problem. It can be caused by incorrect camber but this is less often adjustable these days.

Chances are, unless it looks like the weights have been removed, tyres on rims from a scrappy will be balanced. If you're doing bangernomics I wouldn't bother getting them balanced unless there's obvious signs of issues when driving.

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You must use wheels with the correct Pitch Circle Diameter (layman's terms- bolt spacing) and centre bore (though I believe you can get spacers for the centre bore). Otherwise you are in real danger of the wheel coming loose. The other main property of wheels that varies is the offset I.E. how far away the centreline of the wheel is from the mounring face. Using the wrong offset can **** up the steering geometry as I understand it.

Generally AFAIK manufacturers tend to design a model of car for a given diameter of wheel; the MK3 Mondeo for example came with 15, 16, 17 and 18 inch wheels depending on the model, with the 15" tyres quite high profile, and the 18s low profile. So if you're taking a differnt sized wheel from the same model of car you should be fine. Beyond that, you may find that other models from the same manufacturer use the same PCD, centre bore, and offset, and you can use a 'tyre calculator' to compare diameters to what you have currently.

If you're thinking of using other manufacturer's wheels I really would tread carefully- ideally google the spec of the wheels, or at the very least get some verniers to make sure that the PCD and bore size are correct. To a certain extent it'll be down to luck- a 4x100mm PCD is very common apparently, so if you've got that or another common size you'll have more choice.

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I remember the days with my Renault 5 GT Turbo... I shall try to recall..

It came with 14" wheels, I think. I replaced them (all four) with 15" wheels.

That's fine as long as the profile of the tyres is lower, as mentioned (which is what I wanted anyway) so the overall diameter remains the same.

Otherwise, for one thing, the speedometer won't read correctly.

I'd have thought you could replace all four, but I'm not sure about replacing only one pair (front or rear) and the idea of having only one "odd one" sounds bad to me.

Others went for 16" wheels on the Renault 5 and then ended up having to cut away pieces of the arches because the tyres kept rubbing on them. And still then, a big bump in the road risked a blowout as the tyres hit the arches.

Even mine was a handful with those 15" wheels, the car had no power steering, the steering was heavier and it was harder to park, and IIRC the wheels used to bang against the inside of the car on full steering lock.

Looked nice, though :)

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My 328i came with different width/profile tyres for front/rear, it's not unheard of. Edit to add, please do not think I'm recommending it for all cars- if yours has no indication in the door sticker then do not do this, and stick to 4 correctly-sized wheels/tyres, preferrably of the same brand/spec on an axle.

Here's an online calculator to give you a rough idea of what width/profile/diameter wheel/tyre combos might be an approximate match in terms of circumference:

http://www.alloywheels.com/Tyre_Calculator

I guess there will also be a sticker in the door aperature detailing the sizes that can/should be fitted to the car, as we have in Europe, so it may be adviseable to restrict yourself to those. That said, if the wheels are being pulled from an example of the car you have, and seem like original equipment, then perhaps it can be assumed that they will be of the correct spec. Make sure you inspect the tyres properly.

I'd be inclined to match the tyres on an axle too btw, I know that many don't bother and it probably won't be an issue but in the situation where you have to brake hard in adverse conditions, it is better to have tyres which will behave in the same manner.

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Different profiles on the same axle would get you booked under construction and use in the UK.

You'd be completely insane to put different profiles on the front wheels - in a hard braking situation, you would veer in the direction of the less compliant tyre.

You'd be mildly insane to put different profiles on the rear axle.

Depending on the car, different profiles front and back might be OK, but could seriously upset the handling, especially in the wet.

If the car has ABS, and is not expecting very similar diameters, you will get a fault.

Spare tyres are indeed different profiles, but they are speed limited to 50 kmh (very slow) for a reason....

It may be a bangernomics car, but why take risks with the bits that can make the difference between life and death? You could get cheap brake fluid from scrap cars, second hand brake pads - no need for the whole set, just take the least worn.

if you're going to do this, just get parts that actually match the ones already on the car.

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I visited a scrap car yard recently and was blown away by how cheap everything was. I needed a spare wheel so I grabbed one from the same model car, but the wheel was a slightly different radius. Think it was a 180 and my car is a 190. I asked here at a tyre place about the 180 spare wheel and was told it wasn't a big deal, & the car might pull a little on the steering.

This car is a banger and I'm not spending anything big on it that's for sure. The two front tyres are going to need replacing soon. So I'm wondering if I can just buy some wheels cheap from the yard and put them on instead? Some of those wheels had good tyres on them. I can get a good old wheel with tyre for $10, while a new tyre costs $90 put on professionally all in. So we're talking about a massive potential saving.

I know tracking is important, and too much difference in wheels will put the balance out. But if the wheels are fairly close will it be a problem to mix and match? I'd try to make the two front ones the same of course, but they might not match the rear two. How much do the wheels differ from car to car anyway?

!80 190 radius? You sure you're not mistaking radius with tyre width as in 185 195 if you are, then the tyre would result in a mot failure/fine as you cannot use two different width or profile tyres on the same axle

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I think you should have matching wheels on the same axle! If you want bigger wheels at the back, or whatever, that is up to you! ;)

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I think you should have matching wheels on the same axle! If you want bigger wheels at the back, or whatever, that is up to you! ;)

Agreed. Mixing different wheel sizes on the same axle is dangerous, even if the outer tyre diameter is the same and the offset is the same.

This is because the profile of the tyre affects the tyre rigity and how it flexes in cornering. Mismatched wheels could have a catastrophic effect on handling.

That said carrying a different wheel as a 'get-you-home' contingency might be OK (after all, low profile spares are exactly this) but you should limit your speed and drive very cautiously. I still would not drive more than a handful of miles in such circumstances.

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This is because the profile of the tyre affects the tyre rigity and how it flexes in cornering. Mismatched wheels could have a catastrophic effect on handling.

On tyres, but slightly changing the subject.......I tend to slightly over-inflate, beyond the maker's guidelines in the belief that the tyres will last longer and I might get a bit extra mpg. There may be a slight braking disadvantage, don't know if anybody else has an opinion on this?

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On tyres, but slightly changing the subject.......I tend to slightly over-inflate, beyond the maker's guidelines in the belief that the tyres will last longer and I might get a bit extra mpg. There may be a slight braking disadvantage, don't know if anybody else has an opinion on this?

Just my take..

You may get fractionally more MPG.

It will not reduce wear on the tyres, it will just cause them to wear in the middle, and an emergency stop resulting in the car skidding may shave a strip off the middle of the tyre.

It will reduce grip because less tyre is in contact with the road. This would be especially noticeable in wet weather and may induce skidding.

The manufacturer's specifications are for a normal weight load, if you're going on holiday with the car fully loaded or towing a trailer or caravan you may be advised to overinflate slightly to compensate, but at all other times it's a bad idea.

Tyre pressures should always be checked with the car on a flat road and ideally when the tyres are cold. If you're going to use the machines at the petrol station do it on the "way out" if going somewhere, not on the way back when the tyres have warmed up.

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Just my take..

You may get fractionally more MPG.

It will not reduce wear on the tyres, it will just cause them to wear in the middle, and an emergency stop resulting in the car skidding may shave a strip off the middle of the tyre.

It will reduce grip because less tyre is in contact with the road. This would be especially noticeable in wet weather and may induce skidding.

The manufacturer's specifications are for a normal weight load, if you're going on holiday with the car fully loaded or towing a trailer or caravan you may be advised to overinflate slightly to compensate, but at all other times it's a bad idea.

Tyre pressures should always be checked with the car on a flat road and ideally when the tyres are cold. If you're going to use the machines at the petrol station do it on the "way out" if going somewhere, not on the way back when the tyres have warmed up.

Yes, the manufacturers figure will be a good compromise.

Softer could give a softer ride but the fact that it is more flexible will make it less precise and as it will flex more it will heat more. Too soft can definitely cause early failure and can cause unseen damage which may cause failure later. The extra flexing costs power which costs MPG, you burn petrol/diesel to heat tyres.

It may cause uneven wear in that the edge of the tread may wear more than the crown. Slightly lower pressures may be better on a wet road.

Harder than the recommended settings will give a harder ride and may cause uneven wear, the crown of the tread wearing more than the edges. Harder may give more precission, may give better grip and may give better MPG due to less flexing.

The recommended figures are a compromise, a few pounds PSI harder may be better for some things and any substantial amount softer is probably going to be bad.

The optimum pressure will probably be a bit different with different brands so if you actually ever get a chance to drive your car, as opposed to use it as a mode of transport, it may be wort playing around a bit with the pressures.

Mine started life on Yokohama AO39 which has a stiff sidewall. I changed to Toyo Proxe T1R for better wet grip but as the sidewall is not so stiff I upped the pressure a bit on the front.

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  • 246 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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