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Ford Panther Platform Wheel Widening - Build A Panther Part 6 The Wheel Widening Edition

Wheel Widening for the Crown Victoria

By , Photography by

“Holy s*#@! That thing looks siiiick!
K.J. Jones, Tech Editor, 5.0 Mustang

Checking Offset/Backspace

There are a variety of ways to determine just how wide a wheel and tire package you can fit on your car. Here is process I used.

I found a good tire size comparison tool online at that allows you to compare prospective wheel and tire combinations to what's on your car now. For this to work, you need to know your tire size (no biggie-it's molded into the tires) and the diameter, width, and offset of your existing wheels. Tire Rack will have specs for your stock wheels. Using the tire comparison tool, I plugged in my stock specs and then tried several combinations of section widths and aspect ratios to come up with a tire that was about 2 inches wider and within an inch of overall diameter of my stock tires. In my case, the 225mm section width is approximately 8.9 inches wide. A 285mm tire is approximately 11.2 inches wide. To determine the correct offset and backspace for the new wheels, I used Tire Rack's specs for my stock wheels: 16x7 ET50 (ET50 means 50mm positive offset-the hub flange is 50 mm outboard of the wheel's centerline). According to the tire comparison tool, this is equivalent to a 5.9-inch backspace. Knowing I could increase the overall package by about an inch inboard, and factoring a 285/40 tire mounted on a 17x9 wheel, a 37mm offset equates to 6.5 inches of backspace.

Parts List

Description PN Source Price
17x7.5 10-slot wheel (set of four) STL03670 Rock Auto $383.16
Widening two steel wheels to 9 inches N/A Pico Wheel & Tire 180.00
Kumho Ecsta ASX 245/45R17 (pair) N/A Performance Plus 266.00
Kumho Ecsta ASX 285/40R17 (pair) N/A Performance Plus 360.00
Mount and balance four tires N/A Performance Plus 79.00
Wheel alignment N/A Just Tires 79.00
Total $1,347.16

Performance Plus Tire & Automotive
3910 Cherry Ave
Long Beach
CA  90807
Rock Auto
6680 Odana Road
WI  53719
Pico Wheel & Tire
North Hollywood
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