Important Tips for Spotting

things to know before replacing your wheels


Replacement Rims for Off-Roading Trucks

When you take the time to upgrade your off-road truck’s components you shouldn’t forget the rims. Many people feel the only reason to replace their lifted truck’s wheels is to install aesthetically pleasing rims. This is not the case for off-road vehicles, swapping out the stock wheels and adding new ones will allow you more tire choices and can increase your truck’s performance while off-roading.

If your goal it to increase your truck’s performance, then below are a few things to take into consideration when choosing your next set of rims.

Wheel Diameter

The current trend is for larger diameter wheels. 17-inch-diameter wheels appear to be the most popular and have the most choices. 17-inch-diameter wheels will still work with most brake packages, which is great if you aren’t ready to swap those out yet. As part of that current trend some truck owners have started using tires on wheels which are larger than the tires, which stretches them terribly and should not be used while off-roading.

Wheel Width

Manufacturers of tires make recommendations for wheel widths for each of the tires they manufacture, these recommendations tend to be 2-3 inches narrower than the tire itself. Narrow tires are great for when you lower the pressure in your tire, it helps keep the tire on the wheel. Reversely, if you go too narrow, the tire may crown and cause wear on the center of the tread.

Bolt Pattern

It’s very important to make sure the bolt pattern on the wheels you purchase matches the bolt pattern on your axles, otherwise you’ll need to purchase an adapter. Below is a general breakdown for bolt patterns, but make sure to check your axle since not all trucks follow these guidelines:

8 lug axles - 1-ton trucks
5 lug axles - Jeeps
5 lug axles - ½-ton Fords
5 lug axles - ½-ton Dodge
6 lug axles - Toyotas
6 lug axles - ½-ton Chevy
6 lug axles - ½-ton Dodge Dakotas

You also need to check on the diameter of inches that the bolt circle is since that may change your options.

Load Rating

In addition to tires being load rated, wheels are too. Forged wheels tend to have the highest load rating, followed by cast aluminum wheels. Due to how loads distribute the more lug nuts a wheel has and the larger the bolt circle the higher the load rating.

Center Bore

Center Bore is the hole at the center of the wheel and the larger the bolt circle, the larger the center bore. Large center bores are helpful when using full-floating axles and locking hubs.

Installing Your New Wheels

When placing your new wheels on your truck you want to be careful to use the proper amount of torque so you do not stretch the studs. Your best bet is to use a torque wrench to tighten everything. If your wheel is hot, do not torque it, instead wait until the brakes have cooled down. If you purchased aluminum wheels the soft metal will compress at first, so it needs to be retorqued after 100 miles or so.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the online inventory of used trucks in Olympia, then visit South Sound Trucks to test drive the truck of your dreams and find a new weekend warrior to hit the trails with.