Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
November 1, 2006
Contributers: Wayne Cook Photos By: Wayne Cook

One of the most important improvement we do to our classic Fords is upgrade the wheels and tires. Not only do wheel and tire sizes usually increase, but we can also take advantage of technology that is ever evolving.

Replacing a steel wheel with one made of aluminum reduces unsprung weight, and that's always a good thing. Another plus is that an aluminum wheel can be a thing of beauty, while a stamped-steel rim is rarely so.

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When it comes to tires, few would argue that a bias-ply or bias-belted tire is better than a modern radial. The only exception we can think of is for concours-show usage. Modern radial tire technology just keeps getting better and better, and this is something many classic Ford enthusiasts should take advantage of.

The first issue in any wheel and tire upgrade is determining whether the desired combination will fit your car. You'll want to fill the wheelhouse completely while having no part of the tire protruding from the car and no interference during steering or suspension travel. Remember also that once you mount a tire to a wheel, you've bought both. At that point, no company will refund your money if the combination you've selected doesn't fit your car.

We'll examine some popular wheel and tire upgrades, and talk about some of the different aspects of size that you need to be aware of before you shop for a new set of rolling stock. To begin, you'll need to determine the fitment parameters of your car. First, you must measure the backspacing on the wheel you want and the wheelhouse depth on the car you have.

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