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Old Posted 11-28-2006, 10:14 PM
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H2 wheel and tires installed on 3rd generation Ram 2500-3500 SRW



H2 wheel and tires installed on 3rd generation Ram 2500-3500 SRW

Article and photos courtesy of Jeff Perkins, AKA "stallion85"


Would you like 35” tires and wheels like no other Dodge on the cheap? Enter H2 wheel and tire “Take-off’s”. Most H2 owners want more bling than stock, which benefits us who want a cheap set of great wheels and tires.

I happened to run across a set of 4 chrome H2 wheels and tires for $600 in the local paper. H2’s come stock with 315/70/17 “D” rated (34.4”x12.4”X17”) BFG T/A KO’s. The BFGoodrich T/A is one of the best tires for On/Off road use on the market today.

The benefit of the H2 wheel is that the 8 lug pattern is identical to 3rd generation (2003-and newer) 2500-3500 Dodge trucks. The only two problems are, the centers need to be machined out to fit over the hub spindle assembly on the Dodges and the caps need to be modified to fit. The machining can easily be done for an average of $30 per wheel at your local machine shop.

The caps can be modified with simple garage tools.
Step 1: Locate wheels and tires I would start by searching locally, i.e. Dealers that sell H2’s who might have taken off the stock wheels and tires in exchange for some aftermarket wheels and tires. I have heard of other people scoring these for $100 a piece BRAND NEW! If you have no luck there, I would recommend your local paper, Thrifty Nickel, or websites such as Craigslist.com that offer local advertising. If the last two options don’t work out try searching Ebay. The down fall to this of course is, shipping on 4-5 wheels and tires ain’t cheap!


$600 wheels and tires I scored

Step 2: Machine wheels to fit hubs for your Dodge. Through lots of searching on the net and reading for hours I found that there is good deal of controversy whether or not the Dodge wheels are centered “Hub centric” (wheel centered by the hub) or “Lug centric” (wheel centered by the lug nuts). Due to this argument, I chose to have my wheels machined instead of butchering them with a hole saw. Some believe the wheel could forever be unbalanced if they are not machined correctly and accurately.

I did not want to take that chance so I called a local Machine shop, Garret’s Machine Co. located in Las Vegas, NV. Garret was a great guy and new exactly what I was talking about when I called him, he even gave me a military discount!! The measurements I gave Garret were to open up the center hole exactly to 4.774” diameter for all 4 wheels. This was done with the tire removed and the wheel on a milling machine. It took Garret a total of about 1 ˝ hours (20 min per wheel) to complete and I was back on my way down town to pick them up after a nice lunch with the kids.

BeforeAfter

New H2 wheels installed with stock Dodge lug nuts re-used. (Note the tight clearance between the hub and the wheel opening). Torque lug nuts to 140 ft lbs.

Front wheelRear wheel

Note: If the tires have to be removed for machine work, call your local tire store and explain to them what you are doing. See if they can remove the tire from the wheels and remount and balance them when you return with your newly machined wheels. Discount tires quoted me $16 per wheel dismounted, mounted, and balanced.

Step 3: Modifying stock caps to fit your new H2 wheels. To fit your factory wheel caps on to your new H2 wheels is simple, but can be time consuming depending on what method you use. The fact is there is no one way to do this; you just have to get the cuts to fit the cap snugly to your wheel. I measured 3/8” from the bend as seen in the photo below to mark my cuts. First I started by measuring every 2” from the lip and scribed a small mark. I then used electrical tape and wrapped it around the cap lining up with each mark (Be careful not to stretch the tape, as it will deform and you will not have a straight line.) This is by no means the most accurate method, but it was what I had to work with.

I used my Dremel on low speed so I could control it easier. I first went around the tape making a light cut all the way around being very careful to keep it as straight as possible. On the second pass I cut all the way through and let the Dremel cut around cap as I guided it on the first cut lines. Using this method I found that the plastic would melt and booger up around the cuts when done. I just peeled most of it off by hand and then used a sanding disc on the Dremel tool to clean up the finished piece.

Do this for all four caps.

Finally, I modified the prongs where they bent out to go around the lugnuts. I used a bench grinder to grind the bent tabs about half way down as noted in the photo below. Once again, if you have a better tool for the job, then use it. After cussing my tin snips that were too big to maneuver in the cap, this was the most practical tool to use at the time.

Modified Prongs

Now pop the cap on the wheel and look for any gaps or areas that might need some fine-tuning. All 4 of my caps popped right on and are held on super tight! All done, so far I am very happy with my easy upgrade in looks. I even sold my stock wheels and tires for $460. Total investment $260!! You can’t beat that deal anywhere else.

BeforeAfter
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