Originally Posted by Thunderstruck95
Dig deep enough, and you will find the guy that ran 275s on stock fan blades and swore they worked fine.
Based on my experience with 255/50/16 on a 7" wide rim, they probably wore like crap.
Tire width is a function of wheel width. Know how crazy those "hella flush" and "stanced" cars look with a 225 width tire stretched out on a 9" wide wheel look? It's not good for the tire, and neither is running too wide a tire on too narrow of a wheel. If you run too narrow a tire on too wide a wheel, the sidewall cannot flex properly, it'll wear badly on the outside edge, you run the risk of peeling the tire off in a corner, and it looks goofy. If you run too wide a tire on too narrow a wheel, it'll wear badly in the middle (unless you find the sweet spot for air pressure, but run that too low and you lose MPG), and many tire shops simply won't mount it due to liability concerns.
If you go to Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels
they show the specs of each tire, and what wheels it will safely fit on. For example, stock 215/70/15's will safely fit on a 5.5" to 7" wide wheel. The tire itself has an 8.7" section width.
If we look at a 235/60/15, it's a shorter tire, but will safely fit on 6.5" to 8.5" wheel, so your 7" wide wheel is right in the middle. It also has a 9.5" section width, so you essentially get an extra inch of contact patch.
The best solution if you want wider tires is to get upsized wheels. 17x8's are getting very inexpensive, 18x9's aren't bad either, I got mine for $500 even. There are plenty of tires available in compatible sizes, that will be wider than stock (245/50/17 is an exact size match) and if you go with 18's, 245/45/18 is also an exact match, and will get you a nice 9.5" section width.
When I bought my car, it was running 255/50/16's on the stock 16x7 Sport wheels. They were too wide for the wheel, wore poorly, and while they were nice and wide, gave lots of traction, I am doing much better now with my 255/40/18's on 18x9" wheels.
97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com
, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.