Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide

General Information


The vehicles covered by this guide are equipped with a variety of wheel styles of aluminum or steel construction. All the wheels from the factory are a one-piece rim design utilizing a 4 bolt lug pattern.

Wheels are also available in a variety of standard sizes from 14 in. high by 5 in. wide to 16 in. high by 7 in. wide. Most 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) models are equipped with larger rims as compared to the 2-Wheel Drive (2WD) models.


  1. When removing a wheel, loosen, but do not remove, all the lug nuts with the wheel on the ground, then raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands. If you are working at home (not on a roadside emergency) support the vehicle safely using jackstand(s). Use the jack in the vehicle only for emergency.
  3. If the wheel is stuck or rusted to the hub, turn all the lug nuts finger-tight, then back each one off 2 turns. Rest the vehicle back on the ground and rock it side-to-side. Have another person to help if necessary. This is far safer than hitting the wheel with the vehicle on jackstands.
  5. When installing a wheel, tighten the lug nuts in a crisscross pattern.
  7. Always use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to avoid uneven tightening, which could distort the brake drum or disc. Tighten the lug nuts to 58-72 ft. lbs. (75-98 Nm) on all models except the SVX. On the SVX, tighten the lug nuts to 72-87 ft. lbs. (98-118 Nm).

If installing aftermarket wheels, use the lug nuts provided with the wheel and tighten to the wheel manufacturer specification.


See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Measuring the lateral and radial run-out on a wheel

Wheels can be distorted or bent and not affect dry road handling to a noticeable degree. Out of round wheels will show up as uneven tire wear, or will make it difficult to balance the tire. Wheel run-out can be checked with the wheel on or off the vehicle and with the tire on or off the rim. If measurement is to be made with the wheel off the vehicle, you will need an accurate mounting surface such as a wheel balancer.

Both lateral and radial run-out should be measured using a dial gauge. Lateral run-out is a sideways vibration causing a twist or wobble and is measured on a side surface. On a tire and wheel assembly, measure the sidewall of the tire, as close as possible to the tread shoulder design edge. On a rim, measure the run-out on the flange.

Radial run-out is the egg-shaped difference from a perfect circle. On a tire and wheel assembly, measure radial run-out from the center of the tire tread rib, although other tread ribs can be measured, if necessary. The rim may be measured on either flange if the tire is removed.

  1. Use a dial gauge to measure the run-out of the wheel or tire and wheel assembly, as applicable.
  3. The lateral run-out limit is 0.059 in. (1.5mm) for steel wheels, 0.039 (1mm) for aluminum wheels. The radial run-out limit is 0.059 in. (1.5mm) for steel wheels, 0.039 in. (1mm) for aluminum wheels.