17" BBS 100x4 ex-VW Golf

Moderators: theelanman, dapinky, clemo, Nige, Specky, Sy V, GeoffSmith, Dave Eds, DaveT, Elanlover, muley, Enright, algirdas, nitroman

17" BBS 100x4 ex-VW Golf

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 11.06.2015, 01:02

Have just bought and fitted 4 BBS 17x7J ET42 wheels to my SE and they seem to work so thought I ought to share the info' in case anybody else was looking for different wheels.

Saw them on ebay advertised as 'ex-VW Golf 4x100mm with tyres' and contacted the guy to get the offset as 42 so did some sums and took a gamble. The manual says ROW SE with 15" 6.5J OZ cannot fit U.S. 16" 7J OZ wheels as suspension is different so inward clearance on SE must be tight. I think S2 used the U.S. suspension for their 16" BBS but am willing to be corrected by those who know better and any SE owners who run S2 wheels. My sums reckoned that by going from 6.5J to 7J there's an increase of 1/2" in rim width which is 12.7mm so increase in width of 6.35mm inwards & 6.35mm outwards. Change of offset from 60 to 42 (mm) is a difference of 18mm for the wheel centre-line so inside of new wheel is 18-6.35mm = 11.65mm (1/2" in old units) and outside is 18+6.35mm=24.35mm (1" in old units) further out. Therefore shouldn't be an issue with suspension clearance but may be with wheel arch clearance on bump. That was the theory - now the facts: I fitted them, set the tyre pressures at 26.5psi as per manual for other tyres as a good starting point and took a long test drive and am very pleased. Certainly a different feel - very tight and turns in without a hint of understeer but haven't yet got courageous enough to find when the back end starts to move. I didn't think the ride was harsh at all but the mirror has just fallen off the screen (again) so maybe slightly more vibrations are getting through. (Was only Superglued on as a tempoary fix after it last fell off.) There are no signs that on full bump the tyre gets near the wheel arch but it certainly fills the flare of the wheelarch better and has increased the track. Looks 'the business' too.
I won't bore you with the theoretical calculations but there is a marginal increase in the rolling radius and circumference between a 205/50/15 and 205/40/17. Radius changes from 23.71mm to 23.90mm so an increase of 0.29mm which is less than the variation between a new tyre with 8mm tread and the legal min of 1.6mm. I've also lined up different makes of 205/50/15 tyres and found HUGE variations in the tyre height & rolling radius. In theory my speedo will change from reading 70mph to 71.17mph so it' will be a bit closer to my SatNav's true mph, but still a bit to go. Photo shows 17" on left with 15" Eagle F1 on right.

I made the jump past 16" because it seems difficult to get performance tyres for less than 17" rims. My Subaru Forester Forester had 17" Prodrive wheels with 215/55/17 and after damaging one I bought 4 ex-Impreza wheels that came with 205/40/17 tyres that I replaced but still kept so thought I might try 17" wheels to use those up. These wheels came with 2 Continental, one almost showing the tread bar, and two Falkens with a fair amount of tread but have just ordered 4 Toyo Proxes at £49 each - why are 17" so cheap? is it the hole is bigger so you get less rubber? :lol: I decided that at that price If I had to pay a guy to fit a tyre it might as well be a new one rather than a used Impreza tyre with unknown history.

Centre caps - the BBS wheels came with centre caps with BBS printed on 'pretend carbon fibre' that are same size as the S2 BBS caps. I had one spare S2 Lotus cap but didn't fancy paying £19x3 to SJS for 3 more that I had to glue in. I photographed the S2, photoshopped, printed and laminated 5 badges, removed the BBS disc and fixed mine onto the caps with double sided carpet tape...
Couldn't print the 'chrome look' so white had to do. Think they look Ok from more than 6' but may have to redo if they fade... but I've found bought badges fade too. (spare is on left, 4 DIY caps & S2 on right.)

Brakes - I have no problems with the function of the OE brakes and left some black lines on the road during the test drive but must admit that when parked on my drive with my Forester and my wife's ST170 both on 17" wheels and big discs showing the OE discs on the Elan are now looking a bit silly. Much too much gap between disc and wheel now... project creep??

Wheel bearings - have seen some comments about changing offset 'straining the wheel bearings' but I don't anticipate a problem with that. The main reason why Lotus put such a large offset on the Elan wheels was to maximise the drive shaft length to reduce the angularity experienced by the CV joints. Plenty of fwd cars with a similar wheel bearing arrangement run with much less offset without problems - and I've got spare sets of wheel bearings anyway :lol:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Leave me alone, I think I know what I'm doing.
Cars: Subaru Forester 2.5XTN, Eclat Riviera, brace of Pacific Blue SE's, Collapso SE, Elan+S.... and now an Evora
User avatar
Posts: 2195
Joined: Fri 05.09.2008, 00:14
Location: Hadleigh, 15m west of Ipswich or 800 miles south (Cap d'Agde)

Re: 17" BBS 100x4 ex-VW Golf

Postby muley » Thu 11.06.2015, 07:58


"You can take the man out of the Elan, but you can't take the Elan out of the man"
1995 Palacio S2 no 507
"LEC turbo nutter" ;)Black MX-5 NC Red Honda Integra S
User avatar
Posts: 4078
Joined: Tue 22.04.2003, 09:07
Location: Wokingham, Berks and Waikanae Beach

Re: 17" BBS 100x4 ex-VW Golf

Postby rip » Thu 11.06.2015, 08:27

Sounds like you've done a fair few calculations & not just slapped something different on. :smt023
lotusflasherman wrote:why are 17" so cheap? is it the hole is bigger so you get less rubber? :lol:

lotusflasherman wrote:I made the jump past 16" because it seems difficult to get performance tyres for less than 17" rims.

I think you've answered your own question. Unit cost is cheaper with larger production runs & the market for 17" tyres is more competitive.
1990 SE
User avatar
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sun 08.04.2007, 07:48
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Re: 17" BBS 100x4 ex-VW Golf

Postby Steve A » Thu 11.06.2015, 08:34

They look good 8)
"If everything is under control, you are going too slow."
User avatar
Steve A
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue 18.09.2007, 12:44
Location: South East Essex

Return to Wheels and Tyres

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest