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What is the widest tire that will fit


Josh P

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@Josh P ,
I mounted 30.5×9.5" Firestone all terrain tires on 15" wheels on my 1987 4×4 regular cab, long bed Ranger when 100% stock; they had decent clearance in the rear wells but rubbed before full turn in both directions. This prompted me to install a body lift.

I could have ok let it be and lived with the rub but it made me feel dumber everytime I heard and felt it.
I had the same issue when I put 17 inch Mustang wheels on my Aerostar van. I could fit a 245/40 R17 without any problems in the front. I wanted to run 245/45 R17 but the tire rubbed the upper suspension in tight turns. I needed a wider tire in the back but it wouldn't fit. 4.10 gears and a T5 transmission with a 3.75 1st gear, I could walk it sideways from a rolling start.
 


JoshT

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I got to admit that I'm scratching my head over what your goal with this build is. 31s on a first gen make me think off road build. Then you say that they are going on Explorer 20" wheels so street truck or mall crawler. A.5" sidewall is a little big for bling factor, but a little low for off-road IMO. Then you say dana 30 solid front axle, back to off road rig. Throw in the mismatched flare side bed, unless you plan to change the bed sides.

I'm not knocking it, I'm just real curious as to what your goal is and how it will end up. FWIW I'm going against the grain with my '99, but seems like a different goal. It's probably getting dropped over Explorer 18" wheels, about a 29" tire (until I can go lower), 5.0 swapped with an AWD drivetrain. I'm not the only member to do it, but definitely not the norm
 

Josh P

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I got to admit that I'm scratching my head over what your goal with this build is. 31s on a first gen make me think off road build. Then you say that they are going on Explorer 20" wheels so street truck or mall crawler. A.5" sidewall is a little big for bling factor, but a little low for off-road IMO. Then you say dana 30 solid front axle, back to off road rig. Throw in the mismatched flare side bed, unless you plan to change the bed sides.

I'm not knocking it, I'm just real curious as to what your goal is and how it will end up. FWIW I'm going against the grain with my '99, but seems like a different goal. It's probably getting dropped over Explorer 18" wheels, about a 29" tire (until I can go lower), 5.0 swapped with an AWD drivetrain. I'm not the only member to do it, but definitely not the norm
I haven't fully decided on the engine yet, I have a 4.0 ohv I put flattop pistons in and a M90 supercharger. I'm thinking about a 351W and a T56 transmission. I have the transmission, I can change the extension housing and mate an awd transfer case to it. I'm seeing places that can tune the factory ecoboost pcm so it can run in another vehicle. Whichever way I go, it'll be a true sleeper down to old faded paint on the cab.
 

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I haven't fully decided on the engine yet, I have a 4.0 ohv I put flattop pistons in and a M90 supercharger. I'm thinking about a 351W and a T56 transmission. I have the transmission, I can change the extension housing and mate an awd transfer case to it. I'm seeing places that can tune the factory ecoboost pcm so it can run in another vehicle. Whichever way I go, it'll be a true sleeper down to old faded paint on the cab.
I still dont see how that jives with a 31" tire. Also, I would not attempt to do AWD on a TTB suspension or solid axle. They weren't designed to turn all the time or for being engaged on aspalt. I wouldn't trust it to survive long. Also keep in mind that the gear and tire sized have to match exactly front and rear or the AWD transfercase won't survive.
 

Josh P

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I still dont see how that jives with a 31" tire. Also, I would not attempt to do AWD on a TTB suspension or solid axle. They weren't designed to turn all the time or for being engaged on aspalt. I wouldn't trust it to survive long. Also keep in mind that the gear and tire sized have to match exactly front and rear or the AWD transfercase won't survive.
What would you suggest then? I'll have 15 inch rotors up front so I need at least an 18 inch wheel. I'm planning a V8 swap so I need a tire wider than a pizza cutter. As far as a awd transfer case not lasting long in this application, the np242 in the hummer holds up fine behind the power of that diesel in a 10k lb vehicle, I'd expect it to survive in a truck that weighs a lot less. I'm open to any ideas you might have.
 

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I didn't say anything about the wheel, I said tire size doesn't jive with what you seem to be describing. You also haven't given much explanation as to your goals. The bits that I see suggest that you are looking to build something fast, AWD, and moves well on road. I can not see how a 31" tall tire and solid axle will achieve those goals. If I am wrong and you are after the sam off-road then you are.going to want more than a 5" sidewall, even if it means a taller tire. You said sleeper so that sounds like a street rig to me.

On the subject, wheel diameter does not determine tire width.

I said AWD transfer case won't survive mismatched gearing and tire sizes. You never said (in this thread) what transfer case you were planning to use, the only one that Ford built that would fit this description was in the Explorer. Also the hummer may weigh 10k, but the power profile and use case between it and your gas engine are much different. Don't assume that just because it does fine in one it will in the other.

I said a TTB (early ranger) or solid axle will not survive. You said SAS, your hummer example does not use a solid axle. A SAS is going to require a lift in order to clear, which does not go well with what I gather your plans to be. An AWD SAS is not going to steer or handle great on the road. A SAS is going to add a bunch of weight. A SAS was not designed to survive long term in the conditions you suggest to use it, unless you plan to drop $$$$$ on an off-road competition axle, even those get serviced and rebuilt fairly often.
 

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What would you suggest then?
My suggestion, if you're doing that much work, drop it on a later SLA frame and do a coil over conversion. You'll be limited to 12" brake rotors (or custom build adapters) but they do a good job of stopping a Ranger. Then run what ever wheel and tire combo that you want and fits.

Or start from the ground up with a completely custom frame (at least front half). Build a custom A-Arm front suspension with front axle. It has to be doable, off-road racers build 4wd A-Arm race trucks, a few of ken blocks cars were AWD. That will probably require moving the engine back since the front diff and oil pan will want to occupy the same space.

With that figured, run the wheel size you need and what ever tire fits your build.
 

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I am very pleased with Cooper All Terrain tires that are 10.4" wide. My aftermarket wheels are slightly more off set than stock , extending them beyond the front fender wells. I don't mind. I put fender flares on. The rear tires don't extend out as far. If I were to do it all over again, I just might make the rear tires another 1' wider. Someway argue that this might affect the way the tires track, but I don't think so.
 

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I am very pleased with Cooper All Terrain tires that are 10.4" wide. My aftermarket wheels are slightly more off set than stock , extending them beyond the front fender wells. I don't mind. I put fender flares on. The rear tires don't extend out as far. If I were to do it all over again, I just might make the rear tires another 1' wider. Someway argue that this might affect the way the tires track, but I don't think so.
We just got Cooper Discoverer AT3 tires from 4Wheelonline and very pleased with the performance so far.
 

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i would run wider tires on the back. if i had bought the tires i just put on specifically for the ranger, i would have gotten a street performance tire and gotten the back tires a decent amount wider. i used to do that on all my rwd cars
 

Lefty

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i would run wider tires on the back. if i had bought the tires i just put on specifically for the ranger, i would have gotten a street performance tire and gotten the back tires a decent amount wider. i used to do that on all my rwd cars
Exactly. A rough guess is that 11 1/2" is a good width. They would probably no extend too far beyond the fenders. It's a little hard for me to tell. My wheels are slightly offset. The best way to find out is with a tape measure.

Some members may raise a concern that wider tires in back will not track properly when going through a turn. I believe that unless you have drag slicks, this is mainly academic. You won't notice the difference in handling. And like @superj suggests, you will have much better traction too.

Your mileage may be slightly worse. Wide tires, especially in back, also create a certain badass look.
 

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i would run wider tires on the back. if i had bought the tires i just put on specifically for the ranger, i would have gotten a street performance tire and gotten the back tires a decent amount wider. i used to do that on all my rwd cars
Some members may raise a concern that wider tires in back will not track properly when going through a turn. I believe that unless you have drag slicks, this is mainly academic. You won't notice the difference in handling. And like @superj suggests, you will have much better traction too.
Great idea for a 2wd. The concern here is that OP is talking about an AWD, so all tires need to match in diameter. Going different widths makes that very difficult. In metric sized tires the sidewall is an aspect ratio of the width. Both a 265/60R16 and a 285/60R16 may have the same aspect ratio (60), but they are going to be different heights because sidewall is 60% of tread width. In that scenario the 285 is going to be too tall to match the 265, but if you drop the 285 down to a 55 aspect ratio, it is too short to match. Also, even if the math works out, there is no gurantee that each tire manufacturer matches the math. Even in the same product line one tire size might trend large, while another might trend small, so it's really better to go by a tires rotations per mile (or what ever it is in tire language) specification.

2wd, is great with staggered wheel fitment. 4wd on the street in 2wd is ok with staggered tire fitment. 4wd in 4wd on soft dirt, sand, and grass is probably ok with staggered tire fitment since the ground will allow them to slip. Square tire fitment is really preferred for 4wd without a lot of though and effort put in. For an AWD square tire fitment is almost a must if you want it to last. From what I understand, even heavily worn tires on one end paired to new on the other can cause an issue.

Yet knowing all of that, I'm still in progress on building an V8 AWD street Ranger.
 

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