Backspacing, offsets, centerlines, and other terms that are used in OEM wheel fits can often be a confusing process. Understanding the role of each of these items can help you communicate more readily when you are picking out your own wheel replacements. In this article, were going to detail more on the role of backspacing and why it is so important to the overall fit of OEM wheels.

Backspacing Explained

Backspacing is the distance between the hub mounting surface and the inside lip of the wheel. The measurement is made in inches. Adding backspacing will move the wheel in and reducing the measurement will move the wheel out. This measurement is commonly confused with offsetting but it is responsible for evaluating the best fit for many off-road vehicles.

As you continue to lift up your suspension, you will have to change the backspacing of the wheels. If you change the overall width of the wheels you are using you’ll also need to change backspacing. Calculating backspacing incorrectly could lead to damage to the wheel, suspension, and consistent blowouts for your vehicle.

How To Measure Backspacing

Any wheel that you would purchase has its own bolt pattern. Make sure that you are purchasing an aftermarket wheel that follows the right bolt pattern and a backspace feature that will work for your vehicle. Most factories will produce the rim pattern in several different formats for backspacing.

The easiest way to measure backspacing is to lay your wheel down on a flat surface, grab a straightedge that goes across the top of the rim on the other side, and a measuring tape. Place the end of the measuring tape on the wheel mounting surface and measure up to the straight edge on the inside of the lip. This will give you the current wheel backspacing on your rim. It’s likely that you may have some extra clearance based on your suspension but there are some limitations to every vehicle. Understanding the overall limitations in backspacing means consulting a professional.

If you would like to work with an OEM wheel professional, contact us today before installing your new rims. 

This post was written by Justin K, owner of Wheel ID. Wheel ID is Tampa Bay’s premier custom shop. We carry custom wheels in Tampa for every vehicle, custom suspension kits, and all accessories for the interior or exterior of your vehicle. We only hire highly trained technicians using state of the art equipment with experience in all areas of tire, wheel, suspension, and 4×4 needs.