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I have a 1974 Ford F250 and the tire size for this truck has been dead for a while (31x10.50R16.5LT). Is it completely necessary to replace the wheels to get new tires for my truck? I'd like to keep the truck as close to original as possible.

  • No, its okay to change tire size. Do note, your speedometer is likely be off a bit. That is set for the original tires sold with the vehicle. As long as all four tires are same size, you should be good. Question: Does that truck have a rotating cable driven speedometer? – zipzit Jun 13 '16 at 16:53
  • @zipzit I think he is asking if he can use a different wheel diameter tire on the old 16.5" rims... perhaps we need more clarification from the OP – SteveRacer Jun 13 '16 at 17:14
  • @SteveRacer you are correct. – Jeremy White Jun 17 '16 at 0:46
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    Then the answer is no, heck no, bloody heck no. Sorry. Things like that have been attempted in the past with super nasty results. Completely unsafe! There's still availability of the old-school size scheme, albeit terribly limited. 16.5 was an almost-medium truck size in that era that never really caught on. {sigh] It's either new rims (but you could do some nice aluminum mags from Tire Rack with tires quite reasonable, and keep the stock steels... or it's the dwindling choices in 16.5" tires, Sorry the news isn't better. Semper Fi. – SteveRacer Jun 18 '16 at 2:44
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If you have 16.5" diameter rims, and wish to retain them, then you must match the exact inner rim diameter with replacement tires.

Never attempt to "get by" with a 16" or 17" tire on a 16.5 rims. Similar things were attempted for a very short while when metric diameter wheels were brought briefly to the US, and then stocks of tires vanished with the ill-conceived idea.

The answer is no, heck no, bloody heck no. Sorry. Super nasty results await anything but the correctly matched inner tire diameter. Completely unsafe!

However, as the above posters mentioned, there's still availability of the old-school size scheme, albeit terribly limited. 16.5 was an almost-medium truck size in that era that never really caught on. [sigh] It's either new rims (but you could do some nice aluminum mags from Tire Rack with tires quite reasonable, and keep the stock steels... or it's the dwindling choices in 16.5" tires, Sorry the news isn't better.

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  • This is the only correct answer. +1 – DucatiKiller Jun 22 '16 at 22:13
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looking at tire rack. Searched by rim (wheel) size. Came up with 3 results.

8.75R16.5
9.5R16.5
37x12.5R16.5

The 9.5R16.5 looks somewhat close in size at 30.6x9.5.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Firestone&tireModel=Transforce+HT&partnum=950R65THT&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes

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  • Are you trying to say that I can use those tires on my current wheels? I wouldn't think that is the case. – Jeremy White Jun 17 '16 at 0:41
  • If you currently have 31x10.50R16.5LT tires, it means you have a 16.5" rim. The tires I listed are all for a 16.5" rim. Rim width needs to be 6.8-8.3" for the 9.5R16.5 – rpmerf Jun 17 '16 at 10:11
  • @Jeremy White ... those tires will work perfectly on your existing 16.5" wheels. Just note that out of 4 gajillion tire choices, you are down to 3, from one brand. The next time you need tires, your choices might be zero. – SteveRacer Jun 23 '16 at 14:39

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