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strongest 15" wheels?


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33 replies to this topic

#1 pontoontodd

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:37 PM

So I've now bent four steel Forester 15" wheels on my 99 OB.  They are $20 each and offset a bit farther from the struts than most Subaru wheels.

I've considered trying alloy wheels but the rally guys say they're stiffer so you just start bending suspension parts instead of wheels.  Plus I am afraid they will break instead of bending.

I also considered trying other Subaru steel wheels and then I saw this video:

 

What do you guys run and what seems to hold up the best?



#2 ezapar

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:26 PM

Use bigger lug nuts.



#3 Uberoo

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:21 PM

Get some aftermarket steel or aluminum wheels.The factory steel wheels are very weak and bend far to easy.There was a video I saw a while back that tested aluminum vs steel wheels by mounting just a wheel on the front of a nissan pickup/pathfinder then crashing into a cinder block at 35 MPH.All of the steel rims factory or otherwise bent badly to the point where the "wheel" would no longer spin around the brake/hub/spindle/etc.The aluminum wheels bounced right over the cinder block with only minor damage.High quality aftermarket wheels and factory alloys had virtually no damage, while some of the cheaper cast alloy wheels developed cracks.

 

As far as suspension damage goes - subarus have been rallied forever on near factory suspension and it holds up well.If the suspension was weak, even with subaru's fantastic AWD they would win races.

 

Even professional rally cars arn't running tubular suspension just boxed/plated stock pieces.



#4 Numbchux

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:14 PM

Even professional rally cars arn't running tubular suspension just boxed/plated stock pieces.

 

No. Even several amateur stage rally cars go to tubular arms. Crawl under any of the Vermont cars at an event....there are zero stock pieces under there.

 

 

 

That said, go alloy. Even stockers will be just fine. There are aftermarket alloys for rally (Team Dynamics, Braid, OZ, Speedline, etc. etc.) that will be stronger, but not by much. If you put enough force into an alloy wheel to cause major damage, you're going to be damaging suspension components, regardless of what you're running. Really, the big upside to those aftermarket wheels, is they will clear Group N front brakes (296mm rotors/4-pot calipers).

 

 

The down side, is the "shear pin" will be your tires....if they have a pretty tough sidewall like an actual rally tire, they will just flex, and you'll be fine, if they're street tires or even snow tires (winterforces are a common RallyX choice here as the tread pattern is one of the best for the loose dirt we usually race on) you'll probably be popping the bead off regularly.



#5 ezapar

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:44 PM

 (winterforces are a common RallyX choice here as the tread pattern is one of the best for the loose dirt we usually race on) 

 

I dig hearing that.  I grabbed some for the XV, they looked like they'd hook up great in dirt or grass, minor mud.



#6 Uberoo

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:04 AM

My information about tubular control arms seems to be a bit antiquated. Back in 2008 alot of rally cars came and stayed in town for the Pomeroy rally.Back then even Travis Pastrama and Ken Block were running beefed up stock or stock styled parts.I could see however that tubular control arms might be the norm now.

 

Snow tires will work they just need to be run at higher than normal pressure so they won't fold over,atleast as bad.



#7 NorthCoast

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:49 AM

 (winterforces are a common RallyX choice here as the tread pattern is one of the best for the loose dirt we usually race on) 

 

I dig hearing that.  I grabbed some for the XV, they looked like they'd hook up great in dirt or grass, minor mud.

 

zap... Does that mean you're going to come RallyX with us on Saturday in Clatskanie?

 

/threadjack

 

todd... I've got Winterforces on OB alloy rims for my rallyx car and BFG KM2's on aftermarket steelies for the wheeler. Rear suspension bits are all tubular so they can handle the abuse.

 

IMAG0641.jpg

 

 

I guess what it really comes down to is your ultimate goal for the car.  Are you going to wheel it or rally it?



#8 pontoontodd

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:36 PM

z


I guess what it really comes down to is your ultimate goal for the car.  Are you going to wheel it or rally it?

 

Most of the offroading around here you'd probably consider closer to rally than wheeling.

FWIW, I measured the Forester steelies at .20" thick! 

The steel wheels on my 96 Impreza are .16" thick, I think the aftermarket one I got when I bent one of the stockers is .18" thick. 

I think the Forester wheels might just be a weaker design though due to the "spokes" and they're pretty flat, so I'm going to try a couple normal steelies and alloys and see what happens.  None of them are expensive, I'd just like something that will hold up.

While we're on the topic, I just bent my first strut, what other stock suspension pieces should I beef up or have spares?



#9 NorthCoast

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:19 PM

LOL... sounds like you need to STFD. :P 

 

The Forester wheels are weaker.  You're better off with Legacy steelies which are probably the same as on your Imp.

 

Beef up everything.  That pic above is everything I beefed up after I ripped my trailing arm bracket (including captive nuts) out of the body.  Everything was bent including the strut and subframe. 



#10 Gloyale

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:56 PM

 

2 things in this video

 

1) If those are aftermarket, or other than Subaru steel wheels the holes may be larger.  Subaru uses M12 studs some makes use 1/2" or even 14mm studs so the holes may have been too big for the lugnuts..

 

2)  The driver really forces the issue.......plowing full throttle understeer.....instead of a little off throttle/brake blip and flick to make the back end get around.  You can see several times he goes full 1 3/4 turns full locked including right at the moment before the seperation........Sothe wheel is just pushed full sideways, probably til the tire's sidewall gave out some....at which point the edge of the rim dug into the mud with full vehichle weight on it......enough to tweak the first one or 2 nut holes.....then the rest went under rotation.....  



#11 Uberoo

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:40 PM

zap... Does that mean you're going to come RallyX with us on Saturday in Clatskanie?

 

/threadjack

 

todd... I've got Winterforces on OB alloy rims for my rallyx car and BFG KM2's on aftermarket steelies for the wheeler. Rear suspension bits are all tubular so they can handle the abuse.

 

IMAG0641.jpg

 

 

I guess what it really comes down to is your ultimate goal for the car.  Are you going to wheel it or rally it?

Looking at that geometry its no wonder tubular control arms are needed at least for the rear. Looks like massive suspension binding. The leading rod will tend to rotate up or down, while the other arms want to rotate around a point towards the center of the car. So both rotations are 90* apart from each other viewed from the top. So when it flexes the leading rod will be pulled in towards the center of the car,while the other arms will be pulled towards the center of the car longitudinally.It looks like the only flex is the deflection of the bushings.After the bushings bind up the control arms are in a bending moment. At that point either the arm will give out or the mounts for the suspension itself will rip out from the body depending on which is weaker.



#12 pontoontodd

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:51 AM

2 things in this video

 

1) If those are aftermarket, or other than Subaru steel wheels the holes may be larger.  Subaru uses M12 studs some makes use 1/2" or even 14mm studs so the holes may have been too big for the lugnuts..

 

2)  The driver really forces the issue.......plowing full throttle understeer.....instead of a little off throttle/brake blip and flick to make the back end get around.  You can see several times he goes full 1 3/4 turns full locked including right at the moment before the seperation........Sothe wheel is just pushed full sideways, probably til the tire's sidewall gave out some....at which point the edge of the rim dug into the mud with full vehichle weight on it......enough to tweak the first one or 2 nut holes.....then the rest went under rotation.....  

 

1)They claimed it was a Subaru wheel torqued to spec.  They did say it was bent from a previous run.

2)You're right, but if understeer on dirt causes a wheel to fail they're never going to live while beating on them off road.



#13 NorthCoast

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:42 AM

Looking at that geometry its no wonder tubular control arms are needed at least for the rear. Looks like massive suspension binding. The leading rod will tend to rotate up or down, while the other arms want to rotate around a point towards the center of the car. So both rotations are 90* apart from each other viewed from the top. So when it flexes the leading rod will be pulled in towards the center of the car,while the other arms will be pulled towards the center of the car longitudinally.It looks like the only flex is the deflection of the bushings.After the bushings bind up the control arms are in a bending moment. At that point either the arm will give out or the mounts for the suspension itself will rip out from the body depending on which is weaker.

 

It's just the angle of the pic.  No binding what so ever and I've had it flexed to the max in both directions.



#14 Uberoo

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 01:19 PM

so if its not binding how much rear suspension travel do you have?



#15 NorthCoast

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 03:13 PM

Never measured but here are some pics...

 

IMAG0646.jpg

 

IMAG0648.jpg

 

Anymore than that and I might start breaking axles.


Edited by NorthCoast, 18 April 2014 - 03:15 PM.


#16 MilesFox

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 03:38 PM

Supposedly, the slotted wheels on turbo ss sedans and 95-96 legacy outback are the desired wheels for rally wheels.



#17 Uberoo

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 04:40 AM

Your rear suspension binds up,it just happens as it nears the ends of its travel.In the ej setup the suspension binds up long before the axles will fail and before the strut runs out of travel.The EJ rear strut has 8" of suspension travel, but actual wheel travel would be closer to 9-10".I don't know how much travel EJ stuff has but even EA81 rear axles can support 12" of travel, not even including the additional angle possible when the DOJ stretches.Everything I have read says the EJ axles can be run at steeper angles than EA stuff, so it stands to reason that they have even more potential for travel.

 

From the flex pix it looks like you are only getting 6-7" of travel compared to a possible 12+.Even EA81 rear suspensions can be adjusted to give 12" of travel.For EA81s all that is needed is shocks that travel that far,EJ rear suspension just needs the suspension binding to be cured/eased.

 

 

Edit: If I draw lines in paint from the center of one tire to the center of another tire, then a line as tall as the tire and compare it to a line between the two centers I can come up with a simple ratio.According to paint the line that is as tall as the tire is 45 pixels, while the line between the two centers is 10.10/45=.222 I think your tires are 29" so 29x.222 = 6.38"  or 5.94" if your tires are 27"


Edited by Uberoo, 19 April 2014 - 04:47 AM.


#18 pontoontodd

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:31 AM

Your rear suspension binds up,it just happens as it nears the ends of its travel.In the ej setup the suspension binds up long before the axles will fail and before the strut runs out of travel.The EJ rear strut has 8" of suspension travel, but actual wheel travel would be closer to 9-10".I don't know how much travel EJ stuff has but even EA81 rear axles can support 12" of travel, not even including the additional angle possible when the DOJ stretches.Everything I have read says the EJ axles can be run at steeper angles than EA stuff, so it stands to reason that they have even more potential for travel.

 

From the flex pix it looks like you are only getting 6-7" of travel compared to a possible 12+.Even EA81 rear suspensions can be adjusted to give 12" of travel.For EA81s all that is needed is shocks that travel that far,EJ rear suspension just needs the suspension binding to be cured/eased.

 

 

Edit: If I draw lines in paint from the center of one tire to the center of another tire, then a line as tall as the tire and compare it to a line between the two centers I can come up with a simple ratio.According to paint the line that is as tall as the tire is 45 pixels, while the line between the two centers is 10.10/45=.222 I think your tires are 29" so 29x.222 = 6.38"  or 5.94" if your tires are 27"

 

You're definitely right that the rear suspension binds up at full droop.  I hadn't thought about the bushings having to flex sideways, but that certainly doesn't help.  What amazes me is that, from what I can tell, the bushings are bonded to the inner and outer sleeves so they have to flex just to pivot normally.

However, you don't have to compress the springs/struts to get them in, even with a 1.5" lift, so I don't think that really limits travel. 

Also, a flex pit isn't going to compress the stock springs and struts close to full compression, or you'd be bottoming out constantly, so that isn't going to show the full extent of travel he's getting.

 

Northcoast - I like your rear bumper/tire carrier/plastic bumper trimming.



#19 Gloyale

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

From the flex pix it looks like you are only getting 6-7" of travel compared to a possible 12+.Even EA81 rear suspensions can be adjusted to give 12" of travel.For EA81s all that is needed is shocks that travel that far,EJ rear suspension just needs the suspension binding to be cured/eased.

 

You'd need to go to longer springs that mount further down on the strut body.  The spring can only compress so far :(

 

EA81 there is no coil spring....so the spring shock won't limit uptravel at all if you add a longer shock for your lift.



#20 Gloyale

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:46 AM

1)They claimed it was a Subaru wheel torqued to spec.  They did say it was bent from a previous run.

2)You're right, but if understeer on dirt causes a wheel to fail they're never going to live while beating on them off road.

 

I never heard anything about claiming it was Subaru wheel torqued or not.  Nothing about being bent....

 

Side loads under full throttle high revolutions of the wheel don't really happen "offroading".

 

Rally is gonna be harder on this particalular item.......I've never ever ever heard of a subaru losing a wheel offroading........unless you count balljoints breaking and wheel coming off.   But never blown out lugnuts.........And lots of use run redrilled wheels.

 

Pontoon.......the videos you post seem to be more "rally" style......and I can definatley tell why you bend rims.........too fast.  You need a Lo range 4wd......not AWD, to truely "offroad"



#21 Uberoo

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:40 PM

Side loading under high revolutions DO happen offroad.How about a muddy trail that the ruts zig zag across? Or slipping down a side hill into a ditch or tree?

 

Granted its nowhere near the same amount of force as full thorttle full lock plowing understeer.



#22 NorthCoast

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:29 PM

Still not sure where you're coming up with a binding issue.  The only thing holding me up from more travel is my struts. My suspension was setup with the strut at full droop so that it wouldn't bind. Tires are 30's so according to your formula that would be 6.66".  Math is a little flawed since the stroke on my struts is 6.49".  Only way I'm going to get more travel is with coilovers.



#23 Uberoo

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:02 PM

The binding comes from the suspension itself because each link rotates about its center.

 

The two laterial links piviot near the rear diff.Their rotation can be seen from the back of the car.

The front link pivots toward the front wheels, its rotation can be seen from the side.

 

So all three links will tend to deflect the bushing sideways in order to flex.The only flex you can get out of something like that is just the bushing itself flexing and possibly the control arms/mounts flexing slightly


Edited by Uberoo, 20 April 2014 - 03:13 PM.


#24 NorthCoast

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:13 PM

Makes sense.

#25 Uberoo

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:16 PM

you helped it flex better by installing spherical end linds,but didn't actually cure the underlying bind.


Edited by Uberoo, 20 April 2014 - 03:18 PM.





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