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2000 Impreza 2.2L
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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a used 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.2L sedan for my 3 kids to share.

This model has steel rims with plastic hub caps. The wheels look fine, and overall the car handles great in this configuration. However, I spotted a CraigsList ad for a set of really nice Impreza 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels from that same period. The guy wanted $200 USD but I offered $150.



Not only would these rims ad some bling to the car, but based on what I've read alloy wheels tend to be a little more performant compared to steel rims. I've also read that they dissapate heat from the brakes better, so this also helps brake longevity.

What's the conventional thinking on steel rims versus alloy rims?
 

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'04 PSM WRX Premium
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8,339 Posts
Alloys just look much better.

Dissipate heat... yea, in extreme racing circumstances. Longevity... doubt it.

Basically, just looks and more steelies aren't 17+ inches.
 

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'99 Impreza Outback Sport
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378 Posts
From what I remember the steelies tend to be a little lighter in weight than most Subaru alloys. Personally I just like the look of the alloys better than steelies. Which is mostly why I got mine. The other thing is if they are OEM they tend to add a little value to the care.

For that price I'd say get them and put some good all seasons on them. You could get into the whole summer/winter vs all season tire battle at this point. It is more expensive and if this is gunna be a car for your kids, you are looking at commuting and not really performance. I have a set of Bridgestone Potenza Grids and they have treated me great for the last year. I've had them in everything from deep snow and ice to good summer drive.
 

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2000 Impreza 2.2L
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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I am an All-Season tire guy myself, and the car currently has All-Season tires on it. So my plan was to just swap the current 15" tires on to the 15" rims.

I do agree that cars look *SO* much nicer with alloys. The ones I'm looking at already have some minor curb rash, so it's not as if I'd be installing mint alloys.

Are OEM Impreza 15" alloys hard to find on CraigsList, especially in the $200 range for a set of 4 rims? If so, I'm almost tempted to buy them now and just keep 'em in the garage until the kids are a little more experienced w/ the car. Only problem is that my wife doesn't want me keeping more unused crap in the garage.

:facepalm:
 

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'99 Impreza Outback Sport
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378 Posts
15s aren't too hard to find. I managed to get mine with decent tires for 175, a set legacy 15" 5 spokes. They're around just have to look hard enough
 

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I kill threads!
2000 Ver 6 STI - 1996 Gravel Express
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3,749 Posts
You could also just get the WRX 16" alloys. It's helps the handling a little bit. More solid wheel, less squishy tire. You'll find some good deals on them. I know I sold mine for $400 with tires that had less than 1000 miles on them. I essentially just sold the tires with free wheels. This is pretty common with the WRX 16" alloys.
 

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needs more cowbell
95L, 07 2.5i, R6
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9,315 Posts
If the car is for your kids to "share" I would get the steel wheels. You don't want to be trying to find another match to those alloys when they curb or pothole them. The performance benefit of the alloy wheels will be negligible unless you are utilizing larger brakes and lower profile wider performance oriented tires. I would run normal all season tires on 16" steel wheels so at least they look a little larger which helps the look of the car.
 

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2000 Impreza 2.2L
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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It's a moot point now. Just heard back from the seller, and the rims were sold this weekend.

So that's makes my decision easy: I'll stick with steelies for now, and in a few years I'll restart my quest for some nice 15" OEM Impreza alloys.

And if I *really* want these "on the cheap" NOW, I can also spring for the following set of plastic wheel covers on eBay:



Auction:

15" Set of 4 New Hub Caps Full Wheel Covers Rim Cover Wheels Rims Free Shipping | eBay
 

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'99 Impreza Outback Sport
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378 Posts
I would say just leave the hub caps off. All that happened for me was they fell of and disappeared. Give the kids some money for some rattle can or plastidip and let them have fun with the steelies. They can make them some fun color or at least a fresh coat of black.

Use a deck of cards with the cards placed inbetween the tire and rim if you do paint the wheel. This protects the tire.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I kill threads!
2000 Ver 6 STI - 1996 Gravel Express
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3,749 Posts
Ya, I'd just lose the hubcaps. I demolished mine.
 

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GF OBS-T, GM RS EJ20, SF EJ20
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From what I remember the steelies tend to be a little lighter in weight than most Subaru alloys. Personally I just like the look of the alloys better than steelies. Which is mostly why I got mine. The other thing is if they are OEM they tend to add a little value to the car
Subaru 15" steel wheels off of my 1999 Impreza OBS weighed in at 20 lbs each, while most Subaru alloys are in the 15lb range (98 outback 6 spokes by enkei are 15 lbs a piece).
If you run hubcaps figure on an extra 2 lbs for the set of 4...

So you have a total loss of about 20 pounds of rotating weight overall which may not be enough of a loss for some folks to feel but you'd beat a steel wheeled exact version of your car every time in a race...

Alloy PROs
- help dissipate heat from the brake rotors better than steel wheels
- lighter weight = better acceleration, braking, & mpgs (extreme changes easy to feel)
 

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the hard way
1972 240Z
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10,462 Posts
yeah the real benefit is aluminum alloy are lighter and sometimes steel wheels are only lug centric. you should certainly be able to find some for $200 range, id say theres an equal chance theyd be 16s though (ie the regular wrx split 5 spoke wheels krotch mentioned are super common). pretty much any subaru wheel you find in that price range will fit (as long as its not for an STi).
 
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