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Redrilling from 5.5" to 4.5"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FoMoCo_MoFo, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. FoMoCo_MoFo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 1,666


    I have 5 on 5.5 brakes and rear end and just scored some nice wheels that are 5 on 4.5

    what is the best plan of attack? are their any tricks that I may not know of?
  2. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    I would be concerned that the 5.5" hub might be too big to clear the 4.5" wheel, theres going to be an inch of flange outside of the new bolt pattern. Is it possible to exchange the axles for ones with the right bolt pattern? Gene
  3. Radshit
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 1,420


    I've had Ford truck axles drilled for small Ford (4.5)........wasn't a problem at all...most aftermarket rims have the bigger diameter hub....but I have had the hub turned down neither was a show stopper

    .....most machine shops are equipped to handle the chores....
  4. Crease
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 2,878


    Could you put them on a mill and index off the old pattern? Done that on drums with some success.

  5. FoMoCo_MoFo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 1,666


    Ive done an axle in the past and it went ok, but the drums are a whole other story
  6. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    Could you get close enough with one of those bolt pattern plates with all the different holes? Just line it up with some dowels and mark the other pattern. I redrilled some wheels on a racing 4 wheeler once by using cardboard and a compass to make both circles. I took some trial and error to get the template perfect but after that it was a piece of cake.
  7. Brickster
    Joined: Nov 23, 2003
    Posts: 1,131


    try mosier enginering. they have done it for me in the past
  8. Tuff Tin
    Joined: May 23, 2004
    Posts: 921

    Tuff Tin

    Any machine shop can re-drill the bolt pattern if they don't fear the libility but one thing to keep in mind. Leave the old studs in until the new ones are drilled then shear the old ones off flush. This insures you are centered and don't get the egg shaped brake feel. [​IMG]
  9. I used to run 5” to 4-1/2” adapters but finally had my front hubs re-drilled for 4-1/2” bolt a pattern just over 20 years ago. I had a high-end machine shop do it for me. They did stuff like extremely thin hypodermic needles so they had the ability to get the holes EXACTLY where they belonged.

    One thing you have to concern yourself with is the fact that nearly EVERY OEM wheel indicated (centers itself) on the hub, NOT the wheel studs. Studs get bent and the holes in the wheels aren’t all that accurate after a few iterations with a rattle gun so the ONLY true reference for the wheel is the fit of said wheel on the machined axle hub.

    The reason why most aftermarket wheel vibrate (and you can’t seem to get rid of said vibration, no matter how many times you try to balance them) is that they use the studs to attempt to get the wheel centered on the axle. Rarely is this method accurate.

    So, if you’re going to re-drill (or have it done) best get it as close as possible and eliminate at least one of the variables that can cause wheel imbalance.


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