Took some photos of the ST170 at work next to a Machine Silver Zetec 3 door just for comparison, so I could swap the wheels over using photoshop, as I love the ST170 rims. Looks pretty good to me, and I can source rims for Wheels King, fitted with Tyres for the ST170, Optional 17"s on Foci and the Zetec rims too.
Listen to me. They are not worth getting. They are a bastard to clean & you have to take them off the car to clean the inside of the rims at times. The caps over the wheel nuts are a bastard to remove & they are only plastic & they are easily damaged even though a small lever is supplied by Ford which doesn't work. You need to keep a long thin flat screwdriver in the glovebox. I will definatelly take them off before the car goes in to get the tires rotated. It took me around 20 minutes to get a wheel off to clean it, so I would not be much fun if you got a flat. I am starting to get really Pi--ed of with stupid engineering stuffups on this model car.
Yeah I LOVE the optionals too, but honestly loved the design of the ST170 rims. Thanks for the practiclity issues though... I'd end up getting the optionals 9 times out of 10 but for the right price I think I'd still get the ST170's (They'd have to be the same price basically). I'mm happy with my 16's, just sick of the slight lack of control I get when changing steering angels and direction, need just a tad more response... 17's should do it. That or lowering, which is not only cheaper, but looks good and does the job too. I'll lower first then buy bigger rims if I'm still not happy.
I'd recommend some better tyres, myself. The Goodyear Eacle NCTs aren't the best performing tyre out there. Increasing the rotational weight will slow you down, every kg added to a wheel is the same as adding 4kgs elsewhere in the car. 16"s should be more than adequate, aren't they a 55 profile or something?
The optional 17's come with Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres, which are supposed to be one of the better tyres. Being directional though, you notice the increase in road noise from the standard wheels. The increase in grip is incredible (from both the wider rubber and better quality), but so is the increase in wheel tracking on bad surfaces and heavier steering.
All things considered, including looks, getting the optional 17's was the best addition to the car so far, in my opinion. I do have to agree with Zetec though, in that I do like the looks of the ST170 17 inch wheels alot, and would have probably taken a set over the 7 spokers.
EUR04D - Ford Focus
The Blue Flame Mk II Escort RS2000
How much boost?
The tires on the ST170 are unreal being Continentals made in Germany. It will be a pain to find something equal when they have to be replaced. I expect that they would be around 300 a tire minimum for a reasonable equivalent. The original tyres are always the best on imported performance cars. The brake dust covers the ST170 rims in around 50kms normal trafic driving & they always look dirty especially if they get wet with a puddle or 2, & believe me cleaning in & around ever spoke on the 4 wheels once a week takes around 1/2 an hour & is very boring. Its worst in the winter with rain & brake dust mixing. Wheels with bigger spokes & smoother are always easy to clean. I really like the 5 spokers on the Zetecs, they look huge. They are similar on the Falcons.
so you like the stock 16's on the Zetec eh ST170X? I'll swap ya for your 17's...
No, I don't think so! hehe. My point is, coming from a Peugeot 306 GTi6, and having driven lots of French cars (I'm active on Aussiefrogs.com), I've found that upgrading wheel sizes generally upsets a car's handling more than improves it. In the ST170s case it was always tuned for the 17s, so shouldn't be a problem, but I'm not sure how the Zetec suspension settings would handle the 17s where the settings were probably designed for 16s. Sure, they look better, but it depends on what you're after in a car.
Eg, my flatmate has a 307 XSi, and it's awful with the 17s, compared to the XSEs 16s. Same suspension settings, same engine, just two less doors and 17s running Pirelli P Zero Rossos (which are the creme de la creme of tyres). the 206 GTI is another example of where going from 15" (original) to 16" (current) has not helped the handling of that car, where a lot of people regard the series 1 there as the better handling car.
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