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Buick Rallye Wheels

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I found a Bugle article (June 2002) written by James Brothers, BCA #27388. It is about how to identify Buick Wheels (1964 through 1987 RWD).  I hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws for posting this, but there is a summary paragraph that I will recreate here word for word.

 

On 5 inch bolt pattern wheels:

"An X stamped next to the center cap hole is a 3rd design (1966-1967 15x6). Measure across the outer edges of the rim. if 8 inches, the wheel is a 6th design (1982-1987 15x7). Place the wheel, outer face down, on a flat surface. if the wheel rests on the center cap mounting surface and not on the rim, it is a 5th design (1971-1987 15x6). If the wheel rests on the rim and does not have a register ring, it is a 1st design (1964 15x6). If the wheel has a register ring and a 2" center cap hole, it is a 2nd design (1965 15x6). If the wheel has a register ring a 2 1/8" center cap hole and no X, it is a 4th design (1967-1970 15x6)."

 

In summary:

1st design (1964 Wildcat only): If the wheel rests on the rim and does not have a register ring. Rim code "Unistyle". 2" center cap hole. 15x6.

2nd design (1965 Wildcat and Riviera): If the wheel rests on the rim and has a register ring. Rim code "Unistyle". 2" center cap hole. 15x6.  Same as design #1 but with a register ring.

3rd design (1966-1967 Wildcat and Riviera without disc brakes): Has "X" stamped next to center cap. Same design as #2 (wheel rests on rim and has a register ring) but with 2 1/8" center cap hole. Rim code 802. 15x6.

4th design (1967-1970 Wildcat and Riviera, and 1970 LeSabre, with disc brakes): Same design as #3 (wheel rests on rim and has a register ring) but more room for disc brakes, 2 1/8" center cap hole, no "X" near center cap, Rim code 853. 15x6.

5th design ( 1971-1973 Centurion, 1971-1978 Riviera, 1971-1985 LeSabre, 1973-1984 Electra): If the wheel rests on the center cap mounting hole. No register ring, 2" center cap hole, "JJ" bead type, Rim code 865, application code WK, VT, 15x6.

6th design (1980-1987 LeSabre and Riviera): 15x7, same basic design as #5 but an inch wider. Rim code 011, application code VC.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

More information on the Buick Chrome Road Wheels, according to the James Brothers Bugle article (June 2002):

 

1st Design (1964 Wildcat): It can be used on other full-sized Buicks from 1964 and earlier years that have a 3 1/2 inch wheel hub diameters.

2nd Design (1965 Wildcat and Riviera): Unique to 1965, but can be used on other 1965 full-sized Buicks.  Since to only difference in design #2 from design #1 is the register ring, if you remove the register ring then it can be used on all other full-sized Buicks that design #1 can be used.

3rd Design (1966-1967 Wildcat and Riviera without disc brakes): Can be used on same cars as design #2, but has a 2 1/8" center cap hole. (Designs #1 and #2 have a 2" center cap hole)

4th Design (1967-1970 Wildcat and Riviera, 1970 LeSabre): Can be used on same cars as design #2 and 1967-1970 full-sized cars with disc brakes.  It has the 2 3/4" register ring and 2 1/8" center cap hole.

5th Design (1971-1973 Centurion, 1971-1978 Riviera, 1971-1985 LeSabre, 1973-1984 Electra): Can be usd on full-sized cars from 1971-1987 except the 4 3/4 inch B.C. LeSabres and Electras. No register ring, and back to 2" center cap hole.

6th Design (1980-1987 LeSabre and Electra): Can be used on 1971-1987 full-sized Buicks if tire to fender clearances are adequate.  They are an inch wider at 15x7.

 

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See the 'register ring' in the center of this photo.  It 'registers' the wheel on the hub.

IMG_0073.JPG

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The perceived purpose of the "register ring" is that it serves the same purpose as the inner "hole" in a normal-style wheel.  It helps center the wheel on the spindle/axle so that the wheel studs aren't the only "centering" item involved in the wheel's mounting to the vehicle's mechanisms.  The taper on the wheel lug nuts center the wheel as they index with the corresponding taper of the wheel's lug nut hole, as they are tightened.  On "mag" wheels that use the UniLug inserts to vary the wheel's effective bolt circle, they use a lug nut with a smooth shank and a flat surface that contacts the inner and outside surface of the adapter insert as it is tightened to the specified wheel lug nut torque.

 

ALWAYS tighten the lug nuts to the FACTORY SPECIFIED torque settings AND make sure any tire shops use THAT torque when they reinstall the wheels!!!  Reason is that for the modern cars they normally see, the lug nut torques are closer to  . . or over . . . 100 lbs/ft or torque.  The earlier cars were generally closer to 65 lbs/ft of torque.  IF they use the "torque sticks" or an impact gun set for normal cars, be sure they reset those devices to what the older cars need!  Otherwise, you might consider getting a "clicker" torque wrench set to the needed value and ensure they do the final torque amount, or similar.  And, of course, in the specified tightening sequence and start at low torques and end wit the "design" torque level for the third and final torqueing.

 

In earlier times, it was normally common for the air ratchets to be set for what was used back then.  As torques have increased AND can vary with lug nut/stud size, they're not as generic as some might perceive.  We trusted those guys to know what they were doing, as many did AND understand the "why" of the situation.

 

Now, IF you can find somebody that understands AND will take the time to use a "beam" torque wrench, even better.  You can feel and see the torque and effort needed to get to the final level.  As "antique" as that style of torque wrench might be, it can be more fun and informative to use.  But it can take more time to use than "a clicker" AND you have to look at it as you use it.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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If you cut the ring off, you can fit later wheels on earlier Buicks with the larger hubs.

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