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Old 18th April 2009, 08:17   #1
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Default Wanted upgrade advice: wheels or tyres first?

A friend at work wants to switch over to alloy wheels and tubeless radials in his 4-year old Santro. Currently his car has only steel wheels and tubed tyres. He can't afford the whole change in one shot but wants to upgrade either the tyre or the wheels this month and the other one next month.
Question is which one should be changed first? The tyres or the wheels? By the way, he wants to upsize the tyres by one size from the stock one but keep the R13 same.
Thanks in advance.
Sudipto
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Old 18th April 2009, 08:35   #2
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I don't think this can be done one at a time. Because, if you go for tubeless tyres alone now, there is a chance that you may end up changing the tyres again along with the alloy wheels, or that the steels wheels might have damaged edges, so that it would not take in the tubeless tyres. Similarly, if you go for alloys alone, the existing tubed tyres on your steel wheels may not go well with the alloys.

If the tyres are worn out and due for replacement, go for both alloys and tyres in one shot.
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Old 18th April 2009, 08:39   #3
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Is he going to ge for wider tyres? (I think it will be from 13R 155 to 13R 165).
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Old 18th April 2009, 08:44   #4
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Ask him to go for alloys first. Make sure that the PCD of the alloy matches with the car. There are no major issues in running tube-type tyres with alloys.

Later, your friend can always go for one tyre size increase (I presume he's running 155s now, so he'll go to 165s without having to change the alloys.

Remember not to change the tyres first though. Tubeless tyres generally dont go well with steel wheels. Plus if the steel wheel has damaged edges (very possible on our roads) the tubeless tyres wont fit well.
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Old 18th April 2009, 10:20   #5
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While it does make some sense from a tyre-wheel synergy perspective, that tubeless + alloys are best friends ... If the tyres are at the end of their life, I'd prioritise and get new tyres first, for safety's sake. If the steel wheels are in a bad shape, one can always get new cheap replacement wheels.

Think. The Civic, Corolla, Octy, Optra lower variants all have tubeless on steel wheels.
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Old 18th April 2009, 10:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Remember not to change the tyres first though. Tubeless tyres generally dont go well with steel wheels. Plus if the steel wheel has damaged edges (very possible on our roads) the tubeless tyres wont fit well.
Wrong.

Which is why most cars like Swift, Spark, Civic E, prev corolla lower version etc come with steel rims for tubeless.

Just take care of bends during installation - that is a given with a competent installer.

I'd say tubeless tyres first anyday. Safety first.
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Old 18th April 2009, 11:06   #7
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Wrong.

Which is why most cars like Swift, Spark, Civic E, prev corolla lower version etc come with steel rims for tubeless.

Just take care of bends during installation - that is a given with a competent installer.

I'd say tubeless tyres first anyday. Safety first.
Please note that his rims are 4 years old. Given Indian road conditions, I'd bet that the wheels are already bent to some degree. In that case, fitting tubeless tyres will lead to small leaks. Secondly, bends can only be adjusted to a certain degree, not infinitely. And what's the guarantee that the wheels will not suffer bends once the tubeless tyres are fitted?
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Old 18th April 2009, 12:10   #8
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Wheel combo Safety wise :
1. Alloys + Tubeless
2. Steel rims + Tubeless
3. Alloys + tube type
4. Steel + Tube type

Sudipto
Ask your friend to get 165/65-13 tubeless on steel rims but do get the rims checked first. If they are in bad shape, replace with new rims. New ones cost around 400 per rim or ask the local tirewallah they might give u at a cheaper rate.
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Old 20th April 2009, 09:49   #9
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Thanks everyone for the responses. Since my friend is going to do the upgrades within a month of one after the other he wouldn't really want to invest in another set of steel wheels just for one month. The tyres are also not so badly worn out as to require an immediate replacement.
What we have decided is to ideally go and get the wheels first. Next he would go for the tyres after one month.
Incidentally, although these days many cars do come out with tubeless on steel wheels as OE fitment, those steel wheels are specially made with tubeless tyres in mind. If I am not mistaken, they have a different kind of profile so that the tyres sit tight on the wheels. The steel wheels of yesteryears were never made with tubeless in mind. Would need a confirmation on this from experts.
However, it has also been decided that should the tyre dealer advice against it, he would wait for two months and then go for the entire change in one shot. As I said, his tyres and wheels are good enough for another couple of months of light city driving.
Thanks. Will keep everyone posted as to what was ultimately done.
Sudipto

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 20th April 2009 at 09:54.
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Old 20th April 2009, 10:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Please note that his rims are 4 years old. Given Indian road conditions, I'd bet that the wheels are already bent to some degree.
Sir this does not make a difference IMHO. My jeep's rims are 15 years old and i shifted to tubeless without a hitch. No leaks nothing.
Also I have heard steel rims are pretty easy to get back into shape. They are also pretty cheap to replace.

Last edited by cooldude1988765 : 20th April 2009 at 10:05.
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Old 20th April 2009, 11:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
What we have decided is to ideally go and get the wheels first. Next he would go for the tyres after one month.
Incidentally, although these days many cars do come out with tubeless on steel wheels as OE fitment, those steel wheels are specially made with tubeless tyres in mind. If I am not mistaken, they have a different kind of profile so that the tyres sit tight on the wheels. The steel wheels of yesteryears were never made with tubeless in mind. Would need a confirmation on this from experts.
Sudiptoda,

Happy to see that you are changing the wheels first. Would like to imagine that my suggestion was of a little help here.

It is true that modern cars do come with steel wheels specially designed to handle tubeless tyres. It is also true that old age steel wheels were not designed with tubeless in mind. However, in the short run there are no problems if you choose to run tubeless tyres with any steel wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldude1988765 View Post
Sir this does not make a difference IMHO. My jeep's rims are 15 years old and i shifted to tubeless without a hitch. No leaks nothing.
Also I have heard steel rims are pretty easy to get back into shape. They are also pretty cheap to replace.
You are either very lucky, or your rims survived because they are jeep rims and are designed to be tougher. I fitted my Indica with new tubeless tyres last year. My OE steel rims were found to be so bent and out of shape that I had to go for new alloys. The car was only 3 years old then.

Secondly, while steel rims are very easy to get back into shape, they are very easy to get out of shape as well! I would not run the risk of running a tubeless tyre on a rim which may go out of shape at a moment's notice.
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Old 20th April 2009, 12:32   #12
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If he cannot afford both the changes in one go It's best that he waits for 2 months and save some this month and some next month and get both these done in one go.... It'll give him a better bargaining power as well...

Anyways has your friend decided on which brand of alloys and tyres?
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Old 20th April 2009, 16:24   #13
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Yes Predator of course your input helped. Kpzen was also very precise.
Regarding the brands - I think he wants to go in for Michelin. The alloys he is still not sure about. We will go to the shop together and find out what he likes best.
Regarding bargaining, we work for a particular brand/company whose dealer this tyre dealer is - so we always get a good discount from him !! No need to bargain. And in any case he is Kolkata's largest and cheapest.
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Old 20th April 2009, 19:10   #14
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You can also buy your tubeless tyres now, put them on stock wheels with tubes for a couple of months till you can buy the alloys. I was told there are no adverse effects of using tube in a tubeless tyre. Plus it is only a stop gap adjustment for a couple of months.
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Old 14th December 2009, 13:28   #15
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Guys.
Iam getting the Ritz VXI and need a tyre upsize done in installments. The VXI has the 165/70/14 and I would like to upgrade it to the 185/70/14. Planning the Michelins'. So tyre's first or alloys first. The second change will be within the next 3 months of the first one. please advise.
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