Nissan 240SX - Performance
The most important things to keep in mind when choosing wheels are weight, clearance, and gearing.
Wheels are part of the car�s �unsprung weight�. Unsprung weight is, essentially, all parts of the car that hang down when the car is raised (by its frame) on a lift. It is important to minimize unsprung weight. Light wheels, brakes, and suspension components allow the suspension to react more quickly to road changes and reset faster after a disturbance. This is because less force is necessary to move light parts than heavy parts. A lighter suspension/wheel/tire combination cannot build up as much energy as a heavier one. Therefore, the shocks have less energy to absorb and can therefore perform better and last longer.
The second issue is clearance. The wheels must clear the brakes, suspension components, and the wheel wells. If you are installing a big brake kit like the examples in the Brakes section, you will probably need to use 17� or 18� wheels. If you have a coilover suspension, it is essential to check that the wheels will not touch the springs when they are installed. On a stock suspension, the springs are at the very top of the wheel well mostly above the wheels. However, with a lowered coilover suspension, the coilovers will be positioned beside the wheels making clearance problems more likely. Finally, make sure that your wheel/tire combo does not rub the inside of the wheel wells at full travel. This will be largely dependent on the tires you choose. Basically, plan ahead when choosing wheels.
The last thing to think about is gearing. If the overall diameter of your wheel tire combo increases, it will make your gearing higher (i.e. you will have higher top speed but slower acceleration). If diameter decreases, you�ll get a lower overall gearing effect (i.e. lower top speed, better acceleration). Also, the car�s speedometer reading will be slightly off if the overall wheel/tire diameter changes. Of course, if you want to increase wheel diameter and keep the gearing �stock�, you can increase the size of the wheels and get tires with a shorter sidewall. To see how wheel/tire size will affect top speed, use the Top Speed Calculator.
The following three wheels are examples of some of the lightest and best quality sets you can buy. They are all available as 5-lug 114.3 PCD wheels. Some are available as 4-lug and 100 PCD. PCD, or Pitch Center Diameter, is the diameter, in millimeters, of the circle that intersects the centers of the studs. The price range for the wheels varies greatly depending on what offset, finish, and size you get. In addition, distributors often have sales for purchasing a set of wheels. Expect to pay between $1000 and $2500 for a set of wheels.
Products - Wheels: