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New Member...and A Question

By disco-stu, August 12, 2013


Hi everyone, I have a 2007 CE as well as a 1978 Datsun 280Z. Hopefully I can make a positive contribution to the community but for now I was hoping I could get a bit of help on something. Do any of you know a source that lists OEM wheel/rim specs? Specifically, I'm trying to find the offset for two rims: the 16" five spoke XRS rims that came on the 2003-2008 models and the 16" five spoke rims from the 2000-2005 Celica GTS. I'll hang up and listen :-)

Info is spread around the web - but I haven't run across a comprehensive list - at least one that is regularly maintained. Best places to grab that information is directly from their forums - for the 9th gen Corollas and for the 7th gen Celicas.

That said - the Corolla XRS/Matrix XRS 16" "dimpled" 5-spoke and the Celica GT-S both are 16" x 6.5" wheels with a 39mm offset, 5x100 bolt circle, 54.1mm center bore. The OEM Corolla/Matrix one weighs about 21lbs. The Celica one is about 15lbs.

The 9th gen Corolla can have a wheel as wide as 7" and offsets in the range running 35mm-45mm without clearance issues on stock suspension/alignment settings.


Thanks fish.

I registered at corolla9 but I can't post yet. Anyway, I've just got a minor shimmy issue I'm trying to troubleshoot and I just wanted to make sure I didn't make a mistake putting those Celica rims on a few years back.

Shouldn't be the wheels - assuming they run straight and don't have an physical damage. Installing 7th gen Celica and/or Scion tC wheels are a popular upgrade to the 9th gen Corolla. The car itself is pretty for giving on wheel offsets, unless you purposely are running too wide or running excessively thick spacers (ie, stanced or hellaflush look).

You can try swapping the front and rear wheels and see if the shimmy is still there or if it follows the wheels. That will let you know if it is a steering/suspension related issue or a bent/damaged wheel.

Some 9th gens also ate through wheel bearings for some reason - many with bearing failing in the rear axle. This is thought to be do to the beam-style rear suspension setup and shims/crash bolts required to move it to a reasonable alignment and/or bent wheel hubs from the factory.


I don't think it's the rims or tires: the rims don't show any physical damage and the tires are new (like last week new) and are 195/55 R16 which is the stock size for the XRS, if I'm not mistaken. The brake rotors were turned earlier this year. I took the car in to a brake/suspension shop that I trust and had them check the tie rod ends and the ball joints, and they said it looks good as does the alignment. Of course, the place I got the tires checked the alignment as well as part of their service. I also had the tire balance rechecked....came out fine. The car has 113000 and I take good care of my vehicles.....have never run the car up against a curb or anything like that. What about on the steering rack?

It's possible that I am just being a worry-wort because it only did this on the road coming back to Dallas at 75 for a brief stretch. I slowed down to 65 and made it back in with no further problem, but I hate taking a car out on the road wondering if I have an issue.

Could be how they balanced the wheel. Most of the spin balancing machines only get the tire up between 35-55 MPH - so call "high speed" balancers. The problem is, a tire that might dynamically balance out at one speed may not be balanced at another. Since you noticed the shimmy temporarily and I'm assuming it was fine when you slowed down - my money is on the balance.


That's a good point I hadn't thought of. Problem is, the reason I got new tires to begin with was because of the shimmy. They had about 40 thousand on them and the tread was low so I just assumed (stupid, I know) it was the tires at the end of their life span. It never occurred to me that it could be anything else, then it did the same thing with the new tires.

See if the shop has a Hunter Road Force Touch GSP9700 tire balancer. The machine basically runs itself, so almost goof-proof. Plus it does a road force variation test to see how the tire reacts under a load. Only one of the few tire balance machines that can do this. Also checks for tire runout (bent wheels, tire pull issues), damaged tires (changes in density, high or low spots), and tire conicity (some tires can wear down into a cone instead of evenly as a cylinder)

This will eliminate a lot of the vibrations that people have seen. Sometimes, it is the technician skill that is paramount. I've seen tires that cannot be balanced, unless you spin then 180degrees. Generally not preferred, as the tire is marked where it is heaviest and lightest - but sometimes it helps with vibration/uneven tire wear.

Playing around with tire pressures can also help - some tires do between to more or less tire pressure. General rule of thumb - use the placard PSI (inside glovebox, on driver's door jam) to find out the OEM tire pressures, usually it is 30-32PSI. Look at the tires and note their max cold inflation - that usually runs from 44-51PSI. Those will give you the range of acceptable tire pressures. Personally - I start out within a couple PSI of max cold inflation and bleed the tires down until I find a speed spot. Don't worry - the tire won't "blow up" at the max cold inflation. In fact - some people run some incredibly high tire pressures as part of hypermiling. Just note that not all tires can run overpressure - as long as you stay at or under the cold tire inflation (tire manufacturers have already factored in a safety margin and temperature variations - ie, they know that pressures will be higher with a hot tire.

Ideally, you want to run a tire contact pyrometer and measure temperatures across the face of the tread after drive the car hard (high speed, hard corning, braking ,accelerating, etc). If the pressure is right, the temperature would be even across the face. Problem with that - hard to take accurate measurements of temperatures and the ideal pressure may not be the right pressure for your driving situations.


Wow, that's some good information. I'll do a little research on tire shops in my area and see if any have that. It would make more sense to check the balance under actual driving conditions, wouldn't it?

Correct, the closer you get it to actual driving conditions, the better the balance will be. Hence the Hunter Road-Force variants - they have a "roller" that actually presses down on the tire to load it with some weight.

A shop is supposed to road test it after a balance job, but there generally not a highway close by + owners get pissed off if a shop adds too many miles on the car. Another thing to ask, is when was the last time they calibrated the machine. There is a start-up self calibration, but some go out and get a balancing standard (basically a perfectly balance metal disc) - and run with that to verify balance. I'd be willing to bet that the shop only does the power on self test.

Might try a different shop or see if there is an older tech working. There are some neat tricks you can do to get a perfect balance, but usually it is the old school technicians that know this. The newer technicians never had to deal with those issues, so they won't be looking for it. Ex. tire and wheel has to be perfectly centered on the spindle for proper testing - the new machines used a laser sighter and smooth conical tapered mounting hub. Old machines were centered by "feel", as tolerances were pretty low, lots of slop in the system. You spin the tire as you tighten up the mount hub, by shifting the moment of inertia, you can center the tire dynamically. Sure laser sighting, touch screen computing, automated weight application makes it goof-proof, but doesn't always makes it right.


Hey Fish, an update:

I went to a firestone that has the hunter road force balancer on Wednesday and even though the car wasn't doing any of the shimmying at "around town" speeds I could still feel a small improvement driving down the street at 40/45. Well, I was intending to drive to Amarillo from Dallas today and I get on the highway and about 10/20 seconds after reaching 65/70 it started to downright shake. The type of thing that if I didn't know that the wheels were bolted on tight I would have thought one was coming loose. Needless to say I immediately exited and came home (without issue). I'm going to go to the shop first thing in the morning but I'm at a loss. I can't see anything visible, and the tires are bolted At this point I am wondering about halfshafts/CV joints. Any thoughts?

You're sure none of the tires are deformed at all, even if they're balanced? What mileage are you at? No free-play in inner and outer tie-rod ends, front wheel bearings, ball joints, or struts? Control arm rear bushings are not unbonded or ripped?


Hey Dom, thanks. Here is what I know: Mileage is 113000 well taken care of miles. I had a shop verify that the tie rods, ball joints and alignment are fine. Nobody I've talked to seems to think this sounds like a bearing issue and I am not getting any noise clues that are typically associated with bearing failure. In fact, I am not getting any kind of unusual noises at all.

I can't say that I don't know if the tires are malformed but the first time this started happening was with my old set of tires. It was the reason I bought new tires in the first place as they had 40000 on them and I just assumed that the shimmying was an indication that they needed to be replaced. You know what they say about assuming though :-) Point being, I am getting the same symptoms with two sets of tires.

Now the struts; that is something I thought about when I got back home today. I replaced them one year ago and I did that with my brother-in-law. I have no reason to believe we didn't do it right and when I went in to get it aligned afterwards I asked the guy to check our work and he said it looked really good. Nevertheless, I am wondering about that now. I will certainly mention it when I take it in tomorrow. Bushings occurred to me as well but this seems kind of quick for them to need replacement. What mileage are other people getting with their chassis bushings?

Anyway, I appreciate your help.

Wheel bearings usually make a bunch of noise before they get bad enough to cause the symptoms you are seeing. That it is happening with another set of tires would eliminate a tire issue. I'm assuming the shop checked the wheels for straightness (bent wheels).

You definitely have a dynamic issue here - makes it super tough to diagnose. Suspension and steering might checkout statically, but something could be happening at speed.

Interesting - you had the struts replaced. Did the symptoms you had the first time around happen before or after the strut replacement? What brand of struts did you use for replacement? Did you change anything else at the time - end links, spring isolator, strut mount/pillowball mount?


No, this wasn't happening before I replaced the struts, although the new struts were on for a year before this started happening. I used Gabriel struts and I didn't change anything else.

Did the alignment shop check for static ride height? If the height is different than spec, then alignment against that spec would be off. Some shops also align the car assuming just the driver - if you carry a lot of weight in the car or usually have passengers - need to have them adjust for that.

If the tire was showing some unusual wear - then I'd suspect the struts. With just vibration - hard to say, could be any number of issues. Might have to expand the scope of the diagnostic - could be a bad power steering pump or bad pulley, could something related to the serpentine belt tensioner, excessive body motion, etc.

Hub runout issues were pretty common is some models. Sometimes, they have to balance the tire on the car - though not many shops carry that kind of equipment.


It's at the shop right now. I don't know if it's the cause but they found that the right caliper was sticking and the rotor was blue, so they are taking care of that right now (it would need to be done regardless). So, we'll go from there.....

Ouch - blued rotor, must have gotten pretty hot. Hopefully that fixes your vibration at speed - as the other possibilities are much more time consuming, diagnostic-wise.


Do you think that could be the cause? I've never had that happen before.

Well, a stuck caliper can cause all sorts of issues. If the rotor is badly blued and physically scored, it could have cause the vibration at speed - pad sticking to the rotor, rotor is warped enough that it is actually making strong contact with the now stuck caliper. Can cause a wicked shaking at the steering wheel, vibrations can be felt through the floorboards pretty easily.

Sometimes, you can drive a car at low speeds without seeing any issues with a sticking caliper. Some stick then release - so all seems fine. Some stick and cause heavy pulling to one side or another.

The tire shop should have caught that - as they pulled the tires off the car. But then again, depends on the experience of the tech - some don't want to bring up any issues because they are afraid that customers think they are trying to up-sell them on services or plain just don't care.


When I took it to Firestone for the road force balance they did mention it, but in sort of passing way. They weren't like, "DUDE, your rotor is toast, you need to get this checked out ASAP".

What I really wonder about now is the shop that turned the rotors and replaced the brake pads, but that was back in the spring and the caliper may have just decided it was time to freeze up sometime later. Still waiting to hear back.........


Ok, update. I just rolled in to Dallas from Amarillo. Car did fine, that was the problem. Thanks for your help :-)

Sweet! Thanks for the updated post - good to hear it was just the stuck caliper, easy - inexpensive fix compared to the other stuff.


Well, they went ahead and put on new rotors, pads, calipers and lines on both sides. Probably overkill, but those are the

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