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Smitty
August 26th, 2013, 10:51 AM
Sorry if this question has already been asked. I bought generic 6x6.5 steel wheels for the winter tires on my '12 SX4 Crossover 6spd AWD and need to know two things. 1) Can I reuse the lugs that came with the factory alloys or will I need regular pass-through lug nuts. 2) Because the wheel has a larger diameter opening than the hub, will I need hubcentric spacers, or are those only required for alloy wheels?
Thanks
Smitty

Stinson Driver
August 26th, 2013, 08:41 PM
I ran steel wheels with winter tires for a couple of winters before I put the General Grabber AT2 tires onto my car, which I run year-round.

The steelies mounted up just fine with the stock lugnuts used with the factory alloy wheels. No problem there.

My wheels had too big a hole in the middle, also. Purists will tell you that you MUST have exact hub-centric mounting, but cars got along just fine for many years before the concept was invented and put into wide-spread use. I was just very careful to snug the lugs up almost firmly, jiggle and wiggle the wheel to make sure it was settled evenly into the tapered pockets in the wheel that recieved the lug nuts, then tighten them evenly. I had no trouble, no vibration and no bad side-effects in those two winters of running the steelies without hub-centric centering. Your experience may be different, but I think it would be worth a try. Let us know what you learn.

By the way, be sure to not over-torque the lug nuts. Our lug bolts are very soft and weak compared to many, and it is easy to break them with overzealous tightening. Use a torque wrench and tighten them to the factory recommended torque, no more. I do not remember the torque value off the top of my head, but it is fairly low compared to most cars. It is in the owner's manual. I have used the factory torque for over 60,000 miles on this car (rotate tires every 5,000 miles) and they hold just fine with that tightening level. Also, to assure proper thread engagement, be sure to put the lug nuts on by hand for at least several complete turns before using a wrench - it is easy to wreck these soft studs by crossthreading in addition to by overtightening.

Smitty
August 27th, 2013, 05:21 AM
Thank you for your valuable insight Stinson Driver.

dmention7
August 27th, 2013, 05:53 AM
Just FYI... plastic hubcentric rings cost next to nothing, and are a little extra insurance that everything will be centered up when you go to tighten your lugnuts. Plastic is fine because the actual load of the wheels is being borne by the lugnuts.

Smitty
August 27th, 2013, 08:36 AM
I thought the main purpose of the rings besides centering the wheel was to help take the load OFF the lugs. Is my assumption wrong?

dmention7
August 27th, 2013, 10:15 AM
Here's a good quick read on the purpose and function of hub rings: http://www.gencoupe.com/wheels-tires-brakes-2008-2012/68473-skinny-hub-centric-rings.html

Pete the Pirate
August 28th, 2013, 10:53 AM
With the size of our lug studs, I believe Suzuki meant for the hubs to carry part of the load, if only under extreme conditions. I have seen other incorrect information in print, among them the "fact" that R-134 is more efficient than R-12 and the "fact" that drilled rotors dissipate heat better than nondrilled rotors. Plainly, I do not believe this article.

jelly2m8
August 28th, 2013, 10:20 PM
FWIW I've ran the SX4 for the 7 winters with lug-centintric steel wheels without any centering rings and haven't had any issues or failures.

dmention7
August 29th, 2013, 05:46 AM
With the size of our lug studs, I believe Suzuki meant for the hubs to carry part of the load, if only under extreme conditions. I have seen other incorrect information in print, among them the "fact" that R-134 is more efficient than R-12 and the "fact" that drilled rotors dissipate heat better than nondrilled rotors. Plainly, I do not believe this article.

I'm not going to call you a liar or anything, as I can't claim true first-hand knowledge the design and load characteristics of a wheel hub, but everything I have read agrees with the point that, broadly, the load of the vehicle is carried by the friction created by clamping the wheel and hub mating surfaces together. If the load was truly borne in any large part by the hub, then there could be no clearance between the hub and bore--i.e. wheels would need to be press-fit to the hubs.

Smitty
August 29th, 2013, 07:37 AM
So what I'm getting from everyone is that it really wouldn't matter if I used the ring spacers or not with my steel wheels. But if I DID choose to use them, I really wouldn't be doing any harm to my vehicle.

If I chose to use the rings, the only remaining question would be how to accurately measure the diameter of my steel wheel's center bore so I know what size ring to order. Because the wheels are generic (through Firestone) there's no way to look it up. My measuring tape(s) do not show mm, and probably wouldn't be the most accurate way to measure anyway. I suppose if I took a wheel to (insert auto parts store here), they'd have some kind of calipers or bore gauge I could use to measure with in their parking lot.

dmention7
August 29th, 2013, 10:50 AM
Right. Hub rings would be the preferred method, but I think you can find plenty of evidence saying you'd likely be fine without them.

Just as a note, a cheap digital calipers can be had for <$20. Plenty accurate for day to day use, as long as you don't take that last digit as gospel ;)

Pete the Pirate
August 29th, 2013, 08:57 PM
I agree without a press fit the hub does not normally support the car, I just think there is a reason cheap a** Suzuki spends money on making them hubcentric besides ease of assembly. Extreme cornering, getting air or an accident could make hub contact helpful. That is an educated guess erring on the side of caution.

dmention7
August 30th, 2013, 05:32 AM
Maybe I'm wrong about this, but aren't the majority of cars nowadays designed with hubcentric wheels? Or maybe I have that impression because I don't have much experience outside of econoboxes.

Pete the Pirate
August 30th, 2013, 08:47 AM
The spectre of the mchine screws they use for wheel studs being the only thing holding the wheels up offends my sensibilities.

dmention7
August 30th, 2013, 10:32 AM
haha, fair enough.