Shopping: Real Estate |  Costumes  |  Guitars
This Issue Archived Articles Blog About Us Contact Us

Custom Wheel Centre Rings

Stop those vibrations

by Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

At a glance...

  • Custom machined centre-ing rings for alloy wheels
  • Step by step of production and fitting
Email a friend     Print article
This article was first published in 2004.

Click for larger image

If you've bought alloy wheels from another make of car, or you’ve picked up a secondhand set of aftermarket alloys, the chances are that the centre hole won't be a good fit for the hub of your car.

That’s right, even if the stud pattern and the offset are correct, the size of that round hole right in the middle of the wheel is important.

If it’s too small, it won’t let the wheel fit on your car’s hub. And if it’s too big, the wheel won’t be properly centred on the hub, leading to vibration at speed. The solution is to have centre-ing rings machined-up. It’s a job that can be carried out at alloy wheel repairers.

In this story we follow the process step by step as carried out by Dupulu Wheel Reconditioning on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Click for larger image

So what exactly is the problem, then? Here is the hub of the car. You can see that a collar protrudes from the centre of the hub, one that the wheel needs to fit over.

Click for larger image

And here’s the centre wheel opening. In the case of this wheel and this hub, the wheel centre hole was too large by about 5mm. That allowed the wheel to be fitted, but all the centre-ing then depended on the wheel nuts.

Click for larger image

The first step is to remove the tyre from the wheel.

Click for larger image

Once this has been done, the wheel is spun up on the balancing machine so that it can be checked to be running true – that is, not out of round or buckled.

Click for larger image

The diameter of the wheel hole is then measured, being compared to...

Click for larger image

...the diameter of the hub's projecting collar.

Click for larger image

Centre-ing rings are used a lot in aftermarket alloys to match the wheel to the hub, so Dean went through a box of surplus rings to find a set that would be most suitable for the application.

Click for larger image

He knew no off-the-shelf rings would suit, so what he was looking for was a ring that was slightly smaller in internal diameter and slightly larger in external diameter than the required size.

Click for larger image

The rings are made from aluminium alloy and come with a chamfered front face that allows the wheel to be easily slid onto the hub.

Click for larger image

Small projections are located on the outside of the rings so that when they’re pressed home into the wheel, they’ll stay there.

Click for larger image

In order that these projections could be utilised, Dean decided to increase the size of the wheel hole a little and then machine out the inner diameter of the ring to match the hub. He measured the outside diameter of the ring and then....

Click for larger image

...used his huge lathe to machine out the centre hole of the wheel to match the ring. In fact, he machined out only a rear recess so that the ring could be pressed in from the back of the wheel.

Click for larger image

When the inner opening reached the right diameter....

Click for larger image

...the ring could be pressed into place.

Click for larger image

The inner diameter of the ring could then be machined out to match the projection on the hub. Told you the lathe was huge....

Click for larger image

A test-fit of the wheel showed that the clearances were correct – it’s a snug fit.

Click for larger image

Here’s what the installed ring looks like from the front, centre cap removed.

Click for larger image

And here’s the installed ring, viewed from the back.

Click for larger image

The tyre is refitted, the wheel balanced...

Click for larger image

..and then refitted to the car. Multiply that process by four and the job is done!

Depending on whether the rings need to be machined-up from virgin bar or existing rings can be adapted to suit (as was done here), the cost is around AUD$200-$300 for a set of four. That price includes tyre removal and refitting and rebalancing.

Did you enjoy this article?

Please consider supporting AutoSpeed with a small contribution. More Info...

Share this Article: 

More of our most popular articles.
One of the best electronic car modification tricks you ever saw

DIY Tech Features - 15 October, 2013

Pots aren't just variable resistors

One of the all-time great aero specials

Special Features - 10 January, 2007

Holden Commodore VL SS Group A Walkinshaw

An amazing torque curve...

Technical Features - 7 July, 2009

BMW's V12 Twin Turbo

A day of testing with the Hyundai i30 diesel rally car

Special Features - 18 May, 2010

Pushing Limits

From the weird to the weirder!

Special Features - 27 June, 2000

The GM Concept Cars

A dozen bits to find at the truck wreckers.

Technical Features - 29 August, 2008

Junkyard Dawg

Stress, strain and yield points - all about the strength of materials

DIY Tech Features - 16 November, 2006

Making Things, Part 6

The steering

DIY Tech Features - 2 June, 2009

Chalky, Part 4

We could be served up far better new cars

Special Features - 30 October, 2012

Three utter failings of current cars

Less than 1 litre/100km fuel economy from this stunning concept vehicle

Special Features - 3 May, 2011

Volkswagen's Eco-Stunner

Copyright © 1996-2020 Web Publications Pty Limited. All Rights ReservedRSS|Privacy policy|Advertise
Consulting Services: Magento Experts|Technologies : Magento Extensions|ReadytoShip