Thursday, December 9, 2010

Supersizing the wheels!

For the first post on this spanking new blog, I'll be talking about the first upgrade I brought to the truck. Since the tires were totally used up when I bought the truck I needed to get some new ones. Moreover the OEM silver painted rims were all rusted so I needed some new wheels as well. I went looking over the internet for the biggest possible wheels that could fit onto the GMC Suburban without having to do a body lift. I know I'll do a body lift eventually, but for now I neither had the time or money to do it.


From my calculations and observations from looking around a 285 75 R16 tire would be the biggest tire to fit the Suburban. I looked around for good tires in that size that would be both affordable, be rated for extreme snow conditions (mountain snowflake symbol), and have good all terrain performance. I already had a weak spot for the Goodyear Wrangler series because of its look and popularity. I was deceived to see that most tires in this series aren't for extreme off road. I had either the choice of going with the Wrangler Duratrac or Wrangler MT/R. The problem with the MT/R is that they aren't rated for snow extreme conditions, and where I live as of 2014 it is required by law. I then had pretty much no choice than to go for the Duratrac. They make the E load rating (10 ply) version for this tire so it would be both able to take the heavy Diesel Suburban anywhere and be able to resist pointy rocks and scrap metal. I bought 5 tires for 259.99$CAN each at a local store but you can also find online for about the same price. Buying them local had the advantage for me to get a special warrantee in which if a tire gets punctured I can get it repaired at my local store for free.


The stock tires being 245 75 R16, the new tires would be much much larger (40mm to be precise). This would make fitting the new tires on the OEM rims doable, but neither recommended nor safe. I went ahead and looked for 16 x 8 rims. Why stay in the 16 inch diameter you ask? Well I love the look of beefy tires and they do provide much better traction in deep snow or mud and can be deflated to a greater extent than low profile tires to augment grip. I didn't want to go with some weak aluminium alloy rims so I absolutely wanted to go with steel. So the search was on for some heavy duty 16 x 8 steel rims. That have an 8 lug pattern as used by the Diesel Suburban version. I found that the Pro Comp USA Rock Crawler Series 52 Black Powder rims were exactly what I needed. I purchased them from for 115.99$CAN each.

Fitting them on the Suburban:

Like I said above, the 285 75 R16 are the biggest rims that will fit on the Diesel Suburban. However, there is some minor trimming to be done to fit those monster wheels. The front bumper and plastic garnish has to be cut in a 45 deg pattern. The other side of the rear well needs its mud flap and other plastic and metal brackets to be trimmed down. This allows the wheel to turn fully and the suspension to compress without hitting anything. The rear wheels don't need to be modified at all. Hope you have enjoyed this first post and look forward to much more...


  1. Hey Leo,

    I'm doing the very same thing with my 99 Suburban 6.5 Diesel - Just got it our of the paint shop yesterday - but I went with the Pro Comp's as well - did opt for the BF Goodwrench AT tires - Got new Boss Hog front and rear bumpers on in gloss black to match wheels on the way - and it's going back in the shop for the 3" body lift next Thursday - waiting for the SS Diesel aftermarket coldair intake kit - When you go to put your Body Lift on it the stock air intake box sill not work any longer as it's a-fixed to the fender well - SS Diesel makes an aftermarket kit that works for $119 + shipping USD.

    I'm putting the link to the photo I just snapped of it with my phone as it's awaiting bumpers and lift - Perhaps you'd like to have a look...

    Will send you another update post in 2 weeks when the project is complete and I have some new images for ya.

  2. Nice pic, I should paint mine olive green for summer 2012 when I get some free time...

  3. So much precious information that you have posted, actually nice research and observation. Now i m going to change Tier of my trucks, by the reading of this blog i don't need to take more advise from any other expert. thanks.
    United Kingdom Tyre Market Forecast

  4. Beautiful truck! I plan on buying new tires next week and I love the look. What is the back spacing on your wheels?

  5. Hi, here are the specs on the wheels I have:

    Pro Comp
    Rock Crawler Series 51
    Black Powder Wheel
    Size 16x8
    Bolt Pattern 8x6.5
    Back Space 4.25 in