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How do I determine compatibility between tires and rims?


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TC
Novice

Jan 9, 2016, 3:05 PM

Post #1 of 4 (446 views)
How do I determine compatibility between tires and rims? Sign In

I have come to own a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder. Its tires are 31x10.5R15LT. The standard tires for that model, however, were P265/70R15. The only marking I see on my rims says 15x7JJ.

Now I'm shopping for new tires and I'd like to know what my options are. Can I buy tires in either size, 31x10.5R15LT or P265/70R15, and expect them to fit on my existing rims?

I think this is the way it works: 31x10.5R15LT is a "high flotation" size that requires rims which are 15-inches in diameter and 10.5-inches wide. P265/70R15 is a conventional size which requires rims which are 15-inches in diameter and 265mm wide. I just don't know if 10.5-inches and 265mm are nominal (not exact) dimensions which indicate the same standard rim width -- and therefore both sizes are compatible with the same rims -- or if 10.5-inches and 265mm really mean exactly what they say -- and therefore each of the two sizes is not compatible with rims made for the other.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 9, 2016, 3:36 PM

Post #2 of 4 (436 views)
Re: How do I determine compatibility between tires and rims? Sign In

You're almost right.

in 31X10.50X15 the 10.50 is the width of the tire at the sidewall but it does not require a 10.5" rim. An 8 to 9 inch rim would be sufficient.

The 70 series tire is on a bit narrower than the 10.50 so the same rim would be fine, although an inch narrower would be fine also.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



TC
Novice

Jan 9, 2016, 4:18 PM

Post #3 of 4 (430 views)
Re: How do I determine compatibility between tires and rims? Sign In

Thanks. The lessons I take from your comments are:

- The tire size gives the width at the sidewall, not the width at the rim. The appropriate rim width is somewhat less.

- Tires don't require an exact rim width -- they will work with a range of rim widths. Therefore two tires of the same inner diameter and similar sidewall width (such as 10.5-inch vs. 265mm) will typically be compatible with the same rims.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 9, 2016, 4:20 PM

Post #4 of 4 (425 views)
Re: How do I determine compatibility between tires and rims? Sign In

Yes, that is true. Some styles of tires require a little wider rim, in the case the high flotation works better on the wider rim.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jan 9, 2016, 4:20 PM)






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