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Seeking Optimal Offset Steel Wheel for MK1 in 15" - what are OE sources?

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BT Express Monty H
Los Angeles, California, USA   USA
Greetings,

I am looking to run a set of steelies on my car and would ideally like to find a set that don't require widening. The goal is to stuff as much rubber in the fenders as possible without interference or having to alter the fenders with flares.

I am opting to go with 15 inch wheels for greater performance tire options.

Recommendations on what has worked?

Also what is the ideal wheel Offset for these cars with an eye to maxing out tire size, as well as that tire size?

Not absolutely opposed to 14 inch wheels if that is the more familiar approach.

Car is being setup in competition aesthetic.

Thanks in advance!

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rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, California, USA   USA
Monty,
You might want to contact a fellow Healeyian on the forum named Randy Forbes. I believe he used a set of Chevy 15" truck rims on his Healey. Apparently, If I remember correctly, they have the correct off set and the same bolt pattern to fit the Healey hubs
Pete.

BT Express Monty H
Los Angeles, California, USA   USA
Thanks for the recommendation Pete.

I saw your car when I was reading several other topic posts- beautiful car!

I was going to ask were you running Healey OE steel wheels? I have never seen a set with the hub caps. I assume they are not Dunlops?

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rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, California, USA   USA
Monty,
The wheels on my car are the original wheels that the car came with from the factory and the hubcaps are also original . I don't know who the manufacturer was and there aren't any stampings on the rim or the center to give any clues. The only thing I don't like about them is that even though they are 15", they are only 4-1/2" wide. So I'm limited on the tire size I can run. The tires are the same width as the ones used on the VW bugs. I thought about finding another set, removing the centers and having a wider rim installed. The biggest problem with the narrow tires in that they follow the grooves that now are cut in the roads for water drainage so the car is constantly moving around like a motorcycle does when it runs over a steel grate on a bridge deck. I want to keep the Healey centers so I can still run the Healey hub caps. I'm also looking for another set.
Pete

hipo528 Avatar
hipo528 larry ingram
easley, south carolina, USA   USA
I had the rears widened on my bn6 to seven inches with a small fender flare. i believe that i was able to run 6 inch wide bolt on minilites on my bj7.


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Randy Forbes Avatar
Parrish, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Austin-Healey 100-Six
1999 BMW M Coupe "Blue Car"
1999 BMW M Roadster "Black Car"
2001 BMW M Roadster "Gray Car"
BT Express Monty H
Los Angeles, California, USA   USA
Thanks Randy,

Surprisingly they look good on the car! I assume by now you sold them or to the trash heap?

If I was a good welder or knew someone meticulous that does metalwork, I would take a set and fill in the Chevy slots and then re-drill the wheel to emulate a set of Dunlop steelies.

So was the Offset such that with the 195/65's the tires did not extend beyond the outermost section of the fender wheel arches? Room for 205/60's or 65's to fit? Also any interference inboard with suspension or wheel wells?

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Randy Forbes Avatar
Parrish, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Austin-Healey 100-Six
1999 BMW M Coupe "Blue Car"
1999 BMW M Roadster "Black Car"
2001 BMW M Roadster "Gray Car"
That's funny; I'm of mostly Scottish descent, so it is genetically impossible for me to throw anything away. So yes, they are still stacked in my attached garage (along with several full sets of mounted ///M Coupe/Rdstr wheels & tires).

At the rear they're just about flush with a stock (un-flared) fender. Note: if you have wire-wheel brake drums, you'd want about 1" to 1-1/4" spacer to fit between the wheel and drum (disc-wheel rear brake drums incorporate that spacer, but are god-awful heavy). The fronts sit proud of the fenders, but ANY wheel wider than 4-1/2" is going to produce some poke.

If I remember the back-space correctly, they're 15 x 6 w/3-1/2" backspacing and a 5 on 5 bolt circle. I used Moroso 7/16" studs (@ all 4 corners) that have the "small" GM disc-brake knurl on them. I had to very slightly__maybe to the next 1/64th"__redrill the holes to accommodate the knurl (I didn't want to risk cracking the castings by forcing the studs in, but all you have to do is measure the root-diameter leading into the knurl's splines to get the right size). The Moroso studs are the 3'1/2" long type with the blank starting nose on them, and I used 1" (across the flats) dirt-track type tapered lug-nuts to complete the look. Standard length studs & 13/16" lug-nuts would be lighter.

These are some random pics with the wheels on the car, most of them before the car was actually finished, but yes again, they do look good. They hint at looking like Halibrands, practically the only true magnesium wheel available in the mid-late 50s era USA.

I like your idea about modifying them to look like the Dunlops too (a prohibitively expensive wheel on the aftermarket). If you were to make an accurate template, getting the twenty (>20) or so kidney blanks laser-cut probably wouldn't cost too much. Introduce a gentle curve to them and MIG-weld 'em in!

In any case, I still have the wheels/tires shown in the pictures. They've never been left out in sunlight, nor stored near electric motors, etc., so while the rubber is aged, they're potentially still viable (they MUST still be @ 100% full tread). Maybe hit them with something like this (I used to use this religiously on my Hoosier autocross tires to help keep them soft through multiple heat-cycles): https://www.racerpartswholesale.com/product/2648/Tire_Treatments_And_Strengtheners

Make me an offer I won't refuse winking smiley winking smiley









The wide-angle camera lens makes the studs look splayed, but they were/are perpendicular to the flat faces of the hubs and spacers.



Rear drum with bolt-on spacer and homemade cover (to mask hole depth).




BT Express Monty H
Los Angeles, California, USA   USA
Sent you a PM on this.

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