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Wide Wheels And Tires Buyer's Guide - Size Matters

A Guide To Wide Wheels And Tires And The Stuff To Make 'Em Fit

Calin Head
Nov 1, 2009
Photographers: Mike Finnegan, The Manufacturer
When it comes to custom trucks, size matters in one way or another. Don't believe us? We can prove it. The next time you talk to someone about your truck see how long it takes for the conversation to move towards the size subject. Remember, the amount of drop, lift, and engine cubic inches all fall into the size category. When the subject moves to wheels there are two sizes that can be considered-diameter and width. The diameter trend has been well-covered over the years with rims increasing to 30-plus inches, so we are checking out wide wheels here. The main focus of this guide is the aftermarket wheel size that started it all-width. That's right, way before there were 17s there were 17-inch-wide slicks slapped on the back of hot rods. The wide tires weren't just put out back because they look cool. They were installed in an attempt to wrangle the oodles of horsepower guys were starting to find. When that need for traction and added style met the road it was called the Pro Street look. Heck, there was even a Phantom Dually trend that fueled the fat tire truck market in the early '90s as well. Needless to say, the wide-tire look is pretty cool, even our models Elisabeth and Sarah know that wider is better. So sit back and enjoy our guide to everything you need to achieve the wide look, and hopefully it will help transform your stocker into a steamroller, Phantom Dually, Pro Street, or whatever you want to call it.
Photo 2/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide girls And Tire
1. Air BagIt Suspension
The company has a full line of rear suspension setups from bolt-on to universal kits for just about every truck made. Shown here is a universal triangulated four-link kit that comes with everything you need minus the welder. You can also pick up a C-notch, 'bags, and everything else needed to complement your new suspension. Suspension
(800) 842-8789
Photo 3/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide rear Suspension Setup
2. Art Morrison
You can't just stuff wide wheels on your truck without some chassis mods and Art Morrison can engineer, build, and fabricate custom rear clips for a variety of applications. Whether it is for drag race, Pro Street, corner carving, or laying rail, AME can take your dimensions and by utilizing a number of suspension options (ladder bar, 4-link, 3-link, 4-bar, air springs, coil springs, etc), create a rear subframe to fit your needs. All custom orders are drawn on a CAD (computer aided design) program, and the drawing is sent to you for final approval. Once the company gets the OK, fabrication begins. Art Morrison Enterprises Inc. can also supply axles, brakes, and third-member components to complete the package.
Art Morrison Enterprises
(866) 321-4499
Photo 4/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide rear Clip
3. Billet Specialties
These 15-inch-diameter Street Lite Wheels are available in either 14 or 15 inches wide with the 5-on-5 bolt circle. Of course a matching front wheel is available in sizes from 15x4 thru 15x10. Each Street Lite comes with SFI 15-1 certification for street or strip use and will work with 5/8-inch race studs and washers or standard mag shank lug nuts. The Street Lite is also lightweight with a 15x4 barely moving the needle on the scale at 9 pounds and a 15x15 coming in at 22.2 pounds. With these wheels you can truly walk the walk and talk the talk.
Billet Specialties
(800) 245-5382
Photo 5/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide street Lite Wheels
4. Cando Specialties
These upper and lower '97-'04 Dodge Dakota arms are designed to allow you to lay out on 22s but come with an added feature of pulling in the front track width. So these can be used to add wider tires to the front of a Dakota. The Lower A-arm comes with a TIG-welded lower bag plate made of 1/4-inch steel.
CanDo Specialties, Inc.
(530) 533-8680
Photo 6/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide upper And Lower Arms
5. Center Line
The 915 Retro is a two-piece billet wheel constructed of one-piece rotary forged aluminum center and a tradition rolled outer, resulting in the ability to diversify sizing and vehicle applications. The Retro is from the Legend Series, available in diameters ranging from 15 inches all the way to 20 inches. Widths vary in size but top out at 15 inches. Pad heights on this wheel are made to fit stock and aftermarket upgraded brake systems. Polished or black finishes are available.
Center Line Wheels
(800) 345-8671
Photo 7/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide billet Wheel
6. Currie Enterprises
Currie specializes in building complete 9-inch Ford rearends to customer specs. Narrowed, back-braced, heavy-wall tubes, 28-, 31-, 35-, and 40-spline axle options are all available. Currie basically just needs you to supply the overall width dimension from brake face to brake face, and where you would like the pinion set side-to-side, and the company will take it from there. It offers bracketry installation services and has a full service assembly area that can provide you with a complete rearend ready to install right out of the box.
Currie Enterprises
(714) 367-2672
Photo 8/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide rearend Parts
7. Falken Tire
When you go to a big rim diameter like a 26, the tire has to be at least 11-inches wide so it doesn't look like a wagon wheel. Enter Falken's Ziex S/TZ04. This all-season tire features a non-directional tread pattern, which allows for unrestricted rotation, extending the life of the tire. The 23-, 24-, and 26-inch diameters come in 11-inch widths so you don't have to roll on big skinnies.
Falken Tire Corporation
(800) 723-2553
Photo 9/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide falken Tire
8. Fatman
Fitting wide tires and adding traction is easily accomplished with Fatman's Rear Pro Link Four Bar kit. Nearly any axle can be used, with chrome coilovers standard, and all-stainless bars and hardware as an option. The Four Bar and coilovers can be mounted inside the framerail, allowing maximum tire clearance.
Fatman Fabrications
(704) 545-0369
Photo 10/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide rear Pro Link Four Bar Kit
9. Grant Kustoms
When it comes time to cover up those wide rollers, you will need new tubs. The wheeltubs from Grant Kustoms are fully welded and metal-finished and come with the option of a beveled edge or a radiused edge. Notch covers can also be built with radiused corners or sharp brakes. They can be made in a variety of custom sizes and shapes, and you can even send the company a profile pattern and it will build it to match.
Grant Kustoms
(530) 532-7832
Photo 11/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide wheeltubs
10. MHT
Check out the two-piece (bolt-together or welded) 20-inch Foose Nitrous, which is available in widths ranging from 7 to 15 inches. The wheel comes in chrome, polished, or any color in the spectrum. The Foose Nitrous is also available in a 22x12 three-piece version. Foose Nitrous and other Foose designs are exclusively manufactured and distributed through MHT Luxury Alloys and its warehouses.
MHT Wheels
(800) 493-7891
Photo 12/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide foose Nitrous
11. Mickey Thompson
M/T has the biggest DOT-approved street-legal radial tire on the market right now with its Sportsman S/R. These wide rollers are available for 15-, 18-, and 20-inch wheels in tire diameters from 26 to 33 inches, and widths up to 20 inches. The tires feature polyester/fiberglass belting and radial construction for a smooth comfortable ride, a rim flange protector to protect wheels from curb damage, and a directional tread pattern designed for improved wet traction and handling. Matching front "skinny" tires and billet rims are available as well for a complete package.
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels
(800) 222-9092
Photo 13/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide radial Tire
12. Nitto
The NT420S was specifically engineered to be a high-performance radial, and the company has 18 different sizes that are over 11 inches wide. The tires outer shoulder has large, continuous blocks to improve dry traction, while the inner shoulder channels away water for wet performance. The NT420S has a non-directional tread pattern that can be rotated front-to-back and side-to-side.
Nitto Tire
Photo 14/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide nitto Tire
13. QA1
The company has some products that will make the job of scratch-building a rear suspension much simpler to accomplish. QA1 has a full line of rod ends, spherical bearings, pre-cut tabs, weld-on wrench hexes, tube adapters, and coilover shocks that you can use to design and build your own suspension setup. Grab the welder and some tubing and you could be four-linked in no time.
QA1 Motorsports
(800) 721-7761
Photo 15/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide coilover Shock
14. Stockton
When you need an extra wide wheel but don't want to stray away from the factory look, Stockton Wheel Service offers custom wheel widths and offsets that fit any application, including Pro-Street vehicles. Stockton offers factory 14- through 17-inch steel GM Rally, Mopar Rally, Ford Henry (shown), or any factory steel wheel up to 18 Inches wide and in just about any offset and popular bolt pattern. In addition, Stockton's custom steel wheels are available in raw steel, fully chromed, or with a powdercoated finish.
Stockton Wheel Service
(800) 395-9433
Photo 19/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide wheel Widths
15. Summit Racing
Hoosier's Quick Time D.O.T. tires feature a reduced tread pattern that somehow got D.O.T. approval and a special soft compound that provides gobs of traction. This makes them ideal for drag racing classes that require a street-legal tire. They feature bias-ply construction with solid white letters on the sidewall. They're available in tread widths from 9 inches all the way up to 17 inches, with section widths up to 21.5 inches and 14- and 15-inch diameters.
Summit Racing
(800) 230-3030
Photo 20/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide tire
16. Toyo
The Proxes ST II by Toyo Tires is the newest high-performance tire created for today's SUVs, sport trucks, and select crossovers. The fresh design and advanced tread elements of the Toyo Proxes ST II deliver a balance of style and all-season performance and consistent wear. They are available in 16- to 26-inch rim diameters with widths range from 225 to 315mm and 65- down to 30-series profiles. The Proxes ST II is available in V, W, and Y speed ratings and includes OE and plus fitments.
Toyo Tire U.S.A.
(800) 678-3250
Photo 21/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide toyo Tire
17. Wheels Vintiques
Another company that offers the factory-look wheels in just about any width and backspacing combination is Wheels Vintiques. You can get a set of these 15-inch-diameter Rallye rims in widths ranging from 6 inches all the way up to 14 inches. To accessorize these rims you can choose from numerous hubcap and trim ring options (a Camaro style is shown). The rims can be ordered in bare steel, chrome, or powdercoat finishes.
Wheel Vintiques
(559) 251-6957
Photo 22/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide rallye Rim
18. Vintage Wheel Works
The Vintage 45 has five curved spokes that have a rounded "D" shape. It has a media-blasted center and polished outer barrel. The center disc is manufactured from virgin 356 aluminum ingots and heat-treated to a T6 factor. The outer barrel is made from spun 6061 sheet-aluminum and has a fully polished front surface. Available in 17x7-, 8-, 9-, 9.5- and 11-inches, the rims are available in a variety of different five-lug patterns with custom backspacing and bolt patterns available.
Vintage Wheel Works
(714) 690-4700
Photo 23/23   |   wide Wheels And Tires Buyers Guide rim


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