You’ve finally got the car or truck of your dreams and now it’s time to find the ultimate set of wheels for it – when you start looking at all the best builds, it seems they are all on custom billet wheels – why? The answer is simple – billet wheels give you the ultimate in customization! Fitment, finish, style – there’s almost no limit to how they can be built – so let’s discuss what you’ll need to know before you decide to buy a set of custom built billet wheels. 

The majority of custom wheels today are cast aluminum – molten aluminum is poured into a mold and the wheel is done. Some cast wheels are cast without the bolt pattern or a final backspace – we have a CNC machine that we use to drill the bolt pattern and machine the back of the wheel to a requested offset or backspace. But there’s a limit in how much material you can remove so while there is some customization available, there’s only so many millimeters of material that can be removed safely. Rotary Forged wheels are another type of cast wheel that is machined in an effort to reduce weight and increase strength, but this process doesn’t allow for more customization – so the wheels are made to fit multiple fitments. An example would be a 19×8.5 inch wheel in a 35mm offset – this will fit anything from an Accord to a Mustang – sure it’s a great looking wheel, but once you start walking around the Mustang it becomes obvious that there’s been a compromise when it comes to filling out the wheel well. So let’s agree that if you’re building a one of a kind vehicle and you’re not going to pick some off the shelf wheels that you are going to see on a common car.

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Another option is to have some multi-piece wheels built. These are usually highly customizable as they usually have a billet center and the barrel can be one or two pieces. This style of wheel was highly imitated (anyone remember the Axis Mod7?)and can usually be identified with a ring of rivets (fake on cast wheels) where the center and inner and outer parts of the barrel are bolted together.

(TSW Ascari, a single piece wheel that imitates a multi-piece wheel).

So the centers were usually built and sitting on a shelf, and the customer could dictate the fitment with widths of the inner and outer, giving the wheel more or less offset (and that super important lip depth!). Some centers can be chosen with a slightly different shape (more or less concave or convex) to give more fitments, but there’s still a limited range of fitments that can be built – and don’t get us started on the leaks that haunt the nightmares of multi-piece wheel owners!

But the ultimate is the custom billet wheel – it’s forged from a single piece of aluminum and machined to what we will call fitment perfection. It does take a good bit of measurement and knowledge to get the fitment to be millimeter perfect – but when you are building a car or truck and want it to be a true standout it’s the details that make all the difference! So first you’ll need the fitment, then you have to find the wheel! That’s where custom billet wheels from manufacturers like Boyd Coddington Wheels and Schott Wheels can help you achieve perfection! A billet wheel can be made to almost any width and offset combination, not to mention the most subtle finish combinations. So that Chevy C10 with the Corvette drivetrain you want to build with 22×15 inch rear wheels is not a pipe dream, it can be sitting in your driveway! That doesn’t mean billet wheels are just for extreme custom builds, you can also get a set for your Hellcat or 2023 Camaro, and get a fitment that the cast wheel companies won’t do because they are afraid the fitment is too “aggressive”. Remember, those companies want something safe and off the shelf, so they leave a lot of room for variations between vehicle fitments. You can’t “match” someone else’s build because there will be some variation between the two custom cars, so what can you do?

That’s where the experts at Performance Plus can help you build the wheel and tire package of your dreams. We have been in business since 1972, so you know our sales team has tons of experience measuring and building custom wheel packages for daily drivers and full restmod builds. You can create a package on the website using the custom vehicle in the My Account section of the website. 

This lets you create a customized car with your own custom fitment and see all the wheels that fit. Want to talk to us in person? We go to shows across the country every year (check our calendar of events!), or you can stop into our Automotive Superstore in Long Beach, CA or just call us and get the right advice on your build.

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