Jump to content


watanabe wheels, ebay, Adelaide


Recommended Posts

Mr Camouflage posted a link to these and the sellers' other set a couple of days ago.

I think the 6J size is not going to look too good on a Z, as the offset / backspacing is not really suited. The 6.5J would be OK though, as the offset backspacing in that width is ideal.

I have a set of 6.5J x 14 RS Watanabe 8-spokes, and they used to be fitted to my old everyday-driver Z. You can see what they looked like on the car here:

6.5j x 14 Watanabe on 73 240Z

Alan T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The 6" will not look so good because there isn't enough offset, is that the ammount of rim showing?

Watanabes are similar to Minilites/Superlite/Panasport? any major differences?

Watanabes are either magneseum or aluminium alloy?

Any help would be appreciated as may have a bid.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Nick,

Basically, what I'm describing as unsuitable is ( yes ) the amount of wheel rim that 'sticks out'............. On these particular wheels ( his 6J on the front - not the 6.5J on the rear ) the offset is either zero or 'positive'. That suits the smaller Nissan models, but not really the Z. I'm sure they would fit - but they just would not look as good as a wheel that has a bit more 'negative' offset. Its only my opinion, and should not put anyone off making a bid of they want to. Its only a visual consideration.

In my opinion ( and take that for what you will ) the R.S.Watanabe 8-spoke ( "Hachi-Spo" ) design looks better on an early Z when it starts getting a little wider than 6J. Watanabe made a bewildering amount of sizes and offsets in this design over the years ( yes - they started making wheels in the Sixties ) and have altered the design slightly for some sizes down the years too. I think a nice size for the early Z is 7J or 7.5J - and 15 inch is probably easier to find tyres for than 14 inch these days. 8J x 14 & 15 look tough, and once you get up to these sizes the 'negative offset' starts becoming more apparent. They really do look more deeply 'dished' - as we used to say.

The Minilite style changed over the years too, and some of the very early ones looked almost 'flat' too - with quite fat and round spokes. The ones they are making now look quite different to that. The Panasports are not my specialist area ( ask one of our American friends about those ) and I think the Superlites look rather 'heavy' with their 10 spokes and wide centre casting. These days you can also get the Compomotive "ML" design ( made in UK ) which, as its name suggests, is rather like the Minilite. The Watanabes have a spoke profile that is slightly peaked, and it helps it to look lighter and more airy ( I think so, anyway ). If you look at different sizes and offsets, they sometimes change the way and position that the spokes join the outer rim. As long as you keep them in pairs ( per axle ) then all is usually OK.

There have been a fair few other similar-looking Japanese wheels over the years too. Enkei made a very similar 8-spoked design in the mid-Seventies, and Black Racing ( BR ) also made a very similar design in the mid-Eighties while R.S.Watanabe were technically out of business.

The Watanabes have been made in both Aluminium alloy and Magnesium. Most of the time you tend to find the Aluminium ones for sale rather than the Mag ones. The Mag ones are immensely strong but brittle, whereas the Aluminium ones tend to bend and are easier to repair. Mag is probably not the best choice for everyday use.

Watanabe have gone bust and come back at least once to my knowledge ( maybe more than that ), and I'm pleased they are still making wheels. They are also pretty well in-touch with their heritage - which is good to see.

If you need more info then drop me a PM and I could try to put together some detail photos for you as reference?

To sum up ( and try to answer your main question ) - the more 'negative' the Offset - the more the wheel rim looks 'deeper' to the eye. 'Offset' and 'Backspacing' are essentially the same thing, and they are a measurement of the distance between the true centre line of the wheel and the hub mounting face at the rear of the wheel. Hope that makes sense.

All the best,

Alan T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Pity I can't afford the $700AUD each for a set of 16x7 F8s Watanabe's for my DR30 :(

And then the $650AUD freight cost to get them here.

I'll just have to stick with my 15x7 Superlites on my Z & perhaps a set of Gold/chrome Compomotive CXN's on the DR30 instead....


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.