Selecting the proper wheels and tires to adorn your Mopar is probably one of the biggest decisions you'll make when fixing up your car. Nothing, besides paint, has more of an impact on your car's appearance than the wheels and tires. A nice set of wheels and tires will make virtually any car look good, no matter what the condition. The only real problem with choosing wheels and tires (other than forking over the cash) is that there are so many choices. How do you decide which wheel and tire combination will give your car the look and stance that you desire? Are you after a stock look or do you prefer aftermarket wheels? Will you use tires of the factory recommended size or will you upgrade to a larger tire to achieve a higher level of performance? In some cases the performance level you wish to achieve will dictate the wheels and tires you should consider for your car. While wheel style is usually a matter of individual preference, there is often more than one choice of wheel in the style you like. Then there is the issue of tire sizes. How do you measure for tires that will give you the maximum performance, while still fitting within the confines of your car's fenders without rubbing? And what the heck do all of those numbers on the sidewall of the tire mean? Well, we're here to help. Follow along as we discuss all aspects of tire and wheel selection, decipher those numbers and letters on the side of the tire, and show you how to correctly measure for tires that will fit your application and give you the performance you desire.
Selecting WheelsWhen selecting wheels for your Mopar, the first thing to consider is the style of wheel that will achieve the all-around look you envision for your car. If you're going for a stock restored look, a factory wheel may suit your needs. Factory wheels such as the Rallye or Magnum 500 are a good option for a sportier look than hubcaps, and 15- by 8-inch versions can accommodate substantially larger tires than the tires that came stock on your car. We love the factory appearance of these wheels and have even had them widened to accommodate larger back tires while still appearing stock from the side. A consideration of factory wheels is they may not fit over disc brakes, especially larger aftermarket units. Also, factory steel wheels are nearly always heavier than their aluminum aftermarket counterparts. Since wheels constitute rotating mass, their weight has a more dramatic effect on performance than static mass, so a car's performance is nearly always increased by lightening the wheels. This dilemma used to force a car owner to choose between the look of a factory wheel and the performance of an aftermarket aluminum piece. Car owners now have a third choice, which actually combines the look of a factory wheel with the performance of a billet aluminum unit. This new choice is provided by a company called Wheel Vintiques.