Dayton Wheels vs Budd Wheels: Pros, Cons, Helpful Guide, Tips

Wheels make vehicles move. Many parts on a bus or car are vital. Without one of them, the vehicle would not function to its optimum levels, if they run at all. One of those vital parts is the wheel. Not the tire, but the part the tire goes around. Without these, you won’t move an inch.

There is some discussion on which are better but most people feel that the split rim is not a good option. That style came with the Dayton wheels but Budd tires require 10 lug nuts which can have you spending a lot of time removing lugs just to change a tire. Both tire options have their good and bad points.

To learn more about this wheel competition, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can decide if you want that school bus or not. Many tire companies do not want to deal with split rims.

What are Budd Wheels?


This is an older style of wheel that uses 10 lug nuts to hold the heavy-duty tire in place. These wheels were reserved and made for the bigger heavy-duty trucks that you see doing construction and other work in similar industries.

When placed on a truck, you had to be careful how you handled the lug nut wrench. The right side of the vehicle came with right-hand threads and the left side had the left-hand threads. Knowing h-this is important as it does make a difference.

One wheel cannot go on the wrong side of the truck. Also, Budd Wheels is the brand name and the proper term for the actual wheel is stud piloted wheels. They are preferred wheels over the Dayton because they are safer to work on and may take less time to change or remove to gain access to the brakes.

There was also an outer and inner nut to hold the wheels in place on dual-wheeled vehicles. As tires go, it is a complicated system but not as complicated as a Dayton wheel set up.

Semi-truck Wheel Types

There are 3 basic types that most trucks have on their axles. The first type is called the Budd wheel but that is the brand name that has become associated with the stud piloted wheels. Even though you call them Budd wheels, you may be getting a different brand.

Next up is the hub piloted wheels and the difference between this model and the Bud type are the lug nuts. This one only has 8 while the Budd wheel has 10. These may be made by Accuride who seems to be the biggest maker of both types of semi-truck wheels.

Then the three basic or main types of semi-truck wheels is the Dayton. These are a little bit different in design and have 5 lug nuts to work with. However, just because there are only 5 does it mean that this wheel is easy to work with.

To get to failed brakes, you had a lot of parts to take off first and that was a risky and time-consuming chore. Risky in that you could injure yourself if you removed them by using the wrong method.

Dayton Wheels Semi


This option gave you a little bit of choice. There was or are the 6 lug nut option or the 5 lug nut option. We have seen images for both. Then there is the 3/4-10 and also the 5/8- 11 models.

Working with this style of wheel was risky. The tip to removing the wheel from the truck is that you have to only loosen the lug nuts first but do not remove them. If you remove them at the beginning you stand a great chance of being hit in the groin by the wedges.

To get the tie off, you do need to tap the wedges loose and the lug nuts still on the lugs prevent those wedges from flying off and hurting you. The weight of the wheels may surprise you as well. They can tip the scales at 44 pounds approx.

This weight was distributed over the 5 or 6 spokes the wheel came with. The thing is that the old Dayton wheel design may be a relic from the past as most trucks are supposed to have the Budd wheel system or the hub pilot option.

Budd Style Rims

Since this is the more popular style, you will find these rims on sale just about anywhere. Some of the new prices at one shop range between $300 and $800. These are not going to be cheap wheels.

However, many owners prefer this style of the wheel even though it takes longer to remove all the lug nuts. It is a safer design and once you figure out the lug nut direction, you are basically good to go.

Plus, you can upgrade its look. These wheels come in either steel or aluminum allowing you to paint them the color you want or put chrome on them for a better overall appearance.

In comparison, Dayton wheels may be more expensive to buy, if you can still find them, and they are also riskier to work with as you had to be careful of flying parts. One good aspect about Budd wheels is that you can swap out the 2.5s and replace them with the 24 .5 inch options and get another 5 mph of speed added to your vehicle.

Budd vs Dayton Wheels Pros And Cons

Both styles of wheels have their good and bad points. Most mechanics and tire shops do not like working with Dayton wheels because of the risk of injury that comes with that design. Here are some pros and cons to help you make the right decision when it comes to purchasing a bus or switching wheel designs.



  • always stay true
  • clean looking
  • all heavy-duty shops work on them
  • can paint or chrome them
  • can swap smaller tires with larger ones


  • tires can be heavy to lift
  • 3/4 or 5/8 impact wrench needed to remove the lugs
  • 10 to 20 lugs to remove depending on the axle design



  • change tires with a breaker bar or torque wrench
  • change tires with a breaker bar or torque wrench
  • tires are lighter than Budd tires but may still seem heavy
  • only 5 to 6 lug nuts need to be removed per tire
  • have an interesting look to them


  • you have to work at it to get the wheels true
  • may slip on you if you do not tighten them correctly
  • hard to find tire shops that will work on them. May have to pay extra to get them, to do it
  • their looks are not for everyone and may downgrade the look of your vehicle

Are Dayton Rims Safe?


Yes and no. They are still being made and many school bus manufacturers are still using this wheel design in their models. However, that production style and somewhat popularity does not diminish the risks involved with this wheel design.

In driving with these wheels, you run the risk of having the parts blow apart when you are moving at significant speeds. Then if you do not tighten the lugs correctly, you could get a wobble in the tire. This is not a risk but it looks bad to other drivers.

But the main risk and what makes this design unsafe are the many instances where people and mechanics were injured or killed. This was done by flying wedges and other parts when trying to replace the tire.

These flying clamps or wedges can hit you between the eyes or other more vulnerable spots on your body. They do not come at you slowly either so you may not have time to react.

It is best to be very careful if your bus has this type of wheel design. You may not find many heavy-duty tire shops willing to work on them. So you would have to do it yourself.

Can you Change Dayton Wheels To Budd Wheels?

You can, but you need to make sure you have the budget to cover the expense. This is not going to be a cheap change as there are so many different parts that you need to change as well.

This is not a simple change like changing wheels on a car. You need to buy a new hub for each axle, plus new brake drums as well as the Budd wheels to go on those new hubs. The wheels themselves will set you back a fair penny as well.

Many people who buy buses or other trucks with Dayton wheels consider this option. But the cost alone, not to mention the labor involved, tends to discourage them from going any further than considering the project.

If you want to cut costs a little, you could go to the different junk or wrecking yards to see what parts they have available. But you never know what you will get when you buy used.

Dayton Wheels To Budd Wheels


If you want a complicated project to keep yourself busy, this is the one to pick. The wheels are not truly interchangeable and you will have to change other parts to make the conversion work.

This is where the expense comes in as you do need to buy new hubs, brake drums, and wheels for the bus. It may be possible to find a setup that only requires a hub change but those may be rare.

As we mentioned earlier, the only way to save any money is to shop the wrecking yards to see if you can find used hubs and brake drums in good shape. You also may be able to find Budd wheels that are not that expensive. The cheapest ones we saw new were around $350 each.

Dayton Truck Wheel Torque Specs

With the two Dayton lug nut options available, you also get two different torque specs. One for each size of lug. For the 3/4- 175 to 200 and for the 5/8 you will only need 150-175 torque.

While the latter requirement is correct, we found a discrepancy with the former spec. Another website said that for the 3/4 you need 200 to 260 torque on each lug nut. We suggest that you find an owner's manual for your particular vehicle and see what they recommend.

Or talk to a trusted heavy-duty mechanic and mention this difference and see what they say. There is enough of a difference there to be concerned.

How To Tell Real Dayton Wheels


There seems to be some discussion on this topic and no one seems to agree with each other. Except that no one disagrees with the fact that the newer wheels have the Dayton logo stamped on them.

The older wheels may only come with a number stamped on them. Some people have said that there is a sticker on the tire side as well but we have not been able to confirm this information.

If you have any doubts about your wheels, contact Dayton and ask them. They should have records that will help you identify those wheels and let you know if they are real or fake.

Some Final Words

The reason many school bus and truck makers still place Dayton tires on their vehicles is that they are easier to change when you have a flat. You only have to deal with 5 or 6 lug nuts and not 10 to 20.

Even though there is a lot of risks using these tires, this ease of operation outweighs those risks. The trick will be when you need a heavy-duty tire shop to replace the tire. Then you may be paying out some big bucks to get that task done.

Budd wheels are better and safer to use.

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