Wheels and tires are the perfect finishing touches for your project or an excellent way to start the process to take your car on a magical journey from boring to built. At ECS Tuning, we have a pretty solid lineup of wheels from the best manufacturers for you to choose as the right fit for your Audi, BMW, MINI, Porsche, or Volkswagen. However, buying wheels and tires is a lengthy, difficult, and mathematical process that is only compounded when you have to buy wheels and tires from different places. While we have the wheel choices most places that sell tires can’t offer, you would have to know what exact sizes you need, do all the legwork, and then place separate orders at different companies with different shipping times, then have the wheels mounted, balanced, and installed, and all that time, you’re just waiting to enjoy your new wheel setup. Things are different, now, though. At ECS, we are proud to introduce our wheel and tire program that gives you the instant gratification and peace of mind you need when buying wheels and tires. Today, we’re going to break down what it looks like inside our wheel and tire program.
Whether you just need a set of wheels with winter tires to get you through the cold season, a new set for your daily with some old standard all-seasons, or are looking for the neck-breaking setup with some sticky summer tires, the ECS Wheel and Tire program has you covered. Here’s how it works:
Pick your wheels. Any wheels you want at ECS, whether they are listed in the program under your car’s fitment, or a specific set you don’t see, just give our sales reps a call. Any wheels we can get, we can pair with your choice of tires. Of course, we have already done the legwork with specific fitments for high-volume models, but if you have a set of tires we offer in a size you need and a set of wheels you absolutely want, we can make that happen. So either select your vehicle and pick a set we have already worked out for perfect fitment, or select your choice of wheels, your choice of tires, and have a sales rep set up the mounting and shipping for you.
Let’s say you have decided on a set of Alzor 621 wheels for your VW and our recommended tires. Now that you have made the order and are eagerly awaiting your assembled wheel and tire package, what’s happening on our end?
We take the wheels from the shelves if they are in stock, or have them delivered, where they are then staged in our Research and Development center with your tires awaiting their mount and balance process. That’s when our R&D tech, Cory King, the same technician responsible for installing and product testing our in-house developed performance upgrades, takes the wheel and tire combos and proceeds to expertly mount and balance your wheels before packaging them in our specifically purposed packaging and staging area of the warehouse in special care.
So what equipment do we use? We know one of the biggest fears with new wheels is your chosen tire shop marring or scuffing the wheels when they mount your new tires and balance them. Other fears include improper balancing or even improper shipping packaging that can leave you waiting even longer for those issues to be remedied before you can enjoy your new wheels and tires on your car.
We use the state-of-the-art wheel and tire equipment provided by CEMB. Our leverless, center-lock, semi-automated tire changer is the safest way to mount tires, as no tire bars are required. Cory never has to touch the wheel or tire other than to place it around the wheel before mounting, as the Delrin Robo-rollers and Robo-assist-arm do all the pressing for him without risking any damage to the wheel, while the leverless mount/demount head allows the tire to slip easily into its bead seats. Then, the freshly mounted wheel and tire combo are transferred to our CEMB digital balancer for a precise balance that uses L A S E R S to ensure your weights are in the exact perfect locations for that sweet balance. Of course, this process includes a check-spin that can detect any residual imbalance. As the expert behind the wheel and tire equipment who had a hand in some of the development behind these exact machines in my previous job at COATS, I can speak to a high degree about what that residual imbalance is.
When a wheel and tire assembly is balanced, what the machine is actually doing is counterbalancing the existing imbalance in a wheel and tire combo. By reading the imbalance as the wheel and tire combo spins on the arbor across Piesos, that detect the slight variation in a wheel’s rotation, called static, dynamic, and couple imbalance, the machine is able to counter that balance with appropriate amounts of weights on the T1 (tape 1) and T2 (tape 2) inboard and outboard locations. The static imbalance is the ‘hop’ of a wheel, the dynamic is the side to side ‘wobble.’ A digital spin balancer is able to detect and counter both. A precise spin balancer will detect the third type of imbalance, couple imbalance, which is the combination of the two other imbalances that can be left out of a traditional balance. This is not always an imbalance present, but it can be, which is why the check-spin is so important. That check spin makes sure there isn’t any imbalance leftover by countering it should the machine find it.
After a precise balance, your wheel and tire combos are now ready to get strapped and packed carefully for shipping. They are individually packed between two layers of cardboard, ensuring no metal-to-metal contact with anything in the shipping carrier’s truck, wrapped by our packing machine in plastic packing strips, and then surrounded by more packing material before being put on the truck for the safest trip to your doorstep. Now, you don’t have to worry about your wheels experiencing any damage in shipping or spend extra time finding a tire shop you trust to expertly mount and balance your wheels correctly without damaging your precious metals. Not only that, but since we pack them as individual wheel and tire combos, they are much lighter for the carrier to bring them from the truck to your door, further lowering the risk they mishandle your new wheels.
With this process, you are able to receive your brand new wheels and tires ready to mount on your car. No waiting, test fitting, or math required. We deliver your favorite wheels with the right tires in all the right sizes, expertly mounted and balanced, safely at your doorstep. So, whether you are getting ready for a snowy winter, need something for your daily driver, or are looking for the final touches to your build, we have you covered at ECS.