VW Beetle Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newb from Northern Minnesota here. Trying to stay up with the latest DIY info to keep my wife's '06 Convertible on the road. Right now looking to get rid of the factory wheels and low-profile tires and go with 13", 14", or 15" rims and higher-profile tires. Anybody have experience/recommendation in this area? Thnx.
Wayne
 

·
Cheeeto's Daddy
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
Welcome

Welcome to the org. There are some New Beetle people from up in your neck of the woods so you shant be lonely!

Welcome home.

Chuckie
 

·
Apprentice Org-aholic!
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
Newb from Northern Minnesota here. Trying to stay up with the latest DIY info to keep my wife's '06 Convertible on the road. Right now looking to get rid of the factory wheels and low-profile tires and go with 13", 14", or 15" rims and higher-profile tires. Anybody have experience/recommendation in this area? Thnx.
Wayne
Welcome from cloudy overcast central MN. Not sure about wheels. I love my 17s, just wish they were little better in the snow. Ha.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
Welcome to the great and wonderful ORG! Many fantastic cars, people and answers lurk in this great land. If you haven't done so already, take time to fill in your profile and post a few photos so we can ORGle them!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
There are things to be aware of when downsizing wheels. First understand that you have a fairly sizeable brake assembly so the new wheels must still be able to clear the brake calipers. You are not going to find 13" wheels that will clear the assembly, doubt you will find 14" wheels either. Second, your tire choices will be severely limited by going anything smaller than a 15" wheel.

Smaller wheels like that are rare and typically narrower than what your 17" wheels are. A narrower wheel will require a narrower tire, I would not recommend going to a narrower tire as the more rubber on the road the better your ride. The tire's contact patch(part that is actually on the road) is remarkably small and in your car's may be as little as 8 inches by 8 inches on each tire. Now go to a narrower rim and you may be looking at 8 X 6". You want less contact on the road, specially in rain? I didn't think so.

Another reason not to get really small wheels is that you must maintain the same aspect ratio on your car as it came equipped with. Your total outside tire diameter is probably around 21-22" Your car's transmission gearing is built around that number. Your car's electronics including your speedometer are built around that number. If you went with a smaller tire you would have to have a significantly taller tire. Your 17's probably have around 2" of sidewall, if you went with a 14" wheel you would have to have 3.5" of sidewall. The amount of flex that a tire that tall would give you would be noticeable on turns, not a good thing.
Going to a 14" wheel and 2" sidewall tires would significantly impact your car's performance, longetivity and it could/would wreak havoc on your drivetrain and electronics.

Most people upgrade wheel sizing for aesthetic reasons. Bigger wheels fill up the wheel well but if you notice the tire sidewall size has to be reduced to account for the overall diameter. A really thin sidewall can offer better handling as there is less flex but it can significantly reduce comfort as the tire does not absorb road imperfections as well and they can be prone to wheel damage as there is less rubber to protect against impact(potholes wreak havoc on big wheels/thin tire combinations).

That all being said going up or down one wheel size will not typically affect your day to day driving. Tires and wheels in 16 and 18" sizes are common so if downsizing to a 16" wheel makes financial sense then that should not be an issue whatsoever.

Sorry for the long response, just thought I would offer a bit of expertise as I am in the Automotive aftermarket world and have seen many folks make very expensive mistakes with wheel and tire changes.

A great place to start looking for wheel and tire combos is tirerack.com as their computer system lookups really help you understand everything I typed above. It visually shows you what your car will look like with bigger or smaller wheels and how the tires will change based on the different wheel size. No I am not involved with Tire rack and only wish our site was as good as theirs.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
Caesar
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top