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Old 04-29-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
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Buying dedicated autocross wheels, what size?

Well, since GW is sending out the early tax rebates I just my try to boost the economy by buying a dedicated set of autox wheels and tires

I'm looking for some thoughts/feedback as to what size wheel to get.

I'm running STS right now with the Roush stg 2 springs and dampers, roush rear sway (22mm), stock front sway, and the various bolts ons, CAI, header, etc. I'm also using the stock 16x6 wheels with BF Goodrich GForce Sport tires. Class wise I eventually see myself building the focus into a Forced Induction SM car, but thats a 2-3 years away (but would like to keep the same wheels to fit R-comps).

I'm leaning towards a set of 16x7's, I think going to 17x7 will be an extra weight penality and be more expensive for R-comps in the future. 15's may be tough (hoping to upgarde to SVT brakes) and I don't think there's alot of tire size options there for the street tire class.

Thanks for the input, also any experience with the current street tires is appreciated, i.e. Dunlop direzza vs. bstone RE01R vs. Falken 615s


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Old 04-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #2
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I was going to say 16x7.5 to allow a little extra room for a 225 if you could squeeze it in there. 16x7 would be good as well. Go for something as lightweight as you can afford. You'll have to check the STS rules to verify what width you can run, I believe it cuts off at 225.

As for tires I'm running the Azenis but have yet to take them to the track. I'll know how they perform next Sunday, but of course those are the class favorite. I have heard good things about those other tires as well, though. If you go auto-xing with people who run Azenis, you might notice some of the racers spraying them down often. Azenis get a little greasy when they overheat, so that's something to consider.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #3
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It would appear that the fastest "Focus-friendly" tire would be the the Z1 in a 215/40-17. I'd strongly suggest finding 7.5" wheels for ideal fit...this is a wide 215--over 8.125" on a 7.5 wheel.

The 215/45-16 Falken is an old stand-by, but will give up some to the newer tires. Again, 7.5" wheels would be better--especially with the future move up in class. Also, Kumho will have the new XS out next year, and the 215/45-16 is supposed to be offered. I am sure that will be a very fast tire.

The Toyo R1R in a 225/45-15 is a possibility too. There are a few 15" wheels that will work with SVT brakes. I know Aaron Williams runs some 15x8 ATS wheels from Germany on his DSP car. Rota makes a nice 15x7.5 Slipstream ( .http://www.18racing.com/wheel_slipstream.html ) Also: The brake upgrade is not worth it for AX, IMO. If you do track days, the yes, certainly. Otherwise, good pads (Hawks) and stainless lines work just fine.

You may consider 8" wide wheels and run STX instead of STS as well. It'll be better for you when you move on to SM. You could also run a LSD right away...and the STX index is only slightly worse than STS. Its a better fit for a Focus IMO, only because of the weight of the car, and the tires offered. Running Civic-sized tires (eg 205/50-15, 205/45-16) on a Focus when running against STS SpecCivics is an exercise in futility.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

Any examples of a light 17x7.5 wheel?
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto-X-ZTS View Post
It would appear that the fastest "Focus-friendly" tire would be the the Z1 in a 215/40-17. I'd strongly suggest finding 7.5" wheels for ideal fit...this is a wide 215--over 8.125" on a 7.5 wheel.
Exactly what I'm running - they've been great for an AX/track setup. I get a little gearing reduction, but not as much as I'd like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto-X-ZTS View Post
The Toyo R1R in a 225/45-15 is a possibility too.
Have you heard any news on availability? Have you talked with folks that've driven them? I've been following the thread at sccaforums and I'm wondering if the squishy feel and wear/graining issues are as bad as they sound. I'm still thinking I want a set of dedicated 15in AX wheels, but I'm not willing to step down to the 195 tire width.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eventerke View Post

Have you heard any news on availability? Have you talked with folks that've driven them? I've been following the thread at sccaforums and I'm wondering if the squishy feel and wear/graining issues are as bad as they sound. I'm still thinking I want a set of dedicated 15in AX wheels, but I'm not willing to step down to the 195 tire width.
Clearly they are out. I have not researced where. Those issues may certainly be valid, but they also won some National events--so they are certainly fast once figured out. I also noticed a few drivers ordering up 2nd sets...cant be that bad if people are willing to get 'em again, especially as that they are a little pricey.

It's probabaly not a good NooB tire. The 'Stones and the Dunlops appear to be the easiest tires to go fast on. The Falken is not bad up to maybe 95%--but they have an 'edge' that they do not like to be pushed over. Still a good choice for the money, IMO--just not a 'National' contender anymore--but neither is the Focus as a car. 205/50-15 Falkens on 7.5" TDs or Rotas would be a nice setup and would be actually pretty inexpensive compared to other options.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto-X-ZTS View Post
It would appear that the fastest "Focus-friendly" tire would be the the Z1 in a 215/40-17. I'd strongly suggest finding 7.5" wheels for ideal fit...this is a wide 215--over 8.125" on a 7.5 wheel.

The 215/45-16 Falken is an old stand-by, but will give up some to the newer tires.
I think either the Z1 setup or the Falken set up will be the way to go, guess its time to do some wheel shopping. Thanks guys.

In the meantime I'll continue to beat up on my BF Goodrich's on the stock wheels.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #8
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lightweight wheels: OZ wheels, Team Dynamics, usually anything forged.

I'm gonna suggest 15" wheels, because thats what i race. 15" = lighter than same model 16 or 17 (duh). As far as fitting over SVT brakes, this limits you to:
OZ superleggeras
Team Dynamics ProRace 1 (or 1.2)
and assorted 3 piece wheels, like some BBS, etc.

I have the Team Dynamics ProRace 1 in a 15x7.5, the weigh less than 13lbs, i run a 225 wide tire, and they clear SVT brakes.

If you are planning to go to SM, then I suggest waiting on the expensive wheel purchase untill you are ready to get some 15x10 wheels with teh hoosier 275wide tires and cut your fenders. other wise you will have trouble being competative. IMO SM is a "how deep are you pockets" class, with cars that have huge power, huge tires, huge expenses, etc.

I have a FI car in SM, and its tough. Im actually gonna step back a class and build a FSP car.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:39 PM   #9
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Of all classes, FSP is most likely the best "fit" for a Focus. Still can run the 275s and uber wide wheels...but w/o the expense of a SM motor...after that STX would be my next choice...still a knife-at-a-gunfight (against the WRXs and 3-Series Bimmers), but a bigger knife than what you can yield in STS.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:24 PM   #10
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Definitely have some wheel options to do some more research on. I just started autocross this year, so I'll stay in STS for now to get as much seat time as I can. I'm actually doing two point series right now, CCR and SCR regions in SCCA.

Upgrade plans include these wheels and tires, and then an update to better dampers and bushings. Luckily these two regions compete in aren't very heavy in STS civics.

I'd like to eventually go F/I with the focus, which would bump me to SM. I realize I wouldn't be competitive in alot of regions, but in SCR and CCR, the SM class is pretty thin, or only includes EVOs and STis with mild mods to the turbo. A lot of these guys are younger, the type that already knows everything and doesn't take advice. I think if the I went all out with A/C delete, built up F/I engine, rear seat delete, fuel cell, etc., etc. it would at least be a fast focus
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