So you're wheel shopping for the project and you get overwhelmed by the number of options?
Not only is there tons of options, there's different construction types and between the two basic construction types, there's a large price variance. What gives?
(CCW D240 3pc Forged)
Let's break it down real quick so you can narrow down your choices a bit.
In this little diddy, we're not going to get into multi piece race wheels or different material types.
We're strictly going to compare forged aluminum versus cast aluminum for the sake of simplicity.
(XXR 521 Flat black cast wheel)
So, lets first define what each construction type is...
Cast aluminum wheels are constructed by pouring/injecting/forcing molten aluminum into a mold and then cooling to form the solid wheel.
Depending on the wheel's design, they are then machined, painted and/or polished as the design calls for.
(CCW 3pc Classics with a gloss black lip and satin black center)
Forged aluminum wheels are machined from a one piece billet of aluminum instead of using molten materials.
This process prevents the inconsistencies in the material that are common to the casting process due to impurities and imperfections that occur in the pouring and cooling process.
Forged wheels typically are at least two pieces consisting of a wheel hoop and a machined center.
(fifteen52 Cast Formula GT)
There's a big price difference between the two based on material quality and the labor involved in constructing the wheels.
The casting process is much more less labor intensive and the material cost is cheaper, resulting in a lower consumer cost in most cases.
Forged wheels require more expensive large billets and expensive machinery to cut as well as final assembly for multi piece wheels.
The sky is the limit in regards to price depending on the size, material and intricacy of the design.
(Weld RTS Forged)
So what's the pros and cons of each type?
-More Consistent Quality
-More Sizing Options for Custom Applications
-Much More Expensive
-Build to Order/Wait Time
-Built in Common Sizes for Popular Vehicles
-Weight Varience from wheel to wheel
(JNC021 Matte Bronze Cast Wheel)
So what's right for you?
Well, simply put, if you're building up a car you intend to be hard on, such as a drift car, and will be brutalizing wheels cast may be your speed.
Daily driver duty where the car sees a ton of time on the road as well. It's much cheaper to beat on a cast wheel with pot holes.
If you've got the budget and want custom sizing on your show car or light weight race wheels for your strait line monster or corner carver, forged wheel construction provides a wide away of options so that you can precisely design your car's footprint for performance purposes or that perfect look.