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Old 10-09-2017, 10:20 PM   #1
91 zeee
 
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are ZL1 repro wheels safe for the track?(road course)

I need a set of wheels for my SS. I really like the ZL1 wheels. OEM wheels are hard to find and very expensive. The repro price point is very good. I have read good and bad about them on the forum (well; nothing too bad, but comments about they aren't as safe as oem for the track). So... my question is this.... are they safe for the track?? If not, any particular reason why not? I see people at the track with aftermarket wheels all the time (in fact, way more than oem wheels). Opinions please?
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:02 AM   #2
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Man it's all relative. How well are the repro's made?

I've cracked the barrel of O.Z. wheels (on two separate sets/separate cars). I've run cheap Rota wheels HARD and never a problem - yet I've heard of Rotas being weak/brittle. I've cracked OEM wheels. I've ran Enkei/BBS/OZ/Rota/OEM/TSW. (to this day I still call TSW "The Soft Wheel" - though to be fair I never cracked one - they just bent from...overly happy curb usage on track)

The Enkei rpf1 was fantastic - light and strong but is not available in silly fun size.

Metal fatigue over time is a consideration, more so when the mfg process is not ideal. In other words be wary of buying used wheels for track.

If you really want to be worry free, spend the big bucks on tried and true wheels. I would trust OEM over an unknown repro. It's not a place to skimp when you get serious about road course, but for an occasional track day at a novice-intermediate pace - just run what you want, keeping an eye on the details.

Inspect your wheels closely before and after track days. My O.Z. failures could have been catastrophic - but I found both of the cracked barrels after track weekends when cleaning off the track boogers and brake dust. For that matter, when you re-torque the nuts/bolts on the wheels between sessions (yes you should) take a good look.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:39 AM   #3
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Good points. This is not a serious race car so I think I am ok, I am just trying to figure out why oem over aftermarket when there are so many aftermarket wheels on the track. I wanted to make sure it was not a specific issue with 5th gen ZL1 wheels or something.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91 zeee View Post
Good points. This is not a serious race car so I think I am ok, I am just trying to figure out why oem over aftermarket when there are so many aftermarket wheels on the track. I wanted to make sure it was not a specific issue with 5th gen ZL1 wheels or something.
Wow, I vaguely remember typing that last night - I was REALLY enjoying a bottle of anejo tequila

Not sure how I was the least bit coherent.

A few reasons people go aftermarket (my reasons): to get a specific size, to lose unsprung weight, to separate track wheels/tires from a street set (makes sense if you're running a lot of events per season)

You should be fine with any decent wheel, OEM, repro, aftermarket. As with anything somewhat dangerous, devil is in the details. Once I had a set of aluminum nuts (all that fit at the time that I had handy) on my track wheels. Torqued down fine, but when things got hot they loosened up. I checked and reset tire pressures after the first session but didn't check the torque. Next time out, it starts sounding like I cooked a wheel bearing. Slow down and pit in, and find one of the wheels moves to the touch. The nuts backed out I kept running those nuts for the weekend, it was just the initial cool to hot transition to be wary of. But I checked the torque religiously after each session from then on!
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:56 PM   #5
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I agree with all the information/suggestions provided.

I think it comes down to how hard you are pushing and your experience level. Pushing hard as a Novice is one thing, and pushing hard as and expert is something totally different.

If you are just getting into this sport, or maybe track it a few times a year as a Novice/Intermediate, I think you would be fine. with Repo wheels.

Once your skill level increases, and you are starting to upgrade things like suspension, brakes, wheels, etc... then you may want to revisit the wheels again.

My wife has been running HPDE this year, and I have some heavy-a$$ cast wheels on it. They were perfect for her, no issues, car handled great. Now she is into the Intermediate classes and we are upgrading to 6 piston brakes so she can push the car harder. I will upgrade to one piece wheels this winter to remove some weight and add some strength. She loves it, and will be doing it a lot more. Like any car part, the weakest point will always break, my job is to remove the weakest parts for her to have more fun.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:40 PM   #6
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I personally would never run cast. Rotary forged is a maybe depending on brand and spoke design. Forged is best.
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:40 PM   #7
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Forged in US or Italy. And a race proven design. Plenty of forged stuff out there with dangerous designs.

You're very safe with an OE track package wheel. Like the 1LE/ZL1/Z28 forged, as they've been through extensive validation.

Cast are garbage.

Anything from China are garbage.

No way in hell would I track cheap reproduction copies. Save a few hundred to risk disaster...I call that idiotic.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:09 PM   #8
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If you're willing to drop to a 19, Apex wheels are hard to beat fron a price and track history perspective. There are a lot of BMW race cars running them on slicks, and they'Re on more and more Camaros at the track.
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:17 PM   #9
91 zeee
 
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I really like the zl1 style wheels. I'm looking for a oem set now. Looks like repro might be ok sine I'm not a pro. If anyone has a used oem set let me know
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:27 PM   #10
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I’m running the 2017 1le reps on the road course with no issues
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:56 AM   #11
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I guess I look at it from the angle of how heavy our cars are. If I were to want a set of track only tires on my car, I'd either go with Forgelines (cost prohibitive at this point) or a set of Z28 rims.

I think wheel failures are generally rare, but I don't see the point in risking that to save a few bucks. Why not just get good tires for your current wheels?
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:20 PM   #12
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OP appears to have a non-1LE SS, which means the wheels are only 8" wide up front and 9" wide out back . . . which definitely skews the tire choices away from hard cornering uses.


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Old 10-16-2017, 08:42 PM   #13
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Correct, stock are 8" and 9", but looking to go 11" - 23mm and 11" 43mm like stock ZL1. Still looking for a good used set...very hard to find at a decent price.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:09 AM   #14
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5th gen ZL1 front wheels are only 10" wide . . .


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