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Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 21:58
by gareth2510

I have an '86 Westy with standard 14" steels on it and Im wanting to put alloys on her.
Can anyone suggest a good place to get wheels/tyres for 5 studs?



Re: alloys

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 23:05
by Fin
Pretty much anything Merc goes on - with the right spacing, I'm sure someone will be along in a mo to school you on offset and the like.
I run merc CLK spares up front and steelys out back

Re: alloys

Posted: 22 Jan 2011, 10:46
by andisnewsyncro
Have a look in the wiki - button at the top of each page. There's a lot of info on alternatie wheels.

Or here ... a377d.html for lots more.

Simplest way forward is to get some original VW Carat ones that don't need any extended studs/spacers etc, but have a read - there's a lot of info

Re: alloys

Posted: 22 Jan 2011, 23:32
by gareth2510
Thanks for nods of info....
.... Im so not techy. Im not understanding the wheel spacing etc and what are vw carat wheels? Apologies to all for my ignoance!

Re: alloys

Posted: 22 Jan 2011, 23:56
by andisnewsyncro
"Carat alloys" are the original factory spec alloy wheel option.

As far as spacing goes it's down to the offset (ET) a high ET can be reduced y the use of spacers - ET 45 with 10mm spacers is effectiely an offset of ET 35 and so on.... All the info regarding factory standards and ET is in the links above.

If your ET is too low you will foul (probably) on the front suspension, too high and you will wear your wheel bearings out.....

It takes a bit of reading but there's a lot of options as to what folk have already fitted and how they have managed it

Re: alloys

Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 00:06
by Fin
i have 5mm spacers on my CLK wheels if thats of any use

Re: alloys

Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 07:52
by Cruz
gareth2510 wrote:what are vw carat wheels?
For what they are they are something that requires you to pull your pants down and bend over a barrel when purchasing but they do bolt straight on.

Add your location to your profile as someone nearby may be able to help

A good option would be to buy the wheels with a usuable offset then sort out the spacers and longer bolts/studs later. Bargains can be had if you bide your time. It's the 'must have yesterday' people that pay the silly prices.

Merc alloys have useable offsets, the same PCD, a large enough centre bore to clear the grease cap and usually the bolt holes are big enough. also Merc alloys need radius seat bolts/nuts as opposed to standard chamfered bolts/nuts

Some audi wheels fit but usually need the centrebore machining as it's too small. Ditto for T4 alloys

The ET/Offset is the distance from the wheel centreline to the clamping face of the wheel.
It's the front offest that's the most important (iirc). Not only are spacers used to reduce the offset they are also be needed to stop the wheel fouling on the suspension/chassis.

My merc alloys are 16" x 7.5J (7.5 inches wide) with an offest of 42. (got them for £150 with nearly new tyres because seller spelt the auction MerEcedes I have also bought a set of ML wheels for £50 in similar circumstances). I have 10mm spacers on the front which brings the ET down to 32 and just clears the suspension, and 20mm spacers on the rear to clear the trailing arms

Have a read of ... ltwhls.htm

When you are ready for bolts/studs/nuts/spacers look at

Also consider fitting studs to the fronts instead of bolts. makes it easier to put the wheel on. Also consider you need access to a press to remove the rear studs from the hub and have the capablity to undo the rear hub nut.

I bet you never thought it would be so complicated??

Re: alloys

Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 09:29
by gareth2510
Haha your not wrong.....In my my ignorance I thought it was a case of finding a 5bolt wheel and bunging it on... My brain is aching now

Thanks everyone for your advice and helping this dimwit