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Snows and alignments

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by az3579, Dec 20, 2008.

    • Member

    az3579

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    I purchased my all-season tires because I'm too lazy to keep swapping wheels every time it snows. I'm actually considering buying dedicated snow tires as a result of this past snowstorm, which left me nearly stranded multiple times due to the crap snow traction of my Kumho Ecsta ASX tires.

    My question is: if I could get my hands on some 14" wheels for a set of snow tires, would I have to do an alignment every time I switch from my 15" standard wheels to the 14" snows?

    If so, what about if I buy a set of 15" wheels and put snows on those; will the alignment still be necessary?

    Autohaus guest

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    I don't think an alignment would be necessary. Are you thinking about re-obtaining 14 inch bottlecaps for snows? I would go after some beat up 14 inch basketweaves instead. You should buy that 325ix man! Yes its a slush-o-matic, but it will get you by these nasty snowy/slushy days. Just have it on the road from December-March.
    • Member

    az3579

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    NO!!!

    I will probably get 14" baskets if I don't have to get an alignment, or see if Mr. Hecht will sell them back to me if he's not gonna use 'em...


    ... but do I need an alignment when changing sizes, that's the question...

    Autohaus guest

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    Ok, ok...lol. I don't think you would need an alignment. Just ask Moosehead. Imagine if he charged people $$$$ for his input on repairs/questions on the forum? He would be rich by now.
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    MGarrison

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    afaik, there's no reason for alignment to change just because you swap wheels. It would be overkill to swap in/out snow tires every time it snows and clears up again, snow tires won't wear out that fast if you use them generally Dec. thru March. This is my 3rd season w/ the set I have now, they'll probably be due for replacement after this winter, I'll have to see what's left by next spring.

    For your E30, get 14" wheels for snows, you should get through snow a bit more easily by fitting a narrower, taller profile, snow tire. My E30 snows are 185/70-14's and worked fine, even w/ the car being lowered. I also have 6 lead wedges (30lbs each) to throw in the trunk over the rear axle in case it's particularly nasty, so you might consider adding some weight in the trunk as needed for the occasion.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Well, I needed an alignment when I changed from 14's to the 15" basketweaves, so that's why I thought an alignment is necessary when changing sizes.

    I don't understand the logic behind narrower tires being better in the snow. Then why does letting air out of the tire to get a wider contact patch help? What's the difference between that and a wider tire? I just don't get why smaller tires are better...
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Wider tires have more snow to push out of the way compared to narrower tires. When you choose a narrower tire, not only do you have less for the tire to push through, you're also changing the shape of the contact patch, in favor of traction, longitudinally, which also helps with traversing adverse conditions.

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=10
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    I don't think you need an alignment to change back to 14s for snow. You probably already needed an alignment when you went to 15s. The reason you lower tire pressure to get traction is that lower pressures make for larger contact patches. If your CP is wide but short, this will give you a longer CP to help you get going and stopping. It is better to have narrower tires in snow for the reasons listed above, because you do not push the lateral cornering capabilities in the snow (if you have a brain) but instead need more braking and acceleration abilities.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    That'll be $0.001, please
    • Member

    az3579

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    Ah, wider but shorter makes sense to me now. That was the missing link...


    And expect a check in the mail soon for $.001. ;)
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    stevehecht

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    Even at this rate you'd STILL get rich for all the advice you give out around here! :)
    • Member

    stevehecht

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    :eek: Mr. Hecht wrapped some Vredesteins on those bottle caps and then found out they wouldn't fit for some unknown reason. Mr. Hecht then put the package on CL and a lucky owner picked it up for cheap. I shoulda checked with you first. Sorry Botond! :eek: But there's now way in hell I would have SOLD them back to you dear sir!

    I did get an alignment when I put on the 15" BBS RZs, just to be sure. But now I've got a mild steering wheel vibration at ~85mph that I don't have with my 15" Ronals. Go figure.

    :
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    The BBS wheels need to be rebalanced. They did not do it correctly or they lost a weight.


    I mean, they are junk and you should send them to me :D
    • Member

    az3579

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    No Paul, I can't let you go through the pain and suffering of getting them balanced... I will gladly take the pain for you. Send them to me so I could save Paul from the headaches that lie ahead with the BBS RZ's... :D
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    stevehecht

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    Fixed it for ya.
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    az3579

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    No, I meant Paul. I was trying to protect him from those wheels. :p
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    No, no. As the trained professional, I think it should be my responsibility to take care of these things. Please, for safety's sake, send me the wheels so that I can balance them and give them an indefinite length road test to determine that they are both safe and attractive.
    • Member

    az3579

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    No, we can't lose a great mechanic to whatever kind of accident you might get into! Let me be the test dummy, I am disposable!
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Well - since I'm older than you 3, I think you all should defer to seniority, and I will guarantee that they will be secured on a shelf so that no harm can come from them. :p
    • Member

    az3579

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    Come on now Marshall - you don't want to be fired as my head moral support specialist, do you?


    By the way, where'd you get your hands on a set of BBS RZ's, Steve?

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