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Unread 04-17-2015, 04:28 PM   #1
cwein23
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lug and hub centric wheels/wheel spacers

I know this topic has been beaten to death but the info seems kinda contradictory.
It's my understanding that hub centric wheels takes the force of supporting the jeep and puts it on the hub, as the wheel hugs the hub, while lug centric wheels use the lugs to support the weight of the jeep.
In all the threads I read, everyone said that using lug centric wheels isn't a problem as long as they're balanced right.

Why is it that everyone insists upon hub centric wheel spacers? Also, without a hub centric wheel (which I've been told is most aftermarket wheels), why are they even necessary?

Thanks for any info/corrections on bad info!

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Unread 04-17-2015, 09:17 PM   #2
baritone_mike
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First off, the wheel studs do not support the weight of the Jeep. Somewhat fancy physics explains this on a Miata, similar concept applies to Jeep just with 5 lugs instead of 4. Once you torque the lug nuts down, the static friction between the wheel and the hub support all of the vertical weight of the Jeep. On the 4 lug example below the static friction between the wheel and the tire is capable of supporting 6000lbs per wheel. The YJ has an extra lug nut so the load it is capable of supporting becomes 7500lbs per wheel. The numbers will be slightly different due to different thread pitch and lug sizes but not enough to make up for the fact that the load it is capable of supporting is much much larger than the weight of the Jeep. The lugs do support the lateral forces in both situations though, so any side hill or turning the uphill/outside lugs will have a tensile load on them.

Guys name is Lance Schall
pg 1 http://www.idsfa.net/miata/lugnuts/page1.jpg
pg 2 http://www.idsfa.net/miata/lugnuts/page2.jpg

So what it comes down to between hub and lug centric is when you mount the wheels. Hub centric you put it on the vehicle and the hub centers the wheel. Lug centric you put it on the vehicle and the wheel just sits on the wheel studs and is not centered, the lug nuts will center the wheel though that is why they are conical at the bottom, but it is still possible to mount it just a little off center if you torque one lug before the others. So the only difference is when you mount them.

Also most hub centric rings are made of plastic, so how much weight do you think they would really support before failing?

So my guess as to why people prefer hub centric wheel spacers is for the ease of centering the wheel. With a wheel spacer you have to center the spacer on the hub, and the wheel on the spacer. If the spacer is hub centric it is much easier to ensure that it is centered correctly. With lug centric a little bit off on the spacer to hub and a little bit off on the wheel to spacer could cause a large vibration.
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Unread 04-17-2015, 11:06 PM   #3
cwein23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baritone_mike View Post
First off, the wheel studs do not support the weight of the Jeep. Somewhat fancy physics explains this on a Miata, similar concept applies to Jeep just with 5 lugs instead of 4. Once you torque the lug nuts down, the static friction between the wheel and the hub support all of the vertical weight of the Jeep. On the 4 lug example below the static friction between the wheel and the tire is capable of supporting 6000lbs per wheel. The YJ has an extra lug nut so the load it is capable of supporting becomes 7500lbs per wheel. The numbers will be slightly different due to different thread pitch and lug sizes but not enough to make up for the fact that the load it is capable of supporting is much much larger than the weight of the Jeep. The lugs do support the lateral forces in both situations though, so any side hill or turning the uphill/outside lugs will have a tensile load on them.

Guys name is Lance Schall
pg 1 http://www.idsfa.net/miata/lugnuts/page1.jpg
pg 2 http://www.idsfa.net/miata/lugnuts/page2.jpg

So what it comes down to between hub and lug centric is when you mount the wheels. Hub centric you put it on the vehicle and the hub centers the wheel. Lug centric you put it on the vehicle and the wheel just sits on the wheel studs and is not centered, the lug nuts will center the wheel though that is why they are conical at the bottom, but it is still possible to mount it just a little off center if you torque one lug before the others. So the only difference is when you mount them.

Also most hub centric rings are made of plastic, so how much weight do you think they would really support before failing?

So my guess as to why people prefer hub centric wheel spacers is for the ease of centering the wheel. With a wheel spacer you have to center the spacer on the hub, and the wheel on the spacer. If the spacer is hub centric it is much easier to ensure that it is centered correctly. With lug centric a little bit off on the spacer to hub and a little bit off on the wheel to spacer could cause a large vibration.
Wow, great answer! Good explaination.
I appreciate the thorough answer, helped me to understand it a lot.
That also explains the importance of keeping them torqued to spec... too loose it'd lose the static friction and apply the shear force.. very interesting!

I didn't know the majority where plastic so that's news to me too, thank you!
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Unread 04-17-2015, 11:59 PM   #4
fratis
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That was well stated. The debate really only started after the JK crowd formed. Most aftermarket wheels that are not marketed specifically to a certain vehicle are lug centric. There are many different diameter "hubs" in use. Most make and model specific wheels are not worth the extra expense and lack the qualities that make aftermarket wheels desirable. Those that insist on the hubcentric concept can't grasp that wheels have been mounted lugcetrically for more years then they have been alive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a lugcentric mounting of a wheel at all.
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Unread 04-18-2015, 08:14 AM   #5
fishadventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratis
That was well stated. The debate really only started after the JK crowd formed. Most aftermarket wheels that are not marketed specifically to a certain vehicle are lug centric. There are many different diameter "hubs" in use. Most make and model specific wheels are not worth the extra expense and lack the qualities that make aftermarket wheels desirable. Those that insist on the hubcentric concept can't grasp that wheels have been mounted lugcetrically for more years then they have been alive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a lugcentric mounting of a wheel at all.
exactly- think of an old VW or BMW that doesn't even have a central hub and uses conical head bolts to lug down the wheels. It's only strange if you haven't seen it or worked with it.
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Unread 04-18-2015, 12:04 PM   #6
Mambo_Dave
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Well I sure learned something I didn't expect. Thank you, gentlemen, for the discussion.
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Unread 04-18-2015, 01:37 PM   #7
cwein23
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Yeah thank you a lot! I have no clue if my wheels are hub centric so it's good to know it doesn't matter!
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Unread 04-18-2015, 01:41 PM   #8
Mambo_Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwein23 View Post
Yeah thank you a lot! I have no clue if my wheels are hub centric so it's good to know it doesn't matter!
It seems to me that it does matter if you mess it all up and find a wheel (or the wrong lug nuts) that centers on neither; then you're only guessing at a centered wheel on the axle.
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Unread 04-18-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
imstillatwork
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While were at it, there are spherical (or ball) and conical lug nuts too. And Lug bolts. mixing up spherical and conical is not good.
All my VWs (90's watercooled) used spherical lug bolts. The hub had threaded holes - not studs
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