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15" vs. 17" wheels, that big a difference?

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Old 01-18-2018, 05:59 PM
  #301  
iwasmenowhesgone
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Originally Posted by AirBusPilot View Post
None.
Again....is the car lowered?
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:30 PM
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Sorry to add to an old thread, but I promised I would post after I got my new wheel/tire set.

15x8 American Racing Torq Thrust II #VN5155861 (-18mm offset) on all corners. (grey centers are plastidip for now)

255/60r15 Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S (drag radials) on rear (painted raised letters white)

245/60r15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T front

Now with my impressions after putting some miles on them going from my old 17/16 inch Ultra High Performance tire combo;

Over-all I love the new combo; I have better traction, better acceleration, better ride comfort, and I love the look.

I did loose some cornering feel/response a bit going to the 15 inch combo, but I was expecting this to some degree with the taller sidewalls, etc. It still handles very well and I did take it through some curvy back roads on multiple occasions and pushed it hard. The 16/17 inch combo did stay flatter in the curves, but the 15 inch combo held the road just as well, if not even better with the sticky drag radials.

There was a very noticeable increase in ride comfort going to the 15 inch combo, which is great for a lot of the crappy public roads I have to drive on.

Not only do the 15 inch drag radials hold traction on hard acceleration and quick turns, I also noticed that they are easier to turn and get up to speed on light throttle due to the decrease in mass compared to the 17/16 inch combo.

Here is my old combo to compare (255/50r17 Nitto Invo on 17x8 TT2 rear, 245/50r16 Falken ZE950 on 16x8 TT2 front):






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Old 04-05-2018, 08:40 PM
  #303  
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Looks great...Def.gives it that muscular don't mess with me look.....All though , car does look great with both sets...Good choice...
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:49 PM
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Bless you! I'm sticking with my 15 in setup. I have the nitto drag radials on mine and they handle just fine.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:30 AM
  #305  
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I really like 15" better.
Do I see Wilwood calipers through those wheels?
If so, what ones are you running front and rear?
I purchased 4 piston Wilwoods for the rear on 11.75 Wilwood rotors and 6 piston for the front with 11.75 rotors.
I purchased 17" wheels because the wheel to caliper tolerances were too close with the wheels I purchased, but it looks like you have plenty of room with the 15" torque thrust wheels.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SHIFT A View Post






Sorry to add to an old thread, but I promised I would post after I got my new wheel/tire set.

15x8 American Racing Torq Thrust II #VN5155861 (-18mm offset) on all corners. (grey centers are plastidip for now)

255/60r15 Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S (drag radials) on rear (painted raised letters white)

245/60r15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T front

Now with my impressions after putting some miles on them going from my old 17/16 inch Ultra High Performance tire combo;

Over-all I love the new combo; I have better traction, better acceleration, better ride comfort, and I love the look.

I did loose some cornering feel/response a bit going to the 15 inch combo, but I was expecting this to some degree with the taller sidewalls, etc. It still handles very well and I did take it through some curvy back roads on multiple occasions and pushed it hard. The 16/17 inch combo did stay flatter in the curves, but the 15 inch combo held the road just as well, if not even better with the sticky drag radials.

There was a very noticeable increase in ride comfort going to the 15 inch combo, which is great for a lot of the crappy public roads I have to drive on.

Not only do the 15 inch drag radials hold traction on hard acceleration and quick turns, I also noticed that they are easier to turn and get up to speed on light throttle due to the decrease in mass compared to the 17/16 inch combo.

Here is my old combo to compare (255/50r17 Nitto Invo on 17x8 TT2 rear, 245/50r16 Falken ZE950 on 16x8 TT2 front):






As I said on other thread, this is a fantastic improvement over what you had. No matter what anyone says, I think the "improvement" bigger wheels supposedly provide, it is nothing but a theoretical advantage on a race track, and completely irrelevant for the driving anyone should be doing on the street.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:44 PM
  #307  
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Originally Posted by iwasmenowhesgone View Post
As I said on other thread, this is a fantastic improvement over what you had. No matter what anyone says, I think the "improvement" bigger wheels supposedly provide, it is nothing but a theoretical advantage on a race track, and completely irrelevant for the driving anyone should be doing on the street.
Thank-you, and very well said with the rest.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:47 PM
  #308  
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Originally Posted by OldCarBum View Post
I really like 15" better.
Do I see Wilwood calipers through those wheels?
If so, what ones are you running front and rear?
I purchased 4 piston Wilwoods for the rear on 11.75 Wilwood rotors and 6 piston for the front with 11.75 rotors.
I purchased 17" wheels because the wheel to caliper tolerances were too close with the wheels I purchased, but it looks like you have plenty of room with the 15" torque thrust wheels.
Yes, they are the Wilwood stock style Aluminum Calipers on all four corners which I am pretty sure provide the same clearances as stock. I did so many weight reductions that I didn't really feel a need to upgrade the whole brake assemblies with bigger rotors, etc.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:59 PM
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Very nice look. Thanks for sharing
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:33 PM
  #310  
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Originally Posted by iwasmenowhesgone View Post
Again....is the car lowered?
Yes, sorry for the late response.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:14 AM
  #311  
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I'm the OP, I guess I will find out this week if I did the right thing or not. Ordered 17" AR Ansen Sprint wheels and Nitto 255/50 tires for my 79. I went with that wheel because it's similar to the stock wheel to hopefully keep some of the original look. They get installed this week.





Pics and a report to follow.

Last edited by Capt. Shark; 04-08-2018 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:22 AM
  #312  
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Hey Capt. Shark, those slots look great! 'Can't wait to see pics.
i've been following this thread for a while. But has anyone with TT2's put the spinners center caps on? I didnt see pics if so, i might have missed it. I have TT2's in satin that came with my 74 coupe. I'm thinking of powder coating them satin black and putting polished spinners on. (Just spitballing ideas here to see if anyone has done something similar.)
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:17 PM
  #313  
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Default The 16" option

Somewhere in between 15" and 17" wheels lies another option. I have a set of 16" wheels that I've mounted a nice riding, nice handling set of tires. Toyo sells a P255/50ZR-16 TOYO PROXES RA1 autocross tire , that is DOT street legal. My yearly mileage is well under 5K so why the heck not put these on. They fit the wheel well nicely, 26.1" and 5 star reviews all around. I am kind of thinking I might like to powder coat the wheels to as close as I can get to Cortez Silver (comments welcome).







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Old 04-10-2018, 09:25 AM
  #314  
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Nice ig! If you powder coat the wheels you may as well do the bumpers. Nah, I would leave as is. Guess I'm partial to more chrome than others.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:25 AM
  #315  
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Originally Posted by Capt. Shark View Post
I'm the OP, I guess I will find out this week if I did the right thing or not. Ordered 17" AR Ansen Sprint wheels and Nitto 255/50 tires for my 79. I went with that wheel because it's similar to the stock wheel to hopefully keep some of the original look. They get installed this week.
Look good and they should work well. A quick search shows they weigh 22lbs which is a decent weight for that size of wheel.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:06 PM
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Thanks resdoggie - have never been fan of that bumper look but wheels seem to be "anything goes".

Capt Shark: Hope that works OK for you. I see the diameter of your choice at 27". Mine fill the wheel well at 26".
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:22 AM
  #317  
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Originally Posted by iwasmenowhesgone View Post
As I said on other thread, this is a fantastic improvement over what you had. No matter what anyone says, I think the "improvement" bigger wheels supposedly provide, it is nothing but a theoretical advantage on a race track, and completely irrelevant for the driving anyone should be doing on the street.
Appearance I'll leave that alone......it's subjective opinion.

As to how well the 17s work vs the 15s?

On stock suspension you may have a case to argue......in my case how-ever you don't.....not even close.

A complete suspension upgrade to traverse front and rear fiberglass and better shocks and sway bars that put car in a situation where it turns like it's on rails and sticks to corners like eggs in a cheap skillet........ the weak point of 15" BFG and the taller sidewalls became instantly obvious.

I cannot OVER-STATE the improvement modern 17" rubber made to the way the car turns and drives vs the 15" BFGs they replace.

I will give you this much......the "look" of his car with the dark 5 spokes does LOOK BETTER to my eye and if forced to choose on looks alone.......I'd go with the 15" he went with too.

The only problem though.......I like to drive my car more than i enjoy just looking at it parked in the driveway.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:49 AM
  #318  
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Originally Posted by Krystal View Post
Appearance I'll leave that alone......it's subjective opinion.

As to how well the 17s work vs the 15s?

On stock suspension you may have a case to argue......in my case how-ever you don't.....not even close.

A complete suspension upgrade to traverse front and rear fiberglass and better shocks and sway bars that put car in a situation where it turns like it's on rails and sticks to corners like eggs in a cheap skillet........ the weak point of 15" BFG and the taller sidewalls became instantly obvious.

I cannot OVER-STATE the improvement modern 17" rubber made to the way the car turns and drives vs the 15" BFGs they replace.

I will give you this much......the "look" of his car with the dark 5 spokes does LOOK BETTER to my eye and if forced to choose on looks alone.......I'd go with the 15" he went with too.

The only problem though.......I like to drive my car more than i enjoy just looking at it parked in the driveway.
That's fine, but not everybody drives on public streets as if they are on a race course. I enjoy the twisties too, but I drive responsibly and my 15's do just fine. Lets not get into another back and forth on this subject....my point is that for those who drive their Corvettes reasonably on the streets, 15 inch tires are more than adequate..that is my only point. I have no doubt that bigger wheels and the tires available corner better.....but its just like 500 HP, it is useless if you don't need it.
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:39 PM
  #319  
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Originally Posted by Capt. Shark View Post
I'm the OP, I guess I will find out this week if I did the right thing or not. Ordered 17" AR Ansen Sprint wheels and Nitto 255/50 tires for my 79. I went with that wheel because it's similar to the stock wheel to hopefully keep some of the original look. They get installed this week.





Pics and a report to follow.
They just barely rub on the calipers, dammit. Got some 1/8" billet aluminum spacers on the way.

Yeah, I know. Go ahead, flame away
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by iwasmenowhesgone View Post
That's fine, but not everybody drives on public streets as if they are on a race course. I enjoy the twisties too, but I drive responsibly and my 15's do just fine. Lets not get into another back and forth on this subject....my point is that for those who drive their Corvettes reasonably on the streets, 15 inch tires are more than adequate..that is my only point. I have no doubt that bigger wheels and the tires available corner better.....but its just like 500 HP, it is useless if you don't need it.
This is YOUR OPINION, and nothing else... My C3 with its 18" wheels can get around a track as well as a C4,5, 6 and 7... could it do that on 15? lol... not in a million years..

And what you consider driving responsibly i see as a "lillli old lady from..." and No, your 15" tires on the freeway doing 70mph do not give you the same ride or safety that a 18" gives.. if it did, all new cars would have them... they simply do not,, why? cuz they suck. and no.. 500hp is not useless ,,, I have 650hp and its amazing to have on the freeway to pass and to get around... it power is regulated through something called a "gas peddle" thus I do not have to use all 650hp, its just there when i need/want it.. but with you line of thought,, the only thing we need to drive is a Prius... can't believe those stupid GM engineers building the C7 with 18+" rims and 600+hp engines... way more than needed to drive "responsibly" ... and no, if you are on 15" wheels... you do not love the twistsies like we do,,, we like to go a little faster than a Prius C3...And to boot,,, you can not get a decent size brake in a 15" rim...

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