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View Full Version : Hub Centric Rings, Aluminum or plastic?



METDeath
11-10-2014, 06:26 PM
Title says it all, go on pros/con of each, include personal experiences where applicable.

Costs are pretty much the same, so I'm curious as to which you would use, and why?

KoreanJoey
11-10-2014, 06:52 PM
I don't bother...

METDeath
11-10-2014, 08:18 PM
I don't bother...

Because properly tightened lug nuts should make the wheel centered anyway?

Luni
11-10-2014, 11:48 PM
MR2s are picky. Never had aftermarket wheels center on properly and ride smoothly on an MR2 without em. Not to mention without them, youre putting shearing forces on the lugs themslves, where theyre not truly designed for it.

You SHOULD run them. Ive ran plastic and aluminum, and I vastly prefer aluminum.

Nitro_Alltrac
11-12-2014, 12:50 AM
I've got aluminum on mine. They work great. The only issue I've had is one bonded itself to the iron rotor once. It was fun getting it off but it came off. I'm with Luni, I'd recommend them.

Funkycheeze
11-12-2014, 08:36 PM
I've seen plastic ones melt and stick to the rotor from lots of track time. I would go with aluminum, and use a bit of antiseize paste between the hub ring and the hub itself to prevent sticking.

I also often use Loctite retaining compound to lock them into the back of the wheel so they don't get lost. I made a custom set of hubrings/wheel spacers that press fit into the back of the wheels on the Supra, and they work as the hub rings and wheels spacers all in one.

I would not recommend running without them.

donteatbugs
11-12-2014, 08:48 PM
I've ran plastic, aluminum and none. They all worked

METDeath
11-12-2014, 10:18 PM
MR2s are picky. Never had aftermarket wheels center on properly and ride smoothly on an MR2 without em. Not to mention without them, youre putting shearing forces on the lugs themslves, where theyre not truly designed for it.

You SHOULD run them. Ive ran plastic and aluminum, and I vastly prefer aluminum.

You always put shear force on the lugs, that's what makes the wheel spin/stop. However, thinking about it, in the event of a wheel impact (bumpy road, squirrel, dead babies) a hub ring might save me some damage to the assembly.

Mafix
11-13-2014, 05:20 PM
you need hub rings. end of story.
aluminum work great if you are using a spacer, otherwise they get stuck.
plastic works the same except they break when they get stuck.

Luni
11-14-2014, 12:26 AM
You always put shear force on the lugs, that's what makes the wheel spin/stop. However, thinking about it, in the event of a wheel impact (bumpy road, squirrel, dead babies) a hub ring might save me some damage to the assembly.

No you dont.

If youre stock, your lugnuts go between the wheels and the hubs because they are deep with a lip. So youre putting shear forces on the lugs themselves, not on the studs, If you have aftermarket wheels, you might be putting a little bit on it, but the force required to stop the car is much less jarring and nasty than the forces required to hold the car against the road and suspension while its operating.

Bottom line is you SHOULD run hubcentric rings. And if they are the same price, run aluminum.

METDeath
11-14-2014, 03:22 AM
No you dont.

If youre stock, your lugnuts go between the wheels and the hubs because they are deep with a lip. So youre putting shear forces on the lugs themselves, not on the studs, If you have aftermarket wheels, you might be putting a little bit on it, but the force required to stop the car is much less jarring and nasty than the forces required to hold the car against the road and suspension while its operating.

Bottom line is you SHOULD run hubcentric rings. And if they are the same price, run aluminum.

Lugs attached to studs, yes?

Anyway, I will be getting some of both, plastic for the front (no spacers), aluminum for the rear (spacers).

Luni
11-14-2014, 04:01 AM
Theres a difference between torsional force and shearing force.

celica9303
01-11-2015, 03:47 AM
I have polycarbonate hub centric rings. Made a world of difference

KoreanJoey
01-18-2015, 01:43 PM
You really don't need them...

Once the lug nuts are tightened the force between the wheel and the rotor will prevent torsional forces parallel with the rotor face. Side to side loads will be the same with or without the centering rings.

METDeath
01-18-2015, 03:07 PM
You really don't need them...

Once the lug nuts are tightened the force between the wheel and the rotor will prevent torsional forces parallel with the rotor face. Side to side loads will be the same with or without the centering rings.

That was my thought as well... I never ran them on the GT and didn't seem to have any issues. However, since I was going larger and much more expensive this time, I thought it'd be a possible need.

Luni
01-22-2015, 10:03 PM
The plastic ones are like 5 bucks a set from Discount. Youre dumb if you dont install them.

KoreanJoey
01-23-2015, 05:23 AM
No, you're wrong... but whatever.

BabyBear
01-23-2015, 05:03 PM
I've always put them on my car cause they are retarded cheap. Figure they can't hurt and if they really aren't needed then I'm only out all of $6.

Funkycheeze
01-23-2015, 08:17 PM
They also help keep the wheel properly centered. For autox and normal driving a slightly off-center wheel is no big deal. On a full size track at 250 km/h plus it can lead to some very destructive vibrations.

Plus it makes mounting the wheels so much easier. Why not run them?

KoreanJoey
01-24-2015, 12:45 AM
Mostly because we change wheels so often and the cheap centering rings have a tendency to fall off or stay with the hub instead of with the wheel.

Also, if your wheels are centered with the studs, your studs are not flush with the hub. That's a bigger problem in and of itself.

PS: for most vehicles, the harmonics of most street vehicles is greatest at around 50-60mph. This can change with wheel rates but generally fall into that range. If you go above or below that speed you probably won't feel anything (unless you get into the 2nd harmonic which would mean your shocks are mostly non-functional).

Car_Barn_Bandit
01-24-2015, 02:37 AM
I've seen plastic ones melt and stick to the rotor from lots of track time. I would go with aluminum, and use a bit of antiseize paste between the hub ring and the hub itself to prevent sticking.

This.

Take them forces off your studs, to make them last longer.

Funkycheeze
01-26-2015, 08:09 PM
Mostly because we change wheels so often and the cheap centering rings have a tendency to fall off or stay with the hub instead of with the wheel.

Also, if your wheels are centered with the studs, your studs are not flush with the hub. That's a bigger problem in and of itself.

PS: for most vehicles, the harmonics of most street vehicles is greatest at around 50-60mph. This can change with wheel rates but generally fall into that range. If you go above or below that speed you probably won't feel anything (unless you get into the 2nd harmonic which would mean your shocks are mostly non-functional).

Not all lug nuts provide this self-centering action on the studs. Look at the stock nuts, they just have a flat washer, and fit quite loose within the bore of the hole in the wheel. Having a wheel that fits close on a centerbore is a requirement for correct mounting.

As far as harmonics, you are thinking of the wrong thing. Suspension frequency is totally different from the vibrations caused by a wheel that is not centered. Think of it like a wheel that has shed all of its weights, or a poorly balanced driveshaft. You will feel the vibrations from this, no matter the suspension setup.

Do you think automotive engineers would have designed centerbores that fit tightly on the wheels, if it was not required?

Luni
01-26-2015, 08:23 PM
Yeah Joey, I fully disagree with you.

Your lug studs are NOT designed to holed the shearing force your wheel places on them without the wheel also being pushed onto and held in the middle by the hub itself. If you look at the stock lugs, they go a step farther on most toyotas, by not only centering the wheel on the hub, but they are resting the wheel on a metal sleeve that protects the lug studs from shearing force (the wheel rests on the outside of the lugnuts, not directly on the studs themselves).

Now, how much of this matters in the real world? I dunno. But ultimately, from theory at least, the best setup is one that allows the wheel to center itself and be held on the hub, and if you arent stock, aluminum rings, with never seize on them is likely the best setup.

I mean at the end of the day, you cant HURT anything by doing it "right". Ive seen pictures of sheared lug studs from wheels that werent hubcentric.

KoreanJoey
01-27-2015, 05:43 AM
Harmonics occur when the wheels are not balanced (real world experience on this). And wheels that have shed their weights definitely have the harmonic generated near highway speed (50-60MPH), you would definitely feel it at those speed before you'd feel it at higher speeds.

You're right about some lug nuts not being self-centering. Toyota's do use the washer, hence being hubcentric is important to the already hubcentric wheels. That being said, any of the 60* cone lug nuts (as most aftermarket wheels use) ARE self-centering.

Luni, again, your statement about the "they are resting the wheel on a metal sleeve that protects the lug studs from shearing force" makes no sense. If there WAS a shear force on the lug nut, having a gap would cause MORE load not less. If the wheel was able to rotate, the distance would allow it obtain a greater velocity prior to impact (think about throwing a punch. Getting 2 ft of swing generates a more severe impact than 2 inches).

As to "aluminum rings" never seizing, that's not true. My SSRs had aluminum rings, even had a wire lock ring, still stuck to the hub.

All that being said, if the wheels are NOT properly torqued, not being hubcentric can definitely create more problems.

If they are torqued properly, the static friction between the wheel and the hub face (remember, 80ft/lbs per lug nut) will hold far more than the lug studs ever could.

KoreanJoey
01-27-2015, 06:11 AM
If we use the equation T=cDF:

[(Torque) = (coefficient of friction constant)(Nominal Diameter)(Axial Force)]

[T/(cd)]=F for 80ft/lbs (960in/lbs) of torque on a steel lug nut with an aluminum wheel (cF of ~0.61) and a nominal diameter of 0.472in (IE: 12mm) we get a clamp load of 3334lbs PER LUG NUT or about 16700lbs of clamp load per wheel.

Hope the math helps explain.

Luni
01-27-2015, 04:39 PM
Joey, never seize in my post = anti seize. I said if theres anti seize on it, it shouldnt stick.

And where is this gap youre talking about in your saying I dont make sense? What gap?

Ok I'll bite, your math makes sense. Then riddle me this. Why go to lengths to make your wheels hubcentric in the first place? If youre a cc at manufacturer why even bother doing it at all?

KoreanJoey
01-27-2015, 08:04 PM
"(the wheel rests on the outside of the lugnuts, not directly on the studs themselves)"
^Does not compute

If you're thinking vertical shear then maybe, but realistically the combination of rotational AND vertical shear would make this worse, not better.

That's the reason Toyota's can do use the washer lug nuts, it allows for even clamping forces between the wheel and the rotor face.


As to why be hubcentric? primarily to assist with wheel installation (particularly if the system is automated). And if you're the one who builds the wheel, or gives the spec on the the wheel, why not?

Luni
01-29-2015, 12:15 AM
What do you mean does not compute? The lugs themselves are like a sleeve over the stud. The force is pushed across the face of the lug instead of the stud itself.

Anyway, I see what youre getting at, but in the real world, regardless of any tech bullshit, Ive never been able to get my wheels balanced on a Toyota with aftermarket wheels without using hubcentric rings. Im just really not sure why youd even advocate NOT using them, for a normal person.

You have a really hard time putting yourself into a "normal" persons shoes. You cant even recommend a decent car sometimes because of how ruined you are from driving all sorts of shit in autocross. The real world isnt autocross, and sometimes your experiences dont translate over. For example, wheel harmonics dont really matter much in what you do because half the time youre not even going fast enough to care or feel it. Or even if you did, the surface is less than ideal, or whatever.

You may be totally right about the physics, whatever. You are going to engineering school and that Ill concede, but my experience has been that with every set of aftermarket wheels Ive ever tried running on any toyota (or any car for that matter) Ive ever owned, Ive had wheel balance issues that were resolved by the use of hubcentric rings. So for that fact alone, Id recommend using them. Theres no real reason not to for the average person who isnt changing their shit out 40 times a month.

KoreanJoey
01-29-2015, 06:25 AM
Remember, I also have run a plethora of aftermarket wheels, on the street as well as on the track. I find them unnecessary and when someone asked, I said my peace. You asked why, so I answered. I don't use hubcentric rings on any of the aftermarket wheels that we run. That being said, I do use a torque wrench on every wheel that I install. If he doesn't have them, I don't think it's necessary to find them because, I don't believe it matters.

Funkycheeze
01-30-2015, 09:07 PM
Based on every car I've driven on a real size track (not some parking lot) that had high speed vibrations was either missing wheel weights, or did not have hubcentric rings installed with aftermarket wheels I would argue that you would be stupid to try to save $30 and run without them. There is a reason that most road vehicle inspections (and technical inspections for racing) dictate the need for a tight, hub-centric fit.

I know that when I was an Engineering student many years ago, I tried to use the math to explain to people how in a perfect world certain things should be a certain way. And I was right - to a point. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Once cannot rely on hoping the centroid of the bolt circle on the hub perfectly coincides with the hub rotational center. That is the job of the centerbore - otherwise there would be no need to machine it precisely, and it would not exist.

Luni
01-31-2015, 12:26 AM
Theyre not even 30 bucks. Discount will literally sell them to you for like 5-7 bucks. Baby Bear just like 3 days ago bought some.

So yeah, NO real reason not to run em. Hell, even if they ARE the plastic ones.

KoreanJoey
02-01-2015, 03:21 AM
I have spent a lot of time of race tracks (Pacific Raceways and Portland International). Several of those occasions were real races, not track days.

On very few occasions did I have hubcentric rings on our wheels.

I'm done arguing with you two. It really doesn't matter to me.

Luni
02-02-2015, 06:49 PM
There you have it.

You dont need them for integrity or safety, but you MAY need them for balance.

If you DO run them, you dont really risk any negative effects, unless youre pulling your wheels off all the time and running your shit hot all the time (sticky rings). If you DO run them, you have a better chance of consistently getting your tires to balance in without fuss.

If you DONT run them, you might get a little shimmy in the wheel that can be fixed by properly centering the wheel when tightening, or just getting hubcentric rings.

You decide.

Funkycheeze
02-02-2015, 07:41 PM
As for stuck rings, I actually custom machined a set for my Supra that are hubrings and thin wheel spacers all in one. They are press fit into the back of the wheel and make the wheel mount over the centerbore like stock, no need to unstick rings, or make sure you don't lose them when the wheels are off. You could probably use Loctite retaining compound, or machine rings with a slightly oversize OD to achieve the same effect with hubrings.