WHEEL ADAPTERS CUSTOM PARTS

Change your wheels to improve vehicle performance and looks

 

 

 

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Customize your vehicle simply with wheel adapters 

 

A wheel adapter changes the bolt pattern of your vehicle's hub and moves the wheel out allowing you to use custom wheels for most cars and vans.  Some examples are shown below. We cannot manufacture at the moment but there are many companies worldwide that make a variety of popular patterns.

  • Almost any make or model can be manufactured

  • All adapters constructed from high quality billet materials

  • Wheel-to-adapter by press-in studs

  • Available in any thickness or diameter

  • Any bolt pattern

  • Custom studs for all applications, made in a variety of sizes

 

 

Typical wheel adapter - 5 stud to 5 stud pattern

 

 

These billet wheel adapters let you bolt on rims with different offsets, such as Corvette or 93+ F-body rims. These adapters bolt onto the hub, and your rim then bolts to the adapter. This method of attachment is strong as the bolt-on rim, and much stronger than the slip on spacers. If you need a spacer thicker than 1/2", then these bolt-on adapters are your only choice, other than getting different offset rims.

 

The adapters are fabricated from a suitable billet of 6061-T6 or similar specification aluminum. The billet is then CNC machined for precise tolerances and a perfect fit. Heavy Duty M12x1.50 studs can be pressed into the adapter for unrivalled strength. Short open ended lugnuts may be included with the adapter pair.

 

 

Custom Adapters and Applications


We can custom machine almost any size adapter needed, to adapt nearly any wheel to your machine. They can range from 1" to 4" thick. Custom adapters take between 10 - 28 days to machine, and can have inch or metric HD studs. You will need to specify the thickness needed, as well as both the hub and rim bolt circles. All specifications must be known for us to make them. Custom adapters are not returnable, so please double check your measurements.  Popular conversions include VW camper to Porsche wheels (112 to 130mm PCD).



You now have new rims with a different number of studs?


To adapt wheels with a different amount of lugs (a five lug rim to a 4 lug hub) will require a two-piece adapter. The base is machined to fit your hub. The second half (the hat) is machined for your rims, and is bolted to the base with countersunk screws. All heavy duty hardware is included with the adapters so strength is not compromised.

 

 

 

Wheel adapters

 

 

Offset ('82-92 Camaro example.)


Offset is the distance from the rim's mounting surface to the centerline. This Camaro originally came with 16x8" rims with 0mm offset in the front and a positive 16mm offset for the rear rims. Positive offset means the mounting surface is moved towards the outside (away from the center of the car) of the rim. Negative offset is the opposite.

 

Backspacing


Backspacing is the inside depth of the rim. It can easily be measured by putting a yardstick across the backside of the rim, and measuring the distance between the mounting surface and the yardstick.

 

It can also be calculated, as shown below. Don't forget to add for the rim's lip and tire bulging past the rim (use about .25").  16x8" 0mm offset front rims would have 4.25" of backspacing. The positive 16mm rear rims (16mm/25.4 = 0.63") have about 4.9" of backspacing

 

 

Rim Width / 2 = Centerline
Centerline + Offset + Rim Lip = Backspacing

8" wide rims / 2 = 4" Centerline
4" centerline + 0.63" Offset + 0.25" Lip = 4.88" Backspacing

 

 

Measuring Maximum Backspacing


The 89 Camaro can fit rims with a maximum of 5" front and 5.85" rear backspacing. This can be measured, or found out the hard way through trial and error. To measure it, bolt a flat piece of metal or wood to your hub using 2 studs.   Towards the end of the metal, drill a hole and screw a long bolt through it. This bolt should be 1 radius from the hubs centerline (If you will be putting on 26" dia tires, the bolt should be 13" from the hubs centerline). Spin the measuring tool around, and screw the bolt in untill it no longer touches anything. The length of the bolt is your max backspacing. If you have suspension pieces jutting in the wheelwell, try different bolt locations to make sure nothing is in the way. Do this with the wheels turned left and right as well.

 

Measuring Bolt Circles


All Camaros and Firebirds had 5 lug on a 4.75" bolt circle. If you're adapting to a different bolt circle, it can get tricky to measure it. Four and six lug bolt circles can be measured from the center of a stud to the center of the opposite stud. 5 lug bolt patterns have a bit of trigonometry involved. The online 5 lug bolt pattern calculator below will give you the bolt pattern based on a quick measurement.

 

5 Lug Bolt Circle Calculator


Adapters


Adapters move the rim further out. They let you bolt on rims with too much backspacing. If you decide you want to bolt on a pair of Corvette ZR1 rims (17x9.5", 50mm Offset) you would first need to calculate the backspacing.

 

 

9.5" / 2 + 50mm / 25.4 Offset + 0.25" Lip =  6.97" Backspacing

Rim Backspacing - Max Backspacing = Adapter Thickness

6.97" - 5" = 1.97" Front Adapter Necessary
6.97" - 5.85" = 1.12" Rear Adapter Necessary

 

Ideally, you would want some clearance on the inside of the rim to compensate for suspension movement, etc.  In this case, we recommend 2" adapters for the front and rear. You can run the 2" adapters in the rear, even though you only need an extra 1.12" backspacing. This will move the wheel further out in the wheelwell, matching the front, and the wider track will help cornering as well. The only time to not match the front adapters is when you have wider wheels in the back (17x11 ZR1's for example). In that case, the wheel will fit in the wheelwell if the 1.25" adapter is used, but will protrude past the fender lip if you have a wider than necessary adapter.

 

For all fourth-gen rims - 2" adapters front and rear should be used on a third-gen. Some folks prefer having a thinner adapter in the rear. This will fit fine, but the rim will be inside a bit compared to the front. The same thickness on the front and rear gives a more balanced look than using thinner adapters in the rear (with the same size rims f&r) For C5 and 17x11 ZR1 rims, please do the math!

 

 

Using a 4th Gen Rear


If you've changed your third-gen rear to a 4th gen rear, you do not need adapters. The 4th gen rear is approximately 2" wider per side. This is the same as using a set of 2" bolt on adapters

 

 

Adapter Design


You have two choices when the rims need to be moved out - slip on spacers or bolt on adapters.

 

 

Slip-on Spacers


These are the discs that slide over your studs. For small thicknesses (1/4" or less) they are fine. For greater thicknesses, the wheel studs are seriously weakened. The reason is that the studs have a greater bending moment since the lugnuts are further away. Under braking or acceleration, the studs would be stressed more, and might break.

 

 

 

Wheel adapters

 

 

Bolt-on Adapters


Billet adapters bolt onto the car just as a wheel would. The adapters have their own studs that the rim bolts onto. This design is just as strong as without adapters, since the stud forces haven't changed. The adapters are made from a billet cylinder of 6061 T6 Aluminum or similar strength material. The billet is machined to fit over the hub, with stud holes drilled to fit. Studs are pressed through the adapter to which the rims are bolted onto. The adapter is then slipped over the car's studs and bolted on. The rims finally bolt on as usual.

 

There are two ways of bolting the adapters to your hub. One uses a lugnut with a long shank and washers. The clearance needed for the holes ends up as a slight bit of slop when they are bolted on. This isn't usually noticeable when driving. The other method is to use acorned lugnuts to bolt on the adapters, just like for the rims. The lugnuts center the adapter when they are tightened. This is a significantly more precise way to bolt on the adapters, and is how we make them.

 

 

WHEEL ADAPTERS

 

Using wheel adapters also has pros and cons. Pros include easy changing between 4x98mm and 4x100mm bolt pattern wheels, no permanent changes to your car, and little downtime as only the rims/tires needs to be removed to complete the conversion. Cons include increased unsprung weight and the use wheels with a large amount of offset (30-40mm). Because this conversion is "bolt on", it could be moved from one car to another with little effort, increasing it's utility for multi-FIAT owners. 

 

The adapters should be fabricated from an appropriate grade of plate steel. Thickness will depend on your application, but use at least 1/2 inch for strength and reliability. Your machinist can help you with this selection. Both surfaces should be machined to assure flatness and parallelism. The outer diameter needs only to be large enough to accommodate the wheel studs. Make sure, however, that it is not less than the diameter of the stock wheel spacer. The inner diameter needs to be large enough to fit over the hub/axle of your desired model(s). Check the hub/axle diameter close to the brake rotor/drum as it is largest there. Next, eight holes must be machined: four for the knurled wheel studs at 4x100mm and four for the original tapered wheel bolts at 4x98mm. The holes for the knurled wheel studs should be machined as described above, but make certain that the head is completely recessed below the surface of the adapter (by counterboring) so that a flat contact can be made with the hub/axle. 

 

The tapered bolt holes should be 1/2 inch drilled and 60 degree countersunk 1/4 inch deep. This will insure exact centering of the adapters, and therefore the new wheels. The countersink side MUST BE OPPOSITE the counterbore side, so that the wheel studs protrude away from the hub/axle. Obviously, the holes will alternate every 45 degrees, creating the pattern of eight holes. After the wheel studs are pressed into place, the adapters can be bolted onto the hubs/axles just as the original wheels are. The small bolts securing the brake rotors/drums will have to be removed to allow flat contact with the hub/axle. Because the original wheel bolt heads remain exposed, the new wheels must have clearance cavities between bolt holes. Many wheels have these voids to save material during the manufacturing process. Selection of wheel studs and nuts is the same as above. Don't forget that large offset wheels are required for use with this conversion method.

 

 

TRUCK ADAPTERS

 

Adapters for trucks are usually made from steel and adapters for automobiles are made from 6061-T6 billet aluminum. The adapters are precision machined to fit your truck perfectly. No axle change is necessary; mounting is as easy as changing a tire! All of our adapter kits come with the necessary mounting hardware and easy-to-follow instructions.  We cannot make these for you at this time, but the examples given show what is possible.

 


The Magnum Series of Rear Adapters are designed for 3/4 & 1 Ton trucks with an 8 bolt pattern. We have several styles available to accommodate the many types of dual wheels on the market today.

 


The AA-4 series of Front Adapters are designed for the same bolt pattern as the Magnum series. They allow you to use the same dual style wheels on the front axle, giving your truck a complete dually look. AA-4's accommodate both 2- and 4-wheel drive trucks.

 


The Caliber Series adaptor is available for Chev/GMC 1500 series 4WD pick-ups (1988 and newer) and 1500 series 4WD Suburbans (1992 and newer). The adaptor bolts directly to your truck's existing axle studs, and allows you mount 2 dual wheels (8 bolt) to the adaptor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheel Adapters/Spacers - Youtube videos

 

 

 


 

 

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