Fitment issues with 2017 MZ3 16" OEM Wheels [Solved]

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
I'm stumped. First post here, hopefully I can get some help and learn something too. Thanks guys.

The extent of my experience with wheel & tire setups is from research online and taking off the random aftermarket wheels that came with my P5. My terminology may be incorrect so feel free to correct me. Here's what I've got.

I bought some OEM 2017 Mazda 3 Sport 16" wheels a while back for my Protege5, since my current wheels are awful and I wanted something stock but nice. I can't get the wheels put on just yet, but I thought I'd do a test-fit of one of them to see how they looked and fit on my car (with old tires on them). Pulled off rear wheel and put new wheel on and it didn't fit flush on the hub. Removed center-cap on new wheel and it fit flush and lugs went right on. No center-caps is not the end of the world. Tried to do the same on the front without the center-cap on the new wheel and it doesn't sit flush on the hub at all. It appears as if the hub is hitting something on the inside of the wheel. I don't have photos but it really didn't seem right to me at all. The wheel was crooked and wobbly and there was a 2-3mm gap when it was wobbling on the hub.

I did my research on this before buying the wheels and I figure they should fit my car. They are identical in all dimensions (which I'm aware of) to the OEM Protege5 wheels. Please look these up online and correct me if I'm wrong. That would suck but at least provide clarity.

OEM 2003 Protege5 wheels:
5x114.3, 16x6.5", +50mm offset, 67.1mm bore

OEM 2017 Mazda3 wheels:
5x114.3, 16x6.5", +50mm offset, 67.1mm bore

Current American Racing wheels:
5x114.3, 16x7.5", +40mm offset, unknown bore (larger?)

What am I doing wrong here!?! Is there some factor I haven't considered?

Here are some random photos for context.
Rear wheel fitment without center-cap:
IMG_20200125_150756358.jpg
IMG_20200125_150804105.jpg


Front wheel fitment without center-cap and lugs finger-tight:
The rusty inner part is the hub and it's hitting the inner part of the wheel slightly, causing it to not sit flush by 2-3mm at most.
IMG_20200125_154600888_HDR.jpg
IMG_20200125_154603607_HDR.jpg



Here are some probably crazy theories/questions:
  • Inner diameter of my current aftermarket wheels look like they might be larger than my hubs (little sign of contact). If this is the case, might they not be resting on the hubs (aka not hubcentric?), causing the hubs to rust up, causing fitment issues with the new wheels which appear to be designed to fit directly on the hubs (aka hubcentric?)? The car has had these aftermarket wheels on for over a decade which would explain rust. Am I remotely close on my assumptions on hubcentricity?
  • Could small spacers (which I was already considering) fix the issue or is this avoiding a bigger issue or an issue which shouldn't exist in the first place (due to rust)?
  • Could my hubs be different (larger) than stock?!
  • Are these wheels just in fact the wrong size somehow despite my research?
  • Would stock Protege5 wheels even work?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
Ben
 
:
2001 Mazda SP20 323
Gidday! Those wheels are neat, will look great when they fit!
First up, grab a wire brush and clean up the rust on the hubs, with a bit of luck that's all that's causing trouble. Like you've said all dimensions line up so it should just bolt up. Check the inside of the new wheels too just in case there's some junk in there getting in the way.

Unless the cars had a significant brake upgrade, the hub should be the same as stock. Spacers would help but isn't fixing the root problem
Have you got a full sized spare in the boot? If so you could chuck that on and see how it fits.

OEM+ is a cool look, got any more plans for the car?
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Gidday! Those wheels are neat, will look great when they fit!
First up, grab a wire brush and clean up the rust on the hubs, with a bit of luck that's all that's causing trouble. Like you've said all dimensions line up so it should just bolt up. Check the inside of the new wheels too just in case there's some junk in there getting in the way.

Unless the cars had a significant brake upgrade, the hub should be the same as stock. Spacers would help but isn't fixing the root problem
Have you got a full sized spare in the boot? If so you could chuck that on and see how it fits.

OEM+ is a cool look, got any more plans for the car?
Thanks for the speedy reply!

I will certainly clean them up then try to make sure the wheels fit properly again if you're sure that's my problem. My spare is one of those mini donut-sized things so I'm not sure it'll do any good.

I got the wheels basically brand new for almost nothing. I like the look of them but the offset is stock, aka lame. I hate my current wheels but they do fit perfectly flush, so I want to mimic that. I don't want to go overboard with spacers but I'll probably grab some 5mm ones and throw those on.

The car is my daily and I'm in school so #1 priority is to keep it reliable and cheap to run. The junkyards and local used market are my friends right now.

Unrelated, but out of curiosity, what color looks best for wheels on a silver car? These wheels are identical in color to my car (22v silver), so I may want to change the wheel color down the line. Thoughts? Gunmetal or black are at the top right now imo.

IMG_20200125_150505306.jpg


Ben
 
:
2001 Mazda SP20 323
No worries! Hope you get it sorted!

These cars are great to work on, cheap and easy to find parts for as long as you don't want to make bulk power lol

Personally I'd go gunmetal over black, black wheels 'look' smaller than they are and tend to disappear in the arches which kinda defeats the purpose of going with different wheels
 
:
Dallas, TX
:
2003 Protege5
Unrelated, but out of curiosity, what color looks best for wheels on a silver car? These wheels are identical in color to my car (22v silver), so I may want to change the wheel color down the line. Thoughts? Gunmetal or black are at the top right now imo.
Best color wheels for silver Protege5: stock color
Best color wheels for black Protege5: stock color
Best color wheels for red Protege5: stock color
etc...

(Just IMO)
:) :D
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Best color wheels for silver Protege5: stock color
Best color wheels for black Protege5: stock color
Best color wheels for red Protege5: stock color
etc...

(Just IMO)
:) :D
😁

That's fair, katapaltes. Im not going to touch them yet and maybe not ever. My current wheels have gouges taken out of these so anything is better than them. Silver on silver is how it's going to be.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I don't know how bad your rust is but you may want to consider an undercoating treatment.

This is my rust turd... Lol.



Excuse the blurry pictures... Photobucket stole my pictures and they're holding them ransom. Lol .
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
I don't know how bad your rust is but you may want to consider an undercoating treatment.

This is my rust turd... Lol.



Excuse the blurry pictures... Photobucket stole my pictures and they're holding them ransom. Lol .
The car is fairly clean. The greatest rust spots it's got are chips in the hood. I was under the car this weekend to replace a shifter bushing and I was able to remove a small headshield on the exhaust with just a bit of PB blaster It was barely rusty. Not bad at all for an old cost car.

The reason I mentioned rust on the hubs is because it looked to me as if the inner diameter of my aftermarket wheels weren't fitting directly on top of the hubs on the car, like they were larger. I believe this would leave room for water to get in and rust to develop over the decade the wheels have been on. I believe the stock wheels are hubcentric (??) meaning there wouldn't be room for rust. Am I correct in my assumption? Maybe i'll pull the wheels back off and grab some photos.

Your poor car :(
I've browsed your build thread though, it makes for some interesting reading.

I haven't heard anything from anyone to say that the wheels *shouldn't* fit, but i'll stay tuned, thanks guys.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
The car is fairly clean. The greatest rust spots it's got are chips in the hood.
Wow!!
That must be nice!!

I've given up on my car.
I wish I would have purchased a rust free car at the start.

It's just palliative care at this point for me.

I know nothing about your wheels.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Wow!!
That must be nice!!

I've given up on my car.
I wish I would have purchased a rust free car at the start.

It's just palliative care at this point for me.

I know nothing about your wheels.
I also know basically nothing about my wheels other than what I posted originally. I'll have to measure the hub if I want to know it's size. I was curious to know if I was on the generally right track.

I'll take a wire brush to my hubs and see if the new wheels fit again. I may also just order some 5mm wheel spacers too while i'm at it to try.
 

JazzySP20

Madaz
:
AUSTRALIA
:
BJII Astina SP20
Just a guess, but have you removed the hub centric rings off the hub? The rings would have to be used to fit most non Mazda wheels as the centre bore is larger.

 
:
protege5
Just a guess, but have you removed the hub centric rings off the hub? The rings would have to be used to fit most non Mazda wheels as the centre bore is larger.


This is what I was going to suggest as well. There may be rings on the hubs to help the aftermarket wheels "center" on the hubs, because the bore is larger. Those rings may be covered/hidden in rust so they look like they are part of the hub now. If they're there, you should be able to just take them out and the wheels should fit like they are supposed to.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Just a guess, but have you removed the hub centric rings off the hub? The rings would have to be used to fit most non Mazda wheels as the centre bore is larger.

This is what I was going to suggest as well. There may be rings on the hubs to help the aftermarket wheels "center" on the hubs, because the bore is larger. Those rings may be covered/hidden in rust so they look like they are part of the hub now. If they're there, you should be able to just take them out and the wheels should fit like they are supposed to.
Thanks for the reply's. That makes a lot of sense to me.

When I took the wheels off, the hubs didn't appear to have any sort of rings on them when I checked originally, or they are just super rusted on. The OEM wheels did in fact fit onto the studs and hub almost completely, and I was able to tighten down the lugs and get it to fit almost flush on the hub, but the wheel sat crooked on the hub with about a 2mm gap on a side, like it was rocking on a center point, but only slightly.

Because of how small the gap was, my first assumption was rust , but I'll check again for any kind of rings.

Additionally, I have to emphasize that the aftermarket wheels I have are trash. I wouldn't be surprised if they had no rings to help them fit properly and safely.

Once (if) it stops raining here in Oregon, I'll take the wheels back off and check for rings and/or scrub some rust off.

Thanks
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Still raining?

😁
Actually supposed to snow now, though it probably won't stick. Should be clear and crisp at some point in the afternoon though, so I'm planning on trying the fitment again then. I'll post my results and more photos when I'm done.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Here's an Update.

Snow came. All 3 glorious millimeters of it.

Anyways, I finally got some time to pull a wheel off, clean the rust off the hub, and test-fit a new wheel. I think I've gotten further on multiple fronts, but I'm not yet 100% confident in these wheels being safe to drive on in their current state or fitment. You guys can give me some feedback on that from the photos and descriptions below.

For fun, I tried to put the wheel on the opposite side from what I originally tried - on the drivers side front corner. Below is the hub before cleaning and the hub of the old wheel.
IMG_20200203_164407814.jpg
IMG_20200203_164424453.jpg

IMG_20200203_164432129.jpg



After brushing the hub a bunch and fitting the wheel on, it still seemed like it didn't fit properly, and wobbled on the hub, though only leaving like a 1mm gap at most, as shown in the photos.
IMG_20200203_164923000.jpg
IMG_20200203_165501639.jpg


The second photo was taken with the lug-nuts on and tightened with a moderate amount of force. There's still a gap, and, I'm not sure the wheel wouldn't wobble on the road at speed. When I took the lug nuts off, the wheel didn't come off without me putting all of my weight into it. If the car was on the factory jack and not a jackstand, it may well have fallen off the jack for how much force I had to use to get the wheel off.

Took some more time to brush more of the hub, and also at the hub of the wheel, which got scuffed with rust too. This is what the hub looked like the second time. Compared to before putting the new wheel on, there are now major 'contact marks' on the hub from the wheel being pushed onto it by the lug nuts. The gap was smaller the second time, but didn't look perfect still.
IMG_20200203_170048170.jpg
IMG_20200203_170829121.jpg


Here's the hub obviously contacting the inner hub of the wheel.
IMG_20200203_170852307.jpg


Lastly, I can confirm that there is no ring or anything like that for the aftermarket wheels. I also go the stock MZ3 center caps to fit on the wheel when the nuts were tightened.

Tire is low and hits the strut because it's a 205/60R16, but otherwise it looks okay in my opinion.
IMG_20200203_171220671.jpg


I'd like to put some 5mm spacers on to get the rear wheel caps to fit, and maybe that will eliminate my problem upfront too 🤷‍♂️. Seems like it would to me from looking at it from all angles.

I just wish I could have the peace of mind to know that these things aren't going to fall off on the highway or on the backroads, despite the fact that they seem to be almost fitting. Maybe driving the car with the new wheels on will get them seated on the hubs.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

JazzySP20

Madaz
:
AUSTRALIA
:
BJII Astina SP20
From looking at all that, it seems like the MZ3 wheels do not fit the P5 due to the P5 hub being a little longer and which then bottoms out on the inside of the MZ5 wheel centre bore.

So I would say you need to remove approx. 3mm from the P5 front hub length so the MZ3 wheels go further in (still probably won't be able to fit centre caps), use 5mm spacers (so long as you can still get about 8-9 rotations minimum with the wheel lug when doing them up, or not use the MZ3 wheels at all and fit wheels made for the P5.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
From looking at all that, it seems like the MZ3 wheels do not fit the P5 due to the P5 hub being a little longer and which then bottoms out on the inside of the MZ5 wheel centre bore.

So I would say you need to remove approx. 3mm from the P5 front hub length so the MZ3 wheels go further in (still probably won't be able to fit centre caps), use 5mm spacers (so long as you can still get about 8-9 rotations minimum with the wheel lug when doing them up, or not use the MZ3 wheels at all and fit wheels made for the P5.
That sounds about right to me.

Despite the fact that I'd like my wheels to fit like they in theory should, I think imma just order some spacers unless anyone else has any other theories on the issue. It's not that big of a deal and I was already gonna grab some anyways to get the wheels out further towards the fenders.

I stared at the hubs and wheel for like an hour, and from what I could see, a spacer would almost certainly fix the issue.

Anybody have any critical objections about safety with these pretty generic amazon sets? I'm not looking for perfection here, just cheap, functional and safe. LINK

I'll update this when I've got something to show. Thanks for the help thus far.

Ben
 
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