What are hub centric rings?

Hub centric rings are also known as hub rings. They are devices that are normally inserted behind an aftermarket wheel to balance it perfectly around the wheel hub. They ensure that the wheel is centered. The ring normally bears no weight since the wheel is fastened to the wheel hub using lug bolts or lug nuts.

Aftermarket rims are manufactured to have wheels that feature a large center bore. As long as the rims have the same bolt pattern as that of the vehicle, they should fit perfectly well. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen. An installation can leave an empty space between the center bore and the wheel hub. This then calls for the use of hub centric rings which fill this gap. The objective is to make sure the wheel rotates without any vibrations.

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Benefits of Hub Centric Rings

  1. Eliminate vibrations caused by large wheels with oversized center bores.
  2. Keep the wheel centered on the car’s hub.
  3. Facilitate safe and easy fastening of lug hardware.
  4. A set of four hub centric rings costs about $10.

How They Work

Installations, where hub centric rings are not used, are known as lug centric. They rely on the lugs to keep the wheel centered. This is safe, but may sometimes lead to irritating vibrations in one or more wheels. This is, especially, if the driver is driving at high speeds.

Factory wheels are built to be hub centric. They match the design of your car and are designed to fit the hub bore perfectly. When it comes to aftermarket wheels, however, they are designed to fit several cars. The only disadvantage is that while many cars may share a bolt pattern, it’s highly unlikely that they have identical hub bores.

A hub centric ring is the missing link between these cars. It can make one particular aftermarket wheel fit in different cars despite them having varying hub bores. Aftermarket wheel manufacturers build wheels with a larger center bore for almost every vehicle on the road. The gap left can easily be filled using a hub centric ring. This stabilizes the wheel and ensures that it sits perfectly at the center of the hub.

Aluminum vs Plastic

Hub centric rings are built using either aluminum or highly durable plastic. Those built with plastic material are the most common. Some are even sold alongside aftermarket wheels together with an installation kit. They are a great solution for trucks and street cars as they do not rust or wear out against the metal of the rim or hub. They are also an ideal solution for wet climates.

Their only downside is that they can melt if the wheels get too hot. This is common in high-performance and racing cars. If you have a racing or hot-rod car, consider getting aluminum hub centric rings. Aluminum is widely used to make automotive parts. It’s strong, durable and light. If you decide to go with it, remember to add some heat-proof grease before installing the rings to prevent them from corroding. The corrosion causes them to fuse with the hub and wheel, making it difficult to remove the wheel in the future.

What Size of Hub Centric Rings do I Need?

Unfortunately, there is no hub centric ring size calculator available on the market yet. You’ll have to manually measure your wheels to determine the size of hub centric ring that you’ll need. Wheel bore sizes also vary widely and can be different for two identical wheels made at different times. You’ll need to get two measurements: your wheel hub’s outer diameter and the diameter of your rim’s center bore.

The first measurement can be found in your vehicle’s manual. If you don’t find it, reach out to a representative of your vehicle manufacturer or a retailer. You can also make use of online resources to find the information. As for the second measurement, start with a piece of paper. Use it to measure the inner diameter of the bore. Match this distance on a tape measure to get the measurement. Alternatively, you can remove the wheel and measure the wheel hub’s outer diameter using a Vernier caliper. The two figures will help you determine the size of the hub centric ring that you’ll need.

For example, if you have a wheel hub with a diameter of 73 mm and a wheel center bore with a diameter of 67.1 mm, you’ll need a hub-centric ring sized 5.9 mm (73 mm – 67.1 mm = 5.9 mm). It should be able to fill the space between the hub and wheel bore perfectly.

What is the Best Tool for Measuring the Bore?

You may discover that your wheels do not come with all the details that you need. This means that you have to measure the bore yourself. One of the best tools to use is a Vernier caliper. It’s fairly affordable and will provide the measurement that you need. The measurement of the bore is taken from the inside, where its walls run parallel to each other. Measuring this with a ruler is difficult and may not provide accurate results. Since the bore opening is normally wider than the bore itself, measuring it externally will result in an incorrect value. This is why the measurement is taken from the inside using a Vernier caliper. You can get one at your local hardware store. There are digital types available which feature a display for reading measurements.

Are hub centric rings only for aftermarket wheels?

No. It’s true that hub centric rings are mostly used to center aftermarket wheels. However, they can also be used to mount factory wheels obtained from a different car. This is, especially where the second vehicle has a similar bolt pattern, but a different hub. A difference in the size of the hub creates space between the hub and the center bore. The wheels cannot sit at the center unless hub centric rings are used.

 

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