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The Skinny on Hub Centric Rings

3832 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Discount Tire
We frequently see questions regarding hub centric rings so we decided to put this thread together to help answer some of these questions.

First, some terms you will need to know.

  • “Hub Centric Wheels”

Hub centric wheels have a center bore that matches the vehicle’s hub pilot.

  • “Non Hub Centric Wheels”

Non hub centric wheels have a larger center bore than the vehicles hub pilot.

What are hub centric rings?​

Hub centric rings, typically made of plastic or metal, are designed and used to fill the gap between the hub pilot of the vehicle and the
center bore of the wheel.

Here's what the hub pilot, the center bore of a wheel, and hub centric rings look like:

What purpose do hub centric rings serve?

A hub centric ring’s sole purpose is to help align and center the wheel and tire assembly on the vehicle’s hub pilot. Once the wheel assembly
is torqued, the hub centric ring’s job is complete. Hub rings help reduce and can eliminate wheel and tire vibrations caused during installation.

Do all wheels need hub centric rings?

No, not all wheels need hub centric rings.

Wheels that are “Hub Centric” for the vehicle will fit over the vehicles hub pilot without any gap. All original equipment and some aftermarket
wheels are hub centric but most aftermarket wheels are not hub centric.

Wheels that are "Non Hubcentric" can be mounted without hub rings if the proper time and care it taken to center the wheel on the vehicles
hub during installation.

I read that you have to run hub centric rings on non hub centric wheels or the lug nuts/studs will break do to extra load. Is this

This is not the case. The vehicles hub pilot, studs, and lug nuts are not load bearing. What actually holds a wheel on the vehicle is force friction
that is created once the lug nuts are torqued to specifications set by the vehicle manufacturer.

How are hub centric rings sized?

Hub centric rings are sized by the outer diameter to inner diameter. The outer diameter is the hub bore of the wheel and the inner
diameter is the hub pilot on the vehicle.

Here's an example:

The hub pilot on a 2000 Nissan Altima is 66.1mm. The hub bore on the 17x7 Konig Unknown (a popular wheel for this application) is 73.1mm.
From looking at the hub pilot and hub bore specs, we know there is a 7mm. gap. To fill this gap a hub centric ring is used. The correct ring
size for this particular application is 73.1(Outer Diameter) to 66.1(Inner Diameter).

Which material is better, aluminum or plastic?

There is a lot of debate on which material is best and there are Pros and Cons to both. Here's our take on the subject.

If you live in an area where snow and road salt is present, or in an area around the ocean, plastic rings are best used. Unlike the metal
aluminum rings, the plastic rings will not oxidize and corrode.

If you push your vehicle to the limits and are constantly on the brakes, like when road racing for example, a metal hub centric ring is best
used. Contrary to what you may read, under heavy braking or racing situations, plastic rings can deteriorate from the heat being
generated. The heat can break down the plastic material making it brittle which can ultimately lead to the ring braking. Although rare
and under extreme conditions, the plastic ring can completely melt and deform.

If your vehicle is mainly used as a daily driver, pick one and go with it, either one will get the job done.

Discount Tire Direct includes hub centric rings FREE of charge (when applicable) with every set of wheels we sell. We also sell hub
centric ring sets in both plastic and aluminum for only $15.00. This price does include FREE shipping so if you need a set of hub centric
rings, give us a call at 1.888.459.4080 and anyone of our agents would be happy to set you up.
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On that note, is it a good idea to use copper grease on the rotor to wheel mating surface? The dealership has been putting it on, and I generally thought it was a good idea to use on all parts conducting heat, but you mention friction is bearing the load. Would copper grease defeat this principle and cause premature failure?
We do not recommended adding anything to the hub mounting surface. The grease can can cause mounting imperfections and is best left to metal on metal contact.
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