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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
~ any of you who have ever rode a bicycle have noticed that the heavier the wheels and tires were - the harder it is to pedal.

The same is true of motor vehicles.

Oh?

Is this a new idea for you?

Taller rims made of light weight materials such as aluminum weigh far less than the rubber of a tires sidewall. Steel rims weigh far more than aluminum.

ERGO ( no pun intended) a tall rim with a tight sidewall tire on it such as a sixteen inch with a 20 series tire weighs ( MASSES ) a lot less, and requires far less energy to TURN it.

CHECK SUM:

Go ride a bicycle with fat tires, then go ride a bike with skinny ROAD RACING TIRES.

You will instantly notice a difference....

You can go a lot faster on a "ROAD BIKE" than a "MOUNTAIN BIKE" because the weight of the wheels is so different....

The difference is so total that I can hardly imagine having to explain it. But in brief, things on a wheel don't just go around in a circle, it requires ENERGY to cause that.

The lighter the wheel and tire combination is - the less energy is taken up to do so....


Do I have you thinking yet?

RUBBER weighs a lot more than ALUMINUM.
STEEL weighs a lot more than Aluminum.

If we get rid of the steel, and eliminate as much as possible of the RUBBER by increasing the diameter of an Aluminum rim - the whole combination weighs or "MASSES" a lot less, and consumes less energy (given the same exterior diameter, and a smaller "SIDEWALL" of the tire) so that what happens is that the balance of the performance of the engine is applied to aerodynamics...

*Which is the other major factor involved in both speed and efficiency.



~Further deponent sayeth not~

I want to see the rest of you become active in this discussion...
 

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There are pros & cons to everything - the downside to large rims and skinny rubber is that you feel every bump in the road AND run the risk of destroying your investment on every pothole and speed bump.

Just my opinion (which is based on personal experience), running anything less than a 45 profile tire is lunacy, and where I live I won't go less than 60 - nothing pisssses me off more than to behind some kid in a slammed Honda easing his way over every speed bump and crack in the pavement, holding up the traffic - like the one of my kid's friends who turned a twenty five mile airport trip into a two hour drive - I've seen one so low that it scraped every lane marking @#$% reflector.

If you're going to build a car that can't handle the road where you live, make it a trailer queen, don't try to daily drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So go with a 45 series - it's still a good investment. Normal tires are 65 to 70 series.

But the kid you mentioned made a gross error by SLAMMING the car. Too little ground clearance may look cool to some people, but it throws away a lot of the suspension functionality - and if you go with really tight rubber you NEED that suspension in order to help the wheel/tire combo to survive.

Another common mistake is to bust out with really WIDE rubber - you don't want to do that either except on a race track because the tire "Footprint" is calculated to press the rubber to the road surface as much as the overall weight of the vehicle is capable of doing.

Too wide a tire surface on a light car will cause it to hydroplane in the slightest bit of wet surface, which means a net loss of all handling and traction. I'll never forget a Ford Taurus station wagon I used to have that I decided to go 20mm wider on at all corners, figuring that in California (where I was at the time) it never rained. I also thought at the time that 20mm wouldn't make too radical a difference, but wow was I ever wrong!

The few times I hit puddles with it were instant E-ticket rides...

I agree that we need to be aware of the road surfaces where we are - public highways are far from the controlled conditions that we expect on a racing circuit. They more closely resemble a wilderness where anything might be encountered.

But I tend to be picky not only about WHAT I drive, I also care about WHERE I drive.

For nasty roads I also have a truck. In my daily drives though, I am constantly looking at the day to day condition of the roads I use and at the very least know where and when to slow down a bit. (Not that I am very often below the speed limit)

I bet that sounds like law scoffing - but the average driver will run five to ten MPH over
 

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"Normal" is relative, and when no profile is specified that's an 80 series tire, so that's what I would consider "normal" or "implied" and no way am I running 45's here, in fact the next set of tires I buy is going to be 70 series - so I'm going up from 60's.

Too wide a tire surface on a light car causes aquaplaning - you think?? - how about aquaplaning with 165s Uniroyal radials (that wide enough for your liking?) - that, by the way, was a 2000 lb car, with around 40 hp - hit a slick patch with a front tire and you'd lose traction on that one wheel, and the revs would jump until the tire made contact with the road surface again.

On a different car, this time 1600 lbs with probably double the power (so less weight AND more power), I went from stock 155s to 185s (30mm wider on all corners) and never had an issue with aquaplaning - on any tire - Bridgestone/Falken/Goodyears - pouring rain, at speeds exceeding 80 mph, and this, just by coincidence is on the same stretch of road, albeit many decades apart.

I'd have to guess that tire technology has come a loooooong way in the intervening years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Tread pattern has a lot to do with that - I have been noticing for a while that many tires come now with a deep groove or valley in the center to allow a new space for water to "squish" into, besides out to the inner and outer edges. But these are mostly intended for hard pavement use - i have no idea what road surfaces and conditions where you are may be.

For most of my own driving, I am only confronted with smooth tarmac and occasional potholes. I do not take my little car offroad, I wouldn't dream of such a thing. But Georgetown Guyana is far different than what we find in the United States, where roads first began as co-operative efforts among auto clubs, and were eventually considered by the Federal Government to be of vital importance to both interstate commerce and national defence.

We have interstate highways that are smooth as can be for hundreds of miles, and also neglected areas that any sane driver should be aware of before attempting to take off down them.

We still have our share of gravel roads and even dirt farm tracks - but they are not the general rule.

Many of the main routes between cities are three lanes wide in each direction, sometimes as much as four or even six, and there are car-pool lanes in some areas that operate in different directions depending on the time of day, though most are two in each with a center strip that takes off drainage. They tend to have fairly wide "BREAK DOWN LANES" on the inner and outer edges too, where a driver can pull off in an emergency.

The construction of them specifies that they be crowned in the center so that run-off goes out to the sides, and some pavements are even "GROOVED" to assist in drainage.

~We are quite spoiled drivers over here!

Currently, the average speed limit on such highways is anything from 65 to 75 miles per hour, and the cops won't bother you unless you exceed the limit by more than ten.

~In fact - there is a fairly long highway near where I live with a posted speed of 85 MPH
-Put bluntly, that means ignorant car owners with bald tires and cracks in the sidewalls are legally allowed to go 136.79 KPH on that road...

HOWEVER! Any idiot caught running equipment in that state of disrepair would immediately be fined.

What I am telling you is that the roads around here are generally smooth enough to run average stock tires and wheels at a rate of anywhere from 105 KPH to 150 KPH, and that is considered entirely normal....


Does Guyana have any roads like that at all?

I can well imagine that what I have just told you may sound like an absolute fairy tale...

*I have been looking at this:
https://www.google.com/search?q=guy...LA4ikyATTgYLgBg&ved=0CDoQsAQ&biw=1270&bih=918

...and it appears to be a very beautiful part of the world.
 

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Just so you're know, I'm no stranger to the US highway system - or to the back roads of the US - I may live in Georgetown, Guyana, but I'm a frequent visitor to the US, and it's not unusual for me to cover more distance behind the wheel there, than I do here, in any given year.

You're quite right though - we have nothing comparable - our widest roadway is two lanes in each direction (I'll refrain from calling it a highway), and our longest highway (US built) is one lane in each direction.
 

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Aluminium is 1/3 the weight of steel but many aluminium alloy wheels use more than three times the metal to get adequate strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
There are also different grades of both hardness and other qualities. Most aluminum is actually an alloy of several metals, and the heat treatment will determine a lot about it.

In Naval Aviation the usual material is 70/75 T-6 - this is what is used for most jet airframes. What it might be in a wheel I have no idea, though I suppose it's something that can be checked first before buying. 70/75 T-6 is relatively brittle and won't take a bend without annealing the metal with a torch first (cold bending will usually crack right along the bend). "Annealing" means heating the metal up to take out the heat treatment.

You don't want too soft an alloy - nor do you want something that is brittle.

And you're right - alloy rims are generally much thicker. By the same ticket, they do not flex like a steel rim might. Cracking is something to keep an eye out for if a rim is too hard a compound.

In the best of all worlds the composition of the alloy should probably be somewhere about in the middle. For my uses I think Konig can be trusted to have a good product.
 

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All types of aluminium are an alloy as is steel which is essentially an iron/carbon alloy.

In the EU most tyres are given performance ratings for fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise. A tyre graded A for fuel efficiency can supposedly be up to 7.5% better than a grade 'G'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I haven't got that far yet - as usual I am planning far in advance of laying money down.

What I have on it now are 75 series tires on stock steel rims, but I cleaned everything up and shot a coat of fairly nice color on them. *Nothing that I put together is allowed to look nasty.

The rim and tire combi I am considering will preserve the tread width, and have around a two inch taller rim at least - in alloy. As light as possible, to try to improve mileage, not speed or handling. I figure the tread width and weight of the whole vehicle were taken into account during design and testing long before the car was ever marketted. The absolute outer diameter of the tires at the tread MUST ALSO remain the same as stock.
 

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From the bicycle standpoint (as it pertains to any rolling mass, really), I'm an avid rider. Aside from rim and tire weight and size concerns, probably one of the most noticeable differences I've experienced is tire pressure as it contributes significantly to "rolling resistance"! The higher the pressure, the better the "roll". But the trade-offs are considerable too, in the form of an uncomfortable ride, additional stress on frame and bearings and traction loss. :(

You need to find a happy medium between all the variables, in other words. ;)
 

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Have you looked at what size tyres were fitted to the Metro xfi? they may have been narrower than other models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Different years also had different diameter rims. I think my first
metro had 12" rims. Later ones had 13's. Both had 70 or 80 series tires, but I think that had to do with the Metro having three cylinders instead of four.

With less HP it needed an advantage in leverage at the wheel
 

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Did you notice he specifically mentioned the Metro XFi?

It was more than just a trim level and might be worth researching.

The XFi was, so to speak, a "hypermiler metro", specifically designed and equipped for maximum fuel consumption, modified engine, different injection, different gears, and different tires EPA rated at 53 city/58 highway - which to put it in perspective is better than than Toyota's Prius hybrid, without the complications of hybrid technology, and almost a decade earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I collected a Swift for two reasons - one being the mountains in some parts of the country.
The second reason is that I doubt an A/C system in a Metro would do very well.

That having been said - it does sound interesting. One of the places a Metro can really make money is on long interstate highway runs, and I have been thinking convertible for a while.

If there was an XFi convert - that has some possibilities....
 

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The a/c on the Swift isn't particularly effective.

There was no XFi convertible, but, several folks have swapped the GT/i engine in, and also upgraded the suspension & brakes to GT/I spec, essentially creating a GT/i convertible.

TeamSwift.net should have a fair bet of documentation on these.
 
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