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Thread: Aftermarket rims and tires on stretch SUV load issues

  1. #1
    Member BlackTieLTS's Avatar
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    Default Aftermarket rims and tires on stretch SUV load issues

    Our 220" Excursion has a 14,400 GVWR and I figure fully loaded it could get up to 18,000 lbs which really should be an F or G rated tire. We bought it with factory 16" wheels (vehicle is in paint right now but i'm guessing they are D or E rated tires). We want to up the wheels to 18". The average aftermarket wheel isn't rated for 4000+ lbs/wheel and nobody makes F or G rated tires in higher sizes.

    Not trying to incriminate anyone here but i'm assuming people with large stretch SUVs are running E or lower tires and standard aftermarket wheels?

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    This has been an issue I've looked into before. Unfortunately, it seems to fall into a gray area. I've had the same BFG A/T's(35's) on my lifted Excursion limo for years and they've always passed the CHP inspection. When I go to the tire shop, I always ask them to give me the best tires available for the application, and tell them I don't care about price. They always tell me to get the BFG's because they have belted side walls. My BFG's are only D rated, so i don't know why CHP and "all" my tire places they they are so good. But I keep a close eye on them and have never had a blow out.

    Also, another issue for limo tires is the air pressure. CHP and knowledgeable tire guys tell me to put the air way past manufacturers adviseable rates. I keep them at 90psi. Some tire places won't fill them up that high unless I sign a waiver. One place still made me do it myself and the guys hid around the corner like demolitions were being set up. The limo drives 10 times better with the higher tire pressure. If you're not doing it already, do some testing on your own. I've had them as high as 110, but 90 seems like the best compromise.
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    First, I would actually take the truck to a scale and get the thing weighed before I start assuming anything. From there, add about 160 lbs per person to get your total vehicle weight.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    Member BlackTieLTS's Avatar
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    I didn't "assume" the #, 14,400 is what is what the builder put on the door jam and a factory Excursion is 8900 lbs so 14,400 sounds about right. Add passengers you get around 18,000 hence my original question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackTieLTS View Post
    I didn't "assume" the #, 14,400 is what is what the builder put on the door jam and a factory Excursion is 8900 lbs so 14,400 sounds about right. Add passengers you get around 18,000 hence my original question.
    Curb weight of Ford Excursion is 7,190 lbs. So...you are already wrong there. And if the coachbuilder put 14,400 on the door jamb, then that is what the maximum weight of the vehicle is supposed to be. If a 120 inch stretch adds about 2600 lbs to the curb weight of an LTC, then I would estimate that a 220 inch stretch onto a Ford Excursion would add roughly double that or 5000 lbs. So...7190 lbs + 5000 lbs for 12190 lbs. Now, assuming 24 passengers in your 220 inch Excursion, Ford recommends 150 lbs per passenger, so 24 passengers is 3600 lbs. Adding to the 12190 lbs gives me 15790 lbs. I consider that 15.8k lbs to be heavy because I assumed the build to be really heavy...so....I would assume that the modifiers claim of 14,400 lbs GVWR to be accurate.

    Remember what GVWR means. That is supposed to be the maximum weight of the vehicle when fully loaded including fuel and passengers. The modifiers know this, so why would they post something less? Doesn't make sense to me.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    Member BlackTieLTS's Avatar
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    Tim- I apologize, you are correct. For some reason I had in my mind GVWR was the weight of the unloaded vehicle. In this case i'm thinking E rated tires should be sufficient but still open to feedback anyone has to offer on aftermarket wheels and tires.

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    Glad we got that all cleared up. Still, tires are very VERY important and this is something that we all need to consider. 98 or 99 tires shouldn't be used on a 120 LTC when 108s are what are on it when it comes from the factory. 6612 lbs (total) for the 98s hardly covers the curb weight of the stretch, let along the fully loaded stretch.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Levine View Post
    CHP and knowledgeable tire guys tell me to put the air way past manufacturers adviseable rates. I keep them at 90psi. Some tire places won't fill them up that high unless I sign a waiver. The limo drives 10 times better with the higher tire pressure. If you're not doing it already, do some testing on your own. I've had them as high as 110, but 90 seems like the best compromise.
    When I was racing we jacked up pressures on street radials and eliminated separations caused by overheating. I would want to talk to a tire engineer to clarify the maximum pressure issue. I probably would be renting a nitrogen tank and filling my tires with that as it doesn't leak and runs cooler. I fortunately don't have to be concerned with 15 passengers and larger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    First, I would actually take the truck to a scale and get the thing weighed before I start assuming anything. From there, add about 160 lbs per person to get your total vehicle weight.
    Exactly how I do it. Truck scales first, then take it from there. I even loaded mines up with a buncha big uns one time to see how it handled lol. I heard from one driver that he had his rear bags blow from too much weight in the back before. Funny thing is, he said as soon as he picked his group up he knew there was gonna be some trouble and told them so. When the bags burst they were in the back laughing he said.

    (Not Al Bundy Big uns either lol)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    Glad we got that all cleared up. Still, tires are very VERY important and this is something that we all need to consider. 98 or 99 tires shouldn't be used on a 120 LTC when 108s are what are on it when it comes from the factory. 6612 lbs (total) for the 98s hardly covers the curb weight of the stretch, let along the fully loaded stretch.
    Ok what are 98, 99, and 108s? Sorry for my ignorance

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Paul White View Post
    Ok what are 98, 99, and 108s? Sorry for my ignorance
    Codes passenger tires have for weight. http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/infoLoadIndex.dos
    Rich Rottier
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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Mill Limousine View Post
    Codes passenger tires have for weight. http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/infoLoadIndex.dos
    give Tim rep for that, not me...he is the one that showed me this. Sorry Tim, should've let you respond!
    Rich Rottier
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    98, 99, 108 are all "Load Index Ratings" for tires. In other words, they are the maximum weight the tire was designed to hold. If you have 4 tires on your car, multiply the number by 4 to get the total weight that your car can be, or its GVWR. 108s have a load rating of 2,205 lbs, so if you have 4, then your GVWR can be up to 8,820 lbs. This is more than enough for a QVM LTC 120 which has a GVWR of 7,500 lbs (recalling from memory). I recommend getting tires that exceed the GVWR by quite a bit to avoid blowouts from hitting large cracks or small pot holes in the road.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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  14. #14

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    I definitely wouldn't assume weights, not in the limo business but back when I was in the Navy, I've seen assumptions by brilliant people go wrong. Assuming the fuel in the jet when it landed, undershot his assumption, and the jet snapped the cable that stops it... then the 6" thick cable becomes a whip across the deck of the carrier that takes out a quite a bit of stuff. Not that anything THAT drastic would happen with a bad tire/wheel/air pressure combination, but I'd be as thorough as possible to avoid any unnecessary costs and repairs. Especially when you have a bad blowout while transporting a few "healthy" bridesmaids to the bachelorette party.

  15. #15

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    Yeah, I've been told that Nitrogen would be good for my set up.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

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