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calypso
04-07-2005, 11:30 AM
5x108 to 5x114.3 Conversion

The one thing I have never been to impressed with about my car is the wheels. The OZ Saturn wheels are just too bland for my tastes. However, the selection of wheels available that fit a 5x108 bolt pattern is limited and extremely limited when you have to consider the offset factor. So, when the front wheel of my Lotus was damaged when lady driving a Ford Explorer decided she had to get to Wal-Mart from the left lane (crossing my lane for you UK-ers), it was time to make a change.

First was selecting a lightweight wheel that was available in a width necessary for the Lotus and then matching a close offset. The front wheel is the most critical when making this selection as the offset affects the front wheel the most. You have to clear your brakes and at the same time keep the wheel from contacting the body surfaces. I eventually selected the Volk CE28 wheels in bronze with a 5x114.3. I was always in love with the 2001 photo Lotus with the 18 wheels on the front and rear of the vehicle, so I decided to make a BIG change in the front by going 18. The Volk CE28 was available in 8.5 for the front and 9.5 for the rear.

Using a CNC, I had adapters made for the rear a 1.25 thick changing the bolt pattern. The additional 30mm offset provided by the space pushed the wheel out to the same lines as the original 10 OZ. Unfortunately, the front wheels are not so easy as the smallest spacer at a safe structural thickness (7/8) provided too much offset with the 20mm offset already on the wheel. The front hub assembly was removed, mapped, drilled and tapped to accept the new 12mm x 57mm wheel studs allowing me to use open end lug nuts for mounting the wheels. The front wheels remounted did not contact the body surfaces and allow for full turn unless completely depressed at full turn. The later is why I would not suggest going with the 18 wheels on the front, but the likelihood of a fully depressed suspension in a full turn is limited for me, so this did not pose a major problem. I would suggest going with the 17 at any rate.

Now I just need to have the wheels realigned and get it back on the track to see how the new wheels perform. If all checks out well, I still have the programming for the front hub CNC if anyone is interested in this mod.

http://tinypic.com/view.html?pic=2ma1wj
http://tinypic.com/view.html?pic=2ma254

calypso
04-07-2005, 11:31 AM
Links to pics:

http://tinypic.com/view.html?pic=2ma1wj Front view of hub conversion

http://tinypic.com/view.html?pic=2ma254 Mounted wheel

calypso
04-08-2005, 03:41 PM
Car view photo link:

http://tinypic.com/view.html?pic=2ml3kp Car View

It was dark when I finished, best pictures in the daylight. The Lotus handles excellent with the new wheels and no problems to report--we have a success!!! Well, at least up to 130 mph.


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