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96' E150 Tires Size Advice.

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  #1  
Old 01-17-2016, 12:09 PM
kennyfzj80 kennyfzj80 is offline
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96' E150 Tires Size Advice.

I picked up a van that has a dropped floor of about 5"

This is really cool, but the ground clearance is very sad.

I need some clearance for light offroading. Dirt road, sandy washes, snow.

With stock tires, 235/75/15 I measured by ride heights

Front: 32"
Rear: 33"

I do not want to make any modification or want any kind of rub.

I am looking at a 265/70-15 (29.6" x 10.4") Give me more width and a little more clearance.

Also considering 30" x 9.5" But I would rather have a wider tire for stability.

I also want limit effect on highway drivability.

Any thoughts or experiences?
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:31 AM
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Running that size tire on that year E150 might rub on turns. I'm running 245's on a later E250 and its almost too close, so far no rubbing during turns or over speed bumps etc.

Maybe someone else running your same chassis has done this----hopefully they'll chime in with their own experiences.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:24 AM
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I have an E150 and once installed 30x9.50 Firestone AT tires which were 29.5" tall. They fit and did not hit the wheelwells in the month that I ran them. I lost fully 2 mpg over Michelin LTX M/S tires in the stock size and opted to return the Firestones within their 30 day refund period (I ate the cost of mounting/balancing which was far less than the extra fuel). The MPG loss was after adjusting for the extra diameter. The standard upsize for 235/75 has always been 255/70 but those do not give you extra ride height. In your case I would go with 30x9.5's.

You could probably fit 31x10.50's on the back with 30x9.50's on the front, but the larger rear diameter would mess up the gearing even worse.

A 265/75 would be 30.65" tall by my calculations...do you mean a 265/70x15 at 29.65? The latter would probably fit the rear but I would be concerned about the front wheel wells when turning the wheel--the tire tread edges would stick out pretty far and that is getting to be a really wide tire for a stock 7" rim. If you get different rims, offset becomes a big issue.

Finally, even the 30x9.50 tire added enough drag that my 4.6 had to work much harder on uphills that I am familiar with, downshift to 3rd on hills that the van used to take in 4th. If you have a 4.2 or 4.6, a tire diameter increase may "overgear" the van slightly. This would be part of the mpg loss I saw.

Good luck,
George
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:39 AM
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2000, E-150 with 5.4L here. I ran 31/10.5/15 BFG AT on the stock alloy rims and it had a slight rub on the sway bar at full lock. No problems with stability, a little noisy, good on snow but not in heavy rain.

Now I run 265/65/17 Cooper Discoverer AT3 (30.5") on 17x8 rims 0 offset. I had to remove the plastic cowling under the front bumper (It could have been trimmed) and trim the rear "seam" on the back of the front fenders. After that no rubbing. I love this tires, fairly quiet and very stable and responsive. I could cruise at 90 mph all day. New springs and Bilsteins on all four corners.
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:49 AM
kennyfzj80 kennyfzj80 is offline
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Thanks guys.

I've decided to try out the 265/70r15 (was corrected on the OP. I was not considering 265/75r15). Offroad traction is a big priority.

I have a 5.8L and I don't think I'm going to take a big hit on the mpg. It might be worth it. Going to use my scan gauge and compare the 2.

I'll post results.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:26 PM
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Good luck with the tires. I have put 255/70's on 4 different vans and a pickup as the "standard" upsize from a 235/75. Sticking with 235/75 Michelin LTX M/S2's on my current van. The 265's will definitely fit in the rear but I would watch for the tread edges to clear the wheelwells when the tires are turned and you hit a big bump. This is gonna happen if you are off road and the sounds of tires meeting sheetmetal are not good. (I had BIG interference on my ancient '73 E200 and just a "little" on my '86 GMC 2500 with 255/70's.)

The 30x9.50's are ~the same height as the 265/70's and I have used those with no clearance problems. I'm guessing the 265/70's are available in P-rated tires and may give a better ride and gas mileage than the LT flotation 30x9.50 tires.

Also if you want to go off road, put a limited slip axle in your van if it does not have one. I used to do fire roads with the old '86 GMC and it would get thru a LOT with an old Auburn limited slip. I have an Eaton in my E150, installed when the van was new.

Good luck,
George
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former Fords:
2002 E150, 4.6, 3.55 axle w/Eaton posi, 129k miles
1978 F100, 300 inch six, 4 speed O/D
1973 E200 Turtle Top camper conversion, 302
Also 3 GMC/Chevy vans 1984, 1986, 1996 (and done with 'em)
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:24 PM
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If you want better highway stability as well as better puncture resistance offroad select a Load range C(6ply) tire instead of a P series 4ply tire.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:25 PM
kennyfzj80 kennyfzj80 is offline
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I decided on 30x9.5r15. Grabber AT2. It is a 6 ply.

The tries are really good and took it on some washes this weekend and traction was pretty good. I got stuck once but it was due to my error.

It doesn't rub and looks really good without a lift or anything. It looks like stock size.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyfzj80 View Post
I picked up a van that has a dropped floor of about 5"
Any thoughts ?
Yes, I'll trade ya..
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:45 AM
YoGeorge YoGeorge is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyfzj80 View Post
I decided on 30x9.5r15. Grabber AT2. It is a 6 ply.

The tries are really good and took it on some washes this weekend and traction was pretty good. I got stuck once but it was due to my error.

It doesn't rub and looks really good without a lift or anything. It looks like stock size.
Good deal, Kenny. Especially if you are going off road, it is helpful to have tires that won't contact sheet metal if you hit hard bumps and stuff...

Hope they last you a while,
George
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2016 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T
former Fords:
2002 E150, 4.6, 3.55 axle w/Eaton posi, 129k miles
1978 F100, 300 inch six, 4 speed O/D
1973 E200 Turtle Top camper conversion, 302
Also 3 GMC/Chevy vans 1984, 1986, 1996 (and done with 'em)
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