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Wheels for My 1998 Explorer Sport

Discussion in 'Tires & Wheels' started by hms79, February 26, 2010.

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    1. hms79

      hms79 New Member

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      Hello all;

      I recently purchased a 1998 Explorer Sport with the factory 16 inch rims. The vehicle badly needs a new set of tires, but I think I want 15's instead of the 16's. My question is, will a set of 15's from another Explorer or Ranger fit instead of the 16's? 15's are far more common, and I don't think it will look that much different. Thank you all in advance for your replies!!
       
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    3. aces74

      aces74 New Member

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      Should. The lug patterns are the same, and if you're going smaller, then you shouldn't have fitment issues, at all.
       
    4. BrianDye

      BrianDye I'll have another...

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      They should, as long as the bolt pattern is 5x4.5, which most explorers/rangers are (Not sure about the 3rd/4th gens)
       
    5. Elessar65

      Elessar65 Well-Known Member

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      the wheels will bolt right up, but make sure you get tires of the same diameter that you took off. Your sport, like mine since its the same thing, had 255/70/16s on it. If you get the 15" wheels from another X you might as well get 31" tires. Those 16s that you took off are about 30.3 according to the math in my head. The tires that came on 15" wheels are like 29"....
       
    6. X6StringerX

      X6StringerX Well-Known Member

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      255/70/16s should be right at 30.05" and 235/75/15s, which are the stock size tires on 2nd gens with 15" wheels are 28.87". However, that is a very precise measurement. I just recently had a flat tire, so I compared two different 235/75/15s that I had on hand and already on wheels against the 235/75/15s that were already on my Explorer. The tires that were on my Explorer were Super Sport Radial APs. The two extras I had were a Michelin LTX and a Uniroyal Liberator. The well-worn Michelin was well over an inch bigger than the Super Sports and the practically brand new Uniroyal was about a half inch bigger.

      I scrapped the idea of running mismatched tires and bought some new 31x10.50x15 Firestone Destination ATs. If the OP wants to move down to a 15" rim, but also wants to keep a similar tire diameter to his stock tires, his best option would be a 30x9.50x15.

      If you click on the link in my signature, the '97 (red) has 30x9.50x15s on stock wheels, the first '98 (red/gray) has 31x10.50x15s on stock wheels, the 2nd '98 (green) has 31x10.50x15s on 15x8" American Racing Bajas, and the '01 (black) has a before picture of the 235/75/15s on stock wheels and an after picture of the new 31x10.50x15s on the stock wheels.

      I hope that helps!
       
    7. hms79

      hms79 New Member

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      Thanks to everyone who responded.

      Around here, it seems a set of 31X10.50s is going to run a lot cheaper than the 16s do. Plus, since this is my secondary vehicle (2004 F-150 is my daily driver) then I can get an off brand tire in 31X10.50s and save some coin. There are no places here in southern Illinois that have an off brand tire in a 255/70/16 so I would be forced to pay around $600 instead of $300. I will start checking around the local junk yards for a set of 15 inch stock Explorer/Ranger rims soon. Again, thank you to all who responded.
       
    8. trapcentral

      trapcentral New Member

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      I'm doing the same going 31s on 15x8 pro comp but what do I buy size wise for the offset back spacing and center bore.
       
    9. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      The factory wheels are all 7" wide, at about 24mm offset. The bolt pattern and bore size is identical to all Fords with the same bolt pattern. The best examples are all Explorers from 91-01, Sports til 2003, Sport Trac til 2005, Mustangs from 94-04. The offsets changed for the next Fords, but have the same bore size and bolt pattern.

      An 8" wheel fits best with about a 25mm offset(no more), I had 17x8's to start with, which are a Mustang wheel with 32mm offset(and using 6mm spacers).
       
    10. Tasco37

      Tasco37 New Member

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      So let me see if I got this right.

      As long as my bore and bolt patterns are the same, any 15in rim will work on an Explorer that had 16in rims.

      If that is the case, I just blew a deal that would have gotten me a matching set of 31x10.5x15.
       
    11. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Explorers before the 2001 Sport and Sport Trac. Those have 12" rotors and most 16's won't fit those. I have those brakes on my 99, and only one odd 15" wheel I had on hand would go over the brakes. I just needed wheels to roll it around while being rebuilt, about three old 15's wouldn't work.

      But the older Explorers have smaller rotors, about 11.2" or so.
       

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