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Old 01-20-2015, 11:55 PM   #1
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Embarassed to ask but..someone explain tire/wheel sizes to me? Help me pick too!

Already read plenty on

Car: 2015 mustang GT magnetic

Plan: sell my stock 18s wheel & tires from base GT and buy summers with 19s

Problem: don't know much about any of this.

Should I decide on tires or wheels first. Find a wheel I like then finding a tire to match it is easy?

Regarding tires. Lets use this as an example:
[648]: 19 x 8.5-in. 255/40ZR19 96W P Zero Nero all-season
19 inch wheel diameter, 8.5 inch wheel width right?

Therefore need a tire that matches the wheel? How do you decide that?

40 is aspect ratio. aspect ratio is measured as distance from outer rim to outer tire, as a percentage of the total width of tire. are higher numbers better or lower? what should I be aiming for?

R = radial which is very common apparently
19 = diameter for the rim to fit.

So..did I get anything wrong? I'm actually not an 18 y/o kid getting his first car btw, despite this sad post.

Part 2: Got lots of good suggestions on tire brands. But what width should I be aiming for for wheels as a daily driver. 10 inches wide square setup sound ok?

edit: i'll make another thread for help picking wheels. I've been told I make wall of texts too much...and have lots of questions about wheels for later..
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:33 AM   #2
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2015 Mustang?

Drag radials on rear, Pilot Super Sports on the front
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:42 AM   #3
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22" chrome spinners with super stretch low pro tyres
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:43 AM   #4
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You sure love making threads about wheels and tires
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:04 AM   #5
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Looking at your generation of Mustang, it seems like the factory performance package offers a very competitive sizing. So let's aim for that as your target size:

Front: 255/40-19
Rear: 275/40-19

Let's say we'll use this Tire Rack tire size specs page for the Michelin Pilot Super Sports since the PSS is such a great tire.

Matching Wheel Width
For your front 255 tire, the (factory) recommend rim width is 8.5-10". For the rear 275 tire, the recommended rim width is 9-11". Essentially, any wheel width within the recommended range will be acceptable, but from a performance's perspective, something closer to the wider end of the recommendation will generally provide more sidewall support to the tire, and that in turn will provide you with better on-road performance. The tradeoff, on the other hand, is that wider wheels are generally heavier, more expensive, less common, more prone to curbing damage. Choosing a wheel with a maximum recommended width (for a given tire) will almost always result in the wheel rim/lip protruding slightly beyond the tire itself. It won't give you the stretched look, but you may or may not like the way the lip protrudes beyond the tire.

Most important of all, the maximum wheel width you can use is determined by the amount of wheel well clearance on both the fender and suspension sides, the wheel offset, wheel width itself, and your tire width. With no less than 5 inter-related variable parameters at play, it makes for one tricky decision process. At the end of the day, there are really only 2 ways to find out -- either you find some wheels to physically do the test fittings yourself, or you scour the Internet forums for your car, and hope someone else has already done the test fitting before.

If you are willing to muck around with your wheel wells (ie. roll fender lips, tuck / pull fenders, or event cut fenders), you can always fit a wheel that is too width for factory unmolested fitment. Personally, I would only recommend that for race applications.

Recommended Wheel Size
In a performance-oriented setup, the decision is pretty easy -- go with the widest and lightest possible wheel and tire combination that fits. At a practical level, however, it seems like the Ford Racing Boss 302S wheels (19x9 42ET front, 19x10 47.5ET rear) is your best available wheel choice -- it is guaranteed to fit without any fender modifcations. Any wheels with the same specs will also fit.

Also note that tire and wheel width will have a major effect on the way the car handles. Specifically, it will alter the dynamic balance of the vehicle. I don't know what the dynamic balance of the Mustang is like (ie. neutral handling, tendency to understeer / oversteer, etc.), but the general rule of thumb is, you want something that is reasonable. For example, your Mustang GT seems to have a staggered tire setup. If you switch to an all square (tire) set up -- meaning that all 4 wheels uses the same tire width, you have just changed the dynamic balance of the car to make it more tail happy (ie. more prone to oversteer). Sometimes, you can use this to your advantage to make a stubborn understeering car become more neutral. Other times, you can ruin the handling balance from the factory. Again, this is where relying on other people's experience helps. Go to a Mustang forum to find out what works and what doesn't. For model specific info, that is your absolute best bet. Vendors with experience on your specific generation of Mustangs will also have good knowledge on what works and what doesn't.

Wheels and tires for anything beyond 15" means they will be bloody expensive. For the PSS + Ford Racing Boss 302S wheels that I have mentioned above, you're looking at USD $2200+. That's why a lot of us were recommending you to use up your stock tires first.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:53 AM   #6
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I'm sure that if you dug through forums and just compare fitments of other mustangs with different size wheel set ups, you can probably just copy pasta one of them. Usually guys will say whether or not you need to roll or pull fenders or need spacers and stuff like that. By doing this, you can get an idea from the pictures how flush/stretched/wide you want them.

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Old 01-21-2015, 09:10 AM   #7
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For specs on widths and load ratings tire rack displays all this information on a nice little chart:

Deciding a tire to match a wheel is easy, you have a 19" rim, look at 19" tires, look for something within the width you need, so if you have a 10" rim, you need like a 265-285 or whatever.

Then decide how much rubber you need, find out the stock rolling diameter of your car, decide if you want to keep that, then just find a tire with the right aspect ratio to get you near that height.

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Old 01-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #8
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You should probably visit a Mustang forum. I'm sure you will find an entire section for wheel/tire fitment. In there will be the info you need with pictures showing the final result from other members.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:37 AM   #9
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Go to Mustang 6G. many, many threads on this.
2019 Mustang GT Premium 401A

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Old 01-21-2015, 09:44 AM   #10
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^^Was waiting for you to chime in
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SkunkWorks View Post
I believe cars are meant to be driven. I see zero point in having a beautiful car and never driving it. Might as well have Miranda Kerr in your bed and sleeping on the ground cause you don't want to fudge her mascara...

We go through our entire lives being told what to do every step of the way. The garage was always the one place where you could indulge in your own passion, with not a care for the outside world.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:29 AM   #12
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you need to hit some of the mustang forums.

because the s550 is so new there isn't that much info out there, but expect more as time progresses.

here are some suggestions:

2015+ S550 Mustangs

if i'm not camped out here at RS, the above is usually where i lurk.

and if you ever decide to go racing (or just want to learn how stuff works), go here:
"The guy in the CR-V meanwhile, he'll give you a haughty glare. He's responsibly trying to lessen his impact, but there you go lumbering past him with your loud V8, flouting the new reality. You may as well go do some donuts in a strawberry patch and slalom through a litter of kittens." Dan Frio, Automotive Editor, Edmunds

Last edited by thumper; 01-21-2015 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:40 AM   #13
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For your first set of wheels (ever), I actually would not go on to the mustang forums.. they're going to go into way too much detail, and before you know it, you're going to have 215/20/19 R compound tires running a stretch on a 15" wide rim.

The easiest way is this: The 2015 mustang comes with 19s stock in some configurations. Use that wheel/tire configuration to pop your rim cherry.

Quick google shows Front: 255/40R19, Rear: 275/40R19
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