THE EPIC SAGA OF WHEEL SELECTION

THE EPIC SAGA OF WHEEL SELECTION

Im not even sure the best way to start off this post. You see, some people feel like I’m going crazy for writing an article about wheel fitment on a Fit. They say things like… “That’s not very functional” or “now you’re all about stance?” For starters, yes, this is very functional. Angies car isn’t just a cookie cutter civic/integra where all the perfect  recipes are at your finger tips, and making them look good is as easy as searching google for what ever style you want, then copying that. For the Fit, being a brand new car, and a whole new chassis there isn’t much aftermarket for them, and there is even less who actually modify them. Am I all about stance? haha, people are really digging on that one. Yes I believe there is “proper” wheel fitment, and a certain way the wheels should look on a car. I DO NOT believe that it has to be “HellaFlush” to look good, but I do think that it should look a certain way. For instance, have you ever seen/looked at a car and thought “wow, that thing looks sick” but you aren’t really sure why you like it? Most of the time it’s because the WHOLE car works well together. You could have “blank car”, put “blank wheels” on it and it will look good. However if you put those “Blank wheels” on a different “blank car” maybe it wouldn’t look so good.  This is because you are not looking at the big picture or the look you are trying to achieve for the whole car, you are just figuring that because “blank wheels” are expensive, or maybe they looked good on another car, that they will be good for your car. This would be the same as saying  someones hat/shoes/purse/belt/socks would make or break the look of someones outfit. I have seen killer builds out there be ruined by improper wheel choice, or vice versa where their car is ok but a great wheel choice places the car on a whole other level. With all these things working against the Fit, lack of lowness, its styling that only a mother could love, and lack of popularity amongst enthusiast. It’s easy to see why choosing the right wheels was so important. We didn’t want some ugly piece of crap with “cool wheels,” we wanted people to look at the car and truly appreciate the whole thing.

From the day she first put the Kosei’s on till now, the evolution of her car has been very respectful, tasteful, and functional. Everything she wanted to do to it, she wanted to do on her own accord and I had no influence on her desire to fix the car up in anyway. The only thing I did was help guide her in the right direction when choosing what parts to get. Once we threw the Kosei’s on she was instantly disappointed in how funny the car looked, since the smaller tire made her wheel gap much larger. This immediately prompted the online search for lowering springs. I wanted her to get springs because it would be a much nicer ride, and her car didn’t really need to be that low anyway. As it is now, the car scrapes the front valence backing out of the driveway.  I wanted her to be able to go over speed bumps with ease, or not worry about putting three other girlfriends in the car to go out for a night on the town. Sure if we wanted… We could make this thing look super sick, but at what cost. The car is legitimately her daily… work, trips to grandmas house, taking the dogs out hiking, and any other errand that you would do in the”family” car. Keeping it comfortable was the backbone to the whole modification process for us, And I wasn’t going to let here make the same mistakes I previously had made with my cars.

So why didn’t we just keep the Kosei’s on there? Well, the wheels are actually my brothers off of his K-swapped EG, thats been sitting broken in my garage for a few years. Recently my brother has started a new career and began to get a lot more income, so he has started to give me money to get his car all fixed back up. Once his car is all fixed he will be taking it back to his house in MO, along with the car would go the Kosei’s. Angie could see that the end was near for her and the Kosei’s, and this pretty much forced us to consider the most stressful decision we would ever have to make… What wheels would she get for her car?

Below you can see a picture of what the car looked like days after we got it. You can really see how the 60 series sidewalls fill the wheel wells decently.

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The pictures below are from when we first installed the swift lowering springs. As you can see the wheel gap is pretty much the same as stock, but thats just because the tires on the Kosei’s are a 205/50/15 meaning less tire sidewall to fill the wheel gap. Keep in mind that Fits come with either 15×5.5 inch wheel with a 185/60 tire, or a 16×6 inch wheel with a 185/55 tire. Her car came with the 15’s, and personally I like the look that the 15 inch wheel gives the car.  The Kosei specs are 15×7 +38

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Going with a 16 inch wheel was never an option for us. Not only is it a heavier than a 15″, but it can be a bit more challenging to find a tire for a 16″ wheel. The Fits lack of power also made it easy to notice the performance differences in a lighter/heavier wheel. Im sure I’m not alone when I say that the Kosei’s looked really good on her car. Let’s be honest though, do Kosei’s ever look bad on any car. Personally I think that the flat faced, full length spoke look of the Kosei’s complements the lines of the Fit. I just thought we should order a new set of new Kosei’s, but she wasn’t having it. She said that the Kosei’s looked too plain, and that they are “the sketchers of wheels.” I mean, technically she’s right, they are a cheaper wheel, that appear to look like another wheel. Just like “bobs” the sketchers version of “toms” shoes. I tried explaining to her that was not really the case here, and that the Kosei’s had reputation for being a budget friendly, strong, trackable wheel and were in fact very tasteful. She still wasn’t interested as she had a better vision in mind.

I told her to just start searching the internet for wheel designs she liked, and we could go from there. Of course, it didn’t take long to stumble across TE37’s and say that she liked those. NO WAY! I told her, there was no way she was going to daily drive around with arguably the most iconic or recognizable wheel in the history of import cars. I told her that the car would be stolen just for the wheels, or they would just steal the wheels off the car. I began to show her images on google of how many Fits have their wheels stolen and the car just left on bricks, or wood right in front of the owners house. I told her that we could just get knock off TE37’s, which she then replied with the Sketchers analogy. She also argued, what was the point of getting good quality parts (swift springs, J’s exhaust, and a Takeda intake) to then just cheap out on wheels. I explained to her that the other stuff mentioned above was not as recognizable as wheels would be. She the pointed out how the craftsmanship and quality of the TE37 was obviously better than any knock off would be. I explained how the real TE37 was forged from a solid block of aluminum and there was no way to get a cast wheel to have as sharp of edges, and that a knock off wouldn’t have the quality paint that you would get with a real wheel.

Despite my persuasive attempts to have her want a different style wheel, she was dead set on the look of the TE’s. I was also dead set on the fact that she couldn’t get TE’s, but just to humor her we decided to throw my TE’s on her car.

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Now of course you’re thinking… NO SHIT, of course TE’s look good! They would look good if you mounted them on a pile of shit too. Yes this is all true, but I’m actually not a fan of how they looked on her car. This was the day that we both began to realize it was going to be a bit more complicated than we had originally thought to find a wheel that would work on her car. The specs of my TE’s are 15×8 +35 with a 225/45 tire, this ended up giving us a little too much poke in the front and with Angie, my Brother, and myself in the car there was actually a light rubbing issue in the rear when going in/out of driveways. Being a few months after we installed the springs, if you compare the Kosei pictures and these pictures you can also see how the car sits a little bit lower due to the springs settling, and we also installed camber bolts up front to give a little bit of negative camber (thus lowering the car a tiny bit more up front.)

So clearly a 15×8 with a 225 tire wasn’t going to work. The next thing we tried out was my Enkei PF01 (15×8) with a 205/50 tire, hoping the stretch would possibly accent the look of the car better. However all this ended up doing was making the car look not as low, because there was less sidewall to fill the wheel gap. The PF01 wheel design also has a “mushroom” style face which only seems to work on cars that are pretty low, and on her car just looked funky.

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I don’t really have a better picture, just because of the fact that these wheels weren’t even on the car longer than 5 hours.

By this time she was still indecisive about what style of wheel she wanted, and I was just over here trying to figure out what size wheel would fit better 15×7 or 15×8. I was telling her that we needed to just figure out what size wheel and tire combo would work best for the car before even worrying about wheel styles. This of course turned into an argument, it was frustrating for me because she was worrying about aesthetics of the wheel before we even knew what would fit he car properly. Searching for wheels consumed our lives, we would search for hours at a time. “Do you like this style?, wait never mind it doesn’t come in a 15 inch” or “let me just search for 15×7 wheels”, I don’t like any of those she would reply. I began to “trick” her into liking a wheel that she didn’t like previously, by showing her a picture of it on another car. As anyone searching for wheels to buy will tell you… no one picture will will look the same, and each different perspective will give a different look to the wheel. No matter how hard I tried she just seemed to have natural ability to only like the more expensive wheels.  I would joke with her… “of course you like those, they are like 2500 bucks” she would reply “what can I say, I have great taste” this of course was funny the first few times, but it quickly lost its humor as I became more and more frustrated with her unwillingness to compromise. JESUS H! Why can’t we just get Kosei’s? they are cheap, there are tasteful, The look great on the car, and they wouldn’t be such a hot target for theft.

Since Patricks car was in my garage for his K swap project, we decided to try and fit his Gramlight 57dr wheels on her car. Patricks wheels are a 15×8 +28 with a 225 tire, and I knew that this wasn’t going to have the proper fitment. I just wanted her to see if she liked the style of the wheel so we could at least have a style to search for that wasn’t a TE. These ended up looking much like the PF01’s since they have a “mushroom” style spoke, and she really wasn’t feeling them. It was at this point that we had decided that a 15×8 wheel just wasn’t going to work on her car. Yes, maybe if the car was lower (a lot) a 15×8 would look good, but even then I feel we would have had to roll/pull the fenders which wasn’t even an option. (I don’t have any pictures of the gram lights since they weren’t even on for an hour)

So here is what we know so far…

  • IMO a flat face wheel looked best on a GK5 chassis.
  • A 15×8 was too wide.
  • she wanted a light wheel.
  • She had exquisite taste.
  • I didn’t want her to have an expensive iconic wheel that would potentially get stolen.
  • It must be a 15″ wheel.

I finally did it! I found a wheel that met all the criteria. Quality, flat faced, 15 inch, and light. The Wedsport TC105n. This was it, she liked it, I liked it, and it was low key enough. After a quick search of the internet we were able to see that they came in a 15×7+35, which seemed like it was going be the best fitting size for her car. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find place that had them for sale. Each site that did have the 15×7 size listed, showed it as being Out Of Stock, or discontinued. This was the last straw, we were both over it, completely drained, and all hope was lost of finding a wheel would meet the criteria we were looking for. I remembered seeing some guys with the Konig Dekagram wheels, and how it slightly resembled the Wedsport tc105n. I brought up a picture of it and showed her… She was very undecided, a part of her didn’t want to settle for a cheaper wheel, but the other part of her was WAY over trying to find wheels. It just so happens that the Dekagram came in a 15×7.5 +35 which I felt would perfectly fit the car. The wheels are manufactured in a new type of way called flow formed, which allowed the wheel to be light and remain strong too. Lots of open-wheel racers, and track day enthusiast are using these wheels or the Konig Hypergrams. I feel like maybe these are going to become somewhat like the Kosei’s, where they are a good affordable wheel, that is light and strong, and would quickly become a popular “budget” choice amongst the racer/track community.

After discussing all this with her I headed off to bed since I had to be up early the next morning for work. I awoke in the morning only to find out that she had in fact ordered the Konig wheels. It was a great feeling, a decision had been made and we were finally going to be over all this wheel shenanigans. While on my break at work I did my normal instagram scrolling, only to find out that Yooitzjohn (John Cruz) an avid seller of japanese cars and car parts was selling a set of Volk RE30’s in a 15×7 +35 offset. Instantly when I saw these I knew they were going to look perfect on her car, and I knew that we had to act fast otherwise someone else would buy them out from under us. I text Angie immediately and showed her the picture of them, I told her that these were made by the same company as my TE37’s, they had the same quality paint job, and sharp edges that she longed for. She searched online for RE30+fit and there in the deep rabbit hole of images she stumbled across a fit with RE30’s on it and fell in love. She was torn though, because not even 8 hours prior she had ordered the Konig Dekagrams and another surprise that she had neglected to tell me about (a J’s titanium shift knob) and she knew that it would be a bad financial decision if she decided to get the RE30’s too. As we all know though when it comes to car parts, it’s hard to make a good financial decision (unless of course you’re Patrick Hidden) who only makes financially sound car purchases. So she text me back and said “lets get them” I messaged John, and I sent over the funds immediately to hold the wheels. I told him that we would drive down from Vegas that afternoon when I got off work. I got off a little early, headed home, and picked up Angie. During all the excitement I had forgotten the fact that it was Labor Day Monday and everybody and the mom was heading south on the 15 towards California. Traffic was atrocious, what normally would have been a 3-3.5 hour drive turned into a 7 hour drive from hell. We arrived at Johns house around 8:30pm picked up the wheels, chatted for a few and then headed on our way back. Since we hadn’t eaten all day, we stopped off at Denys to grab some food before fueling the truck back up and driving 4 hours back home to Vegas. Deny’s was not such a great idea.

We got home around 2am and headed straight to bed. Of course we were both very excited to see the wheels on her car, but I had now almost been up for 24 hours straight and didn’t have the energy to put them on. Plus I had to work the next day so I needed to get some sleep. That next day when I got off work I rushed home as if the wheels were for my car. I got home and we threw them on, I had previously that day told her to completely clean, and wax the wheels with the chemical guys maxcoat wheel guard so when we put them on they were blingin. We bolted them on and headed out for an initial drive/photo shoot. It was love at first drive, the lightness of the wheels is crazy (I was unable to find the exact weight, but some sources claimed 9.5-9.8 LBS each) which is easily believable as they feel lighter than my TE37’s do. Yes my TE is a 15×8 and I’m comparing it to a 15×7, but the 15×8 TE weight is 10.5-10.8 LBS.

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So here is what they looked like. Specs are 15×7 +35 with a 225 tire. They fit perfectly, no rubbing issues and the iconic bronze complements the car perfectly.

BUT WAIT… There is more! Don’t forget the Konig Dekagrams she ordered.

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The specs of the Konig’s are. 15×7.5 +35 and she’s using some of my old federal RSR 205/50 for the time being.

And here’s a few more of the RE30’s in the day time.

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In conclusion, even though the process was incredibly frustrating, Im over the moon that the love of my life enjoys modifying cars as much as I do. It’s awesome to share the same passion, and see the happiness the car brings her. The best part of it all is that I’m here to teach and guide her along the way, even though at times I can get a bit short with her. I have to remind myself, she is only asking questions that we’ve all asked before when we first began taking an interest in cars. Some of you might be thinking that getting RE30’s would be similar to getting TE’s. I get what you’re thinking. Remember though, we picked up the RE30’s used and they have a few specific flaws on them that I would be able to identify instantly, even if someone tried to hide it. I still feel like the TE’s are a much higher profile wheel than the RE30’s are. After putting the Konig’s on her car, Angie breathes little easier not having to worry so much about the car/wheels getting stolen as she does when the RE30’s are on it. Despite the lack of “name brand hype” she likes the way the Konig’s look on her car. I can see us keeping both sets of wheels and just switching them up every now and then like a lady’s handbag.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much I liked typing it. You see the blog is really all about just documenting my automotive adventures, and my day to day car stuff I’m doing. Sometimes I’m doing car stuff thats really interesting to people, and other times its dumb stuff like trying to decide on what wheels to put on my girlfriends Fit. Either way, I’m sure there are some people out there who will enjoy this and be able to use this article to help guide them on fixing up their own Fit. Im also curious to hear what you have to think about the wheel choices that she has made. Would you chose a different wheel?  Let me know in the comments below, or Email me at Billy@functiontheory.com, or DM me on Instagram @functiontheory

Thanks for reading, Billy

 

 

 

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