low profile truck tires - good or bad??

11 replies to this topic
  • deeman

Posted October 03, 2008 - 04:36 AM


I am looking to buy new tires and rims for my 06 2WD Ranger. I need tires since mine have 65k miles on them and I would like to go from 15" rims to 16" to lift it a tad more - it looks like a grandpa truck now. I know for sure I can use 16" Ranger or Explorer wheels with no rub or fit issues.

Someone has a nice set of 17" chrome wheels which came off a 2wd Ranger so I know they will fit, but they are low profile 245/45/17 tires. Will these tires make for a harsher ride? Plus since they are more of a performance tire pattern vs. an all terrian pattern I assume the snow handling will be worse.....right?



  • camaro_guy_z28

Posted October 03, 2008 - 05:01 AM


I never understood the whole low profile tire thing, you pay twice as much for half the tire:banghead:. Can't really help you with your question, i don't see them being very good in the snow though.

  • davethegoat

Posted October 03, 2008 - 05:10 AM


The ride will be harsher. This is due to the road transmitting more feel to the steering wheel. Think of a tire as a spring in your suspension. A tall tire will absorb more shock than a short tire. Consequently, a short tire will be a more positive and accurate handler ( less flex while cornering ). I don't think a low pro tire is better in snow, however.

Posted Image

These are 235/40/17. When I first put them on, I was surprised by how much my handling improved. The truck seems to grip the road a whole lot better now. Sure I gave up a little on the ride quality but to me it was worth it

  • RandyNJ

Posted October 03, 2008 - 06:25 AM


A 2WD Ranger with those tires will be TERRIBLE in the snow. If you really want them, keep your old rims and some good all seasons or snows for the winter and put the 17"s on in the spring

  • hometheaterman

Posted October 03, 2008 - 06:53 AM


I had 18" wheels with low profile tires probably a lot more low profile than those in that picture. At least they appeared to be. I had them for about a week until I hit a bad pot hole and it broke both of the wheels on that side that hit it. With such a thin tire it had no tire to absorb the impact of the pot hole so the wheel took it all. I highly doubt it would have done much damage had I had normal tires on there. The front wheel split in half and the rear one just cracked but didn't come apart. Honestly the wheels looked great but since they broke from hitting a pot hole so easily it kind of turned me away from low profile tires. After telling people about it I found out this is a common thing with low profile tires and big wheels.

I however, didn't notice the ride quality being much harsher than stock and it handled fine but so did it before the tires. They handled better than the Michelin tires I've had on there but that's more because they were Toyo's that were more of a performance tire. They didn't handle much if any better than the Toyo's I had on the stock wheels or the Falkens. Although I will say the Toyo's are the best tire I've run and I highly recommend them.

  • hometheaterman

Posted October 03, 2008 - 07:00 AM


Here is what the car looked like when I put the wheels on
Posted ImageI couldn't get over how much I liked the look.

Here is what I hit. It's a little deaper than it looks and kind of has that lip of asphalt.
Posted Image

Here is the back half of the wheel that got stuck in the car. We had a time getting it out. Finally we got it pried out with the tire iron that came with the car. It was two of us trying to get this thing out.
Posted Image

Front of the wheel
Posted Image

Posted Image

The wheels I had to borrow from my buddy that was riding with me to drive home on. These were off his 91 Accord he had just purchased. Hadn't even picked it up yet and we had to go get the wheels off of it.

Posted Image

I lucked out as I was in an area where my phone said no signal well no bars but it let the call go through to get someone to come pick us up. Then I also lucked out as the guy with me had just bought that 91 Accord and let me borrow his wheels to get the car home. I had the stock wheels at home so I just put them back on when I got home.

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  • TooFast

Posted October 03, 2008 - 07:27 AM


I've seen a lot of pawn shops with 2 or 3 18 - 22" wheels just cause of the breakage problem. Unless you had a very soft suspension, changing to very low profile tires will ride harsher since they have no sidewall to absorb hits

  • cleonard

Posted October 03, 2008 - 02:28 PM


Thanks for posting that Homtheaterman. I always figured that low profile tires would be more vulnerable to pot holes and you sure have photographic evidence of that.

Another area that wold also be negative effected would be off road performance. Basically for the same reasons as for the pot hole issue. Big pointy rocks and low profile tires don't like each other.

  • Talon

Posted October 03, 2008 - 06:19 PM


Hometheaterman, that's wicked. Were they super cheap wheels? What kind? That's nasty! :lame:

  • hometheaterman

Posted October 03, 2008 - 09:05 PM


They were Limited Tuning Alloy wheels. Model 965. They don't make this style anymore or I'd try 2 more. The new ones are all chrome or all black. They don't have the machined/black like those. The company only had one instock which I would have bought but was afraid I'd end up with 3 wheels and not be able to find a 4th. Not super cheap wheels but not super expensive either. I got them used from a buddy so he had them until the first set of tires wore out then I bought them. I had one shop tell me they quit selling them due to chrome peeling and issues like this but then other places tell me this is because of the low profile tires and that it can happen to any wheel with a low profile tire. So I don't know. I think it's how it was a pothole then asphalt so it was like a rough lip of asphalt that it dropped down then hit that. I think that's what did it in. You can kind of see in the picture.

I kind of want a set of 18" Konig Unkowns but am afraid of this happening again. I have 2 good Toyo tires I had for a week and one day. Were brand new when I started I want to use. I may have 4 good tires but not sure if those tires are good or not. Would have to see but I have at least 2 good ones. Still have the chalk markings on them and all. I hate to waste them.

  • Talon

Posted October 06, 2008 - 06:20 PM


I had the Konig Imagines on my Eclipse, awesome wheels!

  • davek18

Posted October 06, 2008 - 07:27 PM


Low profile tires are great if you never drive on anything other than unblemished pristine pavement with no gravel on the corners anywhere, like a track. Seen many dinged rims and pinched tires on "rice racers" in my years of working on import cars. Not worth the bother in my opinion. Tires are way more expensive and last no time at all, rough ride, speedo error, evil handling quirks and bump steer due to mismatched offset to the vehicle, premature wheel bearing failure also due to improper offset are just a small sampling of the disadvantages of trying to look cool.


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