If you’re a car enthusiast or a Subaru fan, you may have heard about the switch from the 5×100 bolt pattern to the 5×114.3, which happened in the early 2000s. This change was a significant one for the Subaru community, but many people don’t know the reasoning behind it or the timeline of when it occurred in various Subaru models. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Subaru’s bolt pattern and provide information about the switch to the 5×114.
A Brief History of Subaru’s Bolt Pattern
Before we dive into the switch, let’s take a step back and look at the history of Subaru’s bolt pattern. In the early days of Subaru, the company used four and five-lug bolt patterns in their vehicles. The four-lug pattern was used in models such as the Subaru 360, while the five-lug pattern was used in later models like the Subaru Leone and the Subaru Legacy.
However, in the late 90s, Subaru made a significant change to their bolt pattern. The company switched from the five-lug 5×100 bolt pattern that had been used in the Legacy, Impreza, and Forester models to a larger, six-lug 6×135 bolt pattern. This change was made to address concerns about the strength of the wheel hub and to allow for larger tires and wheels.
Unfortunately, the change to the 6×135 bolt pattern caused problems for many Subaru owners who wanted to upgrade their wheels or modify their cars. The larger pattern meant that there were fewer options available for aftermarket wheels, and it was more challenging to find compatible parts.
The Switch to the 5×114 Bolt Pattern
In response to the challenges posed by the 6×135 bolt pattern, Subaru made another significant change to their bolt pattern. The company decided to switch back to a five-lug pattern but opted for the larger 5×114.3 size. This bolt pattern change occurred in the early 2000s, but the timeline varied depending on the model.
For example, the switch to the 5×114 bolt pattern happened in 2002 for the WRX and STI models, and in 2005 for the Impreza and Forester. The Legacy and Outback models, on the other hand, made the switch in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
The switch to the 5×114 bolt pattern was an important move for Subaru, as it addressed many of the issues that arose from the change to the 6×135 pattern. With the 5×114, owners had more options for aftermarket wheels and could more easily modify their cars.
Benefits of the 5×114 Bolt Pattern
So, why did Subaru opt for the 5×114 bolt pattern over the 6×135 or the previous 5×100 pattern? There were a few key benefits to the 5×114 pattern that made it an attractive choice for the manufacturer.
First, the 5×114 pattern was widely used in other Japanese cars, which made it easier for Subaru owners to find compatible parts and wheels. Additionally, the larger bolt pattern allowed for bigger brakes to be installed, providing better stopping power.
Another benefit of the 5×114 pattern is that it allows for a wider range of offset options. The offset is the distance from the centerline of the wheel to the mounting surface, and having more options allows for greater flexibility when it comes to wheel fitment.
Q: Can I install 5×114 wheels on a car with a 5×100 bolt pattern?
A: No, the bolt pattern is a crucial factor in the fitment of wheels. 5×114 wheels will not fit properly on a car designed for 5×100 wheels.
Q: Can I install 5×100 wheels on a car with a 5×114 bolt pattern?
A: No, the same applies to installing smaller bolt pattern wheels onto a car designed for larger ones.
Q: Is the 5×114 bolt pattern exclusive to Subaru?
A: No, the 5×114 pattern is widely used in other Japanese cars, so it’s common to see this pattern on other vehicles as well.
Subaru’s switch from the 5×100 to the 5×114 bolt pattern was a significant move that addressed many of the issues faced by Subaru owners in the early 2000s. With the larger bolt pattern, owners had more options for aftermarket wheels and modifications. Additionally, the switch allowed for a wider range of offset options and provided better stopping power with larger brake installations. Whether you’re a Subaru owner or a car enthusiast, understanding the history and context behind the switch to the 5×114 pattern can help you appreciate the advancements made in car mechanics.