4/22 Wheels make a car.

Hayden V -

I finally got the wheels for my car. While I was in Colorado for the past week, I found a guy on eBay selling Watanabe R Type wheels. The posting stated he was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was on my way home. I messaged him, and he informed me that he lives in Arizona, which was awesome. I arrived at his house, located in a very obscure place in Show Low, Arizona. Our interaction was brief, and then I was on my way back home.

These wheels are considered the quintessential choice for Datsuns and many older Japanese cars. They are manufactured by Racing Service Watanabe, a Japanese company with a 60-year history of crafting this style of wheel. The front wheels are cast aluminum, while the rear wheels are cast magnesium. The R Type wheels are often referred to as Banana Spokes due to their distinctive banana-like shape.

The front wheels measure 15×9.5 with a -25 offset, and the rear wheels are 15×10.5 with a -25 offset. Let’s break down these specifications: the ’15’ indicates the diameter of the wheel in inches from top to bottom. The ‘9.5/10.5’ represents the width of the wheel, and the ‘-25’ denotes the offset. Offset refers to the distance from the center of the wheel to the mounting base. In this case, the wheels have a mounting position set 25 millimeters from the center. Negative offset means the wheel protrudes outward from the fender, while positive offset pulls the wheel inward.

The wheel looks huge without the fender flare on, but with it, the wheels looks right at home. I did have a problem with the wheel being too sunk into the fender, but I fixed it with a 13mm spacer between the wheel and the hub.






With the wheels mounted, the car adopts a Kaido Racer aesthetic, a look that I absolutely adore. I’ve already ordered tires for the wheels. For the front wheels, I’ve opted for 225/45R15 tires, while the rear wheels will be fitted with 245/40R15 tires. Tire measurements can be even more perplexing than those of wheels. The numbers 225 and 245 represent the width of the tires in millimeters, while the figures 45 and 40 indicate the sidewall height as a percentage of the width.

To break it down further, the sidewall is 45% of 225mm, making it approximately 101.25mm tall. The ‘R15’ signifies that the tire is designed for a 15-inch wheel.

Technically, the tires are slightly undersized for the wheels and will need to be stretched by 0.5 inches. This might seem minor, especially considering that some enthusiasts fit 195mm tires on 12-inch wheels. However, even when I visited Discount Tire to explore options, I was surprised to find out that they wouldn’t sell me the 245/40R15 tires, knowing they would need to be stretched by 0.5 inches.

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