Trying to decide on tire size. Not a Ranger, still a Ford.


JoshT

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So I recently decided to brings dad's old 68 F-100 out of hibernation. It's a 4wd with the coil buckets lowered 1" and a 2" body lift for 3" of lift. When he lifted it the truck was running 33s, but was on 32s before it was parked. Some pics of the truck for reference:

Here's the truck shortly before being parked


How it looked when I started working on it about a month ago




Sitting next to dad's F-250 4wd (the truck that replaced it)


So prior to seeing it beside the F-250 I was planning to remove the body lift and stick with 32" tires. Now I'm leaning towards keeping the extra lift, but probably want to go back to 33s if I do. If I go this route I'll eventually be swapping the BL for suspension lift, just don't like BLs and don't want the gap when I go back to stock bumpers.

Wheels are stock steel 15x7 from later F-150 and they will be staying for a bit. On a wider wheel 33x12.5 would be an obvious choice, on these 15x7s I think they might be too wide though. 33x10 would fit the wheels well and I also think the tall narrow tire would look good on this old truck. Biggest problem with the 33x10 is availability.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Stick with 32 and remove the BL? Wide 33s, narrow 33s?

FWIW I'm also thinking about stepping up to 16" or 17" inch wheels down the road. Like the wheel to tire ratio of the old 16.5" wheels, but want to go aluminum and a common wheel size. That's not going to happen until I get a lot of other stuff done on the truck.
 
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There's not much difference either way. Only 1/2" difference in how close to the fenders either size would be. If it was mine, I would keep the body lift and go with 33's and look into suspension lift in the future. But it's really all about how you want to use the truck and what you can afford. The truck looks good.

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JoshT

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Mostly going to be a driver (not daily, maybe weekly) and truck duties. My 99 Ranger is basically dead, most likely needs a motor. Was already wanting a bigger truck with more engine, I also wanted to fix up this F-100 someday and it's got the 390FE engine. Instead of spending the money on the Ranger decided to go ahead and start on this thing. So far I'm happy that I did.

It will be a "hunting truck", but not much of an off-roader, it'll mostly stay at camp while I use an ATV to get around. Probably roughest driving it'll see is forest service roads when camping, not that I've done much of that in a long time. Mostly driving from time to time, pulling a loaded trailer, making the occasional dump run. Probably heaviest thing I'll pull with it is dad's old Yanmar 2000 tractor with a brush cutter, or maybe the 86 Ranger if I ever get back working on it.

If I do go 33, should I stick with a x10 on those 15x7s? There seems to be pros and cons to both the x10 and x12.5.
 

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I wouldn't put 32's on anything simply because they're kind of an oddball tire size these days (hard to find a spare if you trash one halfway through its lifespan and don't want to buy one brand new.)

If it were me I would go with a narrow 33 on your 15x7's. In the future I'd skip the 16's altogether and jump into a 17" wheel - 17's seem to be the 15's of 30 years ago right now and will be an easy to find, cheap LT tire for quite a while into the future. 265-70-17 or so would be a good size for that truck, I'd think.
 

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In the future I'd skip the 16's altogether and jump into a 17" wheel - 17's seem to be the 15's of 30 years ago
I agree. It's getting harder finding used LT 16", never mind 15".
 

JoshT

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Thanks for the replies. Want to say they helped, but they didn't much.

Been doing a little shopping and have just about decided to skip the 15s altogether. My current preferred All-Terrain tire is the Falken Wildpeak AT3w, due to good price and prior experience, so that's what I've mostly been pricing out to compare options. Unfortunately it isn't available in 33x10.5R15 so had to price a BFG AT T/A KO3 on that one.

32x11.5R15 = $747 (current tire size)
33x10.5R15 = $863 (high price + limited availability = not a chance)
33x12.5R15 w/ 15x8 Soft 8 wheels = $999

Those were higher than expected, and avaiability of the 32 is even worse than is was when I bought he last set for my Ranger. Got me curious as to what tires and steel wheels in 16" or 17" would cost, so I priced them out as well.

265/75R16 w/ 16x8 Soft 8 wheels = $891
265/70R17 w/ 17x8 Soft 8 wheels = $907

Looking at tire size charts over on Tiresize.com I had pretty much come to the same conclusion as Shran suggested. I think I want to stay right around the size of a 32x11.5 and those two sizes are right on the mark. The 265/75R16 is stock size on the early 2000s F-150 4wd, and the 265/70R17 was a stock size on the Dodge Ram 1500 around the same time frame. Due to applications, both sizes are common enough to be around for quite some time.

Y'all were mentioning LT tires above. I'm not going to go for an LT tire on this truck, at least not currently. It is an F-100, a 1/2 ton, and all my loads should be well within the weight limits of the tires selected. For a little comparison using the Falken tires I'm looking at:

32x11.5R15LT (current size) = 2535 lb/tire
265/75R16 = 2756lb lb/tire
265/70R17 = 2679lb lb/tire

All of the above exceed the weight rating of the truck. The 16s and 17s are a hundred plus pounds higher than the 32s I considered, even more compared to the 33s. Regular tires will also have better ride, handling and wear than the LT tires.

Going ahead and moving up to 16 or 17 also has the added advantage of not requiring new tires when I eventually move to alloy wheels. Opens up the future wheel budget a bit if I'm just shopping for wheels, not wheels and tires. Now I've just got to decide on 16s or 17s. when I move to alloys I will want something with classic styling. Something like slot mag, outlaw II, baja, or anything else that would look at home on a late 60s or early 70s truck.
 


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