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Will These Wheels Fit?

 
Old 08-29-2013, 04:02 AM
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Default Will These Wheels Fit?

I have seen lots of threads in recent months relating to the age old question ‘will these wheels fit?’

So, I have decided to try and do what I would call a definitive answer to the question. This is my opinion but the general consensus from those in the UK who have been through this themselves, having to battle the minefield and do hours and hours of research on their own.

There are a select few who believe that some of what I might say is incorrect but I have yet to see any real evidence of the quality of any arch work and whether they get no tyre rubbing/scrubbing at all. I also don’t know how they drive, whereas I know I drive my car hard and don’t want to compromise due to wheels rubbing.

Firstly, what is offset? In a nutshell its the distance from the hub to the back or the front of the wheel. The lower the offset, the further away from the face of the wheel the hub mounting becomes. This means the outer rim of your wheel will stick out further towards your wheel arch whilst you gain clearance on the inner edge of the wheel rim if you compare the same width wheels with different offsets.

For reference, the OEM sizes and offsets are as follows:
MY00-03 wheels are as follows:
Front:
16" x 6.5", +55 offset, 205/55/R16 tyre
Rear:
16" x 7.5", +65 offset, 225/50/R16 tyre

MY04+ wheels are as follows:
Front:
17" x 7.0", +55 offset, 215/45/R17 tyre
Rear:
17" x 8.5", +65 offset, 245/40/R17 tyre

As most questions relate to aftermarket wheels which generally have much lower offsets; if you base your questions on the above standard size and offset information you can then use the following link to calculate exactly how many more millimetres the wheels will ‘stick out’ in the arches.

Offset Calculator

You can then make a decision how ‘flush’ you want your wheels to sit in your arches/fenders.

However, this doesn’t answer the question ‘what’s the lowest offset I can go without rolling my arches?’ This is where some disagree with me but having done 2 cars now and helped with others, driven my own car hard on many country roads and tracked it hard with no rubbing this is what I am basing my information on.

I am also basing my information on lowered cars at approximately -30mm from standard as this seems to be the most common drop with aftermarket wheels. This drop leaves approximately 85-100mm of ground clearance to the road when measuring the centre point of the front bumper with/without the front lip. Just about enough to clear most speed bumps without worrying.

Finally, it’s important not to forget camber as this can be the make or break for the handling and whether you want your car to be drivable or hard parked. For that reason I am going on the follow, less aggressive settings that I have had on my car:

Front: -1.25 degrees of camber
Rear: - 2.25 degrees of camber

Most people opt for a staggered setup with an 8” front wheel and a 9” rear. Based on the above assumptions the lowest offset I would recommend you go WITHOUT any arch rolling at all would be as follows:

17” wheels:

Front: 17x8+45 with a 215/45/17 tyre
Rear: 17x9+48 with a 245/40/17 tyre

18” wheels:

Front: 18x8+45 with a 225/35/18 tyre
Rear: 18x9+48 with a 255/35/18 tyre

Those sidewall profiles ensure that the tyres are as close the same rolling radius as possible when comparing to OEM 17” wheels and tyres.

You can play around with tyre sizes yourself by using the following links to find out what sizes will fit on what width of wheel.

Tyre Size Calculator

I have also found this site which will also give you an idea whether you get a nice OEM type of fitment, side wall stretch (ruining handling) or so called meaty fitment:

Wall Stretch to Meaty Fitment Calculator

Most aftermarket wheels which give a good, close to OEM fitment are the more expensive brands such as Ray’s Engineering, Volk, Advan, SSR, Work etc. and are likely to need importing unless you’re lucky and spot a set in the correct sizes and offsets on DriftWorks or Pistonheads classifieds for example.

Rota’s only come with a concave face or dish at 9” +35. Anything narrower or higher offset will be flat or convex.

If you want a concave face or a nice dish on your wheels then the majority of wheels (including the more expensive brands) don’t have any noticeable concave until you get as low as a a +38 offset although some will do so on an 8” wheel unlike the Rota’s.

With that sort of offset it will mean you are likely to have to roll your arches which, 80% of the time cracks your paint.

The rear arches are double skinned so take to rolling a bit better than the front but you must check the condition of the arch first for things like rust or previous repairs. Use plenty of heat with the roller and don’t push too hard or you will collapse the rear wing’s as I’ve seen first-hand on a friend’s S2000.

The front arches are single skin and extremely thin so are more prone to cracking than the rear. There doesn’t seem to be a technique with the front’s so it’s purely hit and miss whether the paint cracks or not. If you roll your front arches you will also need to trim your wheel arch liner in the following way so there is no rubbing and they don’t get caught up on the wheels:



Yes, you can roll your arches and risk it but the risk is that your paint might crack and then your car will be full of rust ingress in no time.

If you want your arches rolling and rolling properly then you need to be prepared to pay a lot of money for bodywork. All 4 arches fully rolled and sealed means that both sides of the car will need painting. Having seen the prep with this there is a lot of grinding back to bare metal and then smoothing out as far as the top of the fuel filler cap on the rear wings. Budget about £2000-£2500 for this work.

For the record I have gone down this route both the expensive and the hard way.

I bought expensive wheels (Work Emotion XD9’s)

I bought wheels in a low offset as I liked the flush look as well as the dished rear (F: 18x8+35 – 225/35/18, R: 18X9+38 – 255/35/18)

I have had my arches rolled and sealed properly on 2x S2000’s, the first of which I rolled myself so know how much work goes into it.

I have had the entire car resprayed as a result because the rest of the paint wouldn’t be in the same condition as the sides of the car.

The end result for me is that I have the wheels I want with a nice flush look and no rubbing no matter how I drive the car.

Would I do it all again? No.

I hope that helps with your decision making progress
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:07 AM
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Nice work Floppy, added to "Read This First" and the Tech FAQ (in addition to the link that was already there).
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:27 AM
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Thumbs up for the write up Floppy. Very informative.

If we go for the max offsets without rolling the arches as suggested:

17” wheels:

Front: 17x8+45 with a 215/45/17 tyre
Rear: 17x9+48 with a 245/40/17 tyre


Do these create a "flush" with the fender/arches?
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kanmuri-san View Post
Thumbs up for the write up Floppy. Very informative.

If we go for the max offsets without rolling the arches as suggested:

17” wheels:

Front: 17x8+45 with a 215/45/17 tyre
Rear: 17x9+48 with a 245/40/17 tyre


Do these create a "flush" with the fender/arches?
They'll be as flush as you'll get without any issues. They'll definitely fill the arches in a noticeable way but completely flush would be the widths and offsets that I have at 8+35 and 9+38.

The best way to look at it is to actually calculate it.

For the 9" rears you gain an extra 12.7mm overall width compared to the OEM 8.5". You then compare the +65 offset of OEM to the +48 which is a 17mm difference. Halve the 12.7mm and then add the 17mm and you're looking at the face of the wheel being 23.35mm further out than your OEM wheels.

All you have to do then is go and measure it on the car. It's also a sure fire way to know 100% that they do fit!
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by lovegroova View Post
Nice work Floppy, added to "Read This First" and the Tech FAQ (in addition to the link that was already there).

Originally Posted by dan_bourne View Post
Nice write up for the offset noobs matey.

Also quite nicely unbiased which is rare!
Thanks guys. Definitely handy for the UK forum as the Americans push it a lot further than we do (mainly because they have nice smooth roads!) and that was the plan Dan so I'm glad it's come across that way
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:23 AM
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That's incredible Alex

I got fed up looking through page's and page's of info and getting more and more confused

Wish I could actually afford a new set of wheel's now I know what size to get
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:53 AM
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One word of caution to anyone reading Floppy's great post.

Not all tyres are equal and one make/model of tyre may not 'fit' as well as another make/model of tyre.

For example, a 215/45/17 OE Bridgestone RE050MZ is much narrower and has more pronounced stretch than a 215/45/17 Yoko Advan AD08 when fitted to identical wheels.

You can usually get an idea of the exact tyre width by checking the manufacturers spec sheet.

Chris.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:11 PM
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Thread opened at the request of Floppy.

Chris.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisr111 View Post
Thread opened at the request of Floppy.

Chris.
Thanks Chris. Request was in case anyone has any questions.

Chris does have a good point with tyres as there can be as much as 10mm difference in the same size tyre when comparing brands.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:04 AM
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You can also say that for every degree of camber the top of the tyre comes in about 5mm, which will be good to know when you're trying to work out how much camber you have to add to make certain wheels fit.
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