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      03-16-2011, 10:52 PM   #1
Richbot
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Totally subjective, pointless review: PS2's on OEM 18's vs. PS2's on OEM 19's

I picked up a set of 19's with PS2's from a forum member recently and had a chance to do a back-to-back, apples-to-grapples review. Both sets have PS2's with about 6/32" of tread left, and relatively close build dates. The 275's on the rear of my 18's are newer than the newest 19, but the car didn't really behave that differently when I changed the rear tires on the 18's (which surprised me).

Looks
I love the look of the OE 18's and the taller sidewall that comes with them, but there's just no contest here. The 19's just look nicer. They also look a little too "bling" but at least they have a more machined face instead of the full polish that the E46 M3 19's had. I love how both options look, but having had the 19's on my car for a week now I have to admit, they look awesome. Probably one of my top 5 favorite original equipment wheels of all time. Bonus: they're easier to keep clean too. Advantage - 19's

Ride
Took a while for me to pick up on it, but the 19's are definitely harsher over small imperfections, and the bigger hits, but it's totally livable. Definitely not uncomfortable, just not quite as good at absorbing the road imperfections. For some people this is a good thing, but most people like to be able to relax on the way home from work. Advantage - 18's

Steering
This is the only place in terms of dynamics where I felt the 19's had a significant advantage over the 18's. Feel was a little better and turn-in was very direct. On the 18's I have developed the habit of turning the wheel just a hair earlier to let the car take a set before coming off neutral throttle and applying power, on the 19's that waiting period is much shorter. I found myself turning in early in some of the familiar corners I took the car through until I adjusted. The response on the 19's might even be a little too fast, this car already has a 12:1 rack ratio. Still, I was surprised and impressed by the impact the shorter sidewall (and probably the lighter front wheels) had, and I could see myself getting used to the faster response. Advantage - 19's

Acceleration
The 18's are just plain better at putting the power down. It was the same back when I had 265's on the car, the car picks up the inside rear much more easily on the 19's, doesn't get off the line as quickly, and likes to skate over mid-corner bumps on throttle on the 19's. I even found myself needing to be gentle in 2nd gear at middling rpms or I'd turn the 19's over, which was fun, but slow. Advantage - 18's

Braking
I didn't see much of a difference here. Draw

Transient responses
I thought the 19's were a little too busy and more prone to losing grip at the front before the rear caught up to what was happening up front. I think the quicker turn-in might outrun the dampers in the rear a little, because on the 18's the car will let you toss the rear around in a slalom situation, even with the slightly wider rear tires (and it was the same on the OE rears). The 19's didn't respond that way, the front would wash out first pretty consistently. Disappointing, as I was pretty sure the 19's would be at least as good or better here. Advantage - 18's

Steady-state cornering
The car seems to handle mid-corner road imperfections better on the 18's, and that makes a huge difference in how early and aggressively throttle can be applied. Ultimate grip seems similar and balance was about the same once in the middle of a sweeping corner, but it's once again easier to upset the car on the 19's, especially on the throttle. Advantage - 18's

4-2 for the 18's means I think I'll be putting my winter tires on the 19's. Sounds backasswards, but maybe being able to look at them in the winter will make up for it being, you know, winter outside. I would run the 19's in the summer if they were better dynamically but in my unscientific opinion, they just aren't.

I wonder how the car would react to 19" fronts and 18" rears. Might have to try that out...

EDIT: These were 219M's vs. 220M's if anyone was wondering, so same width and offset for both sets of wheels. I run both sets at 35psi front and rear
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      03-16-2011, 11:24 PM   #2
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good read, thx 4 sharing.
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      03-16-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Thanks. Interesting info.
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      03-17-2011, 12:46 AM   #4
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I did the same swap back and forth. The 19's are slightly quicker to respond but ride much worse than the 18s. 18's had more overall grip in acceleration, braking, and cornering on the imperfect street. The 19's were a little bouncy and skated over bumps like you said.

I much prefer the 18's. The only way I'd run the 19's that admittedly look better is if I put all seasons on them for better ride.
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      03-17-2011, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smmmurf View Post
I much prefer the 18's. The only way I'd run the 19's that admittedly look better is if I put all seasons on them for better ride.
Exactly. I bought a set for two reasons, A) because the car was originally delivered with 19's and I wanted a set for originality's sake (car sat on the dealer's lot for 2 years and the 19's got traded away to somebody who wanted them) and III) to try them out and see which one I liked better and use the other set as winters. Can't beat OE wheels for durability. I'll probably put some 255/275 all-seasons on the 19's for winter and call it good so I don't worry about being completely stranded if we get a surprise snowstorm. Driving the truck all winter got old.
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      03-17-2011, 07:58 AM   #6
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Good review, thanks!
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      03-17-2011, 09:37 AM   #7
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awesome review. thanks for sharing
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      03-17-2011, 10:11 AM   #8
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Glad it's helpful. If there's any justice in the world, somebody will come in here and poke a bunch of holes in it the way I tend to do to people more often than I should.
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      03-17-2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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My car originally had 18's and PS2's. When I put the RAC RG63's on and the 255 & 275 Vred's, it seemed like the ride actually improved. I thought that it might be the result of the reduced unsprung weight. Others in the group buy didn't agree with me on the ride improvement though. I believe most of them started with 19's.
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      03-17-2011, 12:48 PM   #10
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I bet the weight had a big effect. A few pounds at each corner is a big deal especially when you consider that the wheel/tire has the biggest moment arm of all the parts to act on the springs and dampers. Plus you didn't take as much of a sidewall height penalty as going from OE to OE sizes since the upsized tires are a little taller
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      03-17-2011, 01:03 PM   #11
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if you move to 19's on 255/35 and 275/35 you're somewhere in the middle
i have those sizes on 19" wheels
and its not as nice as my OEM 18's
but better than stock 19's om stock sizes
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      03-17-2011, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmarei View Post
if you move to 19's on 255/35 and 275/35 you're somewhere in the middle
i have those sizes on 19" wheels
and its not as nice as my OEM 18's
but better than stock 19's om stock sizes
what brand/model tires?
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      03-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #13
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Richbot who makes the absolute best SM motors these days for a 1.8L '94? East Street? Rossini? Race Engineering?
I think I want to get back on the track this season and my motor is a little tired.
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      03-17-2011, 05:08 PM   #14
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In my opinion it's still Kinetic-Sunbelt. Jim has gotten pretty close at East Street too, but I think he will admit that Kinetic is still the gold standard if you can deal with the backlog and price. They're all close and the real gains are in the days spent on the dyno. My Sunbelt 1.6 was still under 2% leakdown on all cylinders after 2.5 seasons.
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      03-17-2011, 08:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smmmurf View Post
what brand/model tires?
Michelin PS2, same as stock
i tried hankooks and they sucked
super soft
some people like them
i hated them
sold them as soon as i got them
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      03-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #16
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not pointless.. nice review, thank you!
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