Easily Change A Vehicle’s Wheel Bolt Pattern With This DIY Drill Guide Jig
Do you have a set of wheels you’d love to use, but the wheels’ bolt pattern doesn’t fit your vehicle?
Maybe you’ve considered wheel adapters, but you are concerned about safety or maybe swapping out to new axles and brake drums or rotors – a pricey endeavor.
Lugging the wheels to a machine shop to have the bolt pattern re-drilled can be done, if you can find a local shop that’ll do it, but that’ll cost as much as this handy jig — Just $99.00 – $119.00 depending on the configuration from Hells Gate Hot Rods.
This bolt pattern drill guide jig will help you drill out both axles and brakes (either drum or rotor) to a different bolt pattern. Bolt Pattern Drill Guide Jigs are available in 13 different lug pattern combinations that cover the most common 5 lug passenger vehicle lug pattern conversions.
What Is A Bolt Pattern Drill Jig?
A bolt pattern drill guide or “jig” is an indispensable tool used to re-drill vehicle axles and brake drums or rotors to a different lug pattern— without removing the axles from the vehicle.
The drill guides are made of steel for strength and durability and can be used many times over.
What Bolt Pattern Drill Guide Do I Use?
For starters, you’ll need your vehicle’s current bolt pattern.
To find your car or truck’s bolt pattern, either:
Next, use the same tools to measure or look-up the bolt pattern for the wheels you’d like to use.
With the vehicle bolt pattern and wheel bolt pattern, you can determine what drill guide you will need for your conversion.
For example, if your wheel hubs are 5 X 4.5 and your replacement wheels are 5 X 5, choose the jig guide with option 5 X 4.5 TO 5 X 5.
Bolt Pattern Drill Guides for 13 different lug combinations to meet the most common lug patterns and sizes available:
- 5 X 4 TO 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75
- 5 X 4.25 TO 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75
- 5 X 4.5 TO 5 X 4.75
- 5 X 4.5 TO 5 X 5.5
- 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75 TO 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75
- 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75 and 5 X 5.5 TO 5 X 5
- 5 X 4.75 TO 5 X 4.5
- 5 X 4.75 TO 5 X 5.5
- 5 X 5 TO 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75
- 5 X 5 TO 5 X 5.5 (clearance for Buick drums)
- 5 X 5.5 TO 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75
- 5 X 108mm TO 5 X 100mm and 5 X 114.3mm
- 5 X 112mm TO 5 X 4.5 and 5 X 4.75
How To Use The Bolt Pattern Drill Guide
Before You Start:
Ensure that your axles and flanges are in proper condition to be re-drilled. Make sure to inspect both of the axles for any obstructions, pre-existing holes, thinning, worn spots, cracks, or materials that could cause the failure of the components.
You are responsible for making sure your axles are in good shape before re-drilling. If re-drilling weakens the components and leads to failure, it is your liability. If you have concerns, have a mechanical engineer inspect your parts before attempting to re-drill.
The drill guide kit includes the drill guide and 2 brand new, very sharp drill bits. If you purchased a multi-patterned jig, red plastic caps will be included to indicate the proper drilling pattern when in use.
You will need the following additional tools:
- a low-speed drill,
- cutting oil, and
- a torque wrench.
Prepare to re-drill by removing the brake components. You do not have to remove the axle. Make sure all of the parts you will be working with are clean of any rust, debris, or burrs.
Next, chase all of the threads of the existing wheel studs and nuts on both axles.
After all of the parts have been thoroughly cleaned and examined, install the drill guide onto the studs as indicated on the guide.
Put the lug nuts on, and using the torque wrench, torque to 20 ft-lbs in the typical star pattern.
If you are using a multi-pattern drill guide, the red plastic caps included should be placed over the drill guide tubes you are NOT using to prevent accidentally drilling the wrong pattern.
Drilling The New Bolt Pattern
Use the included ¼ inch drill bit chucked in your low-speed drill, start by drilling through the small drill guide. While drilling, keep debris clear, and use plenty of cutting oil.
After drilling the first ¼ inch hole, take off the jig and clean all components.
Now index the jig so that the larger drill tube is right over the previously drilled ¼ inch pilot hole and then tighten down by reinstalling the lug nuts and again torquing them to 20 ft-lbs.
Using the included larger drill bit, drill the hole to its larger and finished size. Again, use a low-speed drill and copious amounts of cutting oil.
If the bit overheats, it can become dull. Dull bits can cause the holes to be drilled off-center. Keep the drill bits well lubricated!
After you are finished drilling the larger, finished hole, remove the jig, clean off the components, and repeat the process again until all holes have been drilled.
Finish with Pressing in New Wheel Studs
New wheel studs with 1/2″ diameter and .625” knurled shoulder should be used and inserted into the freshly drilled bolt pattern holes. Many options are available in different thread sizes and lengths on Amazon to meet your application. Most parts stores have an easy chart of finding the size you’ll need.
Press out the old wheel studs and install the new ones.
You can now reassemble the brake parts and bolt on your new wheels.
Instructional Video from the Bolt Pattern Drill Guide Originator
In this video by Rotten Leonard’s Jalopy Shop, you’ll see a step-by-step demonstration on how to install and use a bolt pattern drill guide, plus detailed segments to show how each step is completed…
Hells Gate Hot Rods acquired these wheel bolt pattern drill jigs from the originator, Rotten Leonard’s Jalopy Shop, from whom we purchased our own jig years ago — we’ve replaced the small bit and have sharpened the large bit several times, but it still serves its purpose quite capably.
Hells Gate Hot Rods uses the original tooling and the same quality materials that Rotten Leonard used to produce the drill guide jigs today.