Prius C 4 with 16" rims - want to convert to 15"

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by Rainking, May 28, 2013.

  1. Rainking

    Rainking Member

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    I have the Prius C 4 with 16". I don't like the harsher ride (low profile tires) I don't like the short turning radius. How hard/expensive would it be to replace the tires with 15" and installing a steering column designed for the 15" wheels. Is that even possible? I know what to expect with the tires but not with the steering column. Thanks.
     
  2. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Why change the steering column? Just buy new rims and new tires, swap, and be done.
     
  3. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    The 16" PC4 has a bigger steering radius... not a shorter one.
     
  4. Rainking

    Rainking Member

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    Sorry, correct, the turning radius is bigger (6 feet wider). How can I fix that if I switched to 15 tires? Steering column? How hard/expensive would that be? Not worth it?
     
  5. BrunoPuntzJones

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    The steering rack determines the turning radius. You'd need to replace it and the labor for install. Used they run about $300. Probably that much more again, if not more for labor. New? I'd hate to see the cost on that...

    And having to disclose to a buyer that you replaced a steering component with a used one from a wreck...

    Just get 15" wheels. I plan on doing that when I wear the stock 16"s out.
     
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  6. Rainking

    Rainking Member

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    Thanks, that's not worth it. I'll just stick some 15" once the 16" wears out and be done with it.

    You plan on going with OEM or aftermarket?
     
  7. BrunoPuntzJones

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    Assuming what I wrote is correct about the steering rack...I'll just post a WTT on Craigslist for a set of 15" OEM. I doubt there will be takers since I'm in a small city. I'll go aftermarket otherwise. I figure OEM wheels will be absurdly expensive.
     
  8. Mr Gee

    Mr Gee Member

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    you could find someone willing to swap their 15s for yours?
    what may explain the larger turning radius could be that the 16s are slightly wider and there the turn stops may have been adjusted to prevent the tyres from rubbing against the suspension components. I found this on a Mazda I used to own.

    So it may be just a simple adjustment when you get your 15"s
     
  9. mahout

    mahout Active Member

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    First, its essy to convert to 15" wheels and tires; just buy them and put them on. Second, I don't believe there is any difference between Prius C with 16" or 15 " sets. there is absolutely no reason for different steering columns. And there is no real difference in turning radius between 15" and 16" . The difference is in the steering ratio, or the ratio of steering wheel to actual wheels changes in degrees measured in rotation per inch of steering wheel turns compared to inches of turns of the actual,wheels. The 16" option has a slightly less ratio, i.e. 'faster' steering; less turns of the steering wheel produces more turning of the front wheels.
    In actuality the faster raio has better control by the driver and therefore is preferred. Any change to that ratio is in the steering box on the steering rack. If you must change that its a lot easier but not inexpensive - or desireable. Forget it.
    One last thought - when you change wheels and tires consult tirerack.com for details on the wheels and tires. You want to replace the tires with close to the original diameter as reasonable; if you go to wider - and heavier - tires reduce the diameter slightly to make up for the greater weight on your acceleration - aready modest - and mpog. For ecionomy narrower tires are better and of course lighter weight. the wheels you'll look for are same as Honda 4 bolt: 4x100mm and 40 to 45 mm offset. There are lots of choices and check discounttire for choices as well . Choose the tire that fits your needs - for economy, performance, tread life, whatever floats your boat.
    Its nice to have less weight wheels but because they are so close to the axle they don't matter as much as tire weight. Lightweight wheels matter most in racing but little value on the street. cheers.
    Good luck.
     
  10. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    Please research.... the entire steering rack has been readjusted to make the 16" wheels (which have a deeper backspacing) fit and not scrub. If the OP swaps a PC owner that has the 15" wheels he will be fine, but the person with the 15" wheels originally, will have a scrubbing issue. To say there is no real difference when the specs say there is a 6' difference is just wrong... The car is 13.1 ft long, so that is almost half of the car.
     
  11. mahout

    mahout Active Member

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    Lets see, besides mine, we've added 15" alloys to two base Prius c's with no scrubbing problems.If indeed the OEM 16' wheels have a larger offset (deeper backspace) it doesn't matter to us as we reduced the offset to get maximum track width. I got 40mm and the others got 42mm where stock 45mm (memory?). All of us got 195/55x15 hipo tires. While OEM tires, 175/65x15' are 23.9" diameter the 195/55x15's are 23.4" whichs makes up for the added weight of the replacement tire so there's no change in mpg or acceleration. Cornering is way up. Speedometer error is 2% or the speedo reads 61.2 mph at true , or original OEM speed of 60 mph.
    And next week I'll post a video of a Prius C at maximum speed on track.
    As long as you keep the tire centerline within a millimeter or 2 scrubbing is not an issue. The important thing to note is the change in offset compared to the rim width so if the inner edge of the wheel is virtually the same the scrubbing issue - and wheel bearing loading - aren't an issue. If the swapped 16" owner really is concerned add a 1/4" spacer on each wheel and then he has no concern. He's just like OEM 15" wheels. Those spacers cost about $30 at any performance aftermarket retailer.
    Any change in the steering rack ratioto increase steering ratre by increasing the pinion gear to the rack is likely to reduce the travel of the rack because of space limitations so that wheels cannot turn as far with better steering ratio which naturally redults in changes to the turning circle but be asured the increased steering ratio is a worthwhile improvement and an increased turning circle just tysn't ac realistic problem.
    So owners wanting 15 or 16" wheels go without concern. Just rember to keep the tires about 23.75" in diameter. Good hunting.
     
  12. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    I concur with all of this... which is why I said only the 16s would have issues...
     
  13. wmo168

    wmo168 Member

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    I have a PC2 and have a stock 15" Steel wheel with wheel cover, tires has 2000 miles. I am willing to trade your 16" plus some CASH if you willing to shipped. Please PM
     
  14. wmo168

    wmo168 Member

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    I am willing to trade my stock 15" with cash offer for your 16"
     
  15. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    He's probably looking for the Alloys.
     
  16. DKTVAV

    DKTVAV Active Member

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    Is it OK to just change from 15" to 16"?

    Not sure what will be damaged by doing so but they will make the car taller so might suffer the MPG.
     
  17. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    where are you located? I have 15" OEM on my 2009. If your close we could swap and see if there are any issues. do you think rims from a 2009 would fit a prius c and vice versa?
     
  18. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    The 16" tires are lower profile, so the height is negligible... but the wheel spacing on the wheels is deeper, so it may scrub the inner fender.
     
  19. john1113

    john1113 New Member

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    I wish to do the same. Has anyone figured how what modifications on the steering is required?

    Thanks.
     
  20. mahout

    mahout Active Member

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    As long as you change the tire size from 175/65x15 to 195/55x15 or 195/50x16 there will be no problem as long a you tick to offsets from 40 to 45 mm.
     
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