Wheels -- Replica vs OEM (Truths and Myths)

pwrpuma

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For those thinking about upgrading to a factory style wheel but are thinking about choosing a "replica" wheel at a reduced cost, reading this article may interest you.

I came across this article from eBay by a vendor discussing truths and myths between OEM and Replicas -- eBay Guides - The truth about replica wheels and why OEM is better

I thought I'd share this with yall.

If this information seems off-whack let me know, but otherwise I thought it was informative.


EDIT: Pic of a M3 replica wheel: http://www.bmwklub.sk/download/file.php?id=7250

EDIT 2: Pic above is old so here is another recent link that works -- http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/104-5th-6th-generation-2002-2006-2007-2011/405024-dangers-benefits-cheap-knockoff-replica-i-e-xxr-rota-etc-please-read.html
 
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The WiZard

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Reps look pretty good but typically wont endure the elements or poor road conditions. They also tend to bend easier and are in many cases heavier.

If you avoid potholes and clean your car regularly, then reps can be a smart move if the look is what you're after.

I agree with what is said in that article for the most part.
 

category4

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I can only speak to Corvette wheels, but the factory wheels are forged and the replicas cast. The factory wheels are about 4 pounds lighter per wheel as well.

several people have had problems getting the replica wheels to balance as well.
 

Randall

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I did quite a bit of research last summer when I was about to buy some cosmetically upgraded wheels for my car and some of the nicest looking wheels are so poorly made I am not sure how they getting away with selling them.
Cast is obviously the cheapest, weakest and most brittle these wheels are thick and heavy but suffer from casting flaws sometimes. Pressure cast are much better and most OEM wheels are made by this method. They are also poured into a mold like a cast wheel but while the metal is still nearly molten pressure is applied. Because of this they can be lighter and at the same time stronger. Forged/spun wheels like BBS are the best quality some high end cars come from the factory with this level of wheel but not all.The forged wheels suffer very few if any internal flaws and are machined to very tight tolerances they are very strong and can be lighter than the other two designs.

Finding out which wheels are cast, pressure cast and forged is not easy sometimes as most aftermarket companies do not publish the info. But the price is usually the prime indicator to quality. A $100 aftermarket wheel shouldn't even be used as a spare IMHO.
 
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samq45

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several people have had problems getting the replica wheels to balance as well.
We have a Hunter 9700 Roadforce and my brother is getting to the point where he will refuse to balance some of the cheap wheels that are bought from e-bay. Even if they will balance right the first time we have a lot of comebacks in a week or so where one or more of the wheels bend. I bought some R8 reps from ebay for the winter and although I never actually hit anything very hard one of the wheels was so bent after a month it would not even make a seal to hold air.

Not all Reps are bad however and you get what you pay for. Harttmann is a well known quality rim maker for Replica Audi rims, but it will cost $250 to $300 a rim. Still less than the stealership.
 

airshaq20

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Good info. Been meaning to get some reps but changed my mind after reading this article.
 

strangeknight

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Useful article, just shows that you get what you pay for so do not skimp out on the wheels.
 

warnerwh

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I bought some aftermarket wheels some years ago that needed many weights to get them to balance. It's just another one of those things where buying quality the first time around is the only smart way to go.
 

CancerJCC

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This article can spill over to other parts as well. OEM is the way to go on a lot of stuff. For instance non-OEM oxygen sensors are known to not work properly (clear the CEL they were bought for) on the CTS-V. After buying Bosch OEM ones the problems went away. I also went through 3 generic window motors because they were $100~ compared to the OEM at $250. They each failed in a short time period and after finally ponying up for the OEM it has been fine! Also a lot faster up and down...
 

detaillls

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OEM Delco starter cured my idle problems on a Z-24 (old days) we had. I went through about 3 years of dealer diagnostics after replacing a starter with a generic brand from Advance Auto... after the second one died they didn't have a replacement for theirs and it was warrantied. They had to give me an OEM Chevy part and the moment I put it in and started the car, the idle was perfect and never had a problem. Funny note: the dealer charged me one (shame on me) and tried to charge me two other times to have the car "re-learn" idle through their computer... 1/2 hour labor... Effin' joke as I now have my own diagnostic stuff... funny how age develops wisdom... lol
 

Rags

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That would be a rough diagnostic. The problem you seemed to have had with your car was actually an idle learn issue. The only way I see a starter could cause this would be to cause too much amperage draw, causing the idle learn to be lost.

I am pretty good at figuring such things out and I can't say for sure that I would have figured out why the idle learn was being lost.

I also am not sure what to think of the feeling of being ripped-off. Had I looked at your vehicle, you would have been charged a diagnostic fee up front for the first set of time for me to diagnose what's going on, and with a problem such as this (and it's not the technician's problem, it's the car owner's problem....that he was a part of causing...the technician is there to help solve that problem) I would likely have used up the initial fee with some findings such as the idle learn had to be performed, and it's getting lost for some reason...so no we have to figure out why it's being lost, so there would be additional time. With the initial fee and additional time, I would have ended up charging more than they did I bet...but I certainly wouldn't have let the car go as "fixed" unless I was sure I actually figured the problem out.

BTW, the idle learn is not done through "their computer". They have to be in the vehicle and perform it manually and it takes some time. It's not their fault your car is broken and it's not their fault it has an odd-ball issue caused by crappy parts (Did you let them know your problem occured after you replaced your own starter?) It IS their fault they didn't get enough time approved from you on the first trip to go ahead and figure it out once and for all...and it's their failure to actually figure out the problem on subsequent attempts.
 

ersin

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detaillls

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If you knew this dealership (1992) and the amount of times I spent that 1/2 hour labor rate to have idle learn performed it was a rip off... by the way... why are the people who know their stuff so far away from me... lol I wish I had a mechanic who would have been or is as thourough as you describe... I'm in the land of the left behinds up here in upstate NY...

By the way Rags... your avatar scares me...:ohdear:
 

Rags

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If you knew this dealership (1992) and the amount of times I spent that 1/2 hour labor rate to have idle learn performed it was a rip off... by the way... why are the people who know their stuff so far away from me... lol I wish I had a mechanic who would have been or is as thourough as you describe... I'm in the land of the left behinds up here in upstate NY...

By the way Rags... your avatar scares me...:ohdear:
I know some VERY good techs in upstate NY.

I like Bill Murray :)
 

protias

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detaillls

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I know some VERY good techs in upstate NY.

I like Bill Murray :)
The Chevy dealer I'm referring to was actually shut down by the Feds... but you're right... shouldn't use the blanket phrase "all" techs.
 

ersin

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protias

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Rags

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Bill Murray or zombie Bill Murray? :p
I can't think of a roll he played that I didn't like, so yah...I like the Zombieland Bill Murray too (love the movie as well).

---------- Post added at 12:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:23 AM ----------

The Chevy dealer I'm referring to was actually shut down by the Feds... but you're right... shouldn't use the blanket phrase "all" techs.
It's fine, I was just letting you know that I know of some very good techs that could be in your area. If you ever need one, holler at me and let me know your location and I will see if one I personally know is nearby.
 

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