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wheels and rims

  • Wheel Tech 101: Measurements

    Wheels may look like glorified circles, but in actuality they are very complex devices that require high-tech, precision engineering processes to ensure that they do their job.  Furthermore, millions of dollars are spent every year by original equipment manufacturers like BMW, Lexus, Audi, Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari, Infiniti and so on to make sure that every single wheel they put on a car, truck or SUV is durable, dependable, and even stylish.

    So what makes up a wheel?

    Here in Wheel Tech 101, we'll go over the most basic elements of a wheel: its measurements.

    Width and Diameter

    These two are pretty obvious, so we won't spend much time on them.  Suffice it to say, a wheel designated as 17 x 8 is a wheel that's 17 inches in diameter and 8 inches wide.  Those particular measurements might be found on any BMW 3-series, a Jaguar S- or X-Type, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 or Wrangler Rubicon, or a Lexus SC300 or IS250.  And probably a bajillion other vehicles, too.

    Offset

    Wheel offset is simply the distance from the mounting surface of the wheel to the true centerline of the rim.  It's something that's actually pretty hard to measure without some precision tools, but it's not impossible.  Offset comes in positive and negative numbers:

    • Positive offset is closer to the fender well, and means the mounting surface is positioned IN FRONT of the true centerline
    • Negative offset means the wheeel will stick out away from the vehicle, because the mounting surface is BEHIND the centerline of the rim assembly

    Bolt Pattern

    Bolt patterns are usually written like this: 5x112.  The first number (the "5") is the number of bolts that go on the wheel (typically 4, 5, or 6).  The second number is the pitch circle diameter, which measures the diameter of the bolt circle...which, interestingly enough, means different things based on how many bolts the vehicle has.

    For 4- and 6-bolt wheels, you're measuring from the center of one bolt hole to the center of the bolt hole directly across from it.  A 5-bolt wheel requires a little geometry: mentally "draw" a circle running through the centers of each bolt hole, then measure from the center of a single bolt hole out to the imaginary circle that lays between the two opposite bolt holes.

    Center Bore (a.k.a. "Hub Bore")

    These two terms are synonymous, and measures the center hole in the wheel.  This hole is used to center the wheel on the car's hub.  Pretty simple, eh?

    Mass production of wheels means that large center bores are common, so if you are trying to fit one type of BMW wheel on a different model of BMW, you might need to use something called a hubcentric hub ring to prevent or eliminate any vibration or noise caused by there not being a perfect fit.

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    Did this article help you?  Did we miss anything, or mess something up?  Let us know in the comments below, or by contacting us!

  • Wheel Bolt Patterns: Chrysler

    First of all, "bolt pattern" is defined in our article Wheel Tech 101: Measurements.  Put simply, it's a measurement -- often written like "5x114.3" -- that tells you two things:

    • The "5" tells you how many bolt holes the wheel has, and
    • The "114.3" indicates the diameter of the bolt circle (see Wheel Tech 101 for more on that).

    Note: if a wheel has two listed bolt patterns, it is NOT an OEM wheel; all OEM wheels only have one bolt pattern.

    This article provides a comprehensive listing of Chrysler bolt patterns.  Check out our other Fitment articles for other brands.

    If you are looking for a particular Year/Model, please take the following steps:

    1. Press the [CTRL] key and the [F] key at the same time ([CMD] + [F] if you're a Mac user).
    2. A search box will open (usually at the bottom or top of your browser).
    3. Type in the MODEL that you are looking for (i.e. "300").
    4. When you find your model, look at the header immediately above to make sure you're in the right Year for that Model.

    5 x 4 (same as 5 x 100)

    2000-2009 PT Cruiser

    1995-2001 Cirrus

    1996-2009 Sebring JX Convertible

    1986-1996 LeBarron

    1986-1993 New Yorker

    5 x 4.5 (same as 5 x 114.3)

    1994-2003 Concorde - All Models

    1999-2003 300M - All Models

    5 x 115

    2004-2010 300 - All Models

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    If you are shopping for wheels, please visit us at:

    www.LAWHEEL.com or call

    1-800-584-2832 (toll free in the U.S.) or (818)-626-8867

    *****

    For more info:

  • How L.A. Wheel and Tire Powder Coats Wheels

    Black Gloss Powder Coat Black Gloss Powder Coat

    In a previous article, we talked about the benefits of Powder Coating your wheels/rims with L.A. Wheel and Tire's high quality and high-tech processes.  And while it's nice to see all the cool colors and textures, some people like to get behind the "science" of powder coating, and really see the specifics: temperatures, times, inspection criteria, etc.

    Well, this article is for the gear-heads among you! But first, watch the video!

    Check out the video to see the process, accompanied by our in-house musical talent!

    The Powder Coating Process

    STEP ONE: First, our wheel experts inspect the wheels to assure that they are round and true, and free of any corrosion or cracks.

    STEP TWO: Before applying the Powder Coat, we carefully prepare the surface of the wheels. [Proper prep takes a lot of time, but it is essential to getting a good finished result.] That means chemically stripping the surface and media blasting it to a 0.7 mil anchor profile, which makes for a strong, lasting mechanical bond, and an even, durable finish. We also carefully mask the mounting surfaces of the wheels so as to avoid interference with fit and the attachments for the wheels.

    STEP THREE: Then, we prebake the wheels at 375 degrees for 20 minutes to “outgas” impurities that would adversely affect the finish. Prebaking is done at the same temperature as the curing bake to assure that impurities that might otherwise ‘bubble-out” in the final curing are removed before the powder is applied. Temperature is kept below 400 degrees to prevent softening of the aluminum. Baking and pre-baking are done in large, industrial convection ovens with tight control over temperatures and the rate of change in temperature.

    STEP FOUR: After pre-baking, the wheels must be slowly cooled down to less than 180 degrees before the “powder” is applied.

    STEP FIVE: The wheels are then hung on a double strand of conductive wire around the barrel of the wheel.

    STEP SIX: “Powder” (a mix of very finely ground pigments and resin) is then “fogged” at low pressure onto the wheels. Low pressure can be used since the nozzle, (either a corona gun or a tribo gun, depending on the finish being applied) imparts a strong electrostatic charge (between 10-90,000 volts) to the powder opposite to the charge that the conductive wire gives the wheel. The wheel literally attracts the powder, which makes for a uniform coat even in crevasses and other recessed areas.

    STEP SEVEN: Following a careful, even application of the proper powder, the wheels must be slowly brought up to 375 degrees and baked for 30 minutes to properly cure. We carefully monitor the baking temperatures in our state of the art ovens.

    STEP EIGHT: Finally, the wheels must be cooled at a controlled rate to get a strong, even finish.  This process creates a final DFT coating of 1.5 mil.

    STEP NINE: Then, the wheels are inspected at least twice (by both our Powder Coat artists and by our wheel experts) before being packed with custom foam inserts to protect them during shipping.

    THE FINAL STEP OF AWESOMENESS: The wheels arrive at your doorstep, and you are the proud owner of some amazing, custom powder coated wheels that will make your neighbors jealous!

    Click some pictures in the gallery below to see some of the amazing effects you can get with Powder Coating!

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    Want wheels like these? Please visit us at:

    www.LAWHEEL.com or call

    1-800-584-2832 (toll free in the U.S.) or (818)-626-8867

    *****

    Comments, questions or concerns?  Don't hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us!

  • The Benefits of Powder Coating Your Wheels thru L.A. Wheel and Tire

    Green Powder Coated Wheel Green Powder Coated Wheel

    Many customers can't resist the lustrous shine of our exclusive, trivalent triple chrome finish, but plenty of people are fans of the sportier custom look and durability of a fine powder coat finish. Finally, with L.A. Wheel and Tire's Powder Coat Wheel Exchange Program, you don't have to pay for both new wheels and a new finish. Our exchange program helps you save 50% or more of the cost of buying new Powder Coated OEM factory wheels, and you don't even have to send us your wheels for powder coating first!

    Powder Coating gives wheels a very strong, durable finish that can be delivered in almost any color imaginable. Our custom Powder Coat finish withstands the road and driving environment better than paint, and provides corrosion resistance from road salts, brake dust residue, and other chemicals. To put it simply, our Powder Coating process shows excellent resistance against peeling, cracking, fading, nicks and minor abrasion. It has excellent uniformity without sags, drips, or other surface irregularities.  Read more about the process itself in this article (i.e. click there!).

    L.A. Wheel and Tire Kicks the Competitors to the Curb

    We stand out from the pack in four ways:

    1. We are not generic powder-coaters who happen to do wheels on the side. We are the OEM factory wheel experts, known internationally for our knowledge, quality, and customer service.
    2. We have a commitment to Five Star customer service, making your satisfaction our number 1 priority.
    3. Our exclusive best-in-the-industry processes let us provide the highest quality Powder Coat finishes for our wheels.
    4. We do all of this at prices that can be more than 60% cheaper than dealerships because of our huge stock of wheels and excellent network of providers. In fact, we do some of the custom work for the dealers, so why not come to the source?

    Check out our cool video of the powder coating process!

    Powder Coat Finishes

    The sheer variety of possible powder coat colors and textures is staggering, but we can give you a few ideas.  Here's our "standard" variety of colors:

    • High Gloss Black
    • Semi Gloss Black
    • Soft Gloss Black
    • Satin Gloss Black
    • Flat Black
    • Texture Black
    • Bengal Silver
    • White
    • Bronze
    • Graphite Grey

    And as if that weren't enough (it's not!), you can take a closer look at the pictures below to see a whole lot more:

    Primary Color Wheel Click to enlarge - Primary Color Wheel
    Metallic Color Wheel Click to enlarge - Metallic Color Wheel
    Textured Color Palette Click to enlarge - Textured Color Palette

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    Want Custom Powder Coated wheels like these? Please visit us at:

    www.LAWHEEL.com or call

    1-800-584-2832 (toll free in the U.S.) or (818)-626-8867

    *****

    For more info:

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