Wheels set a car apart and many car enthusiasts go the extra distance to choose the most stylish looking alloy wheels for their cars. There are many companies, both big and small, which manufacture a range of alloy wheels with different coatings and finishes to give your car that cool look. In their endeavour to save money, many customers will look at online sites and ads for “cheap alloy wheels which will fit most cars.”
Don’t Lose Sleep over Cheap!
Once they receive these “cheap” wheels, they find that they aren’t able to fit them onto their cars. And nothing is as frustrating as seeing your hard-earned money go down the proverbial drain. But why did that happen? The answer lies in certain wheel mathematics that every car enthusiast needs to know and appreciate.
PCD – The Fox in Sheep’s Disguise
The culprit in the above scenario happens to be a wily character called PCD. Pitch Circle Diameter, as it is formally called, is the diameter of the imaginary circle on which lie the centres of the studs. Alloy wheels can be installed with the help of from 3 to 8 bolts into their respective “studs.” These studs lie in a circular fashion around the central hole. The diameter of this circle is what is known as the Pitch Circle Diameter, or PCD.
It’s relatively easy to know the PCD of a 4-stud wheel, because it would be the distance between the centres of two diametrically opposite studs. In the case of a 3-, 5-, 6- and 8-stud wheels though, an imaginary circle might have to be drawn and its diameter found out.
Many cars have different PCDs and even a slight difference will determine whether the “cheap” wheels you bought from that advert or online auction store will fit your car or not.
How Many Studs for Me, Mate?
Smaller cars (Citroen 2CV, Renault 4) usually have 3 studs, compact cars have 4 and bigger cars have 5 studs. Pickups and SUVs generally prefer an 8 stud wheel. As you can see, the number of studs is proportional to the size of the car. The smaller the car, the lesser are the studs that hold bolts holding the wheel. But as size of the car increase, stud numbers also increase.
8 Would be Fine, Sir!
High performance SUVs and off-roaders normally have 8 stud wheels. This is because the tyres, and eventually the wheels, will undergo a lot of stress, both from the car and the driving conditions. Under such circumstances, the 8 studs on the wheels divide the stress equally amongst them and provide great balance, stability and smooth driveability to the vehicle.
Most SUVs are 4-wheel drives. This requires all wheels to be extra responsive during accelerations and braking. These also create stressful conditions for wheels. Here, 8 studs come to the rescue to provide a better grip and easy manoeuvrability. Thus, 8-stud wheels are the first choice for high performance vehicles where power and response go hand-in-hand to give the driver that ultimate driving pleasure. For more information about 8 Stud Alloy Wheels, visit www.canterburytyres.com.au.