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Aside from the number of bolts, will Lotus Elise rims fit Tesla Roadster?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by TOBASH, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    Re-drilling rims for 5 holes is not hard for a machine shoppe to do.

    I'm concerned about the offset and diameter of the wheels.

    Aside from the 4 vs five holes, are there other size differences?

    TIA,

    T
     
  2. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I think the offset and diameter are the same. The problem is you can't drill 5 holes where there are now 4 without coming too close to the original holes. You end up creating stress concentrations that don't cause any problems at first but then one day your wheel falls off.
     
  3. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    The other way around is to swap out the rotors and axle bearings with 4 hole units, OR redrill the Tesla units to accept Lotus wheels., but that requires TIG welding the spinner to re-enforce the (new) bolt-lug holes.

    Adapter plates won't work due to offset issues.

    I have absolutely drilled these types of rim issues before for other vehicles. On occasion I have TIG welded the unused holes shut and refinished the paint.

    It depends where the holes are as far as failure points. If the four holes are at the same diameter as the TESLA holes, the spacing will be acceptable as at least 3 bolts will be solid (the 12 O'clock is used as is, the 5 O'clock and 7 O'clock holes will be strong, and the 2:30 and 9:30 holes will be a bit weak.

    If all 4 Lotus holes are at a differing diameter, then there is trouble and TIG welding for re-enforcement is necessary.

    This is all IMHO. Your mileage may vary.

    I guess I now need to find out diameter and spacing of Lotus Elise rims.

    Best,

    T
     
  4. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    They went with 5 bolts instead of 4 due to the extra weight and torque. I wouldn't want to use 4 bolt rotors and wheels.

    Tig welding alloy rims is dicey at best. If you've done it, my hat's off to you. It's easy to warp the rims. I've also heard forged rims are weakened in the process. Personally I like the Tesla forged rims and wouldn't want anything else, so I'm not motivated like you are. It seems like a lot of work and risk.
     
  5. jeremyz

    jeremyz Member

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    I agree with hcsharp that it's probably a bad idea to weld aluminum rims (assuming you don't heat treat it after welding).
    6061 aluminium alloy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    6061 is highly weldable, for example using tungsten inert gas welding (TIG) or metal inert gas welding (MIG). Typically, after welding, the properties near the weld are those of 6061-O, a loss of strength of around 80%. The material can be re-heat-treated to restore -T4 or -T6 temper for the whole piece. After welding, the material can naturally age and restore some of its strength as well.
     
  6. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    Understood and thanks
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    First, my hat is off to anyone who skillfully welds in aluminum - you're a better man, woman or child than I!

    Second, let me chime in on the side of the doubters by posing and asking the following:

    were you to do this, and then, down the road, consider selling your Roadster, would you tell the interested purchaser what you had done to the rims?

    If your answer is No, then I think we have concluded this thread.

    If your answer is Yes, then, speaking for myself, I would have no further interest in the vehicle unless it were lowered to reflect the price of NIB/NOS/OEM rims.

    (on edit: written prior to the immediate prior post being shown).
     
  8. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    Why would you want to do this? If you go over the the Elise forums, you'll find thread after thread of people trying to replace their 4-lug hubs with 5-lug hubs. They're constantly looking for parts; some even looking for Tesla hubs or trying to source the same part. There seem to be many more 5-lug options.

    If, however, you want a Lotus wheel, maybe look at the Evora. It's a 5-lug, but I'm not sure about the spacing or offset.
     
  9. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    I think you misunderstand...

    I want a cheaper rim option for something I can beat the crap out of in NYC during pothole season.

    I don't want to ruin my TESLA stock rims.

    I want a Winter and Summer rim option that is cheap/affordable, because NYC streets and sidewalk curbs are unforgiving.

    I'm looking to expand my options.

    Thanks,

    T
     
  10. shrink

    shrink Member

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    I know I was trying to organize that aftermarket rim group buy a couple of months ago that seemed to have fizzled out, but what about the stock cast aluminum wheels? They're relatively inexpensive at $1000 a set. No messing with custom rims:

    Shop Tesla Gear Cast Aluminum Wheel Set
     
  11. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Aha! We have new news that casts a whole different light on the subject. Go for it!
    Or go with Shrink's project.
     
  12. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    It would seem the new Lotus Elise and Exige rims in Europe (as Lotus lost its exemption to sell here), have a 5 bolt star pattern.

    Assuming the bolts are on the same spacing as Tesla, we may have many more options in the coming few years.

    Best,

    T
     
  13. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I have a feeling the offset will be off. Our best bet is to have someone drive to the TireRack's corporate store so they can see what rims will work with the current offset, bolt pattern, etc. They've offered to do the research and help us out, just nobody has driven there. If someone lives close by that'd be great if you could stop by, I believe they're in Illinois.
     
  14. shrink

    shrink Member

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  15. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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  16. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    I'm no where near. Over 750 miles, or about 4 charges away.
     
  17. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    You can search out my postings re MOMO (all 4) and Pontiac G6 (rear only) rims that fit the Roadster 2.0. Readily available, cheap and rugged. Plus your Roadster probably already has one MOMO wheel. :smile:
    --
     
  18. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    Why won't Pontiac G-6 rims fit in the front of a Roadster?

    Best,

    T
     
  19. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Roadster has staggered wheels fore vs aft.

    Sounds like the MOMOs are just what you need. Cheap & rugged.
    --

    (posted from the wilds of upstate NY)
     
  20. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    wycolo, what do you mean by staggered? Different sizes front and back? Different oofset front and back? Different offset side to side?

    I have never heard the term staggered used with wheel fitment.

    Thanks,

    T
     

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