CCW 18" Wheels
These are my track wheels. They are 18x10" wheels from Complete Custom Wheel. I chose them because they would allow me to run wide tires without being too heavy. I had to get custom wheels to get the correct offset at the 10" width, and CCW was by far the most economical choice among the options I considered. And lots of serious racers use CCW wheels, so they must be good. They are three-piece wheels with forged centers and spun rims. The proprietor of CCW is John Purner, who really knows his wheels. I called up ready to order some 17" wheels, but John turned me on the idea of 18"s because you can get tires that fit the car better that way, and you can use the same offset on all four corners without needing spacers or aftermarket trailing links. I was going to run 17x10" wheels with 275/40-17 tires, but those are almost an inch taller than stock and everyone I know that runs them has worn through their fender liners. 18x10" wheels with 285/30-18 tires are just a tad shorter than stock and I have found that they surprisingly don't rub at all on my car. John also pointed me to Tire Rack's clearance of BFG R1a tires in the right size for the 18s at $118 each, which was compelling. Anyway, I called back after considering John's advice and went with the 18" wheels. He knew the offsets and everything off the top of his head and told me that he would have the wheels shipped to me with the tires mounted in plenty of time for my next track event, coming up in a few weeks. I had the tires shipped to CCW and the wheels arrived in plenty of time to heat cycle them before the event. This was an exceptionally good buying experience for me considering the excellent advice and responsive service that was provided to me by CCW. And the wheels are great, too.
Fitment (18" x 10", 7.5" backspacing)
The wheels are 18x10" nominal size. The real rim width is larger than that, probably 11.125" to 11.25", but I couldn't measure it very easily with the tire mounted. The rim is wider than the mounted 285 tire, so if you lay it on the ground it is the rim that hits the ground. I did measure the backspacing and it is exactly 7.5". That makes the offset about +50mm, give or take a few mm. Here is how I measured the backspacing:
I have only had them contact the fender once, which was solved by cranking the ride height up a notch on that corner. These won't fit without coil-overs that use 2.5" springs, but I already had those. I have been running really stiff springs at about the stock ride height (perhaps 1/2" lower than stock), but I haven't rolled the fenders or anything. I am switching to softer springs, so I might need to roll them to avoid contact. I did remove the fasteners for the fender liner at the top of the arch, but that is no big deal as the fender liner stays in place. Anyway, they fit great and I can rotate them without having to use spacers.
Weight (about 22 lbs each, 46.4 lbs with tire)
With new BF Goodrich g-Force R1a tires in 285/30-18, they weigh 46.4 lbs each. I don't know how much they weigh on their own because I had my tires sent to CCW for them to be mounted before they shipped the wheels to me. I say that someone else weighed the tires and found them to be about 24 lbs, so the wheels probably weigh about 22 lbs each. That is pretty light for 18x10" wheels.
I got some BFG g-Force R1a tires on clearance from the Tire Rack. They were a great deal and they have turned out to be pretty nice tires. I used to have some g-Force R1 (not "a") on some stock rims and they were very stiff. Too stiff for the RX-7, IMHO. But the R1a tires are much more compliant and considerably lighter as well. I like these tires a lot. My brother (who has been racing on various radials for years) said they feel kind of like Hoosiers. Unfortunately, BFG doesn't make them anymore, so it looks like I'll be getting some Hoosiers (sticky but expensive) or Kumhos (not as sticky, but less expensive) as replacements when I need them. The size is 285/30-18. I know I wrote that already, but typing the 285 part makes me smile considering I have those wide tires on all four corners. It is still surprisingly easy to power oversteer with the wide tires, but they give much better grip than the old 245s I was running. And of course that is how it should be, point with the wheel and steer with the throttle.
See these pages for even more pics:
Dave & Joe's FC3S.org Streets of Willow Springs Event page (see how they look on a Camry in the first shot! ;-)
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