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Challenger Wheels: Essential Guide

Challenger Wheels: Essential Guide

Upgrading your Challenger with aftermarket wheels can improve its performance, whether it be handling, ride quality, or acceleration. A nice set can also take your Challenger’s appearance to the next level. Below we take a look into the Challenger’s stock wheel sizing, how aftermarket wheels can enhance performance, and how to care for different finishes. Read on!

Shop Challenger Wheels

Wheels are excellent for making a statement and changing the entire look of your Challenger. The stock wheels are rather sizeable from the factory, but that doesn't mean you can't upgrade and re-shoe your ride with high performing rubber and aluminum. If you're after Hellcat styling, you'll want to reach for 20x9 wheels with a seven, split spoke design.

Challenger Wheels >>

Important Wheel Vocabulary

Center bore: The center bore of a wheel is the diameter measurement of the machined hole in the center of the rim where it slides over to mount to the hub.

Typically, the center bore measurement perfectly matches that of the axle to minimize vibration. There are wheels, however, that use a slightly larger center bore to fit multiple vehicles. In this case, a centering ring system is used to decrease the size of the bore to match different size hubs.

Offset: the measurement of the distance between the wheel’s mounting surface and direct centerline. This measurement identifies the wheel’s ideal positioning where it can rotate freely without rubbing against fenders, brakes, or other components.

  • Zero offset means the mounting surface of the wheel lines up with the center line
  • Positive offset points to the mounting surface of the wheel being placed outboard of the centerline, closer to the face of the wheel. This offset type is typically found on OEM rims.
  • Negative offset identifies that the mounting surface is placed inboard of the centerline, away from the road and closer to the suspension of the car.

CHART: Stock Challenger Wheels by Size

Factory Size Years Offered Factory Bolt Pattern Stud Sizing Offset
17x7 2008-2010 5x115mm M14x1.5 22mm
18x7.5 2008-2018 5x115mm M14x1.5 24mm
19x7.5 2017-2018 5x115mm M14x1.5 55mm
20x8 2011-2018 5x115mm M14x1.5 24mm
20x9 2008-2018 5x115mm M14x1.5 18.5-25.5mm
20x9.5 2015-2018 5x115mm M14x1.5 18.5mm

Increasing Performance with Aftermarket Wheels

Aftermarket wheels aren’t just about their looks. Certain wheels or wheel setups can help significantly improve the performance and handling of your Challenger, whether it be on the road, drag strip, or racetrack. It may not be worth the difference between you being an average joe and NHRA champion, but there are advantages to be gained. the most popular rims in terms of style are the 20x9 Hellcat wheels. These are a seven, split spoke design that brings more to your ride's curbside appeal than the standard solid 5-spoke design.

Lighter Weight Means More Speed: Lighter weight wheels will improve the acceleration of your Challenger, plain and simple. By having to push around less weight, the power-to-weight ratio of your Dodge will increase. Going along the same lines, equipping your vehicle with lighter wheels will reduce its unsprung weight—or the mass of wheels and suspension not supported by springs—which will improve its handling response and ride comfort. Finally, reducing rotational weight with aftermarket wheels will improve both acceleration and deceleration times.

  • Increase power-to-weight ratio
  • Improve acceleration and deceleration times
  • Better handling due to less unsprung weight

Improved Launching with a Staggered Wheel Setup: Look at almost any dedicated drag car and you’ll notice the front wheels are significantly narrower than the rears. This is called a staggered wheel set up—also known as “fats and skinnies”—are used to improve the launch performance of the car. The rear will typically be set up with 15” or 16” rims allowing a tire with a larger sidewall to be used for maximum grip without spin. Up front is a set of narrow wheels, designed to save weight and promote acceleration times. Note this setup with narrow front wheels will sacrifice cornering potential.

Balanced Setup for Autocross and Track: Planning on hitting the twisty courses? Picking out a set of wheels with a mid-size diameter—say 17” to 18”—can help improve the handling quality of your Challenger. By choosing a wheel with a larger diameter, you’ll be able to decrease the sidewall height of the tire, which will reduce tire flex and boost corner-carving abilities. Unlike a drag racing set up, you’ll want the widths of your wheels on the front and rear to be identical. And remember, the lighter the weight the better, but pick a rim sturdy enough to handle track use.

What is a Deep-Dish Wheel?

Being a deep-dish wheel means that the outside lip of the wheel is much deeper than that of an OEM production unit, with the face of the wheel set farther back from the outer edge. That said, deep-dish wheels typical feature a negative offset.

Caring for Aftermarket Wheel Finishes – The Basics

You’ve dropped some coin on a new set of wheels for your Challenger. These things are brand new and give your Dodge the exact look you’ve been searching for.

Now, drive a few hundred or even thousands of miles. Are they still going to look the way you want? Regardless of finish, the golden rule of caring for your wheels is to regularly clean them. In the bullet points below, we dive into the basics of wheel cleaning.

  • Clean your wheels regularly! Putting off a cleaning will allow road film, brake dust, and other contaminants to accumulate on the surface of your wheels, which can lead to bigger problems like the deterioration of the finish.
  • Avoid using harsh, acidic cleaners. Some of these solutions can actually do more harm than good to the finish of your wheels. Stick to soap and water!
  • Using a car-specific sealant or wax on your wheels can help reduce static and improve resistance to build up of brake dust and road film.
  • Live somewhere with a harsh winter climate? Chances are salt and chemicals are used on the road, which can harm the surfaces of your wheels. Clean them extra often!
  • Avoid cleaning hot wheels! This one should be obvious, but if you’ve been out on the road for while then let your wheels cool off before cleaning them. A nasty burn isn’t worth a shiny wheel!

Cleaning Chrome Wheels—Make Them Shiny Again!

There aren’t many better-looking things than a set of spotless chrome wheels. If maintained properly, chrome-finished wheels will give off a head-turning shine!

  • Clean chrome wheels with just the essentials—a soft brush, soap, and water.
  • Once all the nooks and crannies are cleaned, rinse them thoroughly. Letting water, soap, or other cleaner sit on the surface will produce water spots.
  • Dry your wheels with a soft towel or rag.
  • Give your wheels that shine by polishing with a high-quality chrome polish, then coat them in a wax seal to reduce static.

Taking Care of Polished Aluminum Wheels

Polished aluminum wheels give off a raw look, but they are typically known for requiring a thorough cleaning process. Oxidation is expected on this type of finish, though they can be re-polished by a third-party company or by hand, which can get them back to like-new condition.

  • Before you put any miles on your new polished aluminum wheels, coat them with a high-quality sealant wax. This is preventive maintenance to resist build-up of brake dust and other contaminants.
  • Clean your wheels often with just soap, water, and an extra soft brush.
  • Once clean, follow up by hand polishing your wheels using a high-quality metal or wheel polish.
  • Take your time. If it has been a while since their last polish, getting them back to a bright shine will take longer.
  • When the polishing is finished, coat them with a wheel wax and enjoy the refurbished look!
Fitment includes: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT8, RT, SE, SXT, RallyeRedline, ScatPack, Hellcat, GT, TA, Demon