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Expert advice on aftermarket wheels | separating truth from hype | Articles

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Ok. Now tell us about the cheap wheels we can afford. cheeky


te72


te72


New Reader


1/31/18 12:29 a.m.

Have had a set of XXR 527 on the Supra for a couple years now. Haven’t hit anything, so I can’t comment on strength in that regard. Last I checked, you’re not supposed to hit things anyway?

 

As far as satisfaction goes, they’re reasonably light for the size, and were reasonably priced as well. Doesn’t hurt that they look good and came with blank centercaps so I can put hello kitty stickers on them.

In reply to te72 :

So, how have they faired for auto sport use? This is where the rumors, horror stories, and the “buy name brand” stories foment. 

Owning a set of Forgelines is on my bucket list. But spending more on a set of wheels than I did on the vehicle is a tough pill to swallow.

When I worked at Firestone we had a customer with knock off China te37 on a 370z. Came in complaining of a tire balance issue and we noticed half the spokes were cracked all the way through on his back wheels. He got lucky. Absolute disaster waiting to happen. Totally turned me off even the thought of off brand eBay wheels. 


Rodan


Rodan


Reader


1/31/18 6:28 a.m.

STM317 said:

Owning a set of Forgelines is on my bucket list. But spending more on a set of wheels than I did on the vehicle is a tough pill to swallow.

With what I paid for my track Miata, almost everything cost more than the car did! cheeky

There are a lot of wheel brands out there — is anyone keeping a list of reputable makers of affordable flow formed / rotary forged wheels?

We have Rota RB25’s on our MGB. I have been totally satisfied. Thirteen pounds for 15×6. Totally straight out of the box. I have accidently hit bumps and potholes that physically hurt and thought for sure that it would have damaged the wheels. But they just take the hit and keep on going. 

I think it’s important to realize that if you’re tracking your car or putting heavy loads on it, any wheel is eventually going to break or crack. And jut the right hit will do the same for any wheel too. The lighter your wheels the more risky this becomes.

nderwater said:

There are a lot of wheel brands out there — is anyone keeping a list of reputable makers of affordable flow formed / rotary forged wheels?

Basically everything “affordable” that isn’t super heavy is flow formed now. And there are plenty. 

REAL forged wheels are horrifically expensive. Typically $700+ per wheel.

Trackmouse said:

Ok. Now tell us about the cheap wheels we can afford. cheeky

For what fitment?

Seems to me if you drive anything that is autocross/tracked frequently, there are a ton of cheap options out there.  I usually start with TRM wheels because that is pretty much the target:  cheap, light, motorsports oriented.

Now if only their 15×8 Miata wheels had a higher offset…

Unfortunately, I read this article as a series of “buy me” pitches from the vendors.  Except for the TR explanation, I learned little.  I doubt that GRM has the resources for exhaustive race testing of the durability of wheels but if the readership can be reasonably objective the wisdom of the crowd might offer some decent direction.  A general and widespread survey of race hours for various wheel types might point to a vendor or manufacturing process that provides the best value.  i.e good grass roots data analysis might provide some illuminating results…  

The breytons on the e46 have held up to absurdly bad roads with what I’d consider rubber band tires 35 series in the rear). Had them refinished about a year ago. Well worth the $450 the refinishing cost. Rears needed a ton of weight to balance but now it’s barely any. To be fair, I’m pretty sure they are at least 10 years old and have had a hard life. 

I’m having a hell of a time figuring out what the bolt patterns are for TR motorsports wheels. There are several in five lug (in the pictures anyway) but I can’t find the numbers. I know TR wants me to shop by vehichicle, but sometimes I want to look at wheels “off label” if you will. 

Yeah, you can’t really do that easily.

 

What pattern are you looking for?

In reply to mazdeuce – Seth :

You can call them or use the chat thing on the website and they will search by wheel specs for you- it’s annoying that the site itself doesn’t have that function, but it is available if you get a hold of a person who works there.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I hate talking to real people so much……

In reply to ProDarwin :

5×114.3. Accord offset, whatever that is. I’m not completely sold on the idea of getting brand new wheels for the car, but the prices on TR wheels make them hardly more expensive than used ones around here. 

Ah.  Search for a WRX STI, S2000, NC Miata, or RX8.  They make pretty solid fitments for all of those.  Not sure what would work best on the Accord, but my gut says NC Miata is in the right range.

What about prolonged use on-track and developing stress fractures?

Also, don’t powder-coat your aluminum wheels, or you’ll know a lot about stress fractures very soon.

I tend to keep oem wheels on a car unless I can afford to pay for the good stuff.  I have no issue buying the high-end stuff used. 

My favorite brands are hre, ssr, oz, enkei, work, old school ronals, competitive.

I think Mercedes makes the best looking wheels especially some amg wheels. 

mazdeuce – Seth said:

I’m having a hell of a time figuring out what the bolt patterns are for TR motorsports wheels. There are several in five lug (in the pictures anyway) but I can’t find the numbers. I know TR wants me to shop by vehichicle, but sometimes I want to look at wheels “off label” if you will. 

My understanding is that TR got tired of dealing with returns/exchanges from people selecting wheels and not knowing wtf they’re doing doing. And naturally blaming TR for it. I can understand why they took the no-vehicle wheel shopping away.


8valve


8valve


New Reader


1/31/18 1:10 p.m.

The flexibility/stiffness part I find interesting.. other qualities are pretty straightforward and easily measurable.  Is there any industry standard for comparing it?

Austincrx said:

What about prolonged use on-track and developing stress fractures?

Also, don’t powder-coat your aluminum wheels, or you’ll know a lot about stress fractures very soon.

Wheels, when used for HPDE/Racing, are a wear item. And should be frequently inspected for hairline cracks/fractures. 

How about a set of 15×7, in 4×114.3 and ALSO in 5×114.3. Oh, and zero offset. 

In reply to Trackmouse :

Enkei Compe comes in both of those bolt patterns, 15×7, 0 offset.

Ok, what about 15×9 or 15×10, 4×114.3, offset 20-40?

In reply to ProDarwin :

What’s the budget?  JNC wheels if you’re cheap and willing to try a less reputable company.

If willing to spend more: Ultralite UL10 

More than that? Work, Volk, SSR, Compomotive, Braid, lots of expensive options

 

EDIT: Aero 55 Series if price is more important than weight

Its hard to beat the OEM’s at their own game. Figure at least three times to the cost of a replacement ORM to do better then they did. 

Unless you want ugly and wide, then you call Kodiak.   

You want pretty and wide you call HRE.   

You want extra wide and extra light and crazy $$$$$ you go BBS.   


84FSP


84FSP


SuperDork


1/31/18 2:44 p.m.

Outside of TR I’ve been impressed (almost bought many times) from Good-Win racing’s site.  They had a nice selection of affordable flow formed stuff.

Good-Win Wheels


Mndsm


Mndsm


MegaDork


1/31/18 2:46 p.m.

I had a set of rota dpts on my ms3. They were one of three sets I could find in the (then) oddball size 17×9+42. They were the only one that was less than a 3 month mortgage payment. I slammed a curb pretty hard once, and they took the hit. No problems since. 


Mndsm


Mndsm


MegaDork


1/31/18 2:47 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce – Seth :

What bolt pattern you want? I generally cheat and pretend I own either a Subaru or an e.g. hatch to get what I want. 

wearymicrobe said:

Its hard to beat the OEM’s at their own game. Figure at least three times to the cost of a replacement ORM to do better then they did. 

Unless you want ugly and wide, then you call Kodiak.   

You want pretty and wide you call HRE.   

You want extra wide and extra light and crazy $$$$$ you go BBS.   

What BBS? Most don’t seem to be that light compared to competitors (maybe motorsports stuff we can’t get?)

They don’t do that many custom options, from what I’ve seen, and in general, 3 piece wheels wheels are heavier.

For the reasons mentioned I like finding used OE wheels in the size/offset/look that I want but it’s not easy. It would be cool if there were a master cross reference somewhere for critical dimensions on OE wheels.  

z31maniac said:

wearymicrobe said:

Its hard to beat the OEM’s at their own game. Figure at least three times to the cost of a replacement ORM to do better then they did. 

Unless you want ugly and wide, then you call Kodiak.   

You want pretty and wide you call HRE.   

You want extra wide and extra light and crazy $$$$$ you go BBS.   

What BBS? Most don’t seem to be that light compared to competitors (maybe motorsports stuff we can’t get?)

They don’t do that many custom options, from what I’ve seen, and in general, 3 piece wheels wheels are heavier.

They have some astonishing offerings if you are willing to pay and willing to deal with the order time. ~18 weeks on average for something as long as it is not custom barreled.  

I have a set of E16 17′ faces bolted to custom 19×15 barrels, that have face adapters that they made in magnesium as a one off. ~20lb’s. for a race ready 19×15 that will fit over a 17.0 inch rotor to me is drop dead fantastic. The price was astronomical though. Like 20K+ to build the set but they are bomb proof I have hit things in them that would destroy a normal wheel. In fact one took a direct hit form a Lexus going about 20 mph and other then a bent lip kept right on ticking. 

If it was my money never in a million years would I have spent it. I would have called Kodiak and been done with it. 

 

Now on the GRM side of things its hard to go wrongw with things like the RPF1s on a lighter smaller car. 

z31maniac said:

^HOLY CHEESUS!

This is the story that I was told. I have seen the order sheet somewhere but I think it was 4.8K a wheel with the custom barrels and then there was the custom painting on top of that and then the shipping. The wheels were used on the car when it was shown at SEMA so it is a little bit nutter.

Someone on stanceworks knows the full story as he ordered them up but they wer emade to emulate the Gen II ACR BBS wheels and they made two complete sets. Both are 19×15 (The measure 14.7) for the rears and a I 18×11.5 for the fronts. They are stamped BBS with a serial number and the barrels are marked custom on the inside in Japanese.

Those were for the green snake, right? 

I wish I had more wheel shopping options. There is only one OEM wheel that fits our car and is a substantial upgrade. However, CLK lightweights are killer wheels, they are light and they fit. I wish they were 17×8 not 16×7 but beggars can’t be choosers.


te72


te72


New Reader


1/31/18 11:46 p.m.

Trackmouse said:

In reply to te72 :

So, how have they faired for auto sport use? This is where the rumors, horror stories, and the “buy name brand” stories foment. 

Only have about 6000 miles on them so far, and only two autocrosses. They’ve held up just fine, but I’m one of those weirdos that likes a few inches of stiff sidewall on their tires, so whatever road imperfections I’ve run over haven’t caused any issue. I try to avoid damaging the wheels where possible.

 

No funny vibrations, balance issues, tires slipping on the bead, nothing of the sort to report. They’re a ten spoke wheel, so the load is pretty nicely spread out as far as the design is concerned.

 

When the car gets its widebody makeover in a couple years, it will likely be getting a set of SSR’s to complete the look. However, the XXR’s suited the “I need something round that I can attach a tire to” need that fit the budget at the time. I’m not disappointed in any way.


te72


te72


New Reader


1/31/18 11:53 p.m.

WildScotsRacingCampbellCougarSeed said:

mazdeuce – Seth said:

I’m having a hell of a time figuring out what the bolt patterns are for TR motorsports wheels. There are several in five lug (in the pictures anyway) but I can’t find the numbers. I know TR wants me to shop by vehichicle, but sometimes I want to look at wheels “off label” if you will. 

My understanding is that TR got tired of dealing with returns/exchanges from people selecting wheels and not knowing wtf they’re doing doing. And naturally blaming TR for it. I can understand why they took the no-vehicle wheel shopping away.

I can understand that they generally deal with people who aren’t especially well versed in wheel fitment for their application, but this is frustrating that they won’t show you offsets and sizes available for a particular wheel, or let you select a range of fitment options and show you wheels that fall within those specs. It’s why I won’t bother buying wheels from them anymore.

 

I know my car, very well, I know what fits (and have the micrometer to prove it!), and if in the event I miscalculate (I have done this once, even recently), I know how to make it work. Would be nice if they had a button to click before showing you ALL the wheels that says something to the effect of, “we can’t confirm that the wheels you pick out will fit your application, so if you screw up, it’s on you,” and they could charge a restocking fee if necessary, or just deny returns entirely for folks like me.


PT_SHO


PT_SHO


New Reader


2/2/18 1:43 p.m.

In reply to Austincrx :

I’ll second that.  First set of Team Dynamics (they’re big in Miata-land but they made a wheel with correct bolts and offset for my SHO) had been powder coated by the previous owner.  I can’t swear that was what made them crack but research showed that the temperatures used may have ill effects on strength.  D’oh!  The next set of TD’s worked fine for a couple of years of autocross.

As far as light, my Subaru has older Kosei wheels in 17″ that are nearly as light as the best and were way cheaper.  And a nice touch is double valve stems so I can see a real pressure while the compressor is working!  If I have to change to 18’s, which seems required by the best autocross tire (RE71R currently) not being available in the right size in 17’s, then I’ll have to downgrade to 18’s (heavier rotating mass  cheeky).  Probably Enkei RPF1.


PT_SHO


PT_SHO


New Reader


2/2/18 1:48 p.m.

In reply to te72 :

<.. Would be nice if they had a button to click before showing you ALL the wheels that says something to the effect of, “we can’t confirm that the wheels you pick out will fit your application, so if you screw up, it’s on you,” and they could charge a restocking fee if necessary, or just deny returns entirely for folks like me. >

Well, you can’t even mount then and have them be return-able.  So “deny returns” seems like their path.  I think they said that if you call and speak to a rep that they can see all available choices.  I have had their reps call me after ordering bigger than stock autocross tires from the online portal, just confirming that is what I want because it isn’t in their “list” of approved sizes for the STI, but they didn’t have a problem with selling me the tires after they confirmed it.


te72


te72


New Reader


2/6/18 12:37 a.m.

In reply to PT_SHO :

I was just suggesting that their website is far from enthusiast friendly, so I quit shopping there. Show me a spec list and let me figure it out, or at least give me the option. I’m not one to sit on a phone with a sales rep for an hour or two trying to figure out the math, that’s really not a very polite use of their time, I’d think… plus, I’m rarely shopping at normal business hours for any business in this country haha!  =)

Austincrx said:

Also, don’t powder-coat your aluminum wheels, or you’ll know a lot about stress fractures very soon.

Clue me in here, why is powdercoating aluminum bad?

In reply to QuikMcshifterson :

It’s a five-year-old thread, so not sure you’ll get a direct response, but you can see PT_SHO’s reply indicating that there may be overlap between the temps used to cure powder coating and temps that start having an effect on the heat treatment of the wheel.

I don’t know, but it shouldn’t be too hard to dig up some numbers for each process.

As long as this thread is back from the dead… While I’ll probably never buy any Ray’s wheels… After seeing this I definitely have a newfound respect for them and understand the price:

 

 

In reply to flatlander937 :

Thanks! That is impressive. I understand why Nissan/Infiniti uses them on some of their performance models.



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