As a suspension and alignment expert, I would never do anything that alters where the tire tread sits on the road in relation to the van. If the wheel offset is different, the tire will move left or right. That will have a big affect on braking and steering response. If the diameter of the tire is larger than what the van was designed for, that will also affect those things. The secondary alignment angle that no one talks about or is aware of is called "scrub radius". If you look from in front of the van back to the two ball joints, and draw an imaginary line between them, that line must intersect the road surface exactly in the middle of the tire tread. That causes the inner half of the tire tread to want to pull toward the center of the vehicle, and the outer half to pull outward. The two forces counteract each other and make that tire want to go straight. When you alter scrub radius, each tire will respond to every bump in the road and make driving the van very tiring.
If you buy new wheels, be sure they're designed specifically for your van to maintain the same offset. If the new tires are taller, you'll have to worry about them rubbing on the fenders not only when standing still and turning the steering wheel, but when turning and going up and down over bumps.
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Sunday, January 27th, 2013 AT 12:19 AM