Sunday, March 12, 2006

The drama of new wheels... So I have been saving up for a new set of wheels and tires for the MINI for about a year now. I searched high and low for just the right set of rims.. I looked at hundreds of photos, perhaps thousands, and I finally found what I was looking for in the Team Dynmics Pro Race 1's. My goal for the MINI is to bring it closer in style to the original Mini and to bring a little bit of Rally Car style to it.

Now, fast-forward almost a year later, and I finally have the cash together to buy my rims and tires. I found a dealer for these rims at and placed my order. My tires came from and those were easy to get. I knew the size I wanted, and I knew I was on a budget, so that pretty much eliminated many of the candidate tires. I was happy to find the BFGoodrich G-Force sports for a mere $79.00/each... the alternatives were closer to $150.00 each!

The tires arrived quickly (the tire rack rocks) and even I was surprised as to how wide they were. By the numbers, these tires are only 20mm wider than my current summer-sport tires, but the look MUCH wider. I was excitied though, as they looked good, and the look like what I wanted.

So, days pass, and my wheels haven't arrived yet, and I am getting paranoid... I kept bugging Aaron from about this, and he was patient with my emails. Right on time (actually a day late!) the wheels arrived... and I giddy with excitement. I rushed home from work, and tore into the packing boxes to look at them. They looked sweet until got to the last box... it looked like I got the bottom of a stack that was packed in a warehouse. This box was pretty much destroyed and was wet on the bottom. Luckily the wheel was only slightly scratched, and it was on the back side of the rim. I was pissed, but I wasn't about to try and send them back for a couple scuffs..

In my giddy state, I failed to read the boxes that had arrived, and, unbeknownst to me I had different wheels that what I thought I had ordered. The picture above illustrates a automototive wheel characteristic known as 'offset'. It descibes the difference between the centerline of the wheel, and the plane of attachement. The wheels I had in hand had to aggresive and offset (30mm instead of 45mm, which is what I thought I ordered) and so they would stick out further from the center of the car.

BUT... I didn't know this at the time. So, I ran as fast as I could to Sullivan Tire to have my new tires mounted on my new rims. Had I noticed the difference in offset, I might have sent the wheels back, but, I didn't... and once you have tires mounted on ANY set of rims, they are yours. No chance for return.

But I was happy, and so I ran home with my new wheels and tires, and installed them right away on my MINI. The pictures are shown below after I spent another 6 hours cleaning and detailing my car to try and clean off some of the winter grime.

So that is my story, and now I have the rims that I wanted (sort of) and the look really is quite dramatic. My car looks awesome, and it certainly doesn't look like anyone else's MINI!



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