Lotus Elan

13x5.5" or 14x6.0" alloys? Opinions appreciated.

PostPost by: M.J.S » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:35 pm

If one were faced in the near future with replacing the original (but getting rather tired) alloys on your 130S +2, and given the cost is going to be roughly the same whatever the choice, please be so kind as to share your honest opinions whether you would choose replica 13 x 5.5 alloys (Matty?) with 175/70 rubber, or 14 x 6 minilite style (Spyder?) with 185/60 rubber? Standard chassis and mechanicals. I can see pros and cons to both, but my fellow owners' opinions are highly sought and appreciated. It's hard-earned ???, and needs to be money well spent, but maybe a choice I have to make. Thanks guys.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:57 pm

14x6 wheels need the smaller diameter rear springs and the struts modified for them otherwise the tyre rubs on the bottom spring seat. Might be a deal breaker if you don?t want this extra work and expense.
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:58 pm

In the US I'd probably go for 14" wheels with 185/65r14 tires which are close to the diameter of the original 165/80r13 tires set up.

This is because of availablity of 165/80r13 is very bad over here and 14" wheel gives a little more clearance to the lower suspension arm bolts.

In the UK with good availability of 165/80r13 it would be harder decision.

Out of interest why are you considering setups with smaller diameter that standard wheels+tires?
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:23 am

+ 1 on the 14x6 wheels with 185/65 tyres.
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PostPost by: EPA » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:59 am

I have 185/60 R14 on my plus 2 and the main downside other than requiring the smaller diameter springs is that the ride is not as compliant. This is fine on smooth roads but here in the north of England where the roads are full of potholes it makes a significant difference. I have also found that the tyres need more pressure than the original items which compounds the ride issue.
I have also found that the smaller diameter springs have a habit of rattling against the damper tube(mine are supplied by Spyder) especially when moving from rest. I fitted several cable ties which has largely cured the problem.
The rolling diameter of this setup is also slightly smaller which will lower the gearing but I think that this is why some have opted for the 185/65 setup which I think I would use if replacing the tyres again.

Having said all that I still have the old wheels and have never been tempted to revert back.

Hope this helps
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:20 pm

The car will have a lighter, more nimble feel with the original setup. Since it's a Lotus, I would recommend fitting it out as the designer, who knew what he was doing, intended.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:22 pm

Matty wheels with Spyder rubber
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PostPost by: prezoom » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:14 pm

I have always looked at bigger, wider, wheels with more rubber in the terms of weight. If each wheel/tire combination adds up to a couple of pounds more that standard, I ask myself would I add 8 pounds to my flywheel? The more the mass, the more it takes to get it spinning, plus slow it down, and the big heavy things that need to spin are flywheels, wheels and tires. A number of years ago, Grassroots Motorsports did an article on going various plus sizes on a Miata/MX5. The results were entertaining as well as interesting. My Zetec conversion utilized an aluminum flywheel, and the quickness that the engine now revs is significant.
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PostPost by: Harvey » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:37 am

I am running 13x5.5 alloy wheels on my '71 Plus 2S. I initially fit 185x70x13 tires which fit fine with the original springs on the rear wheels. However, I switched to OE 165x80x13 tires because I like the looks of the narrower tire on the car and because I think it adds a more delicate feel to the car. Although I seldom participate in track days in the Plus 2,I prefer a tire that will lose grip at slower speeds to more easily catch the slide because, at age 77, my reflexes are not as quick anymore.

I am running Michelin XAS FF tubed tires which I purchased from Longstone Tyres in England. I paid $660 for a set of four in February 2017.

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PostPost by: cudabenefast » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:57 am

FWIW I have just purchased 4 spoke "26Rish" revolution wheels in 5.5 x 13 from Kelvedon. These are KO and weigh 4.3kg.

I plan to run CN36 in 175 x 70 or similar XAS FF or CR6ZZ Avons.

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