Best Wheel & Tire Setup for Track - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Best Wheel & Tire Setup for Track

Hello Lotus forums, I hope everyone is having a lovely day so far. As a new member I am still in the process of learning about these cars and as an avid track user I am curious to hear what everyone's preferences are about tire/ wheel setup. I have heard more unfortunate things about spacers then positive, as a result I am leaning towards running my car without them. I would like to use Hoosier A7's, feel free to express your opinions and or your own personal setup, all information is appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 12:19 PM
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Assuming you are driving an Elise/Exige (you don't say) there are many threads on this topic I have been researching recently.

Here's what I have come up with, I have yet to make a tire purchase but I did purchase a set of wheels. Your track tire options are pretty limited on stock LSS wheels and worse on non-LSS wheels due to the half size widths. I bought a set of Ethos wheels from S111 in 16x7 and 17x8. That opens up your tire options a lot. There are other wheels out there in those sizes but most are pretty costly.

From what I have surmised I have come to 4 choices for track slicks:
1.) Yokohama A005's. Nice but very expensive. Have read they stick like glue but can heat cycle out quickly, which makes the high price even more unattractive.

2.) Hoosier R7's. Midrange price, our lightweight cars may never heat them up fully, especially in 20-25 minute track sessions. If you are doing endurance runs they may be OK.

3.) Hoosier A7's. Midrange price. Given our lightweight cars and shorter track sessions the A7 is probably the way to go even though it's technically an autocross tire. At a recent NASA event I talked w/ guys running A7's on big heavy Corvettes and they still prefer them to R7s. I have read that the current 7 series Hoosiers are "fat" for their sizing so rubbing can be an issue, not sure though from any personal experience.

4.) Hankook Ventus Z214. Low price. Come in two compounds soft C71 and medium C51. Not sure which to use on an Elige I have heard preferences both ways. Good reviews.

In the end I think the two logical choices are the A7's and the z214's for those of us weekend warriors. Hopefully others will chime in. It's hard to sift thru the BS in tire threads...for every post that someone says one thing is the best there's another saying the opposite. That gets frustrating.

Nick____________
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Nickshu first sorry for not elucidating my comments, it's for a 2007 Lotus Exige S.

Secondly thank for the guidance and information. I am personally leaning towards Hoosier A7's. Forgive me I am ignorant and unaware, what's this LSS term everyone is throwing around? What wheels did you purchase? Do you run 225's in the rear?

Third you are absolutely correct, in my humble opinion it's incredibly hard at times to sift through the countless threads or information for specific answers.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 06:05 PM
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Glad to hear you're putting your Exige on the track. Some owners still think this is sacrilege!

I loved the Z214s (C51, 205/50R15 and 225/50R16) on Ethos wheels. They were great bang for the buck and saved 8lbs compared to the stock LSS wheels (LSS=Lotus Sport Suspension). A set of Hoosiers at the time were $300 more which I couldn't justify for non-comp racing.

I'd advise upgrading your stock rear toe links. My '07 still has the beefy SSC links even though it's just a highway cruiser now. Below is how it looked at the track.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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TSRAGR that's hard for me to fathom, I love my cars and take care of them but ultimately nothing brings me more joy then racing and pushing the limits!

Thank you for your input, I will look into the ethos wheels, I want to reduce weight but ultimately just want to throw the biggest tires on possible without rubbing, some people I have noticed are talking about running 15's on all four corners? Seems different to me for sure, but hey I am open to it! (P.S. Your car is beautiful, enjoy my friend)

I previously read about upgrading the rear toe links and will be doing that through sector 111.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuno01 View Post
TSRAGR that's hard for me to fathom, I love my cars and take care of them but ultimately nothing brings me more joy then racing and pushing the limits!

Thank you for your input, I will look into the ethos wheels, I want to reduce weight but ultimately just want to throw the biggest tires on possible without rubbing, some people I have noticed are talking about running 15's on all four corners? Seems different to me for sure, but hey I am open to it! (P.S. Your car is beautiful, enjoy my friend)

I previously read about upgrading the rear toe links and will be doing that through sector 111.

Give me a call 951-296-6762 or shoot me an email at [email protected] tomorrow and I would be happy to chat about wheel and toe link options.

Ethos 16x7 and 17x8 are definitely the most popular wheels we sell for both street and track use. We usually run the Toyo R888 R compound tires and have not tested the new R7 or A7 Hoosiers.

Forgive me for doing Sector111 business on my personal account, I am at home.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 07:34 PM
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LSS are the stock Lotus wheels on sport package cars. They are 16/17 but widths are 6.5/7.5.

I bought the Ethos wheels that Joe recommended above in 16x7/17x8.

In both Hoosier and Hankook I think that your Rear width choices are 225 or 245. The 245 being way wider and would probably rub especially if you have a lot of negative camber set. The 225 comes in 40 or 45 height. The taller height could help your gearing slightly.

205/45s on the front.

As a reference I currently have A048 Yokohamas in 195/50 and 225/45 on my car with LSS wheels and negative camber at - 2.2 front and - 2.7 rear and I get a couple rub spots on my wheel well liners I noticed this past track season. Based on that I think there's no way I'd get away with 245 rears without running spacers.

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Last edited by Nickshu; 11-07-2016 at 07:45 PM.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +TSRAGR View Post
Glad to hear you're putting your Exige on the track. Some owners still think this is sacrilege!

I loved the Z214s (C51, 205/50R15 and 225/50R16) on Ethos wheels. They were great bang for the buck and saved 8lbs compared to the stock LSS wheels (LSS=Lotus Sport Suspension). A set of Hoosiers at the time were $300 more which I couldn't justify for non-comp racing.

I'd advise upgrading your stock rear toe links. My '07 still has the beefy SSC links even though it's just a highway cruiser now. Below is how it looked at the track.
How did you like the C51 compound? I'm leaning towards a set of Hankooks but not sure which compound medium or soft.

Hey is that photo at High Plains Raceway? Looks like the fuel paddock there...

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 111Joe View Post
Give me a call 951-296-6762 or shoot me an email at [email protected] tomorrow and I would be happy to chat about wheel and toe link options.

Ethos 16x7 and 17x8 are definitely the most popular wheels we sell for both street and track use. We usually run the Toyo R888 R compound tires and have not tested the new R7 or A7 Hoosiers.

Forgive me for doing Sector111 business on my personal account, I am at home.
Joe I will absolutely take you up on your phone call, all knowledge and time given is incredibly appreciated. I am very interested in the A7s.

Nickshu again thank you for your input and clarifying what LSS stood for. I never knew the taller height could help my gearing. You learn something new everyday!

Last edited by nuno01; 11-07-2016 at 08:21 PM.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 02:15 AM
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Heard fellow forumers were able to squeeze (F)15x8 and (R)17x9 into the car. I believe this is the best wheel sizes if you want to keep the stock fender widths.

Is anyone able to confirm what offsets will work with the wheel sizes above?

2009 Elise S
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 04:13 AM
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15" fronts and 17" rears maximize your tire options, 16" tires on either end are limiting (but if you know what tire you want it doesn't matter). 15" fronts only work on the cars with 2 pot front brakes.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 06:10 AM
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Like we already talked about I think 15/17 is the best with spacers. They are only dangerous if you dont use them right. I have forged studs that I trust, I torque them every time, and I keep the spacers so that I am still hub centric so it is easy to get the wheel aligned. YMMV but I have quite a few hard track miles on mine now with no issues.

2007 Exige S with almost every track mod...
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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I am leaning towards running Hoosier A7's 205/45/16 in the front and 225/45/17 in the rear without spacers. Still need to talk to a few people though and confirm some things. Appreciate all the help and information fellas. Keep you posted!
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuno01 View Post
I am leaning towards running Hoosier A7's 205/45/16 in the front and 225/45/17 in the rear without spacers. Still need to talk to a few people though and confirm some things. Appreciate all the help and information fellas. Keep you posted!
That's the sizing I am going with. I have 4-pot calipers up front so can't fit 15" wheels.

I am still undecided on A7's vs Z214's.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 07:50 PM
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My Exige has RAC Monolites 16/7 and 17/8 sizes with stock sized R888 tires.
I been running this package for a few years now and it is a perfect street/track/autoX
compromise. The R888 are not too expensive and the Monolites are probably the
lightest wheel out there although very expensive. They are 'good' in the rain too (caveat:
with full to 3/4 tread depth though)

You can get away with 17/45/245 (maybe the sidewall is 40) in the rear on Monoites
but I had slight rubbing on the inner left wheel arch lining. I didn't see any benefit
with the 245s on an 8 inch wheel because it rounded the tire more than I would have liked
thus negating much of the wider section width over the standard 225 rear tire.

16/50/195 R888 are all you need. Anything larger will cause rubbing when the car is lowered and
camber is more aggressive.

-Robert

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepe View Post
My Exige has RAC Monolites 16/7 and 17/8 sizes with stock sized R888 tires.
I been running this package for a few years now and it is a perfect street/track/autoX
compromise. The R888 are not too expensive and the Monolites are probably the
lightest wheel out there although very expensive. They are 'good' in the rain too (caveat:
with full to 3/4 tread depth though)

You can get away with 17/45/245 (maybe the sidewall is 40) in the rear on Monoites
but I had slight rubbing on the inner left wheel arch lining. I didn't see any benefit
with the 245s on an 8 inch wheel because it rounded the tire more than I would have liked
thus negating much of the wider section width over the standard 225 rear tire.

16/50/195 R888 are all you need. Anything larger will cause rubbing when the car is lowered and
camber is more aggressive.

-Robert
What camber settings are you using with those tires?

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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nickshu View Post
What camber settings are you using with those tires?
2.2| 2.2
--------
2.4| 2.4
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:25 AM
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Spacers should be fine when used correctly. Like someone else said, swap to forged studs and get the spacers custom machined to be hubcentric and wheel centric. I just did this and fit 15x8 and 17x9 wheels with 205 and 245 RE71R tires.


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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Real quickly does anyone know if Hoosier A7's in 225/45/17 rub without spacers? If not great, if so what's the next size down in Hoosier A7's that would fit the Ethos 17x8 rear wheel?

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 12:30 PM
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15x8 front wheel

[QUOTE=RideMooch
I am in the process of buying a third set of wheels for track use and am going 15's all around (currently have 17/16 & 16/15 wheels). Looking at doing a 15x8 with +25 offset on all fours with a 205/50 Front and 225/45 rear A7 tire. I have confirmed the rear is fine with a buddies wheel but could not do the front. Can you tell me what offset you run on your 15x8 front and if you use any spacers and what camber you run?

Thanks!

Last edited by dstchur; 02-26-2017 at 03:14 PM.
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