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Skywagon
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:11 pm

The preproduction car had 16" wheels, the same castings as on the production car except with a spun finish on the face.

As far as lowering the car I am looking at several options and have the attention of K-Sport and they are working on getting some hardware together for a test fitting on my car.

As far as the Miata, thanks. It is running on Ohlins DFV coilovers along with many mods to put it to the limits of the STR class for SCCA Auto-x.

As far as the aero differences you will not notice it much at all at in-town speeds. Plus they are not sticking out like roller skate wheels; the vast majority of the tire is still within the frontal bumper area. You would have to sustain higher freeway speeds to begin to maybe see a difference. And at that point a boundary layer will be coming from the nose of the car and the wheels/tires will be in a stagnant air area anyway. Not to mention the air around the wheel wells will be turbulent to start with due to a spinning wheel. If you want to truly help aerodynamics around the wheels then you need full moon covers. Aerodynamics is kind of my thing as I am an Aerospace Engineer.

There will be no camber adjustments as it is a beam axle. You would need camber bolts or adjustable lower arms in order to adjust front camber after lowering. The max camber I would want for a street car would be around 1 degree negative. I imagine that lowering it 1.5"-2" would yield a negative camber in that range or less. I will have to see once I go down that path.

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DaveEV
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:04 pm

Skywagon wrote:The preproduction car had 16" wheels, the same castings as on the production car except with a spun finish on the face.
I've looked at a number of other pics of the preprod show car, and if you look carefully you can make out a 17 in the tire size. I'm pretty sure it's a 17" wheel/tire with like a 205/50 tire. See this pic, for example:
http://www.automoblog.net/2010/02/06/20 ... eaf-wheel/
Skywagon wrote:As far as lowering the car I am looking at several options and have the attention of K-Sport and they are working on getting some hardware together for a test fitting on my car.
Sweet!
Skywagon wrote:Not to mention the air around the wheel wells will be turbulent to start with due to a spinning wheel. If you want to truly help aerodynamics around the wheels then you need full moon covers. Aerodynamics is kind of my thing as I am an Aerospace Engineer.
I was wondering who'd be the first to install moon covers on their wheels... :)
Skywagon wrote:There will be no camber adjustments as it is a beam axle.
There are shims you can get to adjust the toe/camber on the rear axle. They go in between the hub/axle.
Skywagon wrote:The max camber I would want for a street car would be around 1 degree negative. I imagine that lowering it 1.5"-2" would yield a negative camber in that range or less. I will have to see once I go down that path.
Good target - although on my street driven WRX I run about 1.25-1.5 and don't get any extra inside wear though it does tend to wander slightly more.

DaveNagy
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:20 pm

Wow, those 18s look great on the Leaf, and I'm not one of those people that normally likes that look. (For instance, I don't particularly like how those 18s looked on the Miata. Too big.) Something about the Leaf's fender design seems to make the wheels look smaller than one would expect.

Sadly, I suppose that super low-profile tires might not be a good match for the Leaf. (Might add noise and harshness that would be really easy to hear, and I don't suppose low-rolling-resistance tires come in that size.)

Oh! Speaking of noise, my MINI came with 23 lb. run-flat tires, mounted on 26 lb. (16") wheels. Crazy heavy. I replaced them with 19 lb. tires, mounted on (17") 12.5 lb. wheels. Huge weight difference. One drawback that I noticed immediately was that road noise (tire noise over rough surfaces) was dramatically increased. Doubled, easily. This has persisted through several sets of new tires, some purchased for their known quietness, so I'm guessing that it's largely due to either the lighter wheels, or the non-runflat tires.

I'd be interested to know if the OP notices any difference in road noise. The Leaf is an ideal platform to test that sort of thing.

GuBearDor
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:57 pm

Hey Skywagon

Love the pic, what size are are those wheels again? 18x ??? I was just wondering because I have a buddy who has a set Volks in 18x9's in +30mm offset. Don't have the Leaf yet so I have nothing to compare it to.

Skywagon wrote:Also, when I dropped off the wheels and tires to be swapped over I put a set of 18" Rays Forged wheels on the LEAF that I have for my Mazda (just for storage in my shop/hangar, did not drive on them)... it looked so strange/funny that I took a photo (ignore the camera phone quality):

Image

Just thought some might want to see those as well as they are still 5 lbs less than the stock wheels, but the increased size and tire width would hurt the efficiency/range over the stock wheels.

palmermd
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:10 pm

Is there a trend of improved efficiency showing up as a result of this upgrade? I know you were expecting 5-8%, but can you estimate that you've had any improvement?
Michael

Leaf from 31 March 2011 - Traded 18 April 2018 for Tesla Model 3 Unicorn
Driving electric since 1996


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TRONZ
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:20 pm

I know you didn't like the 18's but I think they could really work... the car needs to be 1-1.5" lower though.
Every start, is as good as any start can ever be. - Douglas Darden

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nader
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:45 pm

18x9's would be massive and would surely stick out. Not to mention the likelyhood of rubbing the fenders and or strut. With some aggressive lowering and camber it would look pretty cool though.

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Skywagon
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:19 pm

As far as the 18's, if you want to decrease your acceleration and efficiency then go right ahead.

As far as the replacement wheels, I have only put 600 miles on the car but I am seeing a shift in my range over time of about 4-6%. I will need more data points to further validate this. The other benefits are turn-in and composure in the turns. The 1/2" wider wheels change the angle of the sidewalls just enough to reduce the rolling over of the tire. Also, the 40mm wider track helps with stability, without running wider tires and losing efficiency.

As far as lowering the car, that is in work and I hope to have a solution soon.

Herm
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:57 am

palmermd wrote:Is there a trend of improved efficiency showing up as a result of this upgrade? I know you were expecting 5-8%, but can you estimate that you've had any improvement?
To be scientific about it, gather data on the new rims for several months, then pop in the original rims and compare.. he would be a hero to the Leaf community after going thru all this trouble.. in any case there must be a reason GM is using light forged aluminum wheels in the Volt and Cruze Eco models.

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aqn
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Re: Forged Rays Volk Wheels installed - stock wheels are HEAVY!

Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:34 am

Skywagon wrote:As far as the 18's, if you want to decrease your acceleration and efficiency then go right ahead.

As far as the replacement wheels, I have only put 600 miles on the car but I am seeing a shift in my range over time of about 4-6%. I will need more data points to further validate this. The other benefits are turn-in and composure in the turns. The 1/2" wider wheels change the angle of the sidewalls just enough to reduce the rolling over of the tire. Also, the 40mm wider track helps with stability, without running wider tires and losing efficiency.

As far as lowering the car, that is in work and I hope to have a solution soon.
Very good information! Please update when you have more info re. efficiency (and suspension, maybe in a new thread).
Anna Nguyen

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