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|Wheels and Tires All about wheels and tires.|
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- 17" Split-spoke style (5 "split" spokes):
Trying to replace your stock wheels is more involved than just trying to stay with similar "specifications" though. You can vary the wheel size, width, offset and center bore to different specifications, but you need to be aware how those difference will affect wheel fitment. As to how much you can vary them, it's purely dependent on the exact replacement wheel and how it's built. There is no easy way to be 100% sure that another wheel would work without test fitting it first - even if the wheel has the exact same "specifications"!- Size: 17" (5 split-spoke style)
- Width: 6.5"
- Bolt Pattern: 5x115mm (same for all 7th and 8th gen Impalas)
- Offset: +47mm (varies per wheel type)
- Center Bore: 70.3mm (same for all 7th and 8th gen Impala)
- Size: If you go with a larger diameter wheel, you mainly have to worry about fender clearance and suspension clearance issues (mainly on the rear wheels).
- Width: If you go with a wider wheel, you have to worry about suspension clearance issues and possibly fender clearance issues.
- Bolt Pattern: Some say that it's ok to use 5x114.3mm bolt pattern wheels and some say that it's outright dangerous. Personally, I'd recommend staying with the 5x115mm bolt pattern and playing it safe.
- Offset: If you go with a higher offset, you need to worry about suspension clearance. If you go with a lower offset, you need to worry about fender clearance. Basically, the lower the offset, the more that the wheel with "stick out" on the vehicle - the higher the offset, the more that the wheel will be "sucked in" to the vehicle.
- Center Bore: You can use wheels with a larger center bore, but not wheels with a smaller center bore. If you use a wheel with a larger center bore, you will need to purchase and install "hub-centric rings" to "convert" the center bore size of the wheel to the hub size of your vehicle.
- Spacers: Think of spacers as giant washers - their sole purpose is to push a wheel outwards, which may need to be done in order to clear brake components or suspension components. If the wheels you want to install have a much higher offset than your stock wheels, spacers can be used to push the wheels out in order to compensate for the offset difference. Since the offset on the stock Impala wheels is already very high, spacers are typically used only for brake clearance issues and suspension-related clearance issues with the Impala. As stated above, the rear wheels are usually the problem when trying to move up to larger wheels as the larger wheel can come into contact with the strut mounts. Spacers can also be used strictly for appearance reasons as well as some like the look of wheels that stick out further than normal. If you use thick enough spacers, you also need to worry about the stud length and/or use special lugnuts as there may not be enough room to properly torque down the lugnuts. Also, there are "hub-centric" spacers and "universal" spacers - universal spacers typically work with more than one bolt pattern and/or hub size and will not fit snugly around the hub. "Hub-centric" spacers actually fit perfectly around your hub, which is important if you also need to use "hub-centric rings".
- Hub-centric rings: Since the wheels on our cars are "hub-centric" (meaning that they are "centered" via the hub, as opposed to "lug-centric" wheels which are centered strictly via the lugnuts), the center bore size of the wheel should match the hub size of the vehicle (70.3mm in the case of the Impala). If the center bore size does not match, you should use "hub-centric rings" in order to "convert" the center bore size to 70.3mm. Hub-centric rings will have an Inner Diameter (hub size) and an Outer Diameter (wheel center bore size). For example, if you bought wheels that had a center bore size of 72.6mm, you would need 70.3mm -> 72.6mm hub rings - this will ensure that the wheel fits snugly onto the hub and that the wheels is perfectly centered before tightening down the lugnuts. Hub rings generally come in plastic or aluminum rings. Most seem to prefer aluminum over plastic and I have read about plastic rings "melting" or "deforming" if the car is driven at high speeds for long periods of time. If hub rings are not used, you run the risk of having vibrations due to wheels that are not perfectly centered. You would also be putting more stress on the studs, which could cause studs to break in certain situations. I don't have any first-hand experience with these issues, but I have heard about them.
- Other Adapters: There are multiple other types of "adapters" available, but most adapters are a combination of a spacer and a hub-centric ring all in one device. They are typically needed when you need to add more spacing than a normal spacer can safely handle. There is only about 1/2" of the hub space available to mount your wheel on, so if you need to add a spacer thicker than about 1/4", you would need to use an "adapter", which will extend (and possibly convert the size of) the hub lip, so that your wheel can still rest on the hub, even after adding a large amount of spacing. I don't have many details on these as I've never used one personally, but some also have their own studs on them in case the adapters are so thick that there wouldn't be enough stud space available to tighten the lugnuts onto after adding so much spacing. They can also be used to convert from one bolt pattern to another.
- High Quality Spacers and Adapters (Cadillac CTS has same bolt pattern and hub size as the Impala):
- Hub rings:
- 70.3mm -> 71.5mm (Impala to Charger rings) - other sizes can be found on these sites as well:Hub Centric Rings ( 70.3 - 71.5 ) - JustForWheels.com (USA - Florida)
Ebay also has a lot of different hub rings for $10 or less (for more common sizes)
- Wheel fitment site (show how certain "specifications" can cahnge fitment):
Lenny is a nice guy and was great to work with. Obviously, they are a small company, but they will basically make anything custom that you want/need.
Lenny Stahl, Jr. (Owner)
10 Greg St. Suite 112
Reno, NV 89431
Office: (775) 351-1000
Website: Wheel Adapters, Wheel Spacers, Hub Rings, and much more! | Motorsport Tech
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