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$1000-$1500 Budget - Which Ls400 Tire/wheel Combo?


Big Iron
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I'm looking for a set of either 18 or 19 inch wheels and tires for my
black/tan 1999 LS400. I have a budget of around $1000-$1500, though I'd
like to stay at the lower end of the range. Living in the Pacific
Northwest, but liking to get on it once in a while, I need a performance
tire which will do well in the rain.

Which tire/wheel combo would you go with?

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Two choices:

1. Shop locally for tires and wheels in your price range -- may need to come from different sources, including possible used OEM wheels that might meet your objectives.

2. Go to Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com?) and look for combinations you like. You get help on-line or by phone. Tire rack will ship the tires, mounted and balanced, and all you need to do is put 'em on. I'm guessing the cheapest wheel you'll find is about $150 - $200 (so $600 - $800 for the wheels, and a like amount for tires. With luck, you might come up with a pkg around $1200 plus shipping. Read the tests and user reviews on the tires, remembering to discount the most radically dissatisfied and the fanatically fervent.

Make sure that any wheel larger in circumference than the OEM will fit in the wheel well, and no interference with front fenders when turning. Generally speaking, going up in wheel size means commensurate reduction in tire aspect ratio to match the original fit.

Given that Lexus does a good job of matching wheel and tire configurations, you might want to stick to OEM size wheels and invest in a good all-season performance tire such as the Continental DWS. That would probably be my choice.

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Hi Joe and welcome to the LOC.

Some of the members have found good deals on wheels from e-bay. But like Stephan said , buying your tires locally so you can get up close and personal with the product is always the best way to evaluate the quality of the product.

More and more, in a move to stay competitive, several dealers, including mine, will price match your tire when shown a written quote from another tire retailer. I have done this two times and felt I got a much better deal, and Lexus technicians to recommend what make, size and wheel well clearance stats would be best.

Just an aside; Some folks believe that Lexus dealers are consistently higher than almost any other source. As for me, I have never experienced that type of attitude. However, I am not a candidate for DIY so I check around for the best price knowing I'm going to pay premium for labor.

Let us know how things go,

Paul

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I want to reinforce my caveat on going up on wheel size. It appears the car in question was delivered with 16" tires and wheels. I am not sure if there was a factory option for larger, but if there was, I'd be surprised if it exceeded 17". To go to 18" or 19" is a pretty big jump, and the tire to fit will likely have to go to a 50 aspect ratio or less.

Lexus engineers put a lot of time into designing the suspension and matching the wheel and tire size.

When dramatically changing tire and wheel size, everything is affected: ride, handling, emergency maneuvers, steering feel, possibly braking. If the OEM circumference is maintained, the effect is probably minimal, but the smaller aspect ratio will likely mean a harder ride, and it will affect steering and slip angles. Substantially wider wheels can increase wheel-bearing loads if the OEM offset is not maintained.

My counsel to anybody contemplating such as change is: be careful and beware.

From 16" to 17" is probably a safe upgrade. Larger? Maybe more negatives than positives -- and cost goes up.

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