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Mustang Tires - A Buyer's Guide

Written By: Andrew Cilio

A simple buyer's guide to help you select the right tires for your Ford Mustang. Find the information on width, sidewall, and sizing you need to make an informed purchase. Our tire size calculator will help you solve fitment and spacing issues.

American Muscle

Mustang Tire Fitment

Mustang Tire Fitment Box On-Site

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, 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. A helpful tool to simplify this process is our own tire size calculator which you can find here

1987-1993 Wheel & Tire Fitment

Tire SizeRim SizePlacementSidewallDiameterCircumferenceRevs per MileNotes
225/55-1616x7Front & Rear4.9"25.7"80.9"783
245/50-1616x8Front & Rear4.8"25.6"80.6"786
245/45-17

17x8

17x9

Front & Rear4.3"25.7"80.7"785
255/40-1717x9Rear4.0"25.0"78.6"806Rubbing is an issue if used as a front tire
275/40-1717x9, 17x10Rear4.3"25.7"80.6"786Rubbing is an issue if used as a front tire

1994-1998 Wheel & Tire Fitment

Tire SizeRim SizeCommentsPlacementSidewallDiameterCircumferenceRevs per Mile
245/50-1616x8
Front & Rear4.8"25.6"80.6"786
245/45-1717x8Can also be used on 17x9 rimsFront & Rear4.3"25.7"80.7"785
255/40-1717x9
Front & Rear4.0"25.0"78.6"806
275/40-1717x9Rubbing can be an issue if used as a front tireRear4.3"25.7"80.6"786
315/35-1717x10.5
Rear4.3"25.7"80.7"785
245/40-1818x9Great for drivers who upgraded to 18" rims, but don't want a wider than stock tireFront & Rear3.9"25.7"80.8"784
265/35-1818x9
Front & Rear3.7"25.3"79.5"797
275/35-1818x9Rubbing can be an issue if used as a front tireRear3.8"25.6"80.4"788
285/35-1818x10
Rear3.9"25.9"81.2"780
305/35-1818x10Your speedometer reading will be off by 2.8%. When your speedometer reads 60 mph you are actually doing 61.7 mphRear4.2"26.4"

83.0"

764
235/35-1919x8.5
Front & Rear3.2"25.5"80.0"792
245/30-2020x8.5
Front & Rear2.9"25.8"81.0"782

1999-2004 Wheel & Tire Fitment

Tire SizeRim SizeNotesPlacementSidewallDiameterCircumferenceRevs per Mile
225/55-1616x7.5Stock on the front of GTsFront (GT)4.9"25.8"81"782
245/50-1616x8
Front & Rear4.8"25.6"80.6"786
245/45-1717x8Can be used on 17x9 rims as wellFront & Rear4.3"25.7"80.7"785
255/40-1717x9Your speedometer reading will be off by 2.5%. When your speedometer reads 60 mph you'll actually be doing 58.5 mpgFront & Rear4.0"25.0"78.6"806
275/40-1717x9
Front & Rear4.3"25.7"80.6"786
315/35-1717x10.5
Rear4.3"25.7"80.7"785
245/40-1818x9Great for drivers who upgraded to 18" rims, but don't want a wider than stock tire setFront & Rear3.9"25.7"80.8"784
265/35-1818x9Your speedometer reading will be off by 1.5%. When you speedometer reads 60 mph you are actually doing 59.1 mphFront & Rear3.7"25.3"79.5"797
275/35-1818x9
Front & Rear3.8"25.6"80.4"788
285/35-1818x10
Rear3.9"25.9"81.2"780
305/35-1818x10Your speedometer reading will be off by 2.8%. When your speedometer reads 60 mph you are actually doing 61.7 mphRear4.2"26.4"83.0"764
235/35-1919x8.5
Front & Rear3.2"25.5"80.0"792
245/30-2020x8.5
Front & Rear2.9"25.8"81.0"782

2005-2014 Wheel & Tire Fitment

Tire SizeRim SizeCommentsPlacementSidewallDiameterCircumferenceRevs per Mile
235/55-1717x8
Front & Rear5.1"27.2"85.4"742
255/50-1717x9
Front & Rear5.0"27.0"84.9"746
295/45-1717x10
Rear5.2"27.5"86.2"735
235/50-1818x8
Front & Rear4.6"27.3"85.6"740
255/45-1818x9
Front & Rear4.5"27.0"84.9"746
275/40-1818x10
Rear4.3"26.7"83.8"756
285/40-1818x10
Rear4.5"27.0"84.7"748
305/35-1818x10Your speedometer reading will be off by 2.3%. When you speedometer reads 60 mph you are actually doing 58.6 mph.Rear4.2"26.4"83.0"764
245/45-1919x8.5
Front & Rear4.3"27.7"87.0"729
275/40-19

19x9.5,

19x10


Rear (19x9.5 can be used on the front)4.3"27.7"86.9"729
255/35-2020x8.5
Front & Rear3.5"27.0"84.9"746
285/30-2020x10
Rear3.4"26.7"84.0"754

2015-2016 Wheel and Tire Fitment

Tire SizeRim SizeCommentsPlacementSidewallDiameterCircumferenceRevs per Mile
235/55-1717x8
Front & Rear5.1"27.2"85.4"742
255/50-1717x9
Front & Rear5.0"27.0"84.9"746
295/45-1717x10
Rear5.2"27.5"86.2"735
235/50-1818x8
Front & Rear4.6"27.3"85.6"740
255/45-1818x9
Front & Rear4.5"27.0"84.9"746
275/40-1818x10
Rear4.3"26.7"83.8"756
285/40-1818x10
Rear4.5"27.0"84.7"748
305/35-1818x10Your speedometer reading will be off by 2.3%. When your speedometer reads 60 mph you are actually doing 58.6 mph.Rear4.2"26.4"83.0"764
245/45-1919x8.5
Front & Rear4.3"27.7"87.0"729
275/40-19

19x10


Rear4.3"27.7"86.9"729
255/35-2020x8.5
Front & Rear3.5"27.0"84.9"746
285/30-2020x10
Rear3.4"26.7"84.0"754

Mustang Tires by the Numbers

In order to understand why it's dangerous to not buy the recommended tire size, you need to understand what each of the numbers related to sizing means. Tire sizes are listed in three numbers, for example 205/55/16.

  • 205: The first number is the width of the tire in mm (205mm)
  • 55 (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 (Wheel Diameter): The third number is the diameter of the wheel (rim) in inches

Aspect Ratio

When buying a rim that's 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 which 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 ride height, and will make your speedometer read slower than you're actually traveling. It can also cause rubbing in the wheel wells. It affects steering stability and will make your car feel floaty when cornering.

How do I Adjust My Speedo for Bigger Tires?

From years 1979-1998, changing the speedometer requires changing teeth in the speedo/transmission or both. However, from 1999-2017, fixing the speedometer is as simple as uploading a new tune with the correct tire size selected. Not only does this correct the speedometer, but also the odometer itself.

Mustang Speedometer and Tachometer

Physical Characteristics of a Tire

One of the biggest ways to improve your car’s cornering power both on and off the track is choosing the right tire for your application. The more traction or grip a tire produces, the faster your car will be able to go around corners. It’s also well understood every tire has a finite amount of traction it can provide before it starts to slip. There are many factors that determine a tire’s grip level, starting with how soft and sticky the compound is, but other design elements like carcass construction, sidewall stiffness, tread block design, tire pressure and temperature also play significant roles. 

Tread Blocks: These large blocks of rubber are the contact point between the road and the tire. The larger the tread block, the better the traction is. However, large tread blocks tend to produce more road noise than smaller ones, but because of their large contact area, they’re stiffer and less prone to vibration and chunking under aggressive driving conditions. Medium to small-sized tread blocks are commonly found on all-season and wet performance oriented tires, whereas summer only tires usually rely on large, stiff tread blocks for their superior dry-handling characteristics.

Sipes: These are slits in the tread blocks that aid traction in wet and snowy weather conditions. They are most common on winter tires, but many all-season tires incorporate them as well. Sipes provide an increase in biting edges when they expand and open up on contact, helping evacuate slush, snow, or water from the treads, thereby increasing available grip. Sipes compromise handling performance, though, since they can make a tire feel squirmy and vague in warm, dry conditions. That’s why you won’t find them on any Ultra-High performance (UHP) summer or track oriented tires.

Grooves: Much like sipes, grooves help improve traction in wet weather. They are the main channels in a tire that help evacuate water quickly and effectively, reducing the chances of hydroplaning. The deeper and more numerous the grooves are, the greater wet performance you can expect out of a tire.

Radial Plies & Steel Belts: The internal structure of a tire consists of radial plies and steel belts. The interwoven construction of these two materials is what gives tires their strength, stiffness, and durability. When a tire is put under load, the radial plies and steel belts are what resist these forces and help the tire maintain its shape and remain in constant contact with the road. Another benefit of these elements is tires run cooler and are less susceptible to punctures and blowouts. The only real drawback is weight. The more material used usually helps aid tire stability and stiffness but adds weight to the tire, which in turn adds unsprung mass to the car.

Sidewall: Sidewall construction is important to performance because a stiffer sidewall will provide more control, faster turn-in response, and a more responsive feel over the road. This highly responsive feel is ideal for enthusiasts, but can be a nerve racking for comfort seeking drivers since stiff sidewalls tend to be unforgiving and snappy in nature. Sidewall stiffness also plays an important role in ride quality. Obviously, the softer the sidewall, the more comfortable a tire will feel (and vice versa). The same goes for sidewall height. A low-profile tire will be less forgiving to bumps and holes in the road versus a taller one, but a tall sidewall is prone to more roll and is therefore going to reduce turn-in response and steering feel.

Mustang Tire Widths

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 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.

Mustang Falken Tire

Mustang Tire Brands

Sumitomo: 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.


Nitto: 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.
Four Sumitomo HTR Z II Tires

Speed Rating - How Fast Can Your Tires Go?

Speed rating on a tire is a risky business in regards of exceeding the rating. Speed ratings are what manufacturers have tested the specific tire in regards to overall speed. The higher the rating, the faster the tire can turn without having potential blowout issues. Ratings can vary greatly, from low 100 MPH to high 100 MPH. While exceeding the speed rating with a tire is not necessarily instant blowout, they have not been tested/had safe results of the testing. If a tire is going faster than the rating, it has the potential to be problematic as it is venturing into uncharted territory.

  • B - Up to 31 mph
  • C - 37 mph
  • D - 40 mph
  • E - 43 mph
  • F - 50 mph
  • G - 56 mph
  • J - 62 mph
  • K - 68 mph
  • L - 75 mph
  • M - 81 mph
  • N - 87 mph
  • P - 94 mph
  • Q - 100 mph
  • R - 106 mph
  • S - 112 mph
  • T - 118 mph
  • U - 124 mph
  • H - 130 mph
  • V - 149 mph
  • W - 168 mph
  • Y - 186 mph
  • Z - 149 mph and over

Mustang Tire Tread Wear - What You Need To Know

Tread wear happens the moment your tires go into motion on your Mustang; the more miles you put on your Mustang the more the tires/tread will wear down, causing you to need new tires. While some tire compounds will allow you to get more mileage out of your tires while performance/summer tires will wear out more quickly than all season tires. Aside from normal daily driving, there are a few different ways you can cause pre-mature tire wear, which includes:

  • Improper Inflation - Having your tires over-inflated or under-inflated will cause the tread to wear in an abnormal fashion.
  • Poor Alignment - Not having the proper tire alignment will cause uneven tread wear and have you replacing your tires earlier than typically needed.
  • Burnouts/Racing  - While doing a smokey burnout may be a no-brainer for tirewear, racing your Mustang (at the strip or on a road course) will cause your tread to wear out sooner than you expected.

Using Uniform Tire Quality Grade standards (UTQG), a manufacturer assigns a number to the tire representing its wear characteristic. This number is printed on the sidewall. The problem is every tire manufacturer sets its own treadwear rating, meaning a 300 treadwear on one tire can still have a longer lifespan than a 300 treadwear rating listed on a different tire.

Despite this discrepancy, treadwear rating is a good overall indicator of the type of performance you can expect out of a tire. 100 UTQG and below usually means the tire is meant for track duty, and even though it can be driven on the street, the rate at which it wears will be very high. A 100–200 UTQG rating will still provide ample grip with an acceptable wear life on the street and 200–350 UTQG tires are longer lasting, but give up some dry grip as a result. This is amplified even more with 350 UTQG tires, which can provide exceptionally long tread life, but it’s at the expense of dry traction. Typically, any tire rated over 350 UTQG will overheat quickly and lose grip when pushed beyond its design limits during aggressive driving on a track.

What is Scrub Radius & Why is it Important?

Looking at the tires from the front of the vehicle, the scrub radius is the distance between the king pin axis and the center of the contact patch of the wheel where both would theoretically touch the road. The king pin axis is the line between the upper and lower ball joints of the hub. This can specificially be important for auto cross competitions and road course racing. As far as drag racing, it can allow for a change in weight transfer and contact on the tread patch.

Tire Load Rating Chart

Load IndexPoundsKilograms
71761345
72783355
73805365
74827375
75853387
76882400
77908412
78937437
79963437
80992450
811019462
821047475
831074487
841102500
851135515
861168530
871201545
881235560
891279580
901323600
911356615
921389630
931433650
941477670
951521690
961565710
971609730
981653750
991709775
1001764800
1011819825
1021874850
1031929875
1041984900
1052039925
1062094950
1072149975
10822051000
10922711030
11023371060
Fitment includes: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, GT, V6, Cobra, ShelbyGT500, Mach1, Bullitt, Boss, LX, SVO, EcoBoost, ShelbyGT350