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Later Explorer wheels on Ranger


JoshT

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I've got another thread about 17" Mustang wheels, and got good options from there, but I'm not dead set on them.

Looking around Facebook today I spotted some "Ranger wheels" for sale. Unuh first glance, those ain't Ranger wheels. No real description but I had a sneeking suspision that they are Explorer wheels. Find a couple more postings of same wheels by same seller. Read description and it says "33x12.5 18". Those definitely ain't Ranger wheels, but they kind of look good on there.

Ranger with Explorer wheels black.jpg

Ranger with Explorer wheels silver.jpg

Actually came across the listing with the black wheels first and it's the oldest of the three, I think it's plastidip black because the second listing (not pictured) has the wheels off the truck and you can still see remnants of the black coating on them. Now I don't plan to buy this set, for starters I'm not ready for them yet. I also think the price is way too high, I don't want 33s, and the tires are too worn to sell them and offset the cost of the right size.

Further googling confirms that they are 18x8 off a ~2017 Ford Explorer. That's a go for having the right lug pattern at least. I always thought that those Explorers had more offset than the Rangers and fit more like a car wheel. I'm figuring that the guy must have run spacers, but I can't get him to answer a simple question, he just wants to sell them.

Any of you tried to run these on a Ranger? Did you need spacer and and, if so, how thick?

These would be going on my 99 4x4. They won't fit with my hubs, but I'm going to be converting to live axles in the (hopefully) near future.
 


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i never knew those were the right bolt pattern. thats awesome
 

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Some of the Explorer rims have a different offset than Ranger rims. Which are the same and which are different, I can’t say. The tech article section might have that information.

Lug pattern wise, I think they all fit. Some rims will just sit too far in and will rub on things when turning.
 

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I bought a set of 16” explorer wheels a few years ago, they had quite a positive offset to them. Never did run them, I found the set of m/t classic 2 wheels (thats on the truck now) about a week after I bought the explorer wheels, I liked the m/t’s better so I sold the explorer wheels. I think they would of needed a spacer or the fronts would hit the radius arms and frame during turns. I dont think I ever even put them on the truck.
0AC9A729-95BD-4401-8E70-B9F085C9C850.jpeg
 

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Well I might find out for myself. A set popped up on Facebook about an hour and a half away for $200. Kind of hard for me to get there in the afternoon, but if they will hold them until Friday or Saturday I might go get them.
 

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The 2017 Explorer had 18" wheels with offset in the range of +45. The Ranger needs about +12. So the difference of around 33 is around 1.3" I have 1.25" adapters on mine with the early 2000s Mustang wheels, which are about that same offset as the Explorer ones mentioned. I strongly recommend adapters that are hub centric so everything stays centered on the axle.

fyi, I also had the Adrenaline 20" wheels on the Ranger for about a month and I could not stand them. They looked great, but rode like a lumber wagon - there is just not enough sidewall to ride decent on the truck. So I snagged these 17" Mustang wheels and painted them with 2k paint, which seems to be holding up just fine.
 

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JoshT

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The 2017 Explorer had 18" wheels with offset in the range of +45. The Ranger needs about +12. So the difference of around 33 is around 1.3" I have 1.25" adapters on mine with the early 2000s Mustang wheels, which are about that same offset as the Explorer ones mentioned.
Have you got a shot of your truck from front or rear that kind of shows how the tire lines up with the body side?
 

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The center of the wheel is at the same location as stock (within .12") Because they are wider wheels, the outside edge is out further, and the inside edge is in further, but no clearance issues with this setup.
 

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Lefty

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I'm not a mechanic. So I need to ask.

What is the advantage to a larger wheel and a smaller tire? Does it reduce unsprung weight?
 

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I think most manufacturers went that route for bigger brakes. Try putting a 15” wheel on most vehicles that came with 16”s, you usually can’t because the rim will hit the brake caliper. The only exception Ive seen is the jeep liberty, you can put 15” jeep steel wheels on one and they came with 16’s. Theres very little extra room though.
 

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A bigger wheel fits larger brakes, and "looks better" to what manufacturers believe to be the majority of buyers. This is why wheels are big now. There's no way your gonna get a brand new one ton truck to stop while at max capacity if it had brakes that fit inside 15" wheels. A 1990 f350 had a max tow rating of 12,500... while a 2023 f350 is able to tow pretty much double that.

On road handing/feel is generally improved with a shorter sidewall as well.. to a point anyways.

Probably not saving any weight with a larger wheel/smaller tire combo. To achieve such a thing would require wheels that cost as much as a new car and the tires to have sidewalls thick enough to be bullet proof lol.
 

don4331

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2023 F-350 DRW 4x2 6.7L Diesel RC has max towing (gooseneck) of 38,000 lbs (GCWR - 43,900lbs). More than triple the 1990s (which explains the big front grill for intercooler and radiator).

Offsetting the rim and making it larger diameter makes it easier for engineers to fit power front wheel drive components. With components better packaged, there's less torque steer/better suspension geometry.

Stock F-150 aluminum rims go from 27lbs for 17" to 40lbs for 20" to 47lbs for 22s. Tire weight (sticking to Scorpion ATRs) goes from 39 to 41 lbs for tires of same overall diameter (width increases from 265 to 295 so not exactly apples to apples but best I could do; most of the weight is in the tread/belts) so no real weight loss for tires. Larger diameter rims make for heavier combination is short answer.

Aside: Aftermarket Fuel rims and TA K02 tires were >50% heavier than stock, and my F150 felt it at every start and stop.
 

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2023 F-350 DRW 4x2 6.7L Diesel RC has max towing (gooseneck) of 38,000 lbs (GCWR - 43,900lbs). More than triple the 1990s (which explains the big front grill for intercooler and radiator).

Offsetting the rim and making it larger diameter makes it easier for engineers to fit power front wheel drive components. With components better packaged, there's less torque steer/better suspension geometry.

Stock F-150 aluminum rims go from 27lbs for 17" to 40lbs for 20" to 47lbs for 22s. Tire weight (sticking to Scorpion ATRs) goes from 39 to 41 lbs for tires of same overall diameter (width increases from 265 to 295 so not exactly apples to apples but best I could do; most of the weight is in the tread/belts) so no real weight loss for tires. Larger diameter rims make for heavier combination is short answer.

Aside: Aftermarket Fuel rims and TA K02 tires were >50% heavier than stock, and my F150 felt it at every start and stop.
A most impressive and highly detailed answer.
 

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I'm not a mechanic. So I need to ask.

What is the advantage to a larger wheel and a smaller tire? Does it reduce unsprung weight?
Is because I want it a good enough answer?

My reason is about 75% styling, maybe 25% the on road handling/feel as Blmpkn mentioned. I don;t want to go huge wheel and rubber band tires, but the shorter sidewall look has grown on me over the years for a primarily street use vehicle. Since the future use of this truck is going to be about 95% on pavement, I want to carry it in that direction.

Mechanically there is no advantage to my going to a taller than stock tire. While I do intend to swap on the slightly larger brake from a 2004+ Ranger next time I need a brake job, we're talking 12 inch vs 11.25 inch stock for my truck. The 2004+ still ran the same size 16" wheel I'm running now.

A bigger wheel fits larger brakes, and "looks better" to what manufacturers believe to be the majority of buyers. This is why wheels are big now. There's no way your gonna get a brand new one ton truck to stop while at max capacity if it had brakes that fit inside 15" wheels. A 1990 f350 had a max tow rating of 12,500... while a 2023 f350 is able to tow pretty much double that.

On road handing/feel is generally improved with a shorter sidewall as well.. to a point anyways.

Probably not saving any weight with a larger wheel/smaller tire combo. To achieve such a thing would require wheels that cost as much as a new car and the tires to have sidewalls thick enough to be bullet proof lol.
Tell me about it. Dad's 2021 F-150 w/ ecoboost V6 has nearly the same official tow capacity as the 2000 F-250 7.3L that it replaced. I'm not going to say that the Ecoboost has the endurance of the 7.3L, or that the 7.3L isn't capable of a lot more than that official rating, but a lot of that official rated capacity comes from the brakes. The ones on that new truck are huge in comparison. That's ok, both exceed anything that I need and I'll keep the F-250 around atleast until I get the F-100 somewhat restored.

Styling and handling/feel are the main reasons I'm doing it. 17/18" is as big as I want to go though, any larger and there isn't enough sidewall left IMO.

Bulletproof sidewalls... Based on past experience, I could use some of those.

Stock F-150 aluminum rims go from 27lbs for 17" to 40lbs for 20" to 47lbs for 22s. Tire weight (sticking to Scorpion ATRs) goes from 39 to 41 lbs for tires of same overall diameter (width increases from 265 to 295 so not exactly apples to apples but best I could do; most of the weight is in the tread/belts) so no real weight loss for tires. Larger diameter rims make for heavier combination is short answer.
I don't expect I'll be saving much on weight. Going from what IMO are fairly solid 16" wheel, to an 18 with less mass, I don't think I'm going to gain much either. Will probably never know. I might weight the new wheel before install, but I doubt I'll care enough to remove a tire from the old wheel and weight it. Now down the road I might go aftermarket on the wheels and expect I will be saving a little weight then. Not enough to be worth it on weight savings along, but some.

Another thing to take into consideration is the intended usage of the tires being run. Like many people on this forum, or people with trucks in general, I've currently got an all terrain truck tire. Future usage of the truck doesn't need an all terrain tire, an all season performance or highway tire would be more fitting for usage. If I need to pull a heavy trailer, I've got the F-100 and F-250 that will both do it more comfortably (albeit more expensively), so I also don't need a truck tire with it's heavier load ratings. An all season passenger car tire would suffice for my intended uses for the truck, and still have a high enough load rating for the rated capacity of the truck. Both things are moves that can result in weight savings.

My current tires are 255/70R16 Falken Wildpeak AT3/w and weigh in at about 40lb/per tire. Highway tires in the same size average 34 lb/per tire.

If I stick with the 30" diameter and similar 10" section width when I go 18, I'm looking at about a 255/60R18. A highway tire in that size averages about the same at 33lb/tire.

If I stay that diameter and sacrifice a little on width to a 9.3 section width, it's looking like a 235/65R18 which happens to be the stock size tire for the wheels I'm picking up. That looking like around 31 lb/tire for an all season highway tire.

I might drop down into the 29"range. The Saleen XP8 which has a similar stance to what I want to achieve came with a 255/55R18 stock tire size which is about 29 x 10. There is a LOT of selection in this size with a wide range fo classifications. Looking at "all season" and "Truck/SUV All Season" I see anywhere from 26.6-39 lb per tire with the truck/suv version being mostly the upper half of that range.It looks like most of the tires I'd be interested in from that list average around 30 lbs, but it's such a large range it could be anywhere from 29-33 per tire.

Again if I drop width below 10 inches in the 29" diameter were looking at a 235 (9.3" s.w.) or 245/60R18 (9.6" s.w.). Those are averaging in the 29 lb per tire range too.

We're looking at anywhere from 6 -10 lb/tire per corner weight savings from tires alone. Then there are the added benefits of lower rolling resistance, better wear characteristics, and better handling from both the style of tire and the larger wheel.

Your example of the F-150 above is about 4lb gained per inch of diameter, so lets assume number that is correct in all cases. It's not, the weight will vary a lot by style and other factors, but lets go with it for now. These 18" wheels are going to weight an additional 8lb per wheel over the 16" (I don't think that they will) that's still nearly the same weight with the before and after. Even if the weight is the same, the other benefits are worth it.
 
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JoshT

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FWIW I'm leaning towards the 255/55R18 if I can get the truck sitting how I want.
 

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