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Technical Most Common Wheel Bolt Pattern during Our Era?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ned Ludd, Nov 18, 2022.

  1. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,670

    Ned Ludd

    What would you say was the most common wheel bolt pattern during the HAMB's focus era? 5x4¼"? 5x4½"? 5x4¾"?

    Or perhaps a decade or even two decades later? I suspect that the range among US manufacturers remained pretty much constant for a long time, until they went to large front-drive cars in the '80s, with 5x100mm and such patterns.

    The reason I ask: if I had no prior constraints as to a bolt pattern, which bolt pattern would give me the most wheel options in, say, a '60sish idiom? Then I could research and spec my hub/axle details according to that.

    The automotive world is indeed going to hell in a handbasket, but there are occasional glimmers of light among the doom and gloom. One is the use of 5-bolt wheels on smaller cars, probably because it is today considered quite acceptable for a small car to weigh as much as a main battle tank. It means that there are at least a few raidable bits and pieces available at parts counters.
    Chucky likes this.
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,419


    Well, Ford was predominately (as I see it, probably wrong) and was the wide, the 5 on5.5.
    LOU WELLS and seb fontana like this.
  3. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,218


    5 x 5 and 5 x 4.75 covered everything I ever owned in fifty years.
    Bob Lowry and Ned Ludd like this.
  4. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,216


    First, Ned, let's define what you mean by "HAMB's focus era". The lug patterns you mentined are typical for 50's, 60's, and 70's era cars. From my, (and I suspect other's), viewpoint, the HAMB focuses on 20's through 50's era cars, with half of the 60's thrown in.
    You're leaving out many patterns from the 20's and up.

    Just sayin'.....Roger
    Elcohaulic likes this.

  5. Ford bolt patterns. Because hot rods were Fords.
  6. '29 Gizmo
    Joined: Nov 6, 2022
    Posts: 153

    '29 Gizmo
    from UK

    5x5.5. Old skool ! A shame this pattern is not retained by early ford based rods in favour of later chevy and ford PCDs.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
  7. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,923


    No real winner here. There was also the Chevys with their 6 on 5 1/2" to confuse the matter.
  8. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,158


    your building a car around a bolt pattern?
    The Shift Wizard likes this.
  9. You tell me what's your favorite "gotta have it" rear axle/differential this imaginary future build will have and I'll take a poke at suggesting a wheel bolt pattern to look for.
  10. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,218


    I always liked the pattern and look of the small Dodge 340 Duster steel wheels of the sixties.

    Of all the stock steel wheels, I think the Big Ford 5 x 5-1/2 wheel looks the best, the Big Ford steel wheel with it's 5.5 is the best looking and strongest. I wonder if Kelsey Hayes made the Ford wheels too..

    The all out best looking factory wheels were the 1960 to 1968 Pontiac 8 lug wheel with its big aluminum drum..
    '29 Gizmo likes this.
  11. 5x5.5
    Gm 6 lug
    Mopar and ford 5x4.5
  12. If you're building your car around tthe wheels then show 'em who's boss and use knock-offs. Just remember the lead mallet.
    Ned Ludd likes this.
  13. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,310

    from Napa

    One that made me laugh, the '64 Falcon Futura ragtop I just sold was a 260 V8 car, and had original 13" 5x4-1/2 wheels with dog dishes
    deathrowdave and Ned Ludd like this.
  14. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,923


    This has got me thinking why did I go with a 5 on 5 1/2" pattern on my T coupe? Can't see the lug nuts
    with the Merc hubcaps on. I had to redrill the Buick front drums anyhow. All my other cars have a 5 on 4 1/2" pattern and I could have gone that direction to switch my wheels around for a different look. Dumb move.
    Elcohaulic and Ned Ludd like this.
  15. studebakerjoe
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 1,004


    Depending on years Im thinking either 5×5 1/2 because so many Fords were built or 5x4 1/2 because later on Ford used that pattern as well as many Mopar, Hudson, Amc, Studebaker. I think obviously many 5×4 3/4 on many GMs.
    Ned Ludd likes this.
  16. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,461


    "Fords were built or 5x4 1/2 because later on Ford used that pattern as well as many Mopar, Hudson, Amc, Studebaker."

    .......and early Volvo. I know because I took the 10" slicks off of my brothers 65 A990 Plymouth and put the wheel/tire combo directly on my 59' Volvo with Chevy running gear in roughly 1968.
    Elcohaulic and Ned Ludd like this.
  17. This ^^^... Ford used the 5-on-5.5 from '28 through '48 on almost everything and it hung around on trucks into the '90s. That's 60+ years, it has to be the hands-down winner for longevity. Almost the same goes for the 4.5-on-5. Ford switched to that for their cars in '49 and pretty much everyone used it through the '50s and beyond except for GM. This pattern is still being used on some cars. There's a smattering of 5-on-5s mixed in here and there with each of the big three using it on select car lines at one time or another. The 4.75-on-5 was late to the party in the mid-50s, but GM's sales dominance put it on the map quickly.
    Ned Ludd and Hnstray like this.
  18. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 871


    Agree with the 5on4.5 being in the running, and add the fact that Dodge, Plymouth used 5on4.5 from the 30s into the 80s. Along with Stude, Nash, Hudson.
    Hnstray and gimpyshotrods like this.
  19. If you do a wheel search by bolt pattern on Summit and restrict it to 15" wheels, the results are a bit surprising...

    4.5 on 5 12,046
    4.75 on 5 10,533
    5 on 5 9,322
    5.5 on 5 5,570

    Looks like the 4.5 on 5 is the clear winner.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
  20. As far as commonality, the 4.5 is used on several non-domestic makes. That bolt pater is super easy to find wheels, however the vast majority don’t fit here.
    Most of my rides have been 5x5.5.
    I’ve got stude, ford and mopar wheels in 5x4.5.
    I can put a 30s mopar wheel on cars made today. But I wouldn’t recommend it :)
    I guess that’s the longest running, current bolt pattern I can come up with.
    the 4.5 and 5.5 along with the gm 6 lug span the bulk of the HAMB era.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  21. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,223

    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    5 on 5.5" for 40s and 50s era, 5 on 4.5" for late 50s and 60s.
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  22. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 9,768

    Bandit Billy

    Everything I own is 5 X 4 3/4, I build them that way so I only have to have one set of paint rollers and one mini spare for trips. Plus I have a lot of GM wheels in stock and I can switch em around. Never had anyone want to measure my nuts at a car show...well there was this one girl
    Ned Ludd and Budget36 like this.
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 17,025

    from oregon

    For the most part I'm a child of the late 50's/60's and a Chevy guy, mostly 64-67 passenger cars so in my little world it was 5 on 4&3/4" bolt pattern, did have a 65 Malibu with an Olds/Pontiac rearend, that was 5 on 5" pattern.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2022
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  24. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,731

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Big GM were 5x5, and it became the standard for NASCAR up until this year, and their screwup of a center lock hub. Jeep used it on the CJ5s, and I think Ram trucks have used it for a bit. Not sure of that one tho...
  25. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,604


    In my experience, when buying used (esp. aftermarket), 5x4 3/4 were the most plentiful and cheapest.
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  26. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,312


    Late Ford (4 1/2X5). Back then, I had a '52 Ford and a '55 Dodge that were both kinda' "sketchy". I'd swap tires and wheels between them weekly. The only problem I had was that the Dodge wheels needed tightening weekly when I out them on the Ford. One time, when I was really desparate, I went to the local junkyard and got a wheel off of a Jaguar (of all things), and it fit!

    (Rambler wheels fit too.)
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  27. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,425


    I'd say most of the old custom wheels and stock style steel wheels I've collected over the years were 4 1/2 and 4 3/4, with some 5 and 5.5 inchers thrown in although those tend to be all stock steel wheels. In my experience, more 4 1/2's turn up than 4 3/4's but by a slim margin.
    Elcohaulic and Ned Ludd like this.
  28. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,109


  29. Does the F-100 (and F-150) use the 5x5.5 pattern? I’ve only owned a couple of cars in my life and they were Chevrolets, so my common pattern has been 5x4-3/4. Most of what I’ve owned have been Ford Trucks.
    deathrowdave and Ned Ludd like this.
  30. Up until the mid 90s on the Ford trucks. Some very early 80s has 5x4.5. Those 9inch rears are great finds.
    I guess most of what we call custom wheels showed up about the time 5x4.75 was used by gm and Ford cars started using the 5x4.5 more.
    dang those goofy small mopars.
    Jeep also shared the 5x5.5 as well. Explains all the aluminum slots in that pattern
    Ned Ludd and Truckdoctor Andy like this.

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