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18" vs 20" wheels?

jimbertrand514

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Hi All,

I have a few questions concerning the 18" vs 20".

I have a 2014 XLT with 18" with my winter tires on and I would like to go for a set of aftermarket 20" for the summer so I don't have to switch tires in fall/spring and also have better look on the 20" in the summer.

The 20" I am looking at are 20X8.5 with +42 offset. See link below
http://www.ixionwheels.com/wheels/ix005.html

My questions are :

1- Will I have a problem with pressure sensing system with the aftermarket 20" since the sensors will always stay on my 18" with winter tires ?

2- Are the 20" going to affect the towing of my 4200 lbs (loaded) travel trailer ?

Thanks in advance for your help on that matter.
 
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peterk9

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I'm using the Ford Interceptor 18" wheels for my Winter tires in place of the OEM 20". Not sure of their offset etc but it was a straight swap without any issues. Regarding not installing the TPMS on the new wheels, I believe that you will have the TPMS warning light ON during the duration that those wheels are on the Explorer. Since those wheels will be on the vehicle longer than the Winter ones, and also that there is likely towing involved from time to time, I personally would have TPMS sensors installed on them. I'm sure other members will chime in with their thoughts as well and hopefully be able to offer a more comprehensive reply. Good luck and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Peter
 

jimbertrand514

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Thanks for the quick reply Peter.

You answered perfectly to my question which was in fact : Will I get an annoying alert on my dash all summer long because of no TPMS :) So answer is yes...

I found sets of 4 TPMS on Ebay for like 50$, I think you are correct, it is worth the investment. I will order some in the spring and get them installed and programmed by the dealer at the same time as mounting my new 20" tires.

After that I will be all set to just keep the winter tires on 18" and summer tires on 20" and do the rotations myself.

Merry Christmas to you too and all the best for 2015 :)
 

ObsceneJesster

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Personally, I think 20"-22" wheels are the perfect size for a vehicle the size of the Explorer. Anything smaller looks strange. The OEM 20" wheels with the painted inlay look pretty nice for a OEM wheel. Especially if you have the Grey paint color because the color on the wheels ends up matching the color of the body.
 

tmg19103

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The 18's will ride better, last longer and cost less.

Still, I've been known to spend money on cars just for appearance and I appreciate that many like the way 20's (and bigger) look.

Just not my cup of tea on a SUV. A two door sports car or sports sedan, sure, but let me explain why I don't like the look of large wheels on a SUV - and it is all personal perspective.

I drive the beaches on Nantucket. On that island everybody has an SUV that is beach ready. That means 18's at most with a lot of 16's with higher sidewalls so when you air down you still have enough sidewall left. So, when I look at an SUV and see 16's or 18's I see a beach ready SUV that looks right to me. On Nantucket, 20's won't handle the tougher beaches and everybody thinks of them as impractical.

I also see a lot of 25 year old plus Land Rover Defenders on Nantucket. The best offroad SUV ever made IMO. Wheels come only in 15 and 16 OEM. Even today, the brand new 90 and 110 Defenders (have not been able to import them to the U.S. for 25 years due to emissions) in Europe only offer 15 and 16 wheels, yet they look rugged and truly offroad capable like an SUV should - IMO (I understand the Ex is technically a CUV, but Ford markets it at a 4WD SUV even though it is an AWD CUV - and I think it has great SUV looks).

So it is all perspective. For the road warriors, I totally get the 20's looking better if you don't go offroad. I think they look pretty good for pavement purposes. I just look at it form a different perspective as someone who goes offroad.
 

peterk9

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^ I agree. It comes down to personal taste/choice. I have mentioned a few times that I wished they would have offered 17" wheels on the 2011 Limited I had. I did find the ride a bit better when I put on the 17" Winters and also didn't have to be too concerned about 'curb rash'. I don't like the 22" but that is just me. I realize that many members do and likely don't like the 17". That is why we have the freedom to chose what we like and what suits us.

Peter
 

jimbertrand514

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Thanks a lot for your input.

Do you guys know if it will alter the towing feel, fuel consumption and/or capabilities ?

I know that, as a general fact, the wider the wheel the less towing capacity it has (example the 22" on Edge sport only rated for 2000 lbs versus 3500 lbs for the 20").

I guess since the Limited with 20" stock and towing package is also rated for 5000 lbs I will be fine with my aftermarket 20"... ??

Remains to see about the fuel consumption while towing, mind you if gas prices keep falling down like that it won't be much of a concern soon... LOL

Thanks
 

bbag88

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Do you find the 20" wheels to be a smoother ride on the Limited rather than the 18" wheels on an XLT. Test drove a 2016 XLT and it was a little rougher ride compared to our 2011 Limited. Or is it a suspension thing of 2011 vs. 2016?
 

peterk9

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Do you find the 20" wheels to be a smoother ride on the Limited rather than the 18" wheels on an XLT. Test drove a 2016 XLT and it was a little rougher ride compared to our 2011 Limited. Or is it a suspension thing of 2011 vs. 2016?
When I put my 17" Winter wheels on my 2011 Limited in place of the OEM 20" I found the ride a little better. Likely due to more sidewall flexibility on the 17" tire. Suspensions on the Ltd and XLT should be the same. If the tire pressures were different in the XLT that could make a difference. I'm running 18" in place of the OEM 20" on my current vehicle and honestly can't say I've noticed a difference. The 20" go back on next week.

Peter
 

reserved50

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I put 18" runflats on and it was worse than anything ive driven on :)
 

dora51032

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i replaced my wheels to a larger 20" with wider tire and the ride definitely smoother and feel stable on hard corners.

stock 245/60/18 to 265/50/20 aftermarket rims

i'm also thinking to put 5mm or 10mm wheel spacer to wider the track lil bit more. anyone put spacer on their EX and what the size and what is the result or can anyone advise about spacers? thanks
 
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peterk9

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i replaced my wheels to a larger 20" with wider tire and the ride definitely smoother and feel stable on hard corners.

stock 245/60/18 to 265/50/20 aftermarket rims

i'm also thinking to put 5mm or 10mm wheel spacer to wider the track lil bit more. anyone put spacer on their EX and what the size and what is the result or can anyone advise about spacers? thanks
The change in sizes puts you very close to the 3% maximum diameter variance (2.90%). Keep in mind that by widening the stance of the vehicle you are also increasing the pressure on the existing suspension parts. One thing I don't understand is why reduced sidewall flexibility seems to provide a better ride. One would think the opposite should be the case. Using the Forum's handy 'Search' program I found this thread on wheel spacers;
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=387554&highlight=wheel+spacers

Peter
 

JE

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I put 18" runflats on and it was worse than anything ive driven on :)
Runflats, in order to life up to their namesake, are MUCH stiffer and can't absorb as much of what the road throws at you. In my opinion they belong on vehicles with suspension designed for them.
 

Lewisra

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Could it just be that the suspension on a new vehicle is stiffer than a 5yo vehicle?
 

Sixonemale

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I put 18" runflats on and it was worse than anything ive driven on :)
Runflats are generally on performance sports cars as OEM equipment and can even cause a rough ride on these vehicles. I would not put them a vehicle that was not designed for them, they are very stiff.

In regards to 20" wheels vs 18" wheels, I tried them both before purchasing my vehicle. In general the smaller the wheel, the more sidewall, hence a smoother ride with with smaller wheels. Large wheels with low profile tires are probably one of the worst things you can do to degrade your ride. I would always stay with a wheel and tire size that the vehicle is designed for.
 

bbag88

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In regards to 20" wheels vs 18" wheels, I tried them both before purchasing my vehicle. In general the smaller the wheel, the more sidewall, hence a smoother ride with with smaller wheels. Large wheels with low profile tires are probably one of the worst things you can do to degrade your ride. I would always stay with a wheel and tire size that the vehicle is designed for.

So if that were the case was the Explorer designed for 18" OR 20" or are the suspensions slightly modified for the ride?
 

peterk9

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So if that were the case was the Explorer designed for 18" OR 20" or are the suspensions slightly modified for the ride?
The OEM wheel/tire is 20" for the Limited. The standard size for the XLT is 18". The Base model used to come with 17" but I believe they now also have 18". As far as I know the suspensions are all the same except for the Sport model and now also the Platinum.

Peter
 

tmg19103

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Could it just be that the suspension on a new vehicle is stiffer than a 5yo vehicle?
This sounds like a viable reason. I'd test drive a '16 XLT next to a '16 LTD to get a true comparison.

Generally 18's give a softer ride over bumps than 20's with a higher sidewall, and 20's will provide for better cornering and skidpad grip with a lower sidewall and more width given the same suspension.
 

Napalm

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Going from a 5 year and however many mile car I would be the struts are shot in the 2011. so apples to oranges comparision.

Now I would say the 18s vs 20 going from 2015 to 2015 when I tested them - made a slight differnce. XLT to XLT.

I would also wonder if the Limited with the quiter inside and the possibly different seat might make a big difference in percieved roughness too.

IE 2 cars same suspension, same tires - one has more sound deadening. with less noise you will perceive the ride to be smoother and easier. Tends to prove out in comparison testing.
 
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bbag88

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Going from a 5 year and however many mile car I would be the struts are shot in the 2011. so apples to oranges comparision.

Now I would say the 18s vs 20 going from 2015 to 2015 when I tested them - made a slight differnce. XLT to XLT.

I would also wonder if the Limited with the quiter inside and the possibly different seat might make a big difference in percieved roughness too.

IE 2 cars same suspension, same tires - one has more sound deadening. with less noise you will perceive the ride to be smoother and easier. Tends to prove out in comparison testing.
Thanks... that's the info I was thinking I would see... We'll find out when I find a Limited to drive.
 
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