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Thread: Superlight wheels

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  1. #1
    Jedi Knight
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    Superlight wheels

    Has anybody here bought a set of the Superlight wheels? I would like to know your opinion of them. I've heard they aren't light despite their name. Looking at the photos on their website, they look a little rough on the spokes. Kind of like the Panasport knockoffs your get from Victoria British. I've been thinking of buying some type of wheels ever since I bought my Spitfire and slipped up and let K Speed go out of business on me. Now I can't find good source of Panasports. Really want wires, but can't afford those right now and not sure I want the hassle.

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    Luke Skywalker Alan_Myers's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    Hi,

    Don't have a set yet, but I have looked closely at Superlite wheels at car shows and I thought they compared *very well* with Panasports, which could be seen on other cars near by. Personally, I plan to go with Superlites the next time I'm installing that style of wheel on a car in a size that they offer. The price is so much better than Panasports for a virtually identical design wheel that appears to be of equal quality.

    Best way I can describe them, the style of KN Minator that VB and other vendors sell (which I think are what you are referencing) is "plainer" than either Panasports or Superlites. I have a set of KNs on my car right now. They are well made and of good quality. Fully painted, they lack the polished/machined rim of most Panasports and Superlites, which is a nice accent IMHO. (Superlite appear to also offer the choice of a fully painted wheel).

    I've only seen KN wheels in silver paint finish. There might be other colors available through special order, but I'm not aware of them. Both Superlite and Panasport are offered in a range of colors.

    I'm not using the center caps on my KN wheels so it doesn't matter to me, but the ones that came with the wheels are much plainer than center caps I've seen on both Panasport and Superlite. IMHO, the chromed hexagonal caps I've seen on the latter two brands are nicer looking.

    A key difference I found is that the KN wheel is available in 15x5.5J size, while both Panasport and Superlite seem to be 15x6J as the closest size. That extra half inch width can be a bit of a concern for TR4 and earlier cars. For your Spitfire, though, I don't know how the wheel sizes from the various manufacturers would compare.

    Compomotive is another brand that offers a wheel in the Minilite style. I've not seen these on a car here in the U.S., but when I researched them they seemed be about the same price as Panasport (i.e., pricey).

    There are also Konig Rewinds to consider, which are closely modeled after Minilites. Last time I checked there were limited sizes. But, prices seemed good, maybe comparable to Superlites. These are relatively new on the market and I haven't seen any to compare, up close and personal, and I don't know about availability.

    Regarding wheel weight, I think you will find the "street" wheels pretty comparable from one manufacturer to the next, and not a great deal different from a stock steel wheel. Panasport and Compomotive offer "race" wheels that are considerably lighter, but aren't recommended for street use.

    Another consideration, Panasports can be hard to get, even after you decide to spend the extra $. In particular, any color other than silver is usually a "special order". You can expect to wait some weeks or months for delivery from Japan. I don't know about typical delivery times on the other brands of wheels, but I found the KN in stock when I ordered them a few years ago (from TRF, if I recall correctly). With any of the brands, I'd suggest asking the vendor if the wheels you want are in stock or special order.

    You might already know, with wheels from any vendor it's also a good idea to ask about return policies and test fit the wheels on the car, check for clearance problems as best you can, before mounting any tires. Returns for anything other than warranty problems are often not possible after tires have been mounted.

    Finally, you didn't mention if you are considering increasing the diameter of the wheel (sometimes referred to as "plus sizing") and going to a lower profile tire. If so, wheel widths may be more limited in certain brands. On my TR4 I considered increasing to 16" wheels. But I found the narrowest available from any manufacturer was 6", which means a wider tire, too, and again might get into clearance issues.

    (Clarification regarding tire/wheel clearance: my TR4 has a modified/adjustable front suspension, which is where the clearance is close. The car is also lowered and it appears that spacers, which would help wheel clearance on the inboard side, would position the tire out where it would rub on the fender rim. There might or might not be a problem on other Michelotti-bodied cars that are using original suspensions and aren't lowered, I dunno. Earlier TR2/3 can have even more clearance issues, not to mention "hand-built" variance from car to car. But, later TR6 with their Karmann body can generally accommodate 6" wheel width easily. I've never installed any wheels on Spitfire or GT6, so can't comment about clearance issues with those Triumphs.)

    Hope this helps with your decision.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif[/img]
    Alan Myers
    San Jose, CA
    '62 TR4 CT17602L

    "Get in. Sit down. Shut up. Hang on."

  3. #3
    Yoda Marvin Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    I have a set of wire wheels and adapters for a spitfire. Wheels are the painted type. PM me at mgruber921@aol.com if you are interested.

    Marvin

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    Jedi Hopeful Paul Slice's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    Bill,

    I have Panasport wheels on my 80 Spitfire and I have Superlites on my MGB. The Panasports are a little more finished than the Superlites but for the cost difference I would go with the Superlites.

    Both are nice rims and the fit and finish is much better than the VB or Moss versions.



    You can get yours close to you in Greenville thru Hap at https://www.acmespeedshop.com/

    If you want the Panasports then here is where I found them the cheapest https://www.vickracing.us/cgi-bin/vickrac...f=sku/to=x.html
    or from
    https://www.paulspruell.com/parts/parts.html


    Hope this helps,
    Paul


    Paul Slice
    South Carolina
    71 TR 6
    78 MGB
    80 Spitfire
    66 Mustang
    89 CRX-Si
    97 Acura Integra GSR

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    Thanks to all. Marvin I have sent you an email.

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    Yoda Geo Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    Bill --

    Alan mentioned centercaps... FYI, Joe Curry offers a line of decals for the caps:

    https://members.cox.net/spitlist/centercaps.html

    I really like that 'RAF style' Spit logo.

    Alan --

    Do you think the 15x6 wheels would be too big for a stock TR4? Yeah, I know 'it depends' as tire size enters into it and not all TR4 bodies seem to sit the same way (ride height varies quite a bit).

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    Yoda PeterK's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    Of course, there are "real" minilite wheels from the US distributor in Conn. No polished lip same as K&N but lighter in weight. https://www.minilitewheels.com/
    PeterK
    1958 TR3A 1966 TR4A both HVDA

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    Re: Superlight wheels

    You can get Panasports thru Paulspruell.com in Atlanta. Phone is 800-552-2532. They could get the size and offset I needed for my TR4A. I ordered some and am expecting them mid to late May. Price was about $200 a wheel.
    Ron

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    Re: Superlight wheels

    Last night I compared a set of Pana's to my Superlights.
    Maybe the Panas polished area is a small bit brighter.
    Otherwise, I am very happy with my Superlights on my TR6.
    Wtihout the name showing on either wheel you would not really know which one is better looking. I think the Panas weigh less, but not by much. If you want lots of pictures of my Superlights, send me a e-mail.
    richards@hollywoodcenter.com

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    Jedi Hopeful Ab Crevoiserat's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    I have Superlights on my TR6 and they look great. They may be slightly heavyer than the Panasports but its not that much and they are a heck of alot lighter that the Stock Steel wheels. I am glad I went with the Superlights.
    Just remember, no matter where you go---There you are.
    1974 TR6
    2006 Subaru Baja
    2001 Pont.Aztec (Yes I know its ugly, but I like it anyway)

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    something i noticed about all those wheels is how close the "spokes" are to the center of the wheel. the closer to the center, the stiffer the wheel will be while cornering. the superlite "spokes" appear to be the farthest from the center. can anyone confirm or correct my observations? also the mounting area thickness will have an effect.
    rob
    "what's this bill on the mastercard!!!!!"
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    from
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    Jedi Hopeful
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    I bought my supperlights last summer. Paid $630 delivered from pacracing. Can't compair them to Panna Sports other than visually but they make the much smoother and handle better than originals. I think the centers are pretty thick. I was going to put a spacer behind them but could not get the nuts on.

    https://www.packracingproducts.com/a...aSUP15641143PP

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    Yoda PeterK's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    I took a couple of pictures to show the strength of the spokes from behind and also one to show a spare KN I painted the spokes charcoal metallic. Notice the gussets on the rear of each spoke. It was a pretty easy project using Duplicolor wheel paint and clearcoat. Lots of blue masking tape...
    https://homes.midmaine.com/~kentech/tr3a/knback.jpg
    https://homes.midmaine.com/~kentech/tr3a/knfront.jpg
    I also have been collecting wheel weights of the popular aftermarket wheels just for s&g:

    Panasport FS 15x6 15lbs.
    Minilite Sport 15x6 16lbs.
    Minilite Magnesium Racing 15x7 10.5lbs!!
    KN Minator 15x5.5 17.5lbs
    Superlite Sports 15x6 17.6lbs

    Lighter wheels reduce unsprung weight taking less HP to run them. Higher unsprung weight is like having a 4year old around each foot as you try to walk (you can feel it) versus have the 4year old on your back (much easier). Same for tires, some are (significantly) heavier than others. 3lbs is significant, although no terribly so for street performance.

    PeterK
    1958 TR3A 1966 TR4A both HVDA

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    Re: Superlight wheels

    my TR6 with Superlights
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Yoda PeterK's Avatar
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    Re: Superlight wheels

    very nice! almost looks like a model it's so perfect.
    PeterK
    PeterK
    1958 TR3A 1966 TR4A both HVDA

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