VW TDI forum, Audi, Porsche, and Chevy Cruze Diesel forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
This was not in our original plan. Our TDI was supposed to be our "grown-up" car, and we didn't think we would be modifying it much. Probably just the euroswitch and perhaps a receiver hitch, that's all.

As an ex-tire and wheel guy (25 years, prior career) and confirmed car nut, I had been simply ignoring the uninspiring looks of the factory Portos on the car. But a few weeks back, my wife told me that she had been doing the same, and she wanted to know what I thought about new wheels. That's all it took...

After several weeks of research, I believe we have zero'd in on what we want. We considered other factory VW rims, as well as different Audi replicas, but they all looked too "OE". Not exciting or different at all. The winner (so far) is TSW Nurburgring, 17x8, 45 mm offset. Gunmetal with mirror-cut face.

The plan was to save the Portos for winter tires, but after posting some comments on the Vortex and TDIclub, I've found there is no shortage of people who would like to buy a set of mint Portos. So they will be for sale soon, and I'll use the proceeds from selling them to buy a cheap set of used 15" or 16" rims for winter instead. Smaller winter tires are cheaper, so I'll be money ahead to sell the Portos.

Since the Portos are said to weigh around 24 lbs each, and these TSWs are said to weigh less (somewhere around 20 lbs, I'll post when I weigh one myself), and the tires will be exactly the same, I'm not expecting any degradation in the economy area. Not expecting any improvement though, either.

More details as this all happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Forgot to link to images of the rims on Mk6's. All GTIs so far.



 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,902 Posts
Looks nice. I don't know the width but 8" is going to be close to the fuel filler neck depending on the tire and offset. I have 225/50/17 on vw classix which are et 54 and 7" wide. There's probably 9mm of clearance to the plastic liner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Good thought. But tires and wheels is what I did for a living for 25 years. The TSWs are et 45, which on an 8" wheel means that the backspacing (and backside clearance) is with 1 mm of the same as the 7" with et 54. That should be fine on these.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
This was not in our original plan. Our TDI was supposed to be our "grown-up" car, and we didn't think we would be modifying it much. Probably just the euroswitch and perhaps a receiver hitch, that's all.
Isn't that how it always happens?

Since you're a tire and wheel guy, are your average aftermarket rims made to the same standard as OEM? Or does it make a difference if they are made in China vs. made to German "DOT" specs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Good question. In the old days, it was easy to tell the difference between a high quility wheel and a normal wheel, just by looking. When the first Enkeis hit the states in the early '80s, those of us in the retail wheel business were blown away - those wheels were so obviously much higher quality than anything on the market, short of BBS and a couple other European brands. You could visibly see the difference in machining, finish, etc.

These days it's not that simple. At least 90% of the wheels you see on the market - even the "European" brands - are made in China. (Virtually 100% of the chrome plated alloys.) This trend to move everything to Asia started in wheels in the late '80s - BBS invested in a new wheel plant in Korea. Figuring that the world wasn't ready to accept Korean BBS wheels, they spun off ASA, and the race to the orient was on.

The new Chinese plants are good - their apparent quality (visually) is equal to the top European brands. It had better be, as many of those brands have moved at least some - if not all - of their production there. For example, the only OZs still made in Italy are the high-dollar lightweight wheels.

Your best bet these days in selecting a good wheel is to go by the reputation of the manufacturer, construction method, and look for TUV and/or JWL certifications. For example, a company with a long history like OZ is not going to accept crap from China to ruin their rep for the good stuff they still do in Europe. Likewise, a low-pressure cast wheel (as opposed to gravity cast) indicates that the plant that built it is modern, and not cutting corners. And either the German TUV or Japanese JWL markings are a pretty good indication of quality manufacture.

Another thing you can do is stick with the few European companies that have not moved it all to China (yet). Coincidentally, they are also the companies that build wheels for the German auto makers. Rial, Ronal (no longer available in the US), Borbet and BBS all still make most or all of their wheels in Europe, where costs are higher, but the standard of quality may be higher as well.

Just for the record, I have not yet been able to determine where the TSWs I'm looking at are made. Some of TSW's stuff is now made in China, I know. I suspect that the "Rotary Forged" Nurburgring may still be made in their home plant in South Africa. Don't yet know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
165 Posts
...As an ex-tire and wheel guy (25 years, prior career) ...
Good to know there is a tire and wheel guy here.

I have been entertaining a wheel swap also. I'll look forward to your new wheel pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well, I'm happy to share what I know, but since I made my career change 12 years ago, I have to bone up on the current stuff. The basics haven't changed much in that time, but it's all in the details.

We're still waffling on what to buy. Since we plan to keep this car a good long time, we're being pretty picky about the looks of new wheels. Staying with 17", would prefer narrower than 8" but will do 8" with 45 or more offset if that's what it takes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thought I'd update this. The decision was finally made, and the new wheels were ordered last week. I expect them to arrive in a few days.

We ended up with TSWs, but not the ones I linked above. The more we looked, they seemed a bit too racy for what we were after. The final choice is the Nardo. I suspect they will be Chinese, and about the same weight as the current Portos.

The Portos are definitely for sale now, as I picked up a clean set of 15" steelies yesterday for winter use.

Here's a picture of the Nardos (these are 18") on a Mk4.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yes, they do. Just went on this afternoon. Better pictures will need to wait, it's gray and misty out now.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Didn't get a chance to weigh the bare wheel at the tire shop - no scale handy. But I did weigh one of the Porto/Conti combos last weekend, and will pull one of these and weigh it on the same scale. That will tell me how much difference exactly. Will post that when I know.

Which reminds me - the Porto listing on the 17" 5-112 VW wheel page needs an addition and a correction. Add the weight (24 lbs each), and correct the width (7.0", not 7.5").
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Took one off and weighed it today. Had weighed the mounted Porto (same tire) last weekend.

45.8 lbs. - Mounted Porto (17x7) with 225/45-17 Conti (2700 miles)
45.0 lbs. - Mounted TSW (17x8) with same tire
24.8 lbs. - bare 17x7 Porto

So the extra width hasn't cost me anything in unsprung weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Here's the complete list of weights I compiled over the past two weekends. The 17" Contis have 2700 miles on them.

  • 15x6 steel - bare rim w/hubcap ----------- 16.2 lbs. (actual weight, my scale)
  • 15x6 steel w/195/65-15 new Conti -------- 35.2 lbs. (actual weight, my scale, my mounted spare)
  • 17x7 Porto - bare --------------------------- 24.8 lbs. (actual weight, my scale)
  • 17x8 TSW Nardo - bare -------------------- 24.0 lbs. (calculated)
  • 17x7 Porto w/225/45-17 Conti ------------- 45.8 lbs. (actual weight, my scale)
  • 17x8 TSW w/225/45-17 Conti -------------- 45.0 lbs. (actual weight, my scale)
  • 225/45-17 Continental (unmounted)-------- 22.0 lbs. (from Tire Rack specs)
  • 225/45-17 Continental (unmounted)-------- 21.0 lbs. (2700 miles, calculated)
No penalty for the extra inch in width.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Wheels look great. Not trying to highjack, but wondering if 15" wheels (alloy, or steel) will fit on my 2010 Jetta Sportwagen. Looking for some high rubber, small wheels for Cdn winters. Thoughts? Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,902 Posts
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top