Lightweight wheels

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Steve Ekstrand
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Lightweight wheels

Post by Steve Ekstrand » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:58 pm

I never much paid attention to wheel weights on the Neon. But with the family wanting to campaign that car again Nationally, I've been looking for another pair of 17x9 front wheels. I found a 17x9 5x100 40mm offset wheel that is 17.49lbs each. Is that in the ballpark. It's not as critical as it was in STS with the underpowered Honda. But I don't want unnecessarily heavy. Nor do I want to put a lot of money in this old car that spent a decade in my backyard. These are Konig Hypergrams. I always thought of Konigs as being overly heavy.
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Mike Simanyi
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Mike Simanyi » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:18 pm

I’ve been checking out 17” STX wheels Steve. That seems to be right in the ballpark.

We weighed one of the current wheels on the BMW when Marshall was installing some new tires, and they were 17.5 lbs on the scale he had available.

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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Earl Merz » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:25 pm

Enkei has the RPF1 in 17x9 ET45 5x100 listed at under 16lb each.
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Steve Ekstrand
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Steve Ekstrand » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:30 pm

Just checked Enkei's website and they list 15.65lbs. Nearly two lbs a wheel isn't bad. The rears I have are copies of that wheel by Rota. The rears don't do anything, so I was never worried about using a wheel from Crack and Fail Industries.
It would sure be weird to have nearly matching wheels on that car. I will lose all my street ricer cred. :shh: 8-)
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Mike Simanyi
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Mike Simanyi » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:58 pm

I suggest weighing one. Check some other sizes’ weights on their site. Smaller wheels seem to be heavier, and they don't quote weights for marginally larger sizes. Seems odd to me.

They might be accurate, but it seems worth a little more due diligence before you buy a set of wheels and are disappointed to find they didn't save you any weight.

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Steve Ekstrand
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Steve Ekstrand » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:03 pm

That's interesting. I see what you mean on their spec pages. In the past with the EF sizes. The RPF1 was a decently light wheel but no where near the early SSR's (though a lot more streetworthy).
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Mike Simanyi » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:06 pm

Yup.

For comparison, I happen to like ARC wheels for my BMW. They're what I use on the SM M3, and I was thinking of getting an additional set for use on the Berry STX car. They have a new forged wheel, which I figured would look nice, be strong and fairly light.

https://www.apexraceparts.com/wheels/ar ... wheel.html

Approx 17.5 lbs.

Their flow-formed less expensive stuff, which I use on the M3, is actually lighter; about 16.5 lbs:

https://www.apexraceparts.com/wheels/ar ... wheel.html

But this same wheel with a higher offset is 17.8 lbs:

https://www.apexraceparts.com/wheels/ar ... wheel.html




All those differences prompted a bit of a search for me (which I shut down when we weighed one of the wheels used on the car and found it isn't particularly heavy), and when I was done it seemed like the vast majority of 17x9 wheels are in the 17-22 lb range. Call me a skeptic, but 15.7 lbs for a 17x9 sounds either optimistic or unreliable... at least on the surface.

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Bill Martin
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Bill Martin » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:41 pm

Wheel weight vs actual lap time data is hard to find. Most everyone just talks about rotational inertia, unsprung weight and lotsa good sounding techy stuff.

I once found a track-based study from a very sharp Japanese road racing team that gave surprising results. My recollection (highly undependable) was there were three wheel sets of different weights and no track difference between heavier and middle weight. But the lightest wheels were the slowest. Why? Structural distortion under load.

But I suppose if I could locate another data-based analysis the results would likely be the opposite. Such is life.

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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Steve Ekstrand » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:28 pm

Back as a teenager in my 69 Barracuda I went from some really heavy steel mag wheels to some Centerline AutoDrag's that were pretty light. The centerlines were a little bigger but the tires were lighter with lower profile. Overall diameter was similar. Not exact. I felt like I could feel the lighter wheel tire package. And I felt like it was easier to lock up brakes(non-abs). Of course, that could have been the lack of sidewall deflection in the lower profile tire. Going from 14" 65 series to 15" 50 series. Not exactly rubberbands by today's standards. And my buttdyno didn't have a lot of experience. ;)
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Re: Lightweight wheels

Post by Earl Merz » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:25 pm

I have too many sets of wheels for the Camaro already...don't know why, I just like having extra wheels around. I have two sets of Apex wheels, EC-7 in 19x10.5 ET22 and they weigh in at 24lbs, a set of ARC-8 in 19x11 ET11(24.5lbs) and ET43(21.8lbs). Also have a set of Project 6GR wheels in the factory size, these are forged monoblock wheels. Fronts are 20x10 ET20 and weigh 22.5lbs and the rears are 20x11 ET43 and weigh 21lbs. The Project 6GR wheels are 7.5lbs a wheel lighter than the stock wheels. I can feel a difference when accelerating from a stop or a slow roll and the car just feels lighter on the road. However I also noticed a lot more NVH with these wheels, even with softer/lower performance tires mounted. If there were better options for 20" tires I'd likely go back to running them.
2018 Camaro 2SS 1LE with Nav (need it to find my way around the course)

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