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wider is better right? help me decide...

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  #1  
Old 12-12-2004
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wider is better right? help me decide...

if you'll all remember the pontiac commercial, "wider is better" referring to the stance of the car's wheels....

now..what would be a better overall stance for traction and all around goodness....sticking with my 31's on some rims with a 3.75" backspacing, or just gettin 33x12.50 tires on my stock rims....

which version of wider is gonna be actually better for me?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2004
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
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Wider tires which use a wheel designed for a certain smaller series rubber will increase traction, but only in a straight line. Sidewall flex is your enemy in cornering situations. However, in a straight line acceleration scenario, sidewall flex (SF) is desired because you will not be able to break the tires free as easily because the SF absorbs some of the energy of the initial launch. SF hurts in cornering because it causes the vehicle to feel unstable and have a higher tendency to have a pronounced body roll, something you DON'T need more of in a truck.

So, if you're worried about road traction, in corners, and a better "handling" feel, wider rims and a plus-size (increase in wheel diameter, decrease in tire aspect ratio, same overall diameter as O.E) will yield a better result. Leo did much of the same thing with his. He spaced his wheels out with adapters, making the track width of the truck wider, which in turn decreased the factor of roll-center of gravity, thus making the truck handle better. Granted his wheel bearings are going to wear quicker, as have mine with a spacer setup, but the increase in handling RAWKS.

So for cornering I'd recommend wider wheels, possibly different backspacing, and a smaller side profile, not necessarily lo-pros, but smaller than your current setup. Off road tires will never handle like street tires.

I would NOT recommend a fatter tire for street handling as you will only experience more body roll and most likely more weight, which causes more stress on the entire chassis (drivetrain ans front rolling assembly).

Off road, it's a different story. Except for the vehicle stress part. :D

*EDIT* I noticed in your sig, "saving gas" was one of your objectives. Wider is NOT better there. Wider tires = more rolling resistance, not your friend at the pump.
 

Last edited by John Moorehead; 12-12-2004 at 08:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2004
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thanks man! i'm more concered with the upcoming snow-y weather i'm gonna be having and curious about my traction ability when i have to leave the house...just curious... last winter my truck ended up in an 8 foot HOLE which scared the crap outta me...i totally lost control, and it wasnt even ice...just snow....but i was ridin on the stock Wrangler RT/S tires...i guess 'nuff said, eh?
 
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2004
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Yeah, I haven't heard good things about those tires...

In icy/snowy conditions, a narrower tire is actually more desireable, as the weight of your truck is concentrated more than it would be with a wider tire.

Think about a bed of nails, like the old magicians used to employ. If the "bed" of nails were replaced with a "strip" of nails, there'd be a lot of dead magicians. Same concept with snow tires. Narrower tread width means that the roughly 1,000 pounds carried by each tire would be constrained to an area 30% smaller, if you used a 7" wide tire instead of a 10" wide one. Thus, the tires would seemingly have more "bite" when compared to a bigger tire. This is also why snow tread is comprised of many ***** and raised surfaces, compared to a regular off road tire with big tread "blocks". The weight is even further multiplied due to the smaller surface areas of the *****, resulting in even better grip. Think cleats.

So at least until the last snow, you might want to shy away from wider ****. Besides, you can't really do performance driving on a road packed with snow, unless you're a Subaru.
 
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2004
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I ran 33x12.50s on my stock 15x7's for a while. Not recommended and I probably wouldn't do it again, but it's do able. As far as the snow is concerned I heard the tall and narrow tires are a better choice so they dig down to the girth to gain traction, but when your talking about a 10.50 and 12.50 I think tread pattern has more effect than width in that case. And yea if your concerned about gas mileage don't hold your breath with 33s with no re gearing of your ring and pinion gears. I went from 18-19 to around 15-16.

Keep the 31's or get a better tire in the same size if you insist!
 
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2004
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I don't think that 12 inch wide tires will fit properly on a stock rim
A narrower tire is most definately better in the snow, and for MPG consideration
Get some tires designed with cold weather in mind, and these would not be street or performance tires
Sounds like you really need winter and summer treads if you want to really go fast and handle well in the warm months
 
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2004
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yeah, i'm runnin Goodyear AT/S 31x10.50's, and those thus far have been very badass tires....my parents bought them for me, and i wanted the Wrangler MT/R's, but my dad threw a fit when he saw them, he was like "YOU AINT GOT A BIG TRUCK!!! YOU DONT NEED DAMN MUD TIRES!!!!!" haha, little does he know....my dad's very **** about stuff i do to my truck....

but yeah, these tires have been good. i'm also askin the ? cuz i'm considering buying new rims....
 
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