Wide rear tires can enhance a vehicle’s performance and looks, but there might not be enough room in the OEM wheel wheels for these big tires. For most applications, if you want bigger tires, you need to add wider wheel tubs. We talk with Jason Chandler from Auto Metal Direct (AMD) about how you should approach adding wider wheel tubs to your ride.
The first thing you need to do before you order any parts or start cutting up your vehicle is to do some measuring and planning. This may seem like common sense, but you really need to make sure you have a real plan based on your specific vehicle. You don’t want to start cutting up your ride and realize that your half-cocked plan won’t work.
Chandler provides some details on how you should plan your wheel tube project.
“Consider the width of the wheel tubs and determine the maximum tire size you want to accommodate. Consider any potential suspension modifications or changes to the rear end that may be required. Accurate measurements and careful planning will help ensure a proper fit and prevent any unexpected issues down the road.”
After you’ve measured everything and come up with a plan, it’s time to select the wheel tubs you’re going to install. If you have the fabrication skills you can make a custom set of wheel tubs, but not everybody is that handy at bending and cutting metal. There are pre-made wheel tub options out there, but you need to make sure you select the right material for your application.
“Steel or fiberglass tubs are commonly used for widening the rear wheelhouses, with each having its own advantages. Steel provides durability and strength, while fiberglass is lighter weight. There are several choices on the market to meet your needs. Ensure that the material is of high quality to withstand the rigors of the road and provide long-lasting performance much like the wider tubs from Auto Metal Direct,” Chandler says.
So, you’ve started to dig into your project and the wheel tubs aren’t going to fit properly, what do you do? Well, you could try to earn your wings as a fabricator and modify the wheel tubs yourself, but that could end in disaster. Chandler recommends working with a professional fabricator to avoid any issues.
“Modifying wheel tubs can be a complex process that requires precision and expertise. AMD recommends seeking professional assistance from experienced fabricators or auto body shops specializing in custom modifications for most applications. These installers have the knowledge, tools, and skills to properly install wider wheel tubs, ensuring a seamless fit and finish. Professional help can also provide valuable advice on additional modifications that may be required, such as relocating suspension components or modifying the rearend housing. Working with experts will help you achieve the desired results while ensuring the structural integrity and safety of your vehicle.”
You can avoid a lot of issues just by doing plenty of research before you begin your wheel tub project. Chandler has some final words of advice for anybody who’s looking to tackle adding wider wheel tubs to their vehicle.
“Do your homework. The cheapest option may not be the best option. There are a lot of products on the market and navigating those options can get tricky. AMD recommends a steel solution, preferably in the same gauge metal as the original.”
As you can see, tubbing a vehicle isn’t that bad of a project if you plan everything out and know your limits as a fabricator. If you do your homework, come up with a plan, and take your time adding bigger meats to the rear of your vehicle can be done at home without any major issues.