How-To: Check for Tire Clearance
HOW TO DETERMINE WHEEL SIZE AND BACKSPACE WITH CCTEK’S WHEEL TEK TOOL
Two trick tools that make it easier to check for maximum tire size and clearance
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND DIFFICULT VISUAL ASPECTS OF BUILDING A CAR IS GETTING THE WHEEL AND TIRE COMBINATION “JUST RIGHT.” The ultimate goal is to get the most rubber under the fenders that you can without the tires and fenders hitting each other. The stance is crucial as well, as those wheels and tires must be sized just right and the suspension oriented so that the whole combination is spot-on cool.
In the past, before multi-piece custom wheels came on the market, you were stuck with what the manufacturers had on the shelf, and the choices were slim. But today, most wheel manufacturers can build you a wheel in whatever diameter, width, and backspacing you want (within reason), so the sky’s the limit. The difficult part now is determining how big you can (and should) go. Determining the proper size wheel and backspacing requires a lot of measuring and some educated guessing, but we’ve just come across a tool that makes it easier and much more accurate.
The Wheel Tek from CCTek is a you-assemble-it tool that actually holds a tire you think might fit, and lets you bolt it to the car’s hub and slide it in and out to see exactly what wheel backspacing you’ll need to run that tire—or if you can go bigger on the tire or should go smaller, and even articulate/ cycle the suspension and steering to verify clearances as well. The Wheel Tek tool allows you to simulate a wide range of wheels, allowing you to test-fit many different tire sizes and combinations right on the vehicle. It simulates wheels from 15- to 20-inch diameters and widths up to 15 inches. It’s made of 6061-T6 aluminum and has mounting plates to cover 4-, 5-, and 6-bolt wheel patterns.
With that introduction, here’s how it works:
This is the Wheel Tek tool prior to assembly. Not shown is a second hub plate (the big triangular piece) that covers 4- and 6-bolt applications. These pieces are all assembled together for the correct size wheel you think will fit, and you’ll also need a tire that’s close to what you think will fit the car to mount to it.