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from the old SHO ver.

"Wheel offset is not understood by many people, even though its actually a fairly simple concept. And its an important one that lots of people (including wheel retailers) mess up.

First, an explanation of what offset actually is.

Your rim is basically a metal cylinder, with some spokes and a mounting surface inside the cylinder. The offset is the distance between the centerline of the wheel and the spokes/mounting surface. I could make you a picture, but it would be ugly and I like the one on the tire rack site ("http://www.tirerack.com"), so here it is:

So if you had a zero offset wheel, the spokes and mounting surface would be right in the center of the cylinder. You've probably noticed most cars have the mounting surface right near the outside edge of the cylinder though, and thats because most cars nowadays (and ALL hondas/acuras) have a positive offset. Moving the mounting surface towards the outside edge of the rim is a positive offset. Recessing it into the rim farther than the centerline is also seen sometimes on rear wheel drive cars, although rarely. Thats called a negative offset.

So not getting the correct offset causes lots of problems. First, your handling is affected if your offset is too low because your rims stick out more, although its only really affected if you are really off. Second, and the main problem people have, is rubbing on the wheel well. If you get too low of an offset your rims will stick out of the wheel well and will rub on your fender. If you get too high of an offset then your rims will be too far recessed into the wheel well and will rub on the inside edge of your wheel well. And then if you lower your car more it rubs even more...destroying all aspects of performance you ever had. Soo get the correct offset.

The correct offset basically depends on three things...the wheel well size, stock offset/tire width, and the size of the new rims/tires you're getting. The first two are taken care of by what type of car you have...so basically the two main factors are what type of car you have and how big the tires are.

The BEST way to find out a good offset for your rims is to call a reputable wheel seller and ask. The only wheel retailer that I have seen do a really good job with matching offsets to vehicles is tire rack. I'd guess that discount tire direct ("http://www.tires.com") would do a good job with it too, since they are a large retailer of wheels also, but I don't know for sure. Wheel Options ("http://www.wheeloptions.com") does a decent job too, you can call them also.

Another good idea is to ask about it here, I know quite a few offsets that work for different conditions, and I'm sure other people have had experience with offset also.

DON'T just assume that they will give you the right offset. It happens way too often that people post talking about how they got the wrong offset...and this causes a lot of problems. It limits severely your choices for what you're doing with your suspension and in extreme cases makes your handling adversely affected in a big way.

Thats basically all you need to know. Later today I'll post a bit more about what to do if you get the wrong offset, and any other related things I can think of.

Hope that helps some people out."
 

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Yeah....that's my post. And it's only about half of it.

Email me or let me know on IM and i'll send the other half to you. I'm not sure if I want to put it up on this site again...

And the diameter of the wheels has nothing to do with offset. What kind of car do you have?
 

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i remember that post from the old SHO.....even then i had a hard time digesting it.

i have the same question. i'm lookin to put 18x7.5 rims on my 2000 civic hatch. i think if i get a 44 offset i will be alright. i am also dropped approximately 2.25" on all four corners. can anyone confirm or correct this? and as far as tire size i'm figuring on 215/35/18....again correct me if i'm wrong. thanx.

~little mikey
 
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