Wheel & Tires

Read First! - All the commonly asked questions about the 2nd Gen Neon. Some of your questions may be asked and then answered in here!
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Wheel & Tires

Post by quicksilvr » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:19 pm


The second generation Neon was available with several wheel options. The more common include the 15" Snowflake and 7-spoke designs. The Snowflake came in two different styles, one early and another more current. Both the 7-spoke and early Snowflake were available in both raw and chrome finishes, while the newer Snowflake wheels were only available in standard silver. Early R/T and ACR models were available with the fairly uncommon 16" Silverstone wheels. The 03' and 04' R/T models came with a special 16" 5-spoke design that was not previously available. The SRT-4 came with standard 17" alloys that looks similar to the early Snowflakes. The SRT-4 ACR model was available with 16" BBS mesh-style wheels in gunmetal. Also worth noting are the 14" and 15" steel wheels that came on lower models without the alloy wheel package.

*All PL-body vehicles use a 5X100 bolt pattern.

*All factory wheels are 6" wide, except for certain 5.5" wide steel wheels and 7" wide BBS wheels on the SRT-4 ACR.

Q: Do SRT-4 wheels fit my Neon?

A: Yes. SRT wheels are 17x6", with a 5x100 bolt pattern and 45mm offset. However, the SRT wheels with stock 205/50R17 SRT tires do NOT fit, because the tire is too tall. There are two main places the tire needs to clear the car. It needs to clear the strut perch that the springs sit on, and it needs to clear the edge of the fender. The SRT wheels will rub against the spring perches. Some people have used them anyway, and simply ground material off the spring perches with a grinder, or hammered the spring perches with a hammer to get enough room for the tires to fit. The best way to use these wheels is to select a slightly shorter tire. This will keep the overall height low enough to clear the strut perch, as well as keep the wheel to axle ratio correct (see the TIRES section below for more information on tire sizing).


Q: What size wheels do I need to fit my car?

A: There are several things in play when talking about wheel size. I'll start with what they are and what they mean, and then talk about what works on our cars.

Example: 17x7.5", 5X100mm, +40mm, 57.1mm hub.

Diameter: This is the first number in the example above. If you're using "16's" then you have 16" diameter wheels. Wheels from 13" to 20" will fit on our cars. The larger ones, such as 19" and 20", require different suspension in order to clear fit properly.

Width: This is the second number in the example. Because width is pretty relative, most will fit our cars. However, if for some reason you are using wheels wider than 8" wide, they might not. It will depend on your suspension setup and/or the offset of the wheel (see "OFFSET" below).

Bolt pattern: This is how many lug nut holes the wheel has, and their spacing. All second generation Neons use a 5x100 pattern. There are 5 lug nut holes, 100mm lug spacing. This number is NOT interchangeable and must be correct for proper fitment.

Offset: This is a measurement of how far from the centerline of the wheel the hub face sits, in millimeters. The +40mm is the offset in the example above. This means the part of the wheel that mates to the hub surface of the car is 40mm from the centerline of the wheel. As the offset number gets smaller (+35mm for example) the mating surface moves towards the centerline of the wheel. In turn, the wheel is pushed out from under the fenders of the car. The closer you get to zero, the more the wheel pushes out from the car. Once you pass zero and become negative (i.e. -10mm) the mating surface of the wheel is then on the inner side of the centerline of the wheel.

Furthermore, wheel width and offset have a unique relationship. For example, suppose two wheels with the same offset are compared. One wheel is 6" wide, the other is 7" wide. The 7" wheel will extend toward the inside of the fenderwell an additionall 1/2", and will also extend outward toward the fender itself an extra 1/2" when compared to the smaller 6" wide wheel. Since the offset is the same, the mounting surface on the hub can be seen as the center point of measurement for both wheels. Any additional width is split in half and added evenly to both the face and the backside of the wheel. This is crucial for tire sizing and overall tire/wheel fitment.

Stock offset for all non-SRT vehicles is +40mm

Hub size: This is the diameter of the bore of the wheel. Every wheel has a bore in the center that fits over the hub of the car. If you get a wheel with a hub size that is too small, the wheel will not fit around the hub. If you get one with a hub that is too big, the wheel will fit, but the wheel will be supported by the studs instead of the hub. This is hard on the wheel studs, and even though it works, you could break the studs off because of the dded stress.

All PL vehicles have a 57.1mm hub diameter.


Q: How much do stock wheels weigh?

A: Here is a list of some stock wheel weights:

Steelies ----------- 17lb --------- 14x5.5
01-02 RT ---------- 18.2lb ------ 16x6
SRT4 --------------- 21lb -------- 17x6
SRT4 ACR --------- 19lb -------- 16x7
Snowflakes ------- 16.02lb----- 15x6
7 Spoke SXT ------ 17.625lb -- 15x6

Last edited by quicksilvr on Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:42 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Post by OB » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:30 am


Tire sizing and ratings are a commonly misunderstood subject. The numbers on the sidewall of a tire are often confusing and make choosing the correct tire for an application difficult. This section will explain these specifications in detail. You will learn what they mean and why they are important in tire selection and performance.


Tire Sizing

The tire size is scribed on the sidewall of a tire. Radial tires use three main numbers to describe a tire's size. Below is an example, using the stock sizing numbers from a base model Neon:

Example: 185/60/15

1). The first number, 185, refers to the tire's width in millimeters (mm).

2). The second number, 60, is known as the aspect ratio of the tire. It refers to the sidewall height as a percentage of the tire's width. In this case, the sidewall of the tire is 60% of the width. To find this number in mm, simply use the following formula: 185 X .60 = sidewall height. Using this formula, we find that the sidewall height of the example tire is 111mm.

3). The third and final number, 15, is the diameter of the wheel, in inches. This is the only number not expressed in mm. Since we will need all of these numbers to use a uniform measurement for sizing calculations, we must convert the third number. To convert inches to millimeters, use the following rule:

1" = 25.4mm

So our 15" wheel ends up being 381mm in diameter. Now that we have all our numbers in order and understand what they mean, we can apply them to determine aftermarket wheel and tire requirements. Below is a breakdown of the stock 185/60/15 tire size to show all the measurements of the tire:

185 = tire width, in mm
60 = tire sidewall aspect ratio
185 X .60 = 111mm (sidewall height)
111mm x 2 = 222mm (both sidewalls)

15 = wheel diam in inches
15 x 25.4 = 381mm (wheel diameter in mm)
381 + 222 = 603mm (overall wheel/tire height in mm)
603/25.4 = 23.740" (overall wheel/tire height in inches)


Ideally, an aftermarket wheel and tire combination will share approximatly the same overall height as stock. There are two main reasons to try to keep this number as close to the stock one. First, the speedometer and odometer reading will be thrown off if the number is off by too much. Secondly, the transaxle's final drive ratio is affected by the tire height. This second part can be beneficial if taken advantage of correctly, but can hurt accelleration and performance without proper consideration.

Q: What size tires do I need for my aftermarket wheels?

A: The ideal overall tire height is 603mm (23.740") for all non-SRT vehicles. Use the following pre-calculated tire sizing chart to see which common tire size is best for your application. Keep in mind, every 5mm is approximatly 0.20".

15" wheel
185/60/15 = 603mm (stock)
195/60/15 = 615mm
195/55/15 = 595.5mm
205/55/15 = 606.5mm
205/50/15 = 586mm
215/50/15 = 596mm
215/55/15 = 617.5mm
225/45/15 = 583.5mm
225/50/15 = 606mm

16" wheel
185/50/16 = 591.4mm
185/55/16 = 610mm
195/50/16 = 601.4mm
195/45/16 = 581.9mm
205/45/16 = 591mm
205/50/16 = 611.4mm
215/45/16 = 600mm
215/50/16 = 621.4mm
225/45/16 = 608.9mm

17" wheel
205/40/17 = 595.8mm
205/45/17 = 616.3mm
215/40/17 = 603.8mm
215/45/17 = 625.3mm
225/40/17 = 611.8mm
225/35/17 = 589.3mm

18" wheels
205/40/18 = 621.2mm
205/35/18 = 600.7mm
215/35/18 = 607.7mm
215/30/18 = 586.2mm
225/35/18 = 614.7mm
225/30/18 = 592.2mm

All other sizes can be calculated using the above formulas. Feel free to PM me (OB) with any questions or if you need help finding the correct tire size for your application. If I get enough requests for a particular size I will add it to the list.



Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG)
Passenger car tires also have a grade on them as part of the uniform tire quality grading (UTQG) system. Your tire's UTQG rating tells you three things:

Tread Wear: This number comes from testing the tire in controlled conditions on a government test track. The higher the number, the longer you can expect the tread to last. Since no one will drive his or her car on exactly the same surfaces and at the same speeds as the government test track, the number is not an accurate indicator of how long your tread will actually last. It's a good relative measure. You can expect a tire with a larger number to last longer than one with a smaller number, under the same driving conditions.

Traction: Tire traction is rated AA, A, B or C, with AA at the top of the scale. This rating is based on the tire's ability to stop a car on wet concrete and asphalt. It does not indicate the tire's cornering ability.

Temperature: The tire temperature ratings are A, B or C. The rating is a measure of how well the tire dissipates heat and how well it handles the buildup of heat. The temperature grade applies to a properly inflated tire that is not overloaded. Underinflation, overloading or excessive speed can lead to more heat buildup. Excessive heat buildup can cause tires to wear out faster, or could even lead to tire failure.

Service Description
The service description consists of two things:

Load Ratings: The load rating is a number that correlates to the maximum rated load for that tire. A higher number indicates that the tire has a higher load capacity. The rating "105," for example, corresponds to a load capacity of 2039 pounds (924.87 kg). A separate note on the tire indicates the load rating at a given inflation pressure.

Speed Rating: The letter that follows the load rating indicates the maximum speed allowable for this tire (as long as the weight is at or below the rated load). For instance, S indicates that the tire can handle speeds up to 112 mph (180.246 kph).

Finally: One of the very best online resources for tire information is at Tire Rack Tire Tech Link. There is more information located there than you could read in a week, and it's all great stuff. Highly recommended! :thumbup:


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