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Upgrading stock 15" rims to 16/17": considerations? warnings? (gear diff, new susp?)

Hi All,

Just wondering where I should post about the implications of upgrading to bigger rims:

-What does a bigger wheel/tire mean for my manual transmission? the speedometer?

-is there a max wheel size to which I can upgrade without having to change anything else?

-will i need to get new suspension to accommodate the reduced fender clearance due to large wheels/tires? Or would i only need new suspension if I'm lowering?

-what are the dangers associated with buying used tire/rim combos on craigslist? If I get a bent rim, can i have that fixed? Should i just take any used CL rims into my local tire shop to get balanced/inspected for bends, overall quality/roadworthiness?

Thanks for any info!
z
 

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3,785 Posts
Hi All,

Just wondering where I should post about the implications of upgrading to bigger rims:

-What does a bigger wheel/tire mean for my manual transmission? the speedometer?

-is there a max wheel size to which I can upgrade without having to change anything else?

-will i need to get new suspension to accommodate the reduced fender clearance due to large wheels/tires? Or would i only need new suspension if I'm lowering?

-what are the dangers associated with buying used tire/rim combos on craigslist? If I get a bent rim, can i have that fixed? Should i just take any used CL rims into my local tire shop to get balanced/inspected for bends, overall quality/roadworthiness?

Thanks for any info!
z
Bigger wheel/tire will throw the speedometer off depending how much larger the wheel/tire choice is.

Typically you don't have to change anything in regards from going from a 15" OEM wheel to lets say a 17" aftermarket wheel... Just have to make sure the offset and such will clear your suspension accordingly.

Buying a used wheel/tire is a chance you take. The tire could have broken belts internally or the rim could have a hairline crack or even bent. You don't know for certain until you inspect them yourself. If the rim looks beat, I'd personally look for a different set.

If the seller will take the time to get them inspected on a tire balancer, I'd say go for it. Depending what's bent on the wheel, It can be fixed. If it's just the lip that's bent, You can have it repaired. If the whole wheel is slightly bent, It can be balanced but at higher speeds you'll feel a "wobble" or "shake" to the rear or front of the car depending where you've mount it.
 
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