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Upgrading to a Larger Wheel on a Reliable BT150A Shorty Hub and Axle

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Hi, EZ Loader boat trailer, model number not readable. I discovered on my used boat/trailer purchase, that the previous owner installed ST205/75R14 wheels/tires on hubs Reliable BT150A shorty that are supposedly designed for 12inch wheels max. They then bent the fenders up for clearance. I want to get closer to the design limit, but not 12s. I have settled on 175/80 x 13 and I want the aluminum wheels for looks and weight savings. My towing is typically 175 miles each way of highway driving. 1. How long do the mounting studs need to be for these wheels, I see comments that they are extra thick? I currently have about ½” extra stud with my steel wheels. Do you sell longer studs? 2. What is the risk of putting 13inch wheels on hubs intended for 12? Am I ok doing that? Better than 14s, in my mind, but still wondering. 3. I thought bias was better for trailers because they are stiff, therefore flex less, therefore run cooler? I am ready to order three wheels/tires, just need these questions first. Thanks!

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Expert Reply:

Radial tires are actually better for highway use as they tend to have less insulated side walls. This allows the heat to dissipate more efficiently than a bias ply tire.

That being said, I would not suggest going with a 13 inch wheel on you current hubs. Reason being, your hub does not have a large enough flange diameter to provide the necessary side-to-side support for a larger 13 inch wheel. This can cause it to become loose on the hub while in use. Which would be bad.

Unfortunately, the Reliable BT150A Shorty hubs do not comply with the industry standard length spindles as well. This means that to get to the 13 inch wheels, like theCastle Rock ST175/80R13 Radial Trailer Tire w/ 13" Silver Mod Wheel - 5 on 4-1/2 - Load Range C # 274-000050 , you will need to replace the axle. We do have a few options for this, however.

I am preferable to the Timbren Axle-Less system as they do not have a bar going across the trailer to connect the wheels, which tends to offer better ground clearance as well as giving you independent suspension. You should have a minimum clearance of 3 inches between the top of the tire and the bottom of the fender, so the following systems will have 4 inch lift spindles. This will allow for better clearance with the # 274-000050. The # ASR2KHDS04 would replace an axle with the maximum capacity of 2,000 pounds and the # ASR3500S06 would replace an axle with the maximum capacity of 3,500 pounds.

Both of these would utilize the same hub # 84545UC1-EZ. Aluminum wheels do have inset holes for the lugs though, so you would need to get longer ones, like the Lionshead # LHLR103 to get the # 274-000050 secured to the hub.

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