SCORE Journal

SCORE-Journal-June-2021

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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SIZE MATTERS Tips For Proper Wheel And Tire Fitment By Dan Sanchez Upgrading to a cool set of wheels and tires gives off-road enthusiasts the look and capabilities they want out of their vehicles, but it’s a big investment that also requires proper measurements and fitment. Most of us want a larger, more aggressive tire, but we don’t want it to rub against suspension components or get sliced on inner fenders. Knowing what fits before you snag a sale price on a set of wheels and tires that may not fit, take time to do some initial measurements. Measuring the section width and backspacing of your factory wheel and tire (mounted) will also give you a baseline to determine what will fit with your desired wheel/tire combination. For example, if you want a tire that is wider than the factory combination, you will need more wheel backspacing for it to fit properly. Also, take into account any new suspension components such as spindles and A-arms that may require more space to clear. Start with what wheel manufacturers know. Many wheel manufacturers already have a good idea of what fits your vehicle and often have suggestions based on what model wheels they’ve already created. Raceline Wheels, for example, has a vehicle configurator on its website that allows you to input your year, make, and model vehicle to match the wheel sizes that fit. This will often give you a good starting point. For this application, we chose the Raceline #949B 7X which has a simulated beadlock and seven-spoke design. Compare the wheel widths and diameters available for your vehicle with the tire and size you think will work. Tire manufacturers also have sizing charts that give that information. As an example, if you wanted a BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 on your vehicle, the company’s website offers a size chart listing all of the tire sizes for a variety of wheel diameters. The chart will show the tire’s overall diameter and section width when mounted to a variety of wheel widths. Measuring the section-width and backspacing of your factory wheel and tire will give you a baseline to determine what will fit with your desired wheel/tire combination. For example, if you want a tire that has a wider section width than the factory combination, you will need more wheel backspacing for it to fit properly. In this application, the truck will get a BDS Coil-Over suspension system that will provide a 3.5-inch lift and more wheel travel. This will provide plenty of room for the 32.8” BFG KM3 tires and look great with the Raceline wheels. The backspacing of the wheels will give this truck plenty of room within the fender wells but it will also extend it out farther beyond the factory fenders a bit. In this situation, aesthetics are a personal choice. Some off-road enthusiasts like the added tire “bulge” while others can add a set of fender flares. Whichever is the case, the most important part is to make sure there’s no tire contact with any suspension components. In addition, the larger tire diameters may also call for a recalibration of the factory ECU. In this application on a Ford Ranger, it has the Ford Performance ProCal programmer that makes it easy to change tire calibrations.SJ Sources: Raceline Wheels https://racelinewheels.com BFGoodrich Tires https://www.bfgoodrichtires.com Ford Performance Parts https://performanceparts.ford.com/vehicles/Ranger

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