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How To: Grinding Tabs for GM Wheels

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015
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OK, I read on here and was told by a friend what to do...I busted out the trusty old angle grinder this afternoon and started grinding....the following is what I used and some little tricks I learned in the process. this was my first tim doing this but its really not that bad a job.

This will allow you to mount GM 6 lug wheels on your Mazda without having to bore the center of the wheels, tools I used:

Hammer, goggles, ear plugs and the ninja Dewalt 4" angle grinder!

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Obviously the goggles and ear plugs are optional but the grinding throws out LOTS of sparks that you can feel hitting your skin....I cam imagine how it would feel hitting your eye. Ear plugs....about 20 min into my first hub without them, my ears were just glad I happened to have plugs in my tool box.

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NOTE: I used one set of the stock lug nuts and put them on each wheel as I did my do NOT want to hit even one of your studs with the grinding wheel so I stringly suggest you do as I did. I used the same 6 lugs throughout the entire job so that I didnt screw up all of my stock lug nuts.

Here is the drivers side front hub, in the pic I have already ground down the left tab....the rest are still there.

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You can grind with a grinding wheel all four tabs on the front hub in less than 10 minutes. Start with the TOP MOST tab ( and as you do each tab, rotate the hub so the next one is always at the top - this was the easiest way to do it IMO )

1. Place your grinding wheel on the BOTTOM side of the top tab, and start grinding , press forward a bit and up. What you are doing is getting the slightly wider base of the tab and also the majority of the width at once...honestly 30 seconds of grinding and your ready for the next step.

HERE is what you want to see after about 30 seconds...

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2. Take that trusty hammer and hit that now weakened should break away with a couple solid hits and look like this:

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3. Take your grinder and grind away the remaining little bit of tab, maybe a couple minutes MAX of grinding.

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Once you have done the first tab, rotate the hub 1/4 turn, this will put the next tab at the top....repeat steps 1 - 3.

Here is what you will end up with:

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Now to the rear......I must admit, the rear is more of a chore and my first one took me about 45 minutes of grinding.....but I AM HERE to give you the tricks that made the 2nd side take about 15 - 20 min max!

You can make this easier by having the rear of the truck jacked up so that you can rotate the rear hub.....I did not do this but it will make positioning the tabs for grinding a NICE perk.

Here is what you will start with....YES....two tabs are larger than the other two and ALL are larger than the front tabs!

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I used a similar method as I did on the front hub tabs and this works for ALL rear tabs, regardless of size...

4. Set your grinding disk at an angle to the tab, start about in the middle of the tab and grind IN towards the thick base of the tab. What you are trying to do is turn that HUGE freakin tab into something similar to the front tabs. You want a THINNER tab than what is there....starting in around the middle and grinding in towards the base ( at an angle ) will provide a NICE ( thick as your grinding disk ) channel and this only takes a couple minutes....look at this pic and look closely at the right bottom most tab....see how its split almost in 2 by the grinder wheel? This is what you want!

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5. Once you have this "channel" created, grind the now "not so thick" base all the way flush with the hub itself. Here is an example of what you will see when done, look now at the top most tab. See how the center most part is still there? That is ok....your GM wheel will more than clear this part. You are focusing mostly on the first 1/4 or so inch of the tab, this is what the GM wheel does not fit over.

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6. Repeat for the remaining 3 tabs....should like about like this when done:

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TEST FIT EACH WHEEL! Look closely and make sure the wheel is flush with the hub. When grinding your tabs, check them from the side and make sure they are ground all the way flush with the hub. ( the exception would be the inner parts of the rear hubs that you CAN leave in place if you want to.

NOW....MAKE SURE you use a lug nut that will SEAT properly in your new GM wheels. Chances are your Mazda lug nuts will NOT work. I made a trip to Autozone, bought a $30 set of 20 lugs. Size is 12mm x 1.5. Note that if you have access to some....OEM GMC Envoy Denali lug nuts are PERFECT. I stole one from a friends Envoy and tried it, also verifed the thread pattern at Autozone. You want a lug with a pretty LARGE \__/ shape. Use your best judgement here. I actually took one of my Yukon wheels with me to Autozone and they let me test fit a lug before purchase.

You will need to manually center your wheel on the studs as you SLOWLY hand screw on your lug nuts....this MIGHT not be a requirement but its what I did, it allows you to make sure your lug nuts are all centered on each wheel lug hole....I hope this part makes sense...just make sure you center the lugs on the wheels as you put them on.

And TA DA!!! The finished result...these are 2003 to 2007 Yukon wheels, 17"...or so I was told, LOL.

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I used the black painted lug nuts from Autozone, I do not yet have center caps so these look ok. Also....since the kit only comes with 20 lug nuts....I am only running 5 on each wheel. I am going to check into ordering more or just getting a different set of lug nuts.

NOW....this was my first time doing this....if I was to do another truck right now....I imagine I could grind all the tabs off in less than an hour following the tips I provided no means am I an expert on this and I welcome all feedback. I hope this helps those of you that have not yet had the opportunity to do this and had any me about 4 hours ago.



Created By: noridetoolow

toddluck avatar
toddluck   +1y
there is also a write up on nissan customs ..about useing a router to bore out the wheels...i ground mine like you have written up here
chris avatar
chris   +1y
thanks for the pics and info man
project84 (rahn) avatar
project84 (rahn)   +1y
Nice write up. I still say the wheels look bitchin on your truck.
pepehn avatar
pepehn   +1y
Good job on the writeup. However if I could make a few constructive criticisms, you shouldn't write that the safety equipment is optional.

also, and i don't mean to sound like a wiseass old man, but you should be gloves too for whoever else does somethin like that...long sleeves are good too. you can't guarentee the guard is gonna catch all the shrapnel of that disc if it were to ever explode.

anyhow im all done haha. hope i didn't sound like i was nagging. good writeup.
noridetoolow avatar
noridetoolow   +1y
thanks for the comments and dont workin on being the same "old man" myself...the optional comment was more of a joke and was meant as highly suggested. I did the job in shorts and a t-shirt ( my usual atire ) and even the nice sparks from the grinding was fun to deal with though not too bad...the few that seemed to find their ways into my shoes and HAIR were the most fun, lol
twisted minis avatar
twisted minis   +1y
I hope yours wheels don't fall off. Good luck.
devb22 avatar
devb22   +1y

Comments like that should be kept to yourself...

There are soooo many off us that have done this, and use the vehicle as a daily without any problems...

Anywho, good write-up man! Props on taking the time to do this...

twisted minis avatar
twisted minis   +1y
Its not a descending comment in any way. I said I hope they don't fall off. I've been in a truck when all the wheel studs sheared off because of a modification like this. It sucks. Its a legitimate worry about the safety of others. Wheels are hub centric for a reason. The stock studs are not meant to carry the weight of the vehicle. Is your life not worth the $100 it costs to have wheels machined?
noridetoolow avatar
noridetoolow   +1y
had I not known so many poeple to do this without any issues then I would not have done it...and I have never heard of anyone having an issue with this mod. I DO though check the lus regular....plan on doing it about weekly just to make sure the lugs are staying tight....but comments are ok....had you not said that, I would have never known anyone had ever had an issue with this mod.
twisted minis avatar
twisted minis   +1y
Definitely check the lug nuts often as you said. If they start to become loose that is when the issue will occur. On a hub centric vehicle that situation would just make some noise and require you to pull over and tighten some lugs. Without the centric support, there isn't much of a warning. Its quite startling really. All the warning you get is a few seconds of vibration, then one corner of your truck falls.