steel wheels

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May 31, 2003
Steel wheels were discussed last week in two threads(mine and Photoman's). Here's the additional info I learned the hard way...

Last Friday I bought 5 Rock Crawler wheels. The bolt pattern was right(6x5.5), the offset was 0 and backspacing 4.25 - close enough. Center bore was 108mm vs 106mm for OE. OK, that will fit.

Then I noticed that my factory alloys used flat washers on the lug nuts instead of conical lug nuts. The Rock Crawlers were set up for the conical type. So I called Toyota Customer Service and confirmed my suspicion - 80's are hub-centric. In other words, the wheels are chamfered to fit tightly over the tapered hubs. The hubs are weight-bearing. After-market wheels will bolt up but the lugs bear all the weight.

Can't say for sure, but I doubt that any after-market wheel mfg makes hub-centric wheels for 80's. Also, I don't know if all model years of 80's are hub-centric, but '96 sure is.

Took the Rock Crawlers back and stopped at my friendly toyota dealer on the way home and ordered the factory steel wheels.

Glad to hear you decided on OEM wheels.(Hope you got 42601-60361 x 4) Don't seem to remember your visit :dunno: :G
 Should I tell you that all you needed was 90942-01081 x 24 (conical seat lug nuts) to get the job done?

 Oh, you will still need them(90942-01081 nuts) for the OEM steel wheels.....If you paid list, ask them to toss 'em in........ ::)
So pre-95 when the trucks still had conical lugnuts (another cut cost discovered), were the wheels not hub centric?
the wheels are "positioned" by the lug nuts. some are "conical seat" some are "shank type"................
So post-94 did Toyota continue to use conical lugs on foriegn Cruisers while they also continued to use the superior A442F?
Dunno........ :dunno:
Then I will just stick to my idea that it was another cost cut by Toyota on the 95+ Cruisers.
The steel wheels and the alloy wheels are hub-centric wheels.


Wrench is on vacation or you hurt his feelings or something. If you don't cut it out we're gonna start picking on you until he comes back. :G
Cut what out?  Okay, okay.  I know it hurts to have your trucks obvious weaknesses pointed out. :G


Now i'm done.
The alloys are lug centric not hub centric. That's why you need that adapter for the balancing machines to properly balance them. Traditional balancing doesn't give the best results and can not allow you to balance larger tires. I found this out the hard way and only the dealer has this adapter in my area.
The Rock Crawler dealer gave me conical lug nuts with the wheels. Using them would have centered the wheels but the hubs would not be holding the vehicle's weight - only the lugs would. The way I understand it, the the hub is designed to hold the weight. The lugs and nuts only hold the wheels tight on the hub.
Hub-centric is an upgrade. The following is found on :

"An increasing number of new wheels feature a design element known as hub-centric. On a non-hub-centric wheel, the lug nuts perform double-duty as they pull the wheel into contact with the wheel hub and also provide support to the wheel in the vertical plane. In other words, the lug nuts support the entire weight of the vehicle. With a hub-centric wheel, the large center hole is precisely sized and has a chamfer where it meets the wheel hub. When the wheel is installed and the lug nuts are tightened, the raised centersection of the hub fits tightly into the chamfered hole of the wheel. With a hub-centric design, the lug nuts don't support any of the vehicle's weight; the wheel is supported in the horizontal plane by the precision fit between the hub and the wheel's center"

OK, I seemingly know nothing about this stuff - it sounds like a foreign language to me ???

What is a 'bolt pattern of 6x5.5'? What is 'offset of 0 and backspacing of 4.25'? What is the meaning of life? Inquiring minds want to know :D

Cheers, Hugh
bolt pattern 6x5.5" is six lugs in a 5.5" pattern

0 offset is the spokes of the wheel attach with no offset or in the middle of the rim.

backspacing is the distance of the hub to the rear of the rim.

I'm sure that someone can be more precise but thats about it. Rims are like tires in that as long as you go with the standard you'll be fine, however going non standard requires some thought and better understanding of how everything relates. One of the more common problems from changing rims is having rubbing issues due to the fact that the tire now sits in a different spot in relation to the body. This is usually from going to a wider rim width and not recalculating the proper offset to compensate.
OE wheels have 4.5" backspace. Using wheels with 4.25" backspace would cause the tires to be .25" further out, but still barely within the wheel well.

A 3.5" backspace would give a 1" wider tire projection, taking the outer edge of tire outside the protection of the wheel well.

This will help.


They used the term pilot diameter; some use the term center bore. Offset can be positive or negative.


>> The alloys are lug centric not hub centric. <<

Do you have a source for this information?  I've always heard that the OEM steelies, and alloys (pre 95 & post 95) are all hub centric wheels.  I can't back it up with a source but it would be nice to know for sure since we've given the group completely different answers. Ed's reference seems correct to me and is a logical explanation of the differences.

I'll muddy up the water a bit.

I know that they don't fit "tightly" or "interference" on the hubs. I also know that if you attempt to balance them without the six finger thingy you get poor results. If the center bore of the wheel does not "contact" the hub, I don't see how weight would be transfered :dunno: .

&nbsp:Dunno what all of that really means ::)
All I got for you is that when I went to have my 315s balanced at the area tire center that is considered the best, he turned me away saying that balancing to the hub center does not work for our rims and that an adapter had to be used to center the wheel to the lugs, which he didn't have. He insisted that the adapter had to be used and sent me to the area dealer. I bought the tires from one of those warehouse clubs and blamed the initial balance problems on their incompentance but once the dealer did his balance everything has been fine.
Just a guess here...

Since our wheels have a smaller than normal center bore, perhaps they don't fit over the male part of a balancing machine - thus the need for an adapter.

(something tells me I should have used a different term than "male part")


>> Since our wheels have a smaller than normal center bore <<

Nice guess but not true. The Chevy 4wd 6 lug has a *much* smaller center bore. Nissan's 6 lugs are a little smaller than the Toyota. The only wheels that I know of that are larger are the Isuzu 6 lug wheels and they're all 7" width (max.) I am only talking about wheels that have the 6 on 5-1/2" bolt pattern.

Aftermarket wheels usually have the largest bore possible (110mm ?) so they have more vehicles a specific wheel will "fit." That's why an aftermarket wheel for a Chevy 6 bolt will usually fit our cruisers; center bore anyway. An OEM Chevy wheel will *not* fit our cruisers. You still have to be concerned with wheel width and offset.


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