wheel offsets LAC

calvink at fastermac.net calvink at fastermac.net
Wed Mar 16 15:41:57 EST 2005

> Maybe the explanation lies in these facts:
> 1- Offset exists only on wheels that are NOT zero-offset
> (where the bolting flange is in the center of the tread)
> 2- All RWDs (American cars until 1980) usually use
> zero-offset wheels  3- FWD cars are an European invention
> (since the 30s with Citroen) 4- FWD cars need positive
> offset wheels so the load on the wheel bearings is in the
> center of the tire tread and the CV joint is not too far
> inboard.
> So, my guess is that European manufacturer needed the
> offset for their FWD cars (and measured it in mm) but the
> tire standards were already cast in stone (in inches, more
> precisely).  Hence the dual standards of the automotive
> wheels.

And then, just to confuse things a little, the beat up
Merkur XR4ti I have (in storage)is RWD but uses positive
offset wheels like a front drive car. In fact, Focus and
Contour wheels are a direct fit.  in case anyone is
unfamiliar with the xr4ti, it's a german Ford Sierra with a
turbocharged 2.3 US market 4 cylinder, sold here in the US
in the latter half of the 80's, inexplicably through
Lincoln/ Mercury dealers.  I have one because it's cheap,
it's german (mostly) and like the old I5 Audis, quite
tuneable.  I know, it's some sort of sickness, and quite

Calvin Krug

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