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Old 6th March 2007, 20:02   #136
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Default Upgraded to Neo alloys on my Santro ZipDrive

Folks, today I went for routine alignment/balancing to Unitread tyres in East Street, Pune. The tyre mechanic showed me some bends and also rusting on my steel rims plus he also pointed out that the holes for the bolts were widened, meaning that the wheels may shake. So he did a *real* hard-sell on me to take alloys, as my steel rims were already 6.5 years old. He suggested 5.5 J, but I insisted on 4J, which is stock for Santro. Surprisingly, 4J X 13" Neo alloys with 114 mm PCD (apparently correct for my old Santro) were available. I was hooked. I have picked them up. Here is the pic:

[img=http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/3606/neo4jx13vt5.th.jpg]

The tyres are Bridgestone S322 tubeless (155/70 R 13, stock size). I took the alloy wheels subject to the condition that I will return them within 24 hours if there are any problems with steering/vibration at high speeds, etc. I took the car for a test drive and hit 130 kmph -- no vibrations, quite smooth, and steering felt great. Four alloys cost me Rs. 13200/-. Plan to get a fifth soon.

There is one problem though. You can see that the offset is lower than the stock offset, from the following pic (note that the wheel protrudes out a little):

[img=http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/6043/neolowoffsetuq7.th.jpg]

Upon almost full turn to the left or right, the wheel was touching the front mud flaps and I removed them. Now there is no touching but the gap seems to be very less between the tyre and the wheel arch in the mud flap area on the left hand side only. According to the tyre shop guy, the problem may be with a bent suspension arm. I plan to take it to the garage tomorrow to check this out. I also plan to check the alignment again at a Bridgestone authorized tyre shop (Unitread said alignment is OK).

What I am puzzled about is why this problem is present with 4J X 13" alloys? I could return them tomorrow, but I think this problem is minor and can be solved.

Last edited by rks : 6th March 2007 at 20:04.
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Old 6th March 2007, 20:09   #137
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The problem has to be with the suspension arm. I am running 185/60 13" with 5.5J HR Alloys on my Xing and till date i have had no issues. neither does the tire touch the side walls during a complete lock while turning..

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Old 6th March 2007, 20:38   #138
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rks, by going for 4J you have limited yourself to the stock tyres and no possible upsize to the tyre.

Even if you go to 5 different places the alignment will vary. It is preferrable to get it done from one guy whom you are comfortable with.

And the problem is definitely with the suspension arm. get it checked and probably the lower A arm needs to be replaced.
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Old 6th March 2007, 20:54   #139
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RKS, IMHO your offset looks to be wrong, the wheels seems to protrude way too much for standard size alloys. Was this also the problem when you had the stock steel rims (I very much doubt), if not then the offset for your alloys does not seem correct.

Folks, just to update after driving around for 1 day with the Bridgestone Turanza ER60 165/65R13.

The tires have improved ride quality and handling to quite an extent, I feel the 165/65R13 size on a Santro is a the perfect balance for ride quality and handling.

Next shall update incase there is a visible marked drop in mileage.
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Old 6th March 2007, 21:28   #140
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@Godfather and vid6639, thanks for the response.

I went for 4J just to play it safe and stay as close as possible to stock specifications. Others have reported problems with vibrations at high speeds, steering, brakes, etc. after changing to alloys. Anyway there is not much point in upsizing for my 1-lit Santro. It may be worthwhile for the Xing. 5.5J would surely have fouled with the wheel arch in a big way in my Santro (as it stands).

The Xing has, I think, a 100 mm PCD as compared to 114 mm for my old Santro. Plus offset may also be different. I am sure there will be T-BHPians who have upgraded to alloys on the ZipDrive. If I remember right, some have upized to 175/60 R13 tyres -- but I feel these would touch the wheel arch in my Santro in the present condition.

I am highly frustrated that these tyre shops don't give different options for offset. It was so difficult to find 114 mm PCD alloys in 4J X 13" size, so I decided to take my chance with the offset. There does not seem to be any vibration/braking problems. But will put the car to the most severe test this Friday on the Expressway.

I will get the suspension arms checked and replaced if necessary.

Last edited by rks : 6th March 2007 at 21:31.
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Old 6th March 2007, 21:40   #141
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Congrats rks, the rims look nice! you can check whether your A-ARM is bent or not by simple checking the distance between the tyre and the front mud flap on both sides, just make sure the steering is straight!

And what about the steering response has it become a tad heavy? or lighter? offset alloys will leave dirt and mud on the body due to backspray.
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Old 6th March 2007, 22:03   #142
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@aZa: I too thought the alloys looked good. I am not happy about the wheels protruding out slightly, but at least the handling seems very good at speeds up to 130 kmph. If there is a problem at higher speeds, that is good reason for me now to stay below 130! The steering seems a fraction lighter; the tyres are now at 30 psi as set by the tyre shop, but I plan to increase them for the highway on Friday. So overall the steering has become more responsive, probably because of the lighter alloys.

I did a crude check of the distance between the tyre and the mud flap area. On the left front wheel, the gap seems to be less on the inner side (towards suspension), so when I turn almost full lock to the left the tyre just misses the wheel arch (I have removed the mud flap). On the right side, there is a more noticeable gap between tyre and wheel arch as I turn the wheel. Could well be due to a bent suspension arm. I did hit a stone at slow speed on my front left tyre about a month back.
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Old 6th March 2007, 22:30   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoenthusiast View Post
RKS, IMHO your offset looks to be wrong, the wheels seems to protrude way too much for standard size alloys. Was this also the problem when you had the stock steel rims (I very much doubt), if not then the offset for your alloys does not seem correct.
Yes, you are right. As per the Carbibles website, incorrect offset can cause problems with steering response, steering vibrations at high speed, or fouling with wheel arch. I think I have a potential fouling problem, but fortunately no other issue. I hit two stones in the past 6 months, one on my right wheel and the other on the left. The first was tossed into my path by a dumper when I was at 40 kmph. The second stone was hit at crawling speed when I couldn't see it in a dense traffic jam. Both times I heard a heavy sound upon impact. I think it is a good idea to play safe and replace the suspension arms if necessary. Hopefully the potential fouling issue will be solved.

Last edited by rks : 6th March 2007 at 22:33.
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Old 7th March 2007, 11:28   #144
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Update: Took the car to garage, they said suspension arms are OK. Took it to Bridgestone tyre shop -- they insisted that the alloys were 5J and not 4J as mentioned by Unitread tyres. According to them there is no way a 4-inch alloy will protrude like that. So I went back to Unitread and again carefully checked the specs. There is only one sticker on that alloy, on which "4 X 114" is mentioned. Apparently the tyre mechanic took that to be 4J. Actually what that means is 4 bolts, not 4J!! So I asked him to check if 4J alloys are available and the answer (as usual, in every tyre shop) was negative. Further it seems Neo has only this single option available in PCD 114 mm for 13" alloys.

The sidewall flex is noticeably less and the handling is good. So I have decided to keep these alloys and not return them. I will get the balancing re-done, since that tyre mechanic did the balancing with the setting as 4-inch.

The moral of the story -- never trust these guys, check all specs yourself. Actually the offset must be OK -- otherwise I would surely have seen a difference in steering or felt vibrations. I now do have the option of upsizing the tyres after all, but unfortunately the fouling problem will then manifest itself.

Last edited by rks : 7th March 2007 at 11:29.
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Old 7th March 2007, 11:35   #145
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5J should not foil for sure on the santro, especially on only one side. Any specific reason for Neo, there are other better brand alloys available. I think even Aura is better than neo.

Also, 4J is too less for 155/70-13. minimum should be 4.5J, according to me. So it's for the better you have 5J.
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Old 7th March 2007, 11:37   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
The moral of the story -- never trust these guys, check all specs yourself. Actually the offset must be OK -- otherwise I would surely have seen a difference in steering or felt vibrations. I now do have the option of upsizing the tyres after all, but unfortunately the fouling problem will then manifest itself.
I was running & still run (on my mother's car) 165/65 R13 tyres & there have never, ever been any problems with fouling. I don't think you'll have any problem with that size it's a good compromise between grip & width.
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Old 7th March 2007, 12:10   #147
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Folks after all the above reading on 4J and 4.5J, I have a query.

I put 165/65R13 on my stock steel rims for my Santro Xing, are these 4J or 4.5J ? and are the stock rims suited for the 165/65 in terms of rim width ?
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Old 7th March 2007, 14:17   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
I was running & still run (on my mother's car) 165/65 R13 tyres & there have never, ever been any problems with fouling. I don't think you'll have any problem with that size it's a good compromise between grip & width.
The reason I have a potential fouling problem, I suspect, is that for this particular alloy, the offset must closely match the offset of the original stock rims. So the alloy being 1 inch wider, it will protrude out, say, by 1/2 --1 inch. For your case, it is possible that the offset on the alloy is higher than the offset in the stock rims, so that the wheel does not protrude out despite being wider by one inch (assuming the alloy is 5 inch). That will explain why there is no fouling with the wheel arch while turning. But in this case there is a possibility of fouling with the suspension parts, especially while turning, since the wheel would have gone in towards them. Looking at sidewall height, the 165/65 tyres are about 1 mm less as compared to the 155/70 tyres, so not much difference there.

I went back to Unitread tyres and had all wheels re-balanced. There was a difference in all of them, since the setting was now changed to 5J X 13", from yesterday's 4J X 13". Picked up a fifth alloy, since I can no longer use my 4J stock rim as spare. One major item that needs immediate attention is to get a proper wheel spanner. For some odd reason, my present spanner fits on 3 of the four nuts, but somehow refuses to mate with the fourth one.

@vid6639, I tried for Aura alloys, but there was no stock for 114 mm PCD. This was the case 6 months back too. Apparently this is not a popular PCD. With Xing, the PCD of 100 mm is apparently much more common. I was by now very weary of running to and fro, so decided to stick to Neo alloys. The main thing as far as I am concerned is that the PCD matches and the offset is close enough, so there is no high-speed vibration or steering problems. The handling is good.

Edit: I still think there could be a problem with my suspension arm. The reason being that I can see a smaller gap between tyre and wheel arch on the left side only when the wheel is turned. But the garage guys are saying that with the wheel straight there is no problem. Secondly as per them if there is a problem with bent suspension arm(s), the alignment would not have gone through and I would have found a definite problem of the car pulling to one side even at low speeds, plus a different wear rate on my left front tyre.

Last edited by rks : 7th March 2007 at 14:31.
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Old 7th March 2007, 14:56   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoenthusiast View Post
Folks after all the above reading on 4J and 4.5J, I have a query.

I put 165/65R13 on my stock steel rims for my Santro Xing, are these 4J or 4.5J ? and are the stock rims suited for the 165/65 in terms of rim width ?
I think the Xing stock rims are 4J. For 165/65, 4.5J is the minimum required as per the rim width calculator. Still, many people have upgraded to even 175/60 on stock rims. So there is no need to panic. Just watch your tread wear pattern. If you find more wear on the shoulders as compared to the centre of the tyres, increase tyre pressures. Basically, you will have greater sidewall flex on your tyres since the rim is of lower width. If you want good high-speed handling, you may need to increase tyre pressures.
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Old 7th March 2007, 19:56   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
I was running & still run (on my mother's car) 165/65 R13 tyres & there have never, ever been any problems with fouling. I don't think you'll have any problem with that size it's a good compromise between grip & width.
Neo's official website is:

Neo Wheels India

From this website, the details of the alloy that I have purchased are available:

****************************************
Alloy name ------Star SM (lhere SM=silver-machined)
Size-------------5J X 13"
PCD-------------114.3 mm
Backspacing-----103 mm (what is this?)
Offset-----------26 mm
Bore Dia ---------Min. 58.4 mm-----Max. 70 mm
****************************************

There is only one more alloy from Neo that would have been suitable for my Santro, namely Breeze SM, with offset=36 mm and Backspacing=116 mm. and other specs same as above. This alloy would not have protruded so much and probably would have permitted upsized tyres. So with wider alloy wheels, you need a higher offset in order to avoid fouling with the wheel arch while turning. But on the other hand, if the stock Santro rims had an offset that is closer to 26 mm, then probably my choice would be better from the handling point of view, especially at high speeds.

I know for the Matiz's 4.5J rims, the offset is 45 mm, from the following post:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...tml#post298638 (Rim and tyre change for Matiz..)

But for the Santro's 4J rims, the offset is likely to be less than 45 mm as the half-width of the rim itself is about 50.8 mm (i.e., 2"); so my guess is that the offset could well be in the range 26--36 mm; does anybody have an idea of the correct figure?

Anyway I have just about escaped from a fouling problem with the stock-size tyres and I am not that particular about an upsize; the handling is very good.

Last edited by rks : 7th March 2007 at 20:15.
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