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Technical Mounting Supreme Wheels

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MrHavard, Jan 11, 2022.

  1. I purchased a new set of Supreme wheels from Allied wheel, similar to the attached photo. As I understand it, these are basically a multi lug wheel where each lug hole is enlarged so that it can accept a 4.5, 4.7 or 5” bolt spacing. Today I had Les Schwab install them on my ‘63 Impala and was surprised when they said they hadn’t seen lug holes like this previously. They eventually installed the wheels, but said they could verify that the wheels were truly centered on the drums due to the enlarged lug holes. Have any of you experienced this before? Wondering if there was a step missing they and I were not aware of. I also provided the lug nuts and washers that I bought from TruSpoke. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. With the proper lug nuts, the wheel centers just fine.
    VANDENPLAS, egads and loudbang like this.
  3. connielu
    Joined: Apr 21, 2019
    Posts: 167

    1. A-D Truckers

    We used to call them "unilug". I had a set of OT wheels that needed to be re tightened periodically.
  4. What has the world come to when today's "technicians" have never seen a unilug wheel :rolleyes:
    SS327, hemihotrod66, Tim and 16 others like this.

  5. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 744


    Maybe I’m missing something or out of date, but the set of that type I had oval washers with offset holes. You ordered the washer for the bolt circle you were using. Those were Cragar’s IIRC. Or are those the “washers” you referred to.
    indyjps and loudbang like this.
  6. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,834


    The new technicians have not seen a lot of stuff yet.

    The original Unilug wheels were a late 60s - early 1970s thing, most of the current technician's parents were barely even alive back then.

    miler98038, the modern unilug wheels I've seen only have round washers these days, but then I haven't seen a lot of them lately either.
    loudbang and gimpyshotrods like this.
  7. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,257

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Good luck, I am really surprised to see that they are still making that uni lug style of wheel.

    Personally I would never buy them, they were a terrible idea way back when and they still are.

    Nothing but trouble. You should probably have asked the old dogs before buying them.

    Supreme indeed :D Compared to what :confused:
    VANDENPLAS, jnaki and Deuces like this.
  8. Yeah I ordered the washers that truspoke sells for my bolt pattern.
    loudbang likes this.
  9. Yeah the washers are round, the hole in the washer is either centered or off-center based on your bolt pattern.
    VANDENPLAS and loudbang like this.
  10. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,834


    Back in the old days, I think they only made the unilug wheels to cover two different bolt circles. Covering 3 different patterns would make me pretty nervous, that is asking quite a lot from the washers, hope they are thick.
  11. I have a set of Crager SS wheels like that. 3 bolt patterns covered. If you use the right wheel nuts and washers they fit properly and can't, not be centered. Now, put the wrong lug nuts together with an inexperienced wheel changer in the mix and there is a possibility of a problem, as with a lot of other things.

    I'm pretty cautious with any type of unilug wheel. I retorque regularly, more often when the wheels and nuts are all new. In my younger days I drove a set of ET Unilug wheels over 100 MPH regularly. That was back when Canada still used MPH. :cool:
  12. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,431

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    I recall the E/T unilug washers covered 3 different bolt circle sizes. The washers w/ the holes in the center fit 4 3/4. The washers with the offset holes fit 4 1/2 or 5" depending if you laid out the washers with the holes facing inward or outward.
    I've ran redrilled Torque thrusts no problem by drilling 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 as well as 4 3/4 to 4 1/2. Use an index mill and bore the existing 5 lug holes 1/8" inboard or outboard. It leaves a slight oblong bore but with American Racing shank lug nuts the wheels bolt up perfectly tight and ride fine on either bolt pattern. The standard American lug washers hide the extra "unused" bore. Takes a bit of thinking to wrap your mind around how it works but it does.
    bowie, egads and loudbang like this.
  13. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,955

    from Michigan

    Sorry but them things are garbage....:(
    connielu, da34guy and Blue One like this.
  14. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,955

    from Michigan

    Blue One likes this.
  15. 'UniLug' type wheels have been around since the late '60s. The originator was ET IIRC, and they had arguably the best system. Theirs had an oval recess in the wheel that accepted a matching oval washer. If the lug hole in the washer was centered, it was for a 4.75-on-5 pattern. If the hole was offset .125" off center, that washer would service both 4.5-on-5 and 5-on-5 patterns depending on which way it was installed. It also used a conical-seat nut, the first application on an alloy wheel AFAIK. It was really a brilliant idea; at a stroke, you now could fit any wheel you made to 90+% of all cars with 5 lug wheels made after 1951, drastically reducing the inventory you needed to make/stock. ET patented the idea, no dummies there. I ran several sets of these in the '70s, never had a lick of trouble with them.

    The ET design spawned multiple attempts at copying, but they defended their patent ferociously and some competing designs were just poor. These bad designs gave the idea a bad reputation and they fell out of favor, causing ET to go belly up and taking the patent with them. Cragar kept at it though, and eventually came up with this design that didn't infringe on ETs patent. Not quite as elegant, but a successful design nonetheless... and there's no patent that I'm aware of, as I have seen it on 'other' wheels. They've been using it on the SS wheels since the late '80s, it's the prevalent set-up on current ones.

    With that said, there is a definite installation process with this design. The original ET design was pretty forgiving of sloppy installs, these not so much. One, you need to install/snug each lug before starting the torque process. Tightening one or two before the others are threaded in will introduce binding, making your torque values uneven, plus running the risk of damaging the lug slots. Two, the Cragar design uses bellville washers which MUST be properly torqued to work right, 80-90 ft-lbs. Make sure the 'crown' faces out. The OP bought his hardware from Tru-Spoke, I'd verify that you have these and not flat washers. The flat washers will need to be very regularly monitored for tightness. DO NOT use an impact wrench on these. If over-torqued enough to flatten the washers, replace them. Generally, one or two re-checks after running them some will be all you need when installed right.

    The one real irritation IMO is if you're not using the centered washers but need the offset ones, you need to make sure the washer stays properly oriented until you get each lug snugged. They will rotate to heavy side down and can bind on the wheel center if out of position. You can't be sloppy here...
  16. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 8,419


    Color me young and dumb and lucky I guess. I bought a set of uni-lug slot mags for a ‘68 Biscayne? I had when I got out of high school. Think it was a ‘68, anyways, I went to Kragen Auto parts, bought a set of mag wheel lug nuts and washers, bolted them on and off to Phoenix I went. Came back usually twice a year for a few years before I sold the car. I don’t recall ever checking the lugs or even thinking about it.
    Lloyd's paint & glass likes this.
  17. I'll add one thing... These still use washers and shank-type lug nuts, so they do have the correct 'traditional' look unlike most current wheels with conical-seat nuts that are recessed in a machined hole. You can get this style on some new wheels, but it's an extra-cost special order option in most cases.
  18. I don’t understand the fear of running unilugs. My Fargo has Cragar ss unilug son it, I put them on, torqued them and drive it. They don’t come loose, they don’t vibrate.

    Maybe I’m just lucky?
  19. No you're not just lucky, I've been doing it all my life. I'd say that the failures have been due to the lack of ability on the installer. There's a right way to put them on. I've owned a shit ton of them, never an issue. @Budget36 sounds like he's got it down too
  20. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,298

    Lone Star Mopar

    I run those exact wheels along w a set of Cragar SS the same style. I dont have to re torque the lugs any more than my other cars with stock wheels, and as said with the right lug nuts they center themselves. Now with that said, I wont ever buy another set of these "unilug" style as the direct fit without the goofy washers just look better, no dis respect to the op... Make sure and share some pics when you get them mounted.
  21. Workers at tire shops say the darnedest things. The local discount wouldn't put a smaller pair of tires on my lowered 3/4 ton late model because the computer wouldn't let them, even though they are the same load rating for that truck. So, I take the wheels off and take them to them to mount tires. When they ask what it's for, I tell them it's for a 56 Chevy pickup. That model is not in there computer so they just say "ok", and mount them up.

    As to the original question: Unilugs are fine, you really don't need the washers unless you don't like the look of the elongated slots on your cool wheels.
    Lone Star Mopar likes this.
  22. TA DAD
    Joined: Mar 2, 2014
    Posts: 624

    TA DAD
    from NC

    You really don't need the washers ! wow is all I can say.
  23. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,298

    Lone Star Mopar

    Good to know I dont need the washers. Remove & replace the wheels once and they start to rust and look like crap.
  24. Packrat
    Joined: Aug 25, 2005
    Posts: 534


    In the 70's and 80's I ran uni-lug wheels many thousands of miles using regular round washers, never had a problem with them. Start all 5 lug nuts and pull the wheel out against the lug nuts, then tighten. They centered themselves. Possibly I was just lucky also, but I wouldn't hesitate to run them that way again.
  25. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,969

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Many of today's "techs " have never seen Points or a carb either. Just a reflection of time passing.
    VANDENPLAS and egads like this.
  26. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 28,610

    Jalopy Joker

    another thing to watch out for is today's tire changers automatically use an air gun and just jamb the lug nuts down - do not know about using a breaker bar, torque wrench, etc - do not just sit in the waiting room, go out and keep an eye on your ride
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
    Pist-n-Broke likes this.
  27. uh oh the safety police have spoken. We better sell our hot rods and start driving Prius’s.

    I’ve personally put thousands of miles on uni-lug wheels and they never needed so much as a re-torque.
  28. In today's world right seems to be directly connected to firsthand experience and today's young Tire Jockeys haven't had any yet. Gotta be careful who you listen to.
    egads and Dan Hay like this.
  29. Remember the stuff we work on is pretty specific compared to what shops see all day every day. Don’t blame the tire guy that hasn’t seen unilug wheels. Or the young mechanic that hasn’t worked on points or a carb. They don’t get many coming through the door in regular shops.
    Just Gary, egads and Jeff Norwell like this.
  30. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 23,065

    Staff Member

    I have unilug Cragars on my off topic Chevelle, no issues. The bottom line as I see it is this. If you are going to be an old car owner you need to take responsibility for knowing all about it and work on it yourself. Bring your wheels and tires in to have them mounted but put em on the car yourself. that way you can be sure it is done correctly and put on with a torque wrench. No one can blame the kid at the tire store that has never seen a uni lug wheel before. Sure they use impacts but I bet they have torque sticks on em. They are paid to do a job fast.... I gotta tell ya that one of the best purchases I have ever made is a Coates 4040 tire machine that I bought 40 years ago for 300 bucks, that thing has paid for itself countless times

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