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MG MGB Technical - 15' wire wheel upgrade

Any thoughts or experience going "Plus 1" by replacing 14" 60 spokes with 15" 72 spokes and 185/65-15 rubber? Overall diameter stays the same as stock 165-14 but you get a wider (and stiffer?) wheel and better rubber (and easier to find!). I'd love feedback from anyone who's gone this route. The "look" should be ok as this was the stock MGC wheel.
m odernheimer


My car has the wheels and tires you might buy.
IMHO, they look great (the car looks a bit more tough, in a very subtle way - some people don't even notice the difference))
You will need to put a bit more force on the steering wheel at very low speeds (parking etc), but that difference is not as large as you might suspect.
Rubber should indeed be easier to find as you say.

The car will feel 'tighter' on bends, but this can probably be a combination of stiffer wheels and of course, the difference between old, used and new wheels.


Alexander M

I have done this, replacing my stock wheels with 175/70R14 tires. I installed 15" x 5.5" x 72-spoke wires with 195/60R15 Michelin Pilot tires. When I did this I also installed Superflex bushings to prevent body sway and therefore tire rub. The difference is astounding! Handling is far more crisp and traction is better. Braking is better as well. There is very slightly more steering effort, mostly at low speeds. The ride is a bit more harsh due to the heavier wheels but the wide tires do help to smooth the bumps a bit. Dayton just released an aluminum-rimmed wire wheel that costs only slightly more than a chrome wheel. If you like the looks of aluminum rims you may want to check that out. Or you can paint them if you dare!

For photos of my wheels and tires go here:
Steve Simmons

I am going to 15 inch wheels (not wires though). You certainly do get a much better choice in tyres. I had to get some for my standard 14 inch wires before and was pretty limited for choice.
Simon Jansen

Steve, you state that Dayton has released an aluminum-rimmed wire wheel. Can you tell us a little more about that? I visited Dayton's site but didn't see what you describe.
Dana Wilson

I have a B/GT with 15" 72 spoke Dayton chrome wires. They are mounted wih Michelin 195 Pilots. They work very well, there is no rubbing and handle great. I get comments everywhere I take the car as to how nice the wheels seems to really look the perfect match for the GT. I have never noticed any flex on cornering but have read that the advantage of Miinilties over the Wires is in the flex...stick with the 72 spoke. The Datyons are tubeless which is also a very nice feature.
Thomas Koch

Minilites are stiffer than the stock 60-spoke wheels, but not very much stiffer than a 72-spoke wire wheel.

Dana, here is a [large] photo of the new Dayton aluminum-rimmed wire wheel:
Steve Simmons

I am running 4.5x15 60 spoke wires on my 67B. They are AH3000 wheels I believe. I am using 165/15 rubber on them and I have been amazed how much nicer the car became. I cant really say why but the ride and handling seems better. I also think the larger wires and a better visual 'fit' on the body. I am going to try and find 15" bolt on wheels for my new 73 GT as well.
Carl W French

I've been running the Dayton 15" 72-spoke wire wheels with P195/60R15 Michelin tires for quite some time now. They somehow look better inside the wheelwells than the old 14" wheels with their obsolete tall sidewall tires. On smooth roads the more modern tires ride smoother, and on very rough roads the increased unsprung weight does make for a bit rougher ride, but its nothing that you won't get so you no longer notice after a couple of days of driving. The increase in wheel strength is considerable and makes for a more secure feeling when under high cornering loads. As Steve Simmons pointed out, steering effort is increased a bit at low speeds, but you'll adapt to that quickly, too. The improvement in handling and braking is more than worth it. I can't see why anybody replacing their corroded old 14" wire wheels wouldn't go this route unless they're just committed to "Originality".
Steve S.

Does the increased steering effort come from the rim upgrade? It seems more likely that it would come from the increased tread width, no matter what the overall height or wheel weight is? I suspect the same would happen with a tire upgrade on the 14" rims. Anyone else experience this?
Jeff Schlemmer

Yes, the biggest cause of increased steering effort is a wider tire. However the lower profile tire on the 15" wheel is going to be stiffer which will also cause an increase in effort. On a tall tire there will always be "tire twist", allowing the wheels to turn a bit more before the tire itself turns. At a stop this can be easily confused as lighter steering. As soon as the car begins to roll the tire will catch up and you'll never notice the difference. But the added effort of the low-profile tire is more than offset by sharper handling.
Steve Simmons

Thanks for all the input. Seems like it's a no-brainer, especially since the increased wheel cost is more than offset by the cheaper tire cost. Now, are there any secret places to get new hubs less expensively than the normal Moss/Vic Brit/Roadster factory sources? Don't want to put new wheels on worn hubs!
m odernheimer

Keep an eye on eBay, sometimes they pop up there. I got a few hubs there in the past. One of them was OEM NOS MGA!
Steve Simmons


I have also been considering changing my old 14"s for 15"s. The problem is can I get them readily for my MkII, which has the single pin hubs?

Also I noticed most of you guys are in the states . . . any idea where I can get a set over here?

OT Hayter

you can use MGC wheels (15x5.5) and fit them on your B hubs (provided the hubs are still in very good condition).
For the classic look you could use the Vredestein Sprint Classic tires (185/70R15), they're the standard tire for Jaguar XK races. I have them on my C and like them a lot.
If modern tires are more your thing, the choice is almost endless.
Rufus Pool

The 15" and 14" wire wheels use the same hubs, so the wheels are fully interchangable, no problem. As for sourcing the wheels, Moss Motors should have them.
Steve S.

Steve Simmons: thanks for the picture. Can you tell me the model number of that wheel?
Dana Wilson

The photo of my wheels or the Dayton wheel? I don't know the model number of the Dayton wheel but if you contact Richard Cutright at Dayton he can give you more information.

If you meant my wheels, I believe they are Dunlop 457C. Dayton builds a better wheel, imho, but due to a long story I had to get them from Moss, who only sells Dunlop. Dayton also does not offer a 5.5" rims from what I understand but they do offer 5" and 6". 15x5x72-spoke was a standard MGC wheel and would be very appropriate for a B with a 185 tire. If you want to go with 195 or wider tires I would recommend a 5.5" to 6" rim.

Steve Simmons

Steve, yes I was asking for the part number for the Dayton wire wheel with the aluminum rim. I corresponded with Mr. Cutright about a month ago and he told me that while an aluminum rimmed wire wheel was on it's way, it was not yet for sale and he could not tell me when it would be.
Dana Wilson

Steve S., thanks for the info i will look them up
OT Hayter

This thread was discussed between 21/11/2004 and 26/11/2004

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