So you want an aggressive off-road look with the biggest tires you can possibly stuff in your fender wells, but you don’t want your tires rubbing when you turn.
Nothing’s worse than a badass looking truck with huge tires sitting still, but can’t move because the tires eat away at the inner fenders when the steering wheel is turned. Great for straight roads, not so great if you ever need to turn.
There are several factors that affect whether or not your tires rub when turning.
- Wheel offset – how far the wheel (and the tire attached to it) sticks out from the edge of the truck
Amount of lift, if any
Type of lift kit – not all lift kits are created equal. Although few of them do this, there are still some that will increase the track width of the front end, pushing the tires out slightly. This can make them rub just like having wheels without enough offset, or wheels that are too deep.
Tire size and type – Mud tires have a tendency to rub more because of the larger treads
Other parts added – mud flaps, fender flares and some running boards all make the opening in the fender well “smaller”, making some tires rub sooner than they would without these accessories
Fender mods – we offer fender mods and minor trimming to help clearance issues
How you drive – do you enter your driveway or a parking lot at more than a snail’s pace? Rubbing occurs most often when turning, but even more so when turning and hitting a bump at the same time. Even if it’s just 10 MPH, that can be the difference in having a tire rub or not
Turning in reverse – when you put your truck into reverse gear, everything shifts slightly (not just the transmission). Backing out of a driveway, parking spot, etc. is one of the most common times that a tire will rub.
Not all trucks are created equal – You can put the exact same tire/wheel combination on 2 identical trucks and one might rub slightly and the other won’t at all
Know What To Expect
The bottom line is to get the very best look you might need to compromise just a little. We will recommend a wheel/tire combination that looks great and works well. Could it rub the inner fender occasionally? Yes. There are hundreds of thousands of trucks on the road that rub slightly when turning in a driveway or backing up and this is normal. But on most of these, it’s only in severe turns or certain angles that cause rubbing. The average turn onto another street or into a parking lot won’t affect much. When you hit a bump or go off road driving, your tires will rub more than usual.
Depending on your truck, the tire could be rubbing on a plastic fender liner/insert, it could rub on the frame or other steel component, or it could rub on the outer fender itself. Some are worse than others, but it completely depends on the truck. On older Chevy’s and some other trucks, it is rubbing on the outer fender (at the bottom), which can mean you have a pretty sharp piece of steel rubbing on rubber. Rubber will lose this battle every time resulting in your tires being “slashed” or cut by the fender. Ask not just IF the tires you choose will rub, but ask WHERE they will rub so you’ll know where to check for wear and damage in the future.
If you want a tire that will NEVER rub, tell us before you buy them. You’ll be forced to compromise with a smaller (shorter and/or narrower) tire, and/or a wheel that’s not as wide and deep as you might like. Try to find a balance of living with a little bit of rubbing, and getting the stellar looks you can get with a lifted or leveled truck and a great set of tires and wheels.
Visit us at Chux Trux right here in Kansas City, check out our website or give us a call and we’ll find the perfect wheel and tire combo that’ll fit what you want and how you want it.