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Since eMass' speaker thread has been so helpful to everyone, I was hoping to start the same thing here for wheels and tires. If an almighty mod could make this a sticky, that would be most appreciated ([Done -brendan]). If anyone has additional items they would like see listed in the boilerplate, please PM me and I would be happy to edit my post. Thanks in advance to all those participating since this will helps us all be more informed buyers.

Here is a boilerplate for those wishing to submit info.

Wheels
- Brand, Style (e.g Volks, TE37)
- Diameter, Width, Offset. (e.g. 16x6.5 +45)
- Weight (anyone know the stock wheel weight?)
- Store, Price, Shipping

Tires
- Brand, Style (e.g. Falken, ZE512)
- Size (e.g. 215/70-16)
- Store, Price, Shipping
- Review (e.g. Traction (Dry, Wet, Snow), Road Noise, Ride, Rubbing, etc.)
 

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I'll throw in my $.02...

Wheels
Enkei RPF1
18" x 8" +35
17.8# ea. (The stock 16 X 6 riims weigh 20.5#)
Midwest Tire & Auto $275 ea.

Tires
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 245/45ZR18
Mr P's Tire $260 ea. (inlc. mount & balance)

This combination offers superb dry and wet traction. The ride is very smooth for this size. Much better than the BFG G-Force T/A's that I tried previously. I would recommend offset between 40 and 45 mm with this tire, but I have not had any rubbing problems. This combination makes the E handle like a sports car.
 

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Wheels
- Stock EX 16x6

Tires
- Brand - Falken ZE512
- Size - 235/60/16
- Purchased from a local tire store in San Diego for $71 a tire
- Review - I only have about 1500 miles on these tires, but my initial reaction is extremely positive. The difference between these and the goodyears are night and day. Dry traction and handling have been greatly improved. They are very quiet, and no rubbing whatsoever. I'm not too sure about the wet traction, but I would be willing to bet that they would provide better traction than the worn goodyears. I have no idea about snow traction.

For someone that spends the majority of their driving on paved surfaces, this tire is an excellent upgrade. I have a 2wd 5speed, and have no intention of going off-road in my E. My goal was to improve handling and traction, without spending time and money on new wheels, suspension, alignments and so on. It takes quite a bit more effort to break the front tires loose now. On the worn goodyears, it was almost scary how quickly they would lose traction. Handling is much improved, and the car feels flatter through turns due to the lower profile and stiffer side walls. The squirmy soft sidewall on the goodyears made me feel unstable on twisty roads. By no means does the E handle like a sports car, but I definitely feel more comfortable during spirited driving. The ride is a bit more firm, but that could be attributed to the higher tire pressure. I'm running them at 36psi front, 38psi rear.

Why Falken? I have been very impressed with Falken tires. They make a quality product that performs excellent at a bargain price. I've been running Falken FK451's on my stage 2 WRX (285 crank hp), and must say that they have been one of the best performing street tires I've ever experienced. The price makes them all the better. Search on some other car forums, and read the positive reviews for yourself (nasioc.com , audiworld.com ). For what it's worth, Consumer Reports rated the ZE512 #1 in the high performance all season category (Not too sure about CR’s opinions, but the tires impressed them nonetheless). They also have a 60k mile treadwear warranty.



 

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Wheels: Stock EX 16x6 20.5#
Tires: BF Goodrich Long Trails 215/70/16
Purchased for $112 each from Big O Tires with lifetime rotation every 3k to 4k miles and free mounting and balancing.
They had a heck of a time getting the balancing right...took them three seperate tries. Bad vibraring steering wheel. Seems ok now.

Nice tire profile and highway rated for 75k miles.
 

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I saw pics of your tire/wheel set and it is really beautiful. That said, you dropped serious change on that mod...BUT it does look great. Any problems in the balancing and alignment stage of install?

I am looking and gunmetal wheels in the 17 inch range. I am concerned about turning radius as I really like the way this little truck turns on a veritable dime!

Thanks for the input!

M
 

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Had to replace a flat unrepairable Wrangler today and took it as a sign from the gods to just junk them all(have close to 20k on and was not happy with how they felt anyway). Picked up the Firestone Destination LE's in 225/70R16 for $400 including the road hazard warranty and an oil change. I was pressed for time so I didn't feel like heading to the dealer for it. Got it done at Tires Plus in Bryn Mawr (if anyone is local).

Liked the look of a more filled wheel well. Noticed a difference in the ride as soon as I got moving. Put about 30 miles on it after on the highway and stop and go. Much smoother, definitely quieter, handled a little tighter, and the steering seemed easier. Have it at 40/39 psi's front/rear which was the same I had the Wranglers at. Have a feeling the gods were right on this one.

Can post pics if no one else has yet.
 

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I also changed to FireStein Destination LEs on EX alloys, 225/70-16.
I have since driven 10K on them and I am not as impressed.
Initially they were sloppy until I upped the air pressure to 38.
At Honda recommended 34, there was a split second delay between turning the steering wheel and the car actually turning.
THey are louder as well, especially when hauling buttocks on curvy roads.
Wet traction was very good venturing around when Richmond got flooded recently, and snow traction should be good as well.
I'm gonna have to try even higher pressure since dbpaddler is happy with it.
BTW, I only paid $290 for my set. 8)
 

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With 40/39 psi, did the stock tires wear evenly? Some have speculated that the recomended pressures were too low, causing the the edges to wear faster. I suspect it is more a problem of perception, with shallow grooves on the edge tread, leading to an early appearance of edge baldness.

paulj
 

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I called around to about 6 different stores to get that price. Two were nowhere close, the rest were all in that ballpark. And that's after sales tax too. No one was coming close to the $300 price rance and some were over $400. I personally don't care what is recommended for pressure. I just go with what drives well. I've put 17k mi on in about 7 months so I'm sure I'll rack up some more miles soon and give a better review than just my initial impression after a couple hundred miles. But running the pressure around 40 (max is listed at 44) seems to work best. I left the shop at 35 and drove for about 20 minutes thinking okay, it's quieter but it just doesn't feel right. Upped it to 40 and it was much better.

said:
I also changed to FireStein Destination LEs on EX alloys, 225/70-16.
I have since driven 10K on them and I am not as impressed.
Initially they were sloppy until I upped the air pressure to 38.
At Honda recommended 34, there was a split second delay between turning the steering wheel and the car actually turning.
THey are louder as well, especially when hauling buttocks on curvy roads.
Wet traction was very good venturing around when Richmond got flooded recently, and snow traction should be good as well.
I'm gonna have to try even higher pressure since dbpaddler is happy with it.
BTW, I only paid $290 for my set. 8)
 

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Kumho KH 11 235 60 R 16 100 W (load rating of 100, speed rating of W, good for sustained speeds of 168 MPH--something to shoot for). Treadwar 280, Traction AA, Temperature A. Purchased at Discount tire, Midway Drive, San Diego, CA, for $91 each mounted and balanced.

What a difference tires can make--I have a new car!

The difference is dramatic. The car carves through turns with confidence instead of wallowing unnervingly as the old tires hunted in vain to take a set. No more embarrassing squeal from the front tires when accelerating briskly from a stop--not even the inside front tire when accelerating and turning. What amazes me is that in addition to the improved handling, the ride is also better. Where I live, we have a lot of speed dips with sharp approach angles. They seem much more muted now with the new tires. Pretty good considering the shorter sidewalls. I wonder how the tire volume compares btwn 215/70/16 and 235/60/16? This may account for some of the simultaneous improvement in ride and handling. It would be interesting to test different tires of identical sizes for the truest comparison. The top of my car is now also 3/10 of an inch lower to the ground which further lowers the cG, in addition to the 1.7 inches lower from the Eibach springs (makes roofrack loading/unloading easier as well).

With tires, every distinct brand and model behaves differently, so I wouldn't generalize about any other tire in the same size or any other tire by the same manufacturer. Seems like every tire manufacturer out there has their share of good and bad tire models. For example, though the original equipment Wrangler HPs were dogs in retrospect, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3s on my Porsche 911 are incredible. There are even several "Eagle F1" variants and generations with varying levels of performance.

By the tire size calculator at Miata.net, the difference in speed reading on the speedo is about 2%, so 60 mph indicated is 58.4 mph actual. I was given the name of a good speedo shop in downtown San Diego, so I plan to check that out (term speedo recalibration used loosely-it may even be a software thing.)
 

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Still amazed by what a difference these tires make--you guys don't know what you are missing.

Granted my E has Eibach lowering springs, but turn in is so crisp and stable, this car is now a gas to drive through twisty stuff.
 

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Instead of adding another tire topic, I thought I would try something novel and post here. (probably some reason I shouldn't....)

What are opinions or facts about putting on a 215/65-16 size set of tires on the Element? I stumbled across the Goodyear Assurance Triple Tread in this size, which has been a FANTASTIC tire on our Accord and it has a 740 tread rating and is "only" $120. This size would change the speedometer from 65mph to 63mph with a sidewall height shorter by .43 inch (-.85 inch diameter)

I am trying to find a good replacement for the Stock Wrangler tires which are leaving me less than impressed. I am looking for an ALL weather Northwest tire that will take me through all conditions and backroading, including occasional icey and snowy conditions which include getting to winter XC skiing on dicey back roads. But no SERIOUS "offroad".

I have been trying to track down the Nokian Wr's but finding a price and source has been more challenging than I thought. Sounds like they might be close to $200 each which is out of budget for me.
 

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215/65/16 should work. It is 3% smaller than stock. The more common 'step down' sizes 235/60/16 and 225/60/16 are 2.7 and 4.4% smaller. People generally move to these sizes because they want wider and/or lower profile tires. But if this 215/65/16 size gives you a better tire it may be a good choice. I see from Tirerack this TripleTred also comes in 225/60/16. In Tirerack customer rating this tire is top in its category, though the sample size is still small.

paulj
 

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Well this complicates things....
I found "Tire Factory" carries the Nokian WR in the STOCK Element 215/70-16 size, and they are only $117 INSTALLED. Rated for 50,000 miles. This is a tire with a history of glowing year round usage reviews

Goodyear Assurance Triple Tred go for $122 each, available only slightly undersize 215/65-16, rated for 75,000 miles....but no history yet as to how well they do year round...although its probably pretty good. No history as to if they actually last that long either.

I am tending toward staying with the stock size (I would like to go LARGER if anything) and the tried and true Nokian WR, and just see how they compare to the recently installed TripleTreds on our Accord.

Geez, going from not enough choices to too many. :roll:

Any opinions? Gut feelings?
 

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I am sold on Nokian. You NEVER hear anything bad about the WR
for winter or summer use. I've got Hakka CQ's for winter and I will
either use WR's or Hakka CS for summer. The CS (commercial van
series) has gotten great reviews for year round use.
www.snowtire.info has it's 2004 reviews including the WR. You just
can't go wrong with them.
 

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For those on a quest for GOOD tires on the STOCK alloy rims.....

I am not sure if its my befuddled brain from the really bad allergy attack I am having, or bait and switch at the tire place or an honest mistake.

I called to "special order" my Nokian WR tires for the Element from the only place that carries them, Tire Factory. $116 each was pricey but doable. I negotiated trade-in value for my current low mileage stock tires for a whopping $50 for the set, which is less than my usual place would have given me, but better than nothing. Then I ask something about the 215/70-16 size...and he replies "oh, you said 15 inch yesterday, the 16 inch costs more and is not available in your stock width". WTF??? I am staring at the piece of paper I used for notes the day before, with some size questions but ALL of the written down sizes say 16. That is one part I have NEVER mixed up...previously. But in the throes of allergies my brain has short circuited before. The Nokian WRs are only available in the 225 width for the Element stock size and cost $142 each. "Yikes" and then deadly silence on my end. Heck, I can get the well reviewed Michelin LTX for that price in that size. He finally came back with knocking it down to $132 each (installed)which is still more than I would have gone for, but I did cave in. They should be in by Friday. They BETTER be more effective than viagra at that price......

So.....Nokian WRs....NOT available in 215/70-16
Nokian WR ARE available in 225/70-16 for $142 each, installed price, through Tire Factory. ( the ONLY listed source in my area on the Nokian site)

I will post a pic soon after I get them. Although my Element will not be looking its "show" best with the weather we have been having.
 

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I maybe should have raised a question yesterday about the Nokian WR size, since the company site does not include a 215/70/16.

http://www.nokiantires.com/newsite/tires_popup.cfm?id=17

There is 215/70/15 on the passenger version table, though the 235/60/16 would be a better choice (stock rim, a bit smaller diameter than stock tire).

235/60/16 is the largest in Nokian WR passenger listing, and 225/70/16 is smallest in the SUV listing. The SUV set may have a bit deeper tread (14/32 v 12/32), otherwise them may be same.

The shoulders of the WR appear to be sufficiently rounded so that there should little question of the 225/70 size fitting.

There was a thread on winter tires recently where the Nokian was discussed.

paulj
 

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Seems Nokia is going to make a 215/70/16 size in the WR-SUV
soon. Date still to be announced. Maybe that's where your dealer
got confused. I've got CQ's in 215/75/16. OK clearance and it's
a commercial tire so that the sidewall's are a little stronger & stiffer.
I'll get you a web site for a good review of the "C" series of nokia
tires. They have good load rating and are rated to a max. of 70 psi.
 

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said:
They have good load rating and are rated to a max. of 70 psi.
For the CS tires the load rating is 114S, which translates to 2600 lb. I think, though, that that applies only when inflated to full pressure. I wonder how an Element would ride when the tires are inflated to 70 psi? Pretty hard I suspect. Would a CS tire at 35psi have a load rating closer to 2000 lb?

the WR SUV in similar size (225/70/16) has 103H rating, 1929 lb, problably at a pressure of 35 psi. That is typical for this size tire in the passenger/suv category. Given that the Element runs around 4000 lb, this is more than enough.

The H speed rating for the WR is higher than S rating, but both are well above any US speedlimit. (The CQ has a lower Q speed rating)

The CS tire appears to have squarer shoulders than the WR, though I don't know how that affects traction in various situations. Gaps between major tread blocks are larger, suggesting better mud performance. I wonder if the CS sidewalls are better protected against stones, something which could be important on rocky trails.

From the Nokian web site, it is the Hakkapeliitta SUV that is scheduled to come out in the 215/70/16 size about now.

paulj
 
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