Buying wheels and tyres
First it's time to find our way around the wheel buying maze. Fitting
wheels and tyres is one of the first mods we do to our motors. They can
be the difference between a shopping-mobile and cruiseworthy street
machine. But before you splash your wonga, it's important to what you're
talking about. Here's the jargon explained...
Offset is defined as the distance between the dead centre of the wheel
and the mouting hub - the part of the wheel that attaches to the car's
hub. Choosing a set of rims with the correct offset is essential. An
incorrect offset can bring the wheel into contact with the brake caliper,
arch and suspension - not nice! To keep you on the right track, the most
Pugs around are running a ET value of 16
As with offset, choosing the correct tyre size is crucial. Too many
people concentrate on picking a pukka set of rims and forget to pick the
proper size of rubbers.
The information displayed on a tyrewall can easily confuse. Below is a
diagram, explaining those numbers and letters.
Tough terms explained
|Tyre width (mm)
Aspect ration. The height of the tyrewall as a percentage of the
Construction type. R = radial
Diameter of rim (mm)
Load index (lbs)
Speed rating symbol (mph)
||A wheel that is split into sections. They usually comprise of
three pieces - spoked centre section, inner and outer rim halves.
But beware of imitations - they have riveted rims and an expensive
price tag, but are simple one-piece jobs.
||A wheel with recessed internals. Deep-dish rims are put to best
use on wide-arch French hatches and retro-look Euro's cars.
||Pitch Circle Diameter. On a four stud pattern, this is the
distance from the centre of one wheel stud to the centre of the
opposite stud (in mm). On a five stud pattern, the PCD is measured
from the centre of one wheel stud, to the middle of the opposite
two studs. The correct PCD is essential to ensure an accurate hub
Wheel / tyre packages are one of the best ways to buy rims and rubbers.
These packages usually cost less than buying both individually, but
there are a few things to beware of:
- Check the make and model of tyre. Some companies use these
packages as a vehicle to sell old stock.
- Check the tyre size is to your requirements, High-profile tyres on big
rims look well naff.
Tyre brands & sub-brands
The table on the right shows the different sub-brands that the big tyre brands own.
What the MoT say
As long as the wheels and tyres don't foul the brakes, suspension and arches, there's no problem.
Fitting big wheels and tyres without rolling the arches is a bad idea. The odd bit of scrubbage is okay, but excessive wear can mean a big boot in the balls from the MoT crew.
||Dayton, Firestone, Firsstop
||Barum, Gislaved, Mabor, Semperit,
Uniroyal, Us General brand, Viking
||Debica, Fulda, Kelly, Lee, Sava
||BF Goodrich, Kleber, Riken