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    Thread: changing wheel offset by shaving/milling material

    1. Member taifighter's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 05:40 PM #1
      Is it possible to pull a wheel in toward the car by having some aluminum shaved off the hub of the wheel? It seems this would effectively change the offset, as long as it clears suspension components when the barrel is brought closer to them.

      What are your opinions on what is an acceptable amount of material, if any, that can be removed without destroying integrity/strength of the wheel?

    2. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 05:44 PM #2
      I don't know how much bolt seat thickness you have to work with, so I'm just going to say that this is a terrible idea.
      Bro, do you even lift? When you only have 90 horsepower, you don't ever lift.
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      08-25-2010 05:47 PM #3
      Well, wheels come in varying offsets, so i don't see why this would be a problem provided that the wheel has enough material leftover.

      It's just something that would need to be done very carefully. I have been thinking about doing this to my wheels as well. Let us know what you find out.

    4. Member sbvwfanatic's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 05:50 PM #4
      All depends on the wheel manufacturer. A while back I was interested in a set of MOMO wheels that came in my bolt pattern but incorrect offset. The distributor had been dealing w/Momo for years an called his contact @ MOMO NA and was told that 5MM could be shaved w/out any loss in wheel strength. Nowadays though, due to legal liabilities, I doubt many Wheel manufacturers that would admit to any kind of wheel alterations even if there were tolerances.

    5. Member AtlasD3Miami's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 05:51 PM #5
      Not the brightest idea. It can seriously degrade the bolt seat, hub seat as well as tortional load rigidity.

    6. Member taifighter's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 05:59 PM #6
      see, here's the thing... it's split in opinions either way

      I'll ask the few machining shops around here, but they may or may not have as much info collectively as TCL.

      I would think that a machinist with experience would be able to eyeball it and judge how much material is left, if the material will be degraded by the process, etc

    7. Member AtlasD3Miami's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 06:12 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by taifighter View Post
      see, here's the thing... it's split in opinions either way

      I'll ask the few machining shops around here, but they may or may not have as much info collectively as TCL.

      I would think that a machinist with experience would be able to eyeball it and judge how much material is left, if the material will be degraded by the process, etc
      From experience this is what I can tell you.

      We did this wheel a few years ago.



      The rear is 20 x 11.5 ET46. At the same time we also had another Gallardo wheel coming online and it was spec'd at 20 x 11.5 ET48. I wanted to keep the specs the same so we changed the offset from ET46 to ET48. That 2mm reduction in offset totally killed the integrity of the wheel and it failed to meet load requirements in testing. I don't know what type of wheel you're working with (cast, forged, one piece, multi-piece, etc etc), but it can be a really bad idea. Is that the case every time? No, but I wouldn't take the risk.

    8. Member taifighter's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 07:20 PM #8
      Just a cast 1 piece impossible to replace FK wheel

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      08-25-2010 07:40 PM #9
      The offset is probably ground down at the wheel factory anyway, if you needed another few mm it might not be a problem.

      Finding a shop that would do it without screwing up your wheels is another story. Also a wheel would be very difficult to put in a conventional milling machine, lathe or grinder... They probably use a rather custom piece of cutting equipment at a wheel manufacturer.

      Leave it alone, or buy wheels that fit FTW.

    10. Member Das Borgen's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 07:45 PM #10
      I say this is a terrible idea... I know there is a safety factor built into every design but I wouldn t try to push it on a chassis part such as a wheel center


      it surely can and has been done by as much as a quarter inch (no joke) by some some autocrossers I know in Stock Class solo events but those guys have tons of money and probably don t DD those rollers


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      08-25-2010 07:47 PM #11
      did this to an old set of enkeis to bring the offset to where we needed it.

      there was tons of material left with the wheel we had to work with, and we never had an issue otherwise.


      it all depends on the material and how much you've got to work with.

      it's not advisable for every wheel out there.
      shut your mouth. sh sh shut your mouth.

    12. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 08:04 PM #12
      I say do it- but only if you are going to drive at very high speeds.
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      08-25-2010 08:07 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by taifighter View Post
      Is it possible to pull a wheel in toward the car by having some aluminum shaved off the hub of the wheel?
      Yes, although this may cause other problems.

      Quote Originally Posted by taifighter View Post
      What are your opinions on what is an acceptable amount of material, if any, that can be removed without destroying integrity/strength of the wheel?

      It depends. Need more information.

    14. Member taifighter's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 08:29 PM #14
      Pulling the fenders seems a better alternative

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    15. Member randyvr6's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 08:29 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by taifighter View Post
      see, here's the thing... it's split in opinions either way

      I'll ask the few machining shops around here, but they may or may not have as much info collectively as TCL.

      I would think that a machinist with experience would be able to eyeball it and judge how much material is left, if the material will be degraded by the process, etc
      What makes you think that someone who has knowledge about machining makes them qualified to determine the dynamic forces acting on a modified wheel it and if it will withstand them by "eyeballing" it?
      Last edited by randyvr6; 08-25-2010 at 09:07 PM.

    16. Member sbghms's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 09:03 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by AtlasD3Miami View Post


      Wait, you're telling me this pic isn't computer generated??

    17. Member AtlasD3Miami's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 09:17 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by sbghms View Post
      Wait, you're telling me this pic isn't computer generated??
      No I took it myself.

    18. Member sunofernest's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 09:23 PM #18
      I thought the same

    19. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 09:26 PM #19
      It's pretty stupid for anyone to say either, "Sure go ahead" or "Don't do it you'll die!" because it depends completely on the wheel. I would feel comfortable saying yay or nay if I saw the wheel in question (and no a machinist wouldn't "judge how much material is left", they have ways to measure things to less than 1/1000ths of an inch). Without knowing the wheel or the car, it's pointless for anyone to give you any answer.
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    20. 08-25-2010 10:21 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by AtlasD3Miami View Post
      No I took it myself.
      I took this one of my GF. Rawhide.


    21. Member taifighter's Avatar
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      08-25-2010 10:40 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by randyvr6 View Post
      What makes you think that someone who has knowledge about machining makes them qualified to determine the dynamic forces acting on a modified wheel it and if it will withstand them by "eyeballing" it?
      I'm not up on the processes or I'd be a machinist myself, pardon my ignorance


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    22. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 06:24 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by taifighter View Post
      I'm not up on the processes or I'd be a machinist myself, pardon my ignorance
      Your average machinist is capable of shaving material off the wheel to whatever tolerance you ask for...
      but they are far from qualified to do the engineering work required to tell you just how much integrity you have left... or just how big of a bump you can hit mid-corner before your lugs tear through your thinned wheel.

      You'd need a full FEA (with very accurate inputs, which the wheel manufacturer probably will not provide) before you could have any confidence in the result.
      Bro, do you even lift? When you only have 90 horsepower, you don't ever lift.
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      08-26-2010 06:41 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by taifighter View Post
      Pulling the fenders seems a better alternative

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      Agreed; however, I think buying wheels that actually fit would be the best alternative.

    24. Senior Member Son's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 07:15 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by ABAcabby View Post
      Well, wheels come in varying offsets, so i don't see why this would be a problem provided that the wheel has enough material leftover.
      However, different offsets of the same wheel model don't use different length bolts. Sure, if a lower offset wheel used a longer bolt, i.e. there was more metal behind the bolt seat, then there'd be room for milling some off, but that's not the case ever, I'm afraid. Offset variation is done by changing the barrel's distance compared to the hub, while the "outer" part of the center of the wheel remains at the same distance from the hub. This results to different look on different offset wheels. Here's a prime example. Replica RS4 wheels are made for cars that aren't as wide as the RS4 with its wider-than-A4 fenders. Thus the wheels are "flatter" than the deep-center genuine RS4 wheels.

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    25. Member taifighter's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 08:42 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by JimmyD View Post
      Agreed; however, I think buying wheels that actually fit would be the best alternative.
      I really love these wheels and got them on the cheap. They're just a tiny bit too wide.

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      08-26-2010 08:50 AM #26


      I loved that peg... one of a kind...

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      08-26-2010 08:53 AM #27
      I've seen this done on very old wheels which were made with lots of extra material and looser tolerances.

      Modern wheels are generally made to waste as little material as possible and weigh as little as possible and they don't leave enough room for this.
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    28. 08-26-2010 09:17 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      I'm not sure if you intended your post to come across as sarcastic and doubting AtlasD3Miami, but I've known him for years and can assure you that not only did he take that image, it was his car and his own brand of wheels on the car. He absolutely knows what he's doing with respect to the technical knowledge offered and his photography skills. He's taken many images that have been posted on this board without accreditation which people have 'oohed' and 'aahed' over.

    29. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 09:31 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Smindustries View Post
      I'm not sure if you intended your post to come across as sarcastic and doubting ...
      I think the point was that the photo looks a bit like a high quality rendering.

      I don't know much about photography compared to all the experts here, but I can usually tell what flavor of post processing was applied compared to a "Straight from the Camera" shot. And to me, that photo looks like it was either smoothed after downsizing, or it was run through a noise reduction filter... something I wouldn't think would be required with a 5D.
      Bro, do you even lift? When you only have 90 horsepower, you don't ever lift.
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    30. 08-26-2010 10:05 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Smindustries View Post
      I'm not sure if you intended your post to come across as sarcastic and doubting AtlasD3Miami, but I've known him for years .
      But that is my GF. Are you doubting my ability to masterbate?

      No, I was just thinking that, like the post above this one, the picture looked more rendered than real. I don't really care if the car was his or about his techinical ability. Thats none of my concern.

    31. Banned justanotherusername's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 10:13 AM #31
      You have to consider the wheel, and the offsets it was originally available with.

      The manufacturers will take a casting and use it for a range of offsets. If the casting you have was available in the offset you want, then it's probably Ok, but it would probably be simpler to just buy it that way instead of having it milled.

      The 135i uses very high offsets in the rear, to the point where it limits wheel selection to just a few that actually fit. There have been vendors offering to mill wheels to make them work, but honestly I'm leary of it. The last thing I want is to have the center of the wheel bust apart while I'm loading it up.

    32. Member AtlasD3Miami's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 10:13 AM #32
      Ahhh TCL how you never change. Smitty you're making me blush

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      08-26-2010 10:17 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by ABAcabby View Post
      Well, wheels come in varying offsets, so i don't see why this would be a problem provided that the wheel has enough material leftover.
      Offset is built into the wheel though, not just the center mounting section:

      BBS RC for example:

      (now, some of this difference, is due to the width of the wheel, but just bear with me)

      Jetta GLI, what are they, ET38?



      BMW 5 Series, maybe ET20 or somewhere around there?

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    34. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 10:31 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Smindustries View Post
      I'm not sure if you intended your post to come across as sarcastic and doubting AtlasD3Miami, but I've known him for years and can assure you that not only did he take that image, it was his car and his own brand of wheels on the car. He absolutely knows what he's doing with respect to the technical knowledge offered and his photography skills. He's taken many images that have been posted on this board without accreditation which people have 'oohed' and 'aahed' over.
      the image just REALLY looks like its computer generated, from the gallardo to the hotel behind it. it must be the effects he used when editing it. There are alot of kids pretending to own alot of things here, so its rare when a poster owns a gallardo and has his own wheel company, it causes some doubt. good for him though

      also, i wouldnt mill a wheel. Ive seen wheels that have shattered on their own after passing their companies quality tests, id rather have it stick out an extra 2mm and be safe.
      Last edited by ClockworkChad; 08-26-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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    35. Member AtlasD3Miami's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 10:51 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by ClockworkChad View Post
      the image just REALLY looks like its computer generated, from the gallardo to the hotel behind it. it must be the effects he used when editing it. There are alot of kids pretending to own alot of things here, so its rare when a poster owns a gallardo and has his own wheel company, it causes some doubt. good for him though

      also, i wouldnt mill a wheel. Ive seen wheels that have shattered on their own after passing their companies quality tests, id rather have it stick out an extra 2mm and be safe.
      It's just over processed. I was in a rush and using a Sony laptop with that TruBrite or whatever crap they market the horrible screen coating as.


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