Q&A

Mailbag: Should I Get Hub Centric Rings for New Wheels?

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Q: Do I need hub centric rings for my new wheels?

A: We recommend using hub centric rings on all aftermarket aluminum wheels that will accept them.

Hub centric rings fit in the center bore of the wheel and over the hub pilot on the axle. They fill the gap between the two surfaces. The rings can be made from metal or plastic.

How do they affect performance?

Hub centric rings keep the wheel centered on the axle during installation.

A wheel mounted slightly off-center will vibrate while driving. It’s possible to center the wheel by following proper installation technique.

However, hub centric rings make the job much easier.

Which wheels don’t need them?

Factory Wheels

  • OEM wheels are made for a specific vehicle. They have a specific center bore diameter to fit a specific hub pilot diameter.

Steel Wheels

  • Steel wheels have a thinner mounting surface. This makes them too thin to accommodate a hub centric ring.

Other Wheels

  • Any wheel that uses a push-through center cap will not accept hub centric rings.
  • Any wheel with an “as cast” (non-machined) center bore, like the Cragar S/S, won’t accept hub centric rings.

How do I choose the right ones?

Material

  • Plastic rings are best for streetcars in areas where rain, snow and road salt are a concern. Metal rings can corrode, making it difficult to remove the wheel.
  • Metal rings are better for race cars and other vehicles that get driven harder, creating more heat. Plastic rings can melt.

Size

Hub centric rings are available in a variety of sizes to fit different wheel/vehicle combinations. You will need to know:

  • The center bore diameter of the wheel, and
  • The hub pilot diameter of the vehicle.

For most wheels, the center bore diameter is listed on the SummitRacing.com.

Measure the hub pilot on each hub with a set of dial calipers. Then, select the rings that most closely match the sizes of your wheel/vehicle combination.

This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with Summit Racings tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see them all.

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