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In search of affordable and strong wheel alternatives...

Old 01-07-2019, 04:28 AM
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X25
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Default In search of affordable and strong wheel options...

I own both forged and flow-formed wheels for my '19 Z06/7. It is quite early to tell how these wheels will fare since I could not yet stretch the car at the track or even on the road due to poor/winter weather, but I am starting to think that we don't necessarily have to get forged wheels to ensure the wheels are not bent at harsh conditions.

The problem
It seems to be the inner wheel of the (especially rear) wheels are the most vulnerable part of the wheels that bent. Of all the issues reported, I've actually never heard of spokes being an issue. It makes sense that the inner lips of a massive 20"x12" will be highly leveraged, as they are very far away from their support point (the spokes).

Solutions suggested
  1. Updated OEM parts: First off, I've heard that the part numbers for at least the GS wheels have recently changed. This might mean nothing (no related change), or might mean some structural improvements have been made to the wheels. Short of asking GM, the best way to check this out would be measuring a '19 wheel vs. the same wheel of prior years. Any change in design would show up in the scale, unless it's all made on the geometry only, which I'd doubt.
    • OEM wheels are sold for about $1450/set through vendors.
  2. Forged wheels: Forged wheels, when done right, would definitely help in strength and still let us shed quite a bit of weight. There are a few reputable brands currently providing wheels, and they seem to be holding up so far. I'd definitely stay away from any brand not focused on track performance. Another good indicator would be the weights. If the weights are significantly less than leading forged wheel brands' offerings, then they probably cut too much out of the wheel : )
    • Forged wheels start from $3500/set, and get to $6000 or so for higher end brands, if not more. CCW, BC Forged, Forgeline, Signature, etc. comes to mind.
  3. Flow formed/forged wheels: These wheels are the b#st#rd child of cast and forged wheels, since they do have a cast wheel spoke design, yet their barrels are about as strong as forged wheels due to rotational forces applied during the manufacturing process. Many think these would be band-aid wheels, and they would eventually bend, too, but I'm starting to differ on this opinion.
    • Think about it: the most vulnerable part of the wheel that bends is the barrel, and it's almost never the spokes that bend on these cars (thought I've seen examples of that, too, caused by hard impacts). If that's the case, then wouldn't these wheels provide just as much protection?
    • Granted, the flow formed wheels will still be heavier than forged wheels, while being lighter than cast or pressure cast ones, but the gap drops quite a bit when you drop diameters to 18" or so, since the spoke designs become less elaborate.
    • The pricing for custom flow forged wheels is about $1800/set for 19"/20" set, and $1600 or so for smaller diameters. There are also non-custom (like TSWs, etc.) that go for $1000/set. Forgestar, TSW, Cray (TSW brand) comes to mind.
The bottomline is, I think we should seriously consider leveraging flow-formed custom wheels like Forgestar, as well as non-custom-built ones that fit our cars like Cray Spiders (designed for Corvette fitment), TSW Interlagos, etc. I think they might just be the right compromise for most of the applications/users.

Thoughts?


Forgestar CF5V 19x10 ET30 front (23.26 lbs), 20x12 ET59 rear (27.32 lbs).


BC Forged RZ39 wheels 18x11 ET38 front, 18x12.5 ET59 rear; knurled bead option.

Last edited by X25; 01-07-2019 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:32 AM
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Sconn
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Thanks for your thoughtful post. Forgestar's are what I'm considering myself. I would love a set of Forgelines, but I just can't stomach spending that kind of money on rims when I may not even have my car in 2 years. Then I'm taking a huge loss to sell them.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:50 AM
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PeteC7
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I've been running a set of Forgestar F14's for about 6 months now and I'm happy,18x11 and 18x12 on a '17 GS. They are hugely popular with the Mustang crowd and for under $1500 I think it's the way to go if your, like me, just want some inexpensive 18" wheels. Actually I got wheels, R888R mounted, and TPMS for $3k shipped to my door. Fully forged are definitely lighter and I think look better due to the less material used in the hub and spoke area but I'm not competing, just HPDE.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:05 PM
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acroy
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Great post. Flow-formed has an excellent reputation (TSW, forgestar, Flow One etc) with very modest cost. I've heard no horror stories from them.
True forged wheels *may* be stronger though I don't know if that is so. They are lighter, by 5# per wheel or so. I doubt that makes much difference except at the very highest level of competition.
The non-custom flow-formed wheels are so cheap they are almost disposable.
Will be interested to see how BC forged vs Forgestar plays out under similar usage.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:45 PM
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ErnieN85
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I have personaly had CCW forged wheel crack a spoke, so it can happen with the best & strongest available.
Seems to me that if your using Hoosier DOT or slicks. I would stick with the strongest you can get.
Broken wheels at speed are worse than nasty!!!
Also as to the weight issue it is far more than one would think. I can feel the difference in ride and handling as soon a driving away from the change (garage or pits)

Last edited by ErnieN85; 01-07-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:49 PM
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As the rim (barrel) is strengthened it can function as a lever transferring the max stress to a weaker point, one that might not otherwise be exposed to such stresses and bend/break there... just saying, there is more to stress analysis and looking at and strengthening any given location.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:48 PM
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My thoughts exactly on the topic. I've literally been batting it around for a month now and is the only thing stopping me from picking up your old Z51 BC forged sets
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:45 PM
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MMD
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regarding the part number change, I believe forum member jenfioreally indicated that GM had a recent change in vendors for the wheels which would have precipitated the change in part number. Whether or not this had any change in the wheel material or design, your guess is as good as mine.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Avanti View Post
As the rim (barrel) is strengthened it can function as a lever transferring the max stress to a weaker point, one that might not otherwise be exposed to such stresses and bend/break there... just saying, there is more to stress analysis and looking at and strengthening any given location.
Here are 2 pictures of every cracked C7 wheel picture that had been posted on this forum. It represents wheels for C7 Grand Sport and Z06 model wheels. What is interesting to note about these photos is that it appears that when wheels crack on the wide-body C7 the wheels seem to consistently crack on the inner lip and in a number of cases the crack would extend inward to the flat inner barrel. So, if your leaking air pressure and you suspect a cracked wheel, this is where you should start looking. The cracks are fine but more than likely they can be felt with the touch of your hand.



Last edited by MMD; 01-10-2019 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:34 PM
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fatsport
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Originally Posted by MMD View Post
regarding the part number change, I believe forum member jenfioreally indicated that GM had a recent change in vendors for the wheels which would have precipitated the change in part number. Whether or not this had any change in the wheel material or design, your guess is as good as mine.

I have the stock wheels off my 19 Z that I just bought. Made by Ronal in Mexico. Part numbers are 23317165 front and 23317166 rear.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fatsport View Post
I have the stock wheels off my 19 Z that I just bought. Made by Ronal in Mexico. Part numbers are 23317165 front and 23317166 rear.
could be. Send jenfioreally a PM and ask. She knows a lot about this topic. She'll talk your ear off. She's had so many wheels that either broke or bent. She wound up getting an attorney and sued GM and won.

Last edited by MMD; 01-10-2019 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:29 PM
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rrsperry
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Strong, light, cheap... pick two. The other is inversely proportional...
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rrsperry View Post
Strong, light, cheap... pick two. The other is inversely proportional...
I don't agree with your formula. I think this works better:

Strong, a little heavier, cheap...pick 3.

If this formula produces slower track times, or creates a little more wear on the tires I can live with it. It's a whole lot better than getting cracked and bent wheels.

Last edited by MMD; 01-10-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:32 PM
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olblue75
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Another high wheel would be HRE's nice wheels but good gravy are they high, I have a set of MRR M107's in 1LE fitment on my 5th Gen Camaro and I've done a track day with them and they held up well is also my daily driver.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:25 AM
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A320Flyer
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Keep your eyes open for good used forged wheels. I just bought like new HRE’s for less than new flow formed wheels.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sconn View Post
I would love a set of Forgelines, but I just can't stomach spending that kind of money on rims when I may not even have my car in 2 years. Then I'm taking a huge loss to sell them.
I hear ya on this. That's why whenever a customer purchases a set from me I make sure that in the future when they come back for another set I take that first set in on trade - or at least help them sell it on consignment free of cost. If you go with a brand like HRE that is known for their legendary build quality you get a much higher return on the wheels as opposed to some of the Chinese manufactured companies mentioned here.
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