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Help needed with wheel & tire decision.

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Old 11-05-2018, 05:33 PM
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Help needed with wheel & tire decision.

Hello all,

Just purchased my first van, a 1995 E-150 Club Wagon with a 302 - only has 81k miles. It's in need of tires desperately & I've been searching through the threads to be sure that I would choose the right ones. So far I understand I need a stiff sidewall tire to keep the top heavy vehicle stable. So after searching, it seems like most of the tires in 235-75-15 are for passenger cars with only a few light duty trucks with an XL load weight designation on it.

If there isn't much of a selection in the 15" range, would buying 17" wheels help with my choices? I found these 3 on Summit Racing: Pro Comp, Dick Cepek & Vision HD
I'm not sure about the backspacing, but feel the black set would work best for me & I like them better, but thought the alloy wheels would help with lowering the weight. Seems the 302 goes real slow in the E-150.

The van won't seem much heavy hauling, maybe one day when I move or supplies from the hardware store when fixing up my current house, but otherwise just around town with my kids.

Here's a picture of the van to give an idea what i'm working with.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Wagon View Post
So after searching, it seems like most of the tires in 235-75-15 are for passenger cars with only a few light duty trucks with an XL load weight designation on it.
Check a local tire shop they will have more selection at better prices, and get LT tires if possible... they are 6ply with a stiffer sidewall than passenger car tires.
Originally Posted by Dirt Wagon View Post
Seems the 302 goes real slow in the E-150.
Ford crippled many 302 trucks with totally inappropriate axle gearing. What is the axle code on the drivers door pillar? An axle swap with a donor from a scrapyard van is pretty easy if you at all handy with basic tools.


 
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Wagon View Post
.... it seems like most of the tires in 235-75-15 are for passenger cars with only a few light duty trucks with an XL load weight designation on it....
Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
Check a local tire shop they will have more selection at better prices, and get LT tires if possible... they are 6ply with a stiffer sidewall than passenger car tires....
As I understand, "XL" tires are in-between the passenger car "P" tires and the light truck "LT" tires. So as Conanski said, check out tire shops for an LT235/75-15. There should be plenty of options available.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
Check a local tire shop they will have more selection at better prices, and get LT tires if possible... they are 6ply with a stiffer sidewall than passenger car tires.
Ford crippled many 302 trucks with totally inappropriate axle gearing. What is the axle code on the drivers door pillar? An axle swap with a donor from a scrapyard van is pretty easy if you at all handy with basic tools.
I've thought of that, but since my rear end is a 3.31 I would have to go to a 4.10 to make it worth my time. I think the highest that came in the E150 8.8 van's were 3.55 gears. As for the tires, I've been keeping my searches to local places with their online prices. Really just browsing what kind of rims are out there. The current wheels on the an are crappy looking & I feel I should refinish them or replace them. Replacing them seems like the easiest option.

Originally Posted by Nothing Special View Post
As I understand, "XL" tires are in-between the passenger car "P" tires and the light truck "LT" tires. So as Conanski said, check out tire shops for an LT235/75-15. There should be plenty of options available.
It's kinda funny, the more I look at tires I find that the A/T tires for trucks are mostly all rated as a passenger car "P" tire.

I'm still unsure if I should get the larger 17" wheel's or stick with the 15" size. I'm still researching on what backspacing I would need. I may end up going into a local shop and ask them what would work with my van. I'm surprised there isn't a wheel & tire thread on this forum for these van's.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:30 AM
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The shorter sidewall you get by up sizing the rim results in a harder ride, I went from 14" to 15" rims due to tire availability, I have 225/65 now, the ride isn't bad, I believe the later E150 went to 16" and the E350 went to 17".
Tis will help you keep the same outer diameter. https://tiresize.com/calculator/
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:33 AM
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1992-2003 E150s use 15 wheels. 2004-2006 they went to 16 wheels because the brakes were larger in the front and went from drums to discs in the rear. The larger wheels are only for clearance. 2007 the E150 became 8 lug like the E250 and E350. E250 and E350 never had 17 wheels.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 98Econoline150 View Post
1992-2003 E150s use 15 wheels. 2004-2006 they went to 16 wheels because the brakes were larger in the front and went from drums to discs in the rear. The larger wheels are only for clearance. 2007 the E150 became 8 lug like the E250 and E350. E250 and E350 never had 17 wheels.
Disk brakes sure sound like a fun upgrade, might make it worth it to find one of those rear ends with the 3.55 gears in it & maybe even a limited slip. Do you know if the '04-'06 would be a direct swap to my truck? I might be able to grab the 16" wheel while i'm getting an axle.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:03 PM
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Yes. It would be a direct swap for an 8.8. You would need to find a van. The 04-06 Wagons has 9.75 axles. I have a 1998 E150 that I successfully upgraded to 4-wheel discs. I have a thread somewhere about it.

Here: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...onversion.html

If you want a 9.75 Ford axle you would need a different propeller shaft.

The E250 and E350 got Dana axles
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:45 PM
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Larger front disc are well worth it, but rear, it's not really worth it IMHO, the fronts do the most of the work, I have rear disc on my E350 but I don't feel that much difference between it and my previous van, hell, my 73 E100 will nose stand with all drums.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:07 PM
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I'm running 235/70-15 front, 275/60-15 rear on my 96 Conversion van, these are performance (car) radials. No problems at all with the handling. This ain't my first rodeo either with vans and performance radials. If you're going to tow heavy loads or load heavy all the time, then yea, get a higher load rated tire, but for most, the car radials work fine. I've even towed a 64 Merc Monterey 600 miles on a tandem car trailer with car radials with no issues. (minus the engine and transmission)
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:41 PM
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It's sidewall strength for handling weight, not performance for speed, I know a hightop van will wallow around, vans are heavy empty.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by maples01 View Post
It's sidewall strength for handling weight, not performance for speed, I know a hightop van will wallow around, vans are heavy empty.
Mine doesn't wallow around Perfectly stable at 90 mph. If you're wallows, install a bigger front sway bar. I did new front springs, shocks and swaybar when I bought it. My 95 low top didn't wallow either with the same tires.
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:02 PM
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Well the van I found already had its wheels & axle sold so the search is still on.

I may end up buying these tires for the meantime while i'm figuring out the interior on the van. Rugged Terrain T/A

If I go that route I'll take the wheels that I have and refinish them before having these installed. Should give it a new look & make the rims last longer.
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by maples01 View Post
Larger front disc are well worth it, but rear, it's not really worth it IMHO, the fronts do the most of the work, I have rear disc on my E350 but I don't feel that much difference between it and my previous van, hell, my 73 E100 will nose stand with all drums.
My van had 236,000 miles on the original axle. It was clunking on acceleration even after a new propeller shaft was installed. I wanted a Traction Lok as well so i made it a project to swap the rear axle and install rear discs. It was a fun project. I can say the van stops much shorter and much more confidently than before.
 
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by maples01 View Post
Larger front disc are well worth it, but rear, it's not really worth it IMHO, the fronts do the most of the work,
I disagree, my '06 has 4 wheel disc and it's the best stopping truck I have ever owned especially on wet and snow covered roads. And the BIG advantage disks have over drums is a bullet proof auto adjustment system, drums can work really well but they simply require too much maintenance to stay in that optimum range especially up here in the rust belt where those little parts don't last very long. That star wheel adjuster is always seizing up, the cables and springs rust and break, it's a lost cause up here.

 

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