Jeff Lacina
December 1, 2008
Photos By: Ron Blevins, V6john

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Mmfp_0812_10_z 20_things_about_tires Front_viewMmfp_0812_11_z 20_things_about_tires Front_view
You're looking at a piece of history. Craig Wiedner's '93 SVT Cobra R was the first production Mustang to be equipped with a 17-inch wheel and tire package. Even though it was designed for track use, this car carried a small decal warning of possible tire-to-body contact during certain driving activities. The 17-inch wheel and tire package was indeed a tight fit under factory-delivered Mustang fenders and quarter panels. Sharp Mustangers will recognize these wheels as simply painted versions of the 17-inch wheels that would be optional on the next-gen SN95 Mustangs the next year.
Mmfp_0812_12_z 20_things_about_tires Front_view
Even the mighty GT500KR can really load-up its factory-supplied tires when pushed hard in the turns. Notice that these are full-depth street tires, not shaved or track-specific tires, proof that you can have a good time turnin' and learnin' on the factory-supplied rubber.
Mmfp_0812_13_z 20_things_about_tires Front_view
Even an S197 Mustang with stock suspension can manage to transfer a great deal of weight to the front tires. This is what happens when you use very aggressive brake pads in conjunction with stock suspension components, and this is why it's important to approach all of your mods (suspension, brakes, and tires) as a complete package.
Mmfp_0812_14_z 20_things_about_tires Front_view
Choices, Choices, choices. Once you've been bitten by the track tire bug, you'll quickly become an expert in tire juggling. Seriously, rotating your tires front to rear and side to side (when they aren't directional tires), can help you get more out of your tire budget. Also, knowing the track layout helps, as some tracks put more wear onto one side's tires than the other. Looks like this track vet has even brought along a couple of spares.
Mmfp_0812_15_z 20_things_about_tires Front_view
This is not what we mean when we talk about the proper "care and feeding" of performance tires. Even a minor slide sideways through the grass can wedge dirt, grass, and stones between the bead of the tire and the wheel. This is precisely why you want to report to pit road after any off-track excursion.

20 - How Wide Of A Wheel Should I Use For My Tires?
Each tire has a specific wheel width recommendation, typically expressed as a range. Failure to follow these wheel width recommendations may result in poor tire performance or possible wheel and/or tire failure.

Here is a quick reference chart listing each tire size and the acceptable rim widths for that size. (The chart does not show all sizes, but gives a good example) Choosing a wheel near the middle of the range will give a balance between ride quality and handling. A wider wheel will improve handling at the expense of ride quality, while a narrower wheel will improve ride quality at the expense of handling. Consider these compromises when selecting wheels.

Tire Aspect Ratios
Tire Size
Designations
Rim Width
(Inches)
35 Series275/35R179.0-10.5
315/35R1710.0-12.0
335/35R1711.0-13.0
345/35R1511.0-13.5
40 Series285/40R1511.0-13.5
215/40R157.0-8.5
245/40R178.0-9.5
255/40R178.5-10.0
265/40R178.5-10.0
275/40R178.5-10.0
235/40R188.0-9.5
195/40R156.5-7.5
45 Series215/45R157.0-8.5
255/45R158.5-10.0
205/45R167.0
225/45R167.5-9.0
245/45R168.0-9.5
215/45R177.0-8.5
235/45R178.0-9.5
255/45R178.5-10.5
50 Series215/50R135.5-8.5
175/50R135.0-6.0
235/50R136.0-9.0
195/50R145.5-7.0
245/50R146.5-9.0
205/50R155.5-7.5
215/50R156.0-7.5
225/50R156.0-8.0
295/50R156.0-8.0
195/50R165.5-7.0
205/50R165.5-7.5
225/50R166.0-8.0
235/50R166.5-8.5
245/50R166.5-9.5
215/50R176.5-7.5
55 Series205/55R145.5-7.5
185/55R156.0-6.5
195/55R155.5-7.0
225/55R166.0-8.0
60 Series185/60R135.0-6.5
205/60R135.5-7.5
185/60R145.0-6.5
195/60R145.5-7.0
205/60R145.5-7.0
195/60R155.5-7.0
205/60R155.5-7.5
215/60R156.0-7.5
225/60R156.0-8.0
235/60R156.5-8.5
65 Series185/65R155.0-6.5
195/65R155.5-7.0
205/65R155.5-7.5
215/65R156.0-7.5
70 Series165/70R104.5-5.5
175/70R125.0-6.0
175/70R135.0-6.0
185/70R135.0-6.5
185/70R145.0-6.5
195/70R145.5-7.0
205/70R145.5-7.5
185/70R155.0-6.5
205/70R155.5-7.5
215/70R156.0-7.5