The wheel lug pattern, also known as the pitch circle diameter of the bolt circle, indicates the measurement of an imaginary ring created by all the lug holes on a car.
Determining this parameter helps you decide on the right wheel for your vehicle and ensure safety. So how to measure 4, 5, 6, or 8 lug-bolt and other rim bolt patterns? Scroll down to our guide.
In this article:
How To Measure Wheel Bolt Pattern?
Step 1: Counting The Bolts
Park Your Car
Select a flat area, apply the emergency brake, and turn off the engine. You want your vehicle or trailer to be stable instead of moving while taking the next steps. If you work on separated wheels, such as used auto parts, it is best to fix it on a stand or at least stay firmly on level ground.
Remove The Hubcap
Now look at any wheel, and you will notice a cap on the hub. Behind this unit are nuts with the same pattern for all tires. If you can see through the nut initially, skip this step.
Otherwise, use a flat-head screwdriver to slide it between the rim and the outer edge of the wheel hub. It only requires gentle pressure to pry the cap off.
Some car models feature a plastic hubcap covering the entire wheel’s outer surface. Do not hesitate to remove the whole thing with a screwdriver. Insert the tool into the connection point between the cap and the rim this time.
Count The Bolts With Lug Nuts
When you take the cover off, you immediately see the bearing bolts in the center of the wheel. They are covered with nuts forming a large circle. Your task now is extremely simple – count the total bolts available. Current models often feature 4, 5, 6, or 8 nuts on a wheel.
Step 2: Measure The Circle Diameter
Measuring Patterns For Each Type Of Bolt
The most confusing part is that the number of bolts affects the recommended method to calculate the pitch center diameter. Simply put, you need to find the diameter of the imaginary circle that covers all the bolt holes. Below are instructions for each pattern.
This design appears frequently on compact cars from the 1960s, especially Ford models. The most popular options include 4 x 4.5” or 4 x 4.25”; however, it is unlikely to apply to your vehicle. It would help to drag the ruler diagonally from the center of any hole to the center of the opposite.
5-lug bolt pattern measurement
It is the most common type in the automotive world, launching as early as the 1920s. Ford once again stands behind the popularity of this option. Ultimately, most manufacturers agreed on small diameters for passenger cars and larger ones for trucks.
Unfortunately, the odd number of bolts makes it hard to measure the 5-lug bolt pattern due to the lack of a central position. There are 3 ways to find out the pattern:
- Measure from the center of one random hole to the center point of 2 opposite holes (not dead-on).
- Starts at a random hole like other patterns but at its back. Then drag the ruler to the center of the furthest hole (not dead-on).
- The most precise way is to use a bolt pattern gauge or a complicated geometric equation.
You can find this style on most light trucks with a common diameter of 5.5”. But it is still critical to measure to be 100% certain. Don’t skip this step because it doesn’t take much time. Similar to the 4-lug round, draw a line connecting the centers of two opposing bolts.
Thankfully, the measuring process is as easy as a piece of cake, similar to the 4-lug pattern. You can also invest in a bolt circle template for the most accurate measurements and fastest approach.
It is inexpensive, user-friendly, and available at most parts stores. You only need to test the circles on the tool over the lug nuts and read the result.
Combine The Results To Get The Right Size
You now have two figures – the number of bolts and the estimated diameter. Combine the two but separate them with an “x,” and you’ve got a useful factor in determining the right wheel size.
Millimeters Or Inches?
There are cases when you look at the wheel’s description and find a different pattern than the calculated result. Why does my car need 5×5, but the manufacturer mentions 5 x 139.7 on their website?
In fact, both measurements refer to the same value in different units of measurement – the first is inches, and the latter is millimeters. Stay calm because you do not need any more calculations. Refer to the conversion table below for popular patterns, or contact your local store.
|4-lug bolt patterns|
|4 x 95.2||4 x 3.75|
|4 x 101.6||4 x 4|
|4 x 108||4 x 4.25|
|4 x 114.3||4 x 4.5|
|4 x 139.7||4 x 5.5|
|5-lug bolt patterns|
|5 x 108||5 x 4.25|
|5 x 114.3||5 x 4.5|
|5 x 120.65||5 x 4.75|
|5 x 127||5 x 5|
|5 x 139.7||5 x 5.5|
|6-lug bolt patterns|
|6 x 114.3||6 x 4.5|
|6 x 127||6 x 5|
|6 x 139.7||6 x 5.5|
|8-lug bolt patterns|
|8 x 139.7||8 x 5.5|
|8 x 165.1||8 x 6.5|
|8 x 170||8 x 6.69|
|8 x 200||8 x 7.87|
Lug Bolt Pattern Of Some Popular Cars
|4 x 4.25’’||1963-93 Ford||Compact/Midsize|
|4 x 4.5’’||1961-63 GM1960-70 Ford||Compact|
|5 x 4’’||1967-76 Mopar||Compact|
|5 x 4.5’’||1950-89 Mopar|
|1972-84 Dodge Truck||Full-size|
|5 x 4.75’’||1934-88 Chevy|
1964-87 GM B-O-P
1982-2004 GM Truck
|5 x 5’’||1959-89 GM B-O-P|
1971-99 GM Truck
|5 x 5.5’’||1975-2019 Dodge Truck|
1949-96 Ford Truck
|6 x 4.5’’||1991-2004 Dodge Truck/SUV||Midsize|
|6 x 5’’||2002-09 GM SUV||Midsize|
|6 x 5.5’’||1942-2019 GM Truck/SUV||Full-size|
|8 x 6.5’’||1960-2010 GM Truck/SUV|
1963-98 Ford Truck
1967-2018 Dodge Truck
Is 114.3 The Same As 4.5 Bolt Pattern?
Yes. The former figure is measured in millimeters, while the latter is in inches.
Can You Put 5 x 120 On 5 x 114.3?
Yes, but you need a wheel adapter.
What Vehicle Fit 5×114.3 Bolt Pattern?
Many models fit 5 x 114.3 mm wheels, such as Honda Civic, Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai i30, Mitsubishi Lancer, and Outlander.
Measuring bolt patterns on wheels is an important step in determining the right wheel for your vehicle. However, it would help to consider other factors, such as tire size, offset, setback, etc. Contact an expert for straightforward advice if you are unsure about these terms.
See more: How to get a stripped lug nut off?