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Tire Rub Concern??


New Member
July 16, 2014
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Sport Trac
So, I just bought a 2002 ST 4x4 with 107,000 miles on it. The previous owner put new shackles on, which he said was 1.25". (how can I find out for sure?)

He also put VTech Raptor 17" rims with Cooper Discoverer ATP 285 70/R17 tires. (I dont know the offset etc..do I need to know? if so how can I find out?)

I am rubbing in a few places. The back seems fine, I may need to trim a little plastic, but the front has me kinda worried. the tire is rubbing the side wall on what seems to be a sway bar? (not good with terminology). Now if I turn the wheel all the way over while sitting still I looked and had about .5" clearance. So I assume that it's hitting while turning and simultaneously hitting a bump.

My question is, is this a big deal?? obviously I dont want to blow a tire, but I theoretically would only make hard turns while going slow so the risk is low that the tire would be spinning fast enough to cause serious damage if it hit the sway bar. So if I am concious of it and try not to turn "all the way over" should I be ok?

If not are spacers an option?? I know some people are seriously against them, but I dont think I will need much maybe another .5" for clearance.

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Here is a picture of the rub in the front


Here is a picture of the rub in the front

My tires did the same until I removed the sway bar (I'm not endorsing that). As you suspect, it's likely happening when you're turning. It won't hurt the sway bar. It "probably" won't affect your tires noticeably. I'd lean more toward keeping an eye on the tires rather than adding spacers.

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Usually on the backside of the wheel are all the specs about it located on each spoke. As far as the rub that's normal, just check the tire for weardown marks and check the bead of the wheels also. If he installed lift shackles they'll be made of thick pieces of steel in an "H" shape as opposed to the factory thin metal shackles that are a C channel design. I'll post pictures later" on my phone now.

Does you truck have a 3" bodylift and or a torsion twist lift done on the front? Pictures of the whole truck would help.

Does you truck have a 3" bodylift and or a torsion twist lift done on the front? Pictures of the whole truck would help.

When I bought it he didn't say anything about a lift on the front. I looked under there but not sure what I'm looking for. It seems fairly level, so does that mean the front was lifted as well?

More Pics





Ok, so it has Warrior Products lift shackles, no bodylift, I don't think it has anything done to the frontend. Nice truck by the way.

Judging by the first pic, appears the front sway bar frame bushings are worn and loose. Won't help your inner tire rub issue,
but may tighten up the suspension feel and handling. Sport Trac 4WD should be 1 1/4", RWD 1 1/8". Moog and others are
softer thermoplastic rubber, Energy Suspension or Prothane polyurethane bushings may be even better. Also check end links.



Thanks guys. Yeah after looking on the internet about the spacers you would think all your wheels will fall off at highway speeds, so I believe I'll just stay conscious of the rub and keep a check on it.

Also I have a set of rancho 5000 shocks which I plan on installing this weekend. I may also replace the sway bar bushings while I'm at it. Maybe that will help a little.

Auto zone seems to sell the bushing. They list the size in mm so 1.25 in equals 31.75mm so go with the 32mm size?

If you use the bolt on wheel spacers like most of us have and do and torque the lug nuts down on the spacers as well as the wheel then you'll be fine. You can't run wheel spacers on the front to push the tires away from the sway bar because the wheel and tire combo are already max width and height for the stance of your truck. You would have to lift it and cut a lot of plastic and probably some metal off of the bumper cover, cladding and toeboard.