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Discussion Starter #1
Interesting article about wheels and our discussions.:yup:

Changing tires prompts industry action
By ALEX LAW

Increasingly, people are trying to personalize or upgrade the look of their vehicles through the addition of new (and usually larger) wheels and tires.

Driven by popular culture, installing new wheels and tires has become a huge business in North America. In 2003, Americans alone spent $3.2-billion (U.S.) to buy twice as many wheels and tires as they bought in 1993.

Unlike dangly earrings or a flashy chain, however, if the new wheels and tires aren't right for the vehicle, they can harm more than the owner's reputation for being cool. Indeed, if the wheels and tires are the wrong type or installed incorrectly or even just too big, they can affect a vehicle's dynamics, usually in a bad way.

Bad as in a harsher ride, lower fuel economy and compromised steering Really bad as in a greater likelihood of rolling over or being in a crash, potential loss of warranty and insurance coverage and maybe even increased liability in a crash.

These are serious prices to pay for a new set of wheels or "rims" or "dubs."
And that a bad installation or the wrong equipment can be a serious concern.

According to Carl Sheffer, vice-president of the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association, the situation is of real concern to many of the auto companies and many of the major tire firms.

Frank Taverna, GM's engineering group manager for vehicle dynamics and control systems, called going to new wheels and tires a "dilemma."

"By changing one element of a vehicle suspension system, many other elements can be impacted, affecting everything from ride and handling, to safety," he said.

To make it clear why this concern involved more than a marketing stratagem, GM put on a simple but compelling demonstration of what happens when you upsize a vehicle's wheels.

GM had arranged for the media to drive three pickup trucks that were identical except for their wheels and tires.

One was the standard set created by the company through its "holistic engineering" approach, one was a set of bigger wheels and tires that GM designed, sells and installs, and the third was a bigger set GM bought and had installed at an aftermarket shop.

The three trucks were driven over the same course to test their steering and handling and their responses to some potholes. The differences were obvious and sometimes remarkable. The stock wheels and tires delivered by far the best ride and handling, balancing comfort and agility quite nicely.

The bigger wheels and tires GM designed delivered the harsher ride that using more metal and less rubber always does, but the truck still felt quite manageable.

The non-GM aftermarket wheels and tires, however, the result was considerably more dramatic and more disturbing. There was a clear sense the truck's dynamic integrity had been compromised. It was much harder to control and a lot less comfortable to handle all situations.

The importance of the need to integrate the wheels and tires into a vehicle's design was made clear by James Cutting, the director of GM tire-wheel systems. "Wheels are the glue that bonds tires to the vehicle," he said. "They are a key component of the suspension system, and precise fit with the vehicle is critical."

For the consumer, there is virtually no way to tell what an aftermarket set of wheels and tires will do to their vehicle's ride and handling, except to say it will almost certainly compromise them. The only question seems to be how much will they compromise them, and what greater risks (safety, insurance, warranty) are involved.
 

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For the most part, I tend to think the same way as the article. Aftermarket wheels will help the handling and performance of the vehicle if they are done correctly but most of the time people just go out and get it for the bling.

One thing I didn't like is that they used potholes for the testing as if they were part of the accepted road conditions. A smooth road will increase safety much more than using OEM tires and wheels...
 

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Bad as in a harsher ride, lower fuel economy and compromised steering Really bad as in a greater likelihood of rolling over or being in a crash, potential loss of warranty and insurance coverage and maybe even increased liability in a crash.

These are serious prices to pay for a new set of wheels or "rims" or "dubs."
Guess the same argument can be made for driving an SUV (roll over), a gas guzzler vehicle (lower fuel economy), or even a motor cycle (increased liability in a crash).....
 

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:thumbsup: Good post RobertCTS. But as you know, people are going to choose style over safety 90% of the time. (as I did) It is your driving habits and conditions that affect the amount of risk. All anyone can do is weigh the pro's and con's and decide what is right for their particular application. There are also benefits to plus sizing. (except when choosing a woman)
 

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I've gotten pretty "sh*itty" in my CTS with the DUBs, and never once felt it was going to roll over. I don't think they have any negative affect other than they are heavier. The fact that they are generally wider and have lower profiles may actually make them safer in poor weather...

To be absolutely honest... I bought 20's because they are safer, and help the car perform better on slick roads. JUST KIDDIN'

Buy what you like, 18's 20's 21's 17's... just do what you can to make your CTS unique.

IMO STYLE > SAFETY...
If I was concerned about safety I'da gotten a Saab, or one of those gladiator roll-cage domes to roll to work in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
onephatguy said:
:thumbsup: Good post RobertCTS. But as you know, people are going to choose style over safety 90% of the time. (as I did) It is your driving habits and conditions that affect the amount of risk. All anyone can do is weigh the pro's and con's and decide what is right for their particular application. There are also benefits to plus sizing. (except when choosing a woman)
Now you're in trouble with the Phat Women:annoyed:

I just did the post for information. It's been discussed by us before. I thought it was interesting seeing the views of some of the experts. I don't think anybody with 20" are gonna take them off but it might influence a new buyer.
 

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onephatguy said:
:thumbsup: Good post RobertCTS. But as you know, people are going to choose style over safety 90% of the time. (as I did) It is your driving habits and conditions that affect the amount of risk. All anyone can do is weigh the pro's and con's and decide what is right for their particular application. There are also benefits to plus sizing. (except when choosing a woman)
Please understand that I appreciate your personal perspective with regard to "style". But I hope when you are referring to "style" you are implying that these changes in spite of physical engineering evidence are for show or off road purposes only.

In other words your decision to violate the law of suspension geometry physics is for "show only"........i.e "your CTS is a "Trailer Queen or drag strip vehicle".

My reason for that comment is that it is perfectly fine if you make the personal decision to violate the laws of physics and possibly endanger your own personal safety and life, but where is your concern as a human being and fellow motorist for that innocent "soccer mom" who didn't sign up for your "big is better wheel plan" who becomes fatally injured while on her way to pick up her children from school because you lose control of your vehicle.


She becomes that innocent motorist who sufferes the fatal consequences of your decision to do make a safety modification in spite of scientific physical evidence that is to the contrary. This type of rationalization would be similiar to drinking and driving because your able to justify in your own mind that your in control and feel ok to drive even though you don't recognize that your judgement and motor skills are impaired.

This type of behavioral rationalization is nothing more and very similiar to disgregarding the fact that there are other innocent motorists that share the same highway that you have now placed at risk. I'm sorry, but that is just not right.

Please understand that I'm not trying to stand on a pedestal or a soapbox here, but simply trying to point out that your comment of rationalizing what your doing based on "driving habits and personal choice or driving skill" could be perceived as somewhat "self-serving" and really for lack of a better expression; a statement that, "I don't really care about the safety of other people that share the same highway".

I know that is not what you meant in context, but in reality that is what your saying to some degree. We are all entitled to "personal choice". But remember that there is accountability when that choice affects other people that didn't sign up for your "choice plan".

Everyone on this forum knows that I have been "preaching" to the point of being called a "know-it-all-ass" about this issue. And I've been preaching for good reason. Just imagine if that was your wife or daughter that was seriously injured or killed while on her way home from high school or college because the front end scrub radius on a CTS caused a front tire sidewall blow out while puncturing the upper A-arm pinch bolt because you decided to install an oversized set of 20" rims with 255 series rubber just because it happened to "look cool". Sure you could plead ignorance, but regretfully, the physical evidence is in and it's wrong on every front unless your doing this for "off road or show purposes".


I'm a huge fan of speed and horsepower, a collector of long arm rifles and enjoy micro-beer. But I would not think for a second as an adult of participating in a "street drag race, or discharging a weapon in the backyard of my subdivision or drinking and driving. To do so would suggest that I don't care about other people.

If you happen to live on a 50 acre farm, then go ahead and put 22" rims on that CTS, slug down a case of Budweiser and fire that rifle out the car window while lighting up the rear tires until your down to the metal rims. That's fine and that is why there are places called drag strips, firing ranges and designated drivers.

We're all adults here and professional and it's time to act as such. Because I assure you that one day, a modification that violates the warranty of this or any vehicle that causes a traffic fatality to an innocent motorist may very well end up in the criminal courts as an involuntary manslaughter charge as well as a personal civil lawsuit that may cause you to lose everything.

Remember that your personal automobile liability insurance policy in null and void if you are participating in "street racing". In most cases, particularly in Maryland, you are on your own and you can line your bird cage with your auto insurance policy.

Again; no intention on preaching; but simply a call to "sanity" that the public roads are just that.....we all "share them" and are entitled to mutual respect and safety.

best regards - Pete Raimondi
Cadillac MotorSports, Ltd.

PS: If you have intstalled 20" rims and are absolutely going to "live with them", we can help you with some upgraded trailing arms and toe rods and spherical bearings that will compensate the rear tracking of the vehicle to help eliminate or reduce the enhanced risk that has been placed on the OEM factory sport suspension geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
pietroraimondi said:
Again; no intention on preaching; but simply a call to "sanity" that the public roads are just that.....we all "share them" and are entitled to mutual respect and safety.

best regards - Pete Raimondi
Cadillac MotorSports, Ltd.

PS: If you have intstalled 20" rims and are absolutely going to "live with them", we can help you with some upgraded trailing arms and toe rods and spherical bearings that will compensate the rear tracking of the vehicle to help eliminate or reduce the enhanced risk that has been placed on the OEM factory sport suspension geometry.
Pete,
Your "Kit" is a fix for the rear only..right? Unfortunately the control center is mostly at the front of the car. It's a bit scary when you read the posts by members with 20" rims bragging about 140mph Bonsai runs on our freeways.:shocked2: Converting the mentality is difficult. Most will laugh or get pissed off.
 

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pietroraimondi said:
My reason for that comment is that it is perfectly fine if you make the personal decision to violate the laws of physics and possibly endanger your own personal safety and life, but where is your concern as a human being and fellow motorist for that innocent "soccer mom" who didn't sign up for your "big is better wheel plan" who becomes fatally injured while on her way to pick up her children from school because you lose control of your vehicle.

She becomes that innocent motorist who sufferes the fatal consequences of your decision to do make a safety modification in spite of scientific physical evidence that is to the contrary. This type of rationalization would be similiar to drinking and driving because your able to justify in your own mind that your in control and feel ok to drive even though you don't recognize that your judgement and motor skills are impaired.

best regards - Pete Raimondi
Cadillac MotorSports, Ltd.
In Orange County all those so called "innocent soccer moms" are driving Yukon's, Denali's, Escalade's, Expedition's, Navigator's, Range Rover's, G Wagon's, Q56's, LX470's, etc.... with 20's, 22's, 24's, 26's, 27's.........
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dubbed Stealth said:
In Orange County all those so called "innocent soccer moms" are driving Yukon's, Denali's, Escalade's, Expedition's, Navigator's, Range Rover's, G Wagon's, Q56's, LX470's, etc.... with 20's, 22's, 24's, 26's, 27's.........
So what's your point? Does that somehow justify it in your mind..makes it all OK? Some of those SUVs were engineered & designed for the larger wheels. The CTS wasn't.
 

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RobertCTS said:
So what's your point? Does that somehow justify it in your mind..makes it all OK? Some of those SUVs were engineered & designed for the larger wheels. The CTS wasn't.
...
 

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RobertCTS said:
So what's your point? Does that somehow justify it in your mind..makes it all OK? Some of those SUVs were engineered & designed for the larger wheels. The CTS wasn't.
The point is...let's see them "design out" the roll over propensity of those vehicles....I can do a hardswerve or a hard turn in my CTS at upwards of 80mph with my 20s with no loss of control...Let's see a Yukon, Denali, Suburban or one of those SUVs try that....Do I hear rollover?????
 

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Discussion Starter #16
pjohnesq said:
The point is...let's see them "design out" the roll over propensity of those vehicles....I can do a hardswerve or a hard turn in my CTS at upwards of 80mph with my 20s with no loss of control...Let's see a Yukon, Denali, Suburban or one of those SUVs try that....Do I hear rollover?????
Ford and Firestone lost a lot of $$$$$ in law suits from roll overs. The SIZE of the tire wasn't the issue. The poor SUV design and the Japanese Bridgestone/Firestone crappy tires were.
 

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The way I see it is like this, if 20s were so wrong for the CTS, why are CTS's constantly on the showroom floor at my dealer with 20" wheels as options...just to make an extra buck?? (o.k., yeah)..But wouldn't the dealer (and maybe GM) be opening themselves up to additional liability? And if these wheels were so "wrong" to begin with, wouldn't the government "ban" or "warn us about these so-called "bad" rims or issue a warning....I could see it now, going in to a wheel/rim shop and on every box of 20" wheel, in bright yellow, and in 3 to 4 different languages.... with a little cartoon drawing of a car crashing into a lightpole and the dude outside the car scratching his head: WARNING THE SURGEON GENERAL HAS DETERMINED THAT INSTALLATION OF THESE 20" WHEELS ON CERTAIN VEHICLES IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH AND MAY CAUSE ACCIDENTS.....
 

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RobertCTS said:
Ford and Firestone lost a lot of $$$$$ in law suits from roll overs. The SIZE of the tire wasn't the issue. The poor SUV design and the Japanese Bridgestone/Firestone crappy tires were.
Robert - Better do your research on this.....
The main reason is because Ford bought those tires off the rack for the Explorer. Rather then having a tire designed and devoloped for the vehicle (TPC spec) like GM does.
 

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Dubbed Stealth said:
Robert - Better do your research on this.....
The main reason is because Ford bought those tires off the rack for the Explorer. Rather then having a tire designed and devoloped for the vehicle (TPC spec) like GM does.

It’s easier for him to post inaccuracies.:histeric:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dubbed Stealth said:
Robert - Better do your research on this.....
The main reason is because Ford bought those tires off the rack for the Explorer. Rather then having a tire designed and devoloped for the vehicle (TPC spec) like GM does.
Ford and Firestone both took the heat. The tires would fail and the Explorer would roll over.
 
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