It doesn’t matter if the wheel is hub-centric or lug-centric; mounting a wheel correctly is really confusing to many people, especially when the center bore is too small.

A wheel with a smaller center bore can be mounted by boring out the center bore or using an appropriate wheel spacer. However, boring out a wheel is costly, needs to be done to a precise diameter & the center should be precisely in the middle of the wheel. Wheel spacers also have a set of issues.

What to do in such an instance? Can you fit them without any problem? How to minimize troubles? Lemme help you out as an Engineer.

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Is it possible to mount a wheel with a small center bore?

Many people think blindly when they find a sweet deal on a set of rims. In some cases, the center bore of the wheels can be too small for hubs.

Maybe this is not your case. Nonetheless, is it possible to fit a wheel if the center bore is small?

Yeah, it’s absolutely possible. But, there are some limitations, which will also be discussed throughout the article.

I will share with you in detail three things you can do when your wheel bore is smaller than the hub.

What to do if wheel center bores are too small for the vehicle?

Let’s say the issue is with the front wheel bores; try putting them on the rear and check if the issue still persists.

That will help you understand whether the problem is with the wheel or the hub. This is because there may be a smaller tolerance than the advertised diameter.

But you can’t do that if the rear wheels of your car are bigger than the front wheels.

Hence, that’s enough; let’s head over to the solutions!

1. Bore out center bore to enlarge them.

You can try re-boring the wheels If the center bores are too small.

However, this may require professional knowledge and experience as this MUST BE EXTREMELY PRECISE.

I’d recommend finding a local mechanic or shop in your area that customizes wheels.

Here are several problems with boring the wheels.

1. Difficult to find a shop that willing to do such wheel customizations.
2. The mechanic should be able do a good job without messing up the wheels.
3. Difficult to find a shop that do this for your for a fair price. 
4. Also, there is small room for error. If they messed the wheels, they won't balance perfectly, causing no one want to buy the from you. 
5. Further, there should have sufficient material to bore out, if not, it can be dangerous. 

If a mechanic shop has a good reputation with customers, choosing a mechanical shop to do this for you is not the end of the world.

But, there is a cost involved with this task.

  1. Unmounting the tires.
  2. Boring the wheels.
  3. Remount the tires.

When all these costs add up, if they are a bit high, perhaps it can be easier to buy another set of cheap and good quality wheels. Also, you can sell current wheels.

However, if these rims are a bit expensive, wheels have enough material to bore out, and you really need them, find a good mechanic shop to get this done.

I’d like to remind you again, the center bore must be bored out to a precise diameter, and the center should be precisely in the middle of the wheel.

Consider watching the following video to see how professional mechanicians bore out wheels with small-bore to fit large hubs.

If you don’t have sufficient experience with such things, don’t even think of doing it alone.

Suggested reading: Does rim width affect tires?

2. Use wheel spacers.

wheel spacers

Although the safety of wheel spacers is a topic of controversy for many, wheel spacers can solve your problem.

Because the spacers can help with fixing the mistakes that you made with new wheels, providing that perfect fitment.

Therefore, let us discuss the controversial side of spacers, which is safety.

Just be aware that Spacers are NOT the end of the world. But, it’s obvious that you don’t wanna go and spend another one to three grands and correct the mistake on the size of center bores.

Let’s start off by figuring out the early warnings you should be aware of before purchasing a spacer set.

1. Manufactured materials: Don’t buy them if you have no idea what they are made out of.

2. Look for data: Buy spacers where you can find enough data, especially when you can’t find what those spacers can withstand and what they cannot withstand.

3. People tend to go cheap: Always be aware that people tend to go cheap with studs, metal, or anything in order to save even a couple of bucks.

4. Choose hub-centric: Don’t buy them if they are non-hub-centric, especially when you have an aftermarket set of wheels. Because having a perfectly fitting hub-centric ring is key to staying away from issues like weight rotational issues with non-hob-centric wheel spacers and vibration issues.

5. Brand and the quality: Mostly, you cannot tell the brand or where those spaces coming from; they may not be the best quality. So, buying from a well-known brand is vital because essentially, they’re gonna be part of your assembly.

6. Other issues that may encounter: Issues with tires and rotation, Improper balance between the metal, warping, and heat issues.

Also, not properly installing spacers may end up with huge problems. So, just be aware of the followings.

  1. If the spacers are just the spacers themselves, means when they don’t feature any additional studs, torquing them up to 6.5-8 rotations to ensure maximum torque and ensure that they’re seated properly.
  2. If you’re unable to get that many rotations, consider looking at are spacers with lug studs also included with them. Because that will let you get sufficient torque and appropriate tightening which are essential factors to tell if your car spacers are safe.
  3. Now you have to look at whether overall scheme after putting on spacers with the additional lug studs attached to them. Because if the spacers are 1 inch, but the studs are 1.25 inches, then you will have 0.25 inches of stud sticking through the spacers. If you don’t get rid of this additional stud length, there will be a space between where the wheels are sitting and where they should sit, resulting in losing the tires while driving and having imbalance issues.

Since many people face issues with spacers, spacers have become a hugely controversial topic among vehicle owners.

Also, choosing the correct lug nuts according to lug holes is important, and it’ll save you from a lot of headaches.

But, essentially, the issue may be with those additional sticking stud lengths; perhaps, it causes 80-90% of problems with spacers.

Moreover, one thing to add here.

If you use spacers to mount a wheel with a smaller bore, it’s evident that the hub isn’t going into the wheel, but it touches the spacer to keep them flat and tight.

So, you may be wondering whether it’s too much stress for the wheel studs as all the vertical weight of the vehicle is on the studs now, and even more, you may be scared of hitting bumps.


Spacers can be a problem if you’re thinking about 15-30 mm and non-hub-centric spacers because the more distance away from the hubs, the more torque is on the studs will be.

But, if we’re talking about 3-5 mm spacers, there won’t a problem at all.

So, consider trimming down the studs if you have decided to go with wheel spacers to solve the issue of having wheels with a smaller center bore.

3. Sell them or exchange.

If the center bore of wheels is too small and you cannot find a way to bore them, consider selling them or exchanging them for another set of wheels.

Maybe you will have to lower the price a bit to attract buyers, but don’t make it so dramatic, so the people may think you’re selling a set of crappy wheels.

Suggested reading: Can smaller wheels make your car faster?

Things to be aware of.

Hope now you got a perfect understanding of whether wheels with a small center bore can be mounted. However, there are certainly a few other things you need to be aware of.

Work of the studs and lugs: The lugs and studs are designed to assist with jobs like braking and accelerating. So, you need to understand prior to mounting the wheels with the help of wheel spacers.

Offset issues: Using rings, wheels spacers will increase the offset.

Clearing hub: If you decide to go with wheel spacers, try as much as possible to clear at least 3-5mm of the hub. So, you will only need to bore about 3-5mm down.


You have to be extremely careful when buying a new set of wheels, and it’s required to check each and every sensitive information, including numbers, material, the brand, etc. People who are unable to verify all information may face compatibility issues between wheels and the hubs. That’s why so many vehicle owners are desperate to know if wheels with small bores can be fitted. So, In this detailed article, we discussed 3 things that can be done with crucial facts you need to be aware of. Hope you found this helpful.

What are the bore size and hub size of your vehicle? Lemme know in the comment section; maybe we will be able to help you.


Madhusanka is a huge vehicle enthusiast who continues to research solutions to vehicle-related issues that many vehicle owners have. He is the owner of the Vehicle Freedom website.

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