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      09-17-2009, 03:03 PM   #6

Drives: MR E92 M3
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Heaven

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by drvai View Post
Thanks! Super clear now.

Seems that the 2-3 piece are more expensive and "more cool"
More expensive retail prices and more "bling". A 2/3 piece wheel is very easy to make and has led to the thousands of multi-piece wheel manufacturers we have now. Think about it, you have to buy the inners and outers which are already pre-made even pre-polished or chrome. You get a center, bolt in with stainless steel or titanium bolts and voila!

A one-piece wheel, properly made, is a God-given piece of engineering that is worth of eternal admiration. Based on manufacturing process alone, a one-piece wheel should cost at least 50% more than a 3pc wheel. Forging it is more difficult and expensive, it involves flow forming, machining is more time consuming and requires several steps and coating is also more difficult.

Here is something I wrote a few months ago:

There are several things to consider.

Three-Piece Construction:

- High Availability of widths and offsets.
- Low cost of replacement parts for repairs
- High availability of styles/designs

- Spun rim halves (not forged)
- Prone to cracking and bending.
- Vibration under heavy rain.
- Air leakage due to improper sealing.
- High cost due to labor.
- Heavier than one piece.
- Higher repair cost due to labor

One-Piece Forged Construction:

- Higher stiffness than 3PC
- Lighter and Stronger than 3PC
- Less Prone to mechanical failure
- Lower replacement cost

- High initial manufacturing cost
- Low width/offset availability
- Limited style availability

Like I said in a previous thread, the true advantages of a 3PC were back in the 70s-80s were you could track a wheel, bent a rim half and have it replaced by the next race. Labor was low since it was done in house and the replacement parts were not that expensive as well. Nowadays, you pay $1600 for a 3PC wheel and $900 to replace a rim half. Makes no sense to me.

I would not consider or recommend a 3PC wheel to anybody since the performance advantages are almost non-existent. Is a pure cosmetic upgrade unless is a TRUE 3PC wheel like a BBS or similar.

BTW, If you want a true performance wheel upgrade go with a one piece wheel. People buy 3PC wheels because of the looks and not performance.

And please stay away from the new trend of machining a forged blank and calling it a wheel. Make sure you buy products from a reputable manufacturer that tests and certifies their wheels and uses proper engineering to develop them.