Test Fitting, Wheel Cleaning, & More!

**Do not use any powered impact wrenches during removal or installation**

**We always recommend professional installation for all items to avoid any complications**

Test Fit Instructions

Check Basic Wheel Fitment - Place the wheels onto your vehicle to confirm that the drilled bolt pattern lines up with your vehicle studs. It is normal to have some space between the wheel hub bore and the vehicle's hub. Aftermarket are lug centric which means that the wheel is centered on the lug holes instead of the hub itself. If you have a larger hub gap and you're experiencing vibrations, hub rings may be needed to keep the wheel centered until the lugs are tightened.

Test Fit Wheels - Make sure that the mounting surface is clean and that the wheel lays completely flat against the mounting surface. Hand tighten the lugs firmly to secure the wheel for test fitting. If you ordered Wheels Only, test fitting should be done before mounting tires onto the wheels. Here is a rundown of the basic test fit areas you should check:

Basic Fitment

Confirm the studs line up with the bolt pattern & that the wheel fits flat on the mounting surface. Test fit every lug by hand to make sure the threading lines up with your studs.

Brake Caliper/Inner Valve Stem/Wheel Weight Clearance

Visually inspect the wheel to confirm there is no contact with the caliper, inner valve stem, or wheel weights (if balanced). Slowly spin the wheel by hand & make sure every section has enough clearance. It is crucial to spot interference before completing installation.

Steering Clearance

Once wheels and tires are mounted to the vehicle, place pieces of cardboard under the front tires to act as a cushion between the tires and pavement once your vehicle is on the ground. This will protect the tire in the next step when turning your wheel. If items show signs of being driven on or visible damage, they cannot be returned.

Suspension/Fender/Wheel Well Clearance

Once your tires are on the cardboard, check for fender, suspension and overall clearance of each wheel & tire. Grab a friend and have them slowly turn the steering wheel fully to the left as you verify clearance along the way. Keep an eye on tire clearance as well as any possible contact with the suspension components. Repeat while turning to the right.

Note: Suspension will compress while driving which may change the overall clearance.

Tighten Lugs in Correct Pattern - Lugs should be tightened in a star shaped pattern (pictured below) using a torque wrench. This star pattern keeps the wheel centered to avoid vibrations while driving. Check your vehicle manual for the exact torque specifications.

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Note: Re-torque your wheels after the first 25 miles. Check each lug after about 50-100 miles and re-torque if necessary

Final Check - Clearance should be checked while the vehicle is raised as well as after the weight of the vehicle is lowered onto the suspension. Give one last check around all four tires to make sure everything has enough clearance to drive.

***Any loss, labor fees, additional charges or damages caused during installation or installing incorrect items is the responsibility of the consumer. ***

Directional Wheels & Directional Tires

Directional Wheels, like American Force, come with two wheel designs rotating one direction and the other two wheels with a design rotating the opposite direction. This allows for the wheels to mirror each other and the wheel design rotates the same direction on both sides of the vehicle. Directional wheels can be installed so that the design rotates forwards (digging) or backward (swooping) depending on your preference.

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Directional Tires have a tread design that has been engineered to be driven in a specific direction for optimal performance. These tires will include indicators on the sidewall to confirm proper tire direction and can be aimed to improve different aspects of performance such as handling or speed.

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Lug & Bolt Breakdown

There are many different styles of lugs such as closed, open, or spiked as well as different lug fitments like conical, flat, or ball seat lugs. When purchased through our store, our experts have picked out the correct lugs for your vehicle and wheels. Test fitting the lugs is still recommended to ensure proper fitment as some vehicles may have multiple fitment options. If you purchased the lugs on your own, it is important to select the correct seat for your wheel as using incorrect lugs can cause damage to the wheel itself, vibrations & shaking while driving, or even cracking on the wheel that can compromise the structural integrity.

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Threading: Test fit each lug by hand to make sure the threading of the lug lines up with your studs.

Seat: The base of the lug will either be conical (tapered), ball (radius), or flat. The bolt hole on your wheel will be either angled, rounded, or flat and requires the proper lug seat to be cradled securely into the bolt hole.

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Locking Lugs: Certain lug kits include a locking lug pack with installation key. These locking lugs act as a security measure to deter anyone interested in stealing your wheels. Be sure to hold on to this key so you can remove the locking lug to rotate or remove the wheels. We recommend keeping it separate from your vehicle as an added security measure.

Note: Open-ended lug nuts are very common and provided when the center cap covers the center hub of the wheel to ensure proper clearance of the cap. For this reason, you may see open-ended lug nuts included with your order rather than the standard close-ended lugs.

TPMS

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) were first introduced in 1997 and became a requirement for all US vehicles manufactured after September 2007. There are two types of TPMS: direct and indirect. Direct TPMS uses a sensor that is attached to the wheel to send the current tire pressure to the vehicle's system. Indirect TPMS uses the anti-lock brake system's speed sensors to gauge the tire pressure based on rotational speed of one tire compared to the other tires

  1. Once your new package is installed on your vehicle, most sensors sync up automatically within the first 100-200 miles of driving.
  2. If you purchased the TPMS through our store and you are still having issues syncing your sensors after driving, please reach out to our experts and they will run you through the TPMS sync steps based on your specific year, make, and model. Contact Us for help with syncing your TPMS.

Wheel Cleaning & Maintenance

You might think cleaning your wheels is only necessary when you're about to show off your ride, but it also helps your wheel finish last longer while maintaining that like-new, pristine condition. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent corrosive finish issues like pitting on chrome wheels. Issues such as pitting typically begin due to salt buildup sitting on the wheel from either salted roads in the winter or salt water if you are near the ocean.

Note: Be sure to only use mild soap or cleaners made specifically for your type of wheel finish. Wheel finishes may be permanently damaged by caustic soap used at some commercial car washes. Any intensely abrasive cleaning, such as steel wool or harsh chemicals, may also cause damage or void the finish warranty depending on the manufacturer.

**NEVER CLEAN WHEELS WHEN THEY ARE HOT!**

Grab 2 buckets filled with water and your wheel cleaning solution. One bucket will be the Clean Bucket and one will be the Dirty Bucket. You will also need 2 microfiber wash mitts or cleaning cloths.

Spray your wheels down with water to get rid of bigger pieces of mud and grime.

Grab your first bucket. This will be your Dirty Bucket. Use a microfiber mitt to gently apply soapy water into every crevice of the wheel. Some people like to use a higher concentration of soap in this bucket. Do not scrub the wheels in this step as you are only trying to get soap in all the small crevices of the wheel. Scrubbing this early in the process may result in scratches on the wheel if you catch any debris under your wash mitt.

Spray all the soapy water off and any grime that was dislodged by the first pass.

Next, grab your second bucket and fresh microfiber mitt. This is the Clean Bucket. We recommend the two bucket method to avoid scrubbing debris into the wheel itself and scratching the finish. Now, you will be able to scrub more thoroughly because the majority of filth has been washed from your wheel.

Spray off all soapy water again and dry the wheel off using a microfiber towel. We recommend using microfiber mitts and towels because they are gentle on the wheel while also being highly absorbent. If you already have a protective layer applied, like ceramic coating, you can use compressed air or a power dryer to dry the wheels.

Finally, you can apply any shine or protective layer to the dry wheel.

Hub Rings, Spacers, & Adapters

For a more in-depth look at spacers & adapters, check out our Spacers & Adapters Guide.

Hub Rings: Hub rings are used to fill in the gap between the hub bore of the wheel and the hub of the vehicle. Almost all aftermarket wheels are lug centric which means that the wheels are centered onto the vehicle using the lugs. Because of this, it is common for aftermarket wheels to have larger hub bores to fit more vehicles. A small gap is very normal but a larger gap may require hub rings to keep the wheel centered until the lugs are tightened. Hub rings are not load bearing and, once the lugs are tightened, the hub rings do not support the weight of the wheel itself. Hub rings are usually made from a sturdy plastic and will spin freely once the installation is complete.

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Spacers: A wheel spacer is used to widen the stance of a vehicle to achieve the perfect look or to assist on clearance of brakes and suspension components. Spacers are positioned between the mounting surface of the wheel and the hub of the vehicle while keeping the same original bolt pattern of the vehicle. Truck spacers are usually offered in larger sizes versus car spacers which are typically offered in smaller sizes.

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Adapters: An adapter functions similarly to a spacer but it will also change the bolt pattern of the vehicle. This gives vehicles with unique bolt patterns more wheel options if they use an adapter to switch to a more common bolt pattern.

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Tire Basics

Tires are arguably the most important part of your vehicle. The tires are responsible for control while responding to your driving so it is important to pay close attention to the pressure, treadwear, and rotation schedule for your tires. We will touch on the basics of tire safety so that you can keep yourself securely on the road with these simple tips for tire inspection.

Vehicle Tire Pressure: To find the correct pressure for your car or truck, check the owner's manual or on the vehicle information sticker located on the driver's side door jamb. It is important to check this regularly as things like cold weather can cause the pressure in tires to drop. Both over and under inflated tires can negatively impact handling and cause the tire tread to wear unevenly.

Tire Sidewall Pressure: The PSI listed on the sidewall of the tire itself is the maximum pressure for that particular tire model. Adding more than this max pressure may cause the tire to bubble or rupture causing injury or death.

Tire Rotation: Tires should be rotated every 6 months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles to promote even wear. This is the perfect chance to inspect your tires while you rotate to find any issues in the shop instead of on the road. If you have an aggressive or off-roading tire it is recommended to rotate every 3,000 to 5,000 miles due to a faster wear time.

Tire Tread Depth: We recommend using a tread depth gauge to determine the exact amount of tread remaining but many people will use a US penny to get an idea of the tread life left on their tires. Take the penny and insert it into the tread with Lincoln facing upside down. If you can see all of Lincoln's face, your tread is below 2/32nds of an inch and the tires likely need to be replaced.

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