Do I Need Hub Centric Rings for my New Wheels?
If you’re fitting aftermarket wheels, or basically any wheels other that the ones that originally came stock with your vehicle, there’s a good chance you may need hub centric rings Also known as locator rings or simply hub rings, they are an inexpensive, yet vital, part of many aftermarket wheel installs.
A hub centric ring is used to help a wheel stay centered during installation. It fits over the center bore of the wheel and over the hub pilot on the axle, filling up the space between the two surfaces. Most aftermarket wheels are non hub centric, which means the center bore is intentionally made larger to fit over a variety of different-sized hub pilots. It is recommended that hub centric rings are used with aftermarket aluminum wheels.
Which wheels don’t need them?
- OEM wheels are made for a specific vehicle. They have a specific center bore diameter to fit a specific hub pilot diameter.
- Steel wheels have a thinner mounting surface. This makes them too thin to accommodate a hub centric ring.
- Any wheel that uses a push-through center cap will not accept hub centric rings.
- Any wheel with an “as cast” (non-machined) center bore won’t accept hub centric rings
How do I choose the right ones?
- Plastic rings are best for streetcars in areas where rain, snow and road salt are a concern. Metal rings can corrode, making it difficult to remove the wheel.
- Metal rings are better for race cars and other vehicles that get driven harder, creating more heat. Plastic rings can melt.
Hub centric rings are available in a variety of sizes to fit different wheel/vehicle combinations. You will need to know:
- The center bore diameter of the wheel, and
- The hub pilot diameter of the vehicle.
Measure the hub pilot on each hub with a set of vernier calipers. Then, select the rings that most closely match the sizes of your wheel/vehicle combination.