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Discussion Starter #1
Who here has made the shift and what are your impressions? I saw a set of 19" Ford Racing rally style wheels in black that looked just like a pic of a European Ford RS that I fell in love with and first got me thinking of putting an ST in my garage to replace my 540i M-Sport. What's the difference in handling and does it affect the normally stiff yet compliant suspension I so love? And if the 19"ers are a go, where do I get dark blue lug nuts? And now you all know I'm crazy...Aaargh, wish I could figure how to add pictures in these forums!
 

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I went the opposite route and have 17" wheels, which saves me over 20 pounds of unsprung weight. 19" wheels will most likely be heavier. Of course, if you are going to 19" for cosmetic rather than performance reasons, then go with whatever looks best. Tire Rack has a variety of 19s that fit, including the Ford Racing RS wheels. They also have a "View on vehicle" link so you can get a rough idea what they would look like mounted. Here is a link for the 19s...

Tire Rack - Focus ST 19" wheels

Also keep in mind that tires for a 19" wheel will generally cost more than for an 18" or 17" wheel.
 

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The Ford Racing wheels require the Ford Racing lug nuts, which are nothing pretty to look at. IIRC the weight is 28lbs.

If you liked the last gen RS, then you may be familiar with the Team Dynamics Pro Forged wheel which was specifically manufactured for the Focus RS.

FocusRSfittedwithProForged1.jpg

Focus RS on Forged  Pro Race 1.4 (13).jpg

Generally speaking, for wheels of equal weight, same tire model, and same tire diameter, you lose 1" of sidewall going from 18" to 19". The shorter sidewall will be stiffer, increasing impact harshness. The shorter sidewall will also increase turn in, a favorable trait.

Some of the stiff ride can be offset with a taller diameter tire, which increases sidewall spec. As well, a lighter weight wheel, the better the ride as the suspension does not have to work as hard to keep the wheels planted.

When Team Dynamics decided to do this one off (at that time) wheel, they used 19x8.5/5x108/46mm offset wheel w/63.4 hub bore. The stock offset for the GEN2 RS is 60mm. The reason for the lower 46mm offset was to provide clearance for the big brake kits being offered for the RS at the time. The wheel, being forged, and purpose built, weighs only 18.7 lbs. The stock, cast 18x8 ST wheel weighs 25lbs for comparison. Pricing is $1800 a set (a bargain for a forged wheel). PCA has 1 set in stock in matte black if interested.

Team Dynamics also has the Pro Race 1.3 in 19x8.5, and it can be ordered in a wide range of offsets and colors. Weight is listed at 25.4lbs. Pricing is $295each/ $1180 per set + shipping. Pro Race 1.3 wheels come with the correct center bore to fit like stock, without the need for centering rings (same goes for the Pro Forged).

Pro Race 1.3
PR13.jpg
 

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Avoid 19's. Unless you live somewhere with ice sheet smooth roads. The 18's on this car are already a bit thin on sidewalls. I know a guy who has bent 4 wheels of the course of 1 year (normal street driving), and I bent one enough to where I replaced it. 17's are much nicer (I have those for winter).

If you must get 19's make sure you get forged or premium cast wheels. No cheap China crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Avoid 19's. Unless you live somewhere with ice sheet smooth roads. The 18's on this car are already a bit thin on sidewalls. I know a guy who has bent 4 wheels of the course of 1 year (normal street driving), and I bent one enough to where I replaced it. 17's are much nicer (I have those for winter).

If you must get 19's make sure you get forged or premium cast wheels. No cheap China crap.
thanks for the feedback. I'm convinced that I'm going to stick with the 18 inch.
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't go any higher than the stock 18's, which I think are already very low profile. For Michigan winters, I have 16" rims with Michelin Ice-X tires. With all the potholes we have in Michigan at the end of winter, higher profile tires are a must to keep from breaking wheels. Then when all the potholes are filled, I can put my stock 18" wheels back on.
 
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