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Thread: Beating a dead horse: 15" wheels on Mazda5

  1. #1
    Registered Member 1987cp's Avatar

    2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport

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    Beating a dead horse: 15" wheels on Mazda5



    After looking at lots of new and used wheels online and realizing how clueless that left me, I finally got around to making a measurement of my own, using materials from my own stash of junk. After removing the tire from an old Crown Victoria steel wheel (15x7ish, zero offset), I found that it would not quite bolt down on the MZ5 front hub (sat maybe 1/8" proud of the mounting surface), but it bolted down nicely with a 7/16" wheel spacer I happened to have. Since the wheel was greasy, it was easy to identify the areas where it scraped the brake caliper (see pic).

    The smaller ID area of the wheel, where the welded center attaches, is about 13". (measuring with a tape measure - a big digital caliper would of course be better)

    The ID at the bead seat is a little over 14.5" (as one would expect).

    In between, the ID is maybe 14.25". This would seem to be the area that cleared the brakes with the 7/16" wheel spacer in place.

    Measuring from a straightedge laid across the wheel lip, the scraped area is about 1/2" inboard of the wheel mounting surface (4" backspace, 3.5" to scraped area).

    One thing I have not done is to measure with a straightedge how far inboard the corner of the caliper is from the actual hub flange, but this is at least more info than I had before!

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  2. #2
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    Mazda5

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    Been there, spare the horse

    I went through this last summer too when I was looking for a cheap set of aluminum wheels to mount some winter tires.

    The following is info just to find cheap, used replacement wheels like the 2012 5 stock set up. If you want fancy or big wheels this will help too.

    Short answer: anything rear wheel drive will not work, that goes 2x for the Crown Vic wheels.

    Check here. Just plug in your year and model. Write down the sizes that will fit in bold, USDM only.

    There are plenty of wheels that will "fit" but unless they have the the right measurements they could make the car handle badly, wear the bearings, wear the tires or rub the fenders. In truth most wheels won't fit, other than most Mazda 3 or 5 wheels. Kia and Hyundai wheels are usually good too.

    Lots of math comes with this process. But here's what you need to look for to find a wheel that will fit.

    Wheel Bolt pattern: MUST be 5 x 114.3mm exactly. This rules out anything with 4 lugs and most honda wheels.

    Wheel size: 6.5Jx16 ET52.5 or 6.5x17 ET52.5. The 6.5 is the wheel width in inches, the 16 (or 17) is the wheel diameter in inches, and the ET52.5 tells us that the offset is +52.5mm. All these numbers dont have to be exact, but need to be pretty close. The closer the better.

    Center Bore is CB= 67.1mm. This should be exact, but you might be able to go a few mm bigger, not smaller.

    Now plug that info into the wheel size website under the search by wheel size tab, and you will see the cars that have wheels that fit yours.

    I ended up getting some used 2002 Hyundai Tiburon wheels. They fit great and were super cheap used.

  3. #3
    Registered Member 1987cp's Avatar

    2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport

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    Likely depends on the year Crown Vic, actually. This wheel was zero offset from an '80s model, but '03+ used a positive offset wheel. Of course, one can't go -2 with that since Vics went to 16" wheels starting in '98 to clear larger front brakes.

    Agreed that I'm thinking more along the lines of a Mazda3 or Kia Forte wheel if four of them can be found cheaply - will test-fit without buying if possible. I noticed the cheaper aftermarket wheels for FWD almost all have more like +40mm offset (okay, but not perfect) and a larger center bore FWIW. It is certainly amusing to note how many cars have used the 5x115mm bolt pattern, and to read arguments of guys trying to decide whether that's actually OK on a 5x114.3 hub!

    ..............................


    Meanwhile: it's not a -2 like I'd really like, but I did just score a deal on some stock 16" Mazda5 wheels - allegedly with TPMS sensors included, FWIW. These things seem to be few and far between, I'm guessing because comparatively few "Sport" models seem to have been sold, and of course the "T" and "GT" came stock with 17" sports car tires. Some good used 205/55/16 Altimax tires arrived today, and I think the wheels will be arriving tomorrow. 15" project will have to wait for another time!
    Last edited by 1987cp; 06-27-2018 at 09:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered Member 1987cp's Avatar

    2012 Mazda5 Touring; 2016 Mazda3 Sport

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    Before: Trying too hard to be a sports car, twitchy handling, nasty thuds over our local roads, getting tire blisters about every 5000 miles.

    After: More-normal modern car, but most people won't notice any difference. That's kind of fun, somehow. I'm really enjoying the handling, actually - it reminds me of when I had 255/60/15 Radial T/As on 15x8 wheels on my '87 Colony Park.


    The TPMSes (sp?) that came on the "new" wheels seem to work, since I have yet to have the warning light on at all. TPMS rebuild kits were $3 each at O'Reillys, and installation was scarcely more trouble than a 195/70/14 on steel rims with normal valve stems. The finish was kind of nasty on three out of four of the wheels, so I touched it up with the end of an old can of wheel paint. This didn't turn out so well - I will have to a least polish them a little bit at some point, maybe spray them again from a new can of paint, and possibly strip and repaint someday.


    Plan to have them balanced at a tire shop one of these days, since right now I don't need to add a cheapie wheel balancer to my already-cluttered garage!
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    Last edited by 1987cp; 07-14-2018 at 11:41 PM.

  5. #5
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    2009 Mazda 5 GT - 5-speed MT

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    Thanks for checking this out - I was unhappy with the stock 205/50-17 wheel/tire combination, and liked the winter set-up (205/55-16) a lot better. I considered moving to 15" alloy wheels for the 3-season tires, but wondered about interference with the calipers.

    Anyway, I played it safe and went with used 205/55-16 Mazda alloys from a wrecker. Bought new Pirelli Cinturato A/S+ tires, and am very happy with the ride. Moving from the 'rubber band' 17"ers doesn't seem to have hurt the handling at all, and I don't think 15"ers would improve the ride further.

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