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Dreaded Prior Owner
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Discussion Starter #1
The Lotus spare won't fit over the Hi-Spec 4 pot front brakes. With a .48" spacer it just barely clears the caliper. (pictured)

As the Lotus spare barely fits under the hood, It would appear I need to find/fabricate a .5"+ thick hub-centric spacer in order to use the spare, perhaps with longer lug bolts. Anyone been here, done that, and have a ready solution? I can make a spacer, but before I spend the time doing that I thought I'd ask the forum.

-A plus 1" spare wheel, perhaps a dreaded space-saver, from another car with the same bolt circle?

-Or can someone point me to one of the spacers used to mount the BMW wheels on the early car, that I could machine down to a hub-centric face and save time? I can cast one, or machine from billet, but an existing spacer would save steps.

And no, I don't trust the can of fix-a-flat to get me home, and in these dark North woods a cell phone works less than half the time.
 

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Super Moderator
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Wow! I thought I was the only guy thinking spare tire usage for Giugiaro Esprits.

For temp use wouldn’t those metal spacers I see at the car show vendors work? Strictly for limp home only?

I put a real tire on my 87 spare wheel not a spare tire. I originally tried a BMW 14” ‘bottle cap’ alloy wheel but it’s just a touch too big and will not go into front trunk.

Of course I don’t have the Hi spec problem but those car show spacers with longer lug bolts be easier?


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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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5,856 Posts
Wait, its a spare wheel How much heat would you generate stopping from the 50 MPH Max Speed on the spare's warning sticker???


Remember, the later V8s had the same issue with AP Brakes (spare could not be fitted, at least in the front). They needed to keep the spare in the nose however, or else they would have needed to re-crash test the cars...


Why not just forget about the spare, and carry a flat repair kit in the car? (puncture plug and 'flat-fix' goop)

For those catastrophic tire failures, a AAA card is needed. GRIN



(My wife's MY 2014 sports car has standard tires, tire goop & pump, and I enhanced that with a scissors jack and puncture repair kit. She's gonna call me anyway, though, I bet!)
 

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I put a real tire on the spare wheel so I can operate at (cough) higher speeds continuously above 50MPH.


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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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5,856 Posts
The 50 MPH limit was because the tire is smaller and would unexpectedly affect the handling. It's a liability thing, Duh.

The actual speed rating on the tire is S (but ours is 30 years old now, YIKES). I can only count on it to keep the front cross-member from scraping...but that might just be the rim holding the car up!?!?!?





Sorry, that <cough> is back, Eddie LOL Limp home, indeed.
 

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Dreaded Prior Owner
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722 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Same <cough>, same Rx->:)

I wouldn't trust an existing spacer on the highway unless it centered on the hub (~2.78"/70.6mm) and had a hub of it's own to center the spare. I'd be asking a lot of the cantilevered lug bolts to locate a wheel against dynamic loads. Maybe they're out there, but the counterbore would have to be close to the hub height. I thought I'd ask here before I went on a web search....
 

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Super Moderator
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I had a custom 5x108 50mm rear wheel
Adapter to use S4s OZ Futura wheels on my 88 Citroen- equipped Esprit ( OEM ET -20).

Any doubt to the strength of the adapter was put to rest when I put the car into a 4 wheel drift and also a rear wheel drift ( caught on dash cam no less). The adapter had no issues with those high side leadings.


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Yes the s rated Dunlop spare at 31 years old - that’s the other reason for real tire - fresh new and not marked for 50 MPH.


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snip







(My wife's MY 2014 sports car has standard tires, tire goop & pump, and I enhanced that with a scissors jack and puncture repair kit. She's gonna call me anyway, though, I bet!)


Ugh. You reminded me I screwed up.
My 2016 Chevy has run flats, no spare or jack.

So I smugly put puncture kit, tire sealant, lug wrench, and urethane jacking pucks in trunk, but forgot I may need a scissor jack to reach puncture if no room/ ability to roll car/tire into safe accessible position.

And while I do have AAA, sometimes it’s a time saver to have your own gear especially in remote areas.


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Having a spare is one thing. None of the road wheels will fit in the front compartment, so if you have a flat, you need to find a place for the flat tire. That usually means the passenger seat.
 

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I figure if front or rear wheel goes flat:
1. Remove spare and place on ground
2. Empty rear trunk and put contents in front trunk/bonnet.
3. Remove road wheel and put on spare wheel
4. Put road wheel in trunk (assuming OEM tire sizes)

That means your passenger isn’t SOL (surely out of luck).


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Most new cars no longer have spare tires. They have what they call a "Mobility Kit" consisting of a compressor and a can of sealant. The idea is that you pump the tire up and the sealant will seal the leak good enough to get you somewhere. Won't work if you hit a pothole and crash the rim or hit the sidewall and put a tear in the tire. Their answer for that is On Star or equivalent. From a lot of historic evidence, most people, even if they have a spare, will not attempt to change a tire. There is also some good evidence that changing a tire, especially at night, on the side of the road can be VERY dangerous. A lot of people get hit by drivers passing by. Get used to it. A full size spare is a thing of the past on most cars and now they are getting rid of it altogether. Think about it, if you make a million cars and you can save $50 because you no longer provide a spare tire you just increased your profits by $50,000,000!!!!!!! Very tempting. For our situation, if you take good care of your tires, check the pressures often, replace them if they are over 7 years old, and don't drive the car daily, the chances of having to put the spare on are very low.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Dreaded Prior Owner
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well I try to avoid buying cars w/o spares, unless McLaren has a fire sale! Most of my recent flats could probably been handled with a "mobility kit" but if I'm carrying a spare, I'm gonna want to use it. My flats are usually caused by metal hardware that does not care a whit how often I drive, check my pressures or replace my tires.

I have changed a tire at dusk on the Cross Bronx Expressway and have a vivid memory of a Greyhound bus blowing by as I jacked and wrenched on a drivers side flat.

I picked up some used BMW 15mm 5x120 spacers, and will bore one out, press in and weld a center tube that I can machine to the proper hub diameters and keep it with the existing spare for the time being.

BUT- Mission creep has me now looking at the 17" BMW style 42 wheels and thinking about offsets and 12mm x 1.50 adapters for the future unavailability of 15" tires. Feel free to encourage me with design info.....
 

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[snip]

BUT- Mission creep has me now looking at the 17" BMW style 42 wheels and thinking about offsets and 12mm x 1.50 adapters for the future unavailability of 15" tires. Feel free to encourage me with design info.....
You and I are on the same wavelength.

https://www.carsaddiction.com/en/wheels/BMW/Style-42

Note at this URL there are 2 17x8 wheels with ET 20 and ET 47 - the ET 20 would be best if you're trying to stick closer to OEM ET (smaller adapters/spacers.

I had a chance to buy these wheels for only $400 for a set of 4 but the offsets were unknown and the seller sold them without telling me what the ET.

Lastly, I want to use run flat tires - after my Chevy run flat hit a huge piece of metal at 70 MPH - I was able to safely drive 25 miles (at 70 MPH - yes - I should have done 50 MPH, but not safe to do so) and get to a tire shop. They didn't have a replacement and I shelled out $250 for a non-run flat but got me back home (120 miles one way) .

The utility and safety of run flat has me convinced. Yes - it's heresy to put run flats on a 32 year old Esprit, but I don't push it hard enough to warrant tires closer to the handling spectrum. I do more high speed freeway cruising than mountain switchbacks.

So I can't find 15" run flats for my OEM BBS Mahles; trying to get 16" Mahles as I can get run flats in better sizes. But 16x8 Mahles hard to find or expensive on eBay.

May just get run flats on my 17" Fikse wheels as the sizes are readily available.
 

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Dreaded Prior Owner
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
It appears the 01-03 530i (525i?) ran a 17x8" 20mm offset front and a 17x9" 26mm offset rear in the style 42. (w/ Sport Kit?) perhaps run the rears on ~50mm adapters? But it could be that the small early G-car wheel well won't take a 8" rim & tire combo very well. I need to go search the forums, I'm sure someone has done this swap.
 

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It appears the 01-03 530i (525i?) ran a 17x8" 20mm offset front and a 17x9" 26mm offset rear in the style 42. perhaps the fronts could be bored to 14mm lugs and the rears run on ~50mm adapters? But it could be that the small early wheel well won't take a 8" rim & tire combo very well. I need to go search the forums, I'm sure someone has done this swap.
The info below is from my 'garage' - a previous owner gave me the details of my Fikse 17" wheels on my 87 Giugiaro Esprit.

Short answer: Yes - a 17x8" with 20mm offset should fit on front.
My rear is 17x9 but with a -25.5 mm offset due to its custom nature.
Definitely BBS Style 42 rear wheel with ET 26 will require a 50 (56) mm adapter if you want the OEM offset maintained.


My Fikse front wheel is 17x8.5" with 20 mm offset. Note that I am running only a 205/45-17 tire (not 215/15-17 as originally on my car). No rubbing.

4/29/2017 - reference for the Fikse wheels from a previous owner:


OEM FRONT
*Size = 15x7 with 195/60-15
*OEM Offset = Positive +23.3

OEM REAR
*Size = 15x8 with 235/60-15
*OEM Offset = Negative -20.0

Fikse FRONT
*Size = 17x8½" with 215/45-17
*Offset = Positive +20.3

Fikse REAR
*Size = 17x9" with 255/45-17
*Offset = Negative -25.5

1987 Esprit Measurements:
*FRONT Spigot 71.0 mm diameter 11.5 mm thick
*REAR Spigot 71.0 mm diameter 10.0 mm thick
*Bolt Pattern 5x120 - front and rear
*Center Bore 71 mm - front and rear
*Heat Shield 135 mm from mount plate to heat shield*
 

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Premium Member
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358 Posts
Good post as it never once occurred to me the check the fitment of my spare wheel/tire since the installation of the PNM (HiSpec) 4 pot calipers on my car.
 

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Bob, I am in the same situation as you regarding spare fitment. I have the same HySpec brake calipers on the front and have never dealt with the spare issue. I will carry a can of tire seal and I do carry a tire plug kit but I would rather not have to go that route if possible. If you come up with a solution please keep me in mind. If you go the route of machining a spacer I would gladly throw my hat in the ring if you get an additional one made for me - of course I would pay and reimburse you for your time and effort.

Tom Mieczkowski
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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You guys are pessimists. Your header tanks are ALWAYS half-empty, I bet. (Mine is always half-full!)
 

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Dreaded Prior Owner
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Discussion Starter #20
Good post as it never once occurred to me the check the fitment of my spare wheel/tire since the installation of the PNM (HiSpec) 4 pot calipers on my car.
Oh, it occurred to me years ago when I put on the brakes and I put the dark thought out of my mind immediately. But I had the wheels off this week to look at the shocks and suppressed memories came rushing back....


My header tank is supposed to be always full, the recovery tank is half empty!
 
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