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Selling Custom Wheels - Critical Dimensions

Custom wheels, just like any field, has its specialized terminology.
A brief overview of the terms associated with wheels will help as you begin to sell wheels.
To select the proper wheel for a specific car, you will need to know the wheel's dimensions.
This is known as a fitment.
You can purchase a fitment guide, which will list the specifications for each vehicle and then compare these to wheel specifications found in wheel manufacturer's catalogs.
Many distributors simplify this process by combining the fitment guide and wheel catalog, often electronically or online.
By simply entering the year make and model of the vehicle, all appropriate wheels will be displayed.
Common dimensions are wheel diameter and width.
Stating that a wheel is a "17 by 8" (written as 17x8), means that the wheel is 17 inches in diameter and eight inches wide.
Note that these measurements are taken on the inner surface of the wheel (called the bead seat) where the tire actually sits.
Measuring between the outer edges will yield a measurement slightly greater then what is listed.
Many wheels have the measurement stamped on the back of the wheel.
The next measurement is the bolt pattern.
This refers to the number and spacing of the vehicle's lug studs (and the corresponding holes in the wheels).
It is stated as "Five on four and a half" (written as 5x4.
5" or 5-4.
5") and means that the vehicle has five lug studs, and a circle drawn through the center of each stud would have a diameter of four and a half inches.
The final measurements you need to know are backspacing and offset.
These dimensions relate to the position of the wheel's mounting surface, which is the back of the center section where the lug holes are.
This is the part of the wheel that mates up against the car.
Back spacing is the distance from the mounting surface to the back of the wheel.
If the wheel is laid face down and a straight edge placed across the back of the wheel, the back spacing can be measured between the mounting surface and the lower edge of the straight edge.
This measurement is usually given in wheel catalogs and can be useful in determining if a wheel will clear the vehicle's suspension components.
Expressed in inches, people usually say "five inch backspacing.
" Offset is the relation of the wheel's mounting surface to the center line of the wheel.
This measurement is usually stated in millimeters.
If the mounting surface is in the exact center of the wheel, it would be "zero offset.
" When the mounting surface of the wheel is towards the front of the wheel, the offset would be positive.
A typical wheel on a front wheel drive car will have the mounting surface positioned 35 millimeters ahead of the center line, towards the front of the wheel.
This would be stated as "plus 35," "high offset," or may be written as "ET 35.
" Older cars and trucks may use a low offset (plus six or minus nine, for example) Sometimes customers will ask for a wheel with "a lot of lip.
" This type of wheel is a low or even negative offset.
The lower the offset, the more the wheel will extend away from the vehicle's center line, or "stick out.
" Until you have a very good understanding of theses concepts, try to only select wheels that are the same or very close to the stock wheel offset.
Varying a few millimeters is usually OK.
As you continue to work with wheels, these concepts will become second nature to you.

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