Kami University :: Session 3 – “Offset”

Subject :: “Offset”


Time and time again, many of us look for the proper fitment for our wheels. Quite often, wheel size and width are the only things that matters. Some tuners just don’t realize that the offset can make or break that “hella- flush” look you are going for. And for future reference, Japanese Companies started using the term “inset” for offset, so if you see the term inset don’t freak out, its just offset ;).

The offset of a vehicle’s wheel is the distance between the centerline of the wheel and the plane of the hub-mounting surface of the wheel. It can thus be either positive or negative, and is typically measured in millimeters. Offset has a significant effect on many elements of a vehicle’s suspension, including suspension geometry, clearance between the tire and suspension elements, the scrub radiusof the steering system, and visually, the width of the wheel faces relative to the car’s bodywork.

Zero Offset – The plane of the hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.

Positive Offset – The plane of the hub mounting surface is shifted from the centerline toward the front or outside of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front wheel drive cars and newer rear drive cars.


Negative Offset – The plane of the hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheel’s centerline.

“Deep dish” wheels typically have negative offset or a very low positive offset.

To maintain handling characteristics and avoid undue loads on bushings and ball joints, the car manufacturer’s original offset should be maintained when choosing new wheels unless there are overriding clearance issues.

Wheels are usually stamped with their offset using the German prefix “ET”, meaning “Einpresstiefe” or, literally, “press depth”. An example would be “ET45” for a 45mm offset.



3 thoughts on “Kami University :: Session 3 – “Offset”

  1. Kwinn says:

    That’s a very ignorant comment. Offset is very important for both track cars and garage queens.

    Track cars like Kami’s EVO uses a low offset on a wide wheel to use the widest tires possible for maximum grip and performance.


    An example of garage/trailer queens, like Kami’s Elfather EK uses super low offset to fit the widest wheel in there with stretch tires for that hard show stance look.

    Only the proper offset makes this possible on both trailer/queens and track cars.


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