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New Rota look-alike Fuch wheels vs. authentic 30-year-old Fuch wheels

The wheels Moses has been trumpeting lately are really nice. I recently asked a racer about these wheels, and he said, even if the Rota wheels are new, he wouldn't trust them on the track over forged Fuchs. I'm not sure I agree as Fuchs - even very well maintained Fuchs - are now fairly old wheels.

So my question is this: are the newer wheels such as the Rotas stronger than old Fuchs? I'm not sure the Rotas are forged - and can't "search" as I have a real crappy internet connection. Nevertheless, which wheel would you trust more on the street and track: the Rotas or old Fuchs?

Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:47 PM
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The Rotas are cast, but there is something to be said for new vs. 20-40 years old forged (1967 911S to 1989 Carrera & Turbo)...
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GrantG
The Rotas are cast, but there is something to be said for new vs. 20-40 years old forged (1967 911S to 1989 Carrera & Turbo)...
Yeah, but is that "something to be said" a good thing or bad thing? I'm thinking stress, wear, tear, cycling through speed -- I don't know. Just some thoughts of the old and once-proven vs. the new and possibly improved.

Any other ideas?
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:39 PM
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There have been a few cases of real Fuchs breaking or cracking. So even the famous forged Fuchs are just really tough, not invulnerable.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:58 PM
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Pretty much all of Porsche's current wheels, which run with much more power on much heavier cars, are cast. It's like any other technology, you shouldn't judge it by the way it was 20 years ago.

Fuchs have a finite lifespan, measured in the number of times the metal is stressed. In time, they will all fail.
Old 06-15-2007, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jack Olsen
Pretty much all of Porsche's current wheels, which run with much more power on much heavier cars, are cast. It's like any other technology, you shouldn't judge it by the way it was 20 years ago.

Fuchs have a finite lifespan, measured in the number of times the metal is stressed. In time, they will all fail.
Yes, that's my thinking too. Plus the fact I really like those 17-inch Rota wheels.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:35 PM
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From the Tire Rack website:

GRAVITY CASTING

Gravity casting is the most basic process of pouring molten aluminum into a mold utilizing the earth's gravity to fill the mold. Gravity casting offers a very reasonable production cost and is a good method for casting designs that are more visually oriented or when reducing weight is not a primary concern. Since the process relies on gravity to fill the mold, the aluminum is not as densely packed in the mold as some other casting processes. Often gravity cast wheels will have a higher weight to achieve the required strength.

LOW PRESSURE CASTING

Low pressure casting uses positive pressure to move the molten aluminum into the mold quicker and achieve a finished product that has improved mechanical properties (more dense) over a gravity cast wheel. Low-pressure casting has a slightly higher production cost over gravity casting. Low pressure is the most common process approved for aluminum wheels sold to the O.E.M. market. Low-pressure cast wheels offer a good value for the aftermarket as well. Some companies offer wheels that are produced under a higher pressure in special casting equipment to create a wheel that is lighter and stronger than a wheel produced in low pressure. Once again in the quest for lighter weight, there is a higher cost associated with the process.

I'd like to know which of the two above casting methods is used to cast the Rotas.

If they are gravity cast (which method dates, basically unchanged, back to the Bronze Age) I don't believe I'm interested.

If they are low pressure cast it indicates to me that greater consideration has been given to strength and light weight than to the lowest possible cost, which is important to me and I am willing to pay more for.

I'd also like to know how much heavier the Rotas are, by percent, than equiv. size Fuchs.
Old 06-16-2007, 01:08 AM
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Have the Rota wheels passed the TUV standards?

Richard
Old 06-16-2007, 03:43 AM
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Why does a lower density gravity constucted wheel weigh more than a higher density pressure cast wheel?
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:21 AM
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Depends. Depends upon what parameter you're trying to keep the same. If you're trying to keep the strength of the wheels equivalent, then the lower density wheel will have to be thicker in construction to offer the same strength. Oftentimes that means the overall wheel will be heavier. The volumes of the wheels will not be the same.

But if you were willing to accept a weaker wheel, you could make the weights equivalent.
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:42 AM
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That's what had me concerned, and made me hold off on buying.

These are apparently gravity cast wheels. The lowest density method.

Yet, they were, in 17 inch size, the SAME weight as smaller 16 inch forged Fuchs.

Some questions were raised a while ago on those issues. Those questions seemed to be met mostly with hostility and defensiveness, but it now seems that no wheels have been delivered yet, and they are being "redesigned" and will be thicker/heavier. So maybe those questions had some validity.

At least that's what I can gather from reading the various threads.
Old 06-16-2007, 07:14 AM
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There have been/are (e.g. Performance Parts?) gravity cast Fuchs look-alike wheels on the market for some time, about which I've read/heard nothing but derogatory remarks regarding their quality and safety, including photos of cracking and catastrophic failures where, literally, large "chunks" of wheel had broken off.

Is there something inherently different about the Rota wheels, other than perhaps more aluminum/thicker sections, that will make them safer than these other look-alikes?

I would bet that O.E.M. wheels from Porsche et al are pressure cast and suspect that they are less brittle and therefore safer than even beefed up gravity cast wheels of similar design.

I like my Fuchs looks and would like to upsize to 17s with the same classic look for tire choice reasons. However, I am skeptical regarding gravity cast wheels that are "more visually oriented" at a "very reasonable production cost" at the expense of "improved mechanical properties" of low pressure cast wheels ("the most common process approved for aluminum wheels sold to the O.E.M. market") at a "slightly higher production cost".

Can Rota (or any other aftermarket wheel vendor) provide low pressure cast Fuchs look-alikes at a "slightly higher production cost"?

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Old 06-16-2007, 09:57 AM
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Mg alloys have changed too. A forged Mg wheel would be a very nice item to have...
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DARISC
Can Rota (or any other aftermarket wheel vendor) provide low pressure cast Fuchs look-alikes at a "slightly higher production cost"?
Rota makes both pressure cast and gravity cast wheels. The techniques used are dictated by the wheel design. All Rota wheels must pass stress, load and impact tests. Look at the two Rota wheels pictured below, the VXR and the Slipstream. Can you guess which one is pressure cast?

The 17" Fuchs reproductions have thicker petals and hubs than a 16" Fuchs. The wheels were engineered to pass Rota's stress, load and impact tests. They did. I think all the questions are great, but Rota has been doing this for a while. They make a lot of OEM wheels including wheels for BMW Asia. They have a big motorsports division. I'm pretty sure they don't need my help engineering these wheels.


Rota VXR


Rota Slipstream
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:35 PM
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I have been aware of Rota wheels for several years. They do knockoffs of all the high quality wheels available for WRXs i.e. Volk, Prodrive,etc. A lot of the Subie owners buy them because they are cheap and look good. I have never, however, heard that they are particularly strong, and would definitely never use them for track wheels— unless the Fuchs look-a-likes are made differently than the Subaru wheels.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
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I have been aware of Rota wheels for several years. They do knockoffs of all the high quality wheels available for WRXs i.e. Volk, Prodrive,etc.
Here's a copy of a letter from Rota's president that was posted on a Subaru forum that addresses some of your issues;

Yes, we do have some knock off styles, but does not mean we cannot make quality wheels. Our aluminum alloy, machines and processes are the same as the expensive brands out there.

Not everyone knows this but our plant makes wheels for the OEM (Original Equipment) as well for Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, BMW, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda and Kia. Our wheels are used by all of these car manufacturers in various markets around the world. Being a OEM producer, our facilites and quality systems are certified ISO 9001 and QS 9000, not even Volk Racing can say this.

We also have alliances with the Enkei group for additional technological advances.

Our products are insured to the tune of 2 million dollars per incident if ever they cause an accident.

In the aftermarket field, our name is not established yet and that is the reason why our price is low. That and the fact that the well known brands are making a ton of a profit on the US market. As we establish our name, we will start to shy away from knock offs and produce our own designs

So don't worry, we are not some small company buying wheels from Taiwan or China and putting on their own brand name. We are a wheel manufacturer backed by most of the Japanese automakers and our US subsidiary is 100% factory owned who can give you the after sales support you need.

We also have a very rigid testing regimen where our wheels are tested to OE standards and not just JWL or VIA. We also have an in house racing program wherein we have our own Ex-prodrive WRX rally car and 2 Civic type R's for circuit racing

We are the first ever wheel maker in Asia after Japan operating for 25 years in the OE field so we have the experience and know how to make the wheels.

I hope you try our wheels in the near future

Mic Rojas
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:55 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Moses
Can you guess which one is pressure cast?

Moses,

I cannot. As far as I'm aware, there isn't necessarily a visual difference between the end results of the two casting techniques and, to me, regarding wheels, appearance is secondary to strength.

Are Rota's Fuchs look-alikes pressure cast or does their design preclude using that process?

The fact that Rota's wheels passed Rota's tests doesn't reassure me of anything. No bad reflection on Rota; I just believe that only tests performed by industry accepted labs are acceptable as objective.

Nor is who Rota's customers are or how long they've been marketing wheels or whether they need anyone's help in designing their wheels of particular interest to me.

My questions are sincere and not meant to touch a nerve or turn off anyone's interest in the wheels. They are, I think, pretty basic yes or no questions, the answers to which are important to me to help me decide whether to buy the wheels or not.

Cheers,

David
Old 06-16-2007, 02:18 PM
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I thought the lighter version passed Rota's tests and were ready for delivery.

Why were they redone and made heavier?
Old 06-16-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by the
I thought the lighter version passed Rota's tests and were ready for delivery.

Why were they redone and made heavier?
The first wheels were labeled "fitment only". The final design is visually the same, but structurally different.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moses

Our products are insured to the tune of 2 million dollars per incident if ever they cause an accident.


Mic Rojas
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[/B]

This is good enough for me for street use.



I need a trial fit before I buy these. When someone from L.A. gets his package, would they be willing to mount these on my SC?

Thanks.
Old 06-16-2007, 03:15 PM
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