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enkei PF01 

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 Sam at buttonwillow
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 15x7 with a 35mm offset.  The PF01’s came with a 4x100 bolt pattern and a 75mm center bore so they are compatible with a lot of FF sport compacts.

ANNIE SAM BUTONWILLOW CONFIGURATION 13 CCW
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 Sam and Jeff Naeyaert
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.

enkei PF01
The Enkei PF01 is a nice looking and functional wheel, light and strong.

 

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Comments
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Saturday, November 19, 2011 4:49 AM
I like those wheels (aesthetically) but I'm not sure why Enkei felt they needed another "tuner" wheel.
Those new PF01 are heavier (and more expensive) than the RPF-1.
tyndago
tyndagolink
Saturday, November 19, 2011 3:17 PM
We run the Enkei's on the DG Spec Scion. Finished many races on them with a ton of damage. We even lost one complete spoke and twisted one nearly off, and finished in second place(1st was the other Scion , Watkins Glen 2010).

That car has run both the RPF-1 and PF01. People always want choice and variety in wheels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tBAIrM3au0
econobox
econoboxlink
Saturday, November 19, 2011 3:54 PM
That is true about people wanting a variety of wheels to choose from.
This is exactly what the wheel market needs more of: Cheap, strong, and genuine wheels.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Saturday, November 19, 2011 5:57 PM
Nice little project update for the weekend :)

I love budget-friendly, quality products like this! I'm excited to see how they look on the car now ;)
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Sunday, November 20, 2011 6:18 PM
These wheels also come in 15x8 with generous spoke clearance for opposed-piston calipers. Can't really say "big brakes" when you're talking 15s.

The RPF1s are great for light weight, but have had trouble clearing even non-aggressive brake setups on a lot of platforms due to their spoke shape and the "beam" at the drop center.
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Monday, November 21, 2011 12:43 AM
Thanks Dan (Barnes) about bringing that up. I didn't know the PF01 have more caliper room than the RPF1.
It would be nice to compare the two wheels (structurally speaking) since both of them use the MAT technology.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Monday, November 21, 2011 7:40 AM
TSW also uses a "MAT" process, although they refer to it as "rotary forging" to avoid copyright issues. My rotary-forged TSW Nurburgings are 18x8 and weigh just under 19 lbs each.
Johnrb
Johnrblink
Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:23 AM
Just curious if the wheel's offset would have any negative handling characteristics on the street? It was my impression that a wheel with close to the stock offset would be ideal for it keeps the factory scrub radius, but maybe I have misunderstood as all of this is new to me.
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