Civic 57xtreme

Project Civic SI - RAYS Gram Lights Wheels and Nitto Motivo Tires

By Aaron LaBeau


Shopping for wheels is a huge ordeal!  Its been written a thousand times before but no other modification seems to have as dramatic of a change on the look as the wheels.  Make the wrong decision and you're out a ton of money.  How many of these bad decisions have you seen on Craigslist?  You can go with a wheel that's been done before and looks good but isn't being different part of the reason why we get aftermarket wheels to begin with?

57xtreme side profile

We went pretty extreme on this project with a 33 offset.  This gives us the biggest bend in the spokes and detent in the hub.  Given the choice again we would have gone with a 45 offset but we'll make it work.


For a long time this journalist has lusted after having a set of expensive three piece wheels with an aggressive and deep polished lip.  Unfortunately, the narrow offset and extra wide wheel necessary for this look can be problematic on FWD cars for clearance with both the suspension and fenders.  The hella fail crowd gets around these issues on the 8th generation Civic by running extra wide wheels anyway and cutting or rolling the fenders in addition to running radical negative camber.  The downward spiral of insanity is exacerbated when a 215 width (stock) sized tire is mounted to a 9.5” wheel (FYI the stock wheel is 7”) to achieve the aggressive stanced and stretched look that is the trend these days.


To achieve an aggressive look with a three piece wheel you need an extra wide rim of 9” or more which is pretty much the limit for our SI even with rolling the fenders and other tricks.  So we looked at tuner wheels and gravitated towards the Volk RE30.  Then realized that both our Project S2000 and EVO VIIIare rolling on Volk RE30's.  So we took a look at the Volk CE-28N and noticed that our EVO IX rolls on Volk CE-28N's.  Guess we all have good similar tastes in the MotoIQ garage.

Enter RAYS 57 Xtreme to put our suffering over choice to rest.  The 57Xtreme is a cast wheel but we've already gone into detail with what's done for RAYS Forged Wheelprocess.  RAYS has taken their experience developing strong cast wheels that can withstand the torture of BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) and adopted that technology for use with their cast retail wheels.  All RAYS wheels exceed JWL standards and every cast wheel receives the JWL+R Spec inspection sticker.  With RAYS wheels you get the perfect harmony of performance, style and functionality. 

RAYS pays careful attention to their customers' demands which is most blatantly conveyed with the many choices that are left once you choose a wheel style.  There are three rim width choices in 18” diameter fitment(s) and five rim width choices in 19” fitment(s).  Each corresponding rim width has various offsets and corresponding levels of rim concavity.  And, now that I've bored you to death, here's a chart going into more detail.

57xtreme sizing chart
Aaron-san's Japanese, not too good but it's easy enough to determine with this chart, the various spoke depths possible with the different rim widths and offsets.  We chose an 18x8.5” wheel to achieve the most aggressive look possible.

RAYS gram lights 57xtreme

Our wheel weighs in at 19.2 lbs which is on the lighter end of 18" wheel sizes.  By no means is this the lightest wheel (look to RAYS Volk line) but the strength and long term durability of the RAYS brand gives us considerable peace of mind.


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:33 AM
Do they clear the template I made for tl-s calipers
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:50 AM
I'll print it out and check but with the aggressive offset and the specific model desiged for big brake calipers we should be good.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 9:01 AM
Always had the best luck with Discount Tire/America's Tire. Sometimes, they'll quote you a high price, but all you have to do is bring up the discounttiredirect.com price, and they'll fix it for you. Only bummer is sales tax...
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 12:23 PM
im curious at your alignment specs, im running a 17x8 +38 with a 225/45 tire and im getting slight rubbing in the rear even with -1.7 degrees a camber.... are yall rubbing at all?
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:00 PM
@ Matt - I'm getting some rubbing in the rear as well. My alignment specs are "aggressive" in the rear so much so I'd rather not publish it until I have the opportunity to address it properly.

I am getting some rubbing on the front as well and need to remove the front wheels to see where the witness marks are and come up with a long term non-ghetto solution.

The only time I get rubbing front or rear is when pushing the car hard through a corner and hitting some bumps. I have a nice mountain road that's great for testing (wink)
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:44 PM
Arghh, been so busy the last while, hadn't even been able to post.

Anyway, I love these wheels! I had been thinking about something like these or the CE28Ns but I've kinda got hooked on the thought of TE37s (powder coated in a color to be shown at the right place and time). We'll see what Santa brings :-)

Aaron - Totally owe you a PM!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:22 PM
Center caps are controversial? Sheesh, I must not know who all the cool kids in town are. I hated having the axle nuts exposed on Project S2k so I called up Eddie at Mackin and ordered some center caps. He only had silver in stock, so I got those and painted them with flat black BBQ spray paint. Baller!

That America's Tire on Torrance is the ONLY one I go to. Those guys are awesome and are the only ones I trust my wheels, tires, and lugnuts to.
Saturday, December 15, 2012 4:53 AM
I'll be curious how you address your rubbing issues cause I'll probably be following your path!
Saturday, December 15, 2012 2:34 PM
5 pages for putting rims on? Indepth article for sure
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