Alloy Wheels

Information and guide to alloy wheels for your T5

It’s an easy option to add a set of wheels to set your van off, especially as most vans just come with the standard steel rims, which don’t do anything for its aesthetics. But before going out and buying any old wheels, there are a few important things to take into consideration.

We will re-calibrate your speedo on your T5/T6 to ensure the speedo is correct on the fitment of your wheels at no extra cost.

Weight Rated

It’s important that your alloy wheels are correctly weight rated for the vehicle. Obviously, vans weigh more than most cars and more importantly they have a greater carrying capacity (Max Load Weight). It’s this Max Load Weight per axle that your wheels need to be able to carry, for various reasons, but most importantly to be safe and road legal. Furthermore, it is not only the wheels that need to be weight rated, but your tyres too.

On a VW T5 Transporter the axle weights can be found on the engine bay bulkhead just above the air filter. The photo below shows the sticker plate which has the VIN number, gross vehicle weight, and axle weights. In the photo below No. 1 refers to the front axle weight at 1700 Kg and No. 2 refers to the rear axle weight of 1720 Kg. So, to do the calculation, take the highest axle weight (usually the rear) in this case 1720 Kg divide it by 2 = 860 Kg. Therefore, in order to be safe and on the correct side of the law, the wheels and tyres need to be weight rated to a minimum weight of 860 Kg per corner.

Beware of many alloy wheel distributors and shops selling alloy wheels for T5’s that are not weighted properly for your vehicle as they do not meet the weight rating requirements. It is also advised to check the alloy wheels that may already be fitted to your existing vehicle.

DONT GET CAUGHT OUT... Often, the phrase used is ‘suitable for T5 fitment’, but what this is actually referring to is the hole pattern, offset and centre bore.

From our experience it is always best to check the Max Load Weight of your chosen alloy wheels yourself. The weight rating is normally stamped on the back of the alloy wheel and the tyres always display the max weight on the sidewall. Many retailers will avoid making you aware that your wheels and tyres may be insufficient for the vehicle.

Tyres

Tyres always have the Max Load Rating and Max Pressure displayed on the side wall of the tyre as seen in Picture 1 below. They will also have the dimensions of the tyre as in Picture 2. The numbers in Picture 2 refer to the width of the tyre, wall depth of the tyre, rim of the tyre and finally the speed rating of the tyre.



View Alloy Wheels photo gallery




The Alloys

Most, but not all alloys have the weight rating stamped on the inside of the wheel either on one of the spokes or edge of the inside rim. If they don’t have the weighting on them we recommend you contact the wheel manufacturer to obtain the load rating, ideally in the form of written documentation. You will usually find various other info embosssed or printed on the inside of the wheel which will relate to the manufacture and approval stamps along with the hole pattern (PCD) / offset (ET) / Width of rim (J) and size of rim in inches.

PCD is the hole pattern, and on a T5 it is 5/120

The centre bore on a T5 which is the size of the centre of the wheel that sits on the hub.

A few reasons why it is so important to get it right:

  • Peace of mind that your wheels are not going to collapse on you when you hit a pothole - whether it be at 30 mph or 70 mph
  • Peace of mind that there will be no issues with your insurance company or the police if you are involved in an accident
  • Recently we have found an increasing number of insurance companies asking for the load rating of both wheels and tyres on vehicles that we have converted/styled
  • It will prevent any potential problems in getting your vehicle’s MOT, if and when it needs one. Although it seems apparent that this is an area that is not always checked
  • If your underweight wheels crack, your warranty will certainly be void as the wheels have been over loaded

Warranties - Along with the weight rating issues discussed above, we would also recommend that you check with the supplier or converter on what warranties are available on the wheels. Many companies offer very poor warranties, especially on wheels with a cut faced, polished finish. If you are unfortunate enough to have a set of wheels that have begun to corrode, you may find that the alloy wheel distributors and agents simply state that they were only covered by a 6 month warranty, and that the corrosion has been caused by grit, or alternatively that the wheels were not designed to be used through the winter!

Sizes – Not only is there a great difference in looks from a 16” to a 20” alloy wheel, but there is also a difference in the ride comfort and overall handling. Going bigger reduces the size of the tyre wall, which makes the ride harder, so bear this in mind when considering bigger alloy wheels. Also, large alloys tend to fill the wheel arch much better but they can also look a little silly without going that extra mile and getting the vehicle lowered.

If you find the information given above a bit of a mine field, feel free to give us a call for a bit of advice. At Exploria we offer a wide range of wheels in various sizes from 16 - 20”, all weight rated and some wheels come with a minimum 2 year warranty unless otherwise stated, regardless of finish and seasonal use. We have both low cost Chinese replica style wheels and higher priced, higher quality, German and Italian wheels, backed up with excellent warranties. We also have the facilities and stock for you to drive in with your vehicle and see a few different wheels on your van, as quite often; they look completely different when fitted. Take a look at the photos below, which show the same van with standard steel rims, followed by 20” alloys and finally, lowered by 40mm with H&R springs.