What do I need to do a five lug conversion on my S Chassis?

by ryandriftingfat on May 28, 2010

Five lug conversions on S-chassis cars are a very common. After converting to five lug, there are many more large brake and wheel options available. Most of the crazy flush and dished wheels you see on 240’s have been five lug converted.

Nowadays there are two ways to do the 5-lug conversion on 240SX’s; the frankenstein S13/S14/Z32 method, or the conversion hub method.

  • Frankenstein front end is cheaper with less availability, but the parts are all OEM. One benefit on S13’s is the S14 LCA’s are ~10mm longer, so you’ll have a slightly widened track up front, meaning a lessened need for wheel spacers and the ability to run more camber.
  • Conversion hubs are more expensive, but readily available and bolt on to S13 suspension components.

Both of my S13’s have used conversion hubs up front (Attain, then Ichiba) with Z32 rear hubs. The conversion hubs make this swap go so much faster. This article walks you through installing conversion hubs up front and rear. I cannot walk you through the frankenstein S13/S14/Z32 process, I’m not personally familiar with it.

The conversion hubs you need are available here:

Parts list:
For S13 Front with conversion hubs:
  • Conversion hubs (Ichiba, Attain, GTO, Drop Engineering, etc)
  • S14 SE Rotors, or 4 lug rotors re-drilled to 5 lug (this assumes you are not upgrading brakes at the same time)
  • 5 Lug Wheels

For S13 Front with frankenstein parts:

  • S14 SE Hubs
  • S14 SE Spindles
  • S14 Ball Joint (will need to be pressed into your existing S13 LCA or use S14 LCA)
  • S14 SE Rotors (or 4 lug rotors re-drilled to 5 lug)
  • 5 Lug Wheels

For S13 Rear:

  • S14 SE, Z32 NA or aftermarket conversion hubs
  • S14 SE Rotors (or 4 lug rotors re-drilled to 5 lug)
  • 5 Lug Wheels

For S14 Base Front & Rear:

  • S14 SE Hubs
  • S14 SE Rotors (or 4 lug rotors re-drilled to 5 lug)
  • 5 Lug Wheels

Installation for front, with conversion hubs (for S13 & S14):
Take your wheel off, remove the two bolts holding your caliper on and set the caliper aside. Next, remove the two bolts holding the brake pad bracket to the upright. Once the brake pad bracket is off, you should be staring at just the rotor. The rotor should come off easily, but if it doesn’t a rubber hammer tapped gently around the edge should loosen it up allowing you to pull it off with little resistance, it will come off eventually.

Next, you need to take the wheel bearing cap off. I spent half an hour trying to take mine off without destroying it without luck. I eventually used a hammer and a flat head screwdriver to punch a small hole in the cap, then put the screwdriver inside and pried it off using the wheel nut inside for leverage. Once the cover is off, you need to remove the cotter pin holding the wheel nut on. I tried to save mine, but no luck. You can buy replacements at any auto store.

Once the cotter pin is out, there is a 32mm bolt you need to break loose. The bolt will not spin, so you can break it loose with a long-handled ratchet. When you get that bolt off, the entire wheel hub will slide out. This is when you’d take off or cut the brake dust shield if you are installing larger brakes.

I’d recommend cleaning the shaft up a little bit and adding some fresh grease if you have some. You can then install the new hub, torquing the hub nut down to 140 lb-ft. Put a new cotter pin on, put the dust cover back on, reinstall your brake parts and then install 5 lug wheel.

The same process would apply for base model S14 going to 5 lug SE hubs, it’s the same procedure except that you can drive over to the Nissan dealership and just buy S14 SE 5-lug hubs. S14’s don’t need fancy conversion hubs.

There are some other ways of doing this conversion, namely the frankenstein S13 front end using S14 parts. This FAQ won’t really help you if you’re going that route with your conversion. I will not post the information for that install, and please don’t ask. I have not done that conversion, and I have no future plans to document such an install.

Information (for rear, with Z32NA/S14SE hubs):
 There are three ways to do a rear 5 lug conversion on S13/S14 base. You can get aftermarket conversion hubs, or you can get the OEM S14SE / Z32NA hubs. Going the OEM route, you can get either get just the hub or you can get the entire hub/wheel bearing assembly. The hub by itself will generally be cheaper, whereas having the entire assembly will be easier to install.

If you opted to just get the hub, I didn’t do mine this way, but I’m told that a machine shop can press the old hub out of your rear wheel bearing assembly and press the five lug hub in. So after you remove the assembly, take it somewhere to have it swapped out, then just follow the directions for putting it all back together.

If you have the hub only, but want to replace the worn-out wheel bearing, this is what you need here: 240SX rear hub wheel bearing

Wheel Bearing & Hub Hub Only

Installation (for rear, with hub assemblies):
OK, the rears are definitely a little harder to swap than the fronts.

First off, the axle bolts. They are bigger than the front and will spin with the wheel, so breaking the nut loose can be a difficult task by itself. When I was ready to break it loose, I did it with the wheel still bolted to the hub and sitting on the ground. First, there is a plastic crown that covers the wheel nut with a cotter pin to hold it in place. That needs to come off. If you can take the center caps off your rear wheels, do that, then remove the cap and pin with the wheels still mounted.

If you can’t access the cap and pin with the wheels on, jack up the rear end and take the wheels off first. Once you have the cap and pin off, put the wheels back on, lower the car back down, set the ebrake and then break that wheel nut loose. It’s huge, 36mm. After you’ve broken the nut loose and taken it off, now jack up the rear end again and remove your rear wheels.

There are 4 bolts on the back of the spindle that bolt up to the wheel bearing flange. I believe they are 17mm and they are on there VERY tight, so either prepare for some manuvering with extensions and straining to break them or try some liquid wrench or whatever.

I did it the hard way with pure muscle; I’m a computer nerd, so they obviously aren’t impossible to break loose, but they are on there pretty damn tight. Once you’ve broken those four bolts loose, then prepare to pull the whole bearing assembly out.

On my car, one of the wheel bearing assemblies would not come off no matter how hard I pulled. The rubber hammer helps again, tapping the assembly in a couple places should make it come off fairly easily.

Now you can put the new hubs in, making sure to line the bolts up correctly with the dust shield. The dust shield has 8 holes in it for 4 bolts, so make sure they’re aligned correctly. Bolt the hub down, torque those four spindle bolts down to 80 lb-ft. Now you can mount the wheels and drop it down.

Lastly, tighten the axle bolt down to 160 lb-ft, put the plastic “lock” back on, new cotter pin, and get to work on reassembling the rear brakes.

 

Good luck, reach out if you have questions.