Max tire size

Marine

Adventurer
Currently have 265/70/r17 on my ram 2500. Don't have a lift just leveling kit. Can anyone tell my what is the max size tire I could run without lift. Don't want a lift, but want bigger tires.
Thanks
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
Not enough info. Year? 2WD or 4WD? Gas or Diesel? Stock wheels or aftermarket?

My '05 PW runs 35x12.50 Toyos with no rub, on either stock or H2 wheels, no lift other than the factory PW setup.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

CCPAJeeper

Observer
Marine, I have an 04 Ram 2500 4x4. I am running 285/70-17 Cooper ST Maxx on factory steel wheels. No rubbing at all. No lift or leveling kit.

Hope this helps.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
37s if you wanted to get fancy. That would require pushing the front axle forward about 1/2" and moving the rear axle back 1/2". They will run the control arms at full lock unless you have offset arms. I would work best with wheels that had 6" backspacing to keep the tire from swinging into the rear of the front wheel opening. Front bumper will likely need trimmed slightly also.
 

Marine

Adventurer
Thanks ccpa, I might give them a try. I have 4 stock steel rims in the garage. I just like the look of plain stock.
 

drewactual

Adventurer
offset and back spacing of wheel are going to play a heavy roll... it's been my experience and especially with dodge/ram that width is the first issue you'll encounter, as it's difficult to go higher without going wider, too... a true 12.5" width is tricky.. some trucks are good, some not, and depending on the chosen offset and/or back spacing...
 

Marine

Adventurer
37s if you wanted to get fancy. That would require pushing the front axle forward about 1/2" and moving the rear axle back 1/2". They will run the control arms at full lock unless you have offset arms. I would work best with wheels that had 6" backspacing to keep the tire from swinging into the rear of the front wheel opening. Front bumper will likely need trimmed slightly also.
Thank you Metcalf. That might be a little above my level. Well not a little a lot. Lol.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
If you keep factory offset and don't get crazy with rim width, then 285s will clear with no problems, and 295s should also work. Get out there with a friend and a tape measure and you might convince yourself that 305s will clear. The tire cross section will play a big part in what works, so a little narrower might make sense as you go up in diameter, maybe 33x11.50 would be optimal. Since it has the 3G Dodge front end, get Load Range E to minimize the chance of death wobble, and pay particular attention to alignment. There may be a steering linkage recall on your truck, so stop by a dealer and have them run the VIN just to be sure. You can also go to DodgeTalk.com and poke around on the 3G forum to see what other '03 CTDs are running for tires.

If you want a very practical wheel upgrade, look for a set of PW aluminum wheels (8x17) or Hummer H2 wheels (8.5x17). Both have internal bead locks, and the H2 uses the Dodge bolt pattern, but has a smaller hub hole so you'd need to have the hubs bored out to work. The H2 wheel is a popular upgrade for PWs because because the wheels are cheap on CraigsList and they are very close to Dodge factory offset.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
If you want a very practical wheel upgrade, look for a set of PW aluminum wheels (8x17) or Hummer H2 wheels (8.5x17). Both have internal bead locks, and the H2 uses the Dodge bolt pattern, but has a smaller hub hole so you'd need to have the hubs bored out to work. The H2 wheel is a popular upgrade for PWs because because the wheels are cheap on CraigsList and they are very close to Dodge factory offset.
Internal bead locks?
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
PW internal beadlock wheel. Designed by Alcoa to Dodge specs, were USA-forged from 2005 to about 2008, then made in China by Alcoa after 2008. Rumor is that they switched to another supplier around 2012. Look at that lip on the left side of wheel center. It is bigger than on other wheels and is designed to keep the bead in place when the tire is aired down for offroad use. Other Dodge alloy wheels may look similar on the outside, but there are subtle differences, aside from the beadlock. Seems to work pretty well. The H2 wheel has a similar lip, and there are a couple of aftermarket wheels that supposedly use a similar design.
PW Beadlock IMG_0293.JPG
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
PW internal beadlock wheel. Designed by Alcoa to Dodge specs, were USA-forged from 2005 to about 2008, then made in China by Alcoa after 2008. Rumor is that they switched to another supplier around 2012. Look at that lip on the left side of wheel center. It is bigger than on other wheels and is designed to keep the bead in place when the tire is aired down for offroad use. Other Dodge alloy wheels may look similar on the outside, but there are subtle differences, aside from the beadlock. Seems to work pretty well. The H2 wheel has a similar lip, and there are a couple of aftermarket wheels that supposedly use a similar design.
View attachment 339656
That is a very nice wheel, but that is not a 'bead-lock'. If you can dismount the tire in the standard way, with machine pressure to the center of the wheel, it's not a bead-lock.
The wheel was built with a slightly higher safety bead . I have seen people add additional to that bead by using a few different methods....welding, epoxy, tape, etc.

You can also find these wheels on Dodge trucks that came with the 'polished' wheel option.

A few wraps of Gorilla Tape over the safety bead has the same effect. It makes the bead much harder to get seated....and that much harder to roll off the bead.



2 wraps is good....3 is getting pretty dang tight. This wheel had a pretty good lip from the factory so I only did 2 wraps. Use a light amount of soap and water spray to help the bead into place.
This is the inner bead also. The outer bead uses a mechanical clamp style retaining ring.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
The outer bead uses a mechanical clamp style retaining ring.
The internal lip on the PW wheels is noticeably larger than the lip on most other wheels. I don't air down a lot, but some of the PW guys have reported good results down to about 12-15psi with these wheels on bigass trucks. The external beadlock rings are not DOT approved, with very few exceptions. But there are so many fake beadlock wheels on the road that I doubt anyone other than a tire shop would notice.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
The internal lip on the PW wheels is noticeably larger than the lip on most other wheels. I don't air down a lot, but some of the PW guys have reported good results down to about 12-15psi with these wheels on bigass trucks. The external beadlock rings are not DOT approved, with very few exceptions. But there are so many fake beadlock wheels on the road that I doubt anyone other than a tire shop would notice.
DOT 'illegal' beadlocks are not the issue that most people think they are. There are no states that make beadlocks illegal per say.....they just don't say they ARE legal. They may not be manufactured under SAE wheel guidelines, but they are not 'illegal'. Basically the wheel manufacturer is releasing liability if anything goes wrong. Shops don't like to work on them for the same reason.....just like they don't like to work on older 2pc wheels split-rims or dayton style wheels.

I wouldn't suggest running pinch-style beadlocks on vehicles that tow a lot or if they are HEAVILY loaded (and there are tire PSI limitations in some versions) but for most vehicle use they are just fine. Some designs are better than others. I've run thousands of highway miles without any issues with pinch-style beadlocks. Like anything that has been modified, you should keep an eye on things.

With proper driving technique, there are far less problems with bead retention than most people think. I don't typically get nervous on anything until I get into the single digits. I have wheeled everything from heavy one-ton type trucks to super light Jeeps. My dodge is 7000lbs.....my old jeep is 3000lbs or less. There are limits to bead retention, but generally you have to be doing something you shouldn't to roll a bead off any wheel with a modern safety bead. Wheels like the old style 16.5s do not have that feature. A large percentage of my friends have switched over to 'tape-locks' in a lot of situations because they are light, cheap, and universal to just about any wheel. These are guys running 5000-6000lb Jeeps in deep snow with 37"+ tires down to about 3psi or so. You can still get the bead off......because it isn't mechanically retained....but you have to try pretty dang hard.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
DOT 'illegal' beadlocks are not the issue that most people think they are. There are no states that make beadlocks illegal per say.....they just don't say they ARE legal. They may not be manufactured under SAE wheel guidelines, but they are not 'illegal'. Basically the wheel manufacturer is releasing liability if anything goes wrong. Shops don't like to work on them for the same reason.....just like they don't like to work on older 2pc wheels split-rims or dayton style wheels.
I did not say "legal," I said "approved." Big difference. OP seems to want to stay dead stock or very close to it. Therefor, the PW or H2 wheel is a smart move while he is buying tires, if he can find a set for low $. I bought two sets of H2 wheels, one set mint for $300 and the other lightly used for $200. That's for all four wheels, not for each. Hard to come up with a smarter upgrade on a budget.

I wouldn't worry about pinch-style beadlocks on my truck if I had them, but I don't really need them and am generally reluctant to spend money on stuff that does not improve the truck for my use. I carry enough recovery gear that I can easily reseat a bead if I lose it, so that's not an issue for me. I would wonder if the insurance companies would give me a ration of crap if I were to be involved in an accident and they found out I had non-DOT wheels on the truck. I don't trust insurance companies as far as I can throw them, and they look for any excuse to screw the claimant. America's Tire (Discount Tire outside California) won't work on real beadlocks, and they are very picky about even busting and balancing tires to do a vulcanized patch if the tires are not in pretty good condition. That is a PITA, but there are plenty of workarounds. If I needed external beadlocks, I'd have them, but for me they are overkill.
 
Top