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View Poll Results: 2012 17" vs 18"
17" 16 47.06%
18" 18 52.94%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-06-2013, 11:49 AM   #21
gtncpa
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I wonder if you can remove the stops that prevent us 18" people from performing a "U" turn?
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #22
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Same wheel model to same model, the reasons for going from an 18" wheel to a 17" wheel have less to do with asthetics and more to do with the factors already mentioned (better ride, less cost, ect.).

You have to live with your car daily and softening up the ride by going with a smaller diameter wheel and overall stock diameter wheel and tire set up will offer a better ride and a bit of insurance.

The affect on performance will be a bit less sharp turn in due to the lower profile tires on the 18's. Tire selection can go from overly stiff sidewalls (max performance-ultra high performance) to moderately stiff (high performance to touring) and then your more basic all seasons. Typically as go down in tire performance, the softer the ride, less overall grip, and slower steering response/performance as the wheel rolls over the sidewall.

A good set of quality 17" wheels and high performance or touring class tires would offer better ride and offer decent performance. If you are not ragging around all the time, and mostly cruising or in stop and go traffic, tire performance is not as great a factor all things considered.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:14 AM   #23
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FWIW, we have a 12 SEL with 215/55-16 tires and a 13 ST with 235/40-18. The ride is virtually the same or so close I can't tell the difference. I also have a set of winter tires for the ST that are 225/50-17. I can't tell the difference in the ride between those and the 18's.

I used to be very much against low profile tires and that is the reason we bought the SEL with the 16's. Seems hey have figured out how not to lose ride comfort with tires with aspect ratios of 50 or less.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtncpa View Post
I wonder if you can remove the stops that prevent us 18" people from performing a "U" turn?
The other racks also still have limiters in them, but they are smaller and or further inboard to allow more travel.

The Focus ST has quick steering, but with the limiters still as harsh as the basic MK3 with 18" wheels the turning circle is not so great.

Car drives amazing, but you can't cut a tight u turn very easily if at all with the limiters in place.

The old SEL probably could do a few feet better though as it was built with the 16" rack.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:41 AM   #25
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The bigger the rim size and lower the profile does lend itself to being a bit prone to hydroplaning sooner than tires with a more cupped softer edge.
I like having a little extra rubber around the rim with constant construction and the affect the weather has on the roads around here plus my wife isn't as savvy about avoiding imperfections in the road as I am.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:43 PM   #26
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Hydro planning is a function of the contact patch and tread pattern. Two tires with the same outside diameter, tread width and tread pattern are going to hydro plane the same regardless of the rim diameter.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:52 PM   #27
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Actually tires with lower profile edges have a bigger contact patch due to the edge being very stiff and holding more of the contact patch to the surface of the road vs a tire with more sidewall. I saw a test on Motorweek TV using same width tires but with different aspect ratios.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:33 PM   #28
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I vote 18"
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