Tie Rods and Wheel Backspace

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Scotty54
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Tie Rods and Wheel Backspace

Post by Scotty54 » Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:59 pm

This is a continuation of a thread from a few weeks ago where I questioned my wheels riding very close to my tie rods. I understand that the tie rods won't contact the wheels but it got me thinking - could the very close space limit the ability to align the front end? Could the tie rods be adjusted outward to the point where they contact? The gap now (from tie rod to wheel edge) is about 3/8".

I am about to purchase new 15 x 8 wheels (replacing the 15 x 7 stock rims) and the new wheels have the same backspacing (4").
But . . . how about a 16" wheel. This would move the edge of the rim further away and allow more adjustment room. Are there any negatives to going with a 16" vs a 15"?
1977 Cherokee Chief 401 QT
Northeast Tennessee

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Yeller
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Re: Tie Rods and Wheel Backspace

Post by Yeller » Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:42 pm

No it is impossible to get closer to the wheel from alignment. The relationship between the tie rod and knuckle are fixed. The only way it can get closer would be a bad enough crash that you’re not driving the truck ever again.

Your truck is of the correct vintage to be able to accept up to 4.5” of back spacing with a 15” wheel. On most wheels you can still even run balance weights on the rim.

This one is 5 lug, but the specs are the same for a 6 lug. This is just an example of a known fitment that works.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/USM- ... gIQjfD_BwE
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
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Re: Tie Rods and Wheel Backspace

Post by Stuka » Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:26 am

Be aware that 16" wheels have a limited tire selection, and they are almost all E rated in sizes that would fit. So your ride will become harsher if you go that route.

3/8" is plenty of space between the wheel and TRE, provided you are fine with using stick on weights instead of weights around the outside rim. I have seen cars from the factory with less than that.
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Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ

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Scotty54
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Re: Tie Rods and Wheel Backspace

Post by Scotty54 » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:58 am

Yeller - that is the wheel I am looking at, and has the same 4" backspace as my stock rims.

And thanks for explaining what should have been apparent to me if I had looked hard enough - the tie rod being fixed to the knuckle. My understanding of front end geometry is pretty basic.

Stuka - just the info I needed on the 16" wheel option. Thanks!
1977 Cherokee Chief 401 QT
Northeast Tennessee

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Yeller
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Re: Tie Rods and Wheel Backspace

Post by Yeller » Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:43 am

your welcome!

If your patient these might be for sale this summer if I can find a 17" wheel that I like that isn't $600ea.
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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