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Old 01-05-2003, 11:50 AM   #1
AUTOwrXER
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Default Rota problems at a recent autocross

This from the Evolution discussion list. I have no negative agenda towards Rota. In fact, I run the Subzeros in autox currently. Just posting this for informational purposes. I'll post updates as I get them. Hopefully Rota will deal with this in a professional manner...

> > Today we had a Subaru with Rota (brand) Attack (model) wheels shear the rim away from the hub. All five spokes showed oxidation at least 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through from the inside. I checked the other wheels and found a fine crack on the inside of two spokes on one other wheel with my thumbnail. There is ALMOST NO VISIBLE crack. The crack is masked by the powder coating. One other Rota wheel has a raised line on the rear of the spoke that is discernable by thumbnail only. I'd advise anyone using these wheels to check them for cracks on the inside of the spoke about 1.5 to 2 inches out from the hub.

The wheel went off course over 100 feet, hit a curb and ended up over 10 feet off the ground in a tree. Wheel sheared in a 180 deg sweeper, typical Roger Johnson Nationals course.

James Rogerson
[FP #125] - Tekless Racing
jrogerson@houston.rr.com
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:10 PM   #2
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Default



Wow, that's pretty dramatic!! Does anyone know this owner? Is he/she an i-clubber. I'd be interested to know what lead to this and if other Rota wheels (Sub-Zeros, in my case) are suseptible (sp?) to this.

Mine have been thru a couple track days and some pretty aggresive driving. I'd HATE to loose a wheel mid-turn somewhere.

mike
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:29 PM   #3
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surprisingly enough i know of a local that has now cracked a spoke on his 17" attacks. something tells me ROTA might be in for a recall.

jeremy
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Old 01-05-2003, 02:16 PM   #4
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Default Sorry to say this but

Either Rotas are ***** wheels, or they had a bunch of very bad runs. I personally have seen 2 people break sub zeros, and there are numerous reports of broken SubZeros on this board.
I look at it this way, 4 18x7.5 wheels for 600 shipped with a polished lip?
Think about it, WHY and HOW can they be so cheap? Because you get what you pay for.
I wouldnt really want to put Rotas on my car for daily driving, but I would NEVER EVER trust them to the forces a wheel sees in a racing situation.
Rota claims there have been only 4 failures, B.S. I myself have seen 2 and a few other VERY trustworthy sources have seen it happen as well. They just are not a quality wheel.IMHO.
Yeah there are a ton of ppl running them with no problems and Gary Sheehan runs them on his race car, but do you want to run the risk of all the damage that can occor when the hub sheers out in a high speed turn?
It sucks, because I was all ready to buy a set of SubZeros for my car, but after a little research, forget it.
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Old 01-05-2003, 02:22 PM   #5
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Simple formula.


Cast wheel + lightweight = not as strong

They are great wheels for what you pay.

But to get such a lightweight wheel and such a low cost the aluminum itself cant be anywhere near as strong.Its just common sense.(for anyone who knows how wheels are made)
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by jetfan8178
Simple formula.


Cast wheel + lightweight = not as strong

They are great wheels for what you pay.

But to get such a lightweight wheel and such a low cost the aluminum itself cant be anywhere near as strong.Its just common sense.(for anyone who knows how wheels are made)
exactly
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:34 PM   #7
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Rota makes great wheels period. I have seen BBS wheels crack and blow chunks, where the Rotas only get dented. Subzeros had a bad batch a while ago, but that was fixed. Bad batches can and do happen, but the ones that are not defective have proven to stand up to the worst abuse out there. Also, anyone I have heard from who had broken a wheel, it was replaced with no questions asked. the guy with BBS wheels probably wont be so lucky.
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:37 PM   #8
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Default ROTA ATTACK

I was telling my buddy (a car enthusiast) about the Rota attack rims I wanted to buy. Before I finnished my sentence he said, "Ohhhh, I wouldn't buy those. They break alot.".

It's just that they look soooooo good and are soooo in-expensive. Damn the temptation.
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:29 PM   #9
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I was there when it happened (not really, I was busy eating Whataburger) but I came back from lunch at the center hub was blown out the middle of an Attack. Cracks were found in two of the other three wheels. I'll let the owner of the wheels answer. And, yes he's on NASIOC.
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:52 PM   #10
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ive read of a few sub zero problems, and in each case, Rota has handled the problem in an orderly fashion.
The formula is correct. You get what you pay for, and i paid for some SDR's. When i start to auto cross this year, i am just gonna run the stockers on the RE92's (just for fun)
Rotas are a great bang for the buck, and i am happy i still have my SDR's
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sorry to say this but

Quote:
Originally posted by Davenow
It sucks, because I was all ready to buy a set of SubZeros for my car, but after a little research, forget it.
So what wheels are you going to buy? SonicYellowWRX just told us that he has seen BBS rims break, and if I remember correctly, Gary Sheehan broke two Advans. If some of the most expensive wheels can break, what choices do you have? Maybe you'll find something that hardly anybody else has, so that you can be the first to break them.

Seriously, I don't like to hear about broken Rotas, I have Subzeros myself, but it bothers me how people start crying bloody murder when one in 100,000 Rotas breaks (I made up this number to get a point across ), when there's absolutely no indication that they fail more frequently than other brands.
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Re: Sorry to say this but

Quote:
Originally posted by TheWRX


but it bothers me how people start crying bloody murder when one in 100,000 Rotas breaks (I made up this number to get a point across ), when there's absolutely no indication that they fail more frequently than other brands.

It just gets amplified because of how many Rotas are sold thru this and other boards.But The over production in such a short time could be the reason that bad batches are out there.

Poop happens.Its just amplified when 20000 people can go to 1 place and talk about it.

I think for the money they are a great bargain,.

But I have different wheel for racing so...
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:41 PM   #13
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Oh, BTW...

I had a set of attacks on my RS and smacked a curb once with the tire about 20-30mph pulling into a parking lot from the highway.

Rear wheel and tire first.

No dent, not bend, no crack.

Lust a small nick in the wheel where the rim protecter on the tire didn't do its job.

Not bad for a $150 wheel.
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Old 01-05-2003, 11:23 PM   #14
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Default Update

As promised, here's an update from the email list...

Today I checked 5 sets of Rota wheels, none of them the Attack model, and
found no imperfections. So that is good news. Several people have asked
for pictures, when I get them sent to me I'll post them on the board. We
had 275 entrants today and we checked all the after market wheels closely
without any signs of wheel spoke failure.

I asked the owner of the wheel that broke today what the usage of the
wheels had been. He said they were AX only mounted with Kuhmo Victor Racers.

We plan to keep a watchful eye out for that model and brand. But can't
make a determination other than we had an isolated failure.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: Re: Sorry to say this but

Quote:
Originally posted by TheWRX

So what wheels are you going to buy? SonicYellowWRX just told us that he has seen BBS rims break, and if I remember correctly, Gary Sheehan broke two Advans. If some of the most expensive wheels can break, what choices do you have? Maybe you'll find something that hardly anybody else has, so that you can be the first to break them.

Seriously, I don't like to hear about broken Rotas, I have Subzeros myself, but it bothers me how people start crying bloody murder when one in 100,000 Rotas breaks (I made up this number to get a point across ), when there's absolutely no indication that they fail more frequently than other brands.
correction, I've seen TWO BBS wheels break, back to back. there are pictures on this site if you are interested. it was at a willow springs track event and these were the guys track only wheels. the best wheels are supposed to be VOLK/RAYS, but there are many that have been damaged as well. Prodrive P1's are strong, but my friend ran over a pipe on the road and bent those. so I guess the stockers are the only choice then... I dont hear of any stock wheels breaking. i know people with VOLK wheels who will never take it on the track for fear of damaging them. so would you rather have a cheap wheel you can beat on and not care if it breaks or an expensive one you are afraid of damaging?

people on this board take everything said to heart. no one will run an intake because shiv says no. everyone is afraid of their tranny breaking and is ready to sue because people go here to post about it. and when a few rota's break, we are the first and only to hear about it.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:27 AM   #16
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hmmm I don't like the fact this happening at all.

Pretty much will make me steer clear of Rotas...

Unless Rota gets proactive about this, shows interest in the failures, and does something about it if needed, I would not feel safe hoping that I would not encounter any problems.

I would think Gary Sheehan would have had problems before any one else given the extremes their car go's through. I wonder if
they ever had any issues?

Was the above posts failure just some manufactoring fluke?
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:00 AM   #17
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Still not a single problem with our Rota Subzeros. We have two sets of the early 45mm batches and two sets of the later 48mm offset hubcentrics.

For the record, we only bent the Advans. We have yet to have any wheel fail.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by GarySheehan
Still not a single problem with our Rota Subzeros. We have two sets of the early 45mm batches and two sets of the later 48mm offset hubcentrics.

For the record, we only bent the Advans. We have yet to have any wheel fail.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
www.teamSMR.com
good info gary do you run R compounds on all the wheels?? i am just curious if it was the added stress due to the high traction of the Victo Racers.

jeremy
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by SonicYellowWRX
Rota makes great wheels period. I have seen BBS wheels crack and blow chunks, where the Rotas only get dented.
Yep, the guy that broke his BBS's broke them on the same corner at willow springs (that track seriously needs to be repaved) that i dented on of my subzeros. I think we were also doing about the same speed 80-90 and we both have silver wagons, and i think he was on SO-3s. Hopefuly im getting a digital camera soon (maybe tomorrow ) The dent for some reason was on the inside of my rim and not on the "face" of the rim. I PM'ed Rota about my rim and they havent got back to me. The greatest thing about rotas is that if they get damaged, you wont have to sell your first born to replace your rims. The funniest thing about them is when people as me if theyre real, when they find out that theyre fake, thats when they start talking crap. Most people wouldnt know that theyre fakes unless i told them.
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:54 AM   #20
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Default Wheel Damage

Here's my input (as if anyone cares!! )....

I have had a DP Motorsport rim (DP 5) shear 3 spokes out of five on my E30 M3. I have also trashed many 2 piece DSM wheels wheels by bending the roll formed lips.

Further, someone (sonicyellow I think) stated that we should stay with stockers... well, guess what, Rota manufactures factory wheels for many car manufactures. And as for manufacturing, Jetfan was right, cast aluminum is much weaker than extruded or forged, unfortunately, most all factory wheels are low pressure die-cast here in the states as opposed to the high pressure set up used abroad.

I am curious however... I used to work for a wheel manufacturer (Central Light Alloy - maker for DSM and Toyota) and we x-rayed ALL wheels for porosity (which will definitely cause a fracture) as well as testing for hardness & stress and checking alloy content by spectrometer. I find it hard to believe that a "bad" batch can creep out unless quality control is down, or of course if they are submitted to harsh conditions which they were never expected to endure.

On that note, I will give these tidbits and shut up: I have seen MANY Crager aluminum wheels shear spokes off - usually the five spoke variety (my DP5 were 5 spoke too). These wheels are of the "drag" style and are intended for such racing in a straight line... not for the side loading of day to day driving. Which makes me wonder.... Rota is a factory cast house whose wheels are intended for day to day driving - not 130 mph sweeps. Maybe there is some misapplication here. Sure many do well at the track... but many WRXs do pretty well at the strip though they are made for rally. The way I look at it, its the chance you take for the value.

As for the 5-spoke comment... for anyone who is worried and wants rotas (like me ) go for the SDR or the Tarmacs... minimal weight gain and MORE SPOKES to keep it all together. At the very least, if there is a problem, you will see it before all 10 give out!!!! lol

Sorry for the long winded.... but thought it would help. I personally think the percentages of failures to # on the road stats look pretty good.

Cheer!

B-Kerr
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:18 AM   #21
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last i checked Enkei made about 90% of the factory wheels out there including Subaru
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:46 AM   #22
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Default 90%... hmmm

I wouldn't think it was that much... maybe the aluminum wheels only. CLA's sister company, Central Manufacturing Company makes a lot of steel wheels. Plus, Kelsey Hayse & Hayse Lemur both manufacture wheels too... as does Rota, Asai, Topie, & Alumnitech. Enkie's Indiana plant does manufacture a lot of wheels, but I do know they make several after market wheels as well. Plus, there is another foundry up in northern Indiana on I-69 as well, but I can't remember the name off hand.

Oh well, may be 90%... I can't say for sure.

Just my $0.02

B-Kerr
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:55 AM   #23
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i meant to say 90% of alloys
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:11 AM   #24
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I have a feeling this may be a matter of percentages.
If rims have a .5% chance of failure (made up number) and you only sell 1000 (like BBS) then stories of failure will be nearly unheard of. If you sell 10000 (like rota), then ten failures suddenly sounds like a lot.
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:32 AM   #25
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I'm one of the 4 'reported' failures with the Sub-Zeros. It happened at day one of a two day NE DIV auto-x event, on the 3rd (last) run of the day.

I co-drove someone elses car (3rd place nationals in STS this year) and that Monday I had Rota on the phone. Wednesday, I had a new set of attacks on my doorstep to be mounted so Thursday I could leave to go to the Peru Pro (600 miles away).

They took VERY good care of me. Now I have the attacks... they have thicker spines... and I feel they'll do well. I'm not running R-Compound, but am running Azenis (225/45-17).

I'll be keeping an eye on the rims, but I feel 100% confident that they'll be fine. Crap happens in motorsports. You just hope it doesn't happen to you.

--kC
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