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    Thread: offset question

    1. Member wku88omerta's Avatar
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      04-19-2011 01:53 AM #1
      I'm not very good at figuring offsets or calculation wheel fitment with numbers so I'm coming for advice. I have a MK2 rocco with the 16v body kit and I'm looking at purchasing a set of 15" wheels that are 8" wide with an offset of +10 all around.

      I just want to know how these will fit up before I buy em. It seems like the rear of the car has a lot more room for wider wheels than the front. Are these wheels gonna poke and if so how much? Will it rub anywhere. I am gonna have them wrapped in a 195/45-15 tire. I tried to measure on the car but my concept of wheel fitment is elementary.

      I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

    2. 04-19-2011 02:36 AM #2


      There are many factors that you need to understand when setting up a car and choosing wheels. The offset is is very important. MK1 fitment is more or less the same as MK2. MK2s have liners and 16Vs can't fit 13" wheels.

      The ET in my first chart is the target offset for a given wheel thickness. The target offset (ET) sets the inside of the tire at the proper location assuming the tire is sized correctly. The ET MAX is the highest offset that works for a given wheel thickness but is less ideal than the (target) ET. When you use 7" wheels or thinner the target ET is ideal. 8" wheels are too wide for the A1 chassis (with full size outside tire dia.) and will begin to poke out of the wheel wells. 8" wide and wider wheels have special requirements. If you want a wheel that wide you need look at more than just offset before you choose a wheel. As stated before (in other messages I have posted over the years) your performance may vary (like rubbing) because of the other parts or settings in your suspension system (tires, camber, ride height and wheel spacers).
      When you change your struts the ET value for fitment may change too. Your aftermarket spring dia., length of your springs and type of strut (i.e. coil over) can alter the clearance. Many aftermarket struts interface differently to the knuckles.

      The second chart is to determine the wheel width, ET and proper backspacing when you know two values. The upper chart is more accurate and the lower chart is rounded off.

      Example of using the charts and changing the ET with spacers:
      As an example lets say you want to tuck in a 15 X 7 with ET 30 because you don't want any poke at all. I could fit that wheel on my 16V that has sport springs and standard OE struts however the rear tires may rub on my rear springs because I run 195s that measure closer to 205. Tire size and manufacture's design make a difference. With a 185 or narrower you should have no issues as far as fitting your 15 X 7 ET 30 wheel with any kind of struts but some coil overs will not let you fit that wheel. If you run 215 or more you may have some issues with inside tire rubbing.

      We started with a wheel that has a high offset. As you add spacers the ET decreases. You can add 2mm spacers to get to the max (standard tire) ET tolerance (15 X 7 ET 28) if you want to run full size tires (195-205). If your struts will not allow the tuck fitment at ET 28 you can add 5-10mm spacers and your wheels and tires can be made to work. With 5mm spacers on a ET 30 wheel you will sit at ET 25 and that is best practice. With ET 25 your wheels should fit near perfect with a 195 50 15 tire however my coil overs on one of my MK1s will not work with that combo (tire side wall rubs on the front lower spring seat). I run that very same combo on my 16V with no issues what so ever. At ET 20 (adding 10mm spacers to your ET 30 wheel to make ET 20) your wheels will poke some. 15 X 7 ET 20 works with my MK1 with my coil overs. If you get to ET 15 (adding 15mm spacers to your ET 30 wheel) you will have outside fender rubbing issues if you sit too low. You could roll the fenders if you must have that poke.

      One very important thing to think about when adding wheel spacers is the stud/ bolt length.
      I have 5 sets of wheels that I use on my MK1s. Some use 10MM some use 5mm and some use no spacers. That makes it difficult to change wheels in a hurry and I need long studs with many sets of open lugs to accommodate all the different wheels. Make sure your bolts or studs are good quality and the threads engage enough. If you car has drum brakes you want to make sure your wheel bolts do not screw in too far and hit your shoes inside or barely screw in and sheer off under load. Some wheels require cone seats and some require ball seats. OE wheels are ball seat. You must use the proper seat or risk sheering the wheel bolts and your wheel may fall off!

      Spacers on the rear only
      Changing the rear track even 3mm will change the handling, no question. You may not ever notice it but if you drive on old tires, cold tires, or wet surfaces you will see differences as soon as the car slides. You may drive within the tolerance of the grip but if you exceed the grip of any one of your tires the car will not turn as well if it has just rear spacers. The only difference between racing and regular driving is that in racing you need to find the edge and drive to it as much as possible. In racing the driver knows when the car under-steers and backs off just a tiny amount. In regular driving the driver does not know where the edge is so when he finds it, it is too late to put the proper steering inputs in. Most of the time when surprise under-steer is experienced the driver tends to hit the brake pedal shifting the weight to the front and lighting the rear. That will make the car plow more but if one of the front tires regains any grip the car will snap over-steer because the tail is unloaded. That said under-steer is safer than over-steer for drivers that naturally drive slower.

      I can drive a poorly setup car and I have. I did experience under-steer (with 205s and 5mm rear spacers on just the rear) with old tires when panic stopping as I was attempting to avoid an accident on the street. All I can say is when it happens you will know it. I avoided the accident but I added front spacers when I got home.

      Take a look at this illustration to help you understand the concept. The rear wheels with spacers are shown as the blue rectangular tire contact patches outside of the black contact patches on the rear wheels. The percent numbers show the amount of weight distribution per corner. Note the left front tire is working the hardest. Note the inside rear tire has no weight on it. That is because the car corners on three wheels and the car is stable on three wheels. You can see how just having rear spacers alters the weight distribution triangle (black dashed lines and blue dashed lines). The 3 wheel pivot geometry changes too. The car will not turn as much with spacers in just the rear of the car. Any extra steering input will force the car to plow or over drive the front tires (see blue arcs v.s. black arcs). The pink color shows the cornering zone that the car can't drive (with just rear wheel spacers).



      The rest of this string has some interesting information and illustrations that you can use as a guide. My goal is to teach you how it works and not tell you what to do. I find that most people like to try things because they find a great deal on a used suspension or wheels and they want to use them. In many cases fashion dictates the desire (putting the car on the ground with bags) and a working car is not so important to fashion victims.

      As your wheels get wider than 6.5" the need for upper strut camber adjustment increases. You can adjust your center contact point in relation to the pivot points of the Steering Axis using upper and lower camber adjustment. With camber adjusted at the top of the shock tower you can move the springs away from the tire and move the pivot closer to the center line of the wheel. If you use camber plates you can increase your wheel back spacing slightly. By adjusting the camber at the struts you can move the intersection lines to improve the scrub radius. You can make fine camber adjustment to change the wheel angle at the knuckle strut bolts as if you did not have camber plates.



      Without seeing your coil over and your camber settings it is impossible to 100% predict fitment.

      Steel wheels and lug seats
      I personally don't like steel wheels like Diamond that much. I had a set and I sold them, then the guy I sold them to sold them (not keepers). The lug seat mounting surface is not thick enough for my comfort. I have seen lug inserts on some that improve my comfort level. Many of the steel Diamond wheels I see are not hub centric, and they are heaver than some very affordable alloy wheels in the $100 range. Diamond wheels are very affordable (less than $100) and well constructed but I would spend more and get some better wheels.

      Hub centers are another issue you need to think about when selecting aftermarket wheels.

      Picture of suspension:


      Quote Originally Posted by VWsciroccoWV View Post
      I tried searching for what spacers I need to run with my setup, but I could only find threads on mk2s.. So here's my dilemma. I just bought raceland coilovers, and I had picked the height I wanted. As I was tightening the wheel I could here the tire squeaking from hitting the coilover.. I adjusted the camber to max positive on the stock cambers bolts and it still rubs

      I had to raise the front back up, and this is how close I am.



      Wheels are stock snowflakes, 6inch wide, 14 inch rim, et38.

      Tires are 185/60/14

      What spacers do you guys recommend? It looks like about 5mm should bring them to where I can lower it back down.

      Thanks!

      Sidenote, the shims will spin freely behind the wheel, it's just the coil itself that hits.
      Your desire to sit ultra low is your main problem. Your pictured wheels and tires should fit fine but sitting too low causes fit and handling problems. Coilovers may have different mounting points and can cause fitting problems too. With camper plates and 5mm spacers you would be better off. 185 60 14 is a stock tire size and should fit but the coil over is chancing your geometry. I have the same problem with a set of coilovers too sitting on proper ride height with A arms level and -1.25 camber. For me 5mm spacers work great with the same wheels you have and same tire size. Reducing contact patch with thinner tires is not the safest thing to do for braking and cornering. I know you are going for a look but don't expect your car to drive as well as it could when reducing function for style.
      Last edited by Doug T; 05-17-2013 at 11:32 PM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    3. Member 85roccoZ400's Avatar
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      04-19-2011 07:39 AM #3
      Doug's chart is king.

      But to go into it a little more;

      This is Jonny's car. He's running a 15x8 ET 16.



      So from this picture you will be poking a another 6mm in front.

    4. Member wku88omerta's Avatar
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      04-19-2011 11:19 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      I don't really understand the charts. I do know how to read charts but the table on the bottom of the first one is confusing. Where it says 'ET', what does that 'ET' represent (I know the definition of ET)? Is it recommended et because there is no way that would represent the et of every wheel. On 'ET Max' what does the max mean? Is that max amount of offset until the wheel hits the spring of the suspension or is it maximum offset until the wheel pokes beyond the fender?

      On the second chart, What are the numbers in the middle? I understand that you find your desired wheel width, then the correct back spacing, but I don't know what the numbers you find in your solution represent.

      It is a good chart but there are a few unlabeled variables.
      Last edited by wku88omerta; 04-19-2011 at 11:21 AM.

    5. 04-19-2011 11:30 AM #5


      My chart offset defines the range of offset for proper scrub radius (the center contact point in relation to the pivot points of the Steering Axis). You can drive your car with more or less offset but you may suffer consequences. When you tuck the tire in too far (higher offset than my chart) the inside part of the tire scrubs more or drags. You can decrease the offset (from the numbers in my chart) but you will run the risk of rubbing the outside of your tire on your fender as well as changing your handling. Decreasing the offset increases the stance or track (widens the car). One down side to less offset is that your hubs fail sooner.

      With greater offset wheels you can add spacers to reduce offset. With lower offset wheels you can not correct the offset unless you machine the wheel down (not recommended).

      To understand scrub, you must first know about Steering Axis Inclination (SAI). The steering axis is the line between the top pivot point of your hub and the lower ball joint of your hub. On a MacPherson strut, the top pivot point is the strut bearing, and the bottom point is the lower ball joint. The inclination of the steering axis is measured as the angle between the steering axis and the centerline of the wheel, so if your camber is adjustable within the pivot points (i.e. Volkswagen) you can change the SAI.

      The scrub radius is the distance on the ground between the center line of the tire contact patch and the point at which the SAI intersects the ground. If these two lines intersect at ground level, then you are said to have zero scrub. If the SAI intersects the ground at a point inside or outside of the center line of the contact patch, you are said to have positive or negative scrub respectively.

      The point at which the steering axis line contacts the ground is the fulcrum pivot point on which the tire turns. The location of this point within the contact patch has a great effect on steering effort, feel, and stability. If you have not already guessed, the easiest way to change scrub is by changing your offset with either new wheels, or hub centric wheel spacers.

      If the scrub is zero, the scrubbing action of the contact patch is equal on either side of the pivot point causing the tire to act like a car with a welded differential, inducing a condition called 'squirm'. In a straight line the tire tends to be stable and tracks well. As you turn though, the portion of the contact patch on the outside of the pivot point moves faster than the portion on the inside of the contact patch. Since the scrubbing area is equal on each side of the pivot point, yet the forces are different, the tire tends to fight itself and it becomes 'grabby' causing tire wear to increase and the steering to become unstable.

      Positive and negative scrub radii have benefits in different types of suspension. A MacPherson strut assembly typically performs well with a lot of SAI and caster, a system negative scrub works well in. Because both SAI and caster increase the amount of camber on the outside wheel when steering, the fulcrum pivot point is at a point that has more leverage, requiring less steering effort. Negative scrub also helps reduce torque steer in front wheel drive cars.

      When you have excessive scrub, whether it be positive or negative, steering effort increases and road 'feel' increases, as the steering is more susceptible to road shock. Additionally, if you plan on doing some homework on, and modifying your scrub radius, you must take into account the amount of sidewall flex your tire will encounter under hard cornering. When the sidewall flexes, the contact patch moves in relation to the SAI and can make a slightly negative scrub radius become zero.

      A1 suspension
      Last edited by Doug T; 05-21-2011 at 08:58 PM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    6. 04-19-2011 11:41 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by wku88omerta View Post
      I don't really understand the charts. I do know how to read charts but the table on the bottom of the first one is confusing. Where it says 'ET', what does that 'ET' represent (I know the definition of ET)? Is it recommended et because there is no way that would represent the et of every wheel. On 'ET Max' what does the max mean? Is that max amount of offset until the wheel hits the spring of the suspension or is it maximum offset until the wheel pokes beyond the fender?

      On the second chart, What are the numbers in the middle? I understand that you find your desired wheel width, then the correct back spacing, but I don't know what the numbers you find in your solution represent.

      It is a good chart but there are a few unlabeled variables.
      ET max is the highest offset (tucked in) for proper scrub radius if you are using proper fitting tires. Proper fitting tires---> when the wheel width and the tire width line up with in tolerance. Stretched tires (thin tires on a wide rim) do not fit in the normal tolerance and compromise the bead. If you increase your ET past the Max point (in my chart) you run the risk of rubbing on your rear (stock) springs if you are not using spacers and you have standard fitting tires.


      More fun...



      Your tire is the next great variable. By running oversize or undersized tires you change the rub points on your springs or your fenders. You can see how running 7 inch wheels with the proper offset can allow more tire contact patch than running 8 inch wheels with greater offset.

      When you are attempting to lower the car reducing the outside tire dia is one way to help solve the fit issue. Smaller overall tire dia has some great advantages. Greater offset 8" - 9" wheels and stretched tires as a wheel assembly make it so the tire clears "some" of the rub points. See the illustration above.

      Poke can be an issue. The wheels on this car were oftest too low 15x7 ET 13. Take a look at this link:

      http://www.youtube.com/user/VintageR.../0/uD09-TWqOJE

      Some information to think about:

      Fitting:
      When fitting a wheel that is line to line or out of the comfort zone it is very important to understand that fitting the wheel is your number one priority of your setup. “You want that wheel” and you are willing to let the wheel dictate your tire construction and size. Your shocks, ride height and spring type or length are all second to the wheel fitting. I have made it clear that rear spacers just in the rear alter the track and cause under steer. Many people add rear spacer to clear the rear springs when fitting wheels with improper offset or for stance (filling the rear wells to make the car look more like a RWD car). Many people will never push a car to the point where under steer is an issue but I have seen so many cars drive off the road with both wicked over steer and under steer that I would not be responsible to you if I did not warn against this practice.

      15s are the wheel dia. of choice because tire manufactures make some great tires for that wheel size. 14s have no real support from tire manufactures. I have no problem with 15s on Sciroccos other than they look big on a MK1. I don't even have a problem with the wheel dia as long as the outside tire dia is not too large. 16s look too big for my taste but the wheel design has a lot to do with how big the wheel looks. 16" wheels cut down on the options for tires and or clearance.

      Proper tire size (width) is related to the wheel, not just the car.
      According to nearly every tire manufacture in the world:
      215 and 225s are designed for a 7.0 - 8.0" wheel widths.
      195/50 (or 45) R15 is for a 6.0 - 7 wide wheel range.
      185s are designed for 6" wide wheels.

      Running narrower tires within the designed wheel width range increases the tire side wall rigidity and helps stiffen the side wall (if your tire has a soft side wall). You can feel the increase in steering response with stiffer side wall tires.



      "Stretched tires" is when the wheel is too wide for the tire size as defined by the manufacture (not me). Most tire manufactures warn against stretching tires because the bead is compromised and stretching creates a greater chance of air loss. I like the wheel and tire to work without an inch of extra rim slowing me down. That is just me.



      I will never win a Car Show,,,, Well not one that is judging on style. I don't think my cars look that cool BTW but I can run full throttle in third in a sweeper on the track.
      (my red MK1 on 13 X 9 wheels and my silver MK1 on the same wheels)



      This is how it all works if you want performance.
      Rims are un-sprung weight. The goal is to reduce the rim mass to the lowest point for best acceleration. Wheels are under constant acceleration ....that requires energy. More mass more energy or torque/HP. Then you need to define the mission. Low rolling resistance for maximum fuel efficiency or more tire for grip. Tire construction (like side wall design), and the contact patch (width) determines the rim width. It all has to fit under the car too.



      "Stretched tires"

      Last edited by Doug T; 05-17-2013 at 11:34 PM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    7. Member wku88omerta's Avatar
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      04-19-2011 12:21 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post


      My chart defines the range of offset for proper scrub radius (the center contact point in relation to the pivot points of the Steering Axis). You can drive your car with more or less offset but you may suffer consequences. When you tuck the tire in too far (higher offset than my chart) the inside part of the tire scrubs more or drags. You can decrease the offset (from the numbers in my chart) but you will run the risk of rubbing the outside of your tire on your fender as well as changing your handling. Decreasing the offset increases the stance or track (widens the car). One down side to less offset is that your hubs fail sooner.

      With greater offset wheels you can add spacers to reduce offset. With lower offset wheels you can not correct the offset unless you machine the wheel down (not recommended).

      To understand scrub, you must first know about Steering Axis Inclination (SAI). The steering axis is the line between the top pivot point of your hub and the lower ball joint of your hub. On a MacPherson strut, the top pivot point is the strut bearing, and the bottom point is the lower ball joint. The inclination of the steering axis is measured as the angle between the steering axis and the centerline of the wheel, so if your camber is adjustable within the pivot points (i.e. Volkswagen) you can change the SAI.

      The scrub radius is the distance on the ground between the center line of the tire contact patch and the point at which the SAI intersects the ground. If these two lines intersect at ground level, then you are said to have zero scrub. If the SAI intersects the ground at a point inside or outside of the center line of the contact patch, you are said to have positive or negative scrub respectively.

      The point at which the steering axis line contacts the ground is the fulcrum pivot point on which the tire turns. The location of this point within the contact patch has a great effect on steering effort, feel, and stability. If you have not already guessed, the easiest way to change scrub is by changing your offset with either new wheels, or hub centric wheel spacers.

      If the scrub is zero, the scrubbing action of the contact patch is equal on either side of the pivot point causing the tire to act like a car with a welded differential, inducing a condition called 'squirm'. In a straight line the tire tends to be stable and tracks well. As you turn though, the portion of the contact patch on the outside of the pivot point moves faster than the portion on the inside of the contact patch. Since the scrubbing area is equal on each side of the pivot point, yet the forces are different, the tire tends to fight itself and it becomes 'grabby' causing tire wear to increase and the steering to become unstable.

      Positive and negative scrub radii have benefits in different types of suspension. A MacPherson strut assembly typically performs well with a lot of SAI and caster, a system negative scrub works well in. Because both SAI and caster increase the amount of camber on the outside wheel when steering, the fulcrum pivot point is at a point that has more leverage, requiring less steering effort. Negative scrub also helps reduce torque steer in front wheel drive cars.

      When you have excessive scrub, whether it be positive or negative, steering effort increases and road 'feel' increases, as the steering is more susceptible to road shock. Additionally, if you plan on doing some homework on, and modifying your scrub radius, you must take into account the amount of sidewall flex your tire will encounter under hard cornering. When the sidewall flexes, the contact patch moves in relation to the SAI and can make a slightly negative scrub radius become zero.
      Wow, thats a lot of good information. I never knew there was such this SAI other than the secondary air injector. So is the second chart a chart for determine the relative scrub radius based on the wheel width and backspacing? Also on the first chart, I still don't understand what the 'ET' represents. Is that just the recommended 'ET'?

    8. Member JonnyPhenomenon's Avatar
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      04-19-2011 01:30 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by 85roccoZ400 View Post
      Doug's chart is king.

      But to go into it a little more;

      This is Jonny's car. He's running a 15x8 ET 16.



      So from this picture you will be poking a another 6mm in front.
      hah! beat me to it!

      Quote Originally Posted by wku88omerta View Post
      I'm not very good at figuring offsets or calculation wheel fitment with numbers so I'm coming for advice. I have a MK2 rocco with the 16v body kit and I'm looking at purchasing a set of 15" wheels that are 8" wide with an offset of +10 all around.

      I just want to know how these will fit up before I buy em. It seems like the rear of the car has a lot more room for wider wheels than the front. Are these wheels gonna poke and if so how much? Will it rub anywhere. I am gonna have them wrapped in a 195/45-15 tire. I tried to measure on the car but my concept of wheel fitment is elementary.

      I would appreciate any help. Thanks.
      Its possible you could get away with it if you do a little work. let me explain.

      First, as shown in the picture above, I run BBS RM's with a stock width of 6.5" and an et of 35mm, but since I put 2" lips on them, my wheels are now 8" wide with an ET of 16mm. I am also running the tires sizes you want to run, 195/45 r15 (mine are toyo t1r's), so I have a little bit of stretch.

      Without trimming and rolling my fenders, I rubbed quite a bit at an even higher ride height than you see pictured above. I had to remove the fender liners, trim my 16v fender flares down to a quarter inch, and then roll the metal inner fenders completely flat so I wouldnt rub. However, once I did that I was able to go quite a bit lower without rubbing virtualy ever. - and when I do rub it doesnt wreck my tires.

      if you plan to lower your car at all, and run those 8" wheels with et10 you will rub your fenders like crazy.

      To sum up, if you trim and roll you should be just fine in the back and you might get away with it in the front if you dont go quite as low as I do.

    9. 04-19-2011 07:12 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by wku88omerta View Post
      Wow, thats a lot of good information. I never knew there was such this SAI other than the secondary air injector. So is the second chart a chart for determine the relative scrub radius based on the wheel width and backspacing? Also on the first chart, I still don't understand what the 'ET' represents. Is that just the recommended 'ET'?
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      The ET in my first chart is the target offset for a given wheel thickness. The target offset (ET) sets the inside of the tire at the proper location assuming the tire is sized correctly. The ET MAX is the highest offset that works for a given wheel thickness but is less ideal than the (target) ET. When you use 7" wheels or thinner the target ET is ideal. 8" wheels are too wide for the A1 chassis (with full size outside tire dia.) and will begin to poke out of the wheel wells. As stated before (in other messages I have posted over the years) your performance may vary (like rubbing) because of the other parts or settings in your suspension system (tires, camber, ride height and wheel spacers).
      When you change your struts the ET value for fitment may change too. Your aftermarket spring dia., length of your springs and type of strut (i.e. coil over) can alter the clearance. Many aftermarket struts interface differently to the knuckles.

      The second chart is to determine the wheel width, ET and proper backspacing when you know two values. The upper chart is more accurate and the lower chart is rounded off. .
      The second chart is to determine the wheel width, ET and proper backspacing when you know two values.

      This will give you some idea of the poke line:





      Lowering

      Don't forget that you need stiffer springs when you have no gap in your wheel wells (lowered).

      When the roll center is too far from the CG the handling will not work properly. The location of the geometric roll center is solely dictated by the suspension geometry. The definition of the force based roll center is "The point in the transverse vertical plane through any pair of wheel centers at which lateral forces may be applied to the sprung mass without producing suspension roll." This roll center position is key in reducing the effects of scrubbing and jacking allowing the vehicle to be more stable under lateral loads as well as decreasing the height change of the inner tire during turns. It is best to keep your control arms level.

      (This is not showing the roll center points because the lines to do so are off the page)
      The illustration on the right is too low. The travel of the A-arm can only drop. The alignment geometry and roll center changes as the arm moves away from level.


      Keep in mind that your shock needs to be designed to work with your ride height. The damping, rebound and length of the shock needs to match the spring rate and ride height. If your shock bottoms out (because you dropped your car too far) your internal exchange valves inside the shock near the bottom bend. If that happens your shock will no longer work. If your shocks are toast the spring will be free to do what springs do best (Quote Tigger) bounce!. Shock absorbers are thus tie-down devices for springs which control the springs' oscillation. Oscillation is the up and down movement of a spring, and unless it has a damping device on it, the spring will oscillate infinitely until internal friction in the spring stops its movement. Shock absorbers can be adjusted for "rebound' and "bump". If the shocks still work and they are adjustable adjust them so the bounce goes away. If that does not fix the bounce you need new shocks but don't blame the shock.


      Last edited by Doug T; 06-20-2011 at 02:32 AM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    10. Member wku88omerta's Avatar
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      04-20-2011 03:22 AM #10
      Ok thanks Doug. This really cleared up a lot of questions I had and will help me with some future problems if they arise.

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      06-08-2011 11:30 AM #11
      hi, sorry to hijack but a have a question closely related to the topic...
      I haven't been able to find the stock scrub radius of the A1 chassis...does anybody have this value?
      Doug_T i was wondering if i could get the same effect as the camber plates by extending the lower control arms by some amount?
      By doing this i would achieve a wider track,increase the KPI and therefore the scrub radius thus allowing wider wheels with higher offsets.I'm not talking crazy amounts, but just enough to correct for my 7" wide wheels\25 offset and for the drop spindles that i plan to fabricate to correct the roll center(the car is lowered by about 40mm).
      The only complication of this plan is the need for longer half shafts.
      Question is by how much should the control arms be extended?

    12. Member CodeMan's Avatar
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      06-08-2011 11:40 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by 4everoc View Post
      The only complication of this plan is the need for longer half shafts.
      Don't forget your tie rods as well.
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      06-08-2011 02:17 PM #13
      ah yes, forgot about the tie rods...but extending them will be a much smaller issue than the shafts...

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      06-08-2011 02:38 PM #14
      I have it on good authority AUDI TT shafts could be used.


      Geez Doug....we'll just call you DOUGGIE_PEDIA!
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    15. 10-27-2012 01:24 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post


      There are many factors that you need to understand when setting up a car and choosing wheels. The offset is is very important. MK1 fitment is more or less the same as MK2. MK2s have liners and 16Vs can't fit 13" wheels.

      The ET in my first chart is the target offset for a given wheel thickness. The target offset (ET) sets the inside of the tire at the proper location assuming the tire is sized correctly. The ET MAX is the highest offset that works for a given wheel thickness but is less ideal than the (target) ET. When you use 7" wheels or thinner the target ET is ideal. 8" wheels are too wide for the A1 chassis (with full size outside tire dia.) and will begin to poke out of the wheel wells. 8" wide and wider wheels have special requirements. If you want a wheel that wide you need look at more than just offset before you choose a wheel. As stated before (in other messages I have posted over the years) your performance may vary (like rubbing) because of the other parts or settings in your suspension system (tires, camber, ride height and wheel spacers).
      When you change your struts the ET value for fitment may change too. Your aftermarket spring dia., length of your springs and type of strut (i.e. coil over) can alter the clearance. Many aftermarket struts interface differently to the knuckles.

      The second chart is to determine the wheel width, ET and proper backspacing when you know two values. The upper chart is more accurate and the lower chart is rounded off.

      Example of using the charts and changing the ET with spacers:
      As an example lets say you want to tuck in a 15 X 7 with ET 30 because you don't want any poke at all. I could fit that wheel on my 16V that has sport springs and standard OE struts however the rear tires may rub on my rear springs because I run 195s that measure closer to 205. Tire size and manufacture's design make a difference. With a 185 or narrower you should have no issues as far as fitting your 15 X 7 ET 30 wheel with any kind of struts but some coil overs will not let you fit that wheel. If you run 215 or more you may have some issues with inside tire rubbing.

      We started with a wheel that has a high offset. As you add spacers the ET decreases. You can add 2mm spacers to get to the max (standard tire) ET tolerance (15 X 7 ET 28) if you want to run full size tires (195-205). If your struts will not allow the tuck fitment at ET 28 you can add 5-10mm spacers and your wheels and tires can be made to work. With 5mm spacers on a ET 30 wheel you will sit at ET 25 and that is best practice. With ET 25 your wheels should fit near perfect with a 195 50 15 tire however my coil overs on one of my MK1s will not work with that combo (tire side wall rubs on the front lower spring seat). I run that very same combo on my 16V with no issues what so ever. At ET 20 (adding 10mm spacers to your ET 30 wheel to make ET 20) your wheels will poke some. 15 X 7 ET 20 works with my MK1 with my coil overs. If you get to ET 15 (adding 15mm spacers to your ET 30 wheel) you will have outside fender rubbing issues if you sit too low. You could roll the fenders if you must have that poke.

      One very important thing to think about when adding wheel spacers is the stud/ bolt length.
      I have 5 sets of wheels that I use on my MK1s. Some use 10MM some use 5mm and some use no spacers. That makes it difficult to change wheels in a hurry and I need long studs with many sets of open lugs to accommodate all the different wheels. Make sure your bolts or studs are good quality and the threads engage enough. If you car has drum brakes you want to make sure your wheel bolts do not screw in too far and hit your shoes inside or barely screw in and sheer off under load. Some wheels require cone seats and some require ball seats. OE wheels are ball seat. You must use the proper seat or risk sheering the wheel bolts and your wheel may fall off!

      Spacers on the rear only
      Changing the rear track even 3mm will change the handling, no question. You may not ever notice it but if you drive on old tires, cold tires, or wet surfaces you will see differences as soon as the car slides. You may drive within the tolerance of the grip but if you exceed the grip of any one of your tires the car will not turn as well if it has just rear spacers. The only difference between racing and regular driving is that in racing you need to find the edge and drive to it as much as possible. In racing the driver knows when the car under-steers and backs off just a tiny amount. In regular driving the driver does not know where the edge is so when he finds it, it is too late to put the proper steering inputs in. Most of the time when surprise under-steer is experienced the driver tends to hit the brake pedal shifting the weight to the front and lighting the rear. That will make the car plow more but if one of the front tires regains any grip the car will snap over-steer because the tail is unloaded. That said under-steer is safer than over-steer for drivers that naturally drive slower.

      I can drive a poorly setup car and I have. I did experience under-steer (with 205s and 5mm rear spacers on just the rear) with old tires when panic stopping as I was attempting to avoid an accident on the street. All I can say is when it happens you will know it. I avoided the accident but I added front spacers when I got home.

      Take a look at this illustration to help you understand the concept. The rear wheels with spacers are shown as the blue rectangular tire contact patches outside of the black contact patches on the rear wheels. The percent numbers show the amount of weight distribution per corner. Note the left front tire is working the hardest. Note the inside rear tire has no weight on it. That is because the car corners on three wheels and the car is stable on three wheels. You can see how just having rear spacers alters the weight distribution triangle (black dashed lines and blue dashed lines). The 3 wheel pivot geometry changes too. The car will not turn as much with spacers in just the rear of the car. Any extra steering input will force the car to plow or over drive the front tires (see blue arcs v.s. black arcs). The pink color shows the cornering zone that the car can't drive (with just rear wheel spacers).



      The rest of this string has some interesting information and illustrations that you can use as a guide. My goal is to teach you how it works and not tell you what to do. I find that most people like to try things because they find a great deal on a used suspension or wheels and they want to use them. In many cases fashion dictates the desire (putting the car on the ground with bags) and a working car is not so important to fashion victims.

      As your wheels get wider than 6.5" the need for upper strut camber adjustment increases. You can adjust your center contact point in relation to the pivot points of the Steering Axis using upper and lower camber adjustment. With camber adjusted at the top of the shock tower you can move the springs away from the tire and move the pivot closer to the center line of the wheel. If you use camber plates you can increase your wheel back spacing slightly. By adjusting the camber at the struts you can move the intersection lines to improve the scrub radius. You can make fine camber adjustment to change the wheel angle at the knuckle strut bolts as if you did not have camber plates.



      Without seeing your coil over and your camber settings it is impossible to 100% predict fitment.



      Steel wheels and lug seats
      I personally don't like steel wheels like Diamond that much. I had a set and I sold them, then the guy I sold them to sold them (not keepers). The lug seat mounting surface is not thick enough for my comfort. I have seen lug inserts on some that improve my comfort level. Many of the steel Diamond wheels I see are not hub centric, and they are heaver than some very affordable alloy wheels in the $100 range. Diamond wheels are very affordable (less than $100) and well constructed but I would spend more and get some better wheels.

      Hub centers are another issue you need to think about when selecting aftermarket wheels.

      Picture of suspension:




      Your desire to sit ultra low is your main problem. Your pictured wheels and tires should fit fine but sitting too low causes fit and handling problems. Coilovers may have different mounting points and can cause fitting problems too. With camper plates and 5mm spacers you would be better off. 185 60 14 is a stock tire size and should fit but the coil over is chancing your geometry. I have the same problem with a set of coilovers too sitting on proper ride height with A arms level and -1.25 camber. For me 5mm spacers work great with the same wheels you have and same tire size. Reducing contact patch with thinner tires is not the safest thing to do for braking and cornering. I know you are going for a look but don't expect your car to drive as well as it could when reducing function for style.
      The pictures all disappeared.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
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    16. Member sw05s2k's Avatar
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      05-16-2013 07:24 PM #16
      I really hate to bump this, I've searched and read a lot, but as the pics/charts aren't here anymore, I need some input/advice.

      I've found some wheels I like, they are 15x7 and available in +25 & +35 offsets. I do not want to poke at all, I'd just like them to fit with out any rubbing, either inside or outside.

      I'm currently running a 15x6.5" with a 195/50 tire. I'd like to simply change tires over to the new rims. So, will these fit without any issue? Car in question is for my 78 CE.

      Thanks.
      78 Scirocco CE '12 Golf R '12 Stasis S4 '05 Honda S2000

    17. 05-16-2013 08:18 PM #17
      Voting for +35mm. I think 38 to 42 are pretty common for 7" wide wheels on these Mk1s.

    18. Member sw05s2k's Avatar
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      05-16-2013 08:49 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Nogaro-Green View Post
      Voting for +35mm. I think 38 to 42 are pretty common for 7" wide wheels on these Mk1s.
      I probably should've mentioned this, the current wheels are +45 offset. My 78 has the Lucas Girling brakes which caused an issue rubbing on the caliper on the current wheels, I guess that's my concern. The calipers have been ground down a bit to allow the current wheels to fit, but I'd like to make sure the new ones won't have the same issue.
      78 Scirocco CE '12 Golf R '12 Stasis S4 '05 Honda S2000

    19. 05-16-2013 09:41 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by sw05s2k View Post
      I probably should've mentioned this, the current wheels are +45 offset. My 78 has the Lucas Girling brakes which caused an issue rubbing on the caliper on the current wheels, I guess that's my concern. The calipers have been ground down a bit to allow the current wheels to fit, but I'd like to make sure the new ones won't have the same issue.
      Currently w/6.5" rim & 45mm, you have a backspacing of 127.6mm (roughly)

      With 7" rim & 35mm you would have 123.9mm (roughly)

      Should your offset be 40mm on the new rims, your backspacing would only be off by a mm (basically no difference). Rubbing inside shouldn't be an issue. However, I have no clue on the wheel design you chose, so its possible the caliper could be a problem. Generally not really an issue with offset at that point.

    20. Member sw05s2k's Avatar
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      05-17-2013 07:08 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Nogaro-Green View Post
      Currently w/6.5" rim & 45mm, you have a backspacing of 127.6mm (roughly)

      With 7" rim & 35mm you would have 123.9mm (roughly)

      Should your offset be 40mm on the new rims, your backspacing would only be off by a mm (basically no difference). Rubbing inside shouldn't be an issue. However, I have no clue on the wheel design you chose, so its possible the caliper could be a problem. Generally not really an issue with offset at that point.
      Ah, okay that helps quite a bit. Thanks.

      The wheels are BBS RS. I guess I could always get a 5mm spacer if needed to clear the caliper.
      78 Scirocco CE '12 Golf R '12 Stasis S4 '05 Honda S2000

    21. Member sciroccohal's Avatar
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      05-17-2013 10:47 AM #21
      Hey! where the hell has Doug been....??? He went Dark!
      The feeling of immortality extends right up until the moment of impact.
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    22. Member mercury26's Avatar
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      06-20-2013 06:11 PM #22
      I have a similar question as a previous poster. Would a 15x7 with ET37 fit OK on a 1977 Scirocco? I do not want to poke outside the fender nor do I want to rub the strut/spring. I will be putting H&R Sport Springs on the car, if that makes a difference.

      Thanks,

      Chuck

    23. 06-20-2013 08:29 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by mercury26 View Post
      I have a similar question as a previous poster. Would a 15x7 with ET37 fit OK on a 1977 Scirocco? I do not want to poke outside the fender nor do I want to rub the strut/spring. I will be putting H&R Sport Springs on the car, if that makes a difference.

      Thanks,

      Chuck
      Considering the OP is getting 35mm offset on 15x7 for a 78, safe to say that your 37mm on similarly sized wheel on a 77 should be OK. I ran 38mm on 15x7 on a 79 for years with only minor rubbing on the rear spring. Granted, some of this also depends on your tires. Assuming you are sticking with 195/50s?

    24. Member mellbergVWfan's Avatar
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      06-20-2013 10:36 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by mercury26 View Post
      I have a similar question as a previous poster. Would a 15x7 with ET37 fit OK on a 1977 Scirocco? I do not want to poke outside the fender nor do I want to rub the strut/spring. I will be putting H&R Sport Springs on the car, if that makes a difference.

      Thanks,

      Chuck
      I have 15x7 +35 wheels on my car. No rubbing even with my large 195/50 tires and I'm sorta low. With sport springs you'll be fine.
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      Oh mellberg is cool, but his car certainly isn't helping that happen.

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      01-10-2014 01:54 PM #25
      [QUOTE=Doug T;71131259. 15 X 7 ET 20 works with my MK1 with my coil overs. .[/QUOTE]

      Sorry for dragging this back from the dead, but this was a really good read. My question to Doug T is what tire and coilovers are you running on your MK1 with a 15 x7 ET 20 wheel?

      Thanks!

      EDIT: Sorry my quote didn't work
      Last edited by aarron; 01-10-2014 at 01:59 PM.

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      01-13-2014 11:13 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by mellbergVWfan View Post
      I have 15x7 +35 wheels on my car. No rubbing even with my large 195/50 tires and I'm sorta low. With sport springs you'll be fine.
      Hey there mellbergVWfan,

      Any chance you could post a pic of your car? 15x7 +35 sounds like where I will wind up with my 81S. I'd like to see how it looks.

      Thanks!

    27. Member mellbergVWfan's Avatar
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      01-14-2014 04:48 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by aarron View Post
      Hey there mellbergVWfan,

      Any chance you could post a pic of your car? 15x7 +35 sounds like where I will wind up with my 81S. I'd like to see how it looks.

      Thanks!
      The fitment was pretty good with these wheels. Mostly because of the tires. Though i think If I had 10mm front and 15mm rear spacers I'd have been more satisfied.







      As a comparison here is what 15x7 +10 wheels sit at.


      Demokratikally Elekted Director of Espionage and Identity Theft and Minister of post-progressive-technical-melodic-avant-garde-metal for the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkEnergist View Post
      Oh mellberg is cool, but his car certainly isn't helping that happen.

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      01-14-2014 07:02 PM #28
      THANK YOU Mellberg. This is extremely helpful! After seeing your set up I'm even more sold on that wheel size. I assume that's with a 195 50? And can I ask about your suspension set up? Thanks again, I'm diggin your S1!

    29. Member vwjettalikewhoa's Avatar
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      01-16-2014 09:27 PM #29
      Just to add some more info.

      Im running 15x7 et 25 RS' with 165/50r15 on H&R coils with a 20mm rear spacer making the rear et effectively 5. Heavily rolled fenders and have tie rods flipped and ball joint extenders to help correct the geometry from being so low.

      All of which will create hate in here but it works


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    30. Member mellbergVWfan's Avatar
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      01-16-2014 09:46 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by aarron View Post
      THANK YOU Mellberg. This is extremely helpful! After seeing your set up I'm even more sold on that wheel size. I assume that's with a 195 50? And can I ask about your suspension set up? Thanks again, I'm diggin your S1!
      Thanks for the compliment!

      Setup on the Borbet's was Ground Control Sleeves with Bilstein shocks. The setup on the Work reps was Neuspeed sport springs on the same bilsteins. Springs was a better setup for those shocks. If I had gone with adjustable Koni's I think i'd ahve been happier.

      Here's when I had it at the lowest.




      Now I have Ultralows. (These are 14x6 with 155/55's) FTG was 20" here.

      Last edited by mellbergVWfan; 01-16-2014 at 09:51 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkEnergist View Post
      Oh mellberg is cool, but his car certainly isn't helping that happen.

    31. Member ziggirocco's Avatar
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      01-16-2014 10:09 PM #31
      /\ I love the look of this car with those wheels and all, perfect!
      Old sciroccos never die....they just go faster....sometimes.......
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      01-17-2014 05:52 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by mellbergVWfan View Post
      Thanks for the compliment!

      Setup on the Borbet's was Ground Control Sleeves with Bilstein shocks. The setup on the Work reps was Neuspeed sport springs on the same bilsteins. Springs was a better setup for those shocks. If I had gone with adjustable Koni's I think i'd ahve been happier.

      Here's when I had it at the lowest.


      I really appreciate all the feedback. I dig your 14 x6s with UL, but this is exactly where I's like my S1 to wind up. You say you were running GC Sleeves with Bilstein. Did it ride half way decent or would the Konis have made a better ride? I'm looking for a 1.5" or so drop with ride that won't rattle your teeth out. It'll be a driver, not a cruiser. The tucked bumpers look awesome as well.
      Last edited by aarron; 01-17-2014 at 06:22 PM.

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      01-21-2014 11:59 AM #33
      So if I was to run a 15x7 et 40 a 15mm spacer would get the proper fit and a spacer bigger than that would give me a little poke?
      1985 Mk2 Rocco 1.8L 8v

    34. Member vwjettalikewhoa's Avatar
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      01-22-2014 07:13 PM #34
      15x7 with an et of 25 is a good fit. That's what I have up front. Your ride height and tire size will have a lot to do with clearances

      http://www.willtheyfit.com should help you
      east.co.mo.fo.

    35. Member
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      01-23-2014 06:56 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by vwjettalikewhoa View Post
      15x7 with an et of 25 is a good fit. That's what I have up front. Your ride height and tire size will have a lot to do with clearances

      http://www.willtheyfit.com should help you
      That a very cool and useful tool.

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