World Rally Blue with Gold Wheels!

When I bought my World Rally Blue WRX, I knew it was only a matter of time before I got a set of obligatory gold wheels. And here they are!

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They are XXR 530 18x8.75 wheels. The tires are Michelin Pilot Super Sports (245/40/R18)

I chose these wheels b/c they are similar style-wise to the ones on the Launch Edition STI (except these are 7-pair spokes, not 5-pair spokes). They are also larger than the stock 17” wheels, so there’s plenty of room for larger brake discs/calipers. I track the car, and it’s a PITA to have to remove the calipers just to check/change the brake pads.

It’s worth noting that they are a much less saturated gold color than what appears in XXR’s online photo.

Installing them was a nightmare b/c neither XXR nor Subispeed (who I ordered the wheels from) bothered to mention all the additional crap you need to buy. I guess it would be common knowledge to anyone who has bought aftermarket wheels before, but it was my first experience, and I’m a bit pissed at both companies.

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But for those who are interested, here are the two things you need to do before you install a set of XXR 530 wheels:

First, you have to buy a set of hub centric rings. HCR’s allow the wheels to sit centered on the center bore of the rim. Basically, each manufacturer has a different diameter center bore, and aftermarket wheel companies deliberately make their wheels with an extra large hub hole so it can fit as many cars as possible. Unfortunately, this means you need to buy a little ring that pinches that hole down to the right diameter for your car so the wheels fit snuggly around the car’s center bore.

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For these wheels, you need a set of 73.1mm OD to 56.1mm ID hub centric rings. I recommend getting aluminum rings if you track the car, b/c plastic ones will crack under the extreme heat.

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Second, you need to buy narrow diameter aftermarket lug nuts. The holes in these wheels are super small, and the stock lugs won’t fit. The problem is that you need a 3/4” socket to get the stock lugs on/off, and the diameter of the socket is larger than the diameter of the holes in the aftermarket wheels. So even if the lugs fit, there’s no room for your torque wrench. Apparently this is a common problem with aftermarket wheels. It would have been nice if someone...cough...XXR...cough...Subispeed...had mentioned that ahead of time.

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The 2015 WRX requires 12 x 1.25 lugs. I bought a set from Next Level Motoring for several reasons. First, they are super narrow, perfect for the narrow holes in my XXR wheels. Second, the special 7-point star design acts as a wheel lock, and can’t be taken on/off without a special key adaptor (included with the set of lug nuts). Lastly, the key adaptor slots into a 3/4” socket...the exact same socket size required to get the stock lugs on/off.

Ok, now that you’ve bought rings and lugs, you’re ready to install your goddam wheels!

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And now I can finally enjoy my WRX in the rally colors it was always meant to have!

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