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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Impala Custom Wheel Info

I recently installed Dodge Charger wheels on my 2012 Impala and I just wanted to post all of the information that I learned about replacing the stock wheels all in a single post in order to help others looking to replace their wheels. I had absolutely no idea how many different factors there were when trying to install non-stock wheels on a vehicle and while most of this information is already on the forum somewhere, it's scattered and hard to find (and some of it is also inaccurate). Hopefully, we can also use this thread to discuss more detailed wheel replacement/fitment issues as well.



Wheel Specifications

First, let's start with the "specifications" of the stock Impala wheels (my car had 17" stock wheels - would be great to add this info for other wheel types/sizes):

- 17" Split-spoke style (5 "split" spokes):

- 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)​

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"!

If you do want wheels that have different specifications, here are some of the things that you need to consider:

- 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.​



Adapters

Now, if there are some wheels that you just have to have, but they have substantially different specifications, there are ways to try and make them fit 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.






Resources

- 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:​
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):​


NOTE: Thanks to "@RYD SLO", "@1impalavision1" and others for all of their help along the way with all of the wheel fitment questions I had!!
 

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This is a phenomenal post. Making it a sticky. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just trying to give back to the community a little!! Personally, I had no idea how "complicated" it can be to replace your wheels! With the help of other forum members (mainly @RYD and @1impalavision1), I learned a lot and just wanted to post the info I learned while it was still somewhat fresh in my mind. It's certainly not 100% complete, but it's a start...

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Great info dude! Agreed on sticky-ifacation
Thank you for sharing
 

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Very nice info that all impala owners should know.


( for better and more info i say add the 16" and 18" wheels. As if they can all cross reference each other and people can relate to there wheels with certain specs as you posted.) Just some help
 

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Great info!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Just to try and keep this thread alive and hopefully populate it with some good wheel-replacement info, I wanted to give this place a quick "shout out"....

I purchased wheel&hub-centric spacers (basically, hub-centric spacers with "built-in" hub rings) from them and the quality is awesome. They are not cheap (and shipping is really high), but the quality of the spacers are fantastic. They also sell "regular" spacers and quite a few different "adapters" that you can use to resolve fitment issues with aftermarket wheels:


Motorsport Tech

Lenny Stahl, Jr. (Owner)

Motorsport Tech
10 Greg St. Suite 112
Reno, NV 89431

Office: (775) 351-1000

Email: [email protected]
Website: Wheel Adapters, Wheel Spacers, Hub Rings, and much more! | Motorsport Tech

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.

As a general idea for pricing, I paid $35 each for 5x115, 3mm, Hub & Wheel-centric spacers (70.3mm -> 71.5mm). Shipping was $25 though (NV to PA - not sure if that is a flat rate for all shipments or not though).

Here is a picture of the $35 wheel & hub-centric spacer (and one compared to a "universal" type space):


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Discussion Starter #10
It could be multiple things. Could be a bad tire (broken belt, out of round, etc) - could be an alignment issue, could be a balancing issue, etc...

Do you have stock or aftermarket wheels? If stock, then no, you don't need hub-centric rings - they are only for wheels that have a different hub size than your stock wheels.

As to how to fix your problem - depending on when you last had an alignment, I'd probably start there. If you still have the issue, wheel balancing would be next. If you still have an issue, it's probably the tires (or at least one of the tires).

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If you feel a shaking, I'd start with a tire inspection and balance. This will catch the most common issues, such as broken belt, bent wheel, or an out of balance tire. A bad alignment (which is always a good thing to have checked) is much less likely to cause vibrations, and more likely to cause the car to pull to one side or the other.
 

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Signs of a bad alignment usually show with premature tire wear and uneven tire wear due to either excessive toe-in or excessive negative camber.
 

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I wana say after market wheels.... They were balanced before i purchased the car. Im sure its an alignment issue.
How is 215 /55 different than a 235/60. & thank you
 

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If you feel a shaking, I'd start with a tire inspection and balance. This will catch the most common issues, such as broken belt, bent wheel, or an out of balance tire. A bad alignment (which is always a good thing to have checked) is much less likely to cause vibrations, and more likely to cause the car to pull to one side or the other.

- i feel the tires shaking soon as i hit 60mph , it does turn to the right . & i have to replace my serpentine belt it or something is squeaking
 

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Could be you have a bent wheel or the tire broke a belt. I know my car exhibited the same issues with a bent wheel and bad tire. Vibrations like that are not generally caused by an alignment issue. But if the car is pulling then you definitely need an alignment done as well. Your best bet is to take it to a trusted mechanic who has an alignment machine, and have them diagnose and fix the issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
See I've definitely had vibrations caused by alignment issues before... Just saying, bad alignment can definitely cause vibrations.

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@ryd slo like i was telling someone else , because im a female mechanics think i dont know what im talking about an they think they can get over on me . see now a days its about hiw they can make you spend money .., i dont have a "trusted mechanic" i just wont let nobody bullshit me
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The nice thing about alignments is that they can check to see if you need an alignment before they do it. So they will only do the alignment if needed - otherwise, there shouldn't be any cost.

I took my car to Firestone and got a "Lifetime alignment" and "Lifetime balancing". This way, I can get my car aligned and my wheels balanced any time I want for no cost. And the "lifetime" services really aren't that much more expensive than the normal non-lifetime services. If you plan on keeping your car for a while, they are definitely worth it.

I can't answer the question about the tires. I've also stuck with the same size that the car came with from the factory. Obviously, if you're getting new tires, don't get the balancing done until you replace the tires (they will need balanced when you get new tires anyway).

I always recommend an alignment when getting new tires as well - you don't want an out-of-alignment car to ruin your new tires! :) Tires are too expensive!

I like Firestone, because they have the "lifetime" services, they have retail stores all over the place and I can get tires, balancing and alignments done all at the same place. You'll pay a little more for the tires, but it's very convenient. I bought 75k mile warranty Bridgestone Turanza w/Serenity Plus tires there, including full roadside assistance coverage (covers ANY tire damage) for the life of the tire. So I won't have to spend another penny on tires, balancing or alignments for another 75k miles! :)

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Yes, a bad alignment can cause vibration issues, however they're less likely to be speed dependant I've found. She says when she hits 60 the vibrations start. Whenever I've had that happen to me, it's been a bad balance. That's just been my experience though
 
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