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Vors wheels (specifically TR3): opinions?


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Surprisingly, there don't appear to be any threads on these wheels.  Manufacturer link: https://www.vorswheels.com/collections/tr3/products/tr3 .  These are 15x8, 0 offset, and appear (by my reckoning) to fit a stock-suspension 280Z.  Weight is evidently 13.5 lb (see https://www.vorswheels.com/pages/vors-wheel-weight), which looks to be decently light.

 

Any opinions?  I am surprised that I've never seen mention of these either on our Forum, or really in any Z-type of venue.  Am I missing something obvious (failed design, improper fit, bad reputation....)?

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Well it looks like a design from the 90's, kind of Honda like, I can't say I've seen very many Z's or other 70's cars with that "tuner" style of wheel.

But hey, if you like them use them, wheels, regardless of where they are made have to pass a certain standard so I'm sure they are safe to use they  and the price is great for a new wheel.

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Search for country of origin has for me also thus far been unsuccessful.

 

I'm not utterly thrilled with the styling, but the wheels are remarkably light-weight.  They have the correct bolt-pattern and offset.  The closest competitor is Rota, but the comparable Rotas are 3-4 pounds heavier.

 

The reason for my sudden ebullience is that I'd like to get my perma-project out of hibernation.  The current tires on there are about 30 years old.  Yes, 30!  The current wheels are the 14x7 "Western Turbine"... heavy, and offering limited tire choice.  15x8 offers several tire options in 245/40-15: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSearchResults.jsp?width=245%2F&ratio=40&diameter=15&startIndex=0&search=true&pagelen=20&pagenum=1&pagemark=1&RunFlat=All .  Selection for 225/45 is even larger.  Tire height is admittedly small, resulting in bad highway gear ratios (my transmission has no overdrive). But these are light and fairly inexpensive tires.  And on 15x8 one can put some seriously meaty drag radials: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hoosier&tireModel=D.O.T.+Drag+Radial+2&sidewall=Painted White Letters&partnum=36R5DDR2&tab=Sizes .

 

Note also that multiple people have been using 15x9 wheels, but these worry me for two reasons.  First, fitment with a stock McPherson strut (no coilovers) is dicey.  And second, the 225 and even 245 tires tend to get "stretched" on 9" wheels... not a setup that endears itself to me.

 

Why 15" and not larger?  Because I prefer lighter weight, and using stock brakes, I don't need anything larger.

 

In sum: the 15" wheel-world isn't large for Zs.  Options are limited, with the right bolt pattern and offset.  That being so, these Vors wheels look at least superficially like a plausible solution.  And yet, nobody seems to be using them.  Something just doesn't jive.

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Definitely an interesting selection of sizes and offsets. Their company description is super cheesy: "Rivet Nuts on a Polished Lip is our style.".  They are not flow formed like the Konig's but It says they are JWL rated which should make them ok for street use, but you never know.  Personally I don't care where they are made as long as they use correct alloys.  I searched around but not much chatter about these. Usually with a lightweight wheel like this the Miata and  endurance racing guys will snap them up.  It seems this is a relatively new company, so I guess it depends if they want to sell a lot of wheels and then disappear, or they are in it for the long run. The website and dealer network leans toward the former.

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17 hours ago, clarkspeed said:

I messaged them, they responded in a few hours.  They are made in China. 

 

Chinese stuff is really a mixed bag.  Some is decently made and a great bargain.  Other stuff from there is so bad that it won't perform it's design function at all and is really nothing more than a scam.

 

I used to never buy any of it if I could avoid it.  But the "Icon" line of tools from Harbor Freight has opened my mind a bit.  Snap On (or better) quality (IMHO), for 1/4 the price.

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It seems most wheels and virtually all single piece cast wheels, including all OEM's, Ford, Chevy, Mercedes, BMW, etc. source their wheels from China.  But when BMW sells you a wheel, the design has been analyzed, materials specified, raw materials and forgings tested, traceability certs provided, and onsite quality is verified. So it's not really a question of where they were made, but how they were made and who is going to stand behind them. 

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Fortunately or unfortunately, how ever you wish to view it, the Chinese industrial complex is fully capable of manufacturing world class quality products.  The days of thinking that China only produces low quality stuff are over (or should be).  If their competitors continue to take this tack, the Chinese will eat their lunches.

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They were a really inexpensive brand and are popular with many car enthusiast communities.  BID, when I was into Subies, I remember seeing them crack in racing applications back in the early 2000's.  To be fair they are very inexpensive and at the end of the day you do get what you pay for.  I personally wouldn't use them in a racing application but if you're just cruising around and want a cheap set of wheels to make your ride look good they're not a bad option.  For the price of a single TE37-V you can get an entire set of Grids.

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8 hours ago, LooseRocks said:

They were a really inexpensive brand and are popular with many car enthusiast communities.  BID, when I was into Subies, I remember seeing them crack in racing applications back in the early 2000's.  To be fair they are very inexpensive and at the end of the day you do get what you pay for.  I personally wouldn't use them in a racing application but if you're just cruising around and want a cheap set of wheels to make your ride look good they're not a bad option.  For the price of a single TE37-V you can get an entire set of Grids.

 

Thanks for the insight! My L28et powered 71' is on its way back to Cali with new Rota 15X9's. If they were quality, I would concern myself more with what type of rear hubs I will be using. I feel like I can proceed with the 5-lug mustang hubs knowing the Rota's are not "special", and I'll just sell them for some 5-lugs. The alternative would have been customizing the mustang hub for a 4-lug. 

Edited by AydinZ71
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On 3/13/2021 at 2:47 PM, Ironhead said:

I used to never buy any of it if I could avoid it.  But the "Icon" line of tools from Harbor Freight has opened my mind a bit.  Snap On (or better) quality (IMHO), for 1/4 the price.

 

This is precisely why a crowd-sourcing approach of gathering data - even anecdotal data - is so important.  Until brands build a reliable track-record, we can only rely on word-of-mouth.

 

By way of example, I bought a "Central Machinery" drill press from Harbor Freight Tools, about 20 years ago.  It still works great!  Best $150 that I ever spent on a tool.  But the purchase was blind... no knowledge, not even anecdotal data.

 

On 3/13/2021 at 6:21 PM, AydinZ71 said:

on a similar note, how do you guys think “Rota” wheels stack up? 

 

I dislike Rota for two reasons.  First, they're heavily advertised, which to me suggests more sizzle than steak.  Second, they tend to be heavy.  Vors caught my attention because for the same size wheel (15"x8") and essentially the same design, their advertised weight was 2-3 pounds lighter than Rota.  But without a track-record, can one tell, if this advertised weight is correct?

 

On 3/15/2021 at 11:15 AM, LooseRocks said:

...For the price of a single TE37-V you can get an entire set of Grids.

I wonder how much of the price of something like TE-37 is for exclusivity, branding and so on... a Hermes scarf, a Louis Vuitton suitcase and so on.  I am looking for low weight and OK (not necessarily outstanding) durability, at an acceptable price.  I just need to get my car back on the road.  Not the track, just the road!  My current tires were already old when the 21st century started, and finding tires that fit the wheels (14x7) seems like a dead-end.

 

For 14x7 BTW, the only "acceptable" tire that I could find is this one: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Toyo&tireModel=Proxes+R888&partnum=25VR4R888&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes .  And while this is great from a traction and tire-weight point of view, it's an awful short tire, resulting in some pretty frenetic rpms at highway speeds (5 speed transmission without overdrive).

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The manufacturing process is reflected in the price.  TE37-V are forged wheels and are made for racing applications (light + strong + expensive, ~$500 to $750 each).  Grids are cast (heavy + less durable + inexpensive, ~$500 to $700 for a set) and probably should not be used for high-speed racing application.  And while I say this, many people still do use them for exactly that.  I think they're fine for street wheels.  And in my eyes Rota has some of the more attractive offerings.

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There is of course the adage of getting that for which one pays.  I don't expect forged wheels for cast-wheel prices.  The quandary however is that even among comparably built and comparably designed wheels, there's wide range in weight and price.  One would like to get "the best" within a certain class of product, realizing that "best" will differ between the different classes... or applications.

 

Another example is Konig wheels.  Several appeal to me, in price, design and even weight.  But good luck getting a 4x114.3 pattern with the right offset for a Z.  Another example is 6UL (https://www.counterspacegarage.com/949racing-6ul-15x8-4x100), with which I'm familiar from the Miata side (my daily driver is a Miata).  Great wheel, good price, well-deserved good reputation!  But by design, it's only available in the Miata 4x100 bolt pattern; there's simply no "meat" in the hub-area to accommodate redrilling for the larger bolt pattern.

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The problem also, is that there is a lot of overlap.  TE37s are well made, lightweight, strong, and very expensive.  BBS wheels are very similar....perhaps even more pricey.

 

So, while spending $700 or $800 per wheel is a pretty good indication you will get a quality wheel, that doesn't mean necessarily that a $300 wheel will not be equally lightweight and strong.  Anyone who believes you are not paying a great deal for name recognition with many high-end wheels is kidding themselves.  The reasoning doesn't hold up.  You can spend $3K or so for a set of BBS wheels, and yes they will be forged and lightweight and strong.  So what then are you getting when you pay $10K-12K for a set of HRE wheels?

 

The key is trying to figure out when diminishing returns set in when buying wheels.  IMHO it happens somewhere around the $250-$350 per wheel range.

 

I personally have always been a fan of the lower end OZ Racing wheels.  They are reasonably priced, lightweight, and I have tracked many sets of them over the years without a single problem.

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On 3/16/2021 at 2:11 PM, grannyknot said:

Rota's are a decent wheel for the money, not sure I would put them under the stresses of racing for too long but they are great for the street and occasional tracking.

 

Thanks. The Rotas the previous owner purchased for the car is on my street 71', so will not be raced. I'm reassured that they are decent though. I had not even heard of them until this year. I'm looking to use the Diamond Racing wheels that came with my race car for the racing application. The painted finish is failing, but structurally they seem fine. 

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