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Later Explorer wheels on Ranger


rubydist

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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?
No, as described above it actually increases unsprung weight, sometimes by a lot! But they do fit larger brakes which is sometimes important.

I put the 20" wheels on it because I liked how they look and I came across a set for a good price. As I mentioned, after driving the truck on them for a while, I went back to a setup with more tire sidewall for a better ride. I am past the point in my life where I will not put up with getting my kidneys pounded into my chest just to look cool.
 
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JoshT

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Well that escalated quicker than I expected.

20230423_195946.png

I did get the wheels. After talking to the seller I found out that they were practically new. It seems that the original owner purchased aftermarket wheels for his Explorer with around 1000 miles on the odometer and had his original tires swapped over. This appears to be somewhat confirmed by the condition and the boxes I got the wheels in. It looks like original owner put them in the boxes for the new wheels for storage and a shipping date I found on one is August 2018, these wheels would have come on a 2011-2018 Explorer. The seller for some reason didn't check lug pattern compatability before buying these to put on his late 90s F-150. Once he figured out they were the wrong pattern he decided to go with something else and sell these. If he liked them he could have run an adapter, but then I wouldn;t have gotten them.

That's one piece of the puzzle down, next step is dropping the truck down and fitting tires.

Yeah, about that last part...

20230423_200103.png

Well, after I got home from picking up the wheels yesterday morning I popped back onto Facebook. A few weeks ago I'd seen a set of 255/55R18 tires for sale on there. Figured I'd see if they were still there. No bueno, but these were near the top of my marketplace listings when I searched tires.

"Free Tires....Come Get'em"

You had me at free. They're 245/60R18 which is taller than the 255/55, but shorter than the 30s I have now. New they would have been somewhere in the middle. Now they were free for a reason, they're nearly bald, at or near the wear bars. That's actually great for my purposes though. Being that worn they are closer to the 255/55R18 diameter, which will let me see if I can get the suspension low enough to like a 29" tire. If it works out they'll be perfect for driving to get an alignment then new tires installed. If that size doesn't don't work out they'll do for getting the truck to the alignment without destroying my current tires, then I can use them for making other projects mobile in the yard until it's time for tires on the truck again.

I saved the guy the headache of figuring out how to dispose of them and at most I'm out a few bucks to get the tires mounted. I may be able to get them mounted for free if things work out right. I have a friend that has a one man automotive shop in another town and has a tire machine, but it's a 2 hour round trip in the wrong direction. Good excuse to go visit for a few hours if I can find the time (and I probably can this week), but I also don't want to intrude on where he makes his living.

If mounting them myself works out, I'm out nothing since GA charges a tire disposal fee with purchase of new tires whether you had old tires or not. We can thank all the people dumping old tires on the road side for that one. The fee is kind of like a tax to help clean up and disposal of the illegally dumped tires, or atleast that's what I was told by a few people in the business.

Here's the loose wheel and tire sitting on the ground beside the truck to give an idea of what it might look like after install. I should have found a block or something to set the wheel on, but use your imigination. If I get them mounted soon I'll post a picture of that by the truck or maybe pop one on the rear if it'll fit well enough, without a spacer. To satisfy curiosity I'll also weight a wheel/tire from each set to see the actual difference.

20230423_195756 (2).png

FWIW I've got about 4 inches I can easily take out of the back suspension between the explorer springs and the lift shackle. Or I may go the other way with an spring under explorer axle and keep the springs and shackles. We'll see what the front allows before I make that decision.
 

JoshT

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Tires got mounted today. Here they are by the truck to give an idea of what they might look like.

20230425_151517.jpg


I wouldn't know squat about using photoshop if I had it, and I don't. Here's my quick lame attempt at "photoshopping" with Window's built in Paint 3D. If you squint really hard, thinking the front might be pretty close to how it'll end up sitting over the wheels, the back will hopefully be down a little more.

Untitled.jpg
 

85_Ranger4x4

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On road handing/feel is generally improved with a shorter sidewall as well.. to a point anyways.
+1

The national speed limit ain't 55 anymore.

My F-150 has 18's, if I could find a set of 17's that "fit" the truck and I had the money to swap I would in a heartbeat.

I dunno, I think in addition to be able to airing down better more sidwall rides better, less firm/jarring.
 

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