Fridays FAQ #2 Tire & Wheel Fitment

Backspace, Bigger Tires, and Clearances: 

We get a lot of questions about wheel choices.  This should hopefully clear up some of the confusion people have,  especially when dealing with IFS lifts.  The backspace and rim width are the two critical items when selecting a wheel to go with an aftermarket lift.  The backspacing will determine the clearance to the steering knuckle.  This is very important, because too much backspacing will put the rim in contact with suspension components, and will vary by the rim sizeOften times the factory rim will go back on after a kit is installed, but only with a stock tire.  You can see how much a tire overhangs the rim (tire bulge), this gets a lot worse when you go up to a 35 x 12.50 tire.  The factory width tire on most of trucks is 275mm, which translates to 10.8 inches wide.  Adding a 12.50 tire would decrease the clearance by almost 1 inch, and this is enough to make that combination not work.  This is why we specify a certain width wheel (to eliminate some of the tire bulge) and a certain backspacing (to guarantee clearance to steering components).

Too little backspacing will put the wheel outside of the wheel well really far.  This is great for suspension component clearance, but really bad for fender clearances.  When the tire sticks out it is likely to rub on the bumper and backside of the front fender while the wheel is turned.  Sometimes some creative trimming will fix this problem, but most people do not like to trim excessively on brand new trucks.  The other problem with a wheel that sticks out really far is it increases tire scrub.  This can cause issues with traction control systems as well as increase the wear on factory components. 

If you are in love with a certain wheel, contact us with the specifications, check with us before you order them.  We can let you know if you will have possible interference issues.  Don’t be too upset when we say that you should think about a different rim.  We have test fit lots of different rims and our listings represent the best specifications for getting the biggest tire on your truck.

42 comments on “Fridays FAQ #2 Tire & Wheel Fitment”

  1. Justin H Reply

    i have 2 inches of body lift already on my 2001 F150 and i was told i could fit 38’s after installing this kit, is this true if not what is the largest tire i can fit, the widest, and what wheel size is recommended?

  2. Zone Admin Reply

    @Justin H
    Which kit are you asking about, combining our 6” suspension lift with a 2” body? The max size is really dependent on the wheels and tires you select, the width and the wheel backspacing. Some 38’s measure out to be 36.5” actual height, so a flat answer to will 38’s fit gets a little tricky… A wider tire or smaller backspacing (stuck out farther) will be more likely to rub when turning. If you plan to run the stock fenders and stock bumpers I’d say a 37×13.50 is probably a safer bet to run with your setup. We haven’t tested combining the suspension/body lifts with that tire so we can’t guarantee their won’t be some trimming necessary, but I’d look for a 9-10” wide rim with 4.5-4.75” backspacing. Wheel diameter is up to you, the larger you go the more expensive the wheels/tires get.

  3. Nick Reply

    I am thinking about installing either your 4″ or 6″ suspension lift on my 2004 F150 4×4. I am currently running stock wheels (17″) with 285/70/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers. Would I run into any issues by staying with my current wheel/tire setup? Or would I need to buy an aftermarket wheel with different backspacing?

    • Zone Admin Reply

      Hey Nick, the stock 17s will not fit back on the truck after installing the lift do to clearance issues of the tie rod mounted to the new steering knuckles. We have more information on our website about recommended wheel/tire specs and feel free to call our tech support line for further clarification (888) 998-9663

  4. BeeRad Reply

    Hey there,

    I am considering your 6″ Suspension lift for my 2011 F-150 4×4. It has the 20″ wheel option, which I believe is 20 x 9.5″.

    Would I be able to continue to run the stock wheel and tire combination on this truck, and if so, what size wheel is ideal in either 18 x 9″ or 20 x 9.5″
    (offset / backspacing).

    I like the appearance of the wide lipped wheels but I realize these have huge backspace and thus, are generally not suitable in my application.

    I’m content with something like the PRO-Comp Diesel, but don’t know if any of their stock sizes are suitable for this kit.


  5. Matt Reply

    I have a 98 f150 got the zone 6″ lift and also a leveling kit for the front. I want to do 20×12 -44 offset wheel is that possible? What size tires will I be able to fit nicely? Any ideas..

    • Zone Offroad Products Reply

      Being that it’s outside our recommended wheel/tire specs, we can’t guarantee fitment without some modifications being needed. You’ll likely want to stick to a 33-35” tall tire on there to allow fitment when turning lock-to-lock. An aftermarket front bumper or front bumper trimming will open up extra clearance as well.

  6. Jeff Reply

    My current tired are 38 13.50 18 toyos and I am thinking of going down to 35 but the width of the tires I like are 12.50 will that still fit on the rims?

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      That would depend on the width of the wheels you are currently running. Most tire companies have a recommended wheel width listing on their sites, depending on the tires its likely around an 8.5-11” wide wheel

  7. Austin Reply

    Hi, I have a 2008 silverado and am planning on doing the 4.5″ lift with 20×9 Fuel Vapor wheels with +1 offset. Ill be running 33×12.5 R20s on it. I was curious as to whether I would have any issue or if I should be ok. The offroad shop said it should all work fine.

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Austin,
      That setup work work great and is right within our recommended specs. The 20×9 (+1 offset) measure out to roughly 5″ backspacing.

  8. Scott Reply

    I have a 2014 Silverado 1500 planning on doing a 6.5 zone lift with cali off road twisted rims 0 offset 35×12.50×20. Do I need any back spacing?

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Scott, we spec our 6.5″ lift kit to fit 35×12.50×20 tires on 20×9 wheels with 5-5.75″ backspacing. Based on your message you seem to be a little confused on what backspacing is. Backspacing and offset are 2 ways to measure the wheel spec. Backspacing is a measurement from the wheel mounting surface to the backside of the wheel, measured in inches. Offset is the measurement of how far the wheel mounting surface is “offset” from the center of the wheel, measured in millimeter and relative to the width of the wheel. Without knowing how wide your 20″ Cali Offroad wheels are its difficult to say how 0 offset is.

  9. Chris Dunn Reply

    I have a 2009 Silverado Z71 Extended Cab. I’m going to order the 6.5″ lift. I want to stick with my factory 18″ wheels. I’m pretty sure they have back spacing of 5.7″ +31 offset. I currently have 285/65R18 Trail Grapplers but I’m worried they will look tiny after lift. I’m not wanting much outside fenders . Would like flush or less than a inch outside but would like a tire as tall as I can get. What size would you recommend and would the 285/65 look retarded if I kept them for time being. Also will I need spacers in the rear to even track width….? Tire sizes I was thing was 285/75 , 295/70 , 305/70 or if it would work a 315/70R18. If I need to trim a little plastic im good with that…I’m also not worried if I have a little rub on full lock turning. This is my weekend truck as I have a company truck as my daily driver. Thanks

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Chris,
      your 285/65r18 tires measure out to 32.5×11.50 when they were new. You’ll still have a fair amount of clearance in the fender opening running our 6.5″ lift. We recommend the 6.5″ kit to be used with aftermarket 18×9 wheels (w/ 5″ BSing) to increase the clearance between the steering knuckle and sidewall of the tire. If you want to run the stock wheels I’d recommend contacting our tech support department for their recommendations for tire size/clearance at (888) 998-9663 or

  10. Ken p Reply

    I have a 2500hd duramax, Im looking to do the 5in lift but want to keep my stock 18 inch wheels. Will I be able to if i put spacers and do a little trimming?

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Ken, while aftermarket 18s are recommended, the stock 18″ wheels can be used in combination with wheel spacers to achieve our recommended 4.5-5″ wheel backspacing. For more on the topic contact Zone sales/tech support at (888) 998-9663 or

  11. Andrew Reply

    I have a 2011 ford f150 4×4 with a 2.5 leveling kit. The wheels I want are 20×10 with -19 offset and 4.75 backspacing. Could I fit a 35×13.50r20 on my truck.

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      That wheel/tire combo will require some fender trimming to fit with just 2.5″ of lift. Ideally you would have 6″ of lift to fit that tire/wheel combo on the ’09-14 Ford F150 trucks.

  12. Jimmy Reply

    I have the zone 8 inch lift from stage three motor sports. I’m wanting to put a 20×12 wheel. And a 37 x 13.5 nitto mud. Will that work? My truck is a 2012 f 150.

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Jimmy, that setup is outside of our recommend specs for the F150 being that our kit is designed as a 6″ IFS lift system so we can’t guarantee fitment without any trimming being needed.37×13.50 tires on 20×12 wheels should fit comfortably on there with 8″ of lift for daily driving, however some trimming may be needed especially if used offroad.

  13. JOSH Nelson Reply

    I got your uca 3″ adventure series lift for a 07 gmc sierra 2500hd classic id like to put the 20×10 fuel vapor wheel with -18 offset with a 4.75 backspacing with 33×12.50r20 or 35s (if possible) would that work? If not would wheel spacers help?

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Josh,
      Our recommended specs for that 3″ UCA lift kit are to fit 33×12.50 tires on 9″ wide wheels with 5″ backspacing. That said a 20×10 wheel with 4.75″ BSing can be installed, however are more likely to require some trimming to clear at full turn, especially in offroad situations where the suspension may be flexed. Wheel spacers wouldn’t help with clearance, they would actually make it tire clearance worse when the wheels are turned.

  14. Heath Reply

    I have a 2014 Ram 1500 with stock 20” wheels. My plan is to install a MaxTrack 4.5 inch lift, (4.5 inch front, 1.5 inch rear) then go with 35x 12.5 20s (BFG All Terrain KO2) and stay with the STOCK wheels. If I use 1.5 inch wheel spacers, will this combination work without any trimming or rubbing? Thanks in advance

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Heath, being a suspension manufacturer ourselves its difficult to offer recommendations on another company’s kit without knowing their kit specifics, track width changes and wheel/tire recommendations. The Zone Offroad 4″ kit doesn’t increase track width and allows fitment of 35×12.50 tires when used with 20×9 wheels using a 4.5-5″ backspacing. Most of the factory 20″ RAM wheels are 20×8 w/ 5.25-5.5″ BSing so you’ll want to use around 1-1.5″ wheel spacer.

  15. Paul Sangineto Reply

    Hi peops, Im lookin to get your 5.5 lift kit for my 15 GMC Canyone SLE All Terrain 4×4, your recommended max tire size is 295/70 r17, my wheel is Moto metal 984 17×9, -12 offset, 4.53 bs, your listed wheel is 17×8 with 4.5 bs. Will my wider wheel be cool here, if I have to trim a little plastic inside the wheel well, my installer is cool with minimal trimming. MANY THANX…

  16. Paul Sangineto Reply

    I forgot to mention, if that set up doesnt work, would it help to drop down to a 295/65/17 or285/65/17 which is my linit, I’m even open to a 285/65/18×9 Raceline wheel, let me know my options . I aprecise your expertise, I just wanna get this right the first time…Later ,THX…

  17. Charles Reply

    I have a 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 with 18inch factory wheels. I want to get the 4.5inch lift but want to keep the factory wheels. Online it says cannot reuse 17 or 18″ wheels. Is that true and if so can I reuse with a spacer on front wheels and if so what size spacer

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Charles, thanks for reaching out and for your interest in Zone Offroad. To answer your question the stock 17-17″ wheels can’t be reinstalled with our 4.5″ kit due to the large backspacing causing clearance issues with the new suspension components. If wheel spacers were installed to achieve our recommended backspacing measurements then you would be fine to reinstall the factory wheels. The size of spacer would depend on your particular wheel, but likely around a 1″ spacer for the front.

  18. Matt Reply

    Can I run 33×12.50 tires with 18×9 + 18 offset wheels back spacing is 5.708″ with your 4″ suspension lift on a 2011 silverado z71 4wd?

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Matt,
      We spec our 4.5″ IFS Lift Kits for your 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 to allow fitment of 33×12.50 tires on 18×9 wheels with 5″ BS. 18×9 wheels with 5.7″ BS will have a clearance issue between the wheel and steering tie rod end. For more on the topic contact us at (888) 998-9663 or (

  19. Katy Reply

    I have an 04 Silverado 1500. I’m looking to buy the 6″ suspension lift and 3″ body lift. Im wanting to know if 315/75/16 tires with tread width 9 3/4″ and tires 16×10 with 4.5 backspace will fit if trimming isn’t an issue.

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Katy,
      You shouldn’t have any issue fitting that tire/wheel combo on there with that amount of lift. We spec our 6″ lifts to fit 35×12.50s (equiv to 315/75r16) on 16×8 wheels with 4.5″ BS, the extra width of the 16×10 will require some trimming for clearance in all driving situations on road and off, but if you’re adding the body lift you will have the clearance. What I’d suggest is install the suspension lift, wheels and tires first to check clearance and get a better idea how much trimming would be involved. You may decide to trim rather than add the body lift.

      For more on the 6″ IFS lift kit head to

  20. Tyler Storm Reply

    I have a 2017 Sierra 1500 and can’t decide between the 4.5” Lift and the 6.5” Lift. I want to fit 35×12.50×20 Toyo M/t’s. I’m lookin at the fuel Assualt rims either the 20×10 with a -18mm offset or the 20×9 with a +1mm offset. Which would be the best rout to go for the best ride. I also deliver in this truck and was looking to keep it as low as possible but will be willing to go to the 6” Lift. Just weighing my options.

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Tyler,
      Thanks for reaching out and your interest in Zone Offroad. On your ’17 GMC 1500 you can fit a 35×12.50 tire with as little as our 4.5″ of lift, however you will need to stick to the recommended wheel specs listed on our website, 20×9 wheels with 5.75″ backspacing and even then some trimming will likely be required. Our 6.5″ lift kit is better suited to fitting that wheel/tire combo, but even then a 35×12.50 tire on a 20×10 wheel with 4.75″ backspacing may require some trimming to clear in all driving situations on and off-road. For more info on our available lift kits, wheel/tire recommendations, truck photos and more head to

  21. Tyler Reply

    So I am looking into either getting your 4.5” or 6.5” suspension radius arm lift kit for my 2014 ram 2500 (Diesel) but I had a couple questions. I noticed that the 6.5” comes with a progressive coil for the rear as well as a new coil for the front, while the 4.5” kit just comes with spacers in the rear, my question is which is better for ride quality if these effect it at all? Does the coil spring in the rear make the truck ride nicer than putting a spacer in with stock spring? Also I see that you guys are saying in the descriptions that with the 4.5” lift I could clear 37×12.50 tires with a 17×9 wheel with a negative 5.625 offset. And with the 6.5” lift I could clear 37×13.50 tires with a 17×9 wheel with a negative 5.625 offset. My question about this is that I have an 18” stock wheel on right now and I can’t go down to a 17” do to clearance around the brakes so will this change anything being that I have to use at least an 18” wheel? Also will that backspacing that your calling out for make my tire stick way outside the fenders? I would like to use the 4.5” kit but was just wondering about those few things. The only reason I’m thinking 4.5 over the 6.5 is simply because I like the looks of the trucks that don’t have a bunch of fender space and I want to run 37’s no bigger. I like when the tire is closer to the fender but without rubbing on anything and without having to trim anything obviously and I like the tire to stick out of the fender a little bit but not like half of the tire sticking out. so I was just wondering if the 4.5 would work for what I’m looking to do.

    • Tyler Reply

      I would like to be able to run either 37×13.50×18 tire and wheel combo or 37×12.50×18 combo without a bunch of my tire sticking way outside of my fender but like I said I don’t mind if it sticks out a little. Basically just wondering your opinion on what my best bet would be to clear these tires and wheels.

      • Tyler Reply

        Also one last question sorry, this will all bolt right up to my truck right? Like I said 2014 ram 2500 diesel, it’s the big horn model with rear coil springs

    • Carter @ Zone Offroad Reply

      Hey Tyler, thanks for your interest in Zone Offroad. You had a lot of questions in there and I’ll try to answer them all. I’ll also say our sales team is available to assist you over the phone at (888) 998-9663 and you can stop by your local Zone Offroad dealer with questions too,

      Coil springs – you are correct that the 4.5″ kits are set up with front full length progressive rate coils along with a 2.5″ rear coil spacer where the 6.5″ kit uses front and rear full length progressive rate coil springs. The progressive rate coils mimic the factory front/rear coil spring design to offer a soft ride on road with the benefits of increased spring rate when towing, hauling, and cycling the suspension offroad. The factory suspension uses progressive rate coils as well, ride quality is similar with either kit, we only offer replacement rear coils for the taller lift heights.

      Wheel/tires – Our recommended wheel/tire specs are just that, recommendations based on what we’ve tested and confirmed compatible. Other sizes can be used, but may require additional modification/ fender trimming. In your case I can’t say as to whether a 17″ would be able to fit or not, I would assume it would as I don’t know of an OE big brake for the RAM that requires 18″+ wheels. Our tire tire size recommendation is listed based on 17s, but comparably specs 18-20-22-24″ wheels can be installed for similar clearance.

      Backspacing – Our backspacing measurements are on the moderate side and while they will stick out more than the factory wheels, the measurement is set up to position the wheel/tire combo for maximum clearance to the suspension and fender when driving/turning. 37s are a tight fit on 4.5″ of lift, even with following our wheel/tire recommendations. While the fit nicely for around town driving, you may find they still some minor rubbing at times when the truck is flexed out with the tires turned (offroad) that would require some additional trimming to maximize the wheelwell clearance for larger tires. The 6.5″ lift is the safer bet for tire clearance, especially if you are planning to run a wider 37×13.50 tire.

      Installation – this is a 100% bolt on kit, no welding required. Step-by-step instructions are available at
      4.5″ radius arm kit:
      6.5″ radius arm kit:

      For available kit info head to

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *