Before I get into today’s post, a quick note on Park and Polish coverage; I had said I was planning on having the photos up by now (on ThreeTwenty) but instead they will be split between here and ill.motion (iM). I was asked if I could provide some photos for iM as I have done a few times before, and of course I agreed. Rather than randomly dividing the photos between the two sites I wanted some sort of logical split and I think I came up with that. I apologize for the delay but I hope you understand and enjoy checking out the photos once they’re posted! Thanks to ill.motion for once again allowing me to help out.
In the time following Park and Polish we have kept fairly busy with car-related activities, and Saturday in particular was an exciting day. Zero Limit, Jackie’s shop at which the Focus has been worked on a few times before (i.e. exhaust install) just moved into a new location and I was eager to check it out. I had already stopped by once to drop off decals but I was only in for a few minutes. This time I’d be staying longer because Jackie was going to swap some tires for me, and Mario was heading over to help and hang out as well. Even though we’ve already had snow this season I wasn’t having Jackie swap on a set of winters but rather swap my existing summers…onto new wheels!
Yes, the Tarmacs were about to come off. I was leaving the white wheel club too, which I’ll admit I was a little upset about as I really liked how the white wheels looked on the sedan. That was okay though, the new wheels were worth it.
Ta-da! Rays Gram Lights 57DRs in Gun Blue. I think as far as unwrapping parts goes, unwrapping wheels is probably the best. I bought these used from an ST owner in the US, though they’re essentially in brand-new condition. One wheel had a small scratch on a spoke which was touched up, but especially for the price I couldn’t complain. 57DRs in our bolt pattern are pretty rare so to come across a set for sale was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. Plus I had actually wanted these before I bought the Tarmacs, so it wasn’t an impulse buy.
Due to their construction and slightly smaller size, the Rays weigh less than the Tarmacs. Less weight means better performance. Better performance means better lap times. Better lap times….won’t be seen as we don’t actually have a track. But they look awesome. Let’s go with that. Seriously though, shedding a few pounds will be nice regardless of seeing track time or not.
After I amazingly got onto the alignment rack without scraping anything (!) the car was raised and the Tarmacs were pulled off. The 57DRs are slightly narrower (8.5″ vs 9.5″) but the existing Federals would fit so I was reusing them. No sense buying new tires when I could just have these mounted.
Here you can see the difference in widths between the two wheels. The old valve stems were still in the Rays so we swapped the sensors over from the Tarmacs. That was something Mario and I could do while Jackie was operating the tire machine. Teamwork!
Before long Jackie had the tires mounted and everything balanced and we promptly put them on the car so we could finally see the Focus’ new look. It’s amazing how wheels can have such a big impact. Note that the Fatlace valve stem cap is on in this photo; we all quickly agreed that they didn’t look right on the new wheels so they were promptly swapped out for standard black caps.
So far some people have been upset that the Tarmacs were taken off, others have asked to buy them, and some even thought they were sold already. They actually aren’t going anywhere and you’ll be seeing more of them sooner or later. As for seeing more of the Focus with the Rays installed, that’s to come a bit later too.
As a final note we will be at the Grey Eagle meet tonight, so head on over if you’re free! There won’t be many more this year. I may just happen to have a few free decals on hand too.