Wheels and Tires

Last updated: March 19, 2001

Wheel Sizes Used by List Members

Date: Sat, 20 Sep 97 18:58:00 EST
From: "Houseman, Carl W. x1323"

Here's the results of the mail that I received. Thanks to everyone who responded! If anyone else wishes to contribute, or if you are listed and can supply missing info, please E-mail me privately and I will re-issue an updated summary in a couple of weeks. I would like to hear from a few more people who have 17" wheels and run the same size wheels _and_ tires all around, which is what I'd prefer to do.

I'm giving each persons' responses, followed by some statistics at the end. Hope I didn't over-summarize anyone (again, feel free to tell me about it and I'll do better next time!).

Bill Del Vecchio
AKT S5R, width F-8, R-9, offset F-35mm, R-38mm
F-245/40, R-255/40 Dunlop SP8000
Weight - n/a
Suspension - stock 94 R2
Fit - no problems
Next time - "I like the SP8000's, but will at least consider   
alternatives"
Reason - "looks/street - these wheels were on the car when I bought it."

Nathan Freedenburg (case #1)
OZ Racing Monte Carlo, width F-8.5, R-9.5, offset 36mm
F-235/45, R-255/40 Bridgestone S-02s
Weight - Both - "I'd guess it's 50+ lbs"
Suspension - Eibach Pro-Kit non-progressive, lowered 1" using Konis with   
3 position "circlip" in middle setting
Fit - "fronts rub wheel well on hard turns and attitude change IE exiting   
a steep drive.  Problem is completely attributable to the offset.  Wheel   
is not available in the proper offset."
Next time - Tires yes, wheels no.
Reason - Street performance and looks

Nathan Freedenburg (case # 2a and 2b)
Forgeline RS, width 9.5, offset 49 mm
(a) 275/40 all around (tire make/model n/a)
(b) F-255/40 and R-275/40 (tire make/model n/a)
Weight - Both - estimated less than 50 lbs.
Suspension - Eibach Pro-Kit non-progressive, lowered 1" using Konis with   
3 position "circlip" in middle setting
Fit - (a) Under severe compression the fronts rubbed the fender well and   
the inner
fender well lining wearing a hole in the top of the lining. In a spin
situation the front tire would pull down the fold in the fenderliner and
rub the paint off of it. Under full lock the 3in dia brake ducting I   
added
gets rubbed.
Fit - (b) Under full lock the 3in dia brake ducting I added gets lightly   
rubbed.
Next time - (a) No, (b) Yes
Reason - Road racing

Nathan Freedenburg (case #3)
Fikse Mach V, width F-8.5, R-9.5, offset F-48mm, R-49mm
F-235/45, R-255/40 Bridgestone S-02s
Weight - Both - estimated less than 50 lbs.
Suspension - Eibach Pro-Kit non-progressive, lowered 1" using Konis with   
3 position "circlip" in middle setting
Fit - no problems
Next time - want to move to 245/40 and 275/40
Reason - Street performance and looks

Hung-Jen Hung
Racing Sparco Viper NS II, width F-8, R-8.5
F-225/45, R-255/40 BFG ZR
Weight - Not known, "rims are light"
Suspension - GAB shocks and ground control height adjustable coil
Fit - No problems(?) "used to have GAB shocks and RB springs w/   
235/45ZR-17 in the front, the tires ripped off fenders. car was too low   
and 235 for front is too wide.   As I known, people who use 235 in the   
front have the same problem."
Next time - "love the rims to death..wanted to change to better tires but   
cannot afford them. anyway, for that money, around 170 per tire, BF   
Goodrich is the best"
Reason - looks and performance

Brad Barber
Kinesis K-20 3-piece modular, width F-8.5, R-10
F-235/45, R-255/40 Bridgestone S-02s
Weight - Both - F-45, R-49
Suspension - not lowered
Fit - No problems
Next time - Same - "perfect handling balance with 255 rear.  Found the   
'popular' 275 rear width gave me understeer"
Reason - "Street performance with a predilection toward road racing. I   
like to generate lateral G force. The occasional track event is done but   
the car is my daily driver. The awesome looks of this combo is an added   
benefit."

DrChuck
Fikse Five spoke (FM-5), width F-8.5, R-10
F-235/45, R-275/40 Bridgestone RE-71
Weight - wheels F-16, R-16.5, both F-45, R-54
Suspension - lowered 1" Eibach
Fit - "zero problems...wheels are made to fit rx-7"
Next time - same - "most definitely(I will buy whatever tires cost a   
little less since I do roast them."
Reason - "These tires are much SAFER than stock tires....car is not as   
squirrly due to extra rubber on the roads.........LOOKS would be next in   
line."

Francois McKellar
Integral A2, width F-8, R-9
F-225/45, R-255/40 Bridgestone S-02
Weight - wheels F-17.3, R-17.8
Suspension - lowered F-3/4", R-1.5"
Fit - No problems
Next time - same
Reason - "Stock wheels ripped off, decided to upgrade, looks great,   
better track,
balance is comprimised, but better track times using more agressive   
throttle
in corners hence better exit speeds, and better braking."

Grant Oishi
Porsche 911C2 wheels redrilled to fit, width 9.5
F-235/45, R-255/40 Dunlop SP8000
Weight - n/a
Suspension - Racing Beat springs
Fit - "Have rubbing on the front on the bolt near the that holds the   
plastic
on and also rubs the fender lip when turning.  Seems to be a common
problem as far as the bolt rubbing goes and I think the offset is not
correct so was going to get the wheels machined."
Next time - "Besides the rubbing, I'm really happy with the combo.  Looks   
great
and performs as well as I require.  I am going to have to get new
tires next year and was going to experiment by trying something
different.  Maybe S02's."
Reason - "Gone to the track once with this combo but I guess I'd say   
mostly
looks and hard street driving."

Daniel Huang (18" wheels)
Super Advan Rims (width/offset n/a)
F-235/40, R-265/35 Bridgestone S-02s
Weight - Both - F-46, R-52
Suspension - lowered Eibach + GAB Super R (very stiff)
Fit - Tires do not scrape whatsoever, since re-alignment (possibly due to   
stiff suspension) - "PERFECT fit".
Next time - Maybe Yoko Nexus
Reason - "the main reason I have these tires and rims is for road racing.   
I didn't want to get a race compound so I got the next best thing...   
S-02s. The car handles great on the track and turn in is greatly   
improved!"

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING...
For the 17" combos reporting "no fit problems" (7 total including   
Nathan's 2b which doesn't rub any bodywork)

Front wheel width -
  8.5 inch 43%
  8 inch 43%
  9.5 inch 14%
Rear wheel width -
  10 inch 29%
  9 inch 29%
  9.5 inch 29%
  8.5 inch 14%
Front Tire
  235/45 - 43%
  225/45 - 29%
  245/40 - 14%
  255/40 - 14%
Rear Tire
  255/40 - 71%
  275/40 - 29%

_________________

I repeated Carl's wheel survey at the beginning of February, 2000. The responses follow. --Steve

Got an additional 3 responses for stock wheels and tires and no lowering. Would assume a good fit, which was what they said, so results not included here. I also deleted responses on aftermarket wheels that were the smae or smaller sizes as stock.

From:  scott (netsuper@ca-connection.com)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:        stock
    Wheel diameter x width:       stock
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  stock
    Wheel weight:                 stock

    Tire brand and model:         Pirelli P7000 supersport
    Tire size:                    225/50ZR16

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:        stock
    Wheel diameter x width:       stock
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  stock
    Wheel weight:                 stock

    Tire brand and model:         Pirelli P7000 supersport
    Tire size:                    225/50ZR16

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:               stock/CUT springs (plan a coil-over mod)
    Lowered by (inches):          ~2" (I'm not really sure how low it is
    compared to stock?  The mechanic just said they were cut and the 7 is about
    as low as it will go, (only rubs on right front on left turns).

How do they fit:  great

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:

    Love the tires, might get some centerline wheels and WILL be
    getting a coil-over setup, don't know which one yet)



From:  Brad Barber (bradrx7@swbell.net)

    FRONT:
        Wheel brand and model:        Kinesis K-20
        Wheel diameter x width:       17" x 9"
        Wheel offset (or backspace):  stock
        Wheel weight:                 19.5 lbs.

        Tire brand and model:         Yoko AO32r
        Tire size:                    255/40 x 17

    REAR:
       Wheel brand and model:         Kinesis K-20
        Wheel diameter x width:       17" x 10"
        Wheel offset (or backspace):  stock
        Wheel weight:                 20 lbs.

        Tire brand and model:         Yoko AO32r
        Tire size:                    275/40 x 17

    SUSPENSION MODS:
        Shocks/springs:       Koni Sport with Ground Control/Eibach 2.5" diameter springs
        Lowered by (inches):  Ride height is 5.25" front/ 5.5" rear measured to the 
                              frame flats

    How do they fit:     Perfectly except on extreme compression whil turning.
	The fronts will 'gronk' a bit.

    What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Invest in the stock market instead of wasting my money on car parts



From:  Gordon Monsen (gmonsen@fast.net)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:        Manaray SP's
    Wheel diameter x width:       17x8.5
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  NA
    Wheel weight:                 22 lbs

    Tire brand and model:         Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position
    Tire size:                    235x40

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:        Manaray Sp's
    Wheel diameter x width:       17x10
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  NA
    Wheel weight:                 24

    Tire brand and model:         Bridgestone Potenza Pole Positions
    Tire size:                    275x35

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:               koni sports/eibach progressive
    Lowered by (inches):          1.5"

How do they fit:  very well

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Go with GAB coilovers and same koni's



From:  Alan Beder (albeder@earthlink.net)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:        Forgeline
    Wheel diameter x width:       17x9.5
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  50 mm
    Wheel weight:                 18??

    Tire brand and model:         BFG R1
    Tire size:                    255x40

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:    :   Forgeline
    Wheel diameter x width:       17X9.5
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  46mm
    Wheel weight:                 18??

    Tire brand and model:         BFG R1
    Tire size:                    275x40

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:               GAB HP/Eibach Pro Kit
    Lowered by (inches):          .75"

How do they fit:  No problem in front but needed to roll rear fenders for
	track use.

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Car needs to be level.  Balance might be better with 255s on the back tire
	as car will understeer more than I'd like on some tracks.



From :  Doug Underwood (Dunder@aol.com)

  FRONT:
     Wheel brand and model:        SSR Integral A2
     Wheel diameter x width:       17 x 9
     Wheel offset (or backspace):  +45
     Wheel weight:

     Tire brand and model:         Bridgestone SO-2 Pole Position
     Tire size:                    255/40-17

 REAR:
     Wheel brand and model:        SSR Integral A2
     Wheel diameter x width:       17 x 9
     Wheel offset (or backspace):  +45
     Wheel weight:

     Tire brand and model:         Bridgestone SO-2 Pole Position
     Tire size:                    275/40-17

 SUSPENSION MODS:
     Shocks/springs:               Konis/Eibach Prokits
     Lowered by (inches):          C-clip in top grove (-3/4"?)

 How do they fit:  No fit problems

 What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Might've gone slightly smaller on the rear's (255 or 265) w/ the 17x9 rim or found
	something available in a 17x10, gone w/ Yoko AVS Sport's as a less expensive
 	alternative



From:  Christopher and Melissa Regan (reganfamily@erols.com)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:         SSR Integral A2
    Wheel diameter x width:        17 x 8
    Wheel offset (or backspace):   38mm
    Wheel weight:                  ~16lbs (bathroom scales)

    Tire brand and model:          Yokohama A032R
    Tire size:                     235/45ZR17

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:         SSR Integral A2
    Wheel diameter x width:        17 x 9
    Wheel offset (or backspace):   45mm
    Wheel weight:                  ~17.5lbs (bathroom scales)

    Tire brand and model:          Yokohama A032R
    Tire size:                     255/40ZR17

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:                Stock R1/PFS Comfort Sport Progressive
    Lowered by (inches):           1 inch front / 0.75inch rear

How do they fit:  No problems whatsoever.  Size recommended by Tire Rack

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Will Be installing GC coilover conversion by end of month so wider
	tires all around for me..maybe 17x9s up front with 255s just like in
	the rear



From:  Stephen Shafer (maxpsi@banet.net)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:     Factory
    Wheel diameter x width:    "     "
    Wheel offset (or backspace): "     "
    Wheel weight:                "     "

    Tire brand and model:      Bridgestone SO2
    Tire size:                 245/50/16

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:     Factory
    Wheel diameter x width:    "      "
    Wheel offset (or backspace):  "     "
    Wheel weight:                "     "

    Tire brand and model:     Bridgestone SO2
    Tire size:                 245/50/16

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:            Tokiko 5-way/ Eibach
    Lowered by (inches):       1.5in

How do they fit:  No problems

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Would consider 17in rims



From:  KT S (kts95rx@yahoo.com)

FRONT:
     Wheel brand and model:       Enkei RP01
     Wheel diameter x width:      17x8
     Wheel offset (or backspace): ?
     Wheel weight:                ?

     Tire brand and model:        Yoko AVS int
     Tire size:                   215-45-17

 REAR:
     Wheel brand and model:       Enkei RP01
     Wheel diameter x width:      17x9
     Wheel offset (or backspace): ?
     Wheel weight:                ?

     Tire brand and model:        Yoko AVS Int
     Tire size:                   255-40-17

 SUSPENSION MODS:
     Shocks/springs:              Gab super/HR coils
     Lowered by (inches):         1 3/4

 How do they fit:  Perfect, no rubbing & flush
	tires flush to fender.

 What you would do differently if you had it to do
 over:
	Leave 17's in front & install 18x9.5 on the
	rears with 265-35-18



From:  Matt Morton (Matt@Morton.net)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:         Racing Hart, C5
    Wheel diameter x width:        18 x 8.5
    Wheel offset (or backspace):   offset 48(not positive)
    Wheel weight:

    Tire brand and model:          Yokahama AVS sport
    Tire size:                     245/40/18

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:         Racing Hart, C5
    Wheel diameter x width:        18 x 10
    Wheel offset (or backspace):   offset 49 (not positive)
    Wheel weight:

    Tire brand and model:          Yokahama AVS sport
    Tire size:                     275/35/18

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:                NA
    Lowered by (inches):           NA

How do they fit: 
	They fit great. Rub slightly on the front when the suspension 
	is under both full cornering and braking

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Wouldn't change a thing... although I soon plan to go to a 
	mazdaspeed coil-over suspension which I expect should 
	stop the rubbing compleatly, If not I'll probably have to get 
	something done to the fender liner.



From: Martin Crane (m.crane@worldnet.att.net)

FRONT:
     Wheel brand and model:       OEM
     Wheel diameter x width:      _____________
     Wheel offset (or backspace): _____________
     Wheel weight:                _____________

     Tire brand and model:        Bridgestone Potenza S-02
     Tire size:                   245/45 16

 REAR:
     Wheel brand and model:       OEM
     Wheel diameter x width:      _____________
     Wheel offset (or backspace): _____________
     Wheel weight:                _____________

     Tire brand and model:        Bridgestone Potenza S-02
     Tire size:                   245/45 16

 SUSPENSION MODS:
     Shocks/springs:              Koni Sport/Eibach
     Lowered by (inches):         1.75 in.

 How do they fit:  Fine, after installation modification

 What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	 Possibly a less expensive tire.  Someday 17 in. wheels.
 	Otherwise, very happy with the combination.


From:  Steve Cirian (steve@ScuderiaCiriani.com)

    FRONT:
        Wheel brand and model:        CCW
        Wheel diameter x width:       17" x 10"
        Wheel offset (or backspace):  7.5" (7.25" w/ spacers)
        Wheel weight:                 18.5 lbs

        Tire brand and model:         Kumho V700 Victoracer
        Tire size:                    275/40-17

    REAR:
       Wheel brand and model:         CCW
        Wheel diameter x width:       17" x 10"
        Wheel offset (or backspace):  7.5" (7.25" w/ spacers)
        Wheel weight:                 18.5 lbs.

        Tire brand and model:         Kumho V700 Victoracer
        Tire size:                    275/40-17

    SUSPENSION MODS:
        Shocks/springs:       Penske coil-over shocks/Eibach 2.5" diameter springs
        Lowered by (inches):  Ride height lowered by 1.5 - 2" (guesstimate).

    How do they fit:     Perfectly.  

    What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Buy more expensive wheels and not deal with the CCW idiosyncrasies.  (See full
	CCW review elsewhere on this page.)  (See next response to survey.)

From:  Steve Cirian (steve@ScuderiaCiriani.com)

    FRONT:
        Wheel brand and model:        Kinesis K58
        Wheel diameter x width:       18" x 10"
        Wheel offset (or backspace):  7.5"
        Wheel weight:                 24 lbs

        Tire brand and model:         BFG TA KD
        Tire size:                    285/30-18 (rub on fender lip on fronts)
        Tire size:                    265/35-18 (no rubbing with this smaller size)

    REAR:
       Wheel brand and model:         Kinesis K58
        Wheel diameter x width:       18" x 10"
        Wheel offset (or backspace):  7.5" 
        Wheel weight:                 24 lbs.

        Tire brand and model:         BFG TA KD
        Tire size:                    285/30-18 (fit perfectly)

    SUSPENSION MODS:
        Shocks/springs:       Penske coil-over shocks/Eibach 2.5" diameter springs
        Lowered by (inches):  Ride height lowered by 1.5 - 2" (guesstimate).

    How do they fit:     Perfectly.  

    What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
	Nothing - beautiful wheels, very well made.


From:  "Diep, Anh T" (DIEPAT@sce.com)

 FRONT:
     Wheel brand and model:     OZ Ruote
     Wheel diameter x width:    17x7.5 front
     Wheel offset (or backspace):    _____________
     Wheel weight:              _____________

     Tire brand and model:           NITTO NT555
     Tire size:                 225/40/17 front

 REAR:
     Wheel brand and model:     OZ Ruote
     Wheel diameter x width:    17x8.5 rear
     Wheel offset (or backspace):    _____________
     Wheel weight:              _____________

     Tire brand and model:           Toyo Proxes
     Tire size:                 225/45/17 rear soon to be 245's

 SUSPENSION MODS:
     Shocks/springs:            _____________
     Lowered by (inches):            was really lowered when I bought it.

 How do they fit:  ______________________________

 What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
 ________________________________________________
 ________________________________________________


From:  scott (netsuper@ca-connection.com)

FRONT:
    Wheel brand and model:     stock
    Wheel diameter x width:    stock
    Wheel offset (or backspace):    stock
    Wheel weight:              stock

    Tire brand and model:           Pirelli P7000 supersport
    Tire size:                 225/50ZR16

REAR:
    Wheel brand and model:     stock
    Wheel diameter x width:    stock
    Wheel offset (or backspace):    stock
    Wheel weight:              stock

    Tire brand and model:           Pirelli P7000 supersport
    Tire size:                 225/50ZR16

SUSPENSION MODS:
    Shocks/springs:            stock/CUT springs (plan a coil-over mod)
    Lowered by (inches):            ~2" (I'm not really sure how low it is
compared to stock?  The mechanic just said they were cut and the 7 is about
is low as it will go, (only rubs on right front on left turns).

How do they fit:  great

What you would do differently if you had it to do over:
love the tires, might get some centerline wheels and WILL be
getting a coil-over setup, don't know which one yet)

---

Got an additional 3 responses for stock wheels and tires and no lowering.  Would 
assume a good fit, which was what they said, so results not included here.

_________________

From: Manny Lozano (mplozano@hotmail.com)
Date: December 29, 2000

I've been doing some research on wheel/tire upgrades for the FD Rx7. The upsized wheels/tires will be used for street, solo 2, track driving during the spring, summer, and fall months. The old SSR Integral A2s will be demoted to winter wheels with snow tires.

Attached is a spreadsheet I generated from phone calls and conversations with a couple wheel/tire vendors--Tire Rack and Wheel Source.

After visiting Tire Rack (last winter), Wheel Source and Forgeline in Dayton, OH yesterday--and spending an hour with Dave Schardt (Wheel Source owner)--I've decided to go with Dave's suggestion--Forgeline LSes (mesh style), open lug, clearcoat, centercapped. Fronts will be 9.0 x 17, 51 mm offset with 245/40-17; rears will be 9.5 x 17, 51 mm offset with 255/40-17s. Tires will be Bridgestone Potenza RE71s. They're the best bang-for-the-buck street/track tire available. The 245 and 255/40-17s are apparently the same overall diameter of 24.8 inches (Bridgestone tire spec sheet), so this will ensure that there are no rubbing problems from a too-tall tire height.

Wheel/Tire Fitments for 1993-1995 Mazda Rx7
Wheel Model/Type Rim Diameter (inches) Nominal Rim Width (inches) Overall Rim Width (inches) Offset (mm) Offset (inches) Front Space (inches) Back Space (inches) Optimal Tire Size Optional Tire Size
Stock Mazda FD Rx7 Wheel 16 8.0 8.5 50 1.97 2.28 6.22 225/50-16 245/45-16
SSR Integral A2 16 8.0 8.5 38 1.50 2.75 5.75 225/50-16 245/45-16
SSR Integral A2 (Rears) 17 9.0 9.5 45 1.77 2.98 6.52 245/40-17 255/40-17
Kosie K1 Racing 16 8.5 9.0 37 1.46 3.04 5.96 245/45-16 None
Volk Racing SE37K 16 8.0 8.5 38 1.50 2.75 6.22 225/50-16 245/45-16
Volk Racing SE37K 17 8.5 9.0 40 1.57 2.93 6.07 245/40-17 235/45-17
Volk Racing SE37K (Rears) 17 9.0 9.5 40 1.57 3.18 6.32 255/40-17 None
Volk Racing SE37K (Rears) 17 9.5 10.0 40 1.57 3.43 6.57 255/40-17 265/40-17
Forgeline LS/RS 17 9.0 9.5 51 2.01 2.74 6.76 245/40-17 255/40-17
Forgeline LS/RS (Rears) 17 9.5 10.0 51 2.01 2.99 7.01 255/40-17 265/40-17

_________________

From: Gene Kan (genehkan@scam.XCF.Berkeley.EDU)
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 23:26:03 -0400 (EDT)

I have successfully installed SSR Integral 17x9 38mm off wheels on my 1995 RX-7 (bone stock). Fronts are 255/40, rears 275/40. Dunlop D40 M2.

Plenty of clearance around the wheel in all areas when straight ahead. The only interference I have gotten is on the driver's side plastic fender well in the front of the well. It is a basically hollow piece there and interference is limited to a 3/4" section of it. Rubs consistently when at full right lock (3 pt turn or leaving a driveway). But the rubbing is minor and it probably won't tear off the fender liner.

__________________

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:18:26 EST
From: NUGGANUCHE@aol.com

Just wanted to let all my buddies out there know that the 285/35-18 do fit the rear of a 3rd gen even with the Eibach springs. The wheel in rear is a 45 offset on a 10 wheel. the front is a 235/40-18 and it clears no problem on the 8.5 rim with a 41 offset. i posted this question a few days ago, many people said no way it isnt gonna fit. Well it does and it fits and looks perfect with this setup.

__________________

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:35:02 PST
From: "Jeff Witzer" (jwitzer@hotmail.com)

I've been running 285/30ZR18's on 18x9.5 rears for years (with more than enough room to go to 18x10's). You could have gone to 245/40ZR18's in the front on 18x8.5's like I did.

I will be going 285/30ZR18 rear and 255/35ZR18 front on the same wheels I have now and 275/40R17's on 17x9.5 all around for the track. The 275's in the front require the 2.5 inch coil-overs, but the street setup has been fine on (fresh) stock springs for years.

Don't run as much camber (especially on the front) with 18's. I was running Pettit's long track event settings for 16" wheels all the time when I ran 245/45ZR16's on my stock wheels with great success, but with the 18's they eat the inside edge a lot. Beleive them. Use the settings for 18" wheels.

_______________

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 18:23:17 -0800
From: Azeem Raja (ARaja@KestrelSolutions.com)

You may want to consider these wheels for track use...

MKIV (93.5+) Supra non-turbo rear wheels are 16x9 (5x114.3) These wheels fit perfectly on the rear of an FD - no clearance problems at all (stock suspension.)

And Kumho makes 265/45/16 which work nicely! (or use 245/45 if paranoid about sidewall flex.)

BUT, you will have to go to a machine shop and have the centerbore (the hole in the center of the wheel) increased in diameter a little to fit onto the FD hub (pretty easy to have done).

These wheels can be had for less than $100/each, depending on how desperate the seller is.

The wheels will NOT fit in front... Actually, wheel clearance is fine, but the brake calipers hit some 'ribs' on the inside of the wheel! Jim King has stock brakes and the wheels rub; I have the M2 big brake kit (the model that fits with the stock FD wheels) and mine rub also.

Factoids-

* Offset: +50mm - same as stock (0.5" goes inboard; 0.5" out)
* Weight: 19 lbs, no centercap, bathroom scale accuracy
* Supra centerbore is 60.1mm, FD centerbore is 67.1mm
* 265/45/16 is smaller overall diameter than 275/40/17 (but
  taller sidewall).

_______________

From: Lou Young lou@hell-bent.com)
Date: June 25, 1999

I was just (yesterday) talking to John at CCW and he was saying that a lot of the clearance problems go away with 18" wheels because the springs lean inward at the top. This means that the larger the diameter of the wheel, the more space you have for width.

Of course, I have no direct experience with this, but John says that he's got a guy running 18x10 inch CCW wheels on an FD with stock springs. I didn't want to run 18" wheels because, frankly, I think it looks stupid to have wheels that big. On the other hand, if clearance problems go away they become a bit more attractive. Jeff Littrell's car had 18" wheels on it at the Hillclimb and they looked so good that I assumed they were 17". So maybe they don't always look dumb. He wasn't going real big, though. He was running 245/35x18 Hoosiers on 18x8" SSR Integral A2's. If I'm going to buy wheels, I'm going to go as wide as physically possible.

(Editor's note - the 18x10s will absolutely NOT fit on the front of the 3rd gen with stock springs. I have coil-overs which are way smaller than stock and the 10" wheels barely clear them. The 10" ones may fit the rear, but you may have to roll the fender lip. --Steve)

_______________

From: Steve Cirian
Date: February 8, 2000

>>2) Suspension upgrades will give you more room for bigger wheels, not less.  So
>>you will be limited by what you currently have, not what you will be going to.
>>In other words, you will end up with smaller wheels than will fit if you buy now
>>and upgrade suspension later.  (Supposing you go to 2.5" coil-overs, which will
>>allow more backspacing.)
>
>       Steve, I don't completely agree on #2.  I think that normally,
>suspension upgrades would give less room.  I say that because typical
>suspension upgrades lower the car, so the likelihood of interference on the
>top of the fender liner, the inside (full lock) of the liner, and the fender
>lip is greater.
>        I know people with stock dia/width wheels and aftermarket springs
>who have torn their fender lip outward from tire interference (with 245/45
>tires).  This would suggest the exact opposite of your statement.
>        I know that 10" wide wheels can fit with thinner coilovers, but
>coilovers definitely aren't the majority of suspension upgrades (and neither
>are 10" wide wheels).  I'm suggestion that #2 applies to the minority.

My car is lowered by 1.5 or more inches, and I haven't had any rubbing, with 17x10 on all 4 corners, shod with 275/40-17 Kumho Victoracers.

There are a huge number of variables involved here, as you have pointed out before (thanks for keeping me honest).

e.g.- tires of the exact same size vary from mfr to mfr and even from models within the same mfr.

Also how stiff your springs are, how well the shocks deal with the springs.

Or even the anti-sway bars - mine are ultra stiff which will reduce the wheel movement as well (of the outside tire when going around a curve).

My alignment is pretty aggressive, and I run a lot of negative camber, which tilts the tops of the tires in and could prevent rubbing (on the outside edge of the tire).

To clarify my point #2, the 2.5" coil-overs are 1.75" smaller in diameter than the stock springs (front). That is 0.875" of radius, which is the space you will gain behind the wheel (backspacing). So all other things being equal, you could move the wheel back into the wheel well by an extra 0.875" (and add the same measurement to the wheel width).

I do understand your point, and agree with you about these upgrades being in the minority. I did point out what the person would have to do the coil-over upgrades.

As far as the point about stock diameter and width wheels rubbing, I see a lot of posts that say this, but once you start to ask people what they are running for offset, they either don't know what they bought or else they have a ridiculously inappropriate offset like 20 mm. Research this before you buy! (No offense to anyone - when I started looking for wheels, I was equally clueless, but I put the effort into it to learn and understand what offset, backspace, etc. mean, and how to calculate what I would need if I went away from stock diameter, width, and offset. I needed to read a few books and discuss with others (I know there were a lot of people that helped me, but John Levy sticks in my mind as someone who helped a lot).)

Or if you ask someone what the new spring rates are if they lowered the car - they don't know. There are a lot of reasons the stock diameter and width tires might rub if the car is lowered. Poor/improper alignment also comes to mind.

_______________

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 16:29:56 -0500
From: steve.cirian@us.pwcglobal.com
Subject: Re: wheel width vs. weight

>here's the $0.25 question...for autocross, is the extra inch wheel width
>a good tradeoff for the extra 4lbs per corner? wider or lighter?

The 4 lbs number sounds off a bit for an extra inch in width. I did a lot of research in looking for my 17x10s, and found that going from 8 --> 9 --> 10 --> 11 added one lb for each additional inch of width. Pretty consistent among mfrs. Going from 15 --> 16 --> 17 diameter made for a lot more variance.

Increasing the width should not add much weight as it increases the amount of material in the (fairly) thin rim halves. Increasing diameter means that the thicker/heavier center section will get bigger.

This will probably vary on construction method - 1-, 2-, 3-piece, forged vs cast, etc.

Offset and Spacing

The stock wheels use a 50 mm offset.

Definitions:

Diagram: (use Courier font, 8 pt)

      ____________________________________
      |                                  |
      | ____tire_____________            |
      ||                     |           |
      ||                     |           |
      ||    rim              |{   }      |
      | \-------------------/ {   }      |
fender|      | |              {   }      |
   lip       | |              {   }      |
             | |              {   }      |
             | |              {   }      | <-- wheel well
             | |<-- mounting  {   }      |
   center    | |    surface   {   }
   piece --> | |[]            {   }
             | |[]            {   }
             | |[]<-- rotor   {   }
             | |[]            {   } <-- spring & shock
             | |[]            {   }
             | |              {   }
             | |
             | |        --> center of car
             | |        <-- outside of car
             | |
        /-------------------\ 
                   !
                   !
                   ! <-- centerline

                {--}            <-- offset (mounting surface to 
                                    centerline)
                {------------}  <-- backspace (mounting surface 
                                    to inner edge of rim)

This was adapted from a diagram from HRE. Check with your wheel vendor to make sure they are using the same definitions of these terms.

Fikse has a "real" diagram of this, and it agrees with the above.

If you know the wheel width, and either the offset or backspace, you should be able to find the other measurement from the following equation:

	Offset     =  Backspace  -  ( width / 2 )

Or:

	Backspace  =  Offset  +  ( width / 2 )

e.g.- for the stock wheels (50mm offset = 1.97"):

	Backspace  =  1.97"  +  ( 8" / 2 )
		    =  5.97"

e.g.- for the wheels used by Tri-Point (7.5" front backspace, 7.375" rear backspace):

	Offset     =  7.5"  -  ( 10" / 2 )
	(front)    =  2.5"  (98mm)

	Offset     =  7.375"  -  ( 10" / 2 )
	(rear)	    =  2.375"  (93.5mm)

If this is correct, then I would think that the 17x10" wheels you would want would be:

Offset 50mm, same as stock. Therefore, backspace would be:

	Backspace  =  1.97"  +  ( 10 / 2 )
		     =  6.97"

John Levy posted about wanting to keep the percentage of the wheel on each side of the mounting point the same to keep the load on the bearings the same. I have to respectfully disagree with this. This will NOT keep the load the same, since the moment around the bearing will increase if you use this method. But here it is:

	Percentage  =  Backspace  /  Width
		     =  5.97  /  8
		     =  74.6%

To keep the load on the bearing the same, the offset must be kept the same. The offset is actually the moment around the bearing. This means that the same amount of width must be added to each side of the wheel (inside and outside).

However, the key on the 3rd gen would seem to be keeping the outer edge of the wheel in relatively the same spot since I believe the biggest problem on putting wider wheels on the 3rd gen is keeping the tire from hitting the fender lip (outside). (Unless you could move it out a little without hitting the fender lip?) Tri-Point uses 2.25" ID coil-over springs to get more space on the inside of the wheel, which is what I will probably do, so keeping the distance from the mounting surface to the outer lip roughly the same is desirable.

e.g.- the stock rim is 8.5" wide, and the offset is 1.97". Therefore the distance to the outer lip (frontspace?) is:

	frontspace  =  ( width / 2 )  -  offset
		     =  ( 8 / 2 ) -  1.97
		     =  2.03"

(or frontspace = width - backspace: 8 - 5.97 = 2.03")

So if you want to keep the frontspace the same, then a 10" wheel will have 10 - 2.03 = 7.97" of backspace.

So now we have three possible methods of selecting wheel offset and backspacing (10" wheels in this example):

1. Keep offset the same, and let that determine backspacing by the previously posted equation.

	offset    = 1.97" (50mm)
	backspace = 6.97"

2. Use John Levy's percentage method.

	offset    = 2.46" (97mm)
	backspace = 7.46"

3. Keep front space the same.

	offset    = 2.03" (80mm)
	backspace = 7.03"

For reference purposes, the fronts on the Tri-Point car (the smallest space inside the fender well is in front) are:

	offset    = 2.5" (98mm)
	backspace = 7.5"

The bottom line is that you can only use 7.5" on the front, and only then if you have coil-overs w/ 2.5" diameter springs to allow maximum clearance behind the wheel.

--Steve

_________________

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 00:59:20 -0500
From: Lazarus Vekiarides

(snip - question on offsets)

This is an interesting question. Fikse has these wheel dimensions for their RX7 package at their site:

>From (http://www.fikse.com/offsets.html)

F: 17x8.5 - offset = 37.7mm, backspacing = 6.23"
R: 17x10 - offset = 44.0mm, backspacing = 7.32"

______________

I got the following info from Tri-Point, which uses 17x10" Complete Custom Wheels on their car: "backspacing is 7.5 front and 7 3/8 rear". They recommend identical sizing all the way around (7.5" backspacing), and then 1/8" spacers on the rear to get the required backspacing. If you use the same size wheel at all 4 corners, the wheels and tires can be rotated or moved at will. --Steve

_______________

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 22:20:27 -0500
From: "John Levy"

FWIW I run an 11 inch outer width wheel all around (the maker says its a 10 inch rim and it may be that bead to bead, but probably is 10.25), 2.5 inch springs, and 7.75 inches of back space. In front the wheel only rubs on a downhill out of the driveway doing a hard left turn. It rubs on the lower A-arm. In back in order to avoid grooving the trailing arm the wheel needs just under 1/2 inch of spacers, or the backspace needs to be decreased to 7.25 inches. I would guess that with most tires this would just barely put the tire against the rear fender.

BTW I think my setup and Craig's at Tri-Point are the same. He was a great help to me before I ordered my wheels. Give him my best.

_______________

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 10:04:46 -0600
From: Matthew Cords

If you want a better understanding of this, read "How to Make Your Car Handle" by Fred Puhn...look at pages 125-126 for the backspacing/offset explanation.

Will These Wheels Fit My Car?

I get asked this question a lot: Wheel dealer XYZ has recommended size ABC wheels for my car. How do I know if they will fit?

The fronts are the limiting factor, as the rears have more room. These calculations will therefore focus on the front wheels.

The range of possible offsets for popular wheel widths, given the frontspace and backspace constraints, are:

				   OFFSET MUST BE BETWEEN:  
	WHEEL		   MAXIMIMUM		     MAXIMIMUM
	WIDTH		   FRONTSPACE		     BACKSPACE
	8.625"		2.31"	(58.74mm)		2.31"	(58.74mm)
	8.5"		1.75"	(44.45mm)		2.375"	(60.32mm)
	8"		1.5"	(38.10mm)		2.625"	(66.675mm)

Note: By maximimum backspace, I mean using all of the available space outboard of the wheel (it sticks out as far as it can w/o hitting the fender lip) so that there is as much space behind the wheel as possible (the frontspace is the limiting factor). Conversely, maximum frontspace means using all of the available space behind the wheel (the wheel is sunk in as far as it can go w/o hitting anything behind it) (the backspace is the limiting factor).

Personally, I like the look where the wheel appears to fill the well; the reverse makes it look like the tires are too narrow for the car.

The rest of this section focuses on how I derived the above chart.

I will occassionally refer to my wheels: 17x10" with 63.5mm offset (in front). Note that 10" is the measurement from bead to bead, so that the wheels are actually 11" from rim edge to rim edge (thanks to Mark Valskis for keeping me honest :-)

Conversion factor 1 in = 25.4 mm

Now, to the heart of the matter:

There are two issues:

  1. How much backspace can you run before the tire/wheel starts hitting things in back of (behind) the wheel ("things" being defined as the springs, sway bar ends, etc).

  2. How much frontspace you can run before the tire/wheel starts hitting things on the outside of the wheel (fender lip, plastic fender liner, etc).

On my car I can use a max of 7.5" of backspace in front before the wheels will hit the springs behind them, and that is with 2.5" coilovers. Therefore, since the stock springs are 4.25" diameter, the largest possible backspacing with those would be:

	(4.25 - 2.5) / 2 = .875" (needed to divide by 2 to get radius)

	7.5 - .875 = 6.625" of possible backspace w/ stock diameter springs

Note: assume that the spring diameter is measured to the OUTSIDE of the wire.

My tires do not rub the fender lip, but are very close to it, so we will use my wheel size as the max possible width. If the backspace is OK, let's look at the frontspace, shown here for mine:

	Frontspace  =  ( width / 2 )  -  offset
			=  ( 11 / 2 ) -  2.5
			=  3.0"

Therefore, the widest wheel you will be able to run with stock diameter springs is:

	Width	= Backspace + Frontspace
		= 6.625 + 3.0
		= 9.625

Note: this is the OVERALL wheel width, so subtract 1" to get the LISTED wheel width of 8.625"

Solving for offset:

	Offset	= Backspace - (width / 2)
			= 6.625 - (8.625 / 2)
			= 6.625 - 4.3125
			= 2.31"
			= 58.74mm

Therefore, the largest wheel that will fit with stock diameter springs is 8.625" wide using a 58.74mm offset.

You can run any combination of width and offset as long as they give results within the backspace and frontspace limits given above. Offset is not a limit, it is a result of the calculations:

	Offset	= Backspace  -  ( width / 2 )
	Offset	= ( width / 2 )  -  Frontspace

DISCLAIMER: There are other variables that you have to consider, such as tire size (which varies significantly by brand and model), and the amount of drop provided by the springs (which also seems to vary from car to car). The stock springs are known to sag over time. Thanks to Wade Lanham for pointing this out.

Further notes: My car is lowered probably 1.5" - 2", so you may be able to get a little wider wheel if you assume that if your car is not lowered, you could push the wheel out a little farther and still not hit the fender lip or liner on the outside.

Light Weight Wheel Comparo

I (Steve Cirian) did some calling around to find the lightest wheel available in 17x10" for autocrossing. (Results may be applicable for other sizes.) Here is what I found, after a LOT of calling around. The following was accurate as of March 17, 1998, when I ordered my wheels. I quit adding to it at that point.

	MFR		MODEL	WEIGHT		COST(ea)	SOURCE
	-----------	------	-----------	--------	-------------

	BBS		RC *	19 lbs **	----		Tire Rack

	Complete	race	18.5 lbs	$350		Complete
	Custom		street	21?				Custom
	Wheel							Wheel

	Compomotive	PS	20.5 lbs	$450		Compomotive

	Duralights  	N/A	18 lbs				Taylor

	Fikse		FM/5	18.5 lbs	$795		PFS
	Fikse		FM/10	18.5 lbs	$795		PFS
	Fikse		ARO	18.9 lbs	$990		Fikse
	Fikse		Mach 5	18.5 lbs	$990		Fikse

	Forgeline	LS	18.2 lbs***	$625		Forgeline
	Forgeline	RS	18.2 lbs***	$575		Forgeline

	Hart Sport	Mirage	21 lbs		$685		Hart Sport
			Odyssey	21 lbs		$585		Hart Sport
			Diablo	21 lbs		$585		Hart Sport

	HRE		535	22.0 lbs	$610		HRE

	Kinesis		K5	18 lbs		$830		Kinesis
			K20	19 lbs		$830		Kinesis
			Suprcp	21 lbs		$730		Kinesis

	Lite Speed	N/A	18 lbs				Taylor Corp

	Mackin		Gewalt	23 lbs **	$359		Tire Rack

	Momo		Sport	26 lbs****			Momo
			Arrow	26 lbs****			Momo

	Monocoque	RT	20 lbs		$520		Monocoque
	
	MRT		(Did not really have anything suited for my car)

	Racing Hart	Type C	21 lbs ***	$600		DAZZ
			Tracer	18 lbs		$600		DAZZ

	SSR		Int. A2  21 lbs **	$408		Tire Rack,Source
	SSR		Mark 10  **				The Source	
	SSR		De Colte 19.8 lbs **			The Source

	Speedline	street	25 lbs		$???		SAC
			race	19 lbs		$900+		SAC

	Tecnomagnesio	MT5B2	17.5 lbs	$660		TAW


	*   = not avail. for the RX-7 (but are for Miata, Protege, others)
	**  = 17x9" (not avail. in 17x10")
	*** = 17x9.5" (not avail. in 17x10")
	****= 17x8" (not avail. in 17x10")

Tire considerations: 17" tires might weigh more than the 16" ones (smaller side wall, but wider tread). Since I am looking for 17" wheels, I wanted the lightest wheels to help compensate for the potentially increased tire weight. I did not check the weights of the tires, so if you are looking for the lightest combination, then you may want to stick with the stock size wheel. My original goal was to get a 17" wheel and tire combination that have the same overall weight as the stock 16" combo. Since the stock RX-7 wheels are extremely light (16.5 - 17 lbs for the 16x8", I think), it was a bit of a chore to find comparable weight wheels.

John at Complete Custom Wheel was very helpful and knowledgeable. A lot of people on the mailing list have bought from him, as well as Tri-Point's Craig Nagler. The only problem with these is that they are not the best looking wheel, possibly due to the small center section and large rim halves.

Tire Rack was also very helpful, and I would buy from them in a second if they had any light wheels. Great Web site, also. Tire Rack will mount and balance wheels and tires for free when purchased from them as a package, but no other discount. They will shave race tires for $15 a wheel. They will also sell the BFG R1s at Team/TA prices.

The Monocoque wheels seemed to be a good choice at first, but I got 3 different responses on the weight each of the 3 times I called. At first, I was told 12 lbs. Then 21, then 17. So I got a little nervous about them. People have said they arrive weighing quite a bit more than they were told, and service is pretty poor. So I think I will avoid them.

The Tecnomagnesio wheels are magnesium, as the name would imply. They said they make them in racing and street configurations with the street wheels being a little more reinforced and hence about 1/2 lb heavier. They are supposed to not have the typical magnesium wheel "life limit" like other mag wheels. The company was formerly part of Campagnolo, and makes / has made wheels for Ferrari, F1 constructors, etc, so they sound pretty reputable. My problem with them is that they do not seem to know what the measurements of the wheels need to be. Most everyone else will just need backspacing, but Tecnomagnesio said they need about 15 measurements. And I do not want to be on the hook for providing these, since if I screw them up, I will have to pay for them anyway. The rep also gave me different weights on several occassions, but they were all still really low compared to almost anything else.

HRE also looked to be a good possibility at first, but they also have given me different weights every time I called them. I asked them to fax me a statement giving the exact weight (within 0.5 lbs) as to what the wheels should weigh. The person I talked to said they should be about 17.5 lbs and that he would send a fax after he weighed them, which he did. More like 18.5 lbs.

Racing Beat is no longer selling their LSR wheel. The first person I talked to said to call Mackin in LA, but the phone number he gave me did not work. I called back and they said to try DAZZ. The LSR wheel is actually a Racing Hart Tracer.

The Racing Hart wheels might be another good choice, but they have to be custom made for 10" width. You supply the measurements. I get too nervous about the latter (see Tecnomagnesio comments above).

This research was a major pain in the butt. I quickly eliminated the distributors who acted like I was crazy for asking how much a wheel weighed. ("Don't you just want it to look cool?") Thanks to those people for making my job easier. (sarcasm) It took a really long time to come to a decision. All the vendors' reps are really confused as to what they are selling.

I finally decided on the CCWs, as John is very knowledgable, knows his wheels, and has made a lot of sets in 17x10" for the RX-7. If his business grows and he has sales people selling the wheels instead of doing it himself, I reckon he may end up with the same problems as the other companies' distributors.

I am getting the wheels powdercoated black (about another $20 - 25 per wheel). I am having the tires shipped to CCW since John will mount them and ship the mounted tires and wheels to me.

__________________

A followup I sent to the list (May 26, 1999):

The first line of defense for these companies does not seem to know much, and will quote absolutely ridiculous weights for their wheels (like 11 - 12 lbs for a 17x10!!!).

HRE is a good example. I talked to them on several different occassions and got different answers each time. I finally got fed up and asked to talk to someone in management. The guy actually had someone weigh the parts (unassembled) for a 17x10 wheel, including center section, rim halves, and fasteners, and faxed me a weight estimate on company letterhead that he had signed. (The weight was missing the weight of the silicone sealant they used, but that shouldn't add much.) While I appreciate his effort, by the time I went through all of this I had already bought the CCWs.

That is the length you have to go to to make sure you are getting an accurate weight. I didn't do this for all of the vendors I have in my list, but whenever I got a really suspicious claim, I followed up with someone higher up in the company.

As an aside, I found that each inch added to a wheel's width adds about one pound to a 17" wheel. Going from 17 --> 18" diameter varies a lot. Depends on how the center section is constructed, how much material is added to get the proper offset (if not done through manipulating the rim halves), and if reinforcement needs to be added.

____________________

Here is the contact information I found:

________________

These are for 13x6, but some more info I didn't have above.

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:00:21 -0700
From: John Lieberman (johnlee@softdisk.com)

Try Diamond Racing Wheels, Scott. 1-800-937-4407. They made my 13x6's for $57 each!

The 13x6's are spun steel and weigh 11 pounds each. They've got a solid weld bead all the way around the inside of the dish. They've got large round holes equally spaced around the dish (NASCAR-style...although the larger wheels have holes that are trapezoidal rather than round).

They come in either silver (looks like chrome!) or black powder coat or you can actually get them chromed if you want to pay extra. They look like a million bucks!!! But don't scrub them with a brush...they'll scratch. If you spray a clear coat over the powder coat, THEN you can scrub them with a brush. They're located in Milwaukee, Cheesehead, and operate normal 8-5 hours. To my knowledge, they don't have e-mail or a website.

For Phil E and anyone else who cares, here's the full text of what I posted to the list several months ago with some updates that others supplied after I sent it:

OK, gang. Here's the poop on my wheel search for the Mini. My goal was a 13x6 with a 2-1/2 inch backspace and as light as I could get within financial reason. My thanks to all of you who responded to my original post. I decided to go with Diamond Racing Wheel and I owe my thanks to Christopher Baye for hooking me up with them. I'll try to put this into some sort of order so you can follow along:

Diamond Racing Wheels - (ask for Bill) - 800-937-4407 - custom made spun steel, 13x6, 2-1/2 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, hub-centric if you want it, 11 pounds, $57 each (just exactly what I wanted!)

Fast Wheels - (This was the place I thought I wanted...Thanks to everybody who responded) - 918-599-9022 - 13x5.5, 2-1/2 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, 14 pounds, $53.50 each; or 13x6 custom built for $66 each

Paulsen Racing Wheels - (Thanks, Randy) - 209-983-0271 - 13x5.5, 2-1/2 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, 17 pounds, $29 each

The Wheel Source - (Thanks, Ken) - 513-299-0035 - 13x6 Panasport, 2-1/2 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, 13-1/2 pounds, $795 per set of 4 (ouch!)

Bogart Racing Wheels - 619-562-4518 - 13x5.5, 2-3/4 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, 15-1/4 pounds, $44.95 each

Paul Spruel - 800-552-2532 - 13x6 Panasport, 2-1/2 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, $148 each

Taylor Corporation - 515-276-0992 - 13x6 3-piece Dura-Light, 2-1/2 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, 7 pounds, $172 each

Keiser Aluminum Wheels - 602-893-3557 - 13x6, 3-piece, 2-3/8 inch back space, 4-on-4 bolt pattern, 7-3/4 pounds, $155 each

Weld Racing - 816-421-8040, x981, zilch in a 13 inch wheel

Performance Industries - 305-887-5000, nothing in a 13 inch wheel

Complete Custom Wheel - 562-903-5560 or 352-371-8493, nada in a 13 inch wheel

HRE Performance Wheels - 619-598-1960 - nada mas in a 13 inch wheel

K-Speed, Inc - 800-494-0708 - nothing in a 13x6 or 13x5.5 Panasport

Monocoque Racing Wheels - 619-448-2800 - didn't even call!!!

Let's not forget The Tire Rack - 888-981-3952 - nothing in the size I needed

Brooklands - 954-776-2748 - couldn't contact (hours)

Forgeline Forged Alloy Wheels - 937-643-0050 - couldn't contact (hours)

Motorsport Specialties, Inc - 800-621-8408 - couldn't contact (hours)

I'm sure there are plenty of other suppliers, but those are the ones I contacted. Anybody else care to chime in?

(Since I posted that original message, I've received the following updates:

>From Iain Mannix Re: Weld Racing -
They are doing a 13" wheel now, called the 72. I have a set of 13x9s, list price for 13x8s is $230 or so. My 9s weigh 10# even, were round, straight, easy to mount an R1 on, light, look neato...Jeff Jordan is the motorsports sales guy, 816/676-9353, I enjoyed dealing with him. I like mine so far, only a few events on them, no leaks so far, very happy with the, and they're light (he claimed 9 pounds, 9 ounces for 13x8, my 13x9s came in at 10 pounds - close enough, heard of claimed weights varying with actual weights by a few pounds, let alone ounces).

Re: Performance Industries -
I've had a set of PI 13x7s for a couple of years now. 3-5/8" backspace, one piece, cost $108 each, weigh about 15 pounds. Difficult to mount/dismount, other than that, no complaints - the backspace was wrong for the Rabbit (my car), but I knew that before I bought them, they stuck out a bit (DSP car, didn't matter). They worked, but Performance Industries does make a 13" wheel - have for a few years at least, AFAIK.

>From J Brett Howell:
You may want to check out R & S Racing, Inc. (http://www.rsracing.c../steve/index.html) or call them (ph# 888-261-1243). They sell a 3-piece, spun aluminum 15x10 wheel with pressed in steel lug-hole inserts, 2-8" backspace (1" increments) and 4, 5, or 6 inch widths. Description on their web page, the wheels seem to be well made with custom centerbores and bolt-hole spacing available (anyone have experience with these wheels?) The proprietors, Ron & Sonya Ver Mulm, have a good deal of Solo II in their backgrounds and sell Weld Wheels, too, so they should be able to help you find what you need.

Questionnaire for Buying Wheels

From my lessons learned from CCW, I put together a wheel questionnaire:

For a '93 - 95 Mazda RX-7:

  1. What do the wheels weigh in 17x10", with appropriate backspacing, to the nearest half pound or less?
    What do the wheels weigh in 18x10", with appropriate backspacing, to the nearest half pound or less?
    How where these weighed, or is this just a rough guess?
    I am looking for an exact weight as this will be a major consideration in my purchase.
    The wheels will be weighed after I receive them - can I return them if the weight varies significantly from what you quote here (assuming not mounted)? I don't mean to be a pain in the butt, but if I spend this much for wheels I want to get what I pay for.


  2. How does your pricing work? (I saw the price list, but it looked like there are a bunch of optional parts, finishes, etc.)
    What is required at a minimum? What is left out of this minimum configuration?
    Any optional but required parts that cost extra?


  3. How many of the '93 - 95 RX-7s have you sold these wheels for?
    Have you had any complaints/issues?
    Did the other customers have to make any modifications to their cars, e.g.- roll the fenders?


  4. I know the backspacing/offset I have currently (see above). Do you make these wheels with those offsets?
    What is the smallest increment (resolution) that you can make offset to? i.e.- 5mm increments of offset, e.g.- 40mm, 45, 50, 55, etc.


  5. How is width measured on your wheels, e.g.- inside the beads or overall wheel width?
    How is this backspace achieved, through appropriate rim halves, by adding extra material to the back of the center section, or use of spacers?


  6. Are the center sections different diameters for each diameter of wheel you offer, or is there just one for all 17 - 20 inch diameters? (i.e.- the 17" CCWs I have now look like they have a center secion for a 14" wheel, and very large rim halves. This makes the wheels look weird.)
    In other words, is there a center section for the 17" diameter wheels, a larger one for 18", and even larger one for 19, and yet still a larger one for 20"?


  7. Do these require any additional hardware such as spacers?
    If spacers, do you supply them?
    How are the spacers centered?
    How much do the spacers weigh?


  8. Are the wheels hub or lug centric? i.e.- how are the wheels centered on the hubs?
    Do they require hub centering rings, or are the wheels machined to fit my car directly?
    Is any other centering method used, e.g.- optional (additional cost) center caps required to act as hub centering rings?


  9. Do the wheels work with the stock studs, or require longer ones to be pressed in?
    Do they use the stock lug nuts, or require aftermarket ones?
    If aftermarket, are they included?
    Which ones are recommended?
    Do the wheels accept locking lug nuts?
    Which ones are recommended?


  10. Do the wheels include valve stems?
    If not, will they accept standard valve stems, or are a special type required?
    If not, what size?


  11. Are the wheels designed to accept or require center caps?
    If so, are they included?
    Do they serve any function other than appearance, e.g.- centering the wheels on the hubs?
    How do they attach to the wheel, e.g.- locks, bolts?
    Was this weight included in the wheel weight above?
    What do they weigh?


  12. What options for finish do you offer, e.g.- polished, painted, powdercoated?
    Is a finish included in the base price, or do I have to select one (required) at an additional cost?
    Which parts of the wheels are polished, painted, or powdercoated, e.g.- rim halves, center section, center cap, bolts/nuts?
    How much do these cost?


  13. What is the largest diameter brake rotor that these will accomodate in 17" diameter? (I know that this will depend on how large the caliper is and what car they are installed on, but if you could provide some examples for customers running this diameter and offset and what diameter/brand of rotor and caliper, I would appreciate it.)


  14. Do you stock these for my car in the specified size/offset?
    If not, how long will it take to build them?


  15. What gaurantee do you offer on them as far as initial fitment, i.e.- what if they do not fit?
    What is covered and for how long are they gauranteed? (e.g.- Is road hazard covered?)
    What will void the warrantee on these, e.g.- autocrossing, road racing, driver's schools?


Wheel Mounting, Spacers, Repair, etc.

Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 00:30:41 -0400
From: Stephen J Lee

There are two modes of balance you have to worry about, static and dynamic balance. If a wheel is not in static balance, it will oscillate up-and-down and/or back-and-forth. If the wheel is not in dynamics balance, it will wobble about the steering axis.

The wheel is in static balance when the center of mass is on the axis of rotation. The wheel is in dynamic balance when the "principle axis of inertia" (I think also known as the moment of inertia) coincides with the rotational axis.

When the wheel is out of dynamics balance, the wheel wants to rotate about the principle axis of rotation, which passes through the center of mass when the wheel is in static balance.

So what does this have to do with the orginal question? When you staticly balance a wheel, it doesn't matter whether you put the balancing weights on the inside or outside, you just want the center of mass (a point) to be on the roational axis (a line). But it does matter in dynamic balancing since you want the principle axis or rotation (a line) to coincide with the rotational axis (again, a line). As a result, you have an additional degree of freedom in static balancing.

_______________

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 10:18:34 +0000
From: "David Lane"

When I needed some work done on one of my wheels, I emailed Tire Rack for a recommendation. They sent me a list of places in my quadrant of the country. From the looks of it, they have a national list of places they like to deal with. I am sure there is someplace near you. You can email Tire Rack through their web site.

_________________

From: Steve Cirian
Date: June 25, 1999

>if I am running stock rims and wanted to fill in the wells a little more, where
>would I get some spacers? Are there and disadvantages to these?

You can get cheap spacers at any auto parts store.

You will probably want to get good ones, however. By good ones I mean ones that are either hub or lug centric. Hub centric means that they are cut out in the center to fit snugly around the hub, which will center them. Lug centric means that they fit snugly around the lug studs, which will again center them. If the spacers are not centered, they will cause an out of balance condition on the rotating mass (wheel, tire, hub, rotor, etc).

Tire Rack or Discount Tire would probably be good places to call to see if they have hub- or lug-centric spacers for your car.

As far as disadvantages go, you will change the amount of force on the bearings since you will have moved the tires outboard, increasing the moment. This should probably be negligible.

Also, you will have less thread inside the lug nuts since you will have moved the tire farther away from the hub surface it would normally be in contact with. I don't think this would be a problem, as I am running 1/4" spacers on mine, and there seems to be plenty of thread for the lug nuts to grab. Maybe not as much as stock, but still plenty for my peace of mind.

_________________

From: Allen Hah (ahah@cmcvax.mckenna.edu)
Date: June 25, 1999

Just to let you know, the only place that I could find that sold longer studs was Speedsource in Florida. They were $5 a stud, so they're not cheap. You need to remove the rotor, hammer out the old studs, and press in the new ones. I had a place do it for $50 since I didn't like the idea of hammering my rotor.

I use a 1/4" spacer, and there definitely wasn't enough stud threads left with the stock studs.

(Ed.'s note: I used 1/4" spacers with my CCWs, and there was enough thread left, so it will depend on how thick the center section is on your wheel. I am guessing that Allen used the stock wheels? --Steve)

_________________

Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 19:56:27 +0000
From: "Brian Naumann" (brn6604@mail.geocities.com)
Subject: Hubcentric Spacer Rings

Per the first suggestion that I received, I called up Discount Tire (they carry TSW) and they have a set of four on the way to me for $12.

I was also pointed to this website:

Wheelmate Products

________________

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 14:48:31 -0800
From: Tim Stiles

...a post I saw on the Ford list. A guy on that list wrote his name, number, address, and driver's license number on a slip of paper that he put in a ziploc bag then he had the tire shop put the bag inside the tires when they mounted his new aftermarket rims he was buying. He had a note that said something like: " If you find this note and the repair ticket doesn't match the info provided above these rims are stolen---call the police!" Well--his rims were stolen and he got a phone call from the police dept about 4 months later. The thief had gone in to get some different tires mounted and the shop found the note!! I thought this was a clever idea---give it a try next time you're in the tire shop!

__________________

From: Steve Cirian
Date: April 22, 1999

>I have a question for you. You know how some rims have a little ring that
>goes in the center of the wheel (goes in between the hub and the center of
>the rim). What happens if you lose them and just mount the rims anyways?

This ring is used to make sure the wheels are centered on the hub. It should fit snuggly on the center part of the hub that sticks out.

Some wheels are "hub centric", meaning that they are centered by the hub (like the rings you describe). Others are "lug centric", meaning that they are centered by the lug nuts.

If you do not use the rings, then you will have a more difficult time getting the wheels centered when you bolt them on. But it can be done if you take your time, keep jiggling the wheels to shift them towards the center as you go around tightening the lugs, and make sure to tighten the lugs in the usual star pattern. The CCW wheels are this way if I don't use the center caps, which I leave off to save unsprung weight.

Kinesis Motorsport Wheels

Kinesis logo

Kinesis K58 on my car

Kinesis K58 on my car

Kinesis K58 on my car

From: Steve Cirian
Date: April 2, 2000

This is the long-awaited review of my new Kinesis K58s.

APPEARANCE: They are beautiful. Much, much better than the old CCWs I was running.

CONSTRUCTION: Very well made. They are hub centric and made to fit the hub exactly. (Unlike the CCWs which were not hub or lug centric.) This is one of the nice things you get when you pay for the high-end wheels. There are a lot of other little details that are a lot nicer than they were on the CCWs. I am not knocking CCW; those wheels were a third the price. I am just saying you get what you pay for. e.g.- Kinesis has much better lug nut holes. The CCWs had holes that were not wide enough to get the lug wrench socket on the nut all the way, and I ended up rounding off the edges of my lugs nuts after a few installs.

The wheels ended up being 24 lbs each, which is a bit heavier than they were advertised as being. (I think I was told 21 lbs by Kinesis, but there was some initial confusion on their part on the K58 vs. K5, so they may have originally told me the weight for the K5 (same wheel, just a 17" size instead of the 18" of the K58). 24 lbs is still pretty darned light for 18x10" wheels.

The Kinesis K58 wheels have a center section that is specific to the 18" size. This looks much much better than the CCWs which have a center section that looks like it came from a 15" wheel. This is an appearance thing, but also could be an issue if you are looking to go to a big brake kit. The Kinesis have a ton of room that the CCWs did not.

And on to the topic everyone is waiting for:

FIT: I got the same backspacing as I had on the 17" wheels. The 18" ones fit better - there is more room in the front since the shocks tilt in at the top. The extra space at the top could even let you run slightly wider wheels, although I would not recommend it. There is about a quarter inch space now.

I bought 285/30-18 BFG TA KD tires. These fit the back perfectly, but the fronts look like they are hitting the fender lip. The old 275/40-17s fit fine, but not the new size. The extra 10 mm is just too much. BFG does not make these in a 275. I will be ordering the 265/35-18s for the front. Should be fine, since they are 20 mms narrower.

I could roll the fender lip and probably be fine, or run a lot more negative camber (would take too much to make it fit). Worst case, I will just keep the 285s from the front and put them on the back in a year or two when the rears wear out.

I ordered these through Crooked Willow Composites (CWC), Duane Krumweide's company. Duane did a good job of tracking down info for me, and got me a good deal. Kinesis got them out very quickly.

________________

I asked Kinesis how their wheels were tested. I slightly edited the following response, so if there are any errors, they might be my fault. (I didn't change numbers or anything, just formatting.)

From: kinesis@kinesismotorsport.com
Date: April 11, 2000

Goal Automotive Technical Services is the independent testing lab that most wheel companies, including ourselves, use for testing products.

For our market we use a max wheel load of 1580 pounds or a vehicle GVW of 6320 pounds. Look at your GVW, also the max load of your tire.

When a company gives a test result, you need to know whether they are talking about the wheel load or the test load. When we have a cornering fatigue test for a maximum wheel load of 1580 pounds "Goal" uses a test load of 2640 pounds to simulate a test of a longer period. This test requires a minimum of 100,000 cycles to pass test. In actual miles that is only about 121 miles, but with the higher test load they simulate the life of a wheel. Although this test only requires 100,000 cycles we require all of our wheels to pass 200,000 cycles and have tested sucessfully to 500,000 cycles (read "very impressive").

Another test we have performed is the radial fatigue test, where the test load is 3950 pounds for a max wheel load of 1580 pounds. This test requires 600,000 cycles, we test to 1,000,000 cycles. The reason we test to higher cycles is because we want to be better than "just good enough". We want to be sure that our wheels will be reliable.

Some companies may be using higher test loads because they want to sell that design on trucks and sport utility vehicles, not currently part of our market. Some other companies test to lower test loads again because of their target market, ie compact cars like Honda, where they might use a max wheel load of 1200 pounds. It is very important to know your market.

Sincerely,

Alan Baylis

________________

From: Steve Cirian
Update: April 9, 2000

I had the 265/35s mounted. They do indeed fit fine, no rubbing.

Several other people say they are running the Hoosiers at 285/30 with no problems. That is just weird - the Hoosiers are supposed to be slightly wider across the tread than the BFG KDs are. That should make the problem worse, not better. And I am running more negative camber than the other guys, since mine is set up for the 17" wheels (use less camber for the taller wheels).

Pictures coming soon.

_________________

From: kinesis@kinesismotorsport.com
Date: April 12, 2000

We offer a 15% discount to club members (Porsche club, BMW club, RX-7 club, Pinto club etc...)

I need to measure an RX-7 to see if we can use a shorter back pad and still clear the brakes. If there was someone local who wanted wheels we would offer them an extra discount for their trouble. The smaller back pad would allow us to use a deeper outer and make the wheels about 1 pound lighter. Let me know.

Kinesis K58 Kinesis K58

Complete Custom Wheel

CCW Advertisement

I got the CCWs yesterday, 17x10. Here are my initial thoughts. I am sending this to John at CCW as well for his comments, and will update then.

I'll send out an update when I get more info, get my pictures developed and scanned, etc.

_______________ CCWs on my car

And here is the update:

OK kiddies, the word for today is fubar. Can you say fubar? Good, I knew you could. (Fubar is an acronym us Unix guys borrowed from the military and means F$&*ed Up Beyond All Recognition.)

Since the rears were hitting against the suspension, I shimmed them out 1/4" (3 washers from the 'Depot per stud). This gave adequate clearance, and I may even be able to get away w/ 2 per wheel in my next test tomorrow. Then I get real spacers before driving anywhere other than around the block. However, now the tires rub on the wheel well lip. I will screw the coil-overs up about 1/2" tomorrow and try w/ 2 washers.

One problem came up. Actually a whole bunch of them but the first one was that the wheels are not hub-centric like the stock wheels (meaning that the wheel's center hole is exactly the same size inner diameter as the hub's center's OD). In this case, you really should use shouldered lug nuts, not the tapered ones like the stock ones are. The problem here is that the wheel is not centered on the hub, and therefore acts like it is out of round. (Which I think Carl said at least one of his is.) John said that the wheels he made for me were supposed to have been shipped w/ the center caps which will position the wheels in a hub-centric manner. The packing was torn up, so they probably got lost in shipping. A trip (a very slow trip) to the Pep Boys will be in order tomorrow morning. I will either have to take a cab or borrow a friend's car, since the trip I took around the block felt REALLY bad. Or I could just put the old wheels back on.

Next problem - the bolt holes in the wheel are too shallow. You can't get enough of the lug wrench on the nuts to get them off w/o some slipping and rounding off of the nuts. John needs to start drilling the wells surrounding the lug nuts deeper.

On to the fronts: I put the wheels on w/ no spacers, and everything seemed fine at first, until I tried to turn the steering wheel. The back of the wheel hits the spring and the perch on which it sits on the shock. I took the wheel back off and added the now-standard 3 washers per lug. Now they only hit when you have the wheels cranked all the way to the side. If you do turn the wheel this far, the tires and rim edge turns the spring mounting perch sort of like a ring and pinion set. Not good for your corner balance.

I think I have the coil-overs in the front set to the correct height, as the clearance looks good. Since the suspension is now stiff as a poker, I don't think there will be any problems in the front, once I get the 1/4" spacers, and don't turn the wheel to the extreme.

I think the long term solution is going to be to flare the fenders and run about an inch less backspace. This will give about 1/2" clearance w/o the spacers, under dynamic load and flex of the suspension arms under cornering loads. John Levy had mentioned that his wheels were grooving the arms by about 1/4".

Anyone know if there is a source for fender flares out there, other than some of the ridiculous looking body kits? I just want something that will follow the wheel opening and blend into the body a few inches up.

Then I get the 17x12s w/ 335/35-17 tires.

__________________ CCWs compared to stock

John at CCW does provide good customer service. He sent me the center caps (which will center the wheels on the hubs), and some spacers of the correct (1/4") thickness. I had already bought some spacers at Pep Boys, but they were generic fit-anything types, so they did not stay centered on the wheels. The CCW spacers are lug-centric, so they work fine.

These pretty much resolve all remaining issues. I hope the above comments don't put anyone off of buying these wheels from John, as he was in the middle of moving his shop from California to Florida, and that probably had something to do with my problems. They are among the lightest and lowest priced wheels out there. --Steve

__________________ CCWs compared to stock

And a further update (Jan 4, 1999):

I have Complete Custom Wheel (CCW) 17x10" wheels on the front. I had a small problem with my CCWs rubbing when the steering was at full lock (only when parking). It turns out that this was caused by the wheel rim rubbing on Tri-Point's tubular bars: They hit the ends of the aluminum lever bars (barely).

I don't see this as an issue, but just wanted to let people know if they are contemplating this combination. However, it could be an issue if this knocks the weights off of the wheels if you have the clip on kind of weights and they are mounted inboard.

This may be peculiar to the CCWs, since they also are known to have clearance problems with big brake kits, that are not experienced with other wheel mfrs. But then on the other hand, it is the rim lip that hits the end of the bar, and this should be in the same place on all 17x10 wheels.

__________________

The following is an update on CCW wheels from Victor Masch. I have also included my responses to some of the points. --Steve

Victor Masch (vmasch@mindspring.com)
Date: April 10, 2000

>Some of the information regarding Complete Custom Wheels, that appeared
>on the list recently, is not current. I have just spent some time
>playing with these wheels, while getting my new suspension in. I also
>just talked to John Purner. So, I hope the following is both accurate
>and current.
>
>Hub-centricity. Early wheels for the RX-7 were not hub-centric, located
>by center caps. Current wheels are hub-centric. Mine are.
>
>Suspension Clearance. Early 17x10 wheels had a problem rubbing the rear
>trailing arm. John believes he addressed that by changing the
>backspacing. So, no spacers should be required. No clearance problems
>with 18x10 wheels (more room inside). My 18x10 wheels have no problems.

John gave me the choice of having the wheels made with extra material added to reduce backspace. This eliminates the need for spacers on the rear. That is good since the spacers were not centric and having this be part of a hub-centric wheel would make the mounting easier. The downside to this is that you can't rotate tires front to rear. Also the wheel is heavier (although it is probably a wash since the spacer would also add weight.

>Tire Clearance. This is getting fairly complex. John says that you can
>run 17x10 wheels with Kumho 255 f/275 r tires. With other brands of
>tires, you may have to go with a 9.5 front rim. As my coilovers were
>being installed in March, I asked Dave Barninger to carefully check that
>18 x 10 CCW's with 285/30/18 Hoosiers will fit all around. His
>conclusion is affirmative on that, although it looks very close. I'll
>have more information in a couple of weeks after some track days.

18x10 will not fit 285/30-18 in front. I have 18x10 Kinesis K58s now, and tried 285/30 in the front. The fender lip hit the tire. This was with a 7.5" backspace, which is what the 17x10" CCWs I had came with. Any more backspace and the wheel would hit the spring. That would make no difference between wheel brands. Backspace is backspace. There is less than a quarter inch between the spring and the back of the wheel, so no more backspace would be possible. I have 2.5" coil-overs.

I had 275/40s on all 4 corners when I had the 17x10 wheels. No problems or rubbing.

>Brake Clearance. John claims he can now make wheels to clear pretty much
>any caliper. I have no direct experience with this - stock brake
>calipers.

This is new news. John must now be making new small centers. The small ones on the wheels I had cleared the stock brakes but not by much. There was no way you could go much larger on brakes. You are right about the small ones not being as nice looking. But if you are going for performance, that is the way to go.

>Wheel Centers. John has two size centers - the smaller fits 16 and 17,
>the larger 17 and 18. The smaller is cheaper and lighter, but not as
>nice looking.
>
>Weight. According to my digital bathroom scale, an 18x10 CCW with a
>285/30/18 Hoosier is 43 lb. The tire is 21 lb, so the wheel seems to be
>22 lb. For comparison, a stock wheel with a 245/45/16 BFG R1 is 40 lb.
>John has just purchased equipment to do the machining himself. This will
>improve his production process; he also thinks he'll be able to shave 3
>lb. off the wheel weight without reducing strength. Then, of course,
>there is the whole static vs rotational mass issue.
>
>Reliability. John claims zero track failure rate since 1995. Apparently,
>some large wheel manufacturers have had a number of wheel failures. Mine
>are fine after a year and 15 track days.
>
>Cost. Small center wheels are 375, large center wheels are 425-450.
>Metal air valves and McGard lug nuts are shipped with the wheels, if
>John remembers.
>
>The moral seems to be that, with freshly made CCW wheels, you can have a
>lot of flexibility, and the fit should be fine. With older wheels,
>careful checking may be necessary to assure good fit. I have no
>affiliation with John, except I get occasional calls from Citibank
>questioning large charges in Florida to my credit card.

Original RX-7 Wheel Info

The original wheels are said to weigh anywhere from 14 - 17 lbs, from various posts I have saved. Please let me know if you have weighed yours using the method of weighing yourself while holding the wheel and while not holding it and subtracted the difference.

The bolt pattern is: 5x4.5" (114.3mm)

_________________

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 98 16:01:00 EST
From: "Houseman, Carl W. x1323"

Stock rims are 16 x 8. Largest fit is generally agreed to be 245/45 which maintains the stock overall diameter.

____________

There are two kinds of the OEM wheels, some of which are known to crack due to the hollow design of the spokes.

Cracked wheels

There does not seem to be a concensus on which ones are the brittle ones, as the following posts illustrate:

_______________

From: "Steven F. O'Sheal"
Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 21:07:28 -0500

Nathan Freedenberg wrote:

>Feel the behind the spoke. the good wheels are rounded along
>the edge. The crack-prone ones are flat.

Very interesting. About a year ago we were discussing this and concluded the "PFD" wheels (have PFD stamped on them) were the brittle wheels. Just checked out in the garage; I have 3 PFD wheels and 5 non-PFD wheels. The PFD ones have rounded spokes (well, they feel almost pointed or angulated to me, but distinctly different from the flat ones), while the non-PFD ones have flat spokes.

________________

From: dpunch@qualcomm.com (Derek Punch)
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 07:59:44 -0700 (PDT)

Hello Jonathan, turns out there are 2 types of OEM wheels avail for this car. One of them is reputed to break often I think its the type that has PFD stamped on it. The PFD types have less metal around the inside of spokes, and the casting is rougher on the inside of the spokes than the other type leading to the premature failure. In talking to Rhys at Millen Motorsports, the PFDs are ok for the street-but the other type is recommended for track type stresses-I have 2 sets of wheels and 2 of the ones on my car are PFD-my track set is all of the other type thank goodness. Moral of story stay away from PFD types for track/aggressive use or at all if you can avoid them.

________________

For what it's worth, mine are the PFD ones, and I have been autocrossing with them. No problems yet. Steve.

________________

Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 03:20:08 +0000
From: "Dave Girvan"

I thought I'd let everyone know that I have a big crack in one of my rims. The strange part is that this stock rim is the one that is NOT supposed to be prone to cracking. It came off the passenger side, rear. The rim was made in July of 1992. For those of you who want to know when you stock rims were made, here is how to tell:

On the outside of the rim, look for a two digit number with a rectangular box to the left of it. This box will have twelve smaller boxes withing the rectangle. From top left, to bottom right, count the number of boxes that have dots in them. This is the month that your rims were made. The two digit number to the right of the rectangle is the year of manufacture. Here's an example:

- ----------------------------------  999999   3333333
!  o  !  o  !  o  !  o  !  o  !  o  !  9        9             33
!--------------------------------!  999999       33333
!  o  !  o  !  o  !      !      !      !            9             33 
!--------------------------------!            9   3333333           

(If this ASCII art looks bizzarre, switch to a fixed width font)

This would be September 1993.

I would be interesting in hearing from other 3rd gen owners who have had rims crack. If possible, let me know the date code. Has anyone had their cracked rims replaced, out of warranty? This sounds like a potential safety defect to me... I know Mazda had a big recall campaign on some of their truck wheels that were made during the same time period.

_______________

Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 13:35:55 PDT
From: "Neal Dillman" (n_dillman@hotmail.com)
Subject: (rx7) RE: [3] MT wheels vs. AT wheels

I called around and got some information. It is still fuzzy, but may shed some light on the issue.

There were four third gen wheels.. two manual, and two automatic. They changed over to the newer versions on 6/15/92. RX-7s built before then have the older casting. As far as I can understand, the newer casting is the one with the hub curves which is NOT prone to crack.

The offsets are in fact the same. It is the weight that is different. The A/T version (both versions of it) is a vouple of pounds (sorry for the estimate) heavier than the M/T versions.

Apparently the numbering (??) on the older wheels differs from that on the newer wheels, and at some point the part numbers changed.. presumably when the line changed over to the new wheels.

Part numbers (I am not sure of whether these are the old or the new ones):

Cory, the owner of 800-used-rim, seemed to know the most info on the wheels. I got a set of wheels from them a little while back and they were PERFECT. He currently has three sets of FD MT wheels, two stock, and one chromed stock.

3rd Gen Wheels on 2ng Gen

Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 16:08:55 -0500
From: Tuck

They fit fine on the back of the second generation cars, but they don't fit in front. You'd need about a 3/4" spacer as I recall (tried it once) and the stock studs aren't long enough, so you'd need to remove the hubs and press in longer studs.

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