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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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What pressure are you using for the 18's?
 

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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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 :D
 

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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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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?
Falken FK452s all round, 2 tyres less than a week old, the other 2 loads have loads of tread left.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11
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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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 :thumbs:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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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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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Discussion Starter #17
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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I can't see how putting more air in the tyres will soften the ride, if anything that'll make it worse
 

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Discussion Starter #19
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.:rolleyes:
 
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