86: Wheels, Tyres & Suspension

First things first. Before I made the decision to buy a new 86 I did some research on wheel specs, height specs and optimal tyre sizes, then went looking to see what was out there. These were the first and, well, the only option. As soon as I had signed the contract for the car I snapped them up.

As much as possible, I want to use genuine Japanese parts on this car. So obviously I had a no knockoffs policy when it came to wheel selection. Not because there’s anything inherently wrong with knockoffs – they have their place – but I feel like a car as beautifully engineered as the 86 deserves parts that meet that standard. I also didn’t want anything too heavy that would compromise the amazing handling or drain the meagre power supplies of the 86. So I picked these. A set of lightly used Work XSA 02Cs in “burning black” finish. Sizes are 18×8 +38 front, 18×8.5 +30 rear. Fitment will be nothing crazy, but that’s exactly what I want. Neat and flush without being overly aggressive or attention seeking.

The wheels are in nice condition – all the centrecaps are in place and there’s almost no gutter rash. Putting rough, ratty wheels on a new car would be a travesty.

I love Work wheels – the workmanship and design is always top notch. The coolest feature of the XSA 02C in my opinion is the embossed Work logos in the centres. It’s stuff like that you just don’t get in knockoff or generic wheels and what I’m trying to achieve with this car is that the small details will be what sets it apart. Not big, broad-brush things like excessively low ride height or wild fitment. So it’s genuine all the way.

The most important thing with modifying this car is making sure it still drives well. No point taking a car that’s been engineered to handle brilliantly and then sitting it on a set of Triangle Talons. The Advan Neova AD07s that came fitted to the wheels should do very nicely indeed… Despite the staggered wheel sizes the tyres are 225/40 all around, which is something I was looking for. The car has been set up for square tyre sizes and I didn’t want to upset the balance.

The valve caps are brilliantly Japanese. It’s worth noting that judging by the rubber pickup on the tyres these wheels did at least one track day sporting these caps…

The other thing I grabbed from Japanese Import Spares with the wheels was a set of RS*R Super Down lowering springs. These should give me a 25-30mm drop, and with a stock ground clearance of 130mm that sounds about perfect to me. Should hopefully strike that balance between good looks, improved handling and legality. I’ll probably go to a set of coilovers once the stock shocks wear out, but for now these will be perfect. And at $350, they’re about $1300 less than a set of decent coilovers.

Before instagram a photo that came out with lighting and depth of field like this would have been a bit of an achievement…

Anyway with the biggest, most important purchase out of the way the parts acquisition process rolls on. I’m hoping to take delivery of a few more parts next week, and this is just the beginning.

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