First of all, what is a wheel adapter? A wheel adapter, in simplest terms, is a tool that you use if you want to change your car's ordinary tires to custom wheels. It works by changing your car hub's bolt pattern in order to adapt to the patterns (particularly the bolt spacing) that the new wheels require. In essence, your wheel adapter works as a bolt adapter for a vehicle's tires. Most wheel adapters are made out of steel or aluminum and though both are generally regarded to be good for wheel installation purposes, many professionals recommend using steel wheel adapters.
If you're looking to purchase a wheel adapter, it is very important that you purchase a high-quality one from a reputable automotive store. You could also opt to buy them online, through specialized websites such as wheeladapter.com. When choosing which wheel adapter to install, you'd have to specify your car's make and model, along with your required bolt pattern and lug size. You could also probably use the handy bolt pattern conversion chart available made available by Truck Add-ons at Truckaddons.com. Some types of wheel adapters you could learn about include dual adapters, nardi steering wheel adapters, grant adapters, wheel horns and billet adapters; read up on them at Speedace.com, Summit Racing.com and at Arrowcraft.com.
To install a wheel adapter, first you'd have to know which part of the adapter should face the wheel and which should connect to the drum of your vehicle. That is, the part of the wheel adapter with the studs should face the wheel; the studs is where you attach your wheels to. Connect your car's wheel drum to your adapter. You wil notice that the adapter will not perfectly fit your car drum, so you'd have to screw it on securely with bolt nuts. A technique to follow here is to loosely screw in the nuts first, then once you're sure you've got the adapter on exact center you can tightly screw on the bolts entirely.
After tightening the studs, your next step is to tighten the lug nuts to further attach your wheel drum to the adapter. To ensure that the wheel stays center is to put in the lug nuts gradually; that is, you could put in one lug nut then screw it a bit, followed by the lug nut across it and screw it on a bit, and so on. Once you've got all the lug nuts on their position, you could then tighten them all following a star pattern. Use a torque wrench for this step.Make sure that the studs are all below the level of the wheel adapter.
Now, your wheel can rest on the wheel adapter. Make sure that the wheel rests firmly and set on it, with no elevated studs protruding towards it. In effect, your wheel should be stable and not wobbly once it's attached to the wheel adapter.
There you have it! These are the simple steps to install a wheel adapter. To avoid any problems, it's still recommended that you hire a professional for this service. Do make sure that you carefully observe the procedure so that you could do it by yourself next time. Good luck!