Ford 18" Bullitt Wheels
WHY? Appearance. This Mustang GT came with a nice-looking set of upgrade 18" wheels; though they looked okay to me I never thought that they worked well with the color of this particular car. Thinking that a set of black wheels would go well with the car's black trim I set out to search the net for a set that I liked. Though there were dozens of choices available I found myself attracted to an old favorite standby--Ford's "Bullitt" wheel coated in gloss black. The 18" version of this wheel is 8.5" in width--the same as my original wheels--so it would be a direct swap and I'd be able to use my original tires. Made with the correct offset for 2005-2007 Mustangs, this wheel is Ford part #M-1007-S1885B. Armed with this information I searched online to find the best price; this wheel is sold by a number of Ford dealers and aftermarket suppliers. Though the list price for this wheel is $170, many sellers discount it and I was able to find it at Leo Capaldi Racing for just $143 per wheel. Their site is clean and easy to navigate; I placed the order and I paid via credit card.
SERVICE. Superb. I received a confirmation email immediately after ordering; two days later I received a shipping notification and the boxes appeared on my doorstep two days after that (on a Saturday, no less!). The wheels well packed and undamaged. This is excellent service, and business the way it should be done on the internet.
INSTALLATION. Since these wheels are the same size and configuration as the stock units you might think that installation would simply be a matter of swapping the tires from the old wheels to the new. Unfortunately things are not so simple in the day of automotive gadgetry; since my Mustang is a 2007 model it's equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and each original wheel sports a sensor that must be moved to the new one. In the future this will be a standard process, but at the current time many tire shops have no experience with it so I checked around to find a shop that could handle the job. On the stock wheel the system sensors are attached by means of a metal band that is riveted in place; once removed it can't be re-used so a new band must be found for each wheel. Ford charges about $60 for each band (which must be in the correct size for the wheel) but some aftermarket suppliers have them available for less. My local Discount Tire dealer had the bands for $25 each and had experience in mounting them, so I trusted the work to them. They did an excellent job, transferring the sensors to the new wheels and mounting and balancing the units without any damage. As I drove out of the lot the tire pressure warning light was shining but it went out after driving a couple of miles and appears to be operating just fine.
RESULTS. Really nice. I believe that the new wheels match the car and trim nicely. Here are the before-and-after pics:
WORTH THE MONEY? It was for me. The wheels were very reasonably priced and though the labor for the switch was expensive I'll be able to sell the original (like new) wheels for enough money to make the total cost of the change about $200 or so.