More comfortable ride needed for a k12 160SR required - possible wheel replacement?

Hello ,

I've got a low mileage 2005 160sr.

Thanks to Mikka, I went for the eibach pro kit, and had all of the cars suspension parts renewed (literally all of it). Ride height is great, and its better than stock. Sits a little lower, and handles like a dream.

Although its not such a bumpy ride as stock, it is annoying me too much.

After dooing a fair bit of reading, think its the low profile wheels. Apparently, low profiles for a small car are not such a great idea, for ride comfort. The trend seems to be driven by looks, rather than comfort.

Have been looking at other small cars, and notice the BMW mini, similar wheel placement, as standard, does not come with low profiles. General online expert opinion seems to be low profiles dont work too well on small cars, unless you dont mind the bumps.

Therefore, looking for new wheels. My current wheels look great, and are immaculate, and its a shame to change them, but cant be doing with the bumps.

Does anyone have any suggestions for suitable wheels?

I want to keep the overall circumferance the same, and wheels placed where they currently sit, or a tad wider. Understand about offset etc.

Two choices I have, i think are a 14 inch wheel, 185 / 65 / 14 , or 15 inch wheel, 175 / 60 / 15 (would need a kit/spacer to bring out the wheel/tyre/.

Any advice please on what to do?

Sacrilige doing this, and dont think it will look as good, but CANT be doing with the bumpy ride.

Thanks
 
I'd agree with your hypothesis. Worth thinking about whether smaller wheels will clear brakes ok (no idea what the 160 setup is like) but defo smaller wheels and taller tyre profile to maintain circumference would help...and I don't think it will look as different as you think to be honest.
 
I'm running the 15 inch wheel, 175 / 60 / 15 alloys
After the tyre change it feels better with the bumps in roads round here.
Would like to run widened steelies myself has comfort and looks good.
What you pick may require you recalibrate the speedometer. As it will be slightly different in each size wheel to original size
 
I'm running the 15 inch wheel, 175 / 60 / 15 alloys
After the tyre change it feels better with the bumps in roads round here.
Would like to run widened steelies myself has comfort and looks good.
What you pick may require you recalibrate the speedometer. As it will be slightly different in each size wheel to original size
Thanks for the info.

I drive mostly in bristol and bath, roads are awful, pot holes every where. Motoryway and country roads are fine.

Spoke to demon tweaks, they have some msw 185 65 14 msw 77 in graphite grey. £450 for wheels, tyres and fittings to make them fit. Quite close to originals.
 
My name is Mika, been since 1966! :unsure:;)
Ride feel on various Finnish roads with following set up is good. Even soft. compared to my Camaro.
Pic of my Micra with 205-50/16 tires and 16x7.5" wheels and eibach springs.

Sorry about your name spelling. Cities in uk have appalling roads. Dug up all over and again and again, for utilities and cable etc. Poor repairs, that sink. Bypasses and motorways are fine, rides like a dream.

It's a shame, current stock ones look really good. Ones I'm getting similar look to yours, but smaller.
 
I'm running the 15 inch wheel, 175 / 60 / 15 alloys
After the tyre change it feels better with the bumps in roads round here.
Would like to run widened steelies myself has comfort and looks good.
What you pick may require you recalibrate the speedometer. As it will be slightly different in each size wheel to original size

Will look into widened steel wheels, those are the extreme concave ones?
 
My name is Mika, been since 1966! :unsure:;)
Ride feel on various Finnish roads with following set up is good. Even soft. compared to my Camaro.
Pic of my Micra with 205-50/16 tires and 16x7.5" wheels and eibach springs.

City of bristol has approx 1/10 of your total countries population, in one tiny area. Roads are constantly being dug up in our cities, and repaired poorly. We have speed limits of 20 mph in some areas. Just as well, you try doing 30 or 40 around town, you get shaken all over the place. Outside cities is fine.
 
Have you considered the differences in the speedo reading and the gearing if you change wheel and tyre size, not to mention that with higher profile tyres you'd be adding more flexibility in the sidewall of your lowered car and thereby probably almost cancelling out any improvement in the handling you've gained with the Eibach springs.

Did you change the top mounts on the front when you installed the springs or did you use the existing ones?

I have a K12 Sport 1.4 so have the same wheels and tyres currently running with standard springs which I am about to upgrade to the EIbach Pro springs too.
 
Have you considered the differences in the speedo reading and the gearing if you change wheel and tyre size, not to mention that with higher profile tyres you'd be adding more flexibility in the sidewall of your lowered car and thereby probably almost cancelling out any improvement in the handling you've gained with the Eibach springs.

Did you change the top mounts on the front when you installed the springs or did you use the existing ones?

I have a K12 Sport 1.4 so have the same wheels and tyres currently running with standard springs which I am about to upgrade to the EIbach Pro springs too.

Yes, I had ALL suspension parts changed, literally all of it.

I am not selecting any old wheel/tyre
Have you considered the differences in the speedo reading and the gearing if you change wheel and tyre size, not to mention that with higher profile tyres you'd be adding more flexibility in the sidewall of your lowered car and thereby probably almost cancelling out any improvement in the handling you've gained with the Eibach springs.

Did you change the top mounts on the front when you installed the springs or did you use the existing ones?

I have a K12 Sport 1.4 so have the same wheels and tyres currently running with standard springs which I am about to upgrade to the EIbach Pro springs too.


Am not just chucking on any old wheel/tyre combo. Using calculators that keep same position and circumference.

So far, best option, for what I want, is with demon tweaks. Wheel that suits car most, and similar to stock is a graphite msw 77 wheel. Theyve quoted £460 for wheels, tyres and fittings. Best looking one for my car, happens to be one of their cheapest. It's a 185 65 14.

I changed all suspension parts, ie all of it, mounts, rods, all brushing etc.


The ride on main roads is better, handling great, better than stock. The bumps going over pot holes is fractionally better, even with eibachs. Would say has to be pro ones, sport would to tncomfortable around town.

Given the eibachs didnt make bumps any worse, left with higher profile tyres.
 
The MSW wheels are very nice indeed. You've obviously done a proper job with the suspension parts, I mentioned the top mounts because they are often just reused which isn't great practice. Good to know the Eibach Pro springs are comfortable as opposed to the Sportline which I read go a bit lower, I am just looking for better handling and of course better appearance, the gaps on my 2007 Sport don't look good, actually I quite like the standard alloys, wish they done them in bigger sizes.
 
The MSW wheels are very nice indeed. You've obviously done a proper job with the suspension parts, I mentioned the top mounts because they are often just reused which isn't great practice. Good to know the Eibach Pro springs are comfortable as opposed to the Sportline which I read go a bit lower, I am just looking for better handling and of course better appearance, the gaps on my 2007 Sport don't look good, actually I quite like the standard alloys, wish they done them in bigger sizes.

Mika was totally right about the pro springs. When its lowered, theres only a small gap, and the stock wheels look larger. I really wish I could keep them.

The ride on decent roads is better with them.

There arent many cars that can keep up with a 160 going around roundabouts and twisty roads. Love going around the multi lane ones, such accurate turning, you can always get in front 😁
 
I used to own this 160 SR, in fact it was allegedly the only white 2 door 160 SR in the country, which was written off in a rear end hit and run, if my memory serves me well I'd say the 1.4 Sport I own right now has just about the same road holding ability, don't know if the standard springs are actually the same on the 160 SR and Sport models so am excited to get the Eibach's fitted.

Have you used the Powerflex poly bushes? I see they do road and race variations, these are on my agenda to do too.

IMG_0334.jpg
 
I used to own this 160 SR, in fact it was allegedly the only white 2 door 160 SR in the country, which was written off in a rear end hit and run, if my memory serves me well I'd say the 1.4 Sport I own right now has just about the same road holding ability, don't know if the standard springs are actually the same on the 160 SR and Sport models so am excited to get the Eibach's fitted.

Have you used the Powerflex poly bushes? I see they do road and race variations, these are on my agenda to do too.

View attachment 71179
That would have looked very nice in white. Mine is red.

I was advised by the mechanic who did the suspension not to do the poly bushes. It would be even more uncomfortable. Unusually, I trusted him, and didnt go witn them. Glad I didnt, as bumps are bad enough as they are.
 
The white 160 SR was in indeed a nice car, it turned a few heads, I was distraught when it was written off.

I am going to do the full set of poly bushes, the road versions, I've driven a 160 SR owned by friend who has lowered his with H&R springs and a full set of poly bushes and it drives nice, it could be his different springs cos yes its a slightly hard ride not noticeably more than without the poly bushes, the handling is awesome, properly chuckable, very direct and great feedback. The roads around here in sunny Southend aren't as bad as yours it seems, again its all about the tyre choice as well, I've settled on Kumho Ecsta HS51's, they grip phenomenally and low decibels, not so great with economy but who cares when the car is doing 55-60mpg around town.
 
For anyone that's interested. Had complete new suspension, kyb excell g shocks, eibach pro springs. Drove like a pig, bounced all over the place over bumps and pot holes. Standard wheels. Had wheels and tyres changed to 185/60/14. Dramatic improvement, much more comfortable, yet still a solid feel. Just had bilstein 8s fitted to rear. Ride is now bloody amazing. More comfortable than stock, and sure footed as you like. Couldnt be happier. Will get b8s for front next. Koni streets or b8s are a must for the eibach pro kit. More secure feeling, and increased/quicker damping. Didnt like the standard low profiles from the start.
 
That’s great news, it’s always a great feeling when something works right.

I’ve sent back the Eibach Pro springs, just waiting for the refund in my account then getting the Sportlines.
 
A 185/55/15 wheel would be a good option, possibly better. Surprising how big an effect an increase in tyre wall has. We dont have the roads to justify low profiles on small cars.
 
The eibach pros, with bilstein b8s work really went at speed. Feels very secure. Theres a bypass near me that has a very long bend. Stayed at 80mph going around it tonight. Felt like there was a force on the outside keeping me in. Seemed like it was impossible to break it. Also went around a corner today, realised I hadnt steered enough, so quickly steered into it more, and car just immediately followed. It was a sharp correction, but car just changed direction instantly, like on rails. It's only a 2.5cm drop, but it feels so planted now.
 

John_D

Club Member
Radio Code Guru
What make and model 185-50-16 tyres are you currently using that gives you a rough ride? My Sport + came with some nearly new far eastern tyres that I couldn't get off the car fast enough, very hard rubber, giving a rough ride, high tyre noise and the wet weather grip that a Teflon coated frying pan would have been proud of...........I changed to Vredestein all season Quatrac 5 tyres and the difference was like night to day, on all counts...........Last year I had a couple of punctures near the side wall so needed a couple of tyres in a hurry and could not get the Vredesteins quickly so settled for a pair of Continental Contisport Contact5 tyres. These have been 'OK' but have much softer side walls (probably great for a less bumpy ride) so the car does not feel so planted and they are showing far greater wear on the shoulders than the Vredesteins and will be replaced soon by some more Vredesteins.......
 
The eibach pros, with bilstein b8s work really went at speed. Feels very secure. Theres a bypass near me that has a very long bend. Stayed at 80mph going around it tonight. Felt like there was a force on the outside keeping me in. Seemed like it was impossible to break it. Also went around a corner today, realised I hadnt steered enough, so quickly steered into it more, and car just immediately followed. It was a sharp correction, but car just changed direction instantly, like on rails. It's only a 2.5cm drop, but it feels so planted now.
Your car is very clean, looks fresh. Only if we could "try before you buy" tyres. I know you wanted to achieve the balance of handling and comfort and it sounds like you have achieved that. We all have our preferences, I actually don't mind the medium to firm ride with he standard alloys and the Kumho Ecsta HS51 185/50/16 tyres, as I said before the roads around here in Southend on Sea must be better maintained than yours.
 
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