Brakes Wheels 1st Gen Tires Thoughts on next wheel/tire setup for the track

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by BlimeyCabrio, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #1 BlimeyCabrio, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
    So now that the BlimeyCabrio 2.0 is hitting the track (hard..), I'm looking at wheels/tires for when I'm ready to go up another notch (i.e. R888 or R-comps)

    I'm a big fan of 16" wheels on MINIs for mountain and hard street use. You can run a little higher sidewall and get significantly better ride comfort and manage poor pavement conditions with less drama.

    Currently running 225/50R16 Dunlop Direzza ZII's on Enkei PF01 16x7 43et, 5mm spacer in front only. These performed pretty well at the track last weekend, though I was fighting to get to get to an optimal tire pressure most of the day. Held up well through 4.5 sessions of varying conditions.

    That said, I know these tires are probably too wide for these rims for optimal contact patch for track use. Probably need to either fall back to narrower tires on these wheels (205) or go to a wider 8" rim.

    I know most of the hard-core MINI trackrats run either 17" or 15" wheels. I know tire choices in 16" are much more limited, which drives some of that decision. But there are SOME good 16" tires available, in the right range of sizes. So it's not a show-stopper.

    Options:
    1) Keep using my current wheels for dual-duty. Drop back to 205/50R16 ZII's when current ones are dead.
    2) Use my current wheels for street on current tire size or 205's. Do something more optimal for the track:
    2a) Go to wider wheels so I can run the 225's for the track. Enkei RPF1's are available in 16x8 38et 4x100. Should be able to make this fit our cars, may have to fight rubbing a bit more in the rear depending on tire profile.
    2b) Go up to 17" wheels. Lots of options for how to do this. Run lower profile tires on the 17's. Maybe go up to 8" width for wider tire options.
    2c) Maybe go down to 15" wheels, if I can find one that will fit with my brakes (possible, from the looks of it). Investigating this.

    Thoughts? Especially from the track rats who have lived through the tire/wheel learning curve. Feel free to reference other threads if you've stated relevant opinions elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Alan

    Alan Active Member

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    15s

    You can run 205/50/15 SM7s or 225/45/15 RRs on 15x7 inch rims. 15 x 7.5 would be better. 15x8 is fine as well.
     
  3. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    15's on 225/45/15's, 9 inch wide rim up front, 8 inch wide in the rear. You should be able to find a rim that fits, 949UL with a spacer would probably work. With the automatic, I think 15's are your best bet. If you want to be able to flip tires around, go with 15x8 on all four corners. You'll roast your fronts well before the rears go, especially on R-comps. That being said, 15x9s up front is significantly faster. I have run 205/50, and 225/45 on seven inch wheels, 8 inch wheels, and the 8/9 stagger, as suggested by Jan, and the 225/45 on the 8/9 stagger is hands down the best.

    As for tires, the Nitto 01 is other than Hoosiers is my favorite tire. Doesn't need to be shaved, good life, and sticky as hell. Tough to find at the moment, but they should be available again in the spring. More and more people are running them. I needed to replace mine and made the mistake of not ordering early spring; they were already sold out nationally. So I bought RA1's instead, forgot to shave them, and I hate them. They're supposed to be the same compound as the Nitto 01's, but they have more tread--too much for the track without shaving them. I'll switch back to Nitto next year, no need to shave, better dry tread pattern (I don't run on really wet tracks anymore anyway). The RA1s are supposed to get better as they wear down. I hope so.

    I have never run the R888's, but the rumor is they heat cycle out well before they cord. The Nittos hold up (and supposedly the RA1's too) until it's time to change them. The R888's supposedly like less camber, so if you're running -2.0 or less up front, they might be worth a try. Like the Nittos, they don't need to be shaved, they're good to go out of the box.
     
  4. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Thanks, good stuff

    Need to find a way to test fit some 15's
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Active Member

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    I've run 888's and the rumors are BS. No special camber requirements either.
     
  6. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Double post.
     
  7. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    #7 cct1, Aug 17, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
    Not rumors, confirmed by Toyo when the spec Miata guys started complaining. Toyo recommended less camber up front, that you don't need as much camber for the R888's, and that part of the reason people were having so much trouble with the R888's was due to the fact the car needed to be set up differently for them compared to the RA1's.

    The Miata guys also complained about the R888's heat cycling out sooner than the RA1s, which was killing their budgets. The R888's were originally meant to completely replace the RA1's, but due to the complaints, the RA1's were brought back.

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1216784-Toyo-R888-Setup-Notes-for-Spec-Miata&

    This thread hits the high points.

    There is a tech article from Toyo that goes in more detail but I couldn't find it with a quick search. Bottom line is the R888 is a much different tire than the RA1, requires a different setup, and did not wear as well as the spec Miata guys and many others would've liked. There are some who swear buy it (and many more who swear at it) but if you're switching from RA1's or Nitto 01's, the setups aren't going to be the same on the R888's, you're going to need to change some things, from pressures to camber for it to be optimized. Which totally makes sense, it's a different tire. It's not much fun to find an optimum setup for a tire then start all over again.

    That being said, I can't imagine the R888's being worse than unshaved RA1's. But I'll get Nitto's again when they're available.
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Active Member

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    My buds that race SM use over 3 degrees of negative camber up front. And complain about everything. When the top ten positions are separated by 0.2 seconds that stuff matters. For DEs with a MINI its BS. At a DE you're lucky to put a string of laps together within the same second cause of traffic.

    SM guys complained about the SM6, which is why the SM7 came out. The Toyo RR was much more consistent than the SM6, but looks like the SM7 has slight advantage over RR when both are the spec 205/50/15 size.

    And both the SM7 and RR are significantly faster than 888, RA-1, or NT-01. They should be as they are ~50 treadwear tires vs 100 treadwear for the others.

    I guess the message is don't sweat the small stuff.
     
  9. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Except I'm almost 4 seconds slower at Road America on unshaven RA1's than Nitto 01's, which is a huge kick in the crotch with a steel toed shoe...I kept overheating them, not used to the extra tread and squirm coming from the Nittos. My own fault for forgetting to shave them, shaved they'd probably be very similar.

    If the R888's don't last as long as the Nitto 01's, that would make a difference, at least to me, for HPDE's.

    When I get my JRZ's on, and I can add castor, and dial out some camber, I might try the R888's--they may really shine in that situation. My only concern is how long they'll last.
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I hate to sound ignorant but why 15's. It seems that a 17 would be less sidewall so you would have less roll over on the side wall. Giving you more grip.
    Sorry for the stupid question.
     
  11. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    It's not a stupid question at all I once asked the same thing. Smaller wheels and tires equal less unsprung weight. Less weight equals more speed. That's why if I don't eat for a week I gain 10 hp. :lol:

    It's all about the power to weight ratio and where the weight can be reduced.
    Sometime is from sections of the car, sometimes it's the driver. :Thumbsup:
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    15's are significantly lighter and the overall smaller diameter spins up faster, effectively a gearing advantage for accelerating out of corners.
     
  13. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    But 17 look so good that must be worth a few HP!:D
    Ok thanks that makes sense
     
  14. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Once you've run good 16's on a MINI, you'll never go back to 17's.
    They're that much better. :D

    And 18's are just silly
     
  15. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    And once you've run 15 's, you'll never run anything else! :)
     
  16. CarlB

    CarlB Active Member

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    Can you tell me what offset 15X8 and 15X9 wheels you are running please? Are you running coil overs, and what diameter springs? I am running 17X7.5 inch wheels with 40 MM offset and in the front I have a 15 MM spacer with very little clearance. In the rear I am rubbing the plastic wheel arch.
     
  17. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Just to get it in this thread... I've had some offline conversation with ukcooper about his experiences as well... he's currently running custom 15x8 Jongbloed 305's, after breaking a 15x8 PF01 at Summit Point. The 305's look like the ultimate strength option... just $$$.

    The new 949 6UL's look to be stronger than the old ones.

    Chad says no 15" wheels fit over his 16" kit... but I'm not 100% convinced of that yet, given that others are running some 15's with appropriate spacing over very similar Wilwood kits with larger diameter rotors... I just need to measure and test fit some things before I'm convinced one way or the other. Have a friend with 15x8 PF01's that I can test fit nearby. And will probably test the 6UL's also.

    I'm not in a huge hurry... Will be this winter before I seriously start moving toward my next set, for next season...

    P
     
  18. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    cct1 told me he was running 15mm spacer front (with 15x9) and 8mm spacer rear (15x8) with the 949 6UL's, which are ET36 offset. I don't know what his spring diameters, etc. are.

    But generally the wide section of the tire hits before the rim does :)
    So wider rim doesn't necessarily mean less clearance, with equivalent centering on the hub.
     
  19. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    ^^That.

    I have KWV2's on for coil overs at the moment, springs clear but it's tight, but will switch to JRZ as soon as I can.

    On the nine inch rim, the tire is stretched, so there is no overhang at all--the rim hits the ground before the tire when you take them off, so you learn very quick to set them down on the inside rather than the outside unless you want to scratch them. Moral of the story is that with the 9's, it'll be the rim rubbing before the tire. With 8's, there is a little tire hanging over the edge of the rim so the tire would rub before the rim.
     
  20. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Yeah, I wish the NT01's were available in 225/45R16.
    And, unicorns. :wink:
     

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