Monday, March 29, 2010

Baby's got a new pair of shoes!

So we've been "debating" the whole wheel/tire issue for a while now. The thing is that the metro came with 12" steelies. The tire on this was a 145/80R12. That's not exactly sporting. The Firefly turbo came with 13" steelies and the tires weren't that much better. Truth is, both cars came with snow tires and that's not really going to work for the summer.

So the idea was to replace the "shoes" on the car with something a little more shiny, a little less "steely" and with a little less sidewall. Personally, I was voting we go with the Toyo Proxes T1R in a 195/45R14. The rest of the team were voting more along the line of the Kumho Ecsta SPT in a 195/45R15. Now there were arguments for either side, but it was decided that the best deal on rims would ultimately decide the tire size we would use.

So every few days I would check out the Ottawa kijiji for rims using the 114.3mm bolt pattern. 3 days ago, I found what I was looking for. An awesome looking set of 15" rims for $50!!

So I e-mail the guy and he says he's selling them because he bought them for his daughter's car and they didn't fit over the calipers... First confusing thing. Anyways, he assures me that they're 15" rims and that he just wants to clear them out of his garage. Eric is really concerned about the width of the rim and wants either 6.5" or 7" wide rims. I e-mail the seller and he says that the rims are 6 3/4 inches wide. I figure this means they're 6.5" so I tell him I'll come and check them out.

So here's the fun part. I live in Kanata South (Bridlewood). This guy lives on Trim Rd on the far east side of Orleans. For those of you who have no idea how Ottawa is set up, this means that I literally have to drive from one side of the city to the other to look at these things. Google maps tells me that it's 45.8 km or 28.5 miles. So I brave rush hour traffic and drive across the city. I meet the guy, and then the fun begins...

I brought my tape measure along and as soon as I started measuring, I knew there was a problem. This guy measured from the outside lip to outside lip for all his measurements. So this means that the outer diameter of the rim is 15", but the part where the tire sits is actually 14". As I'm telling him this, I see a stamp on the inner groove saying "5 1/2 - JJx14".

Guess what that means... These are 14" rims AND they're only 5.5" wide...

The guy selling the rims got all apologetic and finally realized why the rims didn't fit over his daughter's calipers. I start telling him what the rims are for and how I'm going to have to discuss this with the team and maybe send someone else over again if we're still interested. As I start to walk away he says to me "Tell you what. I paid $100 for these rims and I feel really bad that you came all this way... I'll let you take them for $20." $20!!! He paid $100, posted them for $50, and is letting me steal them from him for $20!! I tell him that I'll take the deal and if they don't work, then I'll figure out what to do with the wheels. I hand him the money; he writes me a receipt; I load my trunk and head for home.

While I was feeling quite smug about possibly winning the rim size "discussion" I found another problem. It turns out that my tire choice of the 195/45R14 actually requires a minimum of a 6" wide rim. Thankfully the 195/55R14 of the same tire will fit a 5.5" wide rim so we'll probably end up going with these instead.

Here's the part you've been waiting for. The most awesome rims in the world...for a metroneige.

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