StanceWorks: Building Rare 3-Piece Wheels – How to Get it Just Right (Custom halves, Offsets, and More)

Building Rare 3-Piece Wheels  -  How to Get it Just Right (Custom halves, Offsets, and More)

Posted: 2023-03-03 14:26:56
Author: StanceWorks
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00:00 – Wheels Make or Break a Car… so let’s get it right.
00:46 – Our E30 needs wheels… what better than ALPINAs?
01:54 – How to measure wheel width
03:02 – Backpads and Backspacing
04:27 – How to measure offset
05:17 – Test fitting the wheels
07:04 – Mounted… will these ever fit?
07:45 – Remove your springs!
08:38 – Visiting Leichtbau and using Byron’s E30
09:35 – Mounting the Alpinas… Much better!
10:21 – I need to do some soul-searching.
11:08 – How to measure wheel lips and barrels
12:04 – RIMS and rim halves.
12:35 – So… they’ll fit… but is it what I want?
13:23 – Outro

StanceWorks Video Transcript

There are a few things better than unboxing a brand new set of wheels but one of those things might be building a set of wheels of your own I’m a firm believer that Wheels can make or break any project and they are one of the defining ways to set your car apart

From anything else on the road if you’re asking me there’s nothing better than a classic and iconic three-piece wheel and moreover nothing tops building a set to fit your car perfectly better than anything off the shelf so today we’re diving in and covering everything it takes to build a

Set of wheels of your own thank you last week I took the opportunity to introduce the latest stanceworks project an E30 325e that means a lot to me to say the least this car will receive Euro bumpers and engine swap a transmission Swap and a suspension build out but perhaps the

Most exciting thing to look forward to is the build out of custom wheels to match the car I wanted something truly special for this project and we got it my buddy Nick Foster supplied an incredible set of beautiful authentic Alpena splits now I’ve specked and built countless wheels at this point but here

On the channel we’ve only really tackled it off screen the E36 the Ferrari and the model A all received custom wheels but I didn’t talk about the process of Measuring Wheels to ensure they actually fit but I’m pretty sure these alpinos are going to need some custom halves and

Since I’ve got a measure and order the right parts I figure what better than to walk you guys through the process so that you can do the same and build three piece wheels for yourself we’ll talk about offset and backspacing how to measure Rim halves and of course how to

Make sure your wheels are gonna fit once you finally get the parts so let’s Dive In it might sound obvious on the surface but to get started we need to find out how wide our wheels are to begin with but believe it or not measuring the

Width of a wheel isn’t as simple as you might think you see Wheels aren’t measured in their overall width in fact to measure properly you can’t even have a tire installed on the wheel and that’s because the tape measure needs to be placed on the inside of the bead seat

From there the tape measures carried over to the other side and measured to the same position in our case totaling out to nine and a quarter inches now that might sound kind of weird for a wheel width but we’ll get there here in a few

With the width in hand now we need to move on to understanding the offset or the back spacing if we look at the wheels that are currently on the E30 they’re stamped with all of the relevant information as are most Wheels but these alpinas are old and all we get is The

Branding within the lug pocket but given that I know these wheels aren’t fitted to their original Rim halves whatever information that could have been stamped there wouldn’t be relevant anyway so let’s figure out how we can measure it here we see the wheel Center’s back pad

The Mating surface that bolts to the car the center’s backpad is part of what contributes to the overall offset some centers like this one have very little back pad protruding from the back of the wheel center While others like my renaults have a monstrously large backpad this is often referred to on

Japanese Wheels as low disk versus high disk the other contributing factor to offset is where the center Falls within the middle of the wheel a sensor that falls towards the inside of the wheel is considered to be low or negative offset while one that falls towards the outside of the wheel is

Considered high offset now I’m guessing it’d be easier to understand this if you could see a wheel physically cut in half and thankfully using Fusion 360 we can do exactly this using the model of the rotiform Wheel from my Ferrari this wheel has a zero offset the back

Pad is directly in the middle but if we were to add backpad to it like this we’d have a negative offset Wheel by 25 millimeters in this case but adding back pad is usually only done to give you clearance for big brake calipers and instead moving the center

Within the wheel in or out is used to achieve a change in offset lower offset Wheels have more lip and higher offset Wheels have more Barrel now that we understand how offset Works let’s measure the offset of our Alpena splits we can do this by laying a

Straight edge across the back of the wheel and measuring down to the wheel’s back pad you can see that it lands right at about 5 and 5 8 of an inch however this is not our offset this is a backspace measurement offset is a lot more commonly used and

To find the offset of our Wheels we need to know the wheel center line or its width cut in half if we take our backspace measurement and then subtract it from our wheel center line we’re given a delta in this case it’s a nice round one inch however our backspace measurement

Includes the bead seat of the wheel and our width did not so we need to subtract it the rule of thumb is to subtract a half inch or 13 millimeters which gives us our final offset foreign So now we know that our Wheels measure out to 16 by nine and a quarter and have an offset of Plus 13. now thanks to knowing e30s and having friends with them I know that these wheels will fit as is if we want aggressive wheel and tire fitment but I’m not sure that’s

Exactly what I’m after so let’s mount everything up and see exactly what we’re working with with the wheel off we get an immediate view of how much the brake caliper protrudes from the wheel mounting surface this is where back pad comes into play the E30 doesn’t require much but as said

These alpinas have hardly any and with the center bolted up and looking behind it we can see that even the factory brake calipers collide with the back of the wheel face this will not work looking down behind the caliper we can see that the face isn’t even fully Seated on the rotor itself

In this instance a spacer is 100 necessary now we’ll replace this universal one with an h r five milliliter down the road but for test purposes this will tell us how much we need and it’s clear that a five millimeter spacer is more than adequate the face now clears the

Caliper with room to spare the next Dimension to concern ourselves with is inside clearance we want to make sure that whatever wheel enters we Mount to these won’t collide with the strut it looks like we’ve got about six and a quarter to play with now comes the fun part figuring out lip

Sizing and at first glance given how far out this Center sits it looks like we don’t have much room for lip at all and things don’t really change once we mount a wheel up taking a look at the mounted wheel with a three and a half inch slip this thing

Is sticking way out there panning around the wheel it’s proud of the arch Itself by well over an inch on the other hand if we look at the barrel to strut clearance it’s tight but it is enough anything more than a millimeter or so is plenty and since the strut recedes from

The wheel itself a big tire will fit on this wheel and that our suspension is at full droop I want to load it up a bit and see how the suspension changes as it’s compressed even under load most would look at this and say there’s no possible way this could ever fit

But it’s important to remember how your suspension moves as it travels this is all the way drooped and there’s a lot of droop on this car this is Factory suspension we can’t really Jack this up far enough to get a good idea of what it would look like lowered and so if you’re

Asking me the right way to do this job it would be to disassemble your suspension pull your spring put it all back together so that you can set the car at its desire to ride height if you don’t have your suspension installed yet if you do and you can get it where you

Want it you’re fine but in this case that’s how we should do this but I’m going to cheat a little bit in two ways one because I’ve done this before and I somewhat know what I’m doing and two we can also go next door and use Byron’s

Car as an example because he’s already got the exact same h r coilovers on his car that we’re gonna put on mine so let’s go over there and see exactly how this wheel fits on a car that is lowered I think you’d be surprised so for everybody that wanted to know

About that beautiful red M1 that was in my shop in the last episode well it’s just a customer car for my friends at liked bow if you haven’t been following along two of my best friends have their own European restoration shop in the same building that I’m in we’re here to

Check out Byron’s K24 swapped E30 and in particular his wheel fitment because his wheels are nearly half an inch more aggressive than mine are and while they are aggressive clearly they fit just fine inside the shop Byron put his E30 up on the lift so we can do a bit of a compare

And contrast between his wheels and mine again the reason to use his car is because not only is his suspension different but so is his alignment he’s running a lot more camber than I am and that yields more clearance on the outside that means his more aggressive

Wheels fit similarly to mine at full droop so we bolted the alpinos up to get an idea of how they’ll fit on my car once we make the same changes to it now to be clear these wheels are still quite aggressive but it’s quite clear that

They fit a whole lot better with a bit of Tire stretch these would look really nice if that’s what you’re after but if you want a big chunky Tire not so much lurking behind the wheels are Byron’s h r coilovers the same ones we’re gonna put on my car it’s usually safe to

Assume that an aftermarket coilover will have more inner clearance but it’s important to confirm and in this case it’s clear he’s got more clearance than I do so overall it’s clear these wheels do fit if this is what I’m looking for so after looking at Byron’s Car where

Does that leave us well I’ve got to do a little bit of soul searching and decide exactly what I want it’s clear that we could take these wheels and bolt them directly onto the car with that small front spacer and they’d work if I run a stretch tire and I want that aggressive

Fitment and the low ride height to complement it and part of me wants that because it would look great but the other side of me says I should put a smaller lip on the car so that I can run a little bit more Tire have it be a

Little bit less aggressive and have something that I can really go beat on just like Corey would have and that’s what I leaned towards but again I got to do a little bit of soul searching because I also know that my buddy Corey would uh he just bolt them on and send

It so I’ll think about what I want but in order to make a decision we need to measure some wheel halfs so let’s do that there are a lot of nuances that come with different Rim halves there are reverse lips step lips drop lips bubble lips there’s a lot to digest and

Honestly most of that’s probably better saved for a different video what’s important at the moment is that we learn how to accurately measure them fortunately it’s pretty easy to do and it starts by setting the bolt flange on a flat surface from there we simply measure from the

Flat surface up to the bead seat just like we measured the wheel to begin with in this case we’ve got a three and a half inch lip pretty simple now when it comes to the barrel we get a bit of a weirder measurement in this case five and three quarters of an inch

Given that wheels are normally measured in half inch increments that might seem weird but this is a BBS Motorsport inner that was produced for a sandwich Mount wheel meaning it adds up if you know how those Wheels work very faint can you hear that sizzling sound that’s somebody’s blood boiling that

I’ve been calling these Rim halves instead of wheel halves now some people can’t stand it when you call wheels rims I don’t know why doesn’t matter to me but technically speaking these are Rim hands the whole thing is a wheel but the whole thing can be a rim if you want it

To be I don’t care do whatever you want anyways so to summarize we’ve got 16 by nine and a quarter inch wheels with a 13 positive offset they’ve got five and three quarter inch barrels and three and a half inch lips as said I’ve got to do some soul

Searching on what I want out of these wheels because truthfully I want to make sure I can drive this car just like my friend Corey would have if he ever had the chance now that we know all of the sizing for our parts and pieces we can just call up

BBS and order the correct Parts because these vintage alpenas thankfully use vintage BBS Motorsport parts I’m thinking that the right choice is to take a half inch off of the lip it’ll give us a nice flashy fitment but give us room for plenty of chunky tire and ultimately I think it’ll make these

Alpinos look perfect on the E30 Oh