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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I apologize in advance if this is a dumb question. If the overall diameter is the same for both setups & the goal is to (slightly) improve the 0-60 time, is a 17" wheel with a higher profile tire or an 18" wheels with a lower profile tire preferred?

:scratchhead:
 

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i would assume a smaller wheel because it would have greater effect on the weight. i doubt you will be able to tell the difference though.
 

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More tire(sidewall) will give a better launch if that's what you're looking for. Look at dragsters. Smaller wheels are usually lighter, lighter...better. TIRES: Softer...faster. Now of course with dragsters, their tire's outer diameter changes with rpms, so as they spin up...after launch, they go faster because with every axle revolution the tire is moving the vehicle that much further due to a much larger diameter of course. You should increase your rear tire's diameter and width to match your vehicle's power.
 

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... but more wheel for better maneuvering.

Not always BigBear...this may be true on a smooth race course and if you have enough power to support the increase in unsprung weight. A stiffer wheel/tire combo can kill you and your car quicker than you can scream on anything other than smooth racing surfaces. Big wheels, 22" and up, are very impractical for today's street machines.
ie. 20 srt/chrome plastic hub cap R/T wheels are already pushing the limits of the current design...and look out of proportion, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
... ie. 20 srt/chrome plastic hub cap R/T wheels are already pushing the limits of the current design...and look out of proportion, IMO.
That's exactly what I think too! I love the design of all the Challenger 20" OEM wheels, but I feel they're aesthetically too big & draw the eyes away from the car itself. IMO the 18" wheels are a perfect size. :slant:
 

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That's exactly what I think too! I love the design of all the Challenger 20" OEM wheels, but I feel they're aesthetically too big & draw the eyes away from the car itself. IMO the 18" wheels are a perfect size. :slant:
The car is close to 18' long, with small 18" wheels on it the body / wheel base looks even longer.

IMHO the 20s add balance and make the car appear more in proportion.
:smoker:
 

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I agree that the 20's look pretty proportional, these are very large cars. Dont get me wrong Im old school, im all about some 15x10 cragars on an old musclecar. But cars these days dwarf older ones and the bigger wheels work. I think 20's on a new challenger look about equal to 17's on a 70' Challenger. I still wouldnt go any larger than the 20".

The part about handling though I say kinda generally. From my experience Ive had cars and rode in cars where they have changed the wheel size, one in my own chevelle, went from 15" to 17" and another in my uncles truck also 15" to 17" and both had a more solid feel and crisper handling after. Just my two lincolns though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The car is close to 18' long, with small 18" wheels on it the body / wheel base looks even longer.

IMHO the 20s add balance and make the car appear more in proportion.
:smoker:
When did a car's body/wheel base looking longer become a bad thing? Around the time 18" wheels became small? :scratchhead:
 

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I think 20's on a new challenger look about equal to 17's on a 70' Challenger.
I agree...and 17" wheels on a 1970 Challenger look about as bad as 20" wheels on a 2008-2011 Challenger imo. As I remember, 14 and 15's were the choice of that era which is why I think 17 and 18's are the answer today. It's not so much the wheel but the "lack" of sidewall in the wheel wells. It looks like we have rubber bands on the rim and not tire. That look is awful. It looks like a toy you would buy at "The Shack". Which is fine for a radio control toy on a smooth flat surface. But I own a muscle car...and I want it to look like a muscle car...not a toy. But I do encourage folks to put big ridiculous,blingy, heavy wagon wheels on their Challengers, it just makes mine look so much better!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree...and 17" wheels on a 1970 Challenger look about as bad as 20" wheels on a 2008-2011 Challenger imo. As I remember, 14 and 15's were the choice of that era which is why I think 17 and 18's are the answer today. It's not so much the wheel but the "lack" of sidewall in the wheel wells. It looks like we have rubber bands on the rim and not tire. That look is awful. It looks like a toy you would buy at "The Shack". Which is fine for a radio control toy on a smooth flat surface. But I own a muscle car...and I want it to look like a muscle car...not a toy. But I do encourage folks to put big ridiculous,blingy, heavy wagon wheels on their Challengers, it just makes mine look so much better!:)
It's all about the old school. :thumbsup:
 

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I agree...and 17" wheels on a 1970 Challenger look about as bad as 20" wheels on a 2008-2011 Challenger imo. As I remember, 14 and 15's were the choice of that era which is why I think 17 and 18's are the answer today. It's not so much the wheel but the "lack" of sidewall in the wheel wells. It looks like we have rubber bands on the rim and not tire. That look is awful. It looks like a toy you would buy at "The Shack". Which is fine for a radio control toy on a smooth flat surface. But I own a muscle car...and I want it to look like a muscle car...not a toy. But I do encourage folks to put big ridiculous,blingy, heavy wagon wheels on their Challengers, it just makes mine look so much better!:)
I see where you coming from, I guess ive just sorta warmed up a little to the whole bigger wheel trend.
 

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IF you are keeping the same overall diameter, I am going to say that whichever setup weighs less will have a "better" 0-60. I would think, that tires with much more sidewall, are going to ultmately weigh more.

Lets take the stock tire sizes used on say, the R/T 18's and the 20 chrom clads

SO we have a 235/55-18 and a 245/45-20 Now, I know we don't have similar widths and the overall diameter is off by say .7 inches, but I think the overall differences in physical tire sizes will show something interesting.

A Goodyear RS-A in 235/55-18 tread width of about 7.7" and a diameter of 28". It weighs in at 29lbs.

The same tire in 245/45-20 as a tread width of 8.4" and a diameter of 28.7" It weighs, get this...... 28lbs.

A bunch more width and a bunch more diameter, but it weighs 1lb less. You would think the 20" tire would weight more, but there's not as much sidewall.

A pound might not seem like much.... and it really isn't, until you see the weights of the wheels. Now, I don't have a clue what a stock 18" wheel and a stock chrome Clad weigh... I am sure someone here knows and can pipe in.

But I can give you an idea of the differences at least with a similar model wheel in the two sizes.

Now I just picked a simple American Racing wheel, (first wheel selectable for the CHallenger SE btw onTire Rack).

The 18x8" wheel weighs in at 25.8lbs. The 20" ? 34LBs!!! Almost 10lbs more a wheel. almost 40lbs of additional unsprung weight that a Challenger would have to move. You want to know why you get better gears with the R/T with those Chrome CLads? I bet the weight is why. I bet those wheels/tires are probably 35lbs more unsprung weight at least. I can be proven wrong and would love to see the actual weights of those wheels. Can you see the R/T owners complaining how their R/T is slower than a 18" wheel equipped car by a couple tenths?

I bet the fastest SE's are the ones with the 17" wheels. The tires only weigh 25lbs. So, 4lbs per tire less than the 18" R/T size. Not to mention the wheel weight.

I think if you start sticking a bulbous big sidewalled tire on an 18" wheel, you're going to wind up with a fairly heavy combination. Go with something like a 255/55-18, you're going to be at around 33lbs.

Tire make/model differ as well with this.

That was a lot of rambling wasn't it?

Not sure I even proved myself right... then again a 215/65-17 is a pretty much smaller tire than something in 245, or even 235.
 

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A pound might not seem like much.... and it really isn't, until you see the weights of the wheels. Now, I don't have a clue what a stock 18" wheel and a stock chrome Clad weigh... I am sure someone here knows and can pipe in.
A pound in the wheel can be very significant because it is unsprung, rotating mass. That is to say, that pound needs to spin, and it requires significant energy to overcome its rotational inertia. Especially in the tire more so than the rim because of the distribution of the mass further away from the centre of rotation. Think of a flywheel, it takes a lot of work to get a flywheel spinning fast and then again to stop it, but spinning a bicycle wheel is very easy.
 
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