Subject :: “Offset”
“OFFSET CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR LOOK!”
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.
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.