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Old 04-27-2011, 06:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wheel Covers, Worth it?

Aloha All. On my Electric Yaris I am putting on Mags and low rolling resistance tires. I really would want a 205/45/17 setup, but it is a trade-off for style vs economy. So I have reached a compromise to go with narrow 15" mags and taller much less wide tires and have found these two mag samples pictured below. How much better would the "solid" three hole mag be vs the nicer 8 spoke design?
Are they worth the ugly factor? Is there really that much to be gained with solid rims or covers?

thanks Francis

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Old 04-27-2011, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm betting/guessing the 3 hole mag would be superior to the 8 spoke in terms of aerodynmanics. And you could put a black shield behind the 3 hole to help seal the holes and it wouldn't be as noticeable as doing the same with the 8 spoke.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My take on this is that it depends if you do mostly highway or city driving.

In city driving, you want a lightweight wheel (a lot of stop & go). Concerning the design, it will not have a big impact on fuel consumption. Speeds are usually low (30-40 mph) and you can get away with a less aerodynamic wheel setup.

Whereas in highway driving, you will want good aerodynamics due to the higher cruising speeds (ie 65 mph). That is why the wheel design can help lower the overall fuel consumption. You can also get away with heavier wheels when cruising at highway speeds.

It all boils down to the conditions in which you will be driving.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, smoother wheels are better than open ones. The wheels and the wheel openings account for 20-30% of the overall drag.

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Old 04-28-2011, 12:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
The wheels and the wheel openings account for 20-30% of the overall drag.
Wow, I had no idea it was that much.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjones View Post
Wow, I had no idea it was that much.
Remember that the top half of the wheel and tire are seeing air speeds that are twice what the rest of the car sees.
I have yet to see a modern car with smooth moon disk wheel covers that doesn't look awesome, I think appearance wise it's one of the biggest improvements you can make to a modern car, they would complement the Yaris quite well.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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spdas -



My (loose!) rule-of-thumb is that a 0.01 improvement of Cd on a compact car like mine (1.9 liter, sub 2500 lb curb weight) equals about 1 MPG.

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Old 04-28-2011, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I went to a Firestone dealer this morning to pick up my brother who was dropping his car off for new tires and wheel alignment and the guys in the shop started laughing and making jokes about my taped-up grill and front end until I said, "How does 50 miles per gallon highway sound?"

For a moment you could hear a pin drop.

Then one asked about overheating and I told him none so far and explained that it actually runs cooler on the highway than around town but even around town it has yet to overheat. I explained to him that our cars are designed to cool in Death Valley with the AC on and that Death Valley is in a desert 2000 miles to my west. But if I do decide to drive to Death Valley I can always rip the duct tape off.

PS. I wish the rain would stop so I could go out and work on fender skirts.

Last edited by billyjones; 04-28-2011 at 11:05 AM.. Reason: Added PS.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjones View Post
I went to a Firestone dealer this morning to pick up my brother who was dropping his car off for new tires and wheel alignment and the guys in the shop started laughing and making jokes about my taped-up grill and front end until I said, "How does 50 miles per gallon highway sound?" For a moment you could hear a pin drop.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would go with the 8 spoke design and something like this .

Aluminium wheel cover attached with Ziptie Plug.jpg - Windows Live

Those are prototype ziptie plugs which will be soon at the market. You can also mill your own if you have a lathe. You need to use releasable zipties and it will work like a dream. That disk is 3mm thick smoke polykarbonate and is shaped little bit convex with some DIY spirit .

Oh and that is 18" wheel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/TunekoLt.../1/_K4HSD6c0_I

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