Motobilt Tech Thursday "Wheels"
- by Dan DuBose
Probably the most effective way to change the look of your rig is with a new set of wheels. Today’s Tech Thursday is focusing on explaining how to choose the right size wheel.
Most people are familiar with the diameter choices such as 15”, 16”, 17”, 18”, or 20”+ wheels. There are many factors that will influence your choice here: tire choices in those sizes, price of tires, load range rating or clearance. While 15” wheels may be inexpensive, the tire choices are becoming more limited and there is no room for bigger brakes. 20” wheels may look awesome, but they cost more and are more vulnerable off road.
One area of wheel sizing that is not understood very well is offset and back spacing. Both of these are ways to let you know where the mounting surface of the wheel is located in reference to the wheel. For instance, if you have 3.5”s of back spacing, that means the mounting surface of the wheel is 3.5”s from the back of the wheel. So the smaller the number the more the wheel will stick out. The larger the number the more it will set in.
This same concept is how offset works. Much like your middle school math teacher tried to teach you how a number line works, the same is true for offset. If you have a 0 offset, the mounting surface of the wheel is directly in the middle of the wheel. If you have a negative offset then the wheel will stick out further; and depending on how large of a negative number determines how far it will stick out. If you have a positive offset then the wheel will sit more inwards towards the vehicle.
Most often on a stock truck or Jeep, the offset will be near 0 or slightly positive. If you lift your vehicle, you will often see that it will require a larger negative offset. This is necessary to clear larger steering knuckles or create tire clearance with the use of larger tires.
Be sure to call us at Motobilt if you need help choosing the right wheel for your ride. 334-219-2333