Legacy FAQ page this replaces can be found here.
OEM Wheel Specifications
|Years||F/R||Diameter||Width||Weight||Factory Tire Size|
|1991 – 1993||Front||15″||6.5″||15.20 lbs.||205/50ZR15|
|1991 – 1993||Rear||16″||8″||18.86 lbs.||225/50ZR16|
|1994 – 2001||Front||16″||7″||16.75 lbs.||215/45ZR16|
|1994 – 2001||Rear||17″||8.5″||20.85 lbs.||245/40ZR17|
|1999 Zanardi||Front||16″||7″||15.4 lbs.||?|
|1999 Zanardi||Rear||17″||8.5″||17.8 lbs.||?|
|2002 – 2005||Front||17″||7″||17.35 lbs.||215/40R17|
|2002 – 2005||Rear||17″||9″||20.0 lbs.||255/40R17|
|2002 NSX-R||Front||17″||7″||15.75 lbs.||215/40ZR-17|
|2002 NSX-R||Rear||17″||9″||17.55 lbs.||255/40ZR-17|
|Lug Nut Torque Spec (all years)||110 N.m (80 lb-ft)|
|Offset (1991 – 2001)||55 mm front, 60 mm rear|
|Offset (2002 – 2005)||55 mm front, 56 mm rear|
|Center bore (all years)||70(.1) mm front, 64(.1) mm rear|
|Bolt pattern (all years)||5-bolt pattern, 114.3 mm bolt circle|
|Lug nuts (all years)||19 mm with 12 mm x 1.50 thread pitch|
The NSX’s front wheels fit 97 Preludes (and 3.2 TL’s) in either 15 or 16 sizes.
Why Are The Factory Wheels Different Sizes?
With mid-engine design and lightweight aluminum construction there is no need for more tire at the front of the car. Honda’s goal was to minimal mass for this vehicle, and that the “vicious circle” of weight works in both directions (heavier vehicles require a bigger engine, which weighs more, then bigger brakes, which weigh more etc.). Using a smaller front wheel also means more room in the interior footwells, a common area of complaint with other sports cars (wheels intrude into footwell meaning pedals are skewed off straight ahead).
Can I Swap OEM Wheels Between NSX Model Years?
The main problem as always is having the wheel clear the brakes. Here is a list of which wheel will swap straight onto which model year NSXs.
|1991-1993 Wheels||1994-2001 Wheels||2002-2005 Wheels|
(1) The 2002 wheel spokes do not flare out enough closer to the center where the 1991 – 1996 caliper sits. If you upgrade a 1991 – 1996 car to have to ’97+ front rotors (which moves the caliper further out), you can use 2002 wheels. You could also use a 5mm spacer to push the wheels out enough to clear the caliper.
(2) The inside diameter of the 1991 – 1993 (5-spoke) wheels is too small to clear the 1997+ front caliper.
Why Do Lug Nuts Sometimes Loosen?
A few lb-ft after initial torquing and a little driving is not unusual. But you’re supposed to retorque at that point. Apply THE SAME torque that you applied in the first place. DON’T back the nut off and RE-tighten it to the original torque.
DON’T tighten each nut just a little more even though it’s already at the correct torque.
When you “torque again,” if the nut doesn’t rotate (which ideally it shouldn’t) that’s fine. If it rotates just a little bit (like, 5 degrees absolute max), IMO that’s fine (my esteemed colleague disagrees, I think.) In that case consider repeating the whole thing… Or if you’re an esteemed colleague end it all by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
If it moves a lot (more than 5 degrees or so) AND you torqued it correctly in the first place, something’s wrong.
Anything worse than that has never happened to me (on any car including 17K miles on my NSX and several track events) as long as I did the following. My advice is:
- Remove all four wheels.
- Carefully examine the condition of the stud and nut threads; clean all (wire brush) and replace as appropriate.
- Carefully clean *all* mating surfaces between the wheels and hubs. You don’t want *any* physical object between the wheel-aluminum and hub-steel.
- Reinstall and torque correctly.
- Drive a few miles using the brakes and then letting them cool so that all four wheels go through a few heat cycles. Torque again.
Go through the torque/heat-cycle/re-torque whenever you loosen a lug nut, and go through the cleaning step whenever you remove a wheel.
If that doesn’t fix it there’s something seriously wrong (warpage between wheel and hub, inaccurate torque wrench, inadequate cleaning of mating surfaces, paint trapped between mating surfaces, bad wheel chroming, etc., etc., who knows?), but whatever that is, using loctite (or similar) is not the solution. IMO.