I just purchased a 2000 expedition XLT with 105,000 miles. The truck came with a set of oversize tires, NittoTerra Glappler All Terrain LT 325/65/R18 with Noroad chrome Konig rims. The tires and the rims are brand new, but they seem too wide for the SUV as the front tires rub against the inside of the tire housing on tight turns. I am concerned that these are not the best tires for interstate traveling. I also cannot make U turns easily, and I have not tried yet to tow my boat, but I wonder if that will be a problem. Should I get new tires (and try to sell the ones that came with the SUV); what about the rims; will more suitable tires fit the rims, or should I also need to replace these nice expensive rims. Am I worrying too much, and should I learn to drive with these oversize tires. Any thoughts will gratefully appreciated.
If the advice is to change tires, what's the appropriate size...and mount them on the R18 Konig wheels???
Don't worry too much.
Oversized tires are a mixed bag. Some people prefer looks, over function. This is the case with your vehicle. The inner fenders should be plastic, and this is probably what the tires are rubbing on. If the tires are rubbing on the frame, then the buyer either cheapened out, got the set for a good deal, or just didn't care when he installed them that they'll rub at full lock.
You can more than likely get other tires to fit the rims, if the rims are 9" wide, you can go to a 285mm wide tire, which will be more than adequate. if the overall height is more than 33" you will get rubbing without lifting the vehicle some. The tires can handle towing fine. Just be sure not to exceed the speed rating on the sidewall of the tire, or you'll risk a blow out. Most oversized tires are rated Q, for about 100mph max speed.
If you go to a good tire shop in your area, they can suggest other sizes that can fit your rim without causing problems, and decreasing highway noise. Larger tires also burn more fuel. Still, if money is tight, I'd run the tires down until they get close to the wear bars, then start shopping around for a replacement set.
The only downside I can see is if the previous owner replaced the axles to a lower ratio, say stock 3.73 to 4.56. If not, then you'll be more than fine. It's not a problem if he did change out the axle gears, but when you install shorter tires, the engine rpm will be higher at any given speed versus the super large tires being on the vehicle. Check the link provided above and you can see what I mean. A 3" diameter change can result in not only speedometer inaccuracy without proper programming, but it can increase your engine speed at any given road speed. It'll only be noticeable in overdrive on the highway, however lower gears will provide better off the line, and towing performance with non oversized tires.
If you want to, check eBay Classifieds (Kijiji) - Post & Search Free Local Classified Ads.
or RockAuto Auto Parts
for stock wheels that you can buy at a reasonable price (used of course) and then you can get tires of your choice installed, even in the OEM (stock) size.
As for tire weight rating, the over sized tires can more than likely handle much more weight per tire than a standard (OEM - stock) size. Unless the boat has a hitch weight of 1500lb, which the vehicle couldn't pull safely anyway, you won't have to worry.
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