Ever walk out to your car and find an essentially identical one parked right next to it? That’s a hell of a lot of money spent on that thing just to have the guy across the street give you the ol’ “howdy neighbor” as he climbs into a copy and paste version of your car, isn’t it?
But of course there are more reasons to throw on a set of aftermarket wheels. Maybe you’re going for a certain stance, to fit big tires without rubbing, or for some strong, lightweight wheels for track days or autocross. Whatever the reason, finding the right size and fit wheel can be a real pain if you’re not already intimately familiar with how the fitments work.
Where to Start:
You wouldn’t think so based on how common it is for people to swap around wheels and tires, but this can be one of the more complicated items to figure out in order to get just the right fit. Wheel offset isn’t intuitive at all, and neither are tire size formats for that matter.
The first thing to determine is your bolt pattern. This can vary between years, models, and even trim levels, so be sure to cover your bases here and to get the correct bolt pattern. One helpful tool you can use is Wheel-Size.com. They have impeccable data on vehicle bolt patterns and wheel sizes, it’s always my go-to when helping anyone find wheels for their car or truck.
If you’re still not 100% sure, you can always measure it yourself. Bolt patterns are specified by number of lugs and then the distance between center to center of opposing lugs, like seen in this diagram to the right. So 6×5.5″ (6×139.7mm for metric people) would be 6 lugs with the opposing lugs being 5.5″ apart, center to center.
Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, and this concept may apply when upgrading to aftermarket wheels. But if you do decide to up the size of your wheels, there are many things to consider. While larger rims look great, they can negatively impact your ride-quality and will run pricier than their smaller counterparts. On the other hand, wider wheels mean wider tires, which offer your truck greater traction. This is important if you use your rig for off-roading or other extreme driving conditions. To determine what size of tires you’d need with your bigger wheels, use a tire size calculator.
Ultimately, you should consider the maximum-sized tire. You may find that simply going one inch smaller on the rim diameter gives you twice as many options. There’s no sense in buying a nice-looking wheel just for size if you can’t find any acceptable tires to fit.
Center bore & Hub-centric vs. Lug-centric
Another important thing to note is the size of your wheel’s center bore, and whether your wheels are hub-centric or lug-centric. To get the center bore’s size, measure the diameter of the hole that centers over the mounting hub. Your wheel is categorized as hub-centric if the center bore matches the mounting hub’s size. If it doesn’t, your wheels are lug-centric.
How to measure backspacing
Knowing your vehicle’s backspacing size is another essential facet of finding the right wheel. Your wheel’s backspacing is measured from the mounting surface in the middle to the back edge of the wheel. The size will vary, depending on your offset. If it has zero offset, the hub mounting surface is even with the wheel’s center line. If it has a positive offset, the mounting surface is closer to the front of the wheel, while a negative offset is closer to the back of the wheel.
Knowing your maximum load
Wheels are advertised with a maximum weight load, which has been known to cause confusion. To determine the exact weight load, multiply the advertised max-weight by four. For example, if each wheel’s load rating is 3,500 lbs, the total load rating for your truck would be 14,000 lbs.
Going bigger by matching your wheels to your lift kit
If your truck or SUV has a lift kit, don’t worry, you just need a few more pieces of information. To find out what wheels are designed to work with your rig, contact the manufacturer of your lift kit. They’re able to easily provide the information you need, so you can order those custom steel wheels or alloy rims you’ve been after.
Once you determine your ride’s proper sizing and measurements, all that’s left is the fun, easy part — picking out your sweet new wheels. AutoAnything carries a great selection of automotive tire accessories. As a reminder, wheels are sold individually. For a complete set, you need four wheels, or five for a matching spare. Before you buy, learn more about the options by reading our alloy rim reviews. We back every product on our site with a 1-Year, Lower Price Guarantee.