1)Wheel Sizes Explained
Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade the look of your ride with new wheels, or considering another set of wheels and tires for specific purposes like off-roading or winter driving. If finding original equipment (OE) replacement tires is fairly straightforward, the introduction of wheels into the equation can make things quite a bit more complicated. Just about any vehicle can accommodate a larger or smaller wheel size than stock, and depending on your vehicle and purposes, the ideal wheel size and specification can vary significantly.To get you briefed on the basics and headed in the right direction, let’s start with some commonly asked questions about wheel sizes and aftermarket wheels.
2)How wide or narrow should your new wheels be?
3)What do we mean by “clearance?”
Within each wheel well is spacing between the wheel and tire and the surrounding vehicle components. This amount of space varies from vehicle to vehicle. Certain trucks have the wheel well space to accommodate a much wider wheel than stock, whereas other vehicles are able to fit only a slightly wider wheel than stock (if at all) without modification in the wheel well area. The space between your stock wheels and tires, and all surrounding vehicle components is called clearance.
4)Suggestion of new wheels
Regardless of whether your purpose in fitting new wheels is advanced by a wider set of wheels, you are first and foremost limited by the available clearance.To determine clearance, an automotive professional will need to measure and evaluate the space between your stock wheels and tires and all surrounding components. Clearance should be evaluated at both the front and rear axles, and while the suspension is loaded with the vehicle weight. (Unloaded suspension changes the geometry, and could lead to inaccurate clearance measurements.) Be sure to also take clearance measurements in the front wheel wells while moving the steering wheel from lock to lock.If you carry heavy loads or haul a trailer, and/or drive over rough roads, be sure to account for the added vehicle weight, a compressed suspension system, and an associated loss of clearance.
5)How to tell if rims will fit my tires?
6)Where to find your tire’s diameter
Determining wheel width is a bit trickier. The tire section width, which is the first number in the tire size sequence and expressed in millimeters (“225” in the diagram above), hints at the wheel width, but does not give a certain or conclusive answer. This is because any given wheel width can accommodate more than one tire width. A 225 millimeter section width tire, for example, can be fitted to an 8" or 8.5" wide wheel.To determine wheel width and the full specification details of your stock wheels, the dealership service department is often a good resource. Then with the full stock wheel specification in hand you can look for equivalents or close matches.
7)What is wheel diameter?
Wheel diameter is perhaps most easily thought of as the measurement from top to bottom, or across the face of the wheel.Tire size details are a clear indication of wheel diameter as detailed above.If wheels are not fitted with tires, a standard measurement with a tape measure will tell you what you need to know. Exclude the outer wheel lips that hold the tire in place as a part of the diameter measurement. The diameter measurement occurs across the front face of the wheel, excluding the lips/edges.
Wheel size has been both popularized and simplified in modern pop culture. In music or elsewhere you might have heard wheels referred to as “20s,” “22s,” “Dubs,”etc.