Second Generation Camaro Owners Group
Z28 5 Spoke Wheel


This is the standard wheel used on the Z28 from 1970 to 1981. It was not available as an option on any other Camaro. It is also known as the "Trans Am" or "high performance" wheel. It's also called a "5 spoke rally wheel" - which really causes confusion because there is a "Rally" wheel used on non-Z Camaros as well. Adding to the confusion is - when the chevelle needed a 15" wheel in 1970, they borrowed the Z28's wheel.

Wheel uses a snap on steel cap with a brushed aluminum trim ring. It also uses bright chrome acorn nuts.

This wheel was slightly redesigned several times but retained the same part number (3983045) and code (AU).


You will be able to tell the rough year usage from the valve stem hole and the fit of the trim ring. Early wheels have oval valve stem holes. The early 1970 wheels measure 1" x 5/8", midway through the year the valve stem hole was enlarged to 1" x 13/16". On these wheels the inner portion of the wheel protrudes approximately 1/8" beyond the outside lip of the wheel so when the trim ring is mounted only the flat portion facing the outside of the wheel is visible.

By contrast, the later wheels have round valve stem holes. The 1977 - 1978 valve stem holes are 7/8", while 1979 - 1981 are 1". On these, the inner portion of the wheel is set approximately 1/4" lower than the outer wheel lip so that when the trim ring is in place about 3/8" of the horizontal part of the trim ring is visible.

Seeing these wheels on a Camaro doesn't automatically turn the Camaro into a Z28. These wheels were available as service replacement wheels for years. This wheel went obsolete on 12/1996, caps and trim rings may still be obtained.

Be careful purchasing these wheels (or any wheel for that matter), many seem to be bent or no longer round. This may or may not depend on the price you're paying either. Spin the wheels before purchasing them. Also, it may be worth your while to obtain GM center caps. The reproduction ones fit like crap and will break the tabs when you install them.

Wheel decoding.
Like all other GM wheels, these wheels are stamped with a manufacturer (Kelsey-Hayes) and a date code(s).
See: Original wheel discussion thread for an excellent depiction of original wheels, rings & caps.

Paint
The correct paint on wheels from 1970 to 1974 was a special gray paint with a flattening agent and a pebble finish agent added to get a finish that simulates the rough surface of a "mag" wheel.

Wheel color code for this wheel is "GG".
Ditzler code DDL-32961 (since replaced with an acrylic laquer).

1977 to 1981 Z28 steel wheels were painted body color.

See also: Wheel Refinishing.

Center Caps & Trim Rings
1970 - 1974 Center Caps, PN: 3989479
Difference between "original" caps and service replacement caps - is subtle.
Difference between "original" trim rings and service replacement rings - color of retaining clips. Early style has blue clips.

1977 - 1979 center cap.
1980 - 1981 center cap.

The 1975 Z86 gymkhana suspension (standin for the Z28 during that time frame) used this wheel.


Last updated: 10/20/2011
Author: MadMike Maciolek

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