The right set of aftermarket wheels can visually set your 4x4 apart from the pack and provide it with the strength to survive and thrive on rugged terrain.
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However, things can go very wrong if you fit wheels that aren’t suited to your vehicle. FUEL AUTOTEK is the exclusive Australian distributor of premium brands such as Black Rhino Hard Alloys and TSW Alloy Wheels. The company’s General Manager, Mitch Crosher, provides some tips.
Understand your vehicle’s fitment specifications
First and foremost you must be aware of your vehicle’s stud pattern, or pitch circle diameter (PCD), as this will dictate which wheels will fit and which will not. In order to find a set of wheels that fit your vehicle, the PCD of the wheel must match that of the vehicle.
It is also critical that you understand the applicable offset range for your vehicle. A wheel’s offset refers to the distance between the mounting surface and the centre line of the wheel. The offset is measured in millimetres and results in a positive, negative or zero offset.
Finally, different vehicle makes have different centre bore specifications, and this will have an impact on the variety of alloy wheels available to suit your vehicle. If you wish to replace your OE wheel and tyre set-up with smaller wheels and larger all-terrain or mud-terrain tyres, it is critical that the overall rolling diameter remains consistent.
Ensure that your chosen replacement wheels are load rated for your vehicle
It is of the utmost importance that aftermarket alloy wheels meet or exceed applicable Australian or international safety standards. Aftermarket alloy wheels sold in Australia must comply with Australian AS1638 standards or equivalent international regulatory standards such as DOT (USA) or German TUV. These specifications can often be found as markings on the rear of the wheel to certify compliance. It is also crucial that the load rating of the respective aftermarket wheels satisfy or exceed the requirements of the vehicle, not just for 4x4s but any vehicle. It is also very important to do your research and check that the wheel has been designed and manufactured for 4x4 use. Finally, the wheels must be fitted with the correct fitting hardware including lug nuts and hub-locating rings to ensure there is no vibration. If the lug nuts are a different size to the OE nuts, ensure you have an applicable wheel brace handy.
Select a design and finish
Finally, you must find a design and finish that you feel will best suit your vehicle. There are countless wheel designs currently available to Australian consumers. Depending on your vehicle’s fitment specifications you may be able to select a wheel with a deep lip or concave, which will give your vehicle an aggressive appearance. Popular alloy wheel finishes include Polished Silver, Matte Black and Gunmetal. To help determine the best-looking wheel for your vehicle why not use FUEL AUTOTEK’s Interactive Wheel Selector and Fitment Guide.