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Staggered wheels for track, or not?

Old 01-23-05, 12:34 AM
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Staggered wheels for track, or not?

My recently acquired '93 R1 came with 17 x 8 wheels front & rear. I've noticed that even with my currently stock engine it is easy to get the rear end loose, especially on tight corners taken fast.

I've been searching the wheel classifieds, and have seen staggered sets and same-size sets. My first inclination is to get the widest possible rear wheel/tire to help keep the rear planted, especially as horsepower increases. I like neutral balance, or a little understeer, rather than oversteer. Seeing the replies to my previous "Forged or Cast?" post, I'm pretty much sold on going with forged wheels.

Anyway, I'd like to hear your recommendations/opinions on wheel sizes from you track 'frequenters'. I'd like to get wheels that will fit with stock suspension with the aftermarket trailing arms too.

Many thanks,
-Ken
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Old 01-23-05, 08:00 AM
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I would recommend a symmetrical setup. One of the big advantages is that you'll be able to rotate your tires to even out the wear. The subject is too large to talk about in a single post, but If your car is loose in tight fast corners I would look more to softening the rear suspension or stiffening the front rather than just thinking about the size of the tires.

I'm using CCW track wheels 18x10 with Hoosier GAC tires 285/30/18 at all 4 corners.

Mark
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Old 01-23-05, 01:11 PM
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275/40/17 good all the way around for street. The tires have enough sidewall to help cushion the road. 285/30/18 are great all around tires if you have soft springs. If you plan on racing and winning do not worry about rotating tires, do and use what wins. My suggestion would be go with one of the above depending upon your ride preference.
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Old 01-23-05, 03:50 PM
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To a racer, stagger means to run slightly different diameter tires on the left and right side of the car, in order to make it turn better in one direction. This is very popular in oval track racing, but it is pretty scary on a road racer.

I have run different size front/back tires on my 1st gen RX-7 with good success, but it does become more of a logistical nightmare when you carry three sets of tires with you to races (two sets of drys and one set of rains.) For 2005, I am going to try and run the same size front and rear on my road racer, just to simplify my tire inventory.
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Old 01-23-05, 04:13 PM
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he specified a front to rear stagger. I think everyone knew exactly what he meant when he said that and no one where thought of oval racing an rx7.
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Old 01-23-05, 06:19 PM
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Staggered left and right

Originally Posted by M's
he specified a front to rear stagger. I think everyone knew exactly what he meant when he said that and no one where thought of oval racing an rx7.
Thanks M's

Hey would'nt it be fun to run a 245/50/15 on the front and a 315/30/18 on the right? Yeah baby were having fun now!!!
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Old 01-24-05, 02:10 AM
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Ah, I searched the archives and found some great posts there. Sorry I didn't do this before I posted. Thanks everyone!
-Ken
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Old 01-25-05, 07:54 AM
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Race car handling is complicated enough; I would just like to try and keep the specialized racing version of the word "stagger" to have only one meaning. There are many more thousands of round track racers who use my definition of stagger meaning "slightly different diameter tires on the left and right side of the car, in order to make it turn better in one direction," than there are sports car people who try and use the word to describe completely different tire sizes on the front and back of sports cars. Formula race cars started running different size front and rear tires 50 years ago, but they didn't call that stagger.

But language does evolve. Maybe one day the meaning will evolve towards your definition.
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Old 01-25-05, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by speedturn
To a racer, stagger means to run slightly different diameter tires on the left and right side of the car, in order to make it turn better in one direction. This is very popular in oval track racing, but it is pretty scary on a road racer.
The poster specifically said a staggered wheel setup, not tires.

Anybody running stagger in tires is running them on the same sized wheel on that axle anyway. Every racer I know understands when you say staggered wheel sizes you're talking about different front vs rear wheel sizes and when you say staggered tire sizes you're talking about larger circumference tires on the right side for oval use.

Originally Posted by speedturn
There are many more thousands of round track racers who use my definition of stagger meaning "slightly different diameter tires on the left and right side of the car, in order to make it turn better in one direction," than there are sports car people who try and use the word to describe completely different tire sizes on the front and back of sports cars.
So what; doesn't make it any less applicable or true. Oval guys always talk about "wedge" rather than crossweight. Does that mean since there are more oval racers on TV that say "wedge" everyone else is wrong?

Last edited by DamonB; 01-25-05 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-25-05, 10:28 AM
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I think "asymetrical" is the right term... "stagger" gets thrown around here, and i've always known that term as the oval racers use it.. different diameter tires.

Anyway, as far as "symetrical" tire setups go, I think what you really want is as much tire as you can have... everywhere... so I wouldn't necessarily limit your rear tire size based on what will fit up front, just to have the same size tire, unless you're dead set on being able to rotate them.
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Old 02-10-05, 01:31 PM
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I feel like I should jump in to get this thread back on track.............. (literally)

I currently use 4 matching wheels and tire, 255/40s on 17x9.5 .

The reason I went this route was to eliminate understeer in slower corners under heavy braking. Oversteer in a fast corner in my opinion is a more controlable action and much more tolerable. You can easly use some oversteer to you advantage such as late apex turnin.

You may want to adjust other aspects of your cars geometry as mentioned above by another poster. Changing wheel size should not be your first priority. You many want to adjust your turn-in timing and brake load at apex. (trail braking can help on sweepers that you may be to hot coming into) Go with stiffer front shock setting and softer rears, or if you feel that is not the issue, different spring rates are available even in stock coil sizes. Lastly, try removing your rear sway bar for a while and get used to not having as much rotation as this has been a corrective course of action for many people I know. These people came from cars with far less oversteer and could not adjust because it was such a drastic change. The removal of the rear swaybar was a way to ease into the FD's oversteering characteristics. From there they went to an adjustable rear bar and have never moved it its softest setting.

I guess, test and test for yourself. You will end up with a setup that is ideal for your method of driving and will grow with you.

good luck

massi
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Old 02-10-05, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by remydrm
I feel like I should jump in to get this thread back on track.............. (literally)

I currently use 4 matching wheels and tire, 255/40s on 17x9.5 .

The reason I went this route was to eliminate understeer in slower corners under heavy braking. Oversteer in a fast corner in my opinion is a more controlable action and much more tolerable.
I completely agree with that. Nothing is more irritating than a plowing car. If I overcook it in a corner and the rear wants to come around that's my fault and I can correct it while carrying on. If the car will never turn in in the first place all you can do is sit still and wait
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Old 02-10-05, 08:54 PM
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Don't confuse oversteer with power oversteer.
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Old 02-10-05, 10:24 PM
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I was going to post a link to a good thread in the suspension section about this, but this new forum isn't cooperating.

Anyway, good thread in the suspension section. Search under my username with "neutral balance" in the text.
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Old 02-11-05, 12:07 PM
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Talking

Originally Posted by John Magnuson
Don't confuse oversteer with power oversteer.

Thats FUN !!!
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