garsh
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Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:31 pm

I'd like to get a second set of wheels for winter tires for my Leaf. My first thought was to get something a little larger, maybe 17", to use for summer, and use the stock wheels for winter tires. There are lots of examples of people who've done this. But it sounds like it takes a pretty big hit on efficiency, with reports of up to 25% efficiency loss! I don't think I can live with that big a reduction in range.

So instead, I started thinking about finding light weight wheels. Skywagon found that Rays Volk wheels are only 10.5 lbs (compared to 21 lbs for stock). But those are expensive wheels. Drivesolo found that 95-96 Nissan 240SX wheels fit the Leaf, are usually easy to find cheap, and only weigh 18 lbs. But out here in the east, they aren't as easy to come by, and the cheapest I can find are B-grade for $200 and up (for a set of four).

I started looking at new wheels. I'm finding that not many places list the weight of the wheels. That's making this search difficult. The best I found was a set of SportEdition D6 wheels at Tirerack.com, 16.7lbs, for $98 each. But that's about all I can find. Does anybody else have suggestions?

What is the best way to shop for wheels? I'd really like to see how the wheels look mounted before committing to buying them. Do you know of any other online stores that show the weights of the cheaper wheels?
Last edited by garsh on Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kubel
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:55 pm

LEAF wheels are hubcentric, so keep in mind you'll want a wheel with a 66.1mm hub bore.

I was thinking about using the wheels and snow tires from my Crown Victoria (stock police interceptor wheels). I think they weight a ton. I read somewhere they are over 30lbs per wheel. I'll need hubcentric spacers if they fit though.
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TonyWilliams
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:07 pm

Any wheel with 5 lug holes and and lug bolt diameter of 4.5 inches (114.3mm).

Then choose the rim size you want. Stock is 16 inch by 6.5 inch rim, 40mm offset. Hub, as previously stated, is 66.1mm.

There is an EXTREMELY long list of cars that use that wheel that will bolt on.

garsh
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:16 am

TonyWilliams wrote:Any wheel with 5 lug holes and and lug bolt diameter of 4.5 inches (114.3mm).
There appear to be issues with caliper clearance - for example, when trying to use late-90's Maxima wheels, which I have had a better time locating.

Beyond that, I'm hoping somebody can provide more information on which wheels are light weight. I'm so used to being able to find just about anything on the internet, and the lack of information on the weight of aftermarket wheels is just so... frustrating.
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TonyWilliams
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:42 am

garsh wrote:
TonyWilliams wrote:Any wheel with 5 lug holes and and lug bolt diameter of 4.5 inches (114.3mm).
There appear to be issues with caliper clearance - for example.
Yes, of course. And wheel well clearance, etc.

There are lots of threads with aftermarket wheels.

Drivesolo
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:05 am

I tend to go through lots of wheels w/ my cars, I have a 10x8 shed that is half filled w/ various wheels & tire sets that I use between my cars. I always swap out the OEM wheels of any car I own and tend to hold onto them until I sell the vehicle, I also run snow tires in the winter and also have some dedicated track tires for 2 of the cars. I find myself buying wheels and/or tires quite often.

You've probably already worked out things like what you're willing to spend, are you willing to go w/ a used set and what your requirements are for tires. You've also probably eliminated any idea of anything chromed, w/ swirl pattern spokes, anything that is as heavy or heavier than OEM and anything not made from aluminum or magnesium. For new light wheels you're probably already looking into the performance/motorsports selections from sites like Discount Tire Direct and The Tire Rack since they will yield the lightest wheels however be aware that some of them are considerably more fragile than OEM wheels which are heavy for a reason. Investigating in something for the street that is rim rolled or even a forged wheel might be a good option, but this will also be more expensive than a typical cast wheel. There is also a difference in quality by brand; a Rota will not be nearly as good as an SSR or BBS.

This website is a good reference for wheel weights, I use it quite often since I'm always looking for light wheels:
http://www.wheelweights.net/

When buying used, there are a lot of options but depending on how specific you are in your criteria your selection may be limited. Aside from the parameters of build quality, lightness, cost, etc. The mater of appearance is subjective but in some cases very important to some. Many used wheels will be curbed, scratched, pitted, and/or have some other type of damage to it that effects it's aesthetics. Wheels degrade in appearance over the course of their usable lives. The question is what are you willing to accept? For example; a show car may require new wheels since it would need to look 'good' from a distance of about 5ft to be satisfactory to the owner. For an auto enthusiast that has a car that is driven on nice days he/she may have the requirement of a wheel looking 'good' at 10ft. For a daily driver of some they might find it acceptable if the wheel looks 'good' from 15ft (others may not care at all as long as they are mechanically sound). Some aesthetic defects that you will notice when you pick up a wheel to examine it, you may never see from 15ft when you have a tire mounted onto it. You pay a premium for mint condition used wheels but may not need them if you are not looking to 'impress'.

In regards to a wheel that is bore-centric. This is preferred of course, but you can get away w/o using it on a car like the Leaf as long as you are religious when it comes to checking your torque specs (at least once every 2 weeks). If you want, for a few manufacturers of quality wheels, they sell hub adapters intended for your specific make of car that match the wheel bore since most wheels have a bore of 70mm or larger. This allows the wheel to be hub-centric. Some of these adapters are plastic and for use on a street car is alright, but the aluminum ones which are used for track applications are preferred since they will withstand the heat of hot rotors.

I am currently running a 2nd set of 5-lug S14 wheels on my Leaf w/ Zexius OHTSU tires (205/55-16). I use a set of S14 wheels for my winter tires as well and they did so well IMO that I got another set for the summer. I've had them on the Leaf for over a month and the range is exactly the same as w/ the OEM set. This is probably due to the difference in weight of the wheels since the tire I'm running is not very good, it's considerably better than the OEM Ecopias but that's not saying much.

I also have another set of 17" Motegis w/ old r-comps on them that I purchased from another forum member but I still have yet to try them out. I plan to get street tires for these an try them on the Leaf a little later this summer.
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garsh
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:30 am

My current plan is to keep looking for S14 wheels at a decent price until I've used up the Ecopias. If I find a set, I'll use those for winter tires. If I don't, then I'm leaning towards a set of 17x7 wheels to use for summer, and I'll use the OEM wheels for winter.
Drivesolo wrote:I also have another set of 17" Motegis w/ old r-comps on them that I purchased from another forum member but I still have yet to try them out. I plan to get street tires for these an try them on the Leaf a little later this summer.
Which Motegis?

My current front-runner for cheap, lightweight new wheels is the Motegi SP10. The 17x7 size weighs 16.8 lbs.
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DougWantsALeaf
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:19 pm

Any suggestions for the lightest most efficient rim/tire combo for the Leaf (2019)?
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alozzy
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:02 pm

The most efficient wheel setup would likely be a light weight, aluminum alloy racing wheel in combination with aero wheel covers.

You shouldn't bother with a wheel upgrade though, unless you do a lot of highway driving and also need to maximize your range. Even then, don't expect all that much gain from aero mods in general as it would be very difficult to get more than 10% more range using a multitude of aero mods.

Honestly, unless you have money to burn and just want nicer looking wheels, don't bother with a wheel upgrade.
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DougWantsALeaf
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Re: Where can I find cheap, light wheels for the Leaf?

Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:42 pm

Yeah, 10% is overly optimistic. I would expect 3%, but that’s still 10 more miles on the highway at 65.
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