FD RX-7 Wheels For the Stormtrooper

Factory 16x8 FD wheels

Factory 16×8 FD wheels

Yeah. Wheels. I bought wheels for a car I only bought to make gauges and other parts.

I couldn’t help myself. I… I love cars. And Stormy deserved a nice set of wheels.

All empty space.

All empty space.

Vintage 90s goodness.

Vintage 90s goodness.

These are 16×8 +50 wheels off an FD RX-7 of the early 90s. They bolt up to the NC (5×4.5 bolt pattern or 5×114.3 more properly written out) and fit under the fenders without any modification.

And they weigh 13.8 lbs.

Thirteen POUNDS for a 16×8. That’s… insane. For comparison, the RP-F1 (usually the weight champ on the block) in 16×7 trim comes in at 13.5 lbs. Adding an inch of metal usually adds around a lb to a wheel. The FD stock alloys manage to add an inch and only three tenths of a pound.

Insane.

And they look nice!

I had to have them.

Jerry gets to work.

Jerry gets to work.

I got the wheels on a Saturday night. I opened them and made sure they were round. I closed them up and took them immediately to Carmer’s, the shop that painted Sharka and Blue Car. And Sharka’s rollbar. And every other paint project I can find.

A quick shout out to Corey, a good friend and someone with an amazing talent for finding goddamn anything in the world with only a few minutes work. I sent him an off-hand email about the car and that I was looking for wheels. Within an hour, he got me in contact with someone selling a set for a good price.

A couple days passed and the wheels were in my hands. And they were fantastic. Thank you Corey!!

Back to the paint.

Before I even left.

Before I even left.

That's not bad...

That’s not bad…

Carmer’s works fast. Blindingly fast. I dropped off the wheels and was chatting with Ken, the owner. I turned back around and one wheel was already scuffed and ready for primer.

And… man, does it look nice with a flat silver finish. I almost considered leaving them that way. But it wouldn’t have been much contast against white paint and I wanted contrast.

But what color to paint them?

I posed this question on ClubRoadster and the answer was immediately hit out of the park. A guy named Louros (who also goes by John, another buddy and customer) suggested Porsche Platinum Satin.

I googled a bit. I found many examples. I was smitten.

FD wheels in Porsche Platinum Satin

FD wheels in Porsche Platinum Satin

Boom. That’s what Porsche Satin Platinum looks like. Gorgeous, yes?

I barely had to wait any longer than that to see them myself. I got the wheels, I brought them to Carmer’s and they were painted by the next paragraph.

Black, and yet visible.

Black, and yet visible.

I wanted something dark for the Stormtrooper. White and black is kinda what I’m going for with the car. Maybe not too imaginative but I think it’ll look really good.

I love this finish. It’s paint. It’s not black. It’s not the ever-popular gunmetal finish either. It’s… got so much depth. And it’s not too shiny.

In this finish, the wheels will still exist when you look at the car (and when I take a photo). They won’t be just featureless black areas under the wheel wells. The wheels will still have depth and detail.

I owe John something for this suggestion. Thanks again my friend!

And now for tires.

I opted for some Continental DWS in 225/50 size. They’re on super-sale right now at Tire Rack due to a new model coming out and I’ve had them on the Mazda3 for a couple years. For all season tires, they’re fantastic. Just the thing for Stormy.

Oh hi Sharka!

Oh hi Sharka!

Insert tires here.

Insert tires here.

That’s right. Sharka did tire duty. He didn’t complain either. This is my favorite game in the world, and Sharka’s my favorite game board.

We call it “What can we shove in a Miata?

While it’s not a fullsize Christmas tree or a 6′ bookcase, getting all four of these wide tires and wheels in the car was a decent win. One of the guys at the Mazda dealer even said “you’re NEVER getting those tires in that car.”

And then we won the game and drove home.

8 years young.

8 years young.

Ready to go.

Ready to go.

A few words about Stormy’s old tires – yuck. Ouch. Holy shit. And perhaps “no.”

The rears were 3 year old Coopers. Nothing wrong with those, they just weren’t nearly as sticky as the DWS all seasons going on the car. But the fronts?

8 year old Michelin tires. Totally dry rotted and cracked to hell. There were cracks INSIDE the tread. Just… horrible.

There was even a nice gash in the sidwall that I never noticed until removing them.

Bye bye old tires.

Mcgard lug nuts.

Mcgard lug nuts.

McGard lug nuts in black with the fancy spinning seat? Yes please. The spinning seat will help ensure that the nice Platinum Satin paint doesn’t go away with every wheel on/off cycle.

And one more thing before the reveal.

Where we used to be.

Where we used to be.

I wanted to do a quick reminder of where Stormy used to be. This was snapped so very long ago. 9 days prior to the writing of this blog entry.

Nine days.

Look at those wagon wheels. That ride height. The lack of attitude.

Shameful.

Where we are now.

Where we are now.

That’s so much better.

That’s a Miata.

Side view.

Side view.

That color. Those tires. OMG.

Just what I wanted. (you can click on all of these pix to see them a bit larger.)

Those tail lights.

Those tail lights.

Meat from the back.

Meat from the back.

Front angle.

Front angle.

Let me try to get some thoughts together and stop gushing about the wheel and color choice.

They ride SO MUCH BETTER than the dead 17s. Holy crap. No comparison. Bumps are not jarring and the suspension is easily able to control the weight. The old wheel/tire combo was 41 lbs. The new one is 34. That’s a huge difference.

And the extra grip? Yes sir. Though I feel a bit silly talking about “grip” when all season tires are in the room, but these Continentals grip nicely. Especially in 225 size. They’re nothing like Sharka’s Toyos, but they are night and day between what used to be on the car.

And they look so nice under the fenders. The extra rubber, the extra wheel offset, and the color. So very good.

(those red toenails have to go.)

My photographer.

My photographer.

I’d like to thank my photographer for shooting the pix in this blog post. She’s got quite the eye. I understand her rates are pretty reasonable if anyone out there would like to hire her.

All she asks for is a top down drive once in a while.

Update

The first comment made me realize that my little joke above probably wasn’t obvious. No, the above shots were NOT taken by my daughter. They were by me. But here are a few that she took while we were out shooting Stormy.

Nikon D40 with the kit lens as held by a 5 year old. I edited color levels a bit and resized for the blog.

Trooper-butt (as shot by revkid)

Trooper-butt (as shot by revkid)

Seriously good wheel shot! (by revkid)

Seriously good wheel shot! (by revkid)

Desert (as shot by revkid)

Desert (as shot by revkid)

POV (shot by revkid)

POV (shot by revkid)

And… of course…

... as shot by revkid.

… as shot by revkid.

She’s pretty amazing IMHO.

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  • GT-Alex says:

    All the last pics are from your daughter ? That’s quite good ! Now I wonder if she wants to become a mechanic or a photographer later. Or maybe both ?

    Also, I’m really surprised to see how good those wheels look on a NC. They don’t look out of place at all, which was quite unexpected considering they’re something like 15 years older than the car.

    • revlimiter says:

      They actually weren’t. I was trying to do a joke there. But your comment made me realize I should post some of the stuff she shot. I went back and added a few of her pix to the end of the post.

      And I agree. The FD wheels don’t look like a factory alloy at all. I’m loving them on the NC. The extra width and offset really hits the spot in person too.

      And thanks!

      • GT-Alex says:

        Haha, those are still excellent shots, she has quite the eye !

        And the D40 was also my first reflex (which sadly died a couple years ago, after holding up to rain, mud, rolling down a motorcycle hill climbing slope to avoid a lenghtened two engined bike rolling down…) Loved that camera, really nice for learning, and rock solid considering all the abuse mine went through. I’d still use it today if shutter didn’t lock.

  • Mark says:

    This looks great… I’ve been thinking about painting the wheels (factory 16″) on my ceramic mx5 dark bronze. And just adding spacers. Your photos are certainly helping sway me.

    It would be a much easier decision if I knew a trustworthy paint shop in north KY to do it.

    I have never understood the appeal of giant wagon-wheels or red brakes.

    One of the things I learned recently (my light came on in subzero temps) is that the MX5 has no TPMS sensors and instead uses software trickery with the ABS system to determine tire pressure (at least 2016 models). But I like the stock wheels so that’s a non-issue.

    • revlimiter says:

      The TPMS thing is super interesting to me. I was reading the 2006 features table and discovered that ONLY the GT model equipped with 17″ wheels and run flat tires from the factory had TPMS. All other 2006s didn’t. A quick test of letting the air out of one tire confirmed that my GT didn’t come with the run flats originally.

      If you wanna ship some wheels out here, I’m sure Carmers would love to paint them for ya.

  • Brad says:

    A few things:
    -Never expected FD wheels to look that good on an NC, nor fit that well. Never realized NC has such a high offset setup either. +50 and you’re pretty much right on the edge of what will easily fit? Sheesh, quite different than the NA/NB, but not surprising. Lot of new cars that way actually…

    -I love playing the “how much can we fit in the Miata” game! Consider me impressed, I never thought you would use Sharka for such utilitarian work.

    -On the Conti DWS, don’t expect fantastic snow and ice grip. They are definitely a three season tire, it feels disingenuous that they market it as having much of a snow capability… had a set on my old Supra. They do ok, but something tells me you guys don’t quite get the snow I do, so you’ll probably be fine.

    -Back to the wheels, nice color choice! If you ever do tire of them for whatever reason, shouldn’t have trouble selling them. Us Supra guys love them. Reasonable price, light, and wide enough for a decent size slick or drag radial. I’d have a set myself, if they’d fit over my rear brakes, which are themselves only slightly smaller than my Miata’s wheels…

    Anyway, good post!

    • revlimiter says:

      I’ve had the DWS on my family car for a couple winters now. For the tiny bit of snow that NM gets, they do fantastic. I mean, they’re nothing like real snow tires, but they still have some grip. SOME. hahaha! Very nice in the wet too.

      And thanks for hte kind words!

  • Doubleoh9 says:

    Those wheels look fantastic! This might sound odd,but you have really managed to de-2006 the car. I think some dark paint on those roll hoops would help to that effect.
    Speaking of the what can you fit in a Miata, in my pizza delivery days i managed to fit 39 large pizzahut pizzas in mine with the harddog double diagonal and the hardtop on.

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