How-To: Check for Tire Clear­ance


Mustang Monthly - - CONTENTS -

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.

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