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2021 performance 3 20" wheel construction?

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,179
5,208
FL
What is the construction like? Flow formed? Cast?

Just wondering why I keep hear they will break and bend.

Thanks!
Cast. Cheaper but unfortunately it gets you to the extremely undesirable combination of heavy weight and brittle/fracture prone that people have described about the OEM wheel compliment on Tesla's. One of the best investments you can make in your car is get a proper set of lightweight forged wheels. Whether you are going for the 18in max efficiency or the 20-inch Max performance or the sweet spot compromise of the 19in set up, the lightweight wheels will improve ride, acceleration (a little bit anyway) and appearance.
 

Gauss Guzzler

Member
Dec 27, 2020
444
548
Thousand Oaks, California
Almost all modern wheels are flow formed, OEM or aftermarket. Now that everyone has the rollers to do the forming it's actually cheaper than conventional casting.

The Model 3 has a fairly narrow 235 tire which means that the ultra low /35 profile yields a sidewall height of only 3.2" - quite unusual for a 4000lb car. If you're concerned with pothole/curb damage your best bet is to switch to 19" or even 18" wheels. There are no OEM options that fit perfectly on the 3P but there are many aftermarket options to choose from.
 

MaxwellN22

Member
Jul 12, 2021
133
76
Calgary
Almost all modern wheels are flow formed, OEM or aftermarket. Now that everyone has the rollers to do the forming it's actually cheaper than conventional casting.

The Model 3 has a fairly narrow 235 tire which means that the ultra low /35 profile yields a sidewall height of only 3.2" - quite unusual for a 4000lb car. If you're concerned with pothole/curb damage your best bet is to switch to 19" or even 18" wheels. There are no OEM options that fit perfectly on the 3P but there are many aftermarket options to choose from.

are you saying the Uberturbine is flow formed then?
 

Gauss Guzzler

Member
Dec 27, 2020
444
548
Thousand Oaks, California
Yes, Tesla has never made a forged wheel for the 3/Y and even the few forged wheels they do sometimes offer as upgrades for the S/X have been known to change from forged to flow formed at some point in the production run.

Note that Lexus only ever made 5000 ISF models during their entire 6 year production run. With those numbers it was probably cheaper to just let BBS carve the wheels out of solid bar stock than to go to all the trouble of making casting molds and flow form fixtures.

Tesla makes about 7000 Performance Model 3's a month, or about 900 performance wheels per day. Imagine how many machines would be needed to maintain a production rate of 1 wheel every 96 seconds!
 

MaxwellN22

Member
Jul 12, 2021
133
76
Calgary
Yes, Tesla has never made a forged wheel for the 3/Y and even the few forged wheels they do sometimes offer as upgrades for the S/X have been known to change from forged to flow formed at some point in the production run.

Note that Lexus only ever made 5000 ISF models during their entire 6 year production run. With those numbers it was probably cheaper to just let BBS carve the wheels out of solid bar stock than to go to all the trouble of making casting molds and flow form fixtures.

Tesla makes about 7000 Performance Model 3's a month, or about 900 performance wheels per day. Imagine how many machines would be needed to maintain a production rate of 1 wheel every 96 seconds!
Yes, Tesla has never made a forged wheel for the 3/Y and even the few forged wheels they do sometimes offer as upgrades for the S/X have been known to change from forged to flow formed at some point in the production run.

Note that Lexus only ever made 5000 ISF models during their entire 6 year production run. With those numbers it was probably cheaper to just let BBS carve the wheels out of solid bar stock than to go to all the trouble of making casting molds and flow form fixtures.

Tesla makes about 7000 Performance Model 3's a month, or about 900 performance wheels per day. Imagine how many machines would be needed to maintain a production rate of 1 wheel every 96 seconds!
You say nobody makes cast wheels anymore and Tesla doesn’t make forged wheels. Does that mean
 

MaxwellN22

Member
Jul 12, 2021
133
76
Calgary
Yes, Tesla has never made a forged wheel for the 3/Y and even the few forged wheels they do sometimes offer as upgrades for the S/X have been known to change from forged to flow formed at some point in the production run.

Note that Lexus only ever made 5000 ISF models during their entire 6 year production run. With those numbers it was probably cheaper to just let BBS carve the wheels out of solid bar stock than to go to all the trouble of making casting molds and flow form fixtures.

Tesla makes about 7000 Performance Model 3's a month, or about 900 performance wheels per day. Imagine how many machines would be needed to maintain a production rate of 1 wheel every 96 seconds!

Sorry, I'm having trouble following. So are the uberturbines flow formed in your opinion?
 

N54TT

Member
Aug 14, 2018
960
738
NY
I thought the 2021 20” were just as heavy as the 2018’s. If going by weight as indication….they are most likely cast and not flow formed. Definitely not forged.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,179
5,208
FL
I thought the 2021 20” were just as heavy as the 2018’s. If going by weight as indication….they are most likely cast and not flow formed. Definitely not forged.
They are a full two pounds heavier. 1/2 inch wider and I agree with you it's very unlikely that they're anything but cast
 

Gauss Guzzler

Member
Dec 27, 2020
444
548
Thousand Oaks, California
Guys, hardly anyone makes cast wheels anymore and certainly Tesla has never made one. Everything is "flow forged/formed" now which is still really cast, but they cast it with a small thick barrel and then stretch the barrel out to full size with rollers. It makes the casting process much easier since they only cast a thick-rimmed disc in a small mold instead of a thin-walled cylinder in a large mold.

And the weight of a wheel comes from the design, not the manufacturing method. Since forged material is stronger than cast it's possible to make a lighter wheel that's just as strong, but only if it's actually designed to be lighter. So by guessing the method by weight you are assuming that the wheels have been designed for weight optimization when in fact they are usually more optimized for aesthetics and producibility.

See all the ridges and zig-zags on the barrel of this Uberturbine for example - those come from the flow forming rollers. The barrel would be much simpler/smoother like this if it were cast or forged. Another telltale is that cast/formed wheels almost always have raised lettering inside the spokes whereas forged wheels never do.

IMG_2416r.JPG
 
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skylarracing

Member
May 25, 2021
15
6
United States
Cast. Cheaper but unfortunately it gets you to the extremely undesirable combination of heavy weight and brittle/fracture prone that people have described about the OEM wheel compliment on Tesla's. One of the best investments you can make in your car is get a proper set of lightweight forged wheels. Whether you are going for the 18in max efficiency or the 20-inch Max performance or the sweet spot compromise of the 19in set up, the lightweight wheels will improve ride, acceleration (a little bit anyway) and appearance.
"18in max efficiency or the 20-inch Max performance"

I've always wondering if we get more performance out of the car with a 20" wheel setup (more performance as in 0-60, 1/8 time, 1/4 time.)

Is that true?
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,179
5,208
FL
"18in max efficiency or the 20-inch Max performance"

I've always wondering if we get more performance out of the car with a 20" wheel setup (more performance as in 0-60, 1/8 time, 1/4 time.)

Is that true?
No you will have slightly quicker acceleration times with less rotational mass meaning 18in Wheels and 235 series tires that are as light as possible. Unfortunately handling won't be as good, but it's all trade-offs
 

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