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(Post Link) post #1 of 27 Old 22-10-08 Thread Starter
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Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

I have a set of 18's with 225/40 tyres on my '04 1.9JTD Veloce Sportwagon and I'm fed up with the front wheels crashing through pot holes and sunken manhole covers.

Not driving on [email protected] roads is not an option so I've almost convinced myself to sell the 18's and fit a set of 17's with 45 profile tyres.

Do you people think that smaller wheels are the best solution or should I keep the wheels and change the front dampers?
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

The 147 on 16" wheels crashes through potholes and mates have commented on the filling-loosening ride so it might be best to look at the suspension set up as well as tyres.
 
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

What pressure are you using for the 18's?
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Best thing to do would be to put on a set of 15" wheels ... you can do a straight swap with mine if you want ... all you have to do is pay for the postage
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

I had a 147 with 16's and the ride was smooth compared to what I experience now. I grit my teeth when I see a pot hole or man hole in preperation for the crashing. The 156 had 16's on it when I bought it and although it wasn't great I wasn't worried about damaging wheels and suspension.

I think the tyre pressure is about 32 PSI.

Think I might pass up on the offer of swapping for 15's .....think that might be going too small.

On a smooth roads the 18's are excellent, suber grip through the corners......unfortnately there aren't many smooth roads where I live.
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

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Think I might pass up on the offer of swapping for 15's .....think that might be going too small.
You drive a hard bargain don't you ... ok then I'll pay the postage
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Just checked; postage will be £300
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

It will still crash with smaller wheels. the only thing is you are far less likely to suffer wheel damage due to the pot holes with taller profile tyres.

I would think about upgrading the dampers first. They are can barely cope with controlling the car when they are new, and once they get a few miles under them they will get even worse.
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

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Think I might pass up on the offer of swapping for 15's .....think that might be going too small.
Swap for some 16s if 15s are a bit small?
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

I have 225/45x17 on my 156 V6 and they feel pretty good although best has been 205/55x16 - nice grip and good enough comfort but dont have the look of 17" or 18"s

215/45x17 I found to be very harsh but this may just have been the make, when I refitted the 16" wheels the car felt so much more comfortable to drive
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Still a bit reluctant to fit 17's as the 18's look great; filling the arches perfectly.

Don't think I would go back to 16's, but thanks for the offer.

Do you think a set of Bilstein's on the front with the standard springs make a huge difference?
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

I fitted a set of Koni FSDs and Eibach pro kit springs to mine (the prefered 156 combination) and it made a HUGE difference, I didn't suffer too much from pot holes, but it completely transformed the handling of the car from an understeering beast to a perfectly balanced car (even with my rubbish 15" which I will get round to replacing one day )
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Koni FSD's sound like the perfect solution, but they're a serious investment.

I'm not too fussed about changing the rear Nivomats at the moment, so its going to take a lot of convincing for me to fork out an extra c.£400 for the FSD's instead of front Bilstein's.
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

[QUOTE=

I think the tyre pressure is about 32 PSI.
[/QUOTE]

I think your tyre pressures are wrong... should be about 38psi for 18's 40....
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

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I think your tyre pressures are wrong... should be about 38psi for 18's 40....
Not nesesarily.

The tyre pressures have more to do with the cars weight and weight disribution than the tyre sizes.
It's a good idea to start off with the pressures for the standard tyres, then adjust slightly from there if nessesary.
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(Post Link) post #17 of 27 Old 23-10-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

The reports people are given on FSD's are pretty convincing but its still a lot of money to invest, especially if I find that I still need to buy a set of 17's.

I just checked my tyre pressures and found that the rears had dropped to 26 and the fronts to 24!!! I guess the lack of flex in the rubber causes more air to escape.....I'll be checking the pressures monthly from now as they really didn't look underinflated.

Have put the fronts up to 36 and the rears 34, will see how it feels on the way home this evening.
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

I can't see how putting more air in the tyres will soften the ride, if anything that'll make it worse
 
(Post Link) post #19 of 27 Old 23-10-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

It won't soften the ride but it should help protect the wheels when crashing through potholes and hopefully reduce the risk of damaging a wheel.

When I've hit potholes in the past I've got out to check the wheel and a c.15mm deep rub mark can be clearly seen on the rim where the tyre wall has folded back over the wheel.

Upping the front pressure from 32 to 34 hasn't cost anythig so it's worth a go to see what effect it has.
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I don't think a suspension change is the answer to this one. The car will already have the comfort pack suspension, so won't be as bad as an older 156. Also, the word used to describe the suspension was crashing, and that suggests to me noise and high frequency vibration. A tyre with a little more sidewall height is the best answer, I'm afraid. Also, try not to exceed 34psi if you can. The higher presure transmitts more shocks to the cabin as the tyre then absorbs less.

Smaller and lighter wheels should also have less unsprung weight which will allow the springs and dampers a much easier time of trying to control the wheels from oscillating. This will let them get on with the job of keeping the body flat and composed.

Nice though a set of 18s look on a 156, I wouldn't have them myself. 17s maximum.
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

You say you Grit your Teeth when approaching a Pot hole?

Is Avoiding them out the Question?? iv got 18's on my 147 with Supersport Coilovers, and yea it bangs and is a bit stiff when you go over them, but i usually manage to avoid them!
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Drop the pressure to about 28 as this was fine on my 156 and makes a big difference to ride comfort on stock suspension. But in the long term FSD's are the answer if you are keeping the car for a long period of time.
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(Post Link) post #23 of 27 Old 24-10-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Upping the tyre pressure has made a massive difference. Obviously all of the smaller bumps etc can be felt now but the car doesn't crash through every sunken manhole cover and pothole. I don't have a problem with the firm ride so going to leave pressures like they are for a week and then possibly drop them to 34 front and 32 back to see how that compares. MPG has also jumped from 45.5 to 52.3 for my daily commute!

I try to avoid as many pot/manholes as I can, but on busy bendy narrow country roads it isnít always possible......plus the dog doesnít appreciate having his head slammed against the side window during evasive manoeuvres!!

I think 28 is definitely too soft for the 40 profile tyres.
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

Fancy swapping for some 17" GTA alloys?
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Re: Smaller Wheels or Suspension Upgrade

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Fancy swapping for some 17" GTA alloys?
Yep ... got those 15" waiting for you here , come to the red dot rolling road and we can swap there
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