Monday, October 24, 2011

Completing the Circle - Rims for our Tires

Finding the correct rims is not easy.  Luckily my cowboy had been through it before.

We watched Craigslist for Saturn Vue rims with five lug bolts for a couple of weeks.  No luck.  However, we did find reconditioned ones at a junk yard for $640 for four.   Too much.

We needed Plan B.   Hubby went to this rim-conversion site.  Click here to see what other vehicles take the same rims as the Vue.  The conversion chart is somewhat hidden as one must scroll down to see it.  I added those vehicles to our lists of potentials.

Theresa, a mechanic friend of ours, gave us a bolt circle template, and we fit that over one of the existing rims and measured the distance between lug bolts.  See picture below.  We wrote it down.  We plan to take it with us when we looked at prospective rims.

Finally, some rims became available that were on our secondary list.  Were they 16-inch?  Check.  Did they have places for five lug nuts?  Check.  Did the patterns of lug nuts match our pattern as per our template?  Check.  Did the rim bolt to the car at the proper place so the tires wouldn't be too far in or out?  Check.

We met the seller at his place of employment where he had the rims stored.  We double checked the above list in our minds, and his rims met all our requirements.  The only difference was that they had the GMC logo on them.  Logo, smogo, we didn't care.

We bought the four for $265 - we like this price much better.  And they came with one good tire, and we could probably use on one of our trailers.

We brought the rims home, and hubby put one on the Vue just to make sure.  And they fit.  If they hadn't, we would have put them back on Craigslist and continued to look.

Last Saturday, we loaded the rims and new-to-us tires up and went to the tire store.  We got the tires mounted, balanced and put on the Vue.  We also had the vehicle aligned.  Since it would take awhile, we left the Saturn and took our other vehicle for more errands.

Then something unexpected happened.  The tire store called, and the Saturn needed a front brake job.  As we have almost 70K miles on this vehicle, we weren't too surprised.  Since we hadn't spent all of the money we had allocated for the tires, rims and alignment, we could have the front brakes done that day.

Having the brakes fixed now saved us time and money.  We didn't have to spend another Saturday fooling with the Saturn, and the brakes were not at the dangerous or cost-us-a-huge-bundle stage.

Sure it took us some time and effort, but we feel our effort was worth it.  When winter is over, my hubby will take off the winter wheels and tires and put on the summer wheels and tires.

bolt circle template

new tires

No comments:

Post a Comment