Tech Tip: Sizing Wheels and Tires

By Charlie Haigh

After 1967 U.S. Land Rovers Series were equipped with 15" wheels. However, Land Rovers sold in the U.S. before 1967 came with 16" wheels. These were sized according to the vehicle being fitted. An 88 would have had a narrower wheel than a 109. Also the amount of offset differed with the vehicle.

The amount of offset on the wheel sets up the width of the track and determines the amount of steering effort required. The greater the offset the easier the steering feels. Because Land Rover offered different wheels and parts that can be interchanged, you may have incorrect components fitted. The chart below should help to identify the wheels belonging to your Rover.

Land Rover Wheel Sizes
Model Rim Diameter Width Offset Part#
88 '59 thru '67 16" 5" 1" 231601PM
88 '67 thru '74 15" 6" 1" NLA
109 '59 thru '71 16" 5.5" 1.75" 272309
109, 90, 110,
88 optional
16" 5.5" 2" NRC7578PM
130, 110 USA 16" 6.5" 2.25" ANR1534PM

Now that you can identify your wheels, let's look at tire sizes. The original tire sizes on your Rover were most likely in inches, but most tires are now sized using metric dimensions. The following chart should be a guide to choosing the right size tires for your vehicle.

Imperial Dimensions of Metric Tires
Tire Size Height
in inches
Width
in inches
7.10-15 27.9 7.4
195-75-15 * 26.6 7.68
205-75-15 * 27.1 8.07
225-15 * 28.4 7.09
6.50-16 30.18 7.06
7.00-16 31.0 8.23
7.50-16 31.87 8.82
215/85-16 * 30.46 8.38
235/85-16 * 31.77 9.16
245/75-16 * 30.37 9.71

* Metric Sizing

When you look at tire sizes, bear in mind that actual size varies among different manufacturers and tread patterns.

To help you understand tire sizing you should know the significance of the manufacturers' numbering system. Tires are numbered with, first, tire width, second, the ratio of width to height and, third, wheel size. Most tires' sizes use an assumed ratio of 80%, for example: 225-15, which assumes the height of the side wall to be 80% of the tire width. In other cases a middle number might be given, for example: 225-75-15. Here the side wall height is 75% of the tire width. This percentage is known as the aspect ratio. The ratio of width to height is very important to proper sizing and makes quite a difference in the physical size of the tires that you buy. A tire with a low ratio will be low and wide, where a tire with a high ratio will be taller.

When choosing a tire for your Land Rover product you should select a size suited to the type of use the vehicle will see.

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