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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'd like to replace my 17" stock wheels with lighter wheels but in the stock size as I have new tires. I'm having a devil of a time finding wheels in the stock sizes which I understand to be 17X7.5 front and 17X8.5 rear. When I find a wheel that comes in 7.5 it doesn't come in 8.5 and vice versa.

Similarly if I look at 7" widths there are no 8" or if 8" no 9"

Has anyone encountered this problem and come up with a solution? Any ideas?
 

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Excuse my ignorance but why do you want "lighter wheels"?
Will it improve handling or outright performance?
Are you sure you're a good enough driver with the perception to 'notice' any difference?

Non stock wheels are usually very obvious which might be their appeal insofar as meeting a need to 'personalise' but beware that in the eyes of some they could make your car a 'Bitsa', 'bits of this bits of that' yet the whole is spoilt.
On the other hand why should you care a toss what others think? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Excuse my ignorance but why do you want "lighter wheels"?
Will it improve handling or outright performance?
Are you sure you're a good enough driver with the perception to 'notice' any difference?

Non stock wheels are usually very obvious which might be their appeal insofar as meeting a need to 'personalise' but beware that in the eyes of some they could make your car a 'Bitsa', 'bits of this bits of that' yet the whole is spoilt.
On the other hand why should you care a toss what others think? :wink:
Yes, they do greatly improve handling. I've found that they are the most cost effective performance mod that one can make. True with Caterham, MX-5s, and Mini Cooper S that I've owned.

No, I don't care what others think, I'll be painting them Mercedes F1 Turquoise to go with my Silver car, but I'm holding on to the stock wheels for when I re-sell the car.
 

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In the US, rims are probably one of the most commonly seen mods. The aftermarket is absolutely huge from inexpensive to outrageous. Many are very close to the stock wheels being replaced with owners seeking 'just a little something' to make it theirs and to gain the desired weight savings.

I have a very good friend that always goes with black rims regardless of the car. Whether going for looks or performance, or both, it all gets back to mods are fun! Sadly the R172 is limited overall compared to the other gens in the aftermarket.
 

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Yes, they do greatly improve handling. I've found that they are the most cost effective performance mod that one can make. True with Caterham, MX-5s, and Mini Cooper S that I've owned.

No, I don't care what others think, I'll be painting them Mercedes F1 Turquoise to go with my Silver car, but I'm holding on to the stock wheels for when I re-sell the car.
Do your own thing - brilliant.
The MX-5 MK1 was very sensitive to wheel weight & many owners faffed about changing the originals for something usually a bit lurid & obviously after-market then wondered why the handling suffered & others though car looked daft.
 

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I suspect it depends on how much money you want to spend. In the UK companies like Compomotive or Image wheels will make you any size wheel you want and I can't believe similar companies don't exist in the USA.

Your other option could well be a set of 18" AMG spoked alloys which are about 15% lighter than the other 18" options. Whether they are lighter than the 17" ones I couldn't say.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, I'm not aware of any such manufacturers in the U.S., racing wheels, yes. I want to stick with 17" because the ride is harsh enough w/o stiffer sidewalls and because I just got new tires. I've gone with 8" width rims front and back with 3mm less offset. A compromise, don't know how significant it will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Final solution

I wound up getting Moda MD20 17" X 8" wheels. A compromise at both ends that allowed me to use my existing, fairly new tires. The Graphite Grey ones were on sale from Tire Rack for $99.00 each. They weigh 21# each so I saved 2.7# per front wheel and 4.7# per rear wheel. The Enkei wheels at 18# would have been even better but cost more than I wanted to spend. The weight difference is very noticeable going over bumps and pot holes, much less of a CLUNK. No noticeable difference braking or accelerating.

I had them painted to further the F1 theme.
 

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