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Aerostar TRANSFORMED: Wheels & Tires

 
  #1  
Old 01-02-2019, 01:29 PM
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Aerostar TRANSFORMED: Wheels & Tires

I’ve had many combinations of wheels and tires on Aerostars over the past (almost) 20 years. However, this latest setup has transformed my van in a way I wasn't thought possible. The fact most if not all of the suspension is older and worn out is only adding to my amazement. The wheels are off an early 2000s Ford Ranger. Finding a reasonably priced set in good condition took me a while. Most have serious corrosion and clear coat peeling issues. The tires are probably making the biggest difference. Nokian WR-C ‘all weather’ 215/65-16..... load range C. On Aeros I’ve had standard load 215/65-16, 225/55-16, 225/60-16, and 215/55-16 tires but nothing compares to these. Great handling AND a soft/solid ride like I never experienced before in an Aero. Considering the improvement now, I can only imagine what all new suspension would do. Long live the Aerostar!!!

(Sorry for the darker pictures, the sunlight was very bright)





 
  #2  
Old 01-02-2019, 04:08 PM
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Nice! Do they happen to have matching hub caps? No rubbing problems?

To further improve handling, you need to redesign the suspension, not just replace the old parts with newer versions of the same. I had an idea on modifying the front upper control arms, but I fear that if I made the front tires grip harder around turns, I may more easily roll the van.
 
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:26 PM
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Zero clearance issues but they sit farther out than I was expecting. You can see the one picture, the rear is dead flush and the front is slightly beyond the lip. Shouldn’t cause any issues but that is the max for my taste. The front center caps got pushed out by the slightest margin as I tightened the wheels down. Grinding the non-threaded tip off the CV axle will allow them to stay on. No ill effects in the end.


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Old 01-04-2019, 11:12 PM
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Looks sharp...You dont know anyone that wants an awd similar to yours.. Grey on bottom..mine needs a home.
 
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:07 PM
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Love it! Great to know there are a few nice Aeros running around. I have not seen another on the road here in about a year.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:30 AM
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Those wheels do look sharp on the Aero...... I didn't note if those were 16" but expect they are from the look.

I've considered several times doing a +1 on my 93 to get rid of the 14" alloys; one thing that stopped me is the load rating index. If you compare the optional "larger" tire load index against the same OD in a 15", I found a significant load reduction. Since I pull a trailer with my Aero, I kept the 14" setup.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:13 AM
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The wheels are 16 x 7”. I didn’t specifically compare load ratings but can’t see anybody needing more capcity than these. I hauled some serious weight recently and was blown away with the ride. With these wheels/tires my van drives better fully loaded than the 14” setup withOUT any cargo. I believe Nokian still makes this WR-C tire but they are probably > $200 each. Kumho makes a highly regarded 215/65-16 load rated tire that is priced lower.


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Old 01-20-2019, 03:56 PM
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If you look on Tirerack at the specs for one tire model, you will find that in general, the taller the tire profile, the higher the load rating. So when you change to tires with lower aspect ratio, it will have lower relative load rating. But you may be able to keep the same load rating by going to a wider tire with a lower aspect ratio, which we usually do when upsizing.

This is anecdotal of two data points, but a few years ago, I replaced tires on two of my vehicles with Kumho, and within two years, they both had tread separation. They both started with light vibrations that got worse slowly. The one on my Aerostar happened very quickly while on the highway, and the tread flopped around, damaging body work and light structures before peeling off completely. The one on my Mustang actually started out as a leak that could not be traced or fixed. It also kept going out of balance after repeated attempts to rebalance it. On the last trip, the vibrations started out minor, but got so bad I had to stop to check. That's when I saw the big bulge on the tread, just about ready to let go. These were tires from obviously two different lines, so I am staying away from that brand.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:49 PM
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Which model Kuhmo did you have? I’ve seen great and not so great things from them.


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Old 01-21-2019, 03:18 AM
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I can't remember now, as it's been a couple of years since I've replaced them. I recall they were all called "Ecsta" or something like that.
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:07 PM
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That model is garbage. This is the tire I referred to. However, the load rating is only XL and not ‘C’. Still highly recommended and would be ideal on an Aero if you don’t plan on hauling big weight.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Crugen+HT51&par tnum=165TR6HT51XL&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1 =yes

Nokian still makes the tires I have but a newer version. My guess is $175 each for these.

https://www.nokiantires.com/all-weat.../nokian-wr-c3/


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Old 01-21-2019, 06:31 PM
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Too bad that I could not go by anything other than users' reviews to make a choice at the time of purchase. I figured as long as a tire did not get a lot of bad reviews, it should have been at least satisfactory. And you don't often see long term reviews,as by that time, they may have stopped carrying a particular model.
 
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:50 AM
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One question forced me to register :-)

What is the size of ET of the wheel?

At https://www.wheel-size.com/ it is stated that Aerostar has ET41 and Explorer has ET12. That's the difference more than an inch. Therefore, it is possible to deploy a 7 "wide disk? With the standard ET, using such wide disks is probably impossible.

And photographed Aerostar is beautiful!
I currently have three Aerostars. Eddie Bauer 93, XL 93 and XLT AWD 96.

And, of course, bothers me a chronic shortage of 14 "tires.

Thanks.
 
  #14  
Old 01-23-2019, 10:13 AM
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Welcome to the forum! You’ll find all kinds of invaluable information here. The search button (for past discussions) is always a great place to start.

The 12mm is correct for Ranger wheels, I know that for fact. To me the 41mm listing for original Aero wheels is too high. I never really bothered to research that info but succesufully had 15/16” Ranger, Explorer, and Mustang wheels on Aerostars. Find some 15” wheels from 1995-on. They can be found rather inexpensive and will fit without issue. For tires, 215/70-15 is ideal and very easy to find that size anywhere. Wheels from a 95-02 for Explorer will also fit. There is a reasonable amount of room larger and wider wheels/tires.


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