What is Rim Offset and Backspacing? How Do They Affect Fitment?

Thursday, June 26, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Have you been told your Honda needs a high offset wheel or that your new Jeep wheels must have the right backspacing?

Many drivers are familiar with rim diameter, bolt pattern and centerbore, but not offset and backspacing.

Offset is the distance between the mounting pad and rim's midpoint. The diagram to the right shows a wheel with a positive offset. Every contemporary Original Equipment wheel has a positive offset, however O.E. offset varies. For example, my old Honda Prelude SH has 16x6.5 wide, 55mm offset wheels while a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport comes with 16x7 44 mm offset wheels.

What happens when you get a new wheel with a different offset?  A higher offset results in the wheel and tire moving more in (towards the hub). A lower offset causes the wheel and tire to move out (towards the fender). 

What happens when you replace the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport's 16x7 44 mm offset wheels with the 17x8 6 mm offset MAMBA MR1X wheels? The 38 mm offset difference pushes the outside edge 38 mm out towards the fender and the additional width adds another 12.7 mm. Therefore, compared to Original Equipment, the outside edge is 50.7 mm further out towards the fender. Relative to the O.E. wheel, the MAMBA MR1X provides 25.3 mm additional inside clearance.

Backspacing is the distance between the mounting pad and the back of the wheel. Offset and wheel width will be marked on the back of the original and aftermarket wheels, but backspacing needs to be measured.

What does this all mean to you? Since we have already checked to see what fits your vehicle, all listed wheels have a compatible offset and backspacing specification. If you've lowered your car or you're running an oversized custom fit tire size, a higher offset wheel will allow for better fender clearance and a lower offset wheel will create additional inside clearance.

Shop by vehicle to view the wheels that are available for your application.

Find the Most Popular Wheels for the Ford F-150

Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for more than 30 years. Attractive styling, dependability and vast model selections have appealed to all sorts of buyers. You can purchase a standard work truck with little comforts, all the way up to the top of the line Limited model with two-tone leather heated and cooled seats, navigation and power-deployable running boards. There's an F-150 for everyone, no matter your needs. However, with that many trucks on the road, quite a few F-150 owners are looking to customize their vehicle to stand out from the crowd.

F-150 trucks have many possibilities when it comes to aftermarket wheel options. We offer over 160 different choices for the current 2013 model. The task of picking a wheel can be quite daunting, but we have a few tools to make it easier, such as our "View on Vehicle" function which lets you see what the wheel will look like on your F-150. You can also sort the wheel choices by finish like chrome, black or machined face.

 KMC XD Series Monster - Black Painted
KMC XD Series Monster - Black Painted
 Ultra Crusher - Machined w/ Black Accents
Ultra Crusher - Machined with Black Accents
 KMC XD Crank - Chrome
KMC XD Series
Crank - Chrome


There are a few wheels that have been very popular with the F-150, including:

If you're buying a black wheel, don't forget to add the proper TPMS sensor and valve parts to complete the custom look! Shop by vehicle to see wheels offered to customize your truck today!

What is Offset and How Do I Measure It?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Many customers call to ask what their Original Equipment wheel offset is or how they can measure it. The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. There are three different types of offset:

  • Zero offset - When the hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.
  • Positive offset - When the hub mounting surface is toward the front of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front-wheel drive cars and newer rear-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Negative offset - The hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheel's centerline. "Deep dish" wheels with large lips are typically have a negative offset.

It's typical for aftermarket wheels to have the offset number stamped on the backside, but that's not always the case with Original Equipment. If you are lucky enough for it to be stamped on the backside it will look like the picture below, with ET representing the offset.

   

When offset is incorrect for a vehicle, handling can be affected and even worse, there may not be enough brake clearance. When the width of the wheel changes, the offset also changes numerically. If the offset were to stay the same while you added width, the additional width would be split evenly between the inside and outside. For most cars, this won't work correctly.

Measuring offset is easier than you may think. If the wheel isn't stamped, simply refer to the diagram on the left. This can be done at home with minimal tools. Although the tire does not have to be dismounted from the wheel to measure, it's much easier if it is.

How do we know what fits your vehicle properly? We do this by knowing every aspect of your vehicle. We measure your vehicle's critical components with sophisticated tools that allow our fitment engineers to create very accurate drawings of these parts. We do the same for the wheels that we offer and then CAD programs to match the wheels to the vehicles.

You can see the complete list of wheels we have available for your vehicle in our Upgrade Garage. Simply enter the specifics on your vehicle’s make, model and year, and our site will display every option we have available that fits properly.

For more information on how we find wheels that are a match for your vehicle, read "How We Know What Fits."

When Should I Remove My Winter / Snow Tires?

Thursday, March 21, 2013 by Colin .

People often ask when they should put on and remove their winter / snow tires. Typically, the time most drivers have their winter tires on their vehicle is from late November to early April.

It's important to use them only during the winter months in an attempt to maximize their treadlife. As illustrated in the photo below, tread depth is one of the most important features of a winter tire. 

New Tire Tread Depth   Approaching Winter
Wear Indicators
  Approaching Tread
Wear Indicators

Combines necessary features (tread design, compound and depth) to provide effective snow traction   The tire has worn to about 6/32", where its ability to provide beneficial snow traction diminishes   While still legal at 2/32", the tire has worn well past the depth where it provides beneficial snow traction


All that being said, for much of the country, it's close to the time to switch to your non-winter tires or purchase a new set. We offer many affordable tire options to fit your budget. Also, nothing changes the appearance of your vehicle more than a new set of aftermarket wheels. You can even see what your car will look like with new wheels when you visit our Upgrade Garage.

BEFORE

AFTER

Find a set of wheels to go with your tires to create a Tire & Wheel Package and we'll mount and balance them and include any necessary hardware at no extra cost!

What Size Tire Do I Need?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The most common question when starting to shop for tires is: "What size do I need?" Luckily, it's very simple to find the appropriate tire size needed for your vehicle. The first step should be writing down the tire sizes marked on the sidewall of all four tires. It's important that you confirm the sizes because there are many cases where the vehicle was manufactured with different size tires on the front and rear.

Now that you know what is currently on your vehicle, we need to determine if the size(s) you have written down is the correct size(s) requested by the vehicle manufacturer. Beginning in 2003, vehicle manufacturers were directed to install information placards. Tire information placards identify the Original Equipment tire sizes and inflation pressures (including the spare), along with the vehicle's weight capacity.

Placards on new vehicles must now be located on the driver's side doorjamb (called the "B-pillar"). If a vehicle doesn't have a B-pillar, then the placard is to be placed on the rear edge of the driver's door. And if the vehicle does not have a B-pillar and the driver's door edge is too narrow, the placard is to be affixed on an inward facing surface next to the driver's seating position.

For earlier model vehicles, the information placards can typically be found on:

  • Driver-side door or doorjamb
  • Rear passenger doorjamb of Ford sedans
  • Fuel filler door
  • Glove box or center console door
  • Engine compartment

If the tire size you have written down matches the tire size given on the vehicle's information placard, then you can be assured this is the size you need to shop for. There are many instances where a vehicle has aftermarket wheels or optional tire sizes and the size you have written down does not match the size on the information placard. In this case, you can search for tires by vehicle on our website and just below the Original Equipment size the website will give you optional tire sizes by wheel diameter. 

For additional information, check out our Tire Size Guide.

Upgrade Your Brakes with G2's Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Doc Horvath

As your vehicle piles on the miles, normal wear and tear can cause your car to look a little tired. For many, a brand new set of aftermarket wheels is the way to give your car a fresh appearance. However, what if a new set of wheels isn't in your budget? To spruce things up, consider the G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set as an easy weekend project. A fresh coat of paint can give a new appearance to any vehicle's brake calipers and drums, while even helping protect them from potentially harmful oils, chemicals and rust.

The PaintSystem Sets are available in nine high-gloss, wear-resistant colors that can be selected to complement or contrast a vehicle's primary and/or accent colors. Available colors include: red, yellow, blue, silver, gold, black, purple, green, white, pink and orange.

G2 PaintSystem Sets provide enough materials to paint four brake calipers or two brake calipers and two brake drums. However, vehicles with large brake calipers on the front axle and large brake drums on the rear axle may require two complete PaintSystem Sets to get the job done. The finish is heat resistant to 950º F and best yet, the two-part system does not require caliper removal.

G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Sets Include:

  • Detailed instructions
  • (14 oz.) aerosol can G2 BRAKE Cleaner Spray (1)
  • (4 oz.) metal can Brake Caliper Paint (1)
  • (1 oz.) glass jar PaintSystem Reactor (1)
  • Stir stick
  • Application brush (1)
  • Color decal (1)

Order a G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set today!

New Wheel for Spring 2013: Verde Parallax

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Ben Rooney

The Verde Parallax has been added to our lineup of aftermarket wheels for 2013. This wheel has an attractive, clean five-spoke design, with each spoke divided into two parallel spokes. All Verde Parallax wheels feature a machined face with black accents. The machined spokes are highlighted against the black background, making them the visual focus of the design. 

Verde, established in 1981, has committed itself to excellence throughout the production process, from research and design through final production. This dedication has resulted in both ISO/TS16949 certification and recognition internationally via certification by the International Standards Organization. Their factory was built in 2002 as a fully integrated production line with R & D, tooling, casting, CNC machining, polishing, chrome plating, painting, packaging and warehouse logistics capabilities.

While this wheel is listed as new for the spring of 2013, there are already a few in stock. Pricing for the Parallax currently ranges between the $170 to $200*. The wheel is available in rim diameters of 19" and 20". You can shop by vehicle to view the offerings available for your car.

* Prices subject to change

O.Z. Racing Superturismo Dakar Wheels Make an Attractive Addition to Your Porsche Cayenne Turbo's Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo is for the driver who truly wants it all -- a twin turbo V8, top Speed over 170 mph and the space and comfort of a luxury SUV. All of that power can be rendered useless in the winter without the proper amount of grip for snow and ice. A Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package is the answer to ensure your Cayenne Turbo performs its best this winter!

Because the Porsche Cayenne Turbo is not the average SUV, many drivers don't want to put an average aftermarket wheel on their high performance SUV for winter driving. The best complement to Porsche's high style is to add an equally impressive wheel to your winter package. O.Z. Racing's Superturismo Dakar is an Italian made masterpiece that will rival your German masterpiece.

 O.Z. Racing Superturismo Dakar - Bright Silver
O.Z. Racing Superturismo Dakar - Bright
Silver Paint
 O.Z. Racing Superturismo Dakar - Matte Graphite Silver
O.Z. Racing Superturismo Dakar - Matte
Graphite Silver


The wheel features a clean 15-spoke design in both a matte graphite silver and bright silver paint finish. Since both wheels boast a fully painted finish, they will easily withstand whatever winter conditions are thrown at them. Road salt and grime can be rinsed right off during a typical car wash. Each wheel is a one-piece, low pressure cast that's offered with a two-year finish and two-year structural warranty.

Shop by vehicle to see if the O.Z. Racing Superturismo Dakar is offered for you Porsche Cayenne Turbo. If so, build a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Lightweight, Strong and Good Looking: Enkei Racing Series PF01

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Selecting wheels for a vehicle is subjective based upon one's taste and ultimately up to each individual customer. Here at Tire Rack, we offer many different brands to suit the various tastes of our customers.

While I'm frequently asked, "What wheel would look best on my car?", I must admit it's a very difficult question to answer. Even though I've been customizing cars for years and certainly have my thoughts as to how things should be done, my feelings don't always match that of the consumer. 

When I do weigh in, I try to recommend wheels that aren't overstated, of good quality and are as purposeful as possible. For customers looking for a wheel that is durable, good looking and extremely lightweight, one of my favorite choices is Enkei's PF01

Part of the Enkei Racing Series family, this product weighs as little as 10 lbs. in certain sizes and maintains a much lower price point than other high-end wheel manufacturers. The broad range of bolt patterns and sizing of this wheel allows it to be used on a wide variety of vehicles.

The 4x100 bolt pattern is a popular choice for Honda and Mazda Miata owners, while the 5x114 option has proven to be very popular on countless other makes and models. Besides the physical allure of this wheel, it's proven quite handy when trying to clear Big Brake Kits due to its large amount of spoke clearance.

When considering aftermarket wheels or aftermarket rims as they are commonly called, take a look at many of the various wheels from Enkei. With many wheels to chose from, your tastes doesn't have to exactly mirror my own.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Michelin Pilot Super SportReviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: O'Fallon, MO
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
November 15, 2012

My Grand Sport had 10,000 miles on OE run-flat tires when I replaced them with the non-run-flat Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Huge difference from OE tires. They are much quieter and ride much better, especially over road expansion joints. The most noticible difference is when changing lanes on the highway. When crossing expansion joints when changing lanes, the car would jump sideways hard enough that you could feel it through the steering wheel. With the Michelins, the car just glides across the joints without noticing them. I did buy an aftermarket tire sealer and inflator kit. Sealer isn't supposed to harm tire pressure sensors, and the container is a perfect fit into one of the storage compartmets in the trunk. I'm extreamely happy with these tires.

Tire Rack Seasonal Tire Totes: A Complement to Your Tire & Wheel Package

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

This time of year, many customers choose to purchase a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package to assist with wintertime traction. With a new set of tires, comes the need to store all-season or summer tires for the long months ahead. 

Whether you're looking to preserve your expensive factory wheels or aftermarket pieces, Tire Rack's Seasonal Tire Totes allow for convenient storage of your wheels and tires while remaining cost-effective. Not only will they provide a storage option during these coming winter months, they are equally useful when putting your dedicated winter package into retirement once spring arrives.

Features and Benefits of the Seasonal Tire Totes:

  • Sold in pairs
  • One size fits tires 22" to 31" in overall diameter and up to 295mm section width
  • Extra strong handle for easy transport
  • Holds over 80 lbs.
  • Hook and loop closure for easy insertion and snug fit
  • Machine washable
  • Rugged polyester/nylon materials and construction for years of use
  • Black with silver accents
  • Screen-printed with Tire Rack's logo

Easily transport extra tires and keep your garage organized this winter with the Seasonal Tire Totes from Tire Rack.

Steel Rims vs. Alloy Wheels for Winter Use

Monday, November 5, 2012 by Gary Stanley

If you're shopping for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, you'll notice that steel wheels are offered for many vehicles and are more economical than aluminum alloy wheels. Keep in mind that price only tells part of the story. While they may be the right choice for you, be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using steel wheels versus alloy wheels.

Steel Wheels

  • Meet the basic needs of drivers who want the convenience of a winter tire package without the additional cost of an alloy wheel
  • Typically available in black or silver finish depending on the application
  • Basic styling can often be updated with wheel covers
  • Cost less than alloy wheels due to ease of manufacturing and lower material costs

Since steel wheels aren't the sportiest addition to your vehicle, wheel covers will hide the wheels while enhancing your vehicle's appearance. If a good look is especially important to you, alloy wheels may be the way to go! When creating a Winter Tire & Wheel Package, why should you consider an aftermarket alloy wheel? What are the benefits of alloy wheels over steel?

Alloy Wheels 

  • Enhance the look of your vehicle
  • Are manufactured to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs
  • Weigh less than steel wheels and have often have superior strength
  • May be the preferred option for your vehicle based on fitment requirements
  • Will allow for better brake clearance (depending on wheel style and brake components installed)
  • Some may require proper maintenance as finish damage may result in the harshest winter climates where salt and sand are routinely used
Steel Wheels
Steel Wheels
Sport Edition A7
Sport Edition A7


It's important to remember that alloy wheels may be the only option for your vehicle since steel wheels aren't made to fit every application. To learn more about the benefits of an alloy wheel, read "What is an Alloy Wheel?"

What About TPMS Sensors for My Winter Wheels?

Thursday, October 25, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

An often overlooked aspect during the Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package research process is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Starting with the 2008 model year, Federal regulations require TPMS on all passenger vehicles. Most use a direct system which attaches a pressure sensor to the vehicle's wheels. An in-vehicle receiver warns the driver if the pressure in any tire falls below a predetermined level. Direct systems are typically more accurate and reliable and most are able to indicate which tire is underinflated. To learn more about the differences in TPMS sensors, read "Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems."

While these sensors vary in price, they are worth the cost as they provide a safety feature to your driving experience. While not required in most states, it is recommended that you maintain the system with your winter tires and wheels. In some locations, vehicle inspection regulations require operating tire pressure monitoring sensors on every vehicle that came with TPMS as Original Equipment. The following states require the TPMS to be functional in order to pass inspection:

  • Hawaii
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also recently modified how installers must deal with these systems when it comes to swapping wheels and tires. To help verify the latest information for your application and how these rules may affect your vehicle, contact one of our sales specialists for assistance. 

Tire Rack works with wheel manufacturers to develop aftermarket wheels that accommodate direct tire pressure monitoring sensors. This results in our ability to provide a wider selection of aftermarket alloy wheel styles that accept Original Equipment direct system components. Our fitment specialists also carefully determine which wheels will be compatible with the vehicle and system installed for customers purchasing Tire & Wheel Packages or wheel upgrades. Search results on our site include notes regarding TPMS sensors and sensors can confidently be purchased online with wheels.

Enkei Racing Series RPF1 for Subaru, Honda, Mazda and More

Friday, September 21, 2012 by Gary Stanley
If you're an automotive enthusiast, you likely know the name Enkei for their outstanding high quality aluminum alloy wheels. Enkei has been producing lightweight, strong and reliable wheels in Japan since 1950 for everything from Original Equipment options to Formula One and WRC rally racing. The Enkei Racing Series is their highest level of aftermarket wheels and incorporates their MAT process and extensive testing that exceeds JWL and VIA strength standards.
 
MAT stands for "Most Advanced Technology" and is a process that combines Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material. With wheels and tires becoming larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' newer generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are stronger and retain optimum anti-flex properties.
 
One of Enkei Racing Series most popular wheels is the RPF1. The RPF1 is available in a variety of bolt patterns in diameters from 14" up to 18" to fit a large number of vehicle applications from a 1990 Mazda Miata to a 2012 Nissan 370Z. Some of the most popular vehicle applications are Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, Subaru Impreza WRX, Mazda MX-5 and Honda S2000 cars. It's also available in many different finishes including black painted and bright silver paint.
 
Check out this photo of a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX with the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 wheels in a black painted finish.


To check to see if this wheel is available for your vehicle, shop by vehicle. Our site will show you the complete list of wheels that fit your car and let you view them on the vehicle. You can also pair up your wheels with high performance tires to create a Tire & Wheel Package that's ready to install upon arriving to your home or installer. 

Buying Black Wheels? Complete the Look with Black TPMS Sensor/Valve Parts

Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

If you're someone who notices the details on any vehicle, you can probably recall seeing a nice set of black wheels only to have your eyes wander to the bright silver valve stem. These silver valve parts look out of place on a black aftermarket wheel.

Tire Rack offers an optional black TPMS sensor / valve part kit for $2.99 per wheel. Therefore, when you order black wheels like the O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera or Enkei Racing Series PF01, they can arrive with the complete black-out appearance. Purchasing the optional black sensor kit can provide you the look you desire at a very low price!

OZ Ultraleggera - Black Painted
O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera - Black Painted
Enkei PF01- Black Painted
Enkei Racing Series PF01 - Black Painted


To view black wheel options for your vehicle, shop by vehicle and filter by finish to view all black finished wheels for you application.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE070

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Bridgestone Potenza RE070Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7

2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Lexington, KY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
August 24, 2012

Used aftermarket wheels and mounted the wider 255/40/17 on my STi. Super stiff sidewalls and lots of grip, just like the factory tires but W I D E R!! I can't imagine using anything other than this tire. Next to a race only tire this is the next best thing.

E46 M3 Track Tires and Wheels

Monday, August 6, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The E46 M3 is great for high-speed cruising and awesome for the track. If you're doing lapping days once a year just make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. If you're heading to the track every weekend then fix the car's understeer by upgrading your wheels and tires and getting a "track" alignment.  

Wheels:

Running wider wheels and tires of the same size in the front and back in a square set-up will remove some of the car's inherent understeer. We offer a few 18x9.5 35mm offset wheels designed to work with 265/35R18 and 275/35R18 tires. 18x9.5 ET 35mm on either size will require a combination of fender and wheelwell modification, along with changes in negative camber to fit. Even with the changes, this is a proven E46 M3 set-up.

For this wheel size, take a look at the matte grey TR Motorsports MT1 and the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT in anthracite painted finish. You can also special order the black, blue, gold, matte graphite silver, orange, red and white.

18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey Painted TR Motorsports MT-1 $329**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey TR Motorsports MT1
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted OZ Alleggerita $419**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita


Non-Streetable Track Tires:

Are you installing a second set of wheels at the track? Then the ultimate grip from non-streetable track tires such as the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18, 275/35ZR18 Hoosier R6 and 275/35ZR18 Hankook Ventus Z214 are great options to consider.

BF Goodrich G-Force R1 265/35-18 $289** & 275/35-18 $299**
BFGoodrich g-Force R1
275/35-18 Hoosier R6 $334**
Hoosier R6
275/35-18 Hankook Ventus Z214 (C51 Compound) $235**
Hankook Ventus Z214


Streetable Track Tires:

Will you be using the same set of tires at the track that you drove to the event on? The non-streetable tires mentioned earlier are easily damaged by road debris. A piece of wire the size of a paper clip can get picked up by the tire, work its way into the shallow tread, through the tire's lightweight plies and puncture the inner liner.

So if your track tires will be driven to the track, consider streetable race tires like the Toyo Proxes RA888 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18. The 265/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup or the 265/35ZR18 Toyo Proxes RA1 are also great options worth taking a look at.

Toyo Proxes R888 265/35-18 $300** & 275/35-18 $270**
Toyo Proxes R888
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup $351**
 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
265/35-18 Toyo Proxes RA1 $268**
Toyo Proxes RA1


Drivers will differ in their preference in predictability versus overall grip, but the Toyo Proxes RA888 provides slightly better grip than the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and a little bit of a better value. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup's main advantage is more consistent grip from lap to lap, therefore it may be the better choice for a longer event. Toyo Proxes RA1s are less sensitive to small flaws in the vehicle set-up, so if you're still tuning with respect to damper settings, ride height and camber, then the Proxes RA1 would be a good choice.

Alignment:

Optimum alignment settings will vary with tire, damper and spring choices. Most drivers will find that running 3.5-3.8 degrees of negative camber and zero toe for the front to be optimum. You'll need to get adjustable camber plates for the front so you can run that much negative camber.

For the rear, 2.4-2.6 negative camber and the high side of the factory toe-in is normally ideal. You should be able to adjust to these specs without a camber kit. Camber is adjusted at the lower eccentric bolt attaching the lower control arm to the hub assembly (under the axle).

E46 M3 Track Wheels and Tires FAQ:

  1. I've heard of other drivers running 285/30R18 or wider tires on 18x10 wheels, will that fit? When we assess the risk of rubbing we're very conservative. We consider the above wheels and 265/35R18, 275/35R18 and 285/30R18 sized tires all to be custom sizes requiring varying degrees of fender modification and wheelwell modification. High negative camber helps with front tire clearance, too. If you've changed to coil-overs or aftermarket struts, you may have less inside clearance with any of the above sizes.
     
  2. I still drive a fair amount of street miles on my M3, can I adjust camber at the track so I can preserve some tire wear? For the front you can mark your camber plates so you can adjust between track and street settings. In the rear, the washer at the bolt head has notch marks on it that can be highlighted with paint.
     
  3. What about brake pads for my vehicle? For better bite and fade resistance switch to dedicated track pads like the Hawk DTC70 in the front and DTC60 in the rear. Once you get back from the track be sure to switch back to your normal brakes, as the race pads will be noisy, dusty and ineffective in cool weather.
     
  4. Do I need to shave and/or heat cycle my track tires? All the above tires will benefit from heat cycling which acts like a second curing for the tire and helps them maintain consistent grip from lap to lap. The Hoosier R6, BFGoodrich g-Force R1 are molded at 4/32" of tread depth so they don't need to be shaved. Shaving will improve dry performance for the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, Toyo Proxes RA1 and Toyo Proxes R888.

O.Z. Racing Challenge Now Available for Porsche and BMW

Friday, June 29, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

Originally an exclusive aftermarket wheel design for the Dodge Viper, O.Z. Racing has expanded the fitment offerings of their Challenge wheel line. Available in black or silver, this wheel is intended to be used in a track environment as it provides extra durability in tough conditions, and is also a great option for the street. The wheel is offered in the 5-130 bolt pattern and as a centerlock for Porsches. It's also available for BMW M3s and the Nissan GT-R.

OZ Wheels Challenge in Black
O.Z. Racing Challenge (Black)
OZ Wheels Challenge in Silver
O.Z. Racing Challenge (Silver)


What makes the Challenge wheel such an attractive track option? Utilizing casting under low pressure and then shot peened allows this wheel to have a reasonable weight while also achieving the coveted TUV approval. This is considered one of the most rigorous wheel tests in the industry. Combined with one of our competition tires, you'll find a great combo for the track.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

Friday, May 18, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


General Altimax HPReviewer's Overall Rating: 4.91

1990 Mazda Miata
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
May 17, 2012

My 1990 Miata is set up with numerous chassis braces, aftermarket anti-sway bars, stock springs and ride height. These tires were very good in all catagories when new. After one year and about 4000 miles the tread became very hard making the car marginal at best in any wet/low traction situation, including roads coated with salt residue. I replaced them with a set of Dunlop Direzza Star Spec's for summer, and a set of Michelin X Ice2's on steel wheels for winter. Both are excellent tires and worth every penney spent.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta ASX

Monday, April 23, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Kumho Ecsta ASXReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.27

1987 Mercedes-Benz 190D
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 19, 2012

Installed on aftermarket wheels with H&R sport lowering springs and konis on a euro model. They do well in the rain and the dry performance is very good considering the long life compound used and the relatively low price up front. I think they are slightly louder than average due to the harder compound at highway speed, but I'm willing to put up with a little noise if they last a long time. With an aggressive alignment, you will have to rotate them more often, but then you would with any tire in that situation. They did not do well in deep snow as they became packed pretty quickly- but with a light snow they did just fine with my limited slip rear end.

I would read people whining about these (or any) tires failing after 15K on them (on some front wheel drive car or minivans in super hot or cold climates) with caution. Like all tires, when they are on cars with alot of weight and steering on a front wheel drive vehicle in temp extremes- they will require more maintenance, frequent rotations and general care. Tread separation, blown-out sidewalls and etc. indicate design or quality problems. 50,000 mile tires that "wear out" in 15K? Likely due to "user error."