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Wheel/tyre discussion

Discussion in 'Design' started by TE3LA, Apr 7, 2016.

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  1. TE3LA

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    Elon confirmed early on in a tweet reply to Model 3 Owners Club that the prototype wheels used at the Model 3 reveal will be produced.

    Since then, I haven't seen anything further about the wheel design, specifically what appears to be a single, center-point attachment, similar to formula-one wheels. Has anyone read anything further about this? Are there other wheels on the market that use this type of attachment? Will adapters be required? Will this cause a problem for road-side assistance?

    What are your thoughts?
     

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    • Reggie

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      Many high-end cars have center lock wheels (as they are called). Depending on the design, they can be a bit challenging to remove. The cars the include them usually include the tools to remove them as well. From what I can you from experience, most normal road side service companies do not usually carry tools to remove them. I would consider Tesla's road side service for this.
       
    • TE3LA

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      Who knew? Thanks! Clearly the Model 3 is a nicer car than I have driven in the past!
       
    • TrevP

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      The prototypes have center-locking wheel nuts but I very much doubt production cars will have them. This is a mass-market car and even though Tesla's don't come with spare tires you need to be able to remove the wheels for puncture or tire replacements at any location. Regular nuts are de rigeur here.
       
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      • Reggie

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        Considering that Musk did state that those wheels would be produced, there will be some models that have them. The center lock, themselves, are not expensive, and are in many ways better than the 5 lugs. In the US, pretty much every tire shop can remove a center lock. All they do is attach your lock attachment (which is required anyway since the center lock is an actual lock) to their torque wrench, twist, and remove. A friend of mine takes his Porsche 911 GT, which has center lock wheels, to Discount Tire (of all places) when he needs new tires and they have zero problems doing it. The problem you run into with roadside assistance here in the states is that usually when you call for roadside assistance (AAA, Nationwide More Club, Insurance Company RSA, etc.,), they sometimes farm the work out to a nearby local resource. Those resources usually only carry tire irons, which cannot usually be used with the center lock wheels.

        The biggest reason why many cheaper cars do not have center lock wheels is because of the cost of the wheels themselves, not the cost of the center lock. What I suspect is that during the configuration, the wheel you choose will also determine whether or not your car is a traditional 5 lug or center lock.
         
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        • Andrew

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          I would be really surprised if the center lock wheels made it into production, but it would be really cool nonetheless.
           
        • Skione65

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          Can any S owners chime in on the ride quality/difference between the 19" and 21" wheels? Is there much degradation in ride with the larger rim size and lower profile tire? Also how does the size differential effect 'range' per se if at all?

          On the Model S it says the 19" Sipstream wheels are "Recommended for Maximum range". I assume over the 21" which does not have that comment.

          Ski
           
        • teslaliving

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          I can't talk about ride quality (although I've driven both) but for me the big thing is maintenance. The 21s just don't hold up well with bad roads etc. I've got 40K on my original tires from Tesla and will easily get to 50K. You can't do that on the 21s, more like half that. Tire costs are basically the only ongoing cost and they add up quicker with the 21s.
           
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          • AEDennis

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            I've only been on the same 19" Michelin tires and on the now discontinued standard wheels.
             
          • Van Shrider

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            Most articles on the subject say that you will be paying for a lot more tires more often if you go with the larger wheel.
            I remember someone saying that they went through the first set on tires in 12,000 miles with the larger rims.
             
          • MelindaV

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            One of my cars has pretty skinny tires with the wheel rim sitting about 1 ¾" off the pavement. With Toyo tires, I've always gotten well above the 50k miles they are guaranteed for, closer to 60-70k.
            I think if you drive like you are on an auto-x track, any tires will wear. But under 'normal' driving, I've not noticed any difference in wear between low profile high performance tires and standard tires.
             
          • Steve

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            A couple of things to know about wheel diameter: What is important is the overall diameter of the tire. The manufacturer designs a car with a certain diameter in mind. This diameter remains constant when using certain diameter wheels. There is a limited range of wheels that can be used in maintaining a given diameter tire. If, say a 17 inch diameter wheel is the base with a 225/45-17, it has an overall diameter of 24.9". a 255/35-18 has a 25" diameter which is acceptable for overall diameter but this 18" tire has a section width of 10.2 " compared the the 17" tire at only 8.9". Now the engineer has to consider "space for the wider tire . Using a 19" rim and maintaining the same overall diameter requires a 275/30-19 which has a section width of 10.9" meaning an even wider wheel is required. As the section number goes down ; 45 to 35 to 30, the height of the sidewall of the tire is less meaning it is easier to damage the rim if the tire goes flat. Another factor is speed rating. Usually, the lower the profile, the higher the speed rating which quite often means better grip by using softer rubber which translates to less tire wear. Another cost factor to consider is the cost of the wheel, goes up with diameter and the cost of the tire, goes up with the lowering of the series of the tire (45 series is less than, 40 which is less than 35 etc. given the same brand and type of tire). Therefore, if the tire fills the wheel well then I would choose the 225/45-17 tire if given the choices listed above since this size tire can be both a good mileage tire as well as a performance tire. If I was racing then I would choose the wider tire and cost would be ignored. As a practical example, my street tires on my Corvair are 245/50--14 on 7" wheels, autocross tires are 245/40-15 front and 275/35-15 rears on 8.5" front rims and 10" rear. The street tires are 23.68" overall diameter and the Hoosier A7's are 23". Would have liked to have the race tires be the same diameter as the street tires but this is the closest I could get without getting to tall for the wheel well.
             
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            • Skione65

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              Steve,

              All GREAT advice and points. It's like anything else....the heart knows what it wants (largest rims and lower profile rubber for looks) but the mind knows what's best (standard rims and more rubber for (a) ride comfort, (b) rim protection, tire availability, etc).

              Decisions, decisions....what a dichotomy!!!! :)

              Ski
               
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              • LUXMAN

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                I noticed the wheels they showed on the red and silver prototype don't have traditional lug nuts. I can't think of the term at the moment, any idea what they are? Knock offs? Is that it?
                I assume they will be a pricy upgrade if they make the cut.
                 
              • MelindaV

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                Center hub or center lug

                and from the sounds of the rumors around the tesla boards, they are tightened to 500lbs tq, so even with the hub tool, not practical for DIY tire rotations or much chance of getting an emergency spare; assuming a spare tire is more important than trunk space.
                 
              • LUXMAN

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                Thanks. I need a spare. I have one for my Leaf. If I don't get to work on time, I lose $. I hope they don't make that the only option
                 
              • Skione65

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                LUXMAN,

                Center Lug or Center Lock. That's what they run on Formula One cars etc. Love them but Elon I believe said it won't make it to production due to practicality sake.

                Cool though....

                Ski
                 
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                • LUXMAN

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                  Yeah. I love em too. Great style. Maybe they can be made/altered to a lug nut format
                   
                • Mike

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                  I watched the latest Trevor info video yesterday and the prototype Model 3 has different tire sizes front to rear. I'm not a fan of this setup as it can be a PITA to get correct winter tires to match.
                  I'd prefer all 4 tires being the same size.
                  Comments?
                  Cheers
                  Mike
                   
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                  • garsh

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                    I will bet that the standard wheels will be smaller (my guess is 18") and not staggered. So you should be fine.
                     
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