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HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TRAILER WHEEL BOLT PATTERN

Written by: Amber S
Updated on: 5/20/2024
Est. time to read: 7 mins.
If you're replacing your trailer wheel, you've no doubt realized you need to know something called the bolt pattern (also called the lug pattern or bolt circle).An 8-lug wheel needs to be replaced by another 8-lug wheel, but the number of bolt holes or lugs is only half the equation. The bolt pattern of a wheel is defined by two numbers: the number of bolt holes and the diameter of the circle (in inches) they form. Measuring for your pattern is pretty simple, but to make things even easier, you can use a bolt pattern template or print one.If you'd rather measure it yourself, however, it's pretty simple to do. Below, we'll show you how to measure a bolt circle to determine the correct wheel bolt pattern of your trailer wheel.
Watch Now: How to Measure Your Trailer Wheel Bolt Pattern
Infographic showing a 6 on 5-1//2 bolt pattern and a 5 on 4-1/2 bolt pattern

Determining Your Trailer Wheel Bolt Pattern

The first step in determining your wheel bolt pattern is counting how many bolts (or lugs) your wheel has. Typically this will be 4, 5, 6, or 8. Next, you'll measure how many inches apart the bolt holes are. These two steps together will give you your bolt hole pattern. For example, if you have a wheel with 5 bolt holes and they form a circle with a 5-1/2" diameter, you have a wheel with a 5 on 5-1/2 bolt pattern.So how exactly do you measure between the bolt holes? The process differs a little depending on if your wheel has an even or odd number of holes. We'll go over the process for each below.

Bolt Patterns for Wheels with Even Bolt Holes

(4, 6, or 8 Holes)To measure between the holes on a wheel with an even number of holes, simply measure from the center of one bolt hole to the center of its opposite to determine the diameter of the lug pattern.
Bolt Patterns for Wheels with 4 Bolt Holes
Bolt Hole Pattern - 4 Lugs
Common bolt patterns for wheels with 4 bolt holes are:
Bolt Patterns for Wheels with 6 Bolt Holes
Bolt Hole Pattern - 6 Lugs
Common bolt patterns for wheels with 6 bolt holes are:
Bolt Patterns for Wheels with 8 Bolt Holes
Bolt Hole Pattern - 8 Lugs
Common bolt patterns for wheels with 8 bolt holes are:

Bolt Patterns for Wheels with Odd Bolt Holes

(5 Holes)Measuring the diameter of a bolt circle with an odd number of lugs isn't as straightforward. You can't measure straight across because there is no opposite bolt hole. However, there are a few ways to get around this and figure out the bolt pattern you need for your new wheel.
Option 1 - Measure from Center to EdgeAn easy way to determine bolt hole circle diameter on wheels with 5 bolt holes is to measure from the center of one bolt hole to the farthest edge of one of the two farthest holes.
5 Lug Pattern Trailer Wheel
Option 2 - Measure to Imaginary Bolt Hole CenterMeasure from the center of one bolt hole to a point on the rim where the bolt hole would be on an odd-lug wheel. You must guess where this point is located if you want to measure the diameter this way.
5 Lug Pattern Trailer Wheel
Option 3 - Measure Adjacent HolesYou can also measure the center-to-center distance of adjacent holes. Then, compare the distance to those in the list below to find the circle diameter.
Distance:
2-5/8" - The bolt pattern is 5 on 4-1/2
2-3/4" - The bolt pattern is 5 on 4-3/4
3" - The bolt pattern is 5 on 5
3-1/4" - The bolt pattern is 5 on 5-1/2
5 Lug Pattern Trailer Wheel
Amber S
About Amber SAs a content writer for etrailer, I might spend my morning loading and unloading a bike on five different bike racks to figure out which is easiest to use. I might be in the parking lot, taking pictures of an impressive RV battery setup our techs came across in the shop and discussing the benefits of the setup with the owner. I might spend an afternoon in a manufacturer training class for some hands-on experience with new products, and then sit down to assemble all this information into a coherent article. At etrailer, one of our core values is that we are always learning, and I learn something new every day. I start each morning with the goal in mind of taking all of this information and figuring out the best way to answer the questions people ask us (and the ones they don’t know to ask yet), and helping people get the solutions they need to make their lives easier, safer, and more fun. I’m a DIYer at heart, so it brings me great joy to help a fellow DIYer find what they’re looking for, whether that’s a product, an answer, or a community.
Related ArticlesRelated ProductsWritten by: Amber SUpdated by: Jacob JUpdated on: 5/20/2024


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