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Discussion Starter #1
I have located a set of used Civic VX 13" wheels for sale in my area and I'm tempted to buy them to mount a set of autocross tires. But I'm wondering if it is legal to go with a smaller diamter wheel than OEM and remain in stock class. Here is the rules description stating what wheels are allowed under SCCA Solo II rules for Stock class (from: http://www.moutons.org/sccasolo/):

"Any wheel of diameter and width identical to a stock or factory optional wheel, offset within +- 0.25 inch"

Does this mean the Insight had to have 13" wheels available as an option, or only that a 13" wheel has to be available OEM on any model? Thanks to the "or" in the description, I think it could be read either way.

I know other autocrossers here are running the VX wheels (i.e. Guillermo). What class are you and in and how have the rules been intepreted in your case?
 

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Skimmer,

I don't pretend to be an expert, and I'm not sure if the rules vary by country (Guillermo in Canada) or by particular region (for instance, I race last year in the Washington DC region), but according to the officials I spoke with last season, the only legal wheel sizes allowable to stay in a stock class are wheels with the same dimensions as what were offered as stock parts on the car when it was new. So, according to that, and given that that Insight has only ever been offered in 14x5.5 wheels, you'd have to stay at that size to remain in stock. You can buy aftermarket wheels, but they'd have to meet the same width and diameter, the only allowable derivation being the allowance for offset. If Honda offered an optional wheel size, available to the general public through either the factory or its dealer network, then yes, you could legally use that wheel. I think that's the situation for Mini's, they come stock with 15" wheels but there is an optional 16" wheel package, so you could use either wheel size (not sure if the widths vary or not, and my sizing of the said wheels may also be off, but for example purposes I think you'll get the point) in stay in the normal stock class.

That being said, you could probably get away with using the 13" wheels, but if you were to be protested or were to go to Nationals in Topeka then more than likely you'd not be able to stay in H-Stock, where the Insight is listed. And I doubt seriously you want to play amongst one of the prepared or modified classes in an almost stock Insight (not sure which you'd be bumped to in the event you couldn't stay in the stock class)!

You can use any size tire that will fit on the stock sized wheel, which for the Insight's dimensions means you could get something up to probably about a 205 section width, though that might rub.

I had purchased a set of Honda Civic Hybrid wheels, same dimensions and approximate weight of stock Insight wheels, which are fairly light, to use for racing this year, but ended up selling my Insight due to practicality concerns and just recently sold the HCH wheels since they won't fit my new car. Something like that might fit your needs. I also think that there are available Honda Civic HX wheels which look similar to the VX wheels but I think are in the 14x5.5 size, so that might work too.

Good luck in your hunt!
 

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Hambone is correct.
In the SCCA rules in the U.S. to stay in H-stock class OEM sized rims must be used. The Insight rims are 14" x 5.5" which is the same as most civics.
I compete in Ontario, Canada where the rules are different.
Last year I used 185/60R13 R-compound tires on 13" VX rims.
This year I'm going to use 195/55R14 Kumho V710 R-compound tires on the Insight OEM rims. I haven't bought 14" rims for the street yet, I'm still driving on my winter tires on another set of VX rims.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx for the replies. So it looks like another set of OEM Insight rims might be the way to go, since they are probably the lightest thing I can find for the money. I guess I'll pass on those VX rims. 8)
 

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Good luck finding a used set of OEM insight rims.

They are rare to find used and expensive. Sure the Honda dealer can order them but for that price you might as well order 14" x 5.5" Volk rims from Japan that weigh 8 lbs each instead of the Insight's 11 lb rims....

Other rims to consider buying used that also weigh 11 lbs are
Civic HX rims
Civic Hybrid rims

Ebay has them sometimes but there is always bidding wars from racers wanting them. I gave up, i'm using the original Insight rims for the racing tires, and i'm buying other rims for the street.
 

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Skimmer,

I just bought a set of new HX rims from ebay. I paid $99 a wheel. They weight about 11lbs each. They are factory blems. They look great just a little paint scratch. I also will be using the Kuhmo 710 tires in a 195 size. They are awesome tires. Everyone is correct that to stay in stock you have to use stock size 14X5.5.

I wonder if you were looking at the rims I just sold on ebay. I live in Temecula, CA. I bought them from a guy on ebay who advertised them as being 14X5.5 when in fact they were the 13X5 VX wheels, what a liar :evil: . Well any way it turned out OK as the buyer I got paid more than I had paid. Just a hassel to get something that was different than promised.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got real lucky today! I bought a set of steel 14" Honda wheels from Craigslist locally -- MOUNTED WITH KUMHO AUTOCROSS TIRES -- for $100 for the whole set!

The tires have had a few runs on them, but there's plenty of tread left. They are Kumho V700 Victoracer tires. And yeah, the wheels are steelies and kinda heavy. But this setup will get me going for sure. :p If I can find some 14" alloys at a decent price, I may remount these tires on them, but for now I'll auto-x with the steelies.

The VX wheels I found were also on Craigslist, but I decided not to get those because of the 13" size problem.

My first event in the Insight is this weekend! Can't wait! :wink:
 

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I notice that most sites that list Insight wheels in the fine print say they are 'remanufactured' and sell them for about $175 plus or minus a tad.

Has anyone priced new OEMs from a dealer?

I am thinking of getting a 2nd set of wheels so I can swap out the OEM tires for the Yokohamas whenever I want.

I find that aside from cruising mpg reduced as expected, I do see a marked difference in how much throttle I need to give to get the car moving with the wider sticky tires (comparing to OEMs, both on OEM wheels).

It sounds like going for a super light weight wheel would help on the startup, although I guess you pay for it with reduced aerodynamics because of the open spokes on most of them.

Is that correct?

Does everyone use wheel locks because they are a high profile target and match Civic bolt pattern?
 

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Has anyone priced new OEMs from a dealer?

I bought a set from http://www.partstrain.com/products/prod ... el=INSIGHT

They have 15% off sales periodically (they are having one today), which brings the cost per wheel to $152.96. The least expensive cost from a Honda dealership I could find when I searched online when I was getting ready to buy was in the $275 range.

The wheels I bought from Parstrain say they are "remanufactured", as do the other places that sell them for less than Honda dealerships, but I can't find any flaws in the two that I bought. They look new to me. They are stamped "Honda" and "Asahi" inside the wheel.

Dan

PS The two I purchased included the center caps, which was an extra I wasn't expecting.
 

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Ouch!

I am wondering if a set of super light (6.5 lb) wheels would make a perceptable difference with the Yokohamas and bring back the easy take off of the OEMs while keeping the high performance...

The Volk CE28Ns are only 6.5 lbs, and while incredibly expensive, apparently they are actually cheap in comparison to dealer Insight wheels (or new ones not remanufactured).

I don't know what exactly remanufacture means for a wheel. Was it in a wreck? Did they do something to verify no damage? Did they do some kind of annealing process on them?

Maybe I worry to much. I suppose if a wheel was in a wreck and damaged, it might show an impact point, but maybe not...
 

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My wheels were remanufactured and were delivered in Honda factory boxes with Honda part numbers on the outside. They are truly Honda Factory wheels, they usually have little paint flaws, but no damage. They are just wheels that were delivered to the factory and weren't able to be used due to small paint flaws. You know how pepole are about new cars and you know how Honda quality can be.
 

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I am wondering if a set of super light (6.5 lb) wheels would make a perceptable difference with the Yokohamas and bring back the easy take off of the OEMs while keeping the high performance...
It depends on how heavy the tires are. I am sure it will help, but a larger diameter tire will have the weight farther away from the center which is more polar moment of inertia.

Aerodynamics would be another consideration. When you look at the Bonneville cars, the wheels are completely covered with a full 'moon' type cover.

I was thinking that maybe some helicopter blade tape over the vents in the stock wheels might make a little difference on the highway. I wouldn't recommend it for city driving because of the repeated stops and brake cooling. An occasional hard stop wouldn't be affected much by the closure of the wheel.

Are these rims the 18" ones or are there some smaller diameter wheels that I haven't seen yet?
 

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I am looking at the link provided earlier in this thread:

http://www.forperformance.com/rays/whee ... ce28n.html

They have the stock size (14x5.5 0.45 4x100) weighing in at 6.5 lbs, which is a big reduction from the OEM rims. They aren't giving them away, but even the 'remanufactured' OEMs are about $175 it seems.

From the pure mpg standpoint, I don't know how much of a factor the open design would be at highway speeds, but it likely would be compensated by less gas needed every time you start up from a stop - where you would feel the difference the most.

The big question to me is whether the difference the 6.5 lb wheel would make would be as big a change as swapping out the tires in the first place wrt acceleration from a stop. If it is so small that you don't feel it, then one might easily argue that it doesn't matter - unless every 0.1 second counts in a race situation, of course.

Cruising along the highway, or driving in the mtns when you are already up to a reasonable speed and absorbed in the driving process is when you don't really notice the 'weight' effects. Starting from a dead stop it is really a big difference, however. You can't just feather in the gas and glide to a start, you need to give meaningful throttle to get going without lugging - even with the IMA.

It would be nice to recapture some of the alacrity of the OEMs from a stop, and then of course still have the grip and performance for the non stock tires.
 
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