Wheel Bolt Pattern | How to Measure Your Car's Bolt Pattern
Wheel bolt pattern is all over the map for collector vehicles. Even if you have a basic five-lug pattern, what is the bolt circle, and what wheels fit? We have spent countless hours researching the subject and we're always willing to help customers figure out the bolt pattern on their classic car or truck. Most of the time, it's as simple as one of our Sales Representatives looking through our bolt pattern database, but sometimes it requires measuring the car or wheel to determine proper fitment. We're going to break it down for you in this comprehensive guide to all things bolt pattern. Let's get started.
4 Lug Wheels
Four lug wheels are common on compact cars, dating back to the 1960's. Ford used four-lug hubs and wheels on many cars in the 1960's, including the Ford Falcon and even the Ford Mustang through the late '60s on select trim levels.
The most common four lug pattern is 4x4.5 inches, but we also offer wheels with a smaller 4x4.25-inch bolt pattern. Foreign cars, such as Volkswagen feature a 4x130mm bolt pattern. To determine which bolt pattern you have, measure from the center of one wheel stud to the center of the one across from it.
We offer classic 4 lug wheels for many makes and models. Our 4 lug wheel choices include the Smoothie wheel (available in primer, all chrome and chrome outer/bare center), as well as 1968-1969 Ford Styled Steel, and Vintage Wheel Works V48. The Smoothie wheel features both the 4x4.25 and the 4x4.5 inch bolt patterns. The other wheels feature a single, direct fit 4x4.5-inch bolt pattern for fitment on classic Fords.
5 Lug Wheels
Five lug wheels are by far the most common in the collector car world. Ford is the most recognizable manufacturer who began using a five-lug bolt pattern in the late 1920's. Other manufacturers followed suit, and eventually settled into their own respective bolt patterns, designating the larger bolt patterns for trucks and the smaller bolt patterns for passenger cars.
We offer five lug wheels to fit 5x4, 5x4.5, 5x4.75, 5x5, 5x5.5 and 5x205mm bolt patterns in a variety of authentic styles.
To determine the bolt pattern on a 5 lug wheel, measure from the center of a wheel stud to the outer edge of the stud furthest away from it. Take a look at our diagram for an illustration of how it is measured.
Large Ford Pattern | 5 on 5.5 inches
Early Ford passenger cars use a 5x5.5-inch bolt pattern, which can also be listed as 5x5-1/2 inches. Later, the 5x5.5-inch bolt pattern was only used on Ford trucks. We commonly refer to this as a "large Ford" bolt pattern, and it was in use for decades.
Small Ford Pattern | 5 on 4.5 inches
Ford Motor Company began using a smaller 5x4.5 inch bolt pattern in the 1950's. It was used on the Ford Fairlane, Ford Mustang and many other cars through the years. The 5x4.5-inch bolt pattern is typically known as a "small Ford" pattern and can also be listed as 5x4-1/2 inches.
Chrysler Corporation Bolt Patterns | 5 on 4 - 5 on 4.5 - 5 on 5.5 inches
Early Chrysler full size and luxury sedans were built with a large five lug bolt pattern. It is the same as the large Ford pattern, measuring 5x5.5 inches. Later, Chrysler moved to a smaller bolt pattern and stayed with it for many years. This pattern is also shared with Ford, as it is the 5x4.5-inch pattern. The pattern was used on many Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth vehicles from the 1950s through the 1980s. Chrysler also had an even smaller bolt pattern, a 5x4-inch pattern that was used on some of the smaller pony cars of the 1960s. This bolt pattern was once problematic and caused many people to perform a brake swap to take adavantage of the more common bolt pattern. Coker Tire solved that problem with the development of Mopar Rallye and Mopar Standard wheels that feature the smaller 4 inch pattern.
Large GM Pattern | 5 on 5 inches
General Motors used a large bolt pattern for a variety of applications from the 1940's through the 1990's. This was the bolt pattern used for Cadillac and other luxurious vehicles from the 1950's. This includes classic Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac. So if you're using a big Olds rear end, you likely have a 5x5 bolt pattern. Chevrolet and GMC starting using this bolt pattern in 1971 for its light two-wheel drive trucks after phasing out the six lug bolt pattern.
Small GM Pattern | 5 on 4.75 inches
The small GM pattern, 5x4.75 inches, has a wide range of usage from 1949 through the modern era. It was first used on Chevy Fleetline and Styleline models, then continued usage through the Tri-Five era, muscle car era and was also used on Corvettes. It was also used Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile muscle cars. When General Motors went to metric hardware, it shifted its bolt pattern to 5x120mm. With a variance of only .65mm, the new metric pattern wheels will fit on a classic Chevy.
Single Bolt Pattern or Multi-Lug Pattern?
Some of our original style reproduction wheels, such as the OE Steel wheel, Chevy Rallye, Magnum 500 and many others are direct-fit wheels with a single bolt pattern. This is designed for authenticity on restored cars, especially those with exposed lug nuts. This is also ideal on custom cars with Spider Caps or no caps at all.
For custom applications, we offer multi-lug wheels in our Smoothie, Hot Rod Steel, Artillery and several other steel wheel designs. This multi-lug design is not to be confused with "unilug". Unilug wheels feature an oval-shaped lug hole and use special washers, while our multi-lug wheels use two separate bolt patterns stamped into the the same wheel, giving you the option to use standard lug nuts with no washer.
In most cases, our multi-lug wheels are classified as either "large multi" or "small multi", meaning that the wheel has a large Ford and large GM pattern if the part number inludes the letters LM and it has a small Ford and small GM pattern if it has SM in the part number.
6 Lug Wheels
The 6 lug portion of this article is straight forward. Thankfully, most manufacturers of light trucks used the same 6 lug bolt pattern, 6 on 5.5 inches. It's still important to measure, just to be sure, but just about any 1930's through 1980's 6 lug truck has the same pattern. To determine the bolt circle, simply measure from the center of one stud to the center of the stud across from it.
Chevrolet used 6 lug wheels on all of its trucks (and some cars) for many years. All Chevrolet 3100 and C10 (half ton) trucks built before 1971 had six lug wheels. Even after 1971, the four-wheel drive Chevy and GMC trucks featured a 6 lug pattern.
We offer 6 lug wheels in many styles, including Chevy Rallye, Pickup Rallye, Smoothie and OE Steel. We also offer Chevy Artillery wheels in 6 lug patterns to fit classic Chevys.
8 Lug Wheels
Many manufacturers built their heavy duty trucks with larger hubs to increase the load capacity. This resulted in an 8 lug wheel design that is still popualr today on 3/4-ton and 1-ton trucks. This is another industry standard pattern, with very little variance from one make to another. Pretty much any 8 lug bolt pattern has a bolt circle of 6.5 inches. To determine the bolt pattern, simply measure from the center of one stud to the center of the stud across from it.
Coker Tire offers 8 lug wheels for classic heavy duty trucks. The wheels are available in 16 inch diameter, and come in semi gloss black powder coat or chrome.
If you're stumped about the bolt pattern on your car or truck, don't hesitate to call us for more information. We're glad to help Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm Eastern time and 8am to Noon on Saturday. Our number is 1-866-516-3215 or you can always hit us up on the chat to ask questions.