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Issues with upgrading to bigger wheels and tires

Issues with upgrading to bigger wheels and tires

  
Truckin Magazine
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Issues with upgrading to bigger wheels and tires

 
cmc5137 cmc5137
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 07/07
Posted: 07/08/09
02:39 PM

I am planning on upgrading to bigger wheels and tires and would appreciate any advice about what I shoud expect.

The Truck: 1996 GMC Sierra C1500 2WD Reg. Cab Short Bed lowered 2/4, 5.7L V8 with bolt-on mods (intake, exhaust, programmer, etc..)
Current Wheels: 16" prime wheels, 31x10.5r15 tires.
New Wheels: Foose Nitrous Chrome 20" wheels with 275 45 20 Falken tires.

Will I need to upgrade my brakes? Will the truck be noticeably slower? Will they be more liable to get damaged/ bent? Anything else I should think about?

Thank you!  

Edward A. Sanchez Edward A. Sanchez
Guru | Posts: 1908 | Joined: 07/06
Posted: 07/08/09
02:46 PM

Have you calculated the overall increase in diameter? Or are they going to be about the same? Probably the biggest change you're going to notice is a firmer ride, and more ride harshness over bumps and potholes.

If you were doing 22s or 24s, you'd probably be smart to be concerned about damaging the rim. 20s on a full-size truck is relatively safe. If it's in your budget, upgrading the brakes might not be a bad idea, especially considering the '88-'98 GM full-size trucks weren't known for having the best brakes from the factory. But you should be OK with the stock brakes. Hope this helps.  

cmc5137 cmc5137
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 07/07
Posted: 07/10/09
01:02 PM

It looks like they're going to be about the same diameter, maybe 3/4 to 1" wider.
Do you think it will slow the truck down noticeably?
As far as upgrading the brakes, what would be the most economical way to do it? Would better pads be enough? I was considering upgrading the rotors, but was told I wouldn't be able to resurface them, and this is a daily driven truck that sees a lot of miles.  

Edward A. Sanchez Edward A. Sanchez
Guru | Posts: 1908 | Joined: 07/06
Posted: 07/10/09
01:10 PM

You might notice a very slight decrease in acceleration if the overall diameter is larger. If it's a noticeable difference, you could always get your rear axle re-geared with a shorter ratio, or do a few more tweaks to the engine to make up the power difference. Some of the newer programmers allow you to input info on what kind of wheels/tires you're running. It's more for speedometer calibration, though. Another big determining factor in performance will be your unsprung weight. Which is basically the weight of the wheel/tire combo. So if you really want to get geeky about it, you could weigh your old wheel/tire combo, and weigh your new one, and see what the difference is. Chances are, going from a 16 to a 20, your weight will go up some. If it's only a few pounds, it's going to be a minimal difference. But if it's like 15-20 lbs., it's going to be pretty noticeable.  

cmc5137 cmc5137
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 07/07
Posted: 07/22/09
03:02 PM

If anyone's interested, here's a link to my truck with the new wheels. I ended up getting 20" Foose Legend wheels with Falken 275/45/20's. I posted it as a new truck because with the new wheels, it really is.

http://rides.truckinweb.com/ride/1184697/cmc5137/1996/gmc/sierra/index.html

Esanchez, Thanks for your advice. The truck is only a tiny bit slower off the line, which I'll probably try to remedy by adding the few bolt-on parts that aren't on the engine already (throttle body spacer, M.A.F. sensor, headers), as well as some upgraded brakes.  

Rickey07 Rickey07
New User | Posts: 17 | Joined: 05/08
Posted: 07/22/09
06:52 PM

Yea you shouldnt notice a huge difference in power because i have a set of 22's on mine and it still has plent of power.As far as the brakes,upgrading just the rotors wouldnt do much because its the calipers that provide the stopping power realy.If you want to stop better then I'd upgrade the calipers and get ceramic brake pads.A few good aftermarket brans that i know of are Brembo,PBR,and Baer break systems.Hope this helps.