back to 205


Keep those wheels turning....

The idea rose to "edit" the little monster to give it a bit more "bite". The easiest way (but not the cheapest as I found out) was to change the wheels. Because I wanted it to stay as much 205 as possible I went looking for some original 205 Speedline rims as seen on the GTi 1.9
I bought them in a bad state (wrong paintjob, wrong colour, no bolts, 2 out of 4 wheel logos missing). At first I tried to strip the paint from them myself and the result was kind off... euh..... well look for yourself ;-)


So I took the sorry lot to a professional paintspray company and there they were sanded and powder coated in a standard yet nice looking RAL9006 colour.

In the meantime I ordered the 205 GTI rim specific bolts and bought from the dealer the correct wheel logos caps (which belong in the center of the rim)

Then came the most expensive part of the story: the rubber!
Friends told me to go for some 195 mm wide tires. Since the original tires were 165 / 70 / R13 I knew that the new ones ought to be 195 / 50 / R15 (how to calculate this?... see further below).
But several dealers recommended me to go for the 185 instead, which are way more expensive, but fit better due to the relatively small wheelarches. Finally I bought a set of Pirelli's P6000 185 / 55 / R15  (edit: after several hundreds of kilometers, I must say I love those Pirelli's. They have excellent traction and in wet conditions they have a good grip.... unless it is freezing outside, then the tyres have much less grip and you have to be very careful on snowy roads)


They look pretty nice don't they?


The pictures above were made after I had the front lowered and a set of yellow Koni shock dampeners installed. (The rear axle has also been adjusted after this picture had been taken. )
The reason for this change is that the standard height is so huge that it makes the car look like an off road car with the (bigger) 15 inch rims + tyres. Believe me, it is no sight at all.

Wintertyres you say?

During the winter of 2003-2004 I noticed that the Pirelli P6000 tyres were complete crap in winter temperatures. Dangerously crappy even!
So for the winter 2004-2005 I have to get some winter tyres.... with matching rims of course, so I can easily change them myself. I found a couple of second hand 1.6 GTi rims and had them sanded and coated, just like the 1.9 versions.
Instead of using the same colour of the 1.9 rims (RAL 9006) I choose a slightly darker RAL9007, which has a subtle brown tone...... I love 'm!

---------------------  Tyre size calculation  ----------------------

When you, for example, buy light alloy rims which are bigger then the original ones you will have to buy new tyres also. To make sure that the speed indicator still gives an accurate speed indication (assuming you will not change this indicator), you should look for tires which have (almost) the same circumference. A tyre shop / supplier has a list of car brands - tyre sizes, so you ask them if you are not sure what to choose, but it can also easily calculated at home.

TC = 2*Pi*(r+t)

TC = Tyre Circimference
Pi = 3,14....
r = rim radius in mm. = (a*2,54)/2                          a = rim diameter in mm.
t = rubber/tire thickness in mm. = (w/10)*(c/100)     w = tire width in  mm.    c = thickness-width ratio

So... a 165 / 70 / R13 has a circumference of aprox. 176 mm.
and a 185 / 55 / R15 has one of aprox 184 mm.

There is a difference of 8 mm. which is about +4%. [(184-176)/176]*100%
As I have heard and understood from others, the difference should not be higher than +2 or lower than -2% to prevent to much difference between the indicated speed and the real speed you are travelling with.

Don't want to do the math yourself? No problemo, there is a very handy tyre calculator <<<<<