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Will these wheels work?
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deafen
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Will these wheels work? Reply with quote

I promise I've read every tire thread in the sticky. Smile

There's a dude locally who's selling a set of chrome 15x4.5 Bug wheels for a really good price. I'm looking to go to 15s for a disc brake upgrade.

From what I can tell, they're 3.75" offset (so 5/8" less than stock). I know I'll have to be careful with tire selection, but other than that is there any issue with the 0.5" narrower rim and 5/8" less backspacing?
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oasis
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: Will these wheels work? Reply with quote

I think we're confusing offset and backspacing. A 4.5" wide wheel with a 3.75" offset would mean the mounting surface would be outside the rim itself. A 4.5" wide wheel is 2.25" at the center, and 3.75" is greater than 2.25".

So, I'm going to assume the 3.75" is actually the backspacing of your 15" diameter Bug wheels (measured from the "inside" rim edge to mounting edge).

A stock Thing wheel (USA) has a 1.87" offset. Since that wheel is 5" wide, its backspacing is 2.5" (the center of the width of the wheel) plus 1.87" (the positive offset) -- for a total backspacing value of 4.37".

Therefore, your backspacing has gone from 4.37" to 3.75" -- or the Bug wheel will be 0.62" less intrusive (or further away from the rotors and such). That should be fine.

Conversely, your Bug wheel will protrude 0.12" more (0.62" less intrusive for a wheel that is 0.5" narrower). One can eyeball 0.12" more protrusive is not going to be an issue with Thing fenders (USA term).

Your only remaining issue will be tires -- height (overall diameter), especially, as I doubt you will want to push the envelope of squeezing wider tires on narrower rims too much.
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deafen
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:15 am    Post subject: Re: Will these wheels work? Reply with quote

Ugh, you're right, I said "offset" and meant "backspacing". I should know better - I've been dealing with this stuff on Jeeps for a couple decades now!

Thanks for walking through that. Ideally, I'd like a tall/narrow tire with an aggressive tread, but finding one that ticks all the boxes (between 26" and 28" diameter, fits on a narrow 15" rim, has off-road tread) will probably be a problem.

I really like that tall/narrow look. Back when they still made them, I ran BFG 33x9.5 ATs on my Jeep. Pizza cutters. Awesome in the snow. I love the STA Super Traxion, but the only one that's not too tall is for a 14" rim.
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rockerarm
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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Will these wheels work? Reply with quote

Hi. Do you know there are still companies around that widen steel wheels or install an existing center into a larger or wider outer?
Depending on where you are at shipping could impede your decision.
I still have widened steel wheels on my '74 bug that were made up in the 1970's.
Bill
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Pete VW
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Will these wheels work? Reply with quote

New guy. Just bought a 1973 Thing. Solid only one rust spot near bottom front of passenger door. Pan is rust free. So I think I have a good starting point. The engine is original but needs rebuild or replacement.
I am a hot rodder at heart and experience. I have built 5 traditional Ford hot rods. I have always wanted to do a VW. My wife thinks Things are cute so here I am. My plan is to lower 4-5 inch, 70 to 80 HP, remove stock tail lights and put small type tail lights lower on the back. So my question at this time is about front beam with disc brakes. I need to know how short I have to go to run 4.5 15 inch wheels with 3.5 back space. I have been looking through this site and learning a lot. Not even sure I am asking on the right forum. So take it easy on me especially those that build it like Ferdinand.
Thanks,
Pete [img]
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911pickup
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Will these wheels work? Reply with quote

Pete, welcome to the forum.
Instead of posting your question on a thread about wheel width you should start a new thread of your own.
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