Keep Tire Contact At Bay
There's not a more sickening feeling than pulling out of the tire shop $1,200 lighter only to feel the sharp stab of your big, new rubber rip into your sheetmetal. A close second is hitting the twisties off-road and feeling your knobbies manhandling your suspension and frame as your axles articulate and you turn the wheel.
If only there was some way to check what size tire you could really fit under your vehicle before you buy. Well, if you've got access to such high-tech tools as a tape measure, a straight edge, and a dirt berm there is. Before you go and pony up for that new set of wheels and tires, take an hour to measure just how, where, and why your new tires may make contact. Just about every tire manufacturer lists tire dimensions on its Web sites. You can look up your dream tire's installed height and width on the company's recommended width rim. Then you can play with rim backspacing to put the tire exactly where it needs to be inside the wheelwell. Here are some things to check out.