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I'm mostly an OEM kinda guy. But the original hubcaps on my Citroen BX are horrible from any point of view. hubcaps I was thinking of replacing them with rims but I have no idea what I should be looking for. I was told all I need to take into account was the diameter and I think mine are 14". But I'm trying to gather info and it looks like I should take into account Pitch Circle Diameter too.

If this is the case how should I start looking for rims or is searching on any online shop for "14 inch rims" sufficient?

Also how can I measure or find in a manual or online my measurements?

Thanks

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    I just want to note that many of the popular (US based) sites I went to when shopping for rims asked for my vehicle make and model and only showed me rims that would fit. This is a good question and its good to know you car's measurements to double check the online shopping filters, but there are tools out there to help the layperson find the right wheels. – JPhi1618 Apr 18 '16 at 14:32
  • Simply to expand on the topic could you link to these tools, I don't think they'll come in handy for me since I'm shopping from spain. But somebody along the line will sure find it usefull. – EChan42 Apr 18 '16 at 14:46
  • It seems to be very common on large auto parts websites. TireRack.com and DiscountTire.com both had the feature. I'm sure any other "national" US tire website would also have it. – JPhi1618 Apr 18 '16 at 14:59
  • An ancillary issue to make sure doesn't surprise you might be insurance. I can't speak for your local insurers practices; but in the US if you don't tell your insurance about aftermarket parts you'll probably only be covered for the value of the crappy factory wheels. (And if you do tell them, your rate will probably go up to reflect your cars increased covered value.) – Dan Neely Apr 19 '16 at 0:06
  • @DanNeely and in the UK, if you don't tell them, you won't be covered at all - which is illegal... – Nick C Apr 19 '16 at 10:39
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You'll need to know the diameter (in inches) and width (also in inches, often written with a J - so 4J x 14 would be a 4" x 14" wheel), the PCD (pitch circle diameter, or bolt pattern), which is stated as NxM, where N is the number of bolts and M is the diameter in mm of a circle going through them all, e.g. 4x100, the centre bore (the size of the hole in the middle, in mm), and the offset (how far in/out the wheel sits relative to the hub, again in mm).

The simplest way to go is to find wheels sold to fit your particular car, or one known to be the same (owners club forums often have threads devoted to "what wheels will fit").

PCD and bore have to match, the others can often vary slightly, for example some 15" wheels will probably fit your car, and slight differences in offset may not matter, as long as they don't cause the tyres to rub on the suspension or the inside of the arches. It's worth trying one of the wheels (with a suitable size tyre fitted) on the car before committing to buy, to make sure it fits!

  • Just as a finishing comment I'd like to point out that Citroën Bx's have hydropneumatic suspension with ride height adjustment, so I have more versatility towards fitting larger rims that with conventional suspension. – EChan42 Apr 18 '16 at 14:33
  • The bore doesn't have to match (at least, not for most cars). But it does have to be greater than or equal to the hub on the car. Larger bores can be accounted for with either hub rings to make the wheel hub-centric or tapered lug nuts to make the wheel lug-centric. Ultimately, both methods are just to ensure that the wheel is properly centered. – Ellesedil Apr 18 '16 at 19:50
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In addition to the correct metrics pointed out by Nick C, also consider that 14" rims are not your only choice. Many people choose aftermarket wheels because they want the look of a bigger rim, like a 15" or 16" and lower profile tires.

When talking to people in a tire shop, these are known as +1 and +2 sizes. The rim diameter goes up, and the sidewall of the tire goes down the same amount so the final, total diameter is the same.

If you like the way this set-up looks, consider it, but also consider the price of the new tire size. Some people jump into a larger rim not realizing that the new tire size they need is more rare or is considered a "sport" tire and is much more expensive. I've done a +1 on two cars, but in my opinion, +2, +3, or more looks too extreme and the tires get expensive quickly (on my two cars anyway).

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Another factor is that if you go for wheels which are significantly larger than stock and use low profile tyres to keep the overall tyre diameter the same this can have an adverse effect on ride and handling as the flex of the sidewall can be an important contribution to the dynamic characteristic of the suspension. Similarly retail cas alloy wheels are often heavier than their steel equivalents and may add to the vehicle's unsprung weight. Note that while high performance magnesium alloy wheels are lighter than steel wheels this is not automatically true of all retail 'alloy' wheels.

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