Forgestar Wheels strives to provide only the highest quality product. To help ensure this, Forgestar is a member of the SEMA Wheel and Tire Council, which is made up of various wheel companies who share the same goal of improving the quality of automotive light alloy wheels. Forgestar wheels are all rigorously tested and have all been proven to be only the highest quality wheels possible. Forgestar wheels have the following certifications:
Japan Light Alloy Wheel standard is the quality standard for Japan. The JWL standard is a set of performance requirements for alloy wheels which is overseen by the Japan Light Alloy Wheel Testing Council (TWTC) in Japan. Having this certification is a representation of a quality product due to the rigorous testing that takes place to receive it. It is required for all wheels in Japan and is set by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan.
- Dynamic Cornering Fatigue Test
- Dynamic Radial Fatigue Test
- Impact Test
VIA independently established a set of parameters to test and register wheels to JWL standards. Once VIA has tested and certified the wheels to JWL standards, it can bear the VIA stamp as well as the JWL mark, only then is it considered JWL Certified and VIA Registered.
To many people, driving is not only a modern day necessity but a source of enjoyment as well. For some, this passion is amplified thru racing. Nowadays, it is possible to access a racetrack without owning a specially prepared race car. Meanwhile, there are several avenues through which a driver can learn and practice high performance driving skills. Car clubs are popping up everywhere and many driving schools offer relevant specialized courses, offering interested individuals the opportunity to practice their newly acquired knowledge by using their regular cars.
It's not even mandatory to modify them –street cars can start racing with limited or stock modifications. In this context, it is common to experience track wear on certain car parts such as brakes, tires or suspension. However, often forgotten are that wheels are also consumable items just like everything else on a race car.
It is common to overlook how important it is to check wheels before and after every track day. In a professional setting, wheels are routinely checked during the race weekend, multiple times. What’s more, their total racing hours are logged and proactive stress tests are done on them periodically. Through these checks and inspections, the specialized staff will judge a wheel’s condition and conclude whether they should be replaced or not. On the contrary, amateur racing drivers don’t have the luxury of these checks. To the common driver’s knowledge, the wheel is not a critical part that endures high levels of stress, therefore it is not thought as component that can easily fail; unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth, especially in the context of track racing, where the wheels are put under greater stress, higher impact and stronger G-Force pressure.
Turning around corners while street driving causes the wheel to flex just a little. Taking into account regular street tires, this flexing is almost not existent. On the contrary, the combination of DOT-approved competition tires, which are almost identical to old racing tires, and high-speed turning during a race, produces a completely different result.
Competition tires are very stiff and have a much higher grip, resulting in much greater lateral forces compared to regular tires. As a result of their stiffness, most of the stress during turns is transferred to the wheel.
There are other factors adding to wheel fatigue while race driving. Think about all the limits we push when racing; turning tightly on the corners often takes us on the side curbing or the rumble strips. Sometimes we spin out or run off the track. Last but not least are the immense temperature changes resulting from braking, e.g., from an S-turn to a hairpin, and the continuous temperature shifting from the outside cool to the extremely hot brakes. These factors add in the deterioration of the wheel status.
Finally, wheel fatigue is also influenced by the number of times a set of tire and wheel is mounted and dismounted. Because street tires are expected to last longer than DOT competition tires, it is usual to replace them a lot more frequently, leading to an increased number of wheel dismounts and mounts, thereby further compromising their endurance.
It should be made clear that driving on track or participating in racing will violate your Forgestar product’s warranty.
Before anything else, make sure that your wheels are in prime condition and that the hardware used to install them is appropriate. All Forgestar wheels are designed to be hub-centric, meaning that the load disperses from the wheel’s center and outwards, resulting in a greatly improved force distribution during track driving. Sometimes a hub-centric ring will be needed. In such a scenario, never forget to check the hub-centric rings’ condition and ensure that their installation in the wheel is correct, as well as that they are properly sized to fit your vehicles hub- and wheel-bore.
As far as lug nuts and bolts are concerned, Forgestar wheels require non-OE-style lug nuts or bolts. It is imperative to ensure the lug has adequate thread engagement in relation to the vehicle’s mounting hub and the wheel. You need to ensure that lug nut does not bottom out on the vehicle stud. Otherwise, the wheel will need longer lug nuts. Although adequate engagement of the lug length is generally recommended going beyond the recommend length lug might interfere with the parking brake or other components on the inside of the vehicle hub.
After everything is checked, you should be ready to mount your Forgestar wheels. When installing on the vehicle, it is recommended to use a star tightening pattern (see diagram), and make sure the proper torque amount is reached for your car.
Following your track event, you should give your wheels a chance to cool down. Once cooled, wash both sides of the wheel. Then, take a good look of the wheel to spot cracks or impact damage. If you do notice any bends or cracks, proceed to replace the wheel to prevent it from failing in the future.
Inspecting your wheels to see if they are out of round is crucial, however, visual inspection can’t always be trusted. A good occasion for such an inspection is when you are changing tires. It has become common practice with many tire installers to laser-check run-outs with special equipment. Excessive run-outs signify that it’s time to replace the wheel.
Contrary to common belief, wheels constitute a crucial safety feature of your car; checking your wheels prior and after track events will massively decrease the possibility of them failing. Damage and cracks accumulate over time, evolving into weak spots. The harsh conditions and the increased stress of track driving can compromise these weaknesses, leading to total wheel failure.
Doing proactive checks of your Forgestar wheels will help them last longer, while also making your faster track times more enjoyable.