Are you interested in buying a new set of wheels for your truck? We'll bet that you already spotted some cool wheels by cruising the shows, flipping through magazines, and catalogs, peeking in stores, surfing websites, and talking with your friends. You know the style of the wheel and the diameter but will the wheels fit your truck?
By far the most useful way to determine what truck lift kits are for you and your vehicle is to consult an experienced and knowledgeable person who has worked on wheel, tires and lift kits. Questions you may have when you get started are…
You can get great results by picking your tires first and choosing the appropriate truck suspension. Start by reviewing the manufacturer's recommended lift height or we can do it for you. Note that a tire size recommendation from a suspension manufacturer probably won't apply to another brand name. There is also the manufacturer recommendation regarding offset and width of wheels.
First, you will need to decide where you are going to drive your vehicle. Is your vehicle going to split time between the road or trail? If you decide trail, your vehicle will have more modifications. If you decide road, you will need to consider vehicles ability to brake corner and maneuver on asphalt.
Now that you know what tire you want, you are asking yourself what wheel will fit my tire. There is no exact tire size that will fit a particular wheel size. It is more of a range. Here is a link to help you determine the correct wheel.
In order to select the right wheel, you will need to get information off the tire.
In the first position, you will see either a P, LT, T or ST. The "P" stands for a passenger vehicle. If you see an LT it stands for "Light Truck". T stands for "Temporary" and ST stands for "Special trailer".
The next set is the width of the tire. The tire width refers to the measurement of one sidewall to the other sidewall.
This number tells you how tall your tires profile is. This number is a percentage. The number is calculated by dividing a tire's height of the rim by it's width.
After the aspect ratio, comes the type of internal construction maintaining your tires stability. There are two types.
R is Radial
This number tells which wheel can be mounted to the tire. This measurement is in inches and it is the diameter.
Tells you how much weight, in pounds, the tire can support when fully inflated. It is can be called the load index. It does not tell you the precise number but it does relate back to an index beginning with 1 and going to 150. This index weight starts with 99 and goes to 7385lbs.
The speed rating letter corresponds to a particular speed capability based on a standardized laboratory test.
For example, a tire with speed rating “S” is rated for up to 112 mph, while a tire rated “R” is up to 106 mph. Remember that this isn’t a recommended cruising speed. Of course, you should always follow legal speed limits on roadways.
You know the style of the wheel and the diameter but will the wheels fit? The backspace or offset of a wheel is necessary for determining how a wheel will fit inside of your fender. Most wheels' product descriptions include backspace and/or the offset, along with width and diameter. But, what is backspace and offset, all about?
Wheel offset is measured in millimeters and refers to the distance the wheel sticks inward or outwards in relation to the rim mounting surface.
The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. The offset can be one of three types (measured in millimeters).* The three types are zero, positive and negative offset.
The hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.
The hub mounting surface is toward the front or wheel side of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front wheel drive cars and newer rear drive cars.
The hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheels centerline. "Deep dish" wheels are typically a negative offset.