Friday, November 8, 2013

Hub Centric Wheel Adapters

Hub centric wheel adapters are aluminum spacers that are designed to fit between the hub and wheel of a vehicle. Adapters have a variety of thicknesses; the thicker it is the further away from the hub it extends outward. This added procedure-component widens the track of the vehicle which assists in cornering stability and overall better handling. It also adds to the aesthetic appeal, giving the car or truck a more aggressive stance. Race cars are often fitted with wheel adapters to improve tracking. It is important to note that two types are available: one type contains an extra pair of studs and bolts on to the hub while the other (a disc spacer) simply slips on over the preexisting wheel studs.

Fitting Wheel Adapters and Spacers

There is no guesswork when it comes to fitting hub centric adapters and spacers. To know exactly what you need and what is safe for the suspension of the vehicle, it is advised that you contact a professional wheel and tire shop. You will need to provide your make, model and year of your vehicle, along with information about tire size, especially if the tires are considerably over manufacturer’s recommended specifications. Extremely wide, over-stock tires will already pose outward stresses on the wheel and hub; therefore you will not want to exacerbate the problem by extending out any further than necessary. A tire should also have enough clearance under the fender skirt in a full down-load suspension attitude. You do not want to bring a stock tire outward and just under a fender skirt that may damage it during suspension travel.

A professional will tell you the appropriate thickness which will be suitable for your application. Listen to the advice. In the case of an adapter, you might be asked to measure the length of the studs on the front or rear wheels. This will determine the thickness of the adapter that can be used, since an adapter plate that is too thin will allow the studs to protrude up past the edge of the adapter, disallowing the wheel to mate flush with the hub. Overly long studs would involve cutting the studs down. Once you have the adapters and-or spacers properly ordered, you can pick them up at the store.

Installing the Hub Centric Wheel Adapters & Spacers

A few tools are need for the installation of the adapters and spacers: torque wrench, lug wrench, jack stands and a hydraulic floor jack.

Set the emergency brake and place the vehicle in park or in gear. It is easier to raise one axle at a time, and to do this the floor jack is placed midway under the front or rear cross-member and the vehicle is raised. A jack stand is placed behind each wheel under the main frame, or a suspension component that will safely support the weight. The lug nuts are removed with the lug wrench and the wheels taken off. If hub adapters are used, they will be placed directly over the hub’s preexisting studs (holes aligned) and secured with the packaged lug nuts.

It’s best to run the lug nuts in by hand until they bottom out and then tighten them with the torque wrench to manufacturer’s specifications. You will find the torque specifications in your owner’s manual, or the tire-wheel shop can provide this information. The nuts will also be tightened in a star pattern—a sequence opposite each other. The wheel is then remounted and then the stock lug nuts are torqued in the same manner.

The tire removal is the same when spacers are used, but wheel billet spacers will not be bolted to the stock hub of the vehicle. The spacer will simply slide over the stock wheel studs and be sandwiched between the hub and the wheel. The wheels will be torque in the same fashion. With either installation, it is important that both the inner and outer part of the hub and wheel surfaces be clean and free of mud and debris to assure an even and tight fit. 

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