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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post! I've had my Dodge since 2001 and have 275k miles on it. I see lots of Dodge wheel and tire combination come up at various places and recently bought 4 17" wheels with 265-70-17E tires with some usable life left. They fit fine and do not rub but I'm still concerned that they are right for my truck.

These are my stock wheels with 235-85-16 tires. They are about an inch taller than the OEM tires.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Plant Tread

Here are the wheels I bought and have been running for a couple of months now: Tire size 265-70R-17. I believe these tires are the same diameter as the OEM tires.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Locking hubs

I've got a line on 4 2020 Dodge 18 inch steel wheels at a good price and am considering them.

I like the looks of a little extra width that I'm getting now with the 17" wheels. Seems to handle fine. I don't want huge tires and I'm not wanting to change the outside diameter of the tires as that would change my final gear ratio.

What seemed like an easy decision at first quickly got more complicated the more I dug into the subject.

Is there anyplace that the kind of data I'm looking for to be found?

I'd also like some words of wisdom about handling, tire life, fuel efficiency, etc. concerning tire and wheel sized for my 1996 2500.

Thanks, Dan

P.S. I'm 65 and drive like the old man that I have become. I don't do any off roading but do pull a stump grinder and dump trailer fairly often.

Here are the wheels I think I'd like to buy:

Automotive tire Wheel Hubcap Motor vehicle Synthetic rubber
 

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I think if you're using smaller tires, you're probably set with whatever you buy.

The newer trucks got wider axles, and so the stock wheels from 3rd gen on have less offset...or they bolt further out...pushing the wheel/tire under the truck further. If you're trying to run 35 inch tires on a newer rim, it's going to hit the control arms (ask me how I know).

However, if you're running like a 32 inch tire, you're probably not going to have any issues.

That being said, I only have experience up to the 3rd gen 17 inch rim, and not with the 3rd or 4th gen 18 inch rims.
 
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The wheels for the newer generation trucks tend to have a much greater positive offset than those for the older gens, so that is something to be aware of. There are a number of online calculators where you can convert metric tire sizes, figure how gear ratios effectively change with tire diameter, etc.

Handling varies with road conditions and tread pattern. Taller, wider, heavier tires will decrease fuel economy. Tire life also varies with tread pattern, but a general rule is the more aggressive the tread, the shorter the life span.
 

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The 4th and 5th gen wheels need a hub centric spacer to work on the 2nd gen. The 1.5" Wheel Adapter USA set of spacers worked very well on my old '97.
 

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Here's a 97 with 2020 wheels/tires on it that I saw FS on Facebook:

929898
 
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Some free-spin kits add 2-3" to the front track width, so in that case, may not need spacers at all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys for the great information. I watched a Dynatrac free spin kit video and they are quite an impressive piece of gear. Of course quality cost, I understand that but it's out of the range of what I'd like to do to my 96 Dodge 4x4. It sure seems like it would be easier on the rest of the front end components. I do like the looks of the 2020 wheels I could get for $100 but I don't think I want to go the spacer route. I say this not even knowing what effects they may have or their cost so it's an uninformed understanding. I read through a very long thread on tuning and aiming for peak fuel usage efficiency and found it quite interesting. Also the thread in reducing aerodynamic drag was great but I doubt I'll be doing much of that. Great site you've got here. Thanks again.
 

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I swapped in manual hubs off an f350 for about 1,000... pretty cheap considering alll new brakes, bearings, rotors, calipers, u joints, ball joints, ect.

Didn't notice any difference in mpg. Maybe 1mpg absolutely max...
 
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