Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Want To Upgrade The Rims and Tyres of Your Toyota Alphard

Once an owner found his giant (Toyota Alphard), one of the most common upgrade the owner looking for is what size of rims and tyres to upgrade to. I got this question quite often from my readers too.

This is the standard rim for AX/MZ/MZ/MZG. It is shod with 205/65/R16 tyres.

The PFL AS and MS has 17-inch rim with 225/55/R17 tyres. This is the PFL 17-inch rim.

The NFL AS and MS is also shod with 17-inch rim but it has a cleaner design as shown below.

I have tested both the 16-inch and 17-inch fitted on the giant and I feel there is much different in the ride quality. The 17-inch will feel slightly heavier because the rims and tyres are both heavier than the 16-inch set up. Also the extra 20mm contact patch on the 17-inch will give more rolling resistance so it will take a little bit more effort to get the tyres moving but not a lot.

If you want to upsize the rim, then the next option could be 18, 19 or even 20-inch. The correct tyre profile for each should be 235/50/R18, 245/45/R18 and 255/35/R20. Of course, the bigger the rim, the unsprung weight will be higher. Also lower profile tyres will have harder side wall so the ride quality suffer as it will be harsher compared to the stock set up.

There are many rims available in the market that fits the giant. You can choose either the Made-In-Japan rim which is more expensive than those made in Taiwan OEM rim. Just make sure that the rim has a PCD of 114.3.

Another commonly asked question is should the owner choose staggered rim set up. If you own a 2WD model, then it doesn’t really do you much good since it is a front wheel drive car so you are not getting much traction from the real wheels at all. For 4WD model, the traction switches between 2WD and 4WD so there is not much functional advantage in having larger rims and tyres at the rear.

Also beware that offset of the wheel mount is not very deep so if you are using staggered rim, the rear tyre should not be too wide. Otherwise, if it goes beyond the wheel arch, you will not be able to lower your car at all. One AOC member shod his rear rim with 275/50/R18 and it does look very cool with the tyres sticking out if view from the back of the car, but he can’t lower his car at all as the wheel arch will hit the tyres.

One interesting question that comes to me is what’s the biggest rim size that can fit into the giant? Well an owner I know of fitted a 22-inch rim with 30 series tyres. It look so cool with this set up but it also cost a ton of money to own it. He drives his giant daily and he hasn't complain about harsh ride at all.

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