Monday, August 5, 2013

Cracked Wheel

After finding the left front wheel was cracked I started exploring my options. It appears that the powder coated five spoke wheels I traded for were factory rears and replica fronts. I don't know if that contributed to the wheel cracking as it has no apparent damage around the crack.

From all the research I did while even the best wheels can fail, you still get what you pay for. The problem with the corvette is its extreme rear offset limits off the shelf wheels available. Anything custom made puts you into the 3k range for starters.

The compromise I found was TSW wheels, I had a set on my rebuilt Golf and really liked them. TSW is the parent of Cray Wheels who make corvette specific fitment wheels. I really didn't care much for any of the Cray wheels and wanted to try and get into a forged type wheel. A few months ago TSW released the Panorama wheel which is corvette fitment and rotary forged for around $250.00 a wheel.

I ordered them through Discount Tire. I have always had great service through them on all our cars. I was due for new tires on the corvette anyway so it made sense to get both the wheels and tires through them. They will price match most anything you can find on the internet anyway.

The wheels are fairly close in style to the factory five spokes I had on the car before. The Panoramas are exactly what I wanted in a simple, clean, open looking wheel.

My original plan was to use the factory diameter wheels, the Panorama's do not come in exact offsets  to match factory wheels. My plan was changed for me when I found that no matter who I tried to purchase them through I could only find one front 18" in the correct offset. The proposed availability was a minimum three months possibly up to five. Discount Tire offered to up size to 19" and 20" both wheels and tires for the same price they had quoted on the 18/19" combo.

I really wasn't too keen on doing the 19/20" combo, the available offsets are right on the edge as it is and the 19/20 combo offers no performance increase only a greater expense in tires. Discount tire promised the combo would fit properly and the tires would not rub, they are both 1" diameter larger and .5" wider.

I am very happy with both the fitment and the look.

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