If you are not looking to enhance your car's performance, you can still use a wheel that fits your car and enhances its appearance.
Once you have the wheels you want, then it's time to shop for the right tires. Make sure that they:
# Adequately fit the rims
# Have the adequate width and diameter for your suspension
If you aren't planning to change your suspension setup, make sure your tires have the same width and overall diameter as the original tires, regardless of the size of your wheels.
Even if you change the wheel diameter, you can still maintain the stock tire diameter and width by selecting the right aspect ratio.
# Have the performance you want
Purchasing readily available tires is a good idea, especially something that will be in stock at a local store. You don't want to have to wait a for a four-week backorder in case your tires need to be replaced.
If appearance is your primary concern, the principal technical issues to consider are the size of the wheel-tire combination, and how big it can be, ensuring that it avoids rubbing the fender line, fender lip or strut tower at full lock. Cars can often accommodate wheels several sizes larger than the O.E.M size.
You can usually achieve the right look without scraping on bumps or on turns by
# Rolling the fender lip. This can be done by machines specialized for the task.
If you're into DIY and not too concerned about the resulting look, you can use a baseball bat, at your own risk, as per Figure 6-6. Shove the bat between the tire and fender and roll the bat, which will also roll the fender.
# Modifying the fender liner.
Don't think of removing of trimming the fender liners. Resolve the basic problem instead of hacking fender liners.
The fender liner
* Protects and shields the suspension and electronic brake/suspension components from water, brake heat, and debris on the road.
* Manages airflow under the car. This is important for both engine cooling and aerodynamics.
You shouldn't need to remove the fender unless there's been a significant error:
* Inadequate offset for the wheel.
* Car's profile has been lowered too much.
* An inadequate wheel and tire combination.
# Installing wheel spacers.
Wheel spacers are installed between the wheels and hubs.
Wheel spacers should only be used if you intend to increase the track of your car for improved handling or appearance enhancement, while keeping the current wheels.
When buying new wheels
* Don't plan to use wheel spacers.
* Consult with professionals to ensure that you are getting the required wheel offset for the car. This way you won't need wheel spacers to ensure that the wheels fit.
Wheel spacers are used in the following cases:
* Insufficient offset for the wheels.
A wheel spacer compensates for insufficient offset by pushing the wheels farther away from the hub.
* To make a lug-centric wheel (one that centers by tightening the wheel lugs rather than a hub-specific mounting surface) hub-centric.
Depending on the way that your car's wheels are bolted on, wheel spacers require either
* Longer wheel studs
Some wheel studs can be unscrewed for easy removal while others will have to be removed with a hydraulic press.
* Longer wheel bolts
Wheel bolts are an easy swap. Just use the right bolts according to the thickness of the installed spacer.
Wheel spacers also have a few disadvantages:
* Wheel spacers add rotating, unsprung weight (which greatly hinders acceleration).
* Longer wheel studs or bolts are more prone to shear fatigue (snapping) than standard-length bolts.
These are weak points for cars that have regular track use.
In extreme cases, wider fender flares coupled with aftermarket suspensions, either air-bagged or coiled over, can give you the look you want.