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Mustang Wheels - Buyer's Guide to Sizing, Looks, & Performance

Written By: Andrew Cilio

When selecting new wheels for your Ford Mustang, it's important to understand wheel basics in order to get the appropriate wheel. This guide will cover wheel offsets, backspacing, and bolt patterns, giving you everything you need to pick out the perfect wheels for your Mustang. This guide also breaks down the wheels we carry into four categories – year, style, color, and size – so you can decide how you want to shop. Looking for different tire sizing calculations, or just want to see how much those new rims are going to throw off your speedometer? Our tire size calculator will help you solve fitment and spacing issues.

American Muscle

Mustang Wheel Sizes

One of the questions we get most often is: what size wheel will fit my car? It’s a good question to ask, and all of the wheels we carry are made specifically for Mustangs. As long as you purchase a rim meant for your year Mustang, it will fit. To see a list of tire sizes that fit on stock wheels check out the chart below. For more information on tires in general, click here.

  • 16 Inch: These rims are the standard stock size rim on some Foxbody, 1994-2000 GTs, and 2001-2004 base model as well as convertible Mustangs. Purchasing these wheels will give you the same handling and ride quality you already have, but if you have a later model Mustang with 15 inch or even 14 inch rims originally, 16 inch wheels will give you a slight bump in handling performance, but ride quality might suffer. 
  • 17 Inch: This size comes on 5-lug Foxbodies, 1994-2000 GTs and Cobras, most 2000-2009 Mustangs, and base model S197s and S550s. If you're upgrading to 17s from 16s you will experience better handling without changing the ride quality. 17s are ideal for road courses or just to have a nicer set of rims until you get into the newer generation Mustangs (2000 ).
  • 18 Inch: 18s didn't come standard on Mustangs until the Saleen Mustangs in 1995. That being said, once you hit 2006 and newer, 18s are commonplace. More often than not you'll be upgrading your existing 18s unless you're after Shelby or Performance Pack level performance and looks.
  • 19 Inch: Higher end 2010-2014 Mustangs will feature 19s, think GTs and Shelbys, and all S550 Mustangs wheels will be 19s whether optional or standard. If you're upgrading an older Mustang to 19s (say from 16s or 17s), you start messing with your speedometer readings. If you already have a tuner this is a non-issue. The decrease in performance and ride quality is more noticeable with 19s, and are recommended for later model Mustangs which have more room in their wheel wells. For newer Mustangs odds are you'll be upgrading from 18s, providing a slight bump in performance.
  • 20 Inch: 20 inchers are available only as an option on Mustangs, and newer Mustangs at that. Getting 20 inch rims is usually less about ride quality and more about looks. The newer Mustangs, however, can experience a minor performance bump. Keep in mind 20 inch rims make a rather smaller sidewall tire. Potholes and the like will be your worst enemy.

Generally, moving one rim size up from your stock size improves performance. Bumping up two sizes has the potential to further improve performance, but you're going to risk quality. Three sizes up from your stock size will require a tuner to adjust your speedometer, and depending on the wheel material you'll have to compensate for the extra weight. Not to mention wheel well space and steering clearance issues will rear their heads. If you're bold enough to increase your wheel size by four (16 to 20 for example), odds are you have a show car. This type of size upgrade is a pure looks move. You'll achieve a lowered look, but performance and ride quality will suffer.

Stock Mustang Tire Size Chart by Year

Year​Tire Size​
2019 EcoBoost235/55R17 or 235/50R18 or 255/40R19 or 265/35R20
2019 GT235/50R18 or 255/40R19 or 265/35R20 or 305/30R19 or 255/40R19 (front) and 275/40R19 (rear)
2015-2018 GT350 & GT350R 295/35R19 (front) and 305/35R19 (rear)
2015-2018 V6
235/55R17 or 235/50R18
2015-2018 GT w/ Performance Pack​255/40R19 (front) and 275/40R19 (rear)​
2015-2018 EcoBoost Fastback 235/55R17 or 235/50R18 or 255/40R19 or 265/35R20
2015-2018 EcoBoost w/ Performance Pack255/40R19
2015-2018 EcoBoost Convertible, GT Fastback, & GT Convertible​235/50R18 or 255/40R19 or 265/35R20​
2013-2014 Shelby GT500 & Convertible​265/40R19 (front) and 285/35R20 (rear)​
2012-2014 California Special​245/45R19​
2012-2013 Boss 302 & Laguna Seca​255/40R19 (front) and 285/35R19 (rear)​
2011-2014 GT & GT Convertibles​235/50R18 or 245/45R18​
2011-2014 Performance Package & GTs w/ Brembos​255/40R19​
2011-2014 Base & Convertible Manuals​225/60R17 or 235/50R18​
2011-2014 Base & Convertible Automatics​215/65R17 or 235/50R18​
2011-2012 Shelby GT500 & Convertible​255/40R19 (front) and 285/35R19 (rear)​
2011 DUB Edition​255/35R20​
2010-2014 GT & GT Convertible​235/50R18 or 245/45R19​
2010 Shelby GT500 & Convertible​255/45R18 or 285/40R18​
2010 Base & Convertible​215/60R17 or 235/50R18​
2008-2009 Shelby GT500​255/45R18 (front) and 285/40R18 (rear)​
2008 Bullitt​235/50R18​
2006-2007 California Special​235/50R18​
2006-2009 GT & GT Convertible​235/55R17 or 235/50R18​
2006-2008 Pony Package​235/55R17​
2005-2009 Base & Convertible​215/65R16​
2005 GT & GT Convertible​235/55R17​
2003-2004 GT, GT Convertible, & Mach 1​245/45R17​
2003-2004 Cobra & Cobra Convertible​275/40R17​
2003-2004 Base & Convertible​225/55R16​
2001-2002 Cobra, Cobra Convertible, GT & GT Convertible​245/45R17​
2001-2002 Base & Convertible​205/65R15 or 225/55R16​
2001 Bullitt​245/45R17​
2000 Cobra R​265/40R18​
1997-1998 Saleen SR​255/35R18 (front) & 285/35R18 (rear)​
1995 Saleen S351R & 1996-1999 Saleen S281​245/40R18​
1994-2000 GT & GT Convertible​255/55R16 or 245/45R17​
1994-1999 Cobra & '96 Cobra Convertible​255/45R17​
1993 Cobra​245/45R17​
1991-1993 GT & LX​225/55R16​
1991-1993 5 lug​235/45R17​
1991-1993 2.3L​205/65R15​
1990 V8​225/60R16​
1989-1990 4-cylinder​195/75R14​
1989 5 lug​235/45R17​
1985-1986 SVO​225/50R16​

Mustang Wheel Width

Increasing the rim size enhances your Mustang’s look and performance. Buying a wheel wider than stock will increase the contact area the wheel has with the road, which provides better handling and cornering. Check out the chart below to see which wheel options came stock on your Mustang.

  • 8 Inch: Mustang rims are usually 8 inches wide. If you are looking to replace your wheels, but want to keep the same size rim you already have, these would be the wheels to get.

The biggest benefit to buying wheels the same size as stock is most of the time you will not have to buy new tires.

  • 9 Inch: A slight upgrade in size won’t offer much of a change in drivability. Requires new tires, (unless your Mustang came with 9 inch rims) but you can get a lower profile and more aggressive stance. Anything from a 245/45 to a 275/40 will fit.
  • 10 Inch: Combine 10 inch rims with 9s in the front to get a staggered look that makes your car look fierce and ready to rumble. Using 10 inch rims means you can put a 285/35 tire on your 1994-2004, or a 274/40 on your 2005 car, giving it a wider looking stance and better traction off the line
  • 10.5 Inch: Using 10.5 inch rims instead of 10s give a similar appeal with an even wider traction pad. A 10.5 inch rim gives you the freedom to put a very wide tire on the back end of your car – anywhere from a 275 to a 315!

Note: 9 inch and 10 inch wide wheels are available as 18 inch and 20 inch rims, but can only be fitted on the rear of your Mustang. The 10.5 inch wide variant is available in a 17 inch rim, and also can only be used on the rear. See below for the reason why!

Chart: Stock Mustang Wheel Sizes by Year

YearWheel SizeOptional wheel SizesLug PatternStud SizingCenter BoreOffsetMax Wheel Size
2019 EcoBoost7.5x17, 8x188.5x19, 9x19, 9x205x114.3M14x1.570.5mm35-52.5mm22 inches
2019 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19, 9.5x19, 10.5x19, 11x19, 9x20
2018 EcoBoost7.5x17, 8x188.5x19, 9x19, 9x205x114.3M14x1.570.5mm35-52.5mm22 inches
2018 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19, 9.5x19, 10.5x19, 11x19, 9x20
2017 EcoBoost7.5x17, 8x188.5x19, 9x19, 9x205x114.3M14x1.570.5mm35-52.5mm22 inches
2017 V6
2017 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19, 9.5x19, 9x20
2016 EcoBoost7.5x17, 8x188.5x19, 9x19, 9x205x114.3M14x1.570.5mm35-52.5mm22 inches
2016 V6
2016 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19, 9.5x19, 9x20
2015 EcoBoost7.5x17, 8x188.5x19, 9x19, 9x205x114.3M14x1.570.5mm35-52.5mm22 inches
2015 V6
2015 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19, 9.5x19, 9x20
2014 V67x178x18, 8.5x195x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2014 GT8x18, 8.5x198x18, 9x19
2013 V67x178x18, 8.5x195x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2013 GT8x18, 8.5x198x18, 9x19
2012 V67x178x18, 8.5x195x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2012 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19
2011 V67x178x18, 8.5x195x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2011 GT8x18, 8.5x199x19
2010 V67x17, 8x18
5x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2010 GT8x188.5x19
2009 V67x168x175x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2009 GT8x178.5x18
2008 V67x168x175x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2008 GT8x178.5x18
2007 V67x168x175x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2007 GT8x178.5x18
2006 V67x168x175x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2006 GT8x178.5x18
2005 V67x168x175x114.31/2"-2070.6mm35-50mm22 inches
2005 GT8x178.5x18
2004 V67x15, 7.5x16
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
2004 GT7.5x16, 8x179x17
2003 V67x15, 7.5x16
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
2003 GT7.5x16, 8x179x17
2002 V67x15, 7.5x16
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
2002 GT7.5x16, 8x179x17
2001 V67x15, 7.5x16
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
2001 GT7.5x16, 8x179x17
2000 V67x15, 7.5x16
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
2000 GT7.5x16, 8x179x17
1999 V67x15, 7.5x16
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1999 GT7.5x16, 8x179x175x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1998 V67x15
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1998 GT7.5x168x17
1997 V67x15
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1997 GT7.5x168x17
1996 V67x15
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1996 GT7.5x168x17
1995 V67x15
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1995 GT7.5x168x17
1994 V67x15
5x114.31/2"-2070.3mm35-50mm22 inches
1994 GT7.5x168x17
1993 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1993 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1992 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1992 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1991 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1991 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1990 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1990 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1989 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1989 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1988 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1988 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1987 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1987 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1986 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1986 2.3L Turbo
1986 V66x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16, 7.5x17
1986 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1985 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1985 2.3L Turbo
1985 V66x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x17
1985 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1984 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1984 2.3L Turbo
1984 V66x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16, 7.5x17
1984 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1983 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1983 2.3L Turbo
1983 V66x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7x16, 7.5x17
1983 GT7x15, 7x16, 7.5x16, 8x17
1982 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1982 2.3L Turbo
1982 V6 (3.3L)
1982 (4.2L)
1981 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1981 2.3L Turbo
1981 V6 (3.3L)
1981 V6 (4.2L)
1980 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1980 2.3L Turbo
1980 V6 (3.3L)
1980 V6 (4.2L)
1979 2.3L5.5x14, 6x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x16
4x1081/2"-2063.4mm15-25mm20 inches
1979 2.3L Turbo
1978 2.3L5x13, 5.5x13, 6x14
1978 2.8L5.5x13, 6x14, 6.5x15
1978 4.9L5.5x13, 6x14, 6x15, 7x15
1977 2.3L5x13, 5.5x13, 6x14
1977 2.8L5.5x13, 6x14, 6.5x15
1977 4.9L5.5x13, 6x14, 6x15, 7x15
1976 2.3L5x13, 5.5x13, 6x14
1976 2.8L5.5x13, 6x14, 6.5x15
1976 4.9L5.5x13, 6x14, 6x15, 7x15
1975 2.3L5x13, 5.5x13, 6x14
1975 2.8L5.5x13, 6x14, 6.5x15
1975 4.9L5.5x13, 6x14, 6x15, 7x15
1974 2.3L5x13, 5.5x13, 6x14
1974 2.8L5.5x13, 6x14, 6.5x15
1974 4.9L5.5x13, 6x14, 6x15, 7x15
1973 4.1L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1973 4.9L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1973 5.8L
1972 4.1L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1972 4.9L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.31/2"-2070.3mm
1972 5.8L
1971 4.1L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1971 4.9L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.31/2"-2070.3mm
1971 5.8L
1970 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1970 4.1L
1970 4.9L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.31/2"-2070.3mm
1970 5.8L
1969 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1969 4.1L
1969 4.9L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1969 5.8L
1969 6.4L
1968 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1968 4.7L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1968 4.9L
1968 6.4L
1967 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1967 4.7L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1967 6.4L
1966 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1966 4.7L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1965 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1965 4.3L6x147x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1965 4.7L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x16
1964 3.3L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15
1964 4.3L6x147x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x165x114.370.3mm
1964 4.7L6x14, 7x14, 6.5x15, 7x15, 7.5x16

Mustang Wheel Compatibility Across the Years

Say you spot an awesome set of wheels on someone else's ride, but there's an issue. The other person's Mustang is from a different generation than yours. This is a dilemma for many, and there are some things to consider. By the book, 2010 Mustang wheels will fit on a 1994 Mustang and vice versa. However, it is not as simple as it would appear.

While Mustangs from 1994-2014 share the same wheel bolt pattern, there are other factors that come into play. One of the first things to consider is how wide the wheels are. Wider wheels than what are currently on the car can run into issues with steering and suspension components. In this instance, wheel spacers can be used to bring the wheels away from these components.

Wheel offset is another issue. What is wheel offset? In short, it's how far the centerline sits from the edge of the wheel (read further for a more in-depth explanation). This too can cause a similar issue regardless of wheel width or perhaps even the opposite (which can be ideal as it gives the vehicle an aggressive look). Additionally, lug nuts, brake components, and center bores in the wheels may come into play when looking to make the swap and will need to be taken into consideration to ensure a proper fit.

For example, if a wheel is 9 inches wide, the hub could be manufactured to be 6 inches inside the wheel which leaves only 3 inches on the other side of the wheel. While this combination could work on a 1999 Mustang and fit inside the wheel well, the same combination on a 2007 GT500 would result in the wheels sticking outside the wheel well.

Regarding stock sizes, fitting wheels across generations can be summarized in this list:

  • Foxbody Mustangs (1979-1993) can use 1994-2004 wheels provided the Mustang has been converted from a 4 lug setup to a 5 lug setup
  • SN95 Mustangs (1994-2004) can use 2005-2014 wheels; they will be tucked inside the wheel well and will require a spacer
  • S197 Mustangs (2005-2014) can use SN95 wheels, but they will stick outside of the wheel well
  • All wheels will fit 2015 Mustangs, however, they need different lug nuts for proper fitment
  • 2015 models also will accommodate 2005-2014 models without the need for a spacer
2013-2014 Mustang with RTR Wheels

Why Can't I Fit a 10 Inch or 10.5 Inch Rim on the Front of a Mustang?

The front end of a Mustang is set up in a way that will fit at largest a 9 inch rim. The brakes, struts, A-arms, etc. are located in or around the wheel well, and the wheel and tire are used to hold them in place. Because of their location, it's impossible to use a wider wheel without a significant amount of rubbing on either the inside or outside.

A special mention for 1999-2004 Cobras: With the independent rear suspension (IRS), using a larger wheel means the tire’s sidewall will rub the rear IRS subframe mounting bolt. However, by changing out the stock half-inch factory IRS subframe bolt with a shorter one, you can use 17x10.5 rims. As mentioned above, a 10.5 inch rim can handle up to 315mm wide tires!

How Low Can I Drop My Car with Larger Wheels? 

A Mustang shouldn’t be lowered more than 1.5 – 1.75 inches to maintain good handling and ride quality. The springs we sell will not lower the car more than 1.5 inches in the rear and 1.75 inches in the front. As long as you use the best tire fitment for your wheels, then you should not have any issues with lowering your car 1.5 – 1.75 inches.

However, if you've modified the suspension from stock, (i.e, tubular k-member, air ride suspension, etc), these mods will heavily change wheel fitments, and you'll have to do additional research with the manufactures of said products to determine how it changes wheel fitments.

MMD Mustang Lowered on Air Bags

What is a Staggered Mustang Wheel Setup?

Staggered is when the rear wheels are slightly wider than the front and will accommodate a wider tire (such as having 9 inch wide tire on the front and 10 inch wide tires on the rear).

If you currently have a wheel you are happy with and would still like to have that staggered look, then you can just purchase a new set of rims for the exact same style you currently have. There is a very wide selection in style and size so pick one you think will compliment your ride the most.

How Do Larger Wheels and Tires Affect My Speedo?

A speedometer determines the output by reading how quickly a wheel rotates around. The computer has a fixed size of calculations for determining said rotating speed. As a result, larger wheels or tires will have the speedometer read higher than the actual speed. Larger wheels or tires take longer to rotate around, but the computer continues to think the wheels are spinning at the smaller size. A quick tune can fix this issue, or by changing the gears if it is an older model Mustang.

Looking for different tire sizing calculations, or just want to see how much those new rims are going to throw off your speedometer? A tire size calculator will help you solve fitment and spacing issues as well as give you insight into measurements and differences between tires.

2010-2014 Mustang with 18x9 on the Front and 18x10 on the Rear
Staggered Setup: 18x9 on the Front and 18x10 on the Rear

What About Wheel Spacers?

One of the number one reasons wheel spacers are so popular is cost. You get a surprising amount of perks without having to shell out for an entirely new set of rims with different spacing as your old ones. So what are these perks, and when do fellow Mustang owners use spacers?

First up is aesthetics. Pushing out your stock rims so the rims are in line with your Mustang's wheel arches gives your ride a more streamlined and aggressive look while drawing attention to your rims. If you already have a set of aftermarket rims (wider or not), wheel spacers can also correct backspacing issues so your aftermarket rims look their best. Wheel spacers can also make it so you can fit wider rims under the front of your Mustang without them turning and colliding into suspension components. You can even combine spacers with aftermarket suspension components to further increase your steering angle!

Further on the performance side of things, wheel spacers are more for brake clearance than anything else. The beefier calipers in big brake kits don't always fit under the stock rims. Pushing the rims out an inch or so will give the calipers more room to breathe, and you don't have to worry about scarring the inside of your rims or the brand new calipers.

There are some things to keep in mind before slapping on a set of spacers and calling it a day. Too big of a spacer can actually hurt your Mustang more than the wider stance could help performance. Oversized spacers can negatively affect the scrub radius (imagine two lines: one through the center of the tires and another following the angle of the suspension. The difference between where those two lines meet and the road surface is the scrub radius). Ideally, your scrub radius will be zero for optimal performance. Too large of spacers can move the scrub radius and overstrain suspension components (wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rods), making them wear out faster. All things considered, make sure you don't overshoot what you need.

Before & After 1in Mustang Wheel Spacers
Before/After Installing a 1in Wheel Spacer

Wheel Finish Options

Almost as important as size and width is the color wheel you choose. Choosing the right color means giving your car the perfect look and adding class at the same time.

  • Chrome Wheels: Our best selling wheel. They are triple-plated with a clear coat finish. Extremely shiny and reflective, these wheels add class to any Mustang. While it will be impossible not to notice a Mustang rolling on clean a set of chrome wheels, chrome is much harder to keep clean than other finishes
  • Polished Wheels: Bare aluminum wheels that are polished. These wheels do not have a clear coat and are duller than chrome, but can also be difficult to keep clean
  • Painted Wheels: These wheels start with a base coat, followed by multiple layers of automotive grade paint, and are finished with clear coat. The painted wheels we carry are our silver, black, anthracite, and white
  • Machined Wheels: These are painted wheels with portions of the aluminum wheel machined down so that it looks like bare aluminum before clear coat is added. Only the face of the wheel is machined. Machined wheels can be identified by the thin lines cut into the aluminum surface during the processing of the wheel – it looks almost like a CD, but is very hard to detect
  • Hypercoated Wheels: Sometimes referred to as “black chrome,” “liquid metal,” or “gun metal.” They are painted, polished, and finished with a metallic clear coat. These wheels change shades of gray/silver in different lights

Note: Some of the above finishes are also offered with simulated rivets around the lip of the wheel.

If you’re curious as to how a certain wheel will look on your Mustang, some of our wheel pages host a section where you can enter the year, sub-model, and color of your Mustang. The images on the page will reflect those changes so you can see what wheels suit your Mustang best.

What is a Deep Dish Mustang Rim?

Deep dish wheels mean the outside lip is deeper than the lip on a standard wheel, with the face of the wheel set back from the outer edge. Many Mustang owners give their rides a staggered look, putting wider, deep dish wheels in the rear. This gives the car an aggressive look, while also providing more traction during acceleration.

We have deep dish Mustang rims in 9 inch, 10 inch, and 10.5 inch widths, all of which have a 2 inch lip. In the pictures below, you can see that the non-deep dish rim has spokes that are almost at the edge of the wheel. With the deep dish rim, the spokes are set back 2 inches from the outer edge.

Wheel Definitions & Common Terms

So far we’ve covered the basics, but we know there are a few people who want to know the more detailed, technical jargon. We've created this portion for you and filled it with the technical information regarding your Mustang's wheels.

We’ve all heard auto techs mention terms like “offset,” “backspacing,” and “bolt pattern” when talking to them about wheels. And we’ve all nodded our heads like we knew what they were talking about even when we didn’t. Here’s a secret for you: most Mustang owners don’t know everything about buying wheels for their Mustang.

What is Wheel Offset?

The offset on a Mustang's wheel is the distance from the hub-mounting surface (read also where your rotors mount to your Mustang's hubs) to the centerline of the wheel. Imagine two vertical planes: one that's flush with the wheel's mounting surface and the second that's in line with the wheel's vertical center (while it's mounted to your Mustang, not the center cap. The center cap would be the horizontal center). The distance between those two planes dictates offset. It is very important to purchase a wheel with the correct offset for your year Mustang. If the offset is not right for your Mustang, the suspension, steering, and handling will be affected.

There are three types of offset:

  • Zero Offset: Mustang wheels with zero offset means the hub-mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel (there's no distance between the two imaginary planes)
  • Positive Offset: The hub-mounting surface on your Mustang's wheel is toward the front (face or "wheel side") of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front wheel drive cars as well as on newer rear-wheel drive cars (the imaginary plane through the wheel's vertical center is behind the mounting surface plane)
  • Negative Offset: Having negative offset on your Mustang's wheels means the hub mounting surface is toward the back (or brake side) of the wheel’s centerline (the imaginary plane through the wheel's vertical center is in front of the mounting surface plane)

In terms of how to measure a wheel's offset, you first need to find your wheel's center line. This is significantly easier to do without the tire on the rim, but we don't also have that luxury. Essentially, you'll need to measure your wheel's width. This is usually done by measuring from the inner tire bead to opposite inner tire bead, but measuring from one outer flange to other will also work. Divide the resulting number in half, and you have your centerline location. If you happen to know your wheel width, simply divide by two.

Step two of measuring offset requires marking the center line of your wheel and forming a line to measure from. One way to do this is with tape, strong, and a paperclip. Tape the string to your center line, tie the paper clip to the end of the string, and stand your wheel up. So long as the paperclip is perpendicular to the wheel's mounting surface, you can accurately measure the distance between the paper clip and the mounting surface. This number is your offset. Remember, if the mounting surface is on the left side of the center line (as pictured below) you have negative offset. The opposite is positive offset. 

Mustang Wheel Offset Illustration

What is Mustang Wheel Backspacing?

Backspacing is the distance from the back edge of a wheel's rim to the mounting surface of the center hub. Measured in inches, backspacing is closely related to offset in that changing one affects the other. The offset is the hub surface to the centerline, and backspacing is back of the wheel to the hub surface.

This measurement is important because it determines the clearance of the wheel in the well and how much the wheel will stick out. You can measure a wheel’s backspacing by running a straight edge across the rim bead and dropping another straight edge down to the wheel face, measuring that distance.

Mustang Wheel Backspacing Illustration

What is a Wheel's Center Bore?

The center bore of a wheel is the area of the ​wheel that mounts directly onto the hub of the vehicle. This allows for complete secureness when tightening down lug nuts on the wheel studs.

How do I Read Wheel Bolt Patterns?

The bolt pattern is the diameter of the circle made by the centers of the wheel lugs. So for our 5-lug wheels, a bolt pattern of 5 x 4.5 inches means that the 5 lug pattern falls on a circle that is 4.5 inches in diameter. Bolt Pattern numbers do not have tolerance amounts. For example, a 5 x 4.75 pattern wheel would not fit on a 5x4.5 hub. There are adapters that can be utilized to change the spacing, however.

If you're not sure what your lug pattern is, you can measure it. For four lug Mustangs, measure the distance between the center of one bolt hole to the center of the opposite hole. For five lug Mustangs, measure from the center of one bolt hole the outside rim of the furthest hole away. The resulting number is the second part of your lug pattern.

How do Wheels Affect Performance?

Not only are wheels extremely important for appearance, but certain wheels actually offer some performance benefits over others. No, a set of wheels will not add any horsepower so to speak, but they can definitely lower your track times. Increasing your rim diameter (16 to 17 for example) will reduce the amount of tire sidewall which in turn reduces tire flex. Perfect for corner carving Mustangs. Increasing rim width gives you a larger traction pad for takeoffs and gives you more room to increase your Mustang’s horsepower.

Aside from the tons of wheel companies, there are a couple areas where most Mustang wheels can be grouped. Staggering wheel sets, for example, will add performance benefits like better grip off the line and improved handling through the corners, lower E.T.s, and also add to a unique look.

Weight is the second category. Some wheels are heralded for being lightweight and you can safely assume shedding pounds off your pony will help your lap times. A general rule of thumb is every 100 pounds you diet off your Mustang, you shed 1/10th of a second of your quarter mile time. Remember, it’s a general rule. Not hard fact. There are calculators out on the web that have more involved equations for more accurate numbers.

Foxbody About to Rip Down the Drag Track

Reduce Wheel Weight for More Speed

  • Reduce the overall weight of the car
  • Reduce unsprung weight
  • Reduce the rotating weight

Not only will these improve acceleration, but they will also help reduce stopping distance. A lower weight wheel will perform better than a heavier wheel across the board whether it's in drag racing or road racing.

Reducing overall weight is a plus because it's less weight for your Mustang to haul around while slightly increasing your power to weight ratio. Unsprung weight is the mass of the suspension, wheels, and other components that aren’t supported by the springs. Unsprung weight affects handling because it cannot be countered by the suspension, so we like to keep this number low when possible. It will also affect ride comfort. Reducing the rotational weight will help acceleration and deceleration, especially when paired with a lightweight flywheel and driveshaft. This will allow more of the energy, or power, being made by your engine to reach the back tires.

15x4 Front Drag Tires on a Foxbody
Foxbody with 15x4 on the Front

What Wheels are Best for Drag Racing?

For the dragstrip, I would recommend a set of drag lites also referred to as “fats and skinnies.” These wheels are usually very narrow up front and wide in the back. A 15-16 inch rim is used in the rear to allow for a tire with a taller sidewall, producing greater grip off the line. The added sidewall will cause the tire to collapse when launching which will not create any tire spin, granting you instant traction depending on what kind of tire you choose. Keep in mind, the narrow wheel up front is designed to save weight and will not do well around turns. This gain from the added traction and the light weight of the wheels themselves will lower your track times.

As far as width goes, the factory wheel width is just not enough sometimes. Spinning the tires unintentionally can seriously hurt your launches. By upgrading to a wider rim in the back, you will be able to run a wider tire. This will allow more for a larger contact area between the tire and the ground, and if you use a quality tire it will result in an increase in traction. Make sure you choose a rim width that is compatible with the tire you wish to run. Increasing the amount of traction will allow you to launch harder as well as shift harder and smoother without breaking the tires loose.

V6 Mustang at the Drag Strip

What Wheels are Best for Autocross & Track Use?

If you’re more into autocross there are plenty of wheel options out there for you as well. Just like selecting a set of wheels for drag racing, you want to choose something both lightweight and durable enough to endure the abuse at the track.

With autocross wheels you want to make sure the width of the wheels is the same. However, if you do decide on a staggered setup, you have to confirm the correct offset and backspacing in order for the wheels to fit properly. You already know how larger diameter rims reduce flex (bonus!), but keep in mind a small sidewall tire offers less protection of the rim when driving on the street.

2011 V6 Mustang Slaloming Through Cones

Are Authentic/High-End Mustang Wheels Worth the Cost?

A set of authentic wheels will undoubtedly turn heads wherever you are. A set of wheels by a Ford affiliated company are highly prized, mainly because of their popular names and of course the higher price tag. When people buy a Roush or Saleen Mustang, the wheels that come standard on those models are stamped with their logo and are worth more than other reproductions.

Aside from the Mustang performance companies, there is a list of other wheel companies. These companies will actually custom make a set of wheels for your particular application. They can make a set to the exact size and color you want, and consumers will do nearly anything to get their hands on a set.

If prominence and bragging rights are what you’re after, or you have a Roush, Saleen, Foose Mustang, etc. then a set of authentically produced wheels may be for you. If you are just after the looks and performance aspect, you might be more interested in a set of reproduction style wheels.

Video: Foose Outcast Wheels Review

Are Mustang Reproduction Style Wheels Worth Buying?

Getting a set of reproduction wheels is very common among the Mustang community. They allow you to get the wheels and style you’ve always wanted at an affordable cost. This is a perfect alternative for someone who is building a car on a budget but still wants a new set of wheels, or those who aren’t interested in the name brand allure of the more expensive wheels.

Some of the most popular wheel styles are Saleen, Cobra, Bullitt, FR500, and Cobra R. They all cost about the same price so you don’t have to worry about the cost varying to each style. Keep in mind 18" wheels may cost a little bit more than 17" wheels, and you will find the cost of tires will go up as well.

Performance Differences Between Name Brand and Reproduction Wheels?

From a performance standpoint, you will see little to no variation between the two. Certain styles may have weight differences between them, but when comparing identical styles, you seldom see a difference in the make or quality of the wheels. Performance is usually not a factor when selecting between the two types of Mustang wheels.

Popular Mustang Wheel Accessories

After matching the set of wheels you’ve always wanted to your Mustang, you can even further customize them with select wheel accessories. You can change the center caps, lug nuts, and valve stem caps to add a personalized touch to your new wheels and can better compliment your Mustang. Caliper covers and wheel bands can be installed to add some color to your setup. If your wheels don’t quite sit where you want them to you can purchase wheel spacers that will push the wheels out a little bit further.

2015-2017 Mustang with Caliper Covers

Center Cap Fitment

This is in regards to the size and difference between our AmericanMuscle center caps and the Ford Racing center caps. Both of these center caps are 2.5 inches in diameter, but they are NOT the same and are not interchangeable. Specifically:

  • The outside diameter of the tabs is different
  • The depth of the tabs is different
  • This is the reason Ford Racing center caps cannot be used on our AmericanMuscle wheels and the AmericanMuscle center caps cannot be used in OEM Ford wheels

Mustang Center Caps: AmericanMuscle vs Ford Racing

Basics of Aftermarket Wheel Care

As we’ve established, there are stark differences between wheel finishes besides looks. Your local roads, weather, and how much time you have will determine which finish is best for you. The first rule in caring for any automotive wheels, regardless of finish, is keeping them clean. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when cleaning your wheels.

  • For best results it's important to keep wheels clean, not allowing road film, contaminants, and brake dust (all of which retain moisture) to accumulate and sit on the surface
  • Generally speaking, from week to week during your car wash cycle, it’s best to clean them with a soft brush, soap, and/or mild degreaser or quality spray-on wheel cleaner
  • Be careful in selecting wheel cleaning products—select products that are safe for the finish of your wheels
  • If you live in a harsh winter climate where salt and chemicals are used during the winter, regular cleaning is even more important
  • Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners. Some cleaners are harsh and could damage your wheel finish
  • Also be aware many car washes use strong chemicals to clean wheels and tires that could damage your wheel finish and/or your paint
  • NEVER CLEAN HOT WHEELS! Allow wheels to cool, or cool them with running water
  • Another important step is to seal your Mustang's wheels with a sealant that will reduce static and resist brake dust

Caring for Chrome Wheels

Aluminum or steel wheels plated with chrome are beautiful and can significantly change the appearance of your Mustang. If maintained, the chrome finish will produce a brilliant shine. To reflect light, which produces the attractive brilliant finish, the wheels must be cleaned regularly.

  • It’s best to clean them with a soft brush, soap, and water
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • After cleaning your wheels do not allow soap, chemicals, or water to sit on the surface and produce water spots
  • Dry your wheels with a soft, non-abrasive towel

Periodically, polish your chrome wheels with some quality non-abrasive chrome polish. For best results and to reduce cleaning efforts in the future, after polishing and/or cleaning, apply wax to seal the surface—this should help avoid problems in the future and will reduce static so your wheels are more resistant to brake dust. 

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Chrome Bullitt Wheels on an S197 Mustang

Caring for Polished Aluminum Wheels

Polished aluminum wheels are very popular, particularly with racing, off-road, and hot rod enthusiasts. However, they do require more periodic maintenance than other finishes depending upon the climate, road conditions, and your car care practices in general.

Polished aluminum wheels require the highest degree of maintenance and a certain amount of oxidation is to be expected as the wheels naturally oxidize with age. Polished wheels can be re-polished commercially or by hand after many years of use, effectively restoring them to an almost factory original condition.

  • When new, coat your polished wheels with a quality, hand-applied sealant wax. This coating will assist in preventative maintenance by resisting brake dust and other contaminants
  • When your polished aluminum wheels begin to lose their shine or are dirty with road film or brake dust, begin by cleaning them as instructed above
  • If you use a brush, be careful to avoid scratching the uncoated, polished aluminum alloy by using only a SOFT brush
  • Follow up by polishing them by hand with a quality metal or wheel polish
  • After polishing, coat them with a top-quality wheel wax according to instructions. If they are in bad condition, this will take some time, and polishing wheels is never an easy task

Special Mention - Power Mini-Polisher: For faster and perhaps easier results, use a Dremel type tool mini-polisher with the correct polishing mini-pads. Just swab on some polish, then buff them with the polishing tool. Mini power tool polishers will clean up and polish your wheels quickly, saving time and producing a brilliant shine.

If your wheels have deeply embedded brake dust or other contaminants from lack of maintenance, you can try an aggressive spray-on wheel cleaner (be careful. Some contain acid) with a brush, BUT DO NOT ALLOW IT TO SIT ON THE SURFACE AND ETCH THE POLISHED SURFACE. Rinse your wheels thoroughly and dry with soft, non-abrasive cloth. Polished wheels look great, but do require regular maintenance.

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1994-2004 Mustang Aluminum 17x10.5 Deep Dish Wheel

Caring for Clear-Coated Wheels

Clear-coated wheels should require only soap (or a quality wheel cleaner product), water, and a soft brush. Once your wheels are clean, a coat of hand-applied quality, non-carnauba, non-abrasive polymer sealant-quality wax will enhance resistance to brake dust and contaminants. Waxing works well and will save you cleaning time in the future. ALL chrome and replica wheels from AmericanMuscle have been clear-coated.

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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, 2018, 2019, GT, V6, Cobra, SVO, LX, ShelbyGT500, Mach1, Bullitt, Boss, EcoBoost, ShelbyGT350