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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys.

Picked Up a 164 S.

Love the car. Tons of quirky issues. All good, can't complain too much.

I would like to fit some pretty big wheels to the car. I was wondering what the consensus here was on backspacing and offset of more aggressive width wheels, in the 8 and 9 inch wide world. (I searched, didn't find much on backspacing, just lots of talk on diameter)

Keep in mind I will probably be stretching something like a 225/40 to keep the rolling diameter the same or smaller.

Oh, and if you have an a/c compressor you'd like to let go cheap for a 91, that would be awesome too, mine froze and died. (no alt or water pump? wonderful)
 

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Nah, you don't want to do that, and screw up the handling balance of the car. Not only that, the front suspension alignment is very tricky on these cars, and super wide tires like that will only increase the rapid tire wear they are prone to.

Drive the car for some time getting all the quirks out of the way first before you think about screwing with oddball tire sizes the car really wasn't designed for.
 

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Though I can't speak for everyone,+2 seems to be the largest you should go. I decided to go with a only a +1, a 16" OZ wheel. My goal was to retain ride comfort while get quicker turn in. Very pleased with the set up on with our choppy back roads. Many in smoother roaded areas are happy with 17s.
Do a search, everything you could want to know about this is already here waiting for you. Welcome!
 

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Hi guys.

Picked Up a 164 S.

Love the car. Tons of quirky issues. All good, can't complain too much.

I would like to fit some pretty big wheels to the car. I was wondering what the consensus here was on backspacing and offset of more aggressive width wheels, in the 8 and 9 inch wide world. (I searched, didn't find much on backspacing, just lots of talk on diameter)

Keep in mind I will probably be stretching something like a 225/40 to keep the rolling diameter the same or smaller.

Oh, and if you have an a/c compressor you'd like to let go cheap for a 91, that would be awesome too, mine froze and died. (no alt or water pump? wonderful)
You can do what ever you like. I have fitted 18" to these cars without any issues. Not my choice I stuck with 17". 17X7.5 with a 235/40/17 with 25et. As long as you stick with OEM rubber and not POLY your ride is good, very low to no tramlining as long as alignment is on. You will need a 10mm spacer for the rear to clear the strut. I have Eibach 10mm hub centric spacers coming in.
My suggestion is to stick to a lower offset, like 25-35mm max. Using a spacer will lower the offset accordingly, 10mm on rear hub with a 25mm offset will will equate to 15mm offset.

I use a wide tire because I think it fit's my car and my taste and the handling is fantastic. I am not sure I have ever driven a car that handles so well now. Bare in mind I also have Koni,B+G springs (1" front, 1/2" rear) and sway bars. But the tires made it. I had 225/45 before and I could feel the side walls flexing and giving even in a good tire. 235/40 there is none of that. I also think the ride is quite comfortable, again as long as you keep stock rubber. I have been running 33PSI front and 34PSI rear, with good comfort. Sure it is a bit stiffer or sportier if you will. Stiff is kind of a bad word.

My suggestion is to pick something like a OZ wheel as it is lighter which will yield better performance and comfort.
I might be able to get a few more from OZ in 17 or 18.

Example of mine with 17X7.5 with 235/40. again 25mm offset reduced in rear to 15mm, front still 25mm although you could keep factory 5mm spacer and reduce it too.
I do not have any weird tire wear. Tire wear is nice and even. Tires last much longer than stock wheels. I have had these tires on for about 3 years now and still have tons of tread left and it is a 220 tire wear.





From the factory the largest size they used was 16X6.5, due to space and the time.

I would stick with 16 or 17 but like I said 18 and 19 has been done.

You can see some examples of wheels from stock to 19" here:
CuoreSportivo.ch (Alfa Romeo Community / Fan Page / Shop / Forum / Downloads / Alfa Romeo Gallery): CuoreSportivo.ch Gallery : Alfa Romeo's/Alfa Romeo 164

It really does give the car an updated look and if done right can offer much better handling and road characteristics. I had a tough time at first with my wheels and tires due to the hard as rock poly bushings. Now that those are gone (thank god) the car handles/feels great. I actually think it handles better for street (no bouncy feel with a dose of jar your molars out)

Just my advice.
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jason, thanks for the reply. I really like your 164, I like the bosch headlights (that is what those are right?) and you have a nice wheel tire fitment.

I am FULL aware of the ill effects of fitting bad wheel/tire combos to a car. Legitimizing my point of view online is so futile... its just the internet. Basically I was just looking to tap into some knowledge on fitting width's (like an 8.5 or 9 inch wide wheel) into the fender well. Basically back Spacing math.

I was going to for rim flush, if not sticking out just a little from the fender line, definately a roll on the fenders, even maybe a small pull. Then add that with a stretched tire, and a much lower ride (I was probably going to cut up some new koni's and put some GC Weld on collars and springs).

As far as "specific" wheels are concerned, I am really not to worried, I was going to end up getting some custom spacer/adapters made to go from the 5x98 + center bore ==> ???? Wheel I end up getting to keep it safe and hubcentric. My 164 in particular saw alot of track time (unfortunately) as the owner forgot to remove his Alfa AutoX day cards from the glovebox. I love my 164, but it will just be my around town, and date cruiser.

Thanks for the reply's!
 

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Lol, there are those in the Alfa community who might suggest you take the car to Juarez or Tijuana for some advice, as they are used to doing this low rider stuff to all makes of cars.
 

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Jason,

I'm interested to see that wheel/tire combo. Those tires look quite well matched (width-wise) to the 7.5" wide rims. Most 235 section tires I've run across recommend an 8+ inch rim. Which particular tires are you using? Also, I'm a bit confused about this "factory 5mm spacer" on the front. I don't think I have such a spacer (just had the front wheels off this weekend, doing some belt work). Am I missing something (both figuratively, and literally)?

-Fred
 

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Ah, nothing personal, I'm just the old curmudgeon who doesn't like to see Alfa's messed with too much. Bit of a purist I'm afraid, comes from owning nothing but Alfa's for 4 decades. Regardless of what some people seem to like, I don't think it enhances these cars when they have deviations such as ultra low ride heights, impractical ultra wide low profile tires, etc, far from what Alfa designed.
 

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Del's really not too unseemly, once you get acquainted with him. Please don't feel attacked. There's a lot of good advice to be had here. Many folks have indeed had problems with larger wheels on the 164. There are some cars which have been tire-eaters and the owners couldn't fix the problem (I suspect A-arm bushings). Others have had too stiff a ride or have had their nice, expensive, large diameter rims bent up from road "feature" impacts (like with potholes). Jason has more experience than many, as he has been developing options from a vendor perspective. Like I said above, there is a lot of good advice. And I've been recommended to Tijuana before for upholstery on an old Volvo I have, when we were both in No. California, so I don't think that's _necessarily_ a slam. (But what do I know?)

Michael
 

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Jason,

I'm interested to see that wheel/tire combo. Those tires look quite well matched (width-wise) to the 7.5" wide rims. Most 235 section tires I've run across recommend an 8+ inch rim. Which particular tires are you using? Also, I'm a bit confused about this "factory 5mm spacer" on the front. I don't think I have such a spacer (just had the front wheels off this weekend, doing some belt work). Am I missing something (both figuratively, and literally)?

-Fred
Hi,
235 is common fit on 7.5 width rim. In-fact it is a factory option on WRX with 7.5 inch rim and most tire manufc. will say it is a fine fit, they just do not advertise it.
I like it too as it also does give a little more tire between the rim and road to protect it. 225/45 is the common size.
all 164's cam with a factory 5mm spacer on the front, most do not even know it is there as the locating pin keeps it on.
Move those to the rear and the 5mm spacer most of the time is good enough for a 225 or 235. I just liked bringing the wheel out to the fender and improve the handling/looks!
I am using a Michelin Pilot Sport Zr rating/220 tread.


As far as Purist. I am a purist myself but upgrading wheels and suspension IMO is not really straying too much from being a purist.
These cars look good stock and they look good with wheel upgrades as long as done right.
I guess my car looks like a Tijuana taxi to Del? Sorry about that Del!!
The S/Q spoiler, 45mm runners on the LS, S seats is straying from that purist mindset now is it not Del? LOL!;) I guess Del hates 95% of the people on this site for hopping up their alfa's. Oh well can't please everyone.

Some suspension upgrades and wheels in no way is impure!

Jason
 

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all 164's cam with a factory 5mm spacer on the front, most do not even know it is there as the locating pin keeps it on.
Aha! I was wondering what that stud sticking out of the hub in between two of the lug holes was! Thanks for the clarification! New wheels and tires will be my next upgrade once the new suspension is complete. Do you find the slightly smaller overall diameter of the 235/40's to be greatly beneficial in reducing the amount of interference with the fenders when the car is lowered? That is to say, in comparison to a 225/45.

-Fred
 

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Aha! I was wondering what that stud sticking out of the hub in between two of the lug holes was! Thanks for the clarification! New wheels and tires will be my next upgrade once the new suspension is complete. Do you find the slightly smaller overall diameter of the 235/40's to be greatly beneficial in reducing the amount of interference with the fenders when the car is lowered? That is to say, in comparison to a 225/45.

-Fred
Bare in mind, that people who have had problems with larger wheels on these cars do not know the specifics when purchasing wheel and tire combo, they just buy and but them on.
First and foremost is OFFSET!!! If you find a wheel that is 17X7.5 and the offset is 40mm or 45mm, the wheels will rub, you will have extensive inner tire wear.

I opted for 25mm.

Actually the 225/45 to 235/40 is not much of a difference to worry about.

Some think that 225 is Ultra low and the lowering of a 164 is Ultra low. Not really. As mentioned above the springs I offer only lower 1" in front and 1/2" in rear (+/-), not really that big of a deal really.

I never have had interference in the fenders with the 235 tire nor the 225.

Upgrades have to be right. It took me about 5-6 years to make a decision to go larger on wheels. I searched out wheels far and wide, none of them had the right offset nor the right looks. I ended up with the Siena above with the lowest offset they made.

Might want to stick with 225/45 if standard height. I felt the 225/45 was a bit sloppy for me.

I cannot stand hard rides and if done right you can improve the handling greatly and not loose too much ride quality as well.
Jason
 

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Ah, come on, Jason. l You know that any changes I've made to my Alfa are well within the scope of Alfa's design, as the 164 in various forms has come with exactly what I've installed from other 164s, and are clearly reversible changes. What I tend to do is optimize my car with the best of the several models of 164, retaining in storage the original parts, and, I absolutely don't dislike people who do the same sorts of changes.

I do admit that what does tend to raise my temperature are those who have tried to make the car something it is not, ie, 2 inch ground clearance, goofy looking paint roller tires, etc. The ricer look. These changes usually paint the car into a corner, and you tend to end up with something that gets old in a hurry, to drive, to maintain/tune and to look at.

And, the highest value cars turn out to be the ones that are kept original or restored to original.

BTW, the stud sticking out of the hub serves two purposes, both hold a spacer (if required) in place, and, to make the mounting of a wheel a little easier (by hanging the wheel on that stud before running the mounting bolts in place). The 94-95 comes with the larger screw-in hex bolt to hang the wheel on instead.
 

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Ah, come on, Jason. l You know that any changes I've made to my Alfa are well within the scope of Alfa's design, as the 164 in various forms has come with exactly what I've installed from other 164s, and are clearly reversible changes. What I tend to do is optimize my car with the best of the several models of 164, retaining in storage the original parts, and, I absolutely don't dislike people who do the same sorts of changes.

I do admit that what does tend to raise my temperature are those who have tried to make the car something it is not, ie, 2 inch ground clearance, goofy looking paint roller tires, etc. The ricer look. These changes usually paint the car into a corner, and you tend to end up with something that gets old in a hurry, to drive, to maintain/tune and to look at.

And, the highest value cars turn out to be the ones that are kept original or restored to original.

BTW, the stud sticking out of the hub serves two purposes, both hold a spacer (if required) in place, and, to make the mounting of a wheel a little easier (by hanging the wheel on that stud before running the mounting bolts in place). The 94-95 comes with the larger screw-in hex bolt to hang the wheel on instead.
I know!~ I am just ruffling your feathers a bit today! ;)

I agree with you! I optimized items that are reversible, any wheel/suspension component is that! That is why I have kept all the original suspension. I can just pop in the old for the koni/B+G and slap on OE wheels and be done with it (everything else is OEM or European upgrades ONLY). But My wheels and suspension have been by no means wearing on me for any reason (I understand it is not directed at me, just a point), the only thing that made it a pain in the but was the poly bushings which I regret ever using that junk (except end links and sway bars)! I agree messing with the original set up does cause more problems. I tend to leave most of my cars fairly stock. I like to add some OEM upgrades just like you have. Man I still use OEM air/oil filters and sometimes AGIP OEM oil. lol

I think a little suspension tuning and some wheels is still within alfa's design. Just a bit more updated. Trust me if this car was built a few years later and ran into 1998-2000 time frame, 17X7.0 wheels would have been an option as well as a sports spring/strut.(non-electronic for LS), maybe even a slightly lowered Q as well. Who knows, never will. But to compete in the time period it most likely would have been an option.(they offer it on the newer cars after the 164)
Anyways, the 164 is a high speed touring car. Little suspension tweaks make it even more fun! Wheels bring it up with the times. They used plenty of 17" wheels back in the day as well. My dad's Austin Healy 300M had 17" wire wheels. Some upgraded to 18" if memory serves. I understand the ri*er thing too. I can't stand it but not worth my time to worry about it because it will not go away!:rolleyes:

But Del your still not a purist...haha! Otherwise you would have not done anything to it period. ;)
Jason
 

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I don't see anything wrong with enhancing the performance of these cars. They are sporting cars, all of them. It makes a lot more sense to increase the grip and handling potential of your Alfa Romeo than for your lowered Mercedes C320 or Volvo 850 wagon (T5 and 850R aside).

The thing that doesn't make sense is when people think these Alfas are the fastest things on the road. I've found that when comparing stock to stock, my Milano and 164 are much slower cars than other competing cars from the same era (E30 325is or even e30 m3 and bmw 535). Stock Alfas aren't that fast!

Does that mean everyone should be modifying their Alfas? Of course not. I had plenty of fun in my dead stock 2.5 Gold for years, all while being slow. If people like Jason are putting on 235/40/17 tires when the 3450lb car came stock with a 195, then obviously he like to drive fast. If you don't, then suit yourself.
 

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My 91 L has 2.4 degrees negative camber from the factory. That is outside the alignment spec. The car handles really well and with zero toe the tire wear is barely acceptable on stock 195/65x15 Pirellis.

Torque steer is an issue with these cars and different offsets and wider rims can make torque steer worse. The key to offset is to reduce offset with wider rims to try and preserve something close to the original geometry. Generally speaking wider rims need less offset for fwd cars.

The factory went to 16 inch rims for later 164. The very similar SAAB 9000 will also accept 16 inch rims. Width should be 6.5 inches and tires no wider than 205.

Once you go bigger than that and wider than that you really need expert advice to ensure you get the better handling you are looking for.

BTW, a 45 series tire at 225 width and a 40 series tire at 235 width are going to have sidewalls about 7 mm different which is just over 1/4 inch. I defy anyone to tell the difference between 235/40 and 225/45 series tires on their car. The difference in sidewall construction or tire compound will be much greater than any sidewall height effect. Generally the plus one concept tries to preserve the same sidewall height as stock. It isn't the sidewall height that matters, it is the ratio of that height to the tread width. Wider contact patches run at smaller slip angles for the same sideways force. The height of the sidewall isn't that important.

Finally, wider tires do not necessarily improve handling. If the suspension travel remains the same and the spring rate is unchanged then wider tires may actually grip less due to camber effects. Also, lowering a car with McPherson strut suspension may have adverse effects on handling unanticipated by the amateur modifier.
 

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Do keep in mind that these newer wheels come on cars which have very different front suspension designs (unequal length unparallel arms (wishbones) instead of our Mcpherson, I believe), which can orient the tires quite differently in turns and deflections compared to what we are used to with the 91-95 164s. What you think you are getting with ultra wide wheels on our cars may NOT be what the engineers expected with the newer suspensions. Or, to put it another way, what you get might be something the engineers deemed undesirable for our strut suspension design, thus the suspension change to something which gives better orientation control.
 
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