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EP91 on 13 Inch Steel Rims - any advice / experiences, please?


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New member - been following the forums.  Thanks for all the info, and build stories.

Have just acquired an EP91 1997 stock standard 5 door in manual.  Runs great - nippy little car.  I'm in NZ and, surprisingly, I'm struggling to find a set of suitable used 14 inch alloys to upgrade the skinny little 155/80R13 tyres it came with.  It passed through it's WOF (MOT to others) but one rear tyre was marginal tread at 2mm (replace ASAP noted).  The fronts look new.

So anyway, it seems like 14 inch (185/60R14) is the way to go, to keep a bit of comfort, and get a bit more rubber on the road.  Our daughter is going to learn to drive in this car, so want it pretty stock for now, just safer, and a bit more fun.  City roads are ok here, but out in the wilds they can be pretty "primitive".

It's winter here, and cold and rainy, so not so keen to drive it as is (back slid out a bit once already). So in the absence of finding decent used 14 inch rims that will fit  (new ones will cost the same as the car and prolly get kerbed on the first day LOL) I'm considering just sticking on a full new set of tyres on the steel 13s.

Really would appreciate any feedback from you guys.  Quality new 13 & 14 inch tyres, from major manufacturers, are plentiful here BTW.  I'm considering 175/70R13  BF Goodrich Advantage or Yokohama Blue Earth - nothing too sporty just safe and good for a learner in the rain and on hilly and twisty B roads.  This size will keep the speedo accurate etc.

Wondering if anyone could please chip in regarding keeping 13 inch wheels(and what size I can get away with etc.) or should I just leave it until sommit in 14 inch turns up?  Buyers remorse sucks.....

Thanks again (sorry for the long boring post - I hope to soon enthrall you all with the exciting tale of a slight lowering to get rid of the unsightly wheel arch gap, and a sound system!)

Cheers and thanks for any advice,



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Peter, you've probably upgraded the wheels on your Starlet. But if not, try and get a good set from a breakers that is from another Toyota. The bolt pattern is 4X100 and a set of 14's or 15's from a later Toyota should fit.

Hope this helps

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the tip, jeffrosie,

I did go ahead and get 175/70R13 BF Goodrich x 4 put on the original steel rims as I couldn't wait due to winter conditions.  Great improvement wet and dry.  I'm looking for suitable 13 inch alloys right now.  They seem scarce.  Plenty of tyre options but not much there for 13 inch rims in alloy.  Seems the base models of most cars that will fit had the 13 inch rims, and these were steel.  14 inch+ in alloy appears common on the later and fancier models.  

There are loads of 14 /15/ 16 rims for cheap here, but I actually think I'm happy with the ride on the 13s, and wouldn't want it any harsher as it's not really that soft and seems about right to me for our conditions here.  I really don't want to increase the unsprung weight and push the rotational weight further out, with larger rims and tyres, as it's a pretty gutless car already.

An issue I'm finding is the getting offset correct and PCD.  Seems I only have a few mm each way from (what the internet tells me) the standard offset of 39.  The common rims I'm seeing available here are 35 & 45 and this buggers up the scrub radius.

Goes anyone know if 13 inch alloys will actually provide much of a weight saving over the OEM steel rims?  Perhaps I should leave it, as is, and the money might be better spent elsewhere?  I do check the local trading site but I'd be ****** off to buy a new set of alloys that were actually heavier!  Difficult information to get from sellers.

Any input greatly appreciated.  It would be nice to get rid of a bit of that arch gap too one day.  My goal here is to keep it pretty standard but make improvements where I can.

Is Castrol 10W-40 Magnatech suitable?  (Castrol website recommended this to me).  Engine has 107,000 km and goes well.  I have no idea what oil is in it now and no way to find out.

Thanks again,



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