Sizing Custom Wheels & Tires For Safety, Performance
Compare OEM factory issue wheel size with the custom wheels after-market selections. Learn about chrome, mag, alloy, steel finishes plus small-to-large sizes and fitments.
Plus Sizing Your Alloy Wheel Upgrade
Over 80% of after-market wheel and tire upgrades concern re-sizing or plus-sizing your components. Here's the core guideline that you need to keep in mind.
Try to plus-size your wheel and tire package on condition that the resulting new overall diameter does not exceed 3% of the factory issue original equipment.
So, you may be wondering, why 3% and how can this be important? The answer is multi-part. A larger replacement alloy wheel creates a longer rotation line, therefore your speedometer and odometer will give inaccurate readings to you (and potentially to the patrolman).
Next, plus-sizing may cause your transmission to alter shift point, which in turn could negatively impact fuel usage. Meanwhile, plus sizing beyond 3% of OEM specs could cause your braking system computers (microprocessors) and sensors to malfunction, resulting in braking failure and accident.
Bottom line, a lot is riding on your rims so be smart even while making your rig look cool. Basic solution is to increase rim size while reciprocally reducing tire size .
Your custom after-market wheels must be bought in 4s, with each wheel and tire carefully balanced. Next, your wheel service technician needs to ensure to you that he's handled the alignment and corrected for the three major suspension angles (caster, camber and toe) which bear on your driving performance. Last, installation of custom alloy wheels or any after market wheel should include provision for using a hub centric ring in order to obtain a "true" fit between your wheel and your hubs.
When handled professionally, tire sizing, balancing, alignment and installation will provide you with a smooth ride, better cornering and stability and limited vibration and road noise.
A tip for maintaining chrome or mag wheels is to use a commercial buffer to re-finish the surface, or simply use ordinary white toothpaste which carries just the right amount of abrasive to create a highly polished surface.