Choosing the right size wheels can be a nightmare. Often it’s very confusing and you might wonder what ET-15 with 10J rims would look like on your car so whether you’re after our RAYS Volk Racing, Gramlights or other wheels, let’s have a look at the basics. First things first. Reasons people choose alloy wheels and why they might be right for you:
- Alloy wheels will improve your car’s appearance and set it apart from others.
- RAYS alloys reduce the unsprung weight of a vehicle fitted with standard OEM wheels. This will lead to better steering as well as a reduction in your fuel consumption.
- Alloy is a good heat conductor and can improve the heat dissipation from the brakes, reducing the risk of brake failure under more demanding driving conditions.
- Alloys can improve on steering response and grip, especially when turning corners.
WHAT IS P.C.D.?
The PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter) is the diameter of a circle (usually stated in millimetres) drawn through the centres of all the bolt holes.
For example, 5×114.3 means that the wheel has 5 bolt holes and the diameter of the circle that passes through the middle of each of the bolt holes is 114.3mm.
WHAT IS WHEEL OFFSET (ET)?
The offset is the distance (in millimetres) from the centre of a wheel cross section to the mounting surface of the back of the wheel. Each car has an optimum offset and a range within which the offset can be for the wheel to fit the car properly.
A positive offset will have the surface mounted towards the front of the rim.
A negative offset will have the surface mounted towards the back often giving the wheel more ‘concave’ appearance at the front.
It is important to fit the wheels with the correct offset for your car as if the offset varies too much from the manufactures standard specification it can affect the steering and suspension components of your vehicle. If you choose an incorrect offset for your vehicle, you might end up with wheels that will be sticking out of the arches too much, or the wheel will be sucked in the arches so much that the rim would hit your suspension strut, brake calipers and other components.
THE WIDTH & DIAMETER OF A WHEEL
The size of an alloy wheel is calculated by the following equation; Diameter x Width (18 x 9.5J). The section between the mounting flanges on the wheel is known as the wheel width.
WHEEL CENTRE BORE & SPIGOT RINGS
The wheel centre bore is the diameter of the hole in the back that fits onto the flange on the car’s hub. Most wheels have a centre bore that is larger than the hub lip and consequently work on a spigot ring locating system. This allows the wheels to fit a wider range of cars.
Some wheels have been manufactured with a centre bore that will only fit precisely onto a specific vehicle so in this case, a spigot ring is not required. If the wheel does not locate the hub correctly, you may experience issues such as a vibrating steering wheel. This can lead to wear on the tyres and bearings, so customers should remember that if spigot rings are necessary.
ALTERING THE OFFSET USING WHEEL SPACERS
Wheel spacers are used to reduce the offset of a wheel if it’s too high for your vehicle. You would not use it if the offset was too low. Basically, spacers push the wheel further out until it sits correctly in relation to the vehicle’s arches and bodywork, allowing you to fit wheels to your car that aren’t made in direct fitment to the vehicle.