Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rollin' on D(ementia)

Thirty-two hundred dollars.  That's how much it would cost to buy a set of supremely sexy forged BBS wheels from Tire Rack.  The keyword here is "forged."  Can you justify $3200 worth of wheels?  No?  Well, neither can I and that's a problem when I have two bent wheels.  Ya, thank you very much craptacular snow belt roads and your equally dismal pothole laced streets!  What's the solution to getting my car rolling again?  Follow the jump.

The solution to not being able to afford crazy expensive wheels is to buy the cheapest possible!  Lost?  Why buy expensive cast wheels when they'll just bend anyways?  Time to buy cheap, lightweight cast wheels or, better yet, used wheels off of other performance cars.  Before you go running out to buy 911 wheels for your Civic, here's a few things I've learned while searching for some used BMW BBS wheels.

Bolt Pattern
Wheels need bolts in order to attach to a car.  Make sure the wheels you want have the same as your car!  For instance, my MS3 has a 5-114.3 bolt pattern which means it uses five bolts arranged in a circle with a diameter of 114.3mm.  This means those BMW wheels won't fit because they use a 5-120 bolt pattern.  Womp Womp.  Time to keep looking.

Hub Bore
I can't stress this specification enough!!!  Check and double check the diameter of the hub of both your car and the wheels you are interested in.  There's nothing more frustrating than finding those perfect wheels to set your car apart only to find the bore is all wrong.  This happened to me with some sweet Infiniti G35 wheels that measured 18x7.5 with a 45mm offset and a 5-114 bolt pattern.  Things were looking up until the Infiniti's hub bore of 66.1mm came to light.  This is a single millimeter shy of Mazda's absurdly large 67.1 mm hub bore.  The wheels would never fit!  However, if the situation were reversed, Infiniti owners could use Mazda wheels with the addition of hub centering rings.  Bastards!

Offset is another term I knew but didn't understand until earlier this week.  It's the distance from the centerline of the wheel to the mounting surface with positive numbers pushing the mounting surface closer to the outer face of the wheel.  It's an important number because you can destroy your fender or suspension with the wrong offset.  Conversely, the right offset can give you car a wicked stance.

Those other numbers
For those who need me to say it, 18x7.5 refers to the diameter of the wheel and the width in inches, respectively.  Don't ask me why everything is in millimeters and that's in inches.  I didn't make the rules.  Additionally, weight plays a huge factor in how your car performs.  Weight affects how a suspension reacts as well as how easy it is to accelerate a wheel in any direction.

Remember all these things when buying wheels!  If you can't be bothered, order everything from and they'll sort it out for you.

As for myself, I'm thinking a set of Ford GT front wheels would look fantastic but Danny Choy talked me out of it.  Enkei Imolas should work fine.

Dramatization of my car


  1. personally, i think the stock 18x7.5 wheels look the best on the ms3 -- unpainted, left as is. stock isn't very exciting, i realize, but to me they are by far the classiest and most handsome.

    but if you are looking for a more aftermarket look, then i like the trmotorsport c2 if you are on a budget, or the OZ ultraleggera if you have a little more money to play with. the OZs look nicer, but the C2s are probably stronger.

    just some ideas.

  2. Funny you mention the trmotorsports! I just had those and they are bent also. I went back to stock for awhile and now I'm shopping again