Fitting H2 Rims on a 1998 Dodge 2500 CTD

With the popularity of Hummer H2 vehicles, and the popularity of "upsizing" the tire and wheel combos by replacing the stock 17" rims with 18", 20", or sometimes larger tire/rim combo's, the market seems to be flooded with relatively inexpensive aluminum and large (315/70r17) tire and wheel packages to replace smaller tires and rims that may have come with your older Dodge or Ford 8 lug vehicle.  My own 1998 Dodge CTD tow rig had been running 16"x8" black steel wheels and 285/75r16 tires for a few years, however when I came across a set of H2 take-offs I thought I would give them a try.

But before we go much further, there are 2 obstacles - one minor, one major.  The minor obstacle is that the OEM H2 wheel centers not only will not fit over the full floating rear 8 lug axle, it also says "HUMMER" - probably not something you want on your non-Hummer vehicle.  Most people resolve this issue by modifying OEM wheel centers from the vehicle of their choice to fit in place.  For my Dodge - the choice would be to get a set of new style wheel centers, trim the outer rim and modify the clips to fit.  I have also heard of some people adding a second lug nut on top of the primary one and just having the OEM wheel centers sit a little further out and clip on to this second lug nut.

More importantly than that is the fact that the wheel center of the H2 rims is physically too small to fit on the Dodge axle hub assembles.  Some people will take their wheels to a machine shop to have the center opened professionally, however many shops don't want to do this with the tires in place - further driving up the cost of what should be a budget upgrade.  Fortunately there is an easy machining fix that required just a few minutes with a tool you might already have: a router.  I used a common wood router, with a 1/2" straight cutting bit.  the bit was approx. $19 at the local home improvement store.

The router and bit works in this instance because of the lip you will see when looking at the face of the wheel center.  You will want to place the wheel with the front side down, allowing the router to cit on the flat rear mounting surface of the wheel.  By setting the router cutting depth so that the bearing on the end of the bit runs along the larger diameter lip, you will remove enough material from the wheel center to properly fit on your Dodge 2500 or 3500 truck.  And even though the bit packaging said it was rated for wood use, I found that it machined my set of 4 wheels with relative ease.

I then cleaned the surface up with a dremel and barrel sanding attachment, and did a test fit.  Perfect!

Another concern with these take-offs is the step up in tire size.  My previous 285/75r16 tires fit with room to spare under the stock suspension.  I was surprised to find that the 315/70r17's fit under the stock suspension as well.

Here are the final pictures Of what I ended up with, minus the modified Dodge center caps in place.



This page last modified 07/10/03

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