Don
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Location: Biloxi MS

Finally! - My Wider Wheels/Tires Project

Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:40 pm

Don33[1].jpg
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I bought these wheels a couple years back and it's taken me that long to get them on the car

Rear Tires are Continental ProContact TX, 185/60R15 on 15 X 5.5" BMW Mini wheels. Fronts are Continental EcoContact 175/55R15 on 15 X 5" wheels. No issues with regen. Although I don't have many miles on them as yet, the tires are very quiet and the car drives much differently . . . . or so it seems to me

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

jray3
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Re: Finally! - My Wider Wheels/Tires Project

Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:45 pm

Congrats Don! No hope for using Miata wheels, IIRC? Now that I also have an electric NB (2nd generation) Miata, I'd love the ability to swap wheels.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 91,000 miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

Don
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Finally! - My Wider Wheels/Tires Project

Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:06 pm

15" Miata wheels will work - The bolt pattern and centerbore is right. They're too wide for the front though, just as almost every wheel out there is. These Mini wheels I used are too wide for the front too, so I 'shrunk' the front pair from 5.5 inches down to 5, and they fit fine using the stock lugs and no spacers

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Don
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Posts: 2736
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Finally! - My Wider Wheels/Tires Project

Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:18 pm

For anyone wanting wider front tires, a simpler solution might be to find a pair of iMiEV rear wheels and mount a pair of 175/55R15's on them and try them on the front. I know that if you pull the steel collar out of the front hub, a rear wheel will bolt on the front - I tried that long ago. The centerbores are the same, it's just that steel collar Mitsu put on there to make sure a tire tech who wasn't paying attention couldn't inadvertently put a rear wheel on the front

When I put the Mini wheels on my car, I had a pair of them cut on a lathe and then welded back together to make me a 5" wheel from a 5 1/2" wheel - That's lots of work and probably quite a bit of expense, if you don't have helpful friends with the appropriate tools. In my case, it didn't cost me anything

Anyway, I tried my wider front pair with my stock 175/60R15's on the back just to see if it disabled regen or not - It didn't. The 175/55R15's are only 0.6% larger in circumference than the stock 145/65R15's. You could run 175 tires all around if you wanted - 175/55's on the front and 175/60's on the rear. Since I was buying new tires for my new wheels and wanted the rears a bit larger too, I used 185/60R15's on the rear. Those work with no regen problems too

Since I now have an extra set of wheels, when Carolyn's car needs new tires, I think I'll try the 175/55's on the front using a pair of rear wheels

Why Mitsu went with the 145's on the front, I have no idea. Maybe it made some sense with the original kei car which was so tail heavy, but the EV version has nearly 50/50 weight distribution because of the added weight of the battery in the middle. The car sure drives different with larger tires on the front

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

wmcbrine
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Re: Finally! - My Wider Wheels/Tires Project

Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:44 am

Don wrote:The car sure drives different with larger tires on the front

Could you please elaborate on this?

Don
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Finally! - My Wider Wheels/Tires Project

Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:23 am

Well, it might be just my imagination, but with 40 psi in the 175's (same pressure I always ran in the 145's) the tires seem much 'cushier' when you hit a bump, like the tire is absorbing more of the shock. I'm sure there *is* more cubic inches of air in the tire, but the sidewall is the same height. I wasn't expecting this at all, so it's probably not my imagination

The pronounced understeer is all but gone now - Before, if you pressed the car at all in the curves, the front tires wore much faster than the rears - We'll see if that's still the case, because I feel much better about maintaining speed around corners than before, so I'm doing that lots more

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

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