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Dodge Ram 3500 Makeover:
Selecting the Correct Wheel and Tire Package
Choosing the right tires and wheels for a lifted truck is an important
decision. Wheel and tire sizing determines safety and correct vehicle handling plus the kind of
service and lifespan you will get from the tires.
This article includes an exclusive HD video interview with Richard
Winchester of B.F. Goodrich Tire...Get more tire and wheel details from the
For the 2005 Dodge Ram 3500, the tire choice was clear. The
truck's factory BFG tires delivered exceptional service—over 90,000 miles with routine rotation,
proper inflation and correct wheel alignment. BFGoodrich® was the obvious source for the new
Consulting with Richard Winchester, the Field Marketing Manager for
BFG and an avid "4WD truck guy", we narrowed our choice to the All-Terrain T/A KO design. With the
installation of a 4" Mopar Suspension Lift, the new tire focus was the LT325/65R18 in a load range
E. This ultra-duty tire would serve the one-ton, diesel powered Ram 3500's real world work
For wheel rims, the focus was correct width, diameter, offset and
load capacity. A width of 9" and diameter of 18" would meet the tire
In searching the market for a wheel with the right load capacity and
offset, the field narrowed to American Eagle
Wheels. This company serves the passenger car and light truck market. Our choice was
the attractive 'Raven' style with black centers.
The Raven wheels feature an 18" x 9" platform with 8 on 6.5" wheel
bolt pattern. Offset, which is critical to proper front end geometry, is a minus-12mm. Rated for 3242 pounds
load per wheel, this is a safe, practical wheel for the Ram hauler.
Raising the chassis 4-inches also raised the
truck's center-of-gravity. The American Eagle Raven
wheels, with their -12mm offset and 9-inch width, widened the track width. This wider track helped restore
the center-of-gravity. With the front wheels aligned to specification, the Ram 3500 steers precisely and has
a controlled, stable ride. As an added bonus, the sure-footed hauler looks
stylish and rugged!
The Raven wheel offset, for this truck application, also maintains
normal steering axis inclination (SAI). This contributes to control and steering accuracy. With regular tire
rotation, the tires will wear evenly. The 2005 Ram 3500 handles precisely at this track width and
Note: As with any suspension lift, check the
tire clearance at full steering swing and maximum range of suspension travel. The lifted truck with these tires
exhibited slight tire interference with the stock plastic air dam below the Ram's front bumper. This was easily
remedied with the installation of the Warn heavy-duty winch bumper. The new bumper fits higher and has curved end
radiuses intended for oversized tires.
The chosen wheel and tire package delivers great handling and
ride quality both on- and off-pavement. The primary uses for the 2005 Ram
truck are all-season highway travel and trailer towing. Load range E oversized tires provide a
safety margin for these chores. The added vehicle weight with accessories—like the Transfer Flow
75-gallon auxiliary fuel tank and Warn's winch and winch bumper—make larger tires
At the 2011 Off-Road Expo, the Dodge Ram 3500 was a crowd
pleaser. American Eagle's Raven wheels and BFG tires drew the attention of trailer pullers
and four-wheelers alike. This ultimate 4WD tow rig delivers safety, long haul performance and, of
course, great looks!
HD Video: Interview with B.F. Goodrich Field Marketing
Manager Richard Winchester