Tips for Measuring for Big Brakes
February 10, 2020
So you've saved up some money for new wheels! You're so excited to finally be able to get your ride added to our gallery!
But wait, will your wheels actually fit?
Maybe you bought a Genesis Coupe, 370z, or Evo and you got the big, beautiful Brembo brakes! That's great! But those beefy boys are going to require some special attention if you want to be able to fit some new wheels on your ride.
So today, we're going to give you some tips on measuring your next set of wheels to make sure that they'll be able to work with your big brakes.
1. Common Issues
So the first thing to keep in consideration is the offset that the wheels that you are looking at have. Offset can be overlooked pretty often.
Simply put, anything with a higher offset or anything that pulls the face of the wheel in towards the car more is typically where we see this issue start to arise. Typically wheels with a lower offset will have either a deeper concave or more of a spoke clearance that will help clear the bigger calipers.
Next, is the overall design of the wheel you're looking at. Some wheels like the ESR SR08 have a little extra room behind the spokes that can easily accommodate a larger brake caliper.
We also see people run into an issue with the actual barrel of the wheel coming into contact with their brakes as well. Now usually this is gonna be when swapping to either a larger diameter brakes set-up or downsizing the overall diameter of the wheel causing that barrel becoming closer to the top of the brake caliper.
2. How to Know If Your Wheels Will Fit
Well, the best way to find out is actually pretty simple. Break out the digital micrometer and start measuring.
- Start by using the hub surface as your main point of reference.
- Measure from the hub surface to the bottom of the caliper
- Then from the hub to the top of the caliper
- Then from the hub to the face of the caliper
- Measure any other points that may be sticking out that may make contact.
3. You Did It! What's Next?
Well, you have a few options:
A. If you're looking to upgrade your brakes and are worried about the clearance with your existing wheels, you can take those measurements and create a template to cut out and use to see if you're going to have any issues.
This is a pretty simple way to get a good idea of how the wheels will fit with bigger brakes behind them and can also help you narrow down your options when shopping for a big brake kit.
B. If you're looking at a set of wheels for an already existing big brake set-up you can usually get all of the measurements and all of the distances and everything that you need from the actual wheel manufacturer.
Many people don't know that you can do this but a lot of manufacturers will have the measurements you need readily available to make sure that your wheels will fit before you open up your wallet.
C. Finally, you can simply break out your phone and do some research. Chances are, you are not the first one to put new wheels on your type of car with a big brake kit or vice versa.
Don't know where to start? Well, you can head on over to our gallery and take a look at what other people with your same car are running and whether or not they needed spacers or any other kind of modification.
Otherwise, you can just Google it, honestly. There are hundreds of car forums all over the internet so it is likely that there is a forum for your car and someone may have already measured the correct size of wheels that you need for your brakes.
The issue of big brake clearance may seem like a daunting problem when you first get into it or when you first start to think about it. However, it's not too bad at all and there's plenty of resources out there for you to use and this issue really only comes into play a lot of the time when looking to go with like a custom set-up.
If we can give you one final piece of advice, it's this.
Measure like 1000 times
Don't just measure once and assume you got it right. Quadruple check to be sure and then check one more time for good measure (pun intended). The last thing you want to happen is to go order a custom set of wheels only to have them not fit.
Now get out there and measure, measure, measure. Those big brakes are worth it!