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Fox Body Wheel and Tire Fitment Guide

Created by Jeff Jimenez / 5 min read
Date Created: 1/3/2014
Last Updated: 10/11/2022

Need help selecting Fox Body wheels and tires for your Mustang or wondering what rims will fit on your 1979-93 Fox Body. LMR's Wheel & Tire Guide can help!

Viewing this install and using the information shared is subject to the terms set forth here - View the LMR Install Instructions Disclaimer.

FOLLOW: mustang , 79 93 mustang , fox body , tech , wheels , tech guide

  • Fox Body Mustang Wheel & Tire Guide

We get many questions about wheel fitment and which Ford Mustang wheel is the best or which tires you recommend for the best fit. At Late Model Restoration, we want to make it as easy as possible to select the perfect wheel and tire kit for your Fox Body Mustang. Listed below are some of our most popular wheel and tire combos that we researched and determined are the best fit for your Fox Body!


Basic Guideline For Fox Body Mustang Wheels Backspacing

  • 7" width - 4.5" backspace
  • 8" width - 5-5.5" backspace
  • 9" width - 6" backspace
  • 10-10.5" width - 6.5" backspace

1979-1990 Mustangs

The 1979-90 Mustang had a smaller front fender opening when compared to the 1991-93 Mustang. Without clearance problems or tire rub, the best appearing and performing set up here is to run a 17x8 front wheel size with a 245/45/17 tire and for the rear, you can run a 17x9 wheel with a 275/40/17 tire with no clearance problems.

If you want to run a 17x10.5 wheel with a 315/35/17 tire on the rear, you can; however, you will have to remove the rear quad shocks and modify the inner fender with a "Large Hammer." It can be done in your driveway in no time, but remember that every Mustang is different! You may not have to do anything besides removing the rear quad shocks. Check out our 15x10 SVE Drag wheel installation here - Installing 15x10 SVE Drag Wheels On Fox Body Mustang.

Earlier (79-86) Fox Body Mustangs, as well as 4-cylinder Mustangs, won't typically accept greater than an 8"-wide front wheel due to strut-to-wheel clearance.   An upgrade to 87-93 5.0 brakes or SN95 brakes may be required if a wider front wheel is desired on a four-cylinder or 4-eyed Mustang.


1991-1993 Mustangs

These generally require the same as the 1979–90 Mustang, but remember that 1991–93 has a larger front fender opening, so it’s possible that you’ll be able to run a 17x9 wheel with a 275/40/17 front tire.

We say "possible" here because every car differs. Mustang Steering Rack Limiters can aid in allowing a larger wheel and tire combination on the front of your Fox Body. They limit the travel of the rack, sometimes preventing tire or wheel rub on full-lock turns. Just don't use too many of them, or your turning radius will suffer!


Fox Body Mustang Wheel & Tire Guide - Fox Body Mustang Wheel & Tire Guide

The Famous 5.0 Resto "5-lug Conversion kit"

One of our most popular Fox Body wheel restoration parts is our 5-lug conversion kit which allows you to run certain 5-lug wheels on your 1979-93 Fox Body Mustangs for added safety and looks. It also allows you to expand your wheel choices. Do you have questions about installing one of these kits? Check out our full step-by-step 5 Lug Conversion Kit Installation article as well as our Fox Body 5 Lug Conversion Guide


Why can't I use all 5-lug Mustang wheels with a 5.0 Resto 5 Lug conversion kit?

The main reason that a lot of Fox Body Mustang wheels will not fit is that for our kit, we use a replacement front 5-lug rotor in our kit that still uses an outer bearing. What happens if you try to install something such as a Bullitt wheel? It will simply pop out the center cap and not allow it to stay snapped in. You can still use a Bullitt wheel on the front, but you will be missing a front center cap. Other factory 94-04 Mustang factory style wheels won't clear the larger center hub at all, causing a dangerous situation where the wheel will not seat on the rotor. In 1994 the Mustang went to a front hub assembly, which did away with an outer bearing that caused problems in attaching late-model wheels to your mustang!

There are tons of other aftermarket wheels that will work with our 5.0Resto 5-lug swap kit. When deciding on wheels, pay attention to backspace, width, hub center hole diameter, and hub depth.

If want to use 1994-2004 Mustang wheels, like FR500 or Bullitt wheels, you can! This will require you to do an SN95 front brake conversion on your Foxbody. This installation requires you to use a set of 94-04 front spindles, brake calipers, and hub assemblies. This is the perfect opportunity to do a full 5 lug swap with a rear disc brake conversion on your Stang! Be sure to check out our full line of SVE 5 lug conversion kits here – Mustang Brake Kits.

SN95 Cobra brakes also provide an added measure of safety and stopping power when replacing either the 87-93 5.0's 11" front discs or the puny 4-eyed and 4-cylinder 9" rotors.


Fox Body Mustang Wheel & Tire Guide - Fox Body Mustang Wheel & Tire Guide

What Mustang wheels can I run if I choose to stay with 4 Lug?

There are still several great choices out there if you choose to stay with a 4-lug rotor/axle/wheel. The most popular is the satin or silver "Cobra R" wheels on Fox Body that are patterned after the 1995 Mustang Cobra R factory race car only with a 4 lug pattern. The SC wheel is designed to look like a Fox Body Saleen wheel and is a customer favorite. For the purists out there, it is hard to stray too far away from a good set of pony wheels. As factory-standard equipment on the 1991-93 Mustangs, this wheel still looks great after all of these years. The pony wheel is no longer available from Ford but thanks to 5.0Resto, you can still pick up a pony wheel in either silver or chrome with a real Ford licensed center cap with the tri-bar running pony emblem!!


What is required to fit 10" wide wheels under your Fox Body Mustang?

This is a very common question we get here at LMR.com. While every vehicle may vary slightly because of suspension and modifications, there are three main things that will be required to get a 10" wide wheel to fit correctly on the rear of a Fox Mustang:

  • Removal of the OEM Quad shock. (Removing this will require upgraded Rear control arms to prevent Wheel Hop)
  • The inner fender wheel well will have to be cleared around the contour of where the tire sidewall may contact the car.
  • Outside fender lip wheel well will have to be professionally rolled. It is a double-walled thickness that is not recommended to be rolled outside of a body shop.

We covered many of these steps in the following article: Installing SVE Drag Wheels On A Fox Body Mustang (https://lmr.com/products/Installing-SVE-Drag-Wheels-Fox-Body-Mustang), This article includes a great tech video to help visually illustrate many of the steps listed above.


**Depending on the exhaust set-up you have, you may have to "clearance" the pipe to allow the tire to clear the exhaust.**

What Wheels Do I Need If I am Using a 1994-1998 Rear Axle? 

 
The rear end or axle from the 1994-1998 GTs and Cobra Mustangs has always been a popular upgrade for the Fox Mustang. For years, people have been pulling these 8.8" disc brake axles as an upgrade over the drum brake rear ends found in the 79-93 Fox chassis. 
 
This swap presented challenges due to the overall track width of the SN axles vs. the Fox. Each side of these axles is roughly .75" longer on each side. This complicates the fitment of aftermarket wheels due to the backspacing required on each side. 
 
If you go this route, it is best to incorporate new SN-Flanged Fox length axles and the correct rear disc caliper bracket to help pull each side of the rear end to offset these differences.  If you do not incorporate these parts, you can open yourself up to wheels with custom backspacing and extra modifications to the vehicle for possible tire rubbing issues. 

Fox Body Mustang Tire Guide (79-93) - Fox Body Mustang Tire Guide (79-93)

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About the Author

Jeff has written for LMR for 12+ years and has owned multiple Mustangs and an SVT Lightning. His passion for writing comes from a love of the Mustang community & creating a great customer experience. Read more...