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wheel authenticity question

'96-Z51

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Toronto
Corvette
1996 Collector Edition LT4 Z51 coupe (red interior
I think I know the answer to this question, but here goes: I've just received a set of ZR-1 style 5-spoke wheels from a retailer; I need that style for my '96 Collector Edition coupe. They were advertised as authentic OEM wheels, refinished. I emailed the retailer during the order process to make sure that they had made no mistake, and I was told that, yes, the wheels are OEM. However, there is no GM logo cast into the wheels. It looks to me like a case of false advertising, but I need to be sure. There is a 'JPN' and what looks like an 'LN' logo, and an 8-digit number next to 'AFR', all cast in. Also the wheel dimensions. There are a lot of proper foreign-made original parts on my car, could the original Corvette wheels have been made in Japan back in '95/96?
Or am I sending these back?
 

DaveP85C4

Active member
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
43
Location
Kalifornia
OEM wheels should have the "JWL" logo visible on the outside. Many aftermarket "ZR-1" wheels are "Autum Fleet Sales", they are made in Japan, and usually have "AFS" on the back side. The OEM "ZR-1" wheels I'm familiar with are "A-Molds" and have that designation cast into the back side.

Early C4 wheels ("salad shooters") were manufactured by two companies: Enkie in Japan, and I believe, Western Wheel in the USA. The valve stem location is different for the two countries. One is centered in a hole. The other is 1/3-2/3 spacing in the hole. I have no idea if this practice was present on later C4 wheels, but it's interesting trivia when looking at original C4's and seeing different valve stem location on the same car. Usually one side is one style, and the other side the other style when all 4 are not the same.
 

'96-Z51

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Toronto
Corvette
1996 Collector Edition LT4 Z51 coupe (red interior
Thanks for that! Two of the four wheels turned out to be truly OEM; they were the JWL Japanese-made type. I kept them, and sent the other two back; one of them had a 37mm offset, so what kind of car that one was for, I have no idea (all the wheels were 9.5")! A pretty disorganized wheel retailer that I won't be going back to.
 

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