Ultimate WORK Equip Wheel Guide

15th November, 2018 in Editorials

Time to treat your ride to some unique retro JDM styling? Our ultimate Work Equip guide is going to show you the best options that Work’s OG range has to offer.

work equip guide
Work Equip 03 Front: 15x9J -15mm (T Disk). Rear: 15×9.5J -35mm (A Disk)

The Equip range was the first ever line of wheels to roll out of Work’s brand-new factory back in 1977. There’s no doubt that from then to the present day, they’ve become one of the highest regarded wheel companies in the world.

equip 01
Work Equip 01 – 15x8J ET -10 (R disk)

Tanaka-San’s theory behind his incredible enterprise was, “If you work hard, anything can be achieved. For example, if you want to make money, you have to work hard. That’s why I chose the name ‘Work’ for the company.”

equip 40
Work Equip 40 – Front: 15x9j -31 (O Disk). Rear: 15×10.5j -27 (O Disk)

From this moment forward, Tanaka-San pushed the boundaries as many competitors emerged in an attempt to steal the limelight, yet Work have confidently stood the test of time with their unique, affordable and fully customizable options.

equip 03
Work Equip 03 – Front: 15×8.5J -22mm (T Disk) Rear: 15×9.5JJ -34mm (A Disk)

In the meantime, they’ve also stayed true to their roots. They still produce the same Equip wheels today that were making their way from the production line back in 1977, and they still look just as incredible now as ever.

work equip
Work Equip 14″ 3-piece

Enjoy this great video from ‘JDM Concept’ as they give us a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the inspiring creation of these incredible wheels.

Until his passing in 2015, Tanaka-San maintained a strong involvement in the factories and with the evolution of the brand. He was known for often spending time on the production line, overseeing his employees to ensure the sheer perfection and passion which they have become world-renowned for, was crafted into each individual wheel.

03 equip
Front: 15x9J -15mm (T Disk). Rear: 15×9.5J -35mm (A Disk)

Equip were the company’s first ever product range and they are still the wheel of choice for many owners, especially those rocking period-correct vehicles. In the meantime, the company has evolved to create a huge range of modern styling options for the street and track whilst also catering for specific niches such as the VIP market.

e05 20 equip
Work Equip E05 20″

Some of the lesser known wheels in Equip’s ‘E’ range are aimed towards the luxury VIP and SUV markets. These took us by surprise in our research as you rarely hear about these, but Work has also added designs away from the traditional OG options which we’re used to seeing to bring huge, eye-catching alternatives which come in sizes up to a crazy 24″!

e10 equip
E10 F-22×9.5J +27 (A disk) R-22×10.5J +30 (A3 disk)

There’s no doubt that these can look cool on the right vehicle, but here at Drifted our main focus is on the smaller, antique styles which have kept us, as well as drifting fans across the globe, happy for decades.

The Discontinued OG’s

Unfortunately, over the years, several awesome styles of Equip wheels have been discontinued by the company. Trying to find a set of these can often be a needle in a haystack, but once you find them, it’ll undoubtedly be worth the investment to get your hand on these classic shoes. We’ve decided to dig into the archives to pay homage to our favorite past designs.

spirit 44 work equip
Work Equip Spirit 44

Produced in the early 80’s, the 3-piece Spirit 44 only came in one colour – gold.

work equip spirit 33
Work Equip Spirit 33

The Equip Spirit 33 was another option available in the early 80’s. These were available in 14 and 15-inch options with red, black and gold color variants.

spirit 11 equip
Work Equip Spirit 11

Yet another incredible 80’s offering was the Spirit II. These came in a polished finish with either gold, red or black highlights. These are one of the rarest in the Equip range and if you can find them, there are some crazy width options out there.

silhouette equip
Work Equip Silhouette

Available in black or gold, 14 and 15-inch options, the Silhouette is available in some crazy sizes up to a 14″ 11J -50 offset.

excel casting 4h equip
Work Equip Excel Casting 4H

These were one of the first ever Work wheels to roll off the production line. Available in single-piece cast or 3-piece construction. The 3-piece variant were re-released in the late 90’s and are still available to this day.

spinning 5h equip
Work Equip Excel Spinning 5H

A 5-stud variant of the above 4H.

negative 4h equip
Work Equip Negative 4H

Another of the brand’s original wheels was the Negative 4H. These are an inverse design of the original Equip wheels which feature an empty spoke where the Equip ones would traditionally be. These were available in 14″ only. The Negative Boy’s below were the FF owners alternative.

negative boy equip
Work Equip Negative Boy

Not only are they awesomely unique, but we love the true JDM names of some of these designs. The Negative Boy is for those with FF cars that can’t run the Equip Negative. They were only available in 13″ 5.5J +40 and PCD100 or 114.3.

spinning 5 spoke equip
Work Equip Spinning 5 Spoke

Similarly to the more common variant, the traditional 4-spoke, the 5-spoke followed just one year later and is today one of the rarest models in used markets. These were available in 14 and 15″, however, were later relaunched with a huge 18″ diameter.

equip 05
Work Equip 05

One of the more recent legends, and hugely popular on drift cars around the world was mostly known as the ‘Equip’, but it is in fact, the 05. These have been long discontinued, however, Work did a limited run of 100 additional sets of 19″ back in 2011.

03a equip
Work Equip 03 – Front: 15x9J +22mm (A Disk). Rear: 15x10J -6mm (O Disk)

If crazy wide fitment is your thing, Work will undoubtedly be happy to create the perfect choice for your needs. One of the beautiful things about the company is that if they can, they will craft each individual wheel to cater to meet your desires, or as close to it as physically possible.

We strongly recommend that you do your own research to ensure you have the perfect measurements before you order your wheels. Needless to say – ordering the wrong sizes can end up being a costly mistake!

What are the differences between one, two and three-piece wheels?

splitrims

The single-piece Equips are no longer available on the current market, however, if you are lucky enough to find an ultra-rare set of antique ones, make sure you look after them well as they are a single piece design. If you’re unlucky to damage them, they’ll make a great ornament!

2-piece wheels feature a solid disk face welded to a barrel, should you be unfortunate enough to damage the wheel, you are able to separate the two and just replace the part necessary. These generally allow for much wider fitments than the single-piece.

3-piece are generally the best choice for a multi-piece wheel, which the Equip range is based on. It is, of course, a 3-layer construction, consisting of the disk face connecting to both the inner and outer rim barrel and held together with bolts.

All three parts are completely customizable to build the perfect rim, and should you damage a single part (i.e the outer lip), that is hopefully the only part which will need replacing. These are the big daddy of the Work heritage and will allow you to run crazy, RWB-style fitments.

I’m ready to see the current Work Equip range!

We’ve explained exactly which fitment you will need to go for below this section. If you’re unsure of how to measure the perfect fitment then make sure you check this before purchasing.

Work Equip 01 (3-Piece)

equip 01 wheel

Our comment: One of the perfected original designs which have stood the test of time. This timeless classic is available with a wide range of offsets and comes in either 14 or 15″. With prices from $370.00 for a 3-piece classic, this is an absolute steal.


Work Equip 03 (3-Piece)

equip 03 wheel

Our comment: Another original ultimate classic from the brand, again starting at an incredible price of just $350.00. Available in 14 and 15″ with a huge array of width variations to choose from for the ultimate fitment.


Work Equip 40 (3-Piece)

40 wheel equip

Our comment: The most recent offering in the Equip range. These were unveiled at Tokyo Auto Salon in 2017 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Equip range. This is a great option for those of you who are looking for a vintage look which is still modern and unique.


Work Equip E05 (3-Piece)

equip e05 wheel

Our comment: These E05’s kick off the companies more VIP-intended ‘E’ Equip range. With a styling based on the discontinued 5-spoke Equip 05’s, the E05’s present a great option for those of you looking for a far bigger wheel, with sizes up to 24″.


Work Equip E10 (3-Piece)

equip e10 wheel

Our comment: The final rim in the luxury VIP and SUV range is the Equip E10. Featuring a unique 10-spoke design, these are also available in sizes up to an impressive 24″.


Need help choosing the perfect fitment for your Equip wheels?

After you’ve chosen your ideal style, you’ll want to choose your wheel diameter. This is entirely based on the car that you own and what kind of style you’re looking for. We highly recommend a Google search for your car with various sizes to see what is best for your needs. Just be prepared for the retro styles to mainly be in 14 and 15″.

PCD (wheel pattern) is set by your manufacturer (assuming it hasn’t been modified) and is the distance between each wheel stud. For example, 5-stud Japanese cars would often be 5×114.3. Make sure you check this as it’s hugely important.

Width is of course how wide the wheel is and ‘J’ refers to inches. You’ll need to make sure that your car has enough clearance for the coilover when deciding both the width and the offset. You’ll also want to consider tires at this point to ensure wheel arch clearance.

offset

Offset, or ‘ET’ is one of the more complex aspects for those that aren’t familiar. If you have an offset of 0, the center disk will be sat in the center of the width of the wheel. Whether you go negative or positive from the center, this is a millimeter measurement in either direction.

In this case, the negative offset would push the disk further into the wheel, a -10 offset would shift the disk 10mm further in, creating more dish. +10 would move 10mm outwards from the centre, therefore creating less dish. As well as looks, you will want to consider your width/offset choice to ensure you have enough clearance for brake disks, especially on those with upgrades.

disk

For additional style and brake caliper clearance on 2 and 3-piece wheels, Work offers a crazy eight different variations of disks to suit your needs, ranging from T to W. T would have the most substantial concave, whilst W would be the flattest. ‘R’, ‘A’ and ‘O’ are the most common choices available for general use.

Don’t forget that part of the beauty of choosing Work Wheels is that you can have a different fitment at the front and rear of the car!

Additional Equip content for your enjoyment!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to choosing the ultimate Work Equip rims for your car. We highly recommend that you take a look at these videos before you go!

This video shows off the stunning design of the 40th Anniversary Equip 40’s.

Have you been lucky enough to get your hands on a set of OG Equip’s? If so, you may well need to refurbish them to get them looking as good as new. This guide shows you how to seperate the 3-piece rims.

Pay tribute to the legend that is Tanaka-San in this fascinating interview.

Photography credits

We thank the following entities for use of their photography in this article:

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