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Posted By: KogonDodge Hub centric rings - September 19th 2021 2:48 am
Everyday is a school day! This was a new one on me

So I bought new tires for my 1988 B250, because the ones fitted were vintage 2009, a bit hard and had developed a crack around the outside which gave me a vision of the treads peeling off on the freeway

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Upon arriving for my tires to be fitted the good people of Costco refused to fit them. The agent cited that the "hub centric rings" were missing and without them he was not able to center the (aftermarket) wheels on the bub. I countered that as far as I was aware the tapers on the end of the lugs nuts ensured that the wheels were in the correct location on the hub and that right now the wheels and tires worked just fine (no vibrations). He said something about having to inspect the studs for damage as the weight of wheels would be on them and it could weaken them/damage the thread etc.
He sent me off to discount tires as apparently they sell hubcentric rings, that sounded like a plan as I happen to know those wheels were bought at discount tire too. Discount tire told me that they didn't sell those wheels any more and were not in the business of measuring hubs and wheels to identity the size of hubcentric rings required (probably because they don't make any money on those sort of things unless bought with a set of wheels and tires. I tried another branch and he looked at me like I was talking Chinese.

I found this page
Hub Centric vs. Lug Centric
which tells me that these rings are just to stop monkeys with air wrenches putting them on wrong and if you tighten the lug nuts in the correct fashion and slowly the tapers on the lug nuts get you all set.

Anyhow, put the van up on stands, took the wheels off, threw them in the back of my truck and took them back to Costco. This time they were getting all stressed out about the "oversize" tires I bought and telling me "rubbing" was not covered under warranty and I can't bring them back if they don't fit. I think I'll be all right on that one as they are the same size tires as the ones on there before, albeit "all terrain", which maybe makes the thread a little bit bigger on the edges (i fitted them, they are fine)

I am all up fpr getting these rings but the hub size of the wheels, front and rear seems to be bigger than these rings are made in. I put them at 90mm- does anyone know if this is correct or am i doing something massively wrong? I found this page Dodge ram van hub size which calls it at 77.8 but that isn't the measurement I took off my Van. My wheels I would put at 110 inside diameter, so that might work if my hubs were 77.8 base on this page that sells a 77.8 to 100 ring Gorilla Auto

and lastly- do I even need these things in your opinion?
Posted By: KogonDodge Re: Hub centric rings - September 19th 2021 3:40 am
and here is the actual hub, with wheel fitted, you can see the gap that is meant to be filled

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Posted By: Lionhead Re: Hub centric rings - September 19th 2021 8:49 pm
The wheels that came on my 90g20 I bought in 1990 had holes bigger than the centers they were aftermarket wheels Had them on over 20 years. One came off once and ruined it so I bought different ones. It was probably my fault it came off.
Posted By: Ram4ever Re: Hub centric rings - September 26th 2021 2:12 am
If you ever find a vintage Dodge with those rings installed from the factory I'd enjoy seeing pictures...

Tires are only considered safe for about 7 years; for heavens sakes, you've been living a charmed life!!

If these tire chain franchises are giving you static, you may benefit from finding more of a mom & pop tire shop, especially a rural one. Farm tractors and old pickup trucks are unlikely to be concerned with precision spacers...

You were correct about the conical lugs doing the centering on the stock steel rims. There is a definite tightening sequence as you figured. The conical lugs do such a good job that the Field Service Manual actually suggests match mounting the rims to reduce vibration from rims which were stamped or bored slightly off-center, which isn't uncommon on stamped rims. So, the conical lug nuts centering effect remains demonstrably consistent.

I just recently match mounted all of my new steel rims, without centering rings, and got the runout well under Chryslers specs of 0.045" radial or lateral runout.

I also performed a sanity check and dismounted and remounted each of the rims, and found the runout difference to be no more than 0.004" - that's pretty darn tight for such a large heavy object!

That being said, there are rims which won't center properly. That's an issue specific to those rims. Those would typically be Aluminum rims, especially those which have full-diameter bores going straight through the rims. Hub centering rings can help those.

I don't know precisely how to measure for those rings; I'd suggest calling the individual manufacturer to clarify what they want. I'd suspect that a picture from several angles might help; some hubs have more of a fillet than a sharp square corner, for instance.

The only Vanner I know who has personally been through the centering rings issue recently is Nikothenomad. She's a long time member here. Perhaps you could send her a message and ask if she would be able to fill in more of the practical details for you. I believe she eventually went to a machine shop, though it's been long enough that I'd not bank on my recollection of it!
Posted By: KogonDodge Re: Hub centric rings - September 27th 2021 4:25 am
Thanks as always, Ram4ever, for taking the time to reply. Your wisdom is of great value.

These people are the ones to help me if i get the measurements correct. I am reasonably confident about the measurements but then they get into the "outer flange" which I am less confident about. I still haven't used the van since fitting the wheels because I was replacing my front upper ball joints, which was an interesting experience (would not have happened without my new super beast impact driver).

I'm pretty happy to take it for a spin, it was fine before on my ancient tires, I am very much hoping my $600+ investment will provide a smoother and enjoyable ride. I may address these rings once the pain of the $600+ has worn off and I can tackle a risky custom set of $100+ rings.

I will look out for nikithenomad, thanks for the tip, i have corresponded with her before,. I know as she is on the road her internet access is infrequent but her blog website is a great read.
Posted By: wrcsixeight Re: Hub centric rings - September 28th 2021 6:45 am
I think Nico found a way to center her aluminum rims, without having the specific hub centric spacers custom machined.

The Discount tire in Encinitas back in 2013 or so, did not even notice I had two original rims with the right hub and two aftermarket rims of similar appearance with 1/2" gap all around the hub.

When I got home I saw they had put them on diagonally. My aftermarket rims have ~ 3/4" more offset.

I never trust them to actually torque the lugs properly, and busted out two jacks to put them as I wanted.

DT also just inflates the tires to the door placard pressures, even if the tires are not P/XL, but LT tires which need significantly more PSI to carry the same load.

32 PSI on my LT tires certainly made it ride nice, but I keep the fronts of my LTs 30x9.5x15 at ~ 44 and my rears at 46 to 48PSI, max of 50, that's where they wear properly and do not look obviously underinflated as they do at 32PSI.
32 PSI is my washboard offroad tire pressure.

The Kumho SAT KL61's I bought in 2012/3? at DT,, tried to kill me and my dad on highway 395 in august 2017 going to Oregon to see the eclipse.

I'll never go over 5 years old tires again, highway driving, in summer.

The tires grew about 2 inches taller, 1 inch thinner and while squishy in the rear at 65mph, I only knew they were shot when slowing down and it felt like there was an earthquake going on. Side to side, up and down.
My IR gun on sidewalls showed over 200f on 3 of the 4 tires, the 4th was 136f.

I truly believe if I did not stop at that rest area, but continued on oblivious, then they would have let go at speed and that road does not leave any room for error.

As it was I had to white knuckle it for 90 more miles to Lone Pine, and paid way to much for some Cooper AT3's that I do not like.
Noisy fvckers, especially at 45 mph.

They turn 5 years old the 17th week of next year, and will have tons of tread left at that point, with about 30K miles on them.
Mine are wearing like iron.

I love the 30x9.5x15 size as my speedo reads dead nuts accurate, but I no longer need, or desire, an AT tire, and will likely go back to LT 235/75/15 or p235-75-15XL unless there is an acceptable all season 30x9.5x15 available at that time.
Posted By: KogonDodge Re: Hub centric rings - September 29th 2021 3:50 am
My review of the new all terrain tires coming soon. Still haven't had a chance to try them out.

I have always felt the "tires should not be more than 5 years old" mantra was first said by a tire retailer, or a shady academic with a new study who mysteriously just bought a new RV and is a lodge member with a tire retailer! it saddens me to waste good tread!

The cracks speak for themselves though.

Discount tires in Encinitas butchered one of my Mustang rims (IMO) about 10 years ago- have not been back since. I have learnt though to always photograph the wheels before letting these maniacs get at them. Ram4ever is right, it's best to find a mom and pop store if you have got anything unusual. Costco are great for Camry's and the like but anything unusual they are way out their comfort zone and seemingly resort to policies about hubcentric rings.
Posted By: KogonDodge Re: Hub centric rings - September 30th 2021 4:36 am
Well, FWIW here are my new tires. I have some off road camp sites in my future, already picked them out!

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Posted By: Ram4ever Re: Hub centric rings - October 01st 2021 7:05 am
They sure look ready for the off-road universe! How do they feel compared to your previous tires?
Posted By: KogonDodge Re: Hub centric rings - October 04th 2021 3:30 pm
I've been on a trip this weekend. It's hard to make any definitive conclusions but my sense is that there isn't really much change in feel or road noise. One observation is that I found myself correcting the steering and having to concentrate to hold the vehicle steady in the lane. This isn't really anything I can blame on the new AT tires because my suspension is still outstanding many replacements of moving parts (i got it inspected and was given a list of things that needed to be replaced, pretty much every moving part in the front suspension and steering +shocks).

I did go off road to reach my camp site and was worried I would get some rubbing on lock and/or going over bumps. I think if the tires were rubbing the body I would feel it in the steering wheel, and I didn't, so it seem we are good on that front. Having said that, the tires seem dangerously close to the ends of the running boards on lock and the front wheels are not tucked inside the wheel arch, they stick out (because of the aftermarket wheels). I was expecting to be dissapointed once we started bouncing around but I didn't have any problems.
Posted By: nikothenomad Re: Hub centric rings - October 05th 2021 8:39 pm
Kogon, sounds like you worked out your centering issue. That's great. As 68 and Ram stated I wound up not going with the rings. Although it is said that the lug nuts are reportedly intended to center the wheels when installed in the proper sequence, this was not working in our case.

The wheels were definitely still off center (visually it was very obvious once we knew to remove our center caps). In our case the center caps push through the back thus making the gap "invisible" once the wheel is on and until we had one break and could not replace it we didn't even "see" the uneven gap.

We had contemplated the centric rings but were told that in our case they were so thin that there was no real guarantee they'd hold up very well.

So, given we were on a time crunch anyway and couldn't wait for the ring to arrive we went with using feeler gauges and a lot of manual adjustment and bracing to get them centered. The ride was immediately better and has appeared to remain so.

However, we are still unsure how we will repeatedly accomplish this without so much trouble (such as when we get a flat or in the even that we cannot do our own work and some yahoo has to remove and reinstall the wheel for some reason). So, this month while we are in our work spot I shall see to creating some sort of 'device' that we can simply insert between hub and wheel until the lugs are tightened.

Happy to hear of the success with your situation.
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