The only Alloy Wheel Fitment Guide you will ever need for for your car, van or commercial vehicle.
Alloy Wheel Fitment Guide: What wheels can fit my car?
The world of Alloy Wheels, it’s not just about things spinning round and getting you from A to B! There is so much to it than that! Perhaps you are just wanting to replace your existing damaged wheels for something similar. Maybe you fancied a complete change of look for the car, or even something to improve vehicle performance in some way? Well look no further, we’ve put together a full Alloy Wheel Fitment Guide to help you make the best choice in alloy wheels. Wheels that are best for YOUR car. At Papa Smith Custom, we’re nice like that.
So many Alloy Wheel related questions aren’t there? What is PCD? What is offset? Scrub radius? How can I stance a car? Fret no longer, you’ve come to the right place!
When browsing alloy wheels on our site, you might be surprised by all the different fitment options available. Depending on the choice of wheel, there can be over 50 fitment variations, just in one wheel! With so many different options available, there’s no simple way to show you everything available. This is especially true if you consider you can fit various wheels using variation nuts and bolts. Spacers can change the pcd of a car, some people even change the hubs on the car! If you want to learn more about wheel fitments keep reading!
Firstly, you can check the standard manufacturers vehicle fitment using the wheel fitment menu below. You can search by vehicle, tyre size (or tire depending on where you live), and by rim size. If in rare cases your vehicle is not listed, please see the hub diagram further below. This will show how to measure up your vehicle fitment for yourself.
Alloy Wheel Fitment Guide: Measuring PCD yourself: 3, 4, 5 6 and 8 stud hubs
How to measure Alloy Wheel Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD)
When buying wheels, the Pitch Circle Diameter is equally important to the number of studs on the vehicle hubs. The RED CIRCLE as in the diagram above is the true Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD), and what you need to know when buying new wheels.
The PCD (for example 5×112) can be stamped on the rear of the wheel, however, this isn’t always the case. On old wheels you are replacing, the stamp may have become damaged or worn.
Once you have your pcd measurement, and if you are going for wheels the same size as before, then feel free to browse our shop.
Changing Wheel Size, Plus Sizing and Minus Sizing.
Usually the first thing people think about when choosing a set of wheels is the style of wheel. The second thing tends to be the actual size of the wheels. In more recent times, wheel sizes have been getting larger, and often sizes that were considered to be a big wheel in the past, is pretty much an average size now. In some cases those wheels might even be considered small.
Think back to those old times when so many were driving around in Mk2 Astra GTE’s and Escort RS Turbos. Those cars were often upgraded to a 15 inch wheel from a 14 inch size Original Equipment wheel (Plus One Sizing). A 15 inch wheel now you will usually only see on small cars like a Nissan Micra or similar. Even something like a Suzuki Swift Sport you will see on a 17 inch rim from the factory.
There will always be those out there that say bigger is better (ahem). This isn’t always the case, some, if that’s their style, like to minus size/downsize their rims. so, we will take a look at the upsides and downsides of both and let you decide for yourself which is the choice for you.
Fitting larger Alloy Wheels (Plus Sizing).
The classic way to make your car look better is to get bigger rims. But how much bigger? The most common upgrade is usually Plus Size One (e.g. from 17 inch original to 18 inch aftermarket wheels). This normally doesn’t cause any fitment problems with the majority of cars. Problems can be, say, the tyre scrubbing on the wheel arch or against suspension components on the inner side.
And your choice of performance car is?
In some cases, some cars lend themselves to extensive modification. Cars such as a Nissan Silvia S14A, people fit larger staggered width (wider rear) wheels without any issues. The standard car comes on 16×6.5″ wheels as standard, with a 205/55/16 size tyre all round. One example had 17×8.5″ Front wheels (1 inch diameter larger and 2 inch wider). Rear wheels were 17×9.5, so 1 inch diameter larger and 3 inches wider, with no modification to arches at all, no spacers needed!
Wether it’s a GT car, a Touring Car or a Tarmac Rally Car, it’s not often you will find a high performance road car that doesn’t feature bigger rims. Wether you have a high performance car or not, keeping rolling radius similar makes sense if the car is used on the road a lot.
Keep on rolling
In a nutshell, you need the circumference of the outside of your tyre, to be more or less the same as it is as standard. So the basic premise is, you’re just changing the diameter of the rim and making the tyre height smaller to compensate.
If your rolling radius ends up larger than as standard, the speedo will under-read. If your licence is important to you, best not to introduce too much error here, as you will likely end up speeding more often. A larger rolling radius could reduce your cars acceleration as the overall gearing would be higher. Top speed could potentially be increased however though, (depending on the car).
Unless you lower the suspension at the same time, making the rolling radius larger will make the car sit higher. See what performance suspension options are available for your car if this concerns you.
Fitting smaller Alloy Wheels (Minus Sizing).
Larger rims have always been more popular than smaller rims, but at times, there’s advantages to using smaller wheels too. A large alloy wheel, might typically have skinny low profile tyres fitted. A smaller rim however, can usually use a higher profile one which is more comfortable on road.
For ultimate lows, smaller aftermarket alloy wheels usually does the trick. The smaller the wheel, the lower the car goes. If you want your car ‘slammed’ on the deck, this is the way to go usually. A typical example of a vehicle modified in this way is Euro Style VWs such as Golfs and Camper vans.
You could have the opposite problems to making it larger, if you make the rolling radius smaller. The car will be lower, which may cause ground clearance issues (even more so with lowered suspension). Your speedometer will over-read, which isn’t as much of a problem at times, you will just think you are going faster than you actually are!
Don’t break your brakes!
Often though, the biggest problem going with smaller rims, is clearance of the brake calipers. On some cars fitted with upgraded brakes, you might be unable to fit certain wheels. Alloys with a dish or large lip can be worst, as the spokes tend to go further inwards. Spokes can catch on the caliper, making it impossible to spin the wheel. We wouldn’t recommend fitting smaller brakes obviously, why would you? For safety reasons it is better to upgrade your brakes than downgrade them!
So how much bigger alloy wheels can I go with? How much smaller alloy wheels can I go with?
When fitting new wheels, more often than not, they’ll usually be a different size. Here you can check below for potential alloy wheel or tyre fouling on suspension or arches/fenders.
The Alloy Wheel Fitment Guide tool below will let you see how much larger or smaller you can go without causing problems. Different size wheels can affect speedo reading, as well as overall gearing, so check your rolling radius below using calculator.
Find your ideal tyre size using the Tyre and Alloy Wheel Fitment Guide calculator below to keep rolling radius similar. You could also use it to lower or raise the gearing of the car depending on what you want from the car. As mentioned before, lower gearing for faster acceleration, or higher gearing for fuel economy or more relaxed motorway journeys. Take note your speedo may need recalibrating if it becomes very inaccurate.