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Old 05-08-2005, 08:34 AM
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Wheel/Tire/Hub selection for scratchbuilt

I am building a lightweight street legal sports car (including frame and body). It will be a 1600 lb 2 seater RWD speedster with full independant suspension and discs all around.

To start I want to select tires, wheels and hubs. I am looking for suggestions for common tires, wheels and hubs that would be lightweight, good performance, readily available and "relatively" inexpensive.

Looking at the SCCA Spec Ford racer (which is 1600lbs) it uses:

Rims:
13 inches x 5.5 inches
13 inches x 7 inches

Tires:
185/60-13 for the front
205/60-13 for the rear

The hubs have 9" rotors.


Since the car will look similar to the Opel Eco Speedster, their wheels are:
175/55 R 17


Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. - thanks

d1

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Old 05-08-2005, 09:12 AM
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Well -- theres a big difference between the 13" on the SRF and the 17" on the Opel.

For selection I would base around a 15" wheel, they are very common, wide selection of parts and they should look big enough on that small a car.

What rear suspension are you using? Compatibility with that should be a good starting point.
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Old 05-08-2005, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion on wheel size - since I am building it from the ground up, I start with the tires, then to wheels, then hubs, then start the design on the suspension. So no suspension has been selected yet.

thanks
d1
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:37 PM
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On something that light I would go with 13" wheels with 15" comming in a close 2nd. I wouldn't go any bigger. I am glad to see you are going about it the right way and starting from the wheels and going in. Because there many light race cars that use 13" there is a better supply of light 13" wheels out there as well as some good slicks and rain's that could be used on the street.

What will be the drivetrain? How much fabrication do yo want to do?
When I was in England in 2000 (for Formula Student) I saw some cool little custom cars that used honda fwd drivetrains moved out back for rwd. It made a need little car with the engine in the "boot"

I don't think you could go wrong with fwd uprights as long as they used a short long arm suspension (like the older civics). Your other option would be 4x4 parts but I think they would be to heavy and they place the lower A-arm very high.
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:45 PM
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Thanks Triaged. Yes, I like the idea of 13" as long as I can get performant tires, wheels and hubs at a reasonable cost. As you point out, I want to keep the weight down, especially the rotating masses.

Know of any production vehicles or racers which use this size?

thanks
d1

P.S. This will be a mid engine car, RWD only (too keep cost down). I expect to purchase hubs and shocks, but expect to engineer and build the rest of the suspension and frame.
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:33 AM
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If you are looking for performance just barely DOT legal tires this would be a good choice.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....ireModel=A3S05
Street type tires should be easier to find.

You might get a kick out of searching for FSAE, FormulaSAE, or Formula Student on google. It is a student design comp. that SAE puts on where you design and build your own race car. Almost every one of these cars runs 13" wheels. Some teams have made their own carbon fiber wheels (UTA), some buy 2-piece or 3-piece racing wheels (very light weight), and some even use heavy cast production stuff (cheep!). Just about everyone runs Hoosier racing slicks & rains but there are also goodyear, avon, & dunlop that I have seen run. As you noted there is formula ford and also the newer formula mazda searies (which run something like 22.0X7.5D13, 22.0X8.5D13, 22.0X9.0D13). I don't recall what toyota atlantic runs ...but 13" wheels is a standard for many small car racing searies (and stuff like skip russell racing school cars to I think).

I wish you luck in your search of a good upright. The problem is just about everything out there is a either massive hunk of iron or made for struts. I think you might end up making your own uprights and using a fwd front unit bearing in the rear and a fwd rear setup for the front...but then again I have made my own uprights before...
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:27 PM
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I spoke with a few racers and they suggested using Honda CRX or Acura hubs and wheels, as they are often used in racing, so lots of high performance parts available for moderate prices.

Thoughts on using this combination?

thanks
d1
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:11 AM
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As long as you can package those I think they will work great in the rear (using front uprights). The packaging problem is because the upper ball joint is about as high as the top of the tire. Depending on what the car will look like this could be a deal breaker or nothing to worry about. At least you don't have to really worry about scrub radius in the rear.

I think for the front you might want to try something more conventional (i.e. a front upright from a conventional front engine RWD car).

You could leave the factory honda front brakes on the rear and I'm sure they will work well. The front would be a better place to spend some $$$ on some aftermarket calipers and rotors to fill up the 13" wheels (you might be able to fit 11" rotors).

Are you going to need a parking brake to get this thing street legal?
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