they use the ranger/older mustang(73-down)/grenada/dear lord almost everything else built ford car before 1980. the pattern is 5-on-4 1/2, and doing some measuring with backspacing I come up with a 4-4 1/4. anything less will cause rubbing on the outside lips of the front and rear wheel openings. Watch your aftermarket steel wheels, I have a set that came with my 95 (14x7) and they have a 3 1/2 backspacing and have rubbing problems. Most wheels offered for fords have absolutely horrible backspacing, unless you get stock size wheels.
Thanks! I figure if I get the right backspacing, I could flare the fenders a bit. I checked the back, and I could get a good 2" of fender flare before it would interfere with the sliding door. It looks like I might have do a little sheet metal work there, because it's rusted, and might be pretty deep/through in some spots
When I've got the time, I'm going to take it down to the primer, and primer it all black, removing all the trim. If I flare the fenders then, and modify a set of running boards from a sport model, I think it'll look pretty badass, and it won't even cost much more than just fixing the rust anyways.
Actually, you will not have to flare the fenders. I think on the back when I last measured, there is room for an 8-inch wheel, and in the wheelwell. What I did for the front to make some clearance is in the middle of the fender lip, you can actually pull the fender out(be extremely careful!!!) about an inch or two. You may have to do some inner fender modification like I did, I am running 225/70r 14's and have very little clearance with the junk backspacing 14x7's(It still rubs the fenders in hard corners, even after the surgery. Mine is the '95 sport model with the running boards you mentioned....). A good wheel to think about is the later Mk 7 LSC or newer Crown Vic 16x7 mesh wheel.....
I was just thinking about the Crown vic wheel, I'll look for them on ebay.
I figure I'll go ahead with the flaring, because I might want a bigger tire later on, or I might find a set of low offset wheels I like. The worst case scenario, I'll have extra room in the wheel wells, and I can always fabricate spacers.
Okay, after completing the 100 other things on my list, I went down and had a look at walmart. They had one of those application charts, and then I had a thought.
If I just measure the stock backspacing, and get a wider set with the same backspacing, they should fit fine, right? The offset would be totally different, but that shouldn't matter much, as I'll just be filling out the fenders, but probably not enough to rub.
I think my stock wheels are 14x6, but I'm not sure. The van came with a set of 225/14s, I don't know the sidewall offhand. If the 225s work now without rubbing, and I get a set of wheels with the same backspacing, but in 16x7", and the same overall tire height, the tire should take up the same space as with the 14" rim, right? Correct me if I'm being a blithering idiot please.
The usual stock size is P215/70R14. I have P225/70R14's with no rubbing. The only fault I possibly see in your argument is that the Crown Vic setup would probably be wider (stick out more). This woudl cause rubbing on bumping (front or rear) or turning (front).
95 Bronco XLT - 5.0 Auto. Pretty much stock as a rock.
I'm not going with the Crown Vic wheels, the only sets I could find were too expensive, and then there would be shipping charges. At Walmart, I can get a set of 16" steel wheels for $200 CDN, so that's not bad at all.
If the backspacing is the same, and the tire width and height are the same, the only difference should be the tire will match the rim much better, and I'll be able to run a lower profile tire, and it will handle better.
My other fear is that the wheel is going to stick out an extra two inches on the one side, and then rub... a 225 is nearly 9" wide, so theres a lot of bulge around the rim on a 6" wheel.
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