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2020 Explorer ST - Performance Tires/Wheels Sizing Guide

Discussion in 'Modified 2020 Explorer and Aviator - Tuning & Mods' started by EnergyFX, February 9, 2020.

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  1. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX Elite Explorer

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    Hello fellow Explorers. First post here, but have lurked for a few months until now.

    In this thread I will detail fitting 325/35 R22 tires under an otherwise stock 2020 Explorer ST.

    New vs. Stock Side-by-Side Comparison. The new skins are a full 2" wider than stock but only .3" taller diameter:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    So, the wife and I recently purchased a 2020 ST and we have been loving it. However, I wasn't pleased with the factory tire sizing and overall look/stance of the truck. The factory tires just looked too narrow for a performance SUV and they were way too tucked into the wheel well. I spent weeks looking for any information on non-stock sizing and offset that would properly clear. There isn't much out there yet on this new truck, so.... I gathered what info I could, studied and measured the factory clearances, and ultimately took a bit of a risk and ordered some custom milled wheels and tires. In this thread I will attempt to share as much info as I can in case anyone else wants to take the same plunge I did, including what I would do differently knowing what I do now.

    1st off, The Factory Setup:
    • Factory Wheel Size = 21x9 (WxD)
    • Factory Wheel Hub Bore = 70.5mm
    • Factory Wheel Offset = +37.5mm
    • Factory Wheel Bolt Pattern = 5-114.3mm
    • Factory Tire Size = 275/45 R21

    2nd, My Aftermarket Setup (not recommended, read on for why):
    • EnergyFX's New Wheel Size = 22x11 (WxD)
    • EnergyFX's New Hub Bore = 70.5 (no change from factory)
    • EnergyFX's New Wheel Offset = +30mm
    • EnergyFX's New Wheel Bolt Pattern = 5-114.3mm (no change from factory)
    • EnergyFX's New Tire Size = 325/35 R22

    3rd, What I Should Have Done (WISHD). If I were to do this over, I would go with the following (note: this setup is technically unproven as of this post, but is provided based on an actualized installation of the above "EnergyFX's" setup and my observations.):
    • WISHD Wheel Size = 22x11 (WxD)
    • WISHD Hub Bore = 70.5 (no change from factory)
    • WISHD Wheel Offset = +35mm
    • WISHD Wheel Bolt Pattern = 5-114.3mm (no change from factory)
    • WISHD Tire Size = 315/35 R22
    The goal was to get a setup where the outer edge of the tire is flush with the outermost edge of the wheel opening on the fenders, with maybe just a hint of tire protrusion at the sidewall bulge. In my personal opinion, a slight protrusion gives a vehicle a good sporty, almost muscular look. I did not want any of the tread pattern to protrude. Unfortunately I missed that mark by just under 1/2 an inch or so (meaning I wish my tires were tucked about .4" under the truck vs. what I ended up with). I may look into sending my custom rims back in to have another 5mm milled off to bring the offset up to +35mm, but it will have to be after I wear these tires down since the extra milling will cause clearance issues with the 325/35 tire size.

    With the "EnergyFX's" setup, there is about 1/3" clearance between the front tire and the front suspension (the front shock). This is .72" closer to the suspension than factory and is about as close as I would recommend getting to the shock. It is possible I may have a bit of rub under extreme cornering, but I won't know for sure until summer comes around and I can get a chance to try some aggressive driving and see the results. With the shorter sidewall I get from the 22s I do not anticipate this being a big issue. For now, it looks to be a good setup (reducing inside clearance by .72"). There is still quite a bit of inside clearance on the rear tires.

    Factory Tire/Wheel Size vs. EnergyFX Tire/Wheel Size:
    [​IMG]

    Factory Offset vs. EnergyFX Offset:
    [​IMG]

    In hindsight, I believe a +35mm offset with 22x11 wheels would have probably been perfect, but would require a 315/35 R22 size tire. This would have also been an exact diameter match to factory. I plan to get to this size once I wear through the existing tires. I'll hve to send the wheels off to get the extra 5mm milled off the offset, but that's small price to get to perfect.

    Factory Tire/Wheel Size vs. WISHD Tire/Wheel Size:
    [​IMG]

    Factory Offset vs. WISHD Offset:
    [​IMG]

    Rubbing/Interference: With the "EnergyFX's" setup, there appears to be a small amount of rubbing at hard-over steering. It is not severe and is probably not an issue, but is an annoyance nonetheless. This is another reason why I do not recommend the setup I went with and instead suggest the "WISHD" setup. From my observation there should be zero interference or rubbing with the "WISHD" setup, but that is yet to be officially confirmed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here is an IMGUR album that has all photos from this post plus a few more:
    2020 Explorer ST Wheel Info and Aftermarket 22x11s
     
    Last edited: February 9, 2020
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  3. evilgeek

    evilgeek New Member

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    Thanks for the write up. Definitely gives some food for thought.
     
  4. STO

    STO New Member

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    This is helpful, I have been wondering how they look with meat and how far you can go.

    Looks good
     
  5. evilgeek

    evilgeek New Member

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    OP, can you comment more on the rubbing issues? How bad, and where exactly?
     
  6. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX Elite Explorer

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    Front tires only. It's not due to suspension travel, it happens from steer. The lip of the tire touches the wheel well liner at certain steering angles, and only just barely. If you look in your wheel well right behind the front tire, you will see a bulge in the liner (why Ford, why???). The outer lip of the 325/35R22s just barely touch this bulge at partial steering angles. Even with your stock tires if you turn your wheel a bit an look you will see the clearance gets pretty tight. Visualize pushing that outer edge of your tire out about 1.25" and you will see where the rub will happen.

    I'm pretty sure 315/35R22 on an 11" wide wheel with +35mm backspacing will clear just fine, but it's a .5" narrower tire, so...... choices.
     
  7. evilgeek

    evilgeek New Member

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    thanks, that helps a lot.

    where the corner of the tire is relative to the steering axis will depend on diameter/height as well as width/offset, so i'm thinking that there are probably more ways than one to get rub against that bulge. there may be some trigonometry in my future, lol.
     
  8. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX Elite Explorer

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    I’d say it’s probably wise to stay as close as possible to stock diameter. I am also very confident that 315/35r22 on 11inch wide wheels with a +35 mm offset will be the sweet spot. Granted that is a .5” more narrow tire that what I have in the 1st post, I think it is the max we can run on this gen with no rubbing.

    My current tires are about .25” to .33” away from rubbing the shock absorber on the inside edge of the tire. I wouldn’t push that any closer. So adding any more positive offset requires going with a more narrow tire.

    I’m also going to spend some time in the front wheel wells and see if I can massage the liners to offer a bit more clearance. I’ll keep this thread updated as I go.
     

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