Buying Mag Wheels
Changing from stock wheels to mags can seem like a good idea, but choosing the right wheels can be hard. Ordering can be easier if you know what to look for in a wheel; read on to find out everything you’ll need to know when comparing wheel and tyre prices.
Many people get bigger wheels when upgrading, but size isn’t the only consideration you should make. Large rims look stylish, but they can adversely affect ride quality, and they can be more expensive to buy and maintain. For those who drive 4WDs, however, wider wheels (and the tyres that accompany them) can offer better traction.
In choosing a set of mag wheels, you should think about the biggest tyre you’d want to use. The choice may leave you with limited options, but if you’re flexible with rim diameter, you may have more choices. After all, even the perfect set of rims is useless if you can’t find the right tyres!
Two numbers are used in finding your vehicle’s bolt pattern. The first number is the number of bolt holes on each wheel, and the second number is the distance between the bolts. For instance, a bolt pattern of 6 x 5.5 signifies that a wheel has six bolt holes, 5.5″ apart when measured across the wheel’s center. 5-lug patterns depart from this rule; for these wheels, measurements are made from the back of one lug hole to the center of the hole directly opposite.
Another important measurement is the centre bore of the wheel, and it’s vital to know if the wheels you choose are lug-centric or hub-centric. To measure your centre bore, measure the hole directly over the mounting hub. Your wheels are hub-centric if the centre bore and mounting hub are the same size; if they’re different, the wheels are lug-centric.
To find the right wheels for your car or 4WD, you’ll need to know the size of the backspacing. This measurement is taken from the mounting surface to the wheel’s back edge, and will vary depending on offset. Zero-offset wheels have a mounting surface even with the centre line of the wheel. Positive offset wheels have a mounting surface closer to the wheel front, while wheels with negative offset have mounting surfaces closer to the back of the wheel. Backspacing measurements are done in inches; 4.5″ is a common size. If you buy wheels with incorrect backspacing, they’re unlikely to fit your vehicle.
When you buy wheels, they’re given a maximum load rating, which can be difficult to understand. The rating given is per wheel; to get the load rating for the entire vehicle, multiply that number by four.
Match your Wheels to a Lift Kit
If your 4WD is lifted, you’ll only need a little extra info to get the right mag wheels. Call the maker of your lift kit to determine which wheels are made to fit. Once you have the right measurements, all you have to do is pick out the wheels you want, and to find the best discount wheel prices.