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Old 11-08-2015, 09:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
Wheel size doesn't dictate tire size, it only changes your options. You could stick with your existing wheels and get taller tires if you wanted.

Plenty of people cut circles out of coroplast and zip tie them to their wheels, so you're not really limited by the wheel design.

What kind of car do you have?
I have a mazda 3 2015 model.
I have a 5-10 minute drive to work, I stop 7 times in 1.5 miles. I'll say every 300meters. I drive home once a month 500 miles round trip. I currently get around 50-53 mpg on highway with a partial front air dam, and I removed the mud flaps.

I was thinking about larger wheels because, I eventually plan to add solar panels and remove the alternator. I figure at a given RPM there would be significantly less resistance than stock, so it would benefit by lowering the rpm and thus internal resistance primarily on the highway in 6th gear, since a transmission swap on a new car is pretty dumb.

I'll look into buying used alloy wheels and building coroplast covers. I also wanted to cover the rear wheel wells, but I don't really have the skills for that, I wouldn't know where to start.

A picture of the coroplast wheel covers would be great, I'll search the fourm first though.


Last edited by hootis; 11-08-2015 at 09:10 PM..
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Larger wheels will definitely reduce your highway RPM, but will also (likely) have larger rotating mass. I would imagine that, if you wanted to increase your overall diameter, you're likely better off going with taller tires and smaller rims, because metal weighs more than rubber. You'll probably come out ahead overall, but I'd suggest you keep in mind that your speedometer and odometer will read incorrectly if you go up or down in overall diameter.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hootis View Post
I have a mazda 3 2015 model.
I have a 5-10 minute drive to work, I stop 7 times in 1.5 miles. I'll say every 300meters. I drive home once a month 500 miles round trip. I currently get around 50-53 mpg on highway with a partial front air dam, and I removed the mud flaps.

I was thinking about larger wheels because, I eventually plan to add solar panels and remove the alternator. I figure at a given RPM there would be significantly less resistance than stock, so it would benefit by lowering the rpm and thus internal resistance primarily on the highway in 6th gear, since a transmission swap on a new car is pretty dumb.

I'll look into buying used alloy wheels and building coroplast covers. I also wanted to cover the rear wheel wells, but I don't really have the skills for that, I wouldn't know where to start.

A picture of the coroplast wheel covers would be great, I'll search the fourm first though.
I'll start with the bolded section.

(No disrespect meant, just a good opportunity to use a meme)

In all seriousness, engineering rear skirts is fairly simple. I'll dredge up my post when I made them for my ZX2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyDiesel View Post
Finally made wheel skirts that are permanent yesterday! No more hearing them rub the tire if a vehicle gets too close

This is a simple process that can add a lot of life to your skirts. I went the more expensive route, but it is worth it to me.

Removed old wheel skirts that were held on with duct tape




These are the items used to fasten the new coroplast down. These tabs and 1/4" aluminum bar can be found at Lowe's. I spent ~$12 on this.




Next came measuring the width of the wheels wells. Roughly 30" for the ZX2. The ends are hand bent to fit, making sure they clear the tire at all times. Next, I used 1" screws with a 5/16" head to screw them in place, along with the tabs.



Next is cutting the coroplast to fit WELL. This took longer than I expected, and the time is worth it. Paint them with whatever color you want. I chose black. Screw them down and you have some bangin' lookin' covers now!




Beautiful and functional
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post476484

The hardest part of this is mounting the tabs and bar flush. The aluminum bar will have to be bent to accommodate your wheel well and tire, as most vehicles do not have the tire inset enough to make it flat. A slight bend will not hurt your Cd though.

A pic of a car similar to yours for reference:

It looks like rear fender is setup like my ZX2 with the backside of the wheel well dipping behind the tire.

You should be able to bend the bar as to not contact the tire while still being close to flush with the body.

Your route, is there another option? Those stops will be dragging down your FE pretty badly. If they are lights, try to time them the best you can. If they are stop signs, I suggest a new route with as few of stop as possible while keeping the distance comparable.

If I were you I would not look for bigger wheels. You already have a decently big tire on your car if it is the stock 205/60R16 @ 25.7". In fact, your car is better geared for the highway than my automatic ZX2! I plugged in the numbers on a gear calculator and you have ~9.4% higher gearing than my car, and this is very unheard of from most manual transmissions. For everyone's info, the 2015 Mazda 3 has a 0.68 6th gear with 3.85 final drive, from here.

For instance, @ 45 mph, you will be turning 1540 rpm in 6th while I am at 1700 rpm in 4th W/ TCC. Impressive!

I would try to find lighter 16's to save your current tires and keep from buying new tires, and when they wear out, go with a slightly thinner, slightly taller tire if you desire, such as a 195/65R16 or 195/70R16. Make sure they are LRR though, less energy = better mpgs!

Lastly, My thread linked above has pictures of coroplast wheel covers. They were quickly made in less than 2 hours, then painted and zip tied on. 15,000 miles later, they are still doing the job well. Aesthetic leave something to be desired, so I am going with custom painted pizza pans soon

Link for the coroplast wheel covers - http://ecomodder.com/forum/search.php?searchid=2413364
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Just wondering if anyone has run into this problem before. Seems like everyone goes with The covers. That is also the cheapest option.
GM came up with this solution for their 100-mpg Ultralite of 1991.I'm not sure if it's a wheelcover,or a wheel with lug nuts concealed beneath the center cap.
Might be worth some research.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Double check me, but it looks like 2006 and newer civic hybrid wheels would fit, Honda accord hybrid wheels should fit too.
Civic hybrid wheels are already smooth and light weight.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
Double check me, but it looks like 2006 and newer civic hybrid wheels would fit, Honda accord hybrid wheels should fit too.
Civic hybrid wheels are already smooth and light weight.
That's what I was thinking, but I'm pretty sure they're all 15"? With taller tires they'll work, of course.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There seems to be some confusion going on. First, afik, aluminum wheels of a decent quality, will almost always be lighter than steel wheels of the same size.

Next, larger diameter wheels do not necessarily imply a larger rolling diameter! They will however, be heavier than wheels of a smaller diameter and, more importantly, have a larger rotational moment of inertia. For example, my stock RX-8 wheel diameter is 18" and tire size is 225/45x18 which gives 800 rotations/mile. If I wished to improve mpg's by reducing rpm at a given speed, I could use a 235/50x18 to get 760 revs/mile. Or, keeping the stock overall gearing, I could go to a 17" wheel and use a 235/50x17 or 215/55x17 and get a lighter wheel assembly. One could go even further with a 225/55x16 tire/wheel assembly and still be pretty close to stock gearing.

For mpgs, one is overall much better off with a small diameter wheel and a "tall" tire. The rim is the densest component, so moving that inwards (even with the same weight) reduces the moment of inertia. Additional advantages include smoother ride and increased resistance to blow-outs from rough roads. Also, tires with taller sidewalls are easier to make and generally cheaper. Disadvantages include reduced maximum cornering limits and "sloppy" handling.

All the data is available for each tire model on Tirerack.com under the "specs" headers.

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