Buying the right tires for your Ford Mustang is just as important as buying the right wheel. AmericanMuscle.com has made that decision simple for you, too! In every wheel description, we list the best tire fitment. In the picture below, it is circled in red.
A lot of Mustang owners ask us why they should buy the tire size that we recommend. It’s a good question – and there are a lot of reasons – but the most important reason is because it will offer you the perfect amount of safety, handling, and sidewall protection.
Tires by the numbers
In order to understand why it is dangerous to not buy the recommended tire size, you need to understand what each of the numbers in the size means. Tire sizes are listed in 3 numbers, for example 205/55/16.
• 205: The first number is the width of the tire in mm (205mm).
• 55 (The Aspect Ratio): The second number is the sidewall height as a percentage of the width. In this example, the sidewall is 55% of the 205mm, or 112.75mm.
• 16 (The Wheel Diameter): The third number is the diameter of the wheel (rim) in inches.
When buying a rim that is larger than stock, you must change the aspect ratio of the tire, too. This will keep your speedometer reading correctly. When you “upsize” your wheel, the aspect ratio will be smaller than stock. This gives your wheels and tires a wider contact patch, improving cornering ability. Using a smaller than recommended Aspect Ratio means you have less rubber to absorb impact that can damage your rim. It also reduces the amount of contact your tires have with the road. Using a larger than recommended Aspect Ratio increases the ride height, and will make your speedometer read slower than actual speed. It can also cause rubbing in the wheel wells. It affects steering stability, and will make your car feel floaty when cornering.
Using a wider tire than recommended: Using too wide a tire will push the sidewalls out, giving the tire what is known as the "drag tire" look. If you do this on a non-drag tire, there are several things that can happen:
• A poor bead seal is created
• The tread is forced into a convex shape, which reduces the tire life. It also affects steering and handling capability.
• The car will feel floaty.
• The speedometer will read slower than the car is actually going.
Using a skinnier tire than recommended:
Using a tire that is too skinny pulls the sidewalls past the wheel lip. Besides creating the “ricer” look, it is also very dangerous. Too skinny a tire can cause the tire to separate from the rim if you’re going to fast, or while turning a corner.
We have four types of Sumitomo tires:
• HTR Z - These are Sumitomo's High Performance Summer tire. A high performance tire, they are designed to give the driver confident performance in both wet and dry conditions. With a direction V tread pattern, the HTR Z aggressively plows water out of the way, preventing hydroplaning in dangerous weather conditions. These tires also have a solid center rib that helps deliver direction stability, even on the most heavily grooved roads. Added to that, the HTR Z delivers a smooth ride with very little road noise. These are Z rated tires and are not meant to be driven in freezing temperatures.
• HTR Z II - This is an ultra High Performance Summer tire. These tires can almost sense how they should perform in wet and dry conditions, as well as on and off the track. The HTR Z II has extra wide, arched treads that deliver incredible traction and handling. These tires provide excellent hydroplaning resistance and predictable handling, all while being light weight and low profile.
• HTR Z III - This is Sumitomo's New Max Performance Summer Tire. Designed with a 3-D wave wall that increases drainage capabilities and reinforces center rib stability. Five rib asymmetric tread pattern merges cornering with straight line stability delivering high-speed stamina and predictable handling. The HTR Z III Series Tires deliver a smooth ride with minimal road noise. Y-speed rating for true high-performance vehicles.
• HTR + - This is Sumitomo's High Performance All-Season tire. Delivering traction throughout the seasons, this tire delivers high speed durability and handling. This V-rated tire has hydroplaning resistance in all weather, and delivers a smooth ride with very little road noise.
We have two types of Nitto tires:
• NT555 - Whether you have a daily driver or a track car, this tire is perfect for you The NT555 has incredible traction and reliable handling, as well as one of the biggest contact patches available. The grooves and channels reduce your chances of hydroplaning in wet weather, helping this tire deliver total vehicle control.
• NT555R - These are Nitto's DOT approved drag radial. Legal for the street, and they don't require replacing every 1500-3000 miles! With this tire on your Mustang, you will have impressive control and handling, and still get up to 15,000 miles of tread life when used on a daily driver.
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