whoiswholeaf
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Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 315584

Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:25 pm

Been reading all the posts on this forum on the effects of changing the wheels on the leaf since I wanted to upgrade from the stock 17" wheels on the 2015 SL to a 18" wheel. I saw most people said that there would be about a 10% hit to efficiency. So I tried to look for the lightest options for an 18" wheel. The Enkei RP01 was pretty light (17.6lb) in the 18x7.5 with a 48 offset but did not care for the lip which makes the overall wheel look smaller. Then I found TSW and they had some wheels that were roll forged which makes them strong and light, I finally picked the TSW Nurburgring in a 18x7.5 with at 45 offset which is 18lbs, just slightly heavier then the RP01. My goal was to keep the wheel and tire combo as light as possible. The Michelin tires 225/45-18 I chose were 24lb and with the TSW wheel totaled 42lb compared to the original wheel and tires at 47lb, a weight reduction of 5lb at each corner. I ordered the wheels 2 weeks ago from Americas tire and had them installed, they installed one rear wheel and it looked great but when they installed the front wheel, the wheel cleared the brake caliber but the drive shaft end stuck out to far and the center cap would not fit. Most of the posts warns about not clearing the caliper but nothing about the drive shaft end sticks out pretty far out. Luckily since it really did not fit correctly they called TSW and they said that the 18x8 with a 35 offset would fit with no problems at all and order replacement wheels. The only reason originally I did not want to get the wider wheel was that it was 1lb heavier and the 35 offset would push the wheel to the very edge of the fender which was a concern since I was going to lower the car and did not want any issues with rubbing. So 1 week later I went back and got the new set installed and it looked great, but my concern was correct. The wheel was flush with the fender, which does look great and aggressive but a big concern with rubbing if lowered. Car handled better with a bit more road feel, but the ultimate issue (impact to efficiency). I drove the car for a week now and I do see about 5-10% impact to overall efficiency even though the wheel and tire were 4lb lighter at each corner. I thought the roll forging of the this wheel would help reduce the outer weight of the rim and not impact efficiency. Maybe it could be the aerodynamics of the wheel and tire just sticking out just a bit from the front bumper, who knows. Oh well, I still love the look and can live with a little less range with my commute and be able to charge.

Part two of this upgrade, the coilovers. There were not very many choices out there, most I saw on the posts showed springs and coilovers bought directly from Japan which I did not want to do. Luckily there was one manufacture that offered coilovers (Megan Racing). Granted they look like copies of the Blitz coilovers, only difference is the color of the parts, Blue vs. Red for Blitz. The quality is pretty good, the instructions were a bit lacking. But since I have worked on cars in the past it was not too difficult at all. I installed the coilovers straight out of the box with no adjustment to height. The rear was lowered with about a 2 finger gap, but the front for some reason had a 4 finger gap, compared to original was about a 3 finger gap all around. Went for a quick drive and no issues with rubbing of any sort and the ride was a bit firm but not harsh. Went back home and had to adjust the front shock bodies but had to do a trial and error about 4 times of adjustment, installing the wheel, lower the car, and jacking it back up again. At least that was on one side, the other side I just had to do trial and error twice since I took the measurement from the other side. The car looked great with about a 2 finger gap all around, now the ultimate issue with lowering the car that far, rubbing!! Took the car out for a spin, had good clearance with the bumper to the road going down my driveway (plus 1), went around 2 miles and no rubbing at all. Did not really find any bad roads to really test it out but so far so good. Came back home and inspected everything and it looked like the front wheels of course had more negative camber due to being lowered (expected), maybe that helps out with the rubbing issue. But because I want everything to be aligned correctly I also bought a set of Eibach camber bolts for the front and went back in and installed the camber bolts. I thought I was just setting them to a neutral position so that I had them installed before I go get an alignment which then the camber can be adjusted on the rack. But to my surprise after installing the camber bolts I got lucky and it looks like I actually corrected the negative camber and both wheels were like back to 0 degrees camber (plus 2). Of course this is just eyeballing it, but for sure better than earlier. Now the front wheels are perfectly straight again and just flush with the fender, looks great but does it rub?? Took the car out again for another spin and a longer one this time and found some bumpy roads. Surprising, no rubbing at all!!! I really got lucky, great aggressive look and no rubbing issues (plus 3). The ride is a bit firmer and can feel the bigger dips and bumps, will just have to be a little more careful going over big bumps now. And the front the front bumper still has good clearance with parking blocks still.

Final note, the new set of wheels and tires were a total of 16lbs less and the coilovers were actually 6lbs lighter than the factory suspension, thats a total of 22lbs less weight with an improvement to the looks and better handling. Now gotta get the alignment and drive my commute for a week to see if the efficiency got better or even worse now.

Before pic
Rear view before.jpeg


After pic
Rear view after.jpeg


After side pic
Final Results outside.jpeg
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User avatar
jhm614
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:48 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000493
Location: Arlington, TX

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:33 am

Thanks for the writeup. Great looking wheels and the drop looks good, too!
2011 Brilliant Silver SL - 105,000 gasoline free miles so far.
4BL: 06/29/13 @ 27 months, 43,520 miles, 42.56 Ahr. New 12 bar battery: 09/09/13
4BLx2:12/31/16 @ 69 months, 99,475 miles, 42.99 Ahr.

User avatar
1932highboy
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:13 pm
Delivery Date: 05 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1112
Location: Texas

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:29 am

Nice write up. Car looks great. How much were the Megan coil overs? Around $800?
7 KW array

whoiswholeaf
Gold Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 315584

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:42 pm

The MSRP for the coilovers directly from Megan is $899, on ebay they were going for $749 but there was one that allowed a best offer and just tried $700 and it automatically accepted my bid, so with tax within CA came out to about $760 or so. Now I wish I maybe should of went lower.

But I think it was still a good price for coilovers. And I bought it on a Friday afternoon and thought it was going to maybe arrive the following mid week or so, but it actually arrived that Monday. Super fast.

Coilovers out of the box
Coilovers unboxed.jpeg


Front Coilovers
New n old Front Shock.jpeg


Rear Springs
Rear Spring comparison.jpeg
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whoiswholeaf
Gold Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 315584

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:07 pm

Here are some install pics.

Front
Front Shocks adjusted.jpeg


Rear
Rear spring n shock.jpeg

File_006.jpeg


Minor update: I've been tweaking the setup just because it was bugging me that the driver side rear was just a tad higher than the passenger rear. Took the springs out and readjusted them and luckily I did, I found that a plastic insulator was installed upside down and was a little deformed. But reinstalled it and the weight of the car should flatten it back to normal. Of course I couldn't stop there, I adjusted the front again and lowered it just a bit more and now its a finger gap and the rear has about a 2 finger gap. I still have the difference between the left and right rear. It's about a 1/4 difference between the two sides. But the springs were adjusted exactly between side to side for the fronts and back respectively. Just not sure why one side is just a bit higher?? I will just have to let that go, can't really tell by the naked eye unless you're looking for it.

BTW, since I lowered the front just a bit more I took it for a quick spin again and tried a hard turn at a higher speed and went through a slight dip where the water flows and the front did rub a little. I guess I don't need to make turns that fast normally anyways. Will have to see if the alignment will help or make any difference. Still need to figure out if the rear camber can be adjusted. Now that I dialed everything in, I am getting a rattle when going over small imperfections in the road, I double checked everything and everything is tight. Not really sure if its coming from the suspension or the firmness of the suspension is bringing out the rattles on this car. Will have to track it down or else it will annoy me.
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whoiswholeaf
Gold Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 315584

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:58 pm

Had the alignment done this morning and of course it was out, mainly the toe. The front camber of car was actually within spec, I got lucky when I installed the camber bolts and eyeballed the camber. The camber was about -0.2 and -0.5 and after the toe adjustment the final camber results were -0.3 and -0.4. They did not adjust the rear at all for toe or camber, I asked and the tech said there is no adjustment for the rear. The paperwork shows that the camber for the rear is -1.4 and -1.1 which from the naked eye I can see it was tucked inward. Now the question is, can the rear camber be adjusted?? I saw on tirerack that they sell rear camber bolts to adjust the camber, just not sure which bolt you replace to add to adjust the camber. I would like to get the rear camber as close to zero as possible, at least closer to like what I have for the front camber.

BTW, now that I got the alignment it seems like the car is driving more smoothly and it feels like it actually might be a little faster and a little more efficient. Now this is just more of feeling by the seat of my pants right now. Would the toe being out cause such a big difference in efficiency? I guess time will tell when I go back to work and see what I really get on my commute to work.

Alignment
Alignment.jpeg


Results
Alignment Results.jpeg
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HaoleBilt
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:46 pm

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:29 am

Great write up! Any chance to see if you pick up any efficiency?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 6940
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:48 am

Any increase in efficiency would likely be mostly from the reduced drag at the wheel wells.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

EL82XXX
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:24 pm
Delivery Date: 19 Nov 2015
Leaf Number: 027331

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:41 pm

Car looks amazing! Can't wait to get my coilovers I went whit Bc-Racing I think those are the same as Megan's. Have read that somewhere. I will run 8,5x17front and 10x17 rear with stock Dunlop ecopias 215-50-17. Pic of my car here she is lowerd whit Twin 30-30mm spring and stock shocks to Mutch wheel gap! [img][/<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s290.photobucket.com/user/oah_2008/embed/story"></iframe>]

whoiswholeaf
Gold Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 315584

Re: Installed TSW 18" Rims and Megan Coilovers

Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:16 pm

Thanks

I thought about going 8.5 on the wheels but was worried that there was no protection for the wheel with a 225 wide tire. Even now withe 225 on 8" wheels, its flush to the wheel. I would think 8.5 wheel would stretch the 225 wide tires. If your going with 8.5" and even 10"
wide rear wheels with 215 tires not sure if the tire would fit. Even with what I have now, the car follows the groves on the freeway, going with a wider rim on small tires I think would make it worse.

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