Why Does Your Wheel And Tire Size Matter?

The correct wheel and tire combination make all the difference if clearing the fender well is your main objective. For those who have the 0-3 inch lift on their truck it is especially crucial due to the proximity of the tire to the fender well.

In this guide we’ll share our most preferred setup and why it works for us. Some people might claim that they can run a -44 mm offset wheel packages with 35 inch tires on a 2 inch leveling kit and have zero tire rub on the fender well. To be fair, in our experience this might be true of street trucks with limited suspension travel and never driven to their full potential.

Here at Thuren Fabrication our goal is always to provide durable components that can withstand the wear and tear you put your truck through all while maintaining a setup that will handle well and keep you happy for miles to come both on and off road.

The Myth: Lift Height Equals More Tire Clearance

The most common lift height for Dodge Trucks falls within the 0-3 inch range and the myth is that lift equates tire clearance. Regardless of your lift height, if you maintain proper suspension components geometry, aftermarket wheels with proper offset, your tire size and wheel size combo will clear the fender wells.

What matters the most is even a truck lifted from stock height to a 3 inch lift will still bottom out at the same rate and location. Our suspension systems and components are high performance and meant to be run hard and will handle great for everyday driving.

What Thuren Fabrication will not suggest

We are not going to suggest you baby our suspension in and out of driveways so your tires don’t rub on the fender wells. Through countless hours of research and development we have designed our suspension to have zero tire rub at full compression while driving at high rates of speed. We’ve done the work so you can rest easy and have confidence in your setup.

If you decide to lift your truck beyond the 3 inch threshold you will also need to lower/drop your bump stops 2 inches or more. Limiting travel for the drop brackets and additional components will allow you to install a larger tire size because the suspension will not be compressing as far of a distance. When designing our components, range of motion and mitigating wear, while creating longevity of your stock components as well as our products is our top priority.

Using Offset To Measure Your Wheels And The Advantage Of Using This Method

Regardless of how wide your wheel is, measuring the offset will give you the exact placement of the tire tread through its range of motion. A 6 inch wide wheel size with +18 mm offset and a 12 inch wide wheel with the same offset will both put the tire tread in the same exact place vertically through its range of motion.

For reference, offset is the position of the wheel mounting flange in relation to the axle and the distance to where the bead of the tire meets the rim. In layman's terms: offset is the distance of your center mounting points to the edge where the tire meets the wheel and its location within the outer ring.

Positive offset wheels move the center mounting surface outward while moving the outer ring toward the centerline of the vehicle. Negative offset will do the opposite in that the wheel's outer ring would be moved away from the vehicle centerline. I.E. +18 mm offset moves the outer ring inward as well as -18 mm offset moves the outer ring away from the centerline. The higher the positive offset number is, the more narrow the stance will be while a zero or negative offset will widen the stance of the truck.

The Issues With Backspace Measuring Wheel Sets

Backspacing measurements in regards to wheel size fitment can be a confusing way to determine if a wheel set is right for your truck.

To obtain wheel Backspacing:

  • Set your wheel on a flat table outside (dress side) of the wheel up
  • Measure from the table surface to the mount flange of the wheel

This measurement is known as backspacing and it is a mystery to a lot of people as to why wheel manufacturers ever introduced this method of measurement. The tire bead mounting surface is included in the measurement and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

The gamble lies in the thickness of the bead mounting surface. Using the backside of the wheel as the only reference, an 8 inch wide wheel with 5 inches of backspacing versus a 10 inch wheel with the same 5 inch backspacing will locate the tire in two totally different positions through its vertical travel. Due diligence is required when using backspacing measurements for wheel fitment.

Trimming As A Means To An End

To fit larger than stock tire sizes under your rig, a fair amount of trimming the fender liner (plastic) might be necessary but not always. This is a completely normal requirement to fit substantially larger tires if you find your truck needing trimming. Additionally, it would be beneficial to trim the mudflap/plastic trim as well as the metal rocker seam behind the plastic trim. On average, it’s recommended to remove the bottom 4 inches of the backside of the fender liner for proper wheel/tire clearance.

To insure ease of use:

  • It’s best to have the fender liner warm so cutting is easier.
  • This can be achieved with warm weather, depending on where you live, or the use of a heat gun.
  • Mark your cut line with a wax penci