Project Honda EJ Civic, Footwork by Enkei and Nitto
By Mike Kojima
Photos by Joe Lu
Our project Civic has been getting a lot of attention in the suspension department and we had to make sure we upgraded our wheels and tires to something more aggressive to take advantage of our chassis work.
|Annie in Project Civic baseline testing at Buttonwillow.|
Our car had some non descript alloy wheels that Annie had probably obtained in her teens with some well-worn Nitto Neo Gen’s. It was really time to upgrade. We wanted to get something that was both lightweight and strong to handle both street and track abuse. We also wanted to get something relatively affordable since our Civic is an older vehicle.
After doing some research over what wheel fit our requirements for weight, strength and price, we called up Enkei for a set of their PF01 wheels in 15×7 with a 35mm offset. The PF01’s came with a 4×100 bolt pattern and a 75mm center bore so they are compatible with a lot of FF sport compacts.
|Annie rounds the sweeper at Buttonwillow configuration 13 CCW.|
The PF01’s have 10 thin spokes, which are generously curved for plenty of brake caliper clearance, important since we have a big brake upgrade by Fast Brakes planned. Our fitment is pretty conservative, as we don’t want to mess up our scrub radius too much so our offset is not pushed out to the absolute limit.
Perhaps the most technically interesting part about the PF01 is its use of Enkei’s MAT technology. MAT technology enables Enkei to economically impart some of the advantages of a forged wheel such as greater strength and potentially lighter weight with the cost advantages of a cast wheel.
|Annie and Jeff review test data.|
The process starts with the wheel's basic shape being formed as a high pressure aluminum die casting. The high-pressure casting has less voids which can cause weak spots and better density and grain structure than typical poured gravity casting.
|The Enkei PF01 is a nice looking and functional wheel, light and strong.|