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Should You Stretch Your Tires?

Fitment Industries Author | | March 1st, 2018 |

  • - There's three taboos in the car scene.
    Slanty wheels, base model Camaros, and stretched tires. So why do people do it, and where did it start? Now obviously, stretching tires is not a new thing. It's gained popularity probably within the past five to 10 years, but nobody really knows where it started, or why it even became a thing. You go on any forum, any Facebook post, any thread about it, and it is an argument on both sides of the fence, and it's terrible. Stretched tires came from a long time ago. It started overseas, and within the Volkswagen community.

    According to the German military installations document, there were a few guidelines that you have to meet in the U-Safe document to actually drive your car in Germany. A lot of these regulations included having your license plates on the front and rear of your vehicle, prohibiting any sort of aftermarket lights on your car, and of course, making sure that the tires did not exceed the fender of your vehicle. What resulted from that, was individuals wanted to run wider wheels, lower offset, and that pushed the wheel further out of the car. Well what happens when you end up putting a tire that would actually match those widths, is that the tire would extend past the fender, and they would get pulled over. So, a lot of individuals started to run stretched tires a size down or two sizes down to essentially pull the tire within the fender to avoid getting tickets in general. Of course, stretched tires have been fought for and against since the dawn of time. And in fact, Engineering Explained did an amazing job where they talk about stretched tires and the actual dangers of it, and a generalization term. So, when you're looking at stretched tires, you're probably not looking at a performance-oriented point of view.

    From a function point of view, you should not stretch tires on your 17-inch wheels. We're getting that disclaimer just right out of the way. So why do people do it? Two reasons, slidy-slide, and aesthetics. From a drifting point of view, stretched tires are easier to kick loose, have less sidewall bending or flex, and overall are cheaper than if they're going up to the proper size when they are blasting these things and just blowing them up every four laps. Now, I know there's gonna be a ton of drifters that are gonna go in the comments section and try to argue with me about hipari tires, and running wide tires and things like that, but that's not what this video is for. This video is trying to explain why people do it. The second reason, and probably 90% of the reason people do it, is for looks. Nowadays, the world is wide. Nine-inch-wide wheels is becoming the standard for almost any sort of aftermarket wheel. If you're running anything less than that, you're likely not getting it right. But people don't understand that a lot of times with wide wheels come wide tires. And, people just don't want to spend the money sometimes.

    On top of that, when you're running a wide setup, it does require modification. Usually from order of importance in terms of least amount of work to most amount of work is something like this. Stretching tires is probably the easiest form of fender modification that's gonna allow you to clear the things that you need to. Rolling up to that is probably rolling and pulling your fenders. Then, modifying your inner fender liners until finally, you end up cutting your fender liners out, and then you go into metal fabrication where you're actually cutting into your fenders to make space. Finally, going into over-fenders or fender flares is the next step, until finally, you upgrade to a wide body installation to fit your wheels and tires. It's much easier to run down a size or two on your 2010 Subaru STI than it is to remove your inner fender liners and cut them all to pieces to fit a 275/40.

    On top of that, stretching your tires gives you less side-wall, it allows you to see more focus on the wheel, allows you to go lower to the ground, just generally speaking, and of course, helps people achieve that fender-to-lip look that everybody wants so bad. Overall, stretched tires, it's an aesthetic thing. It's not necessarily a performance thing whatsoever. And that's fine, you're welcome to build your car however you want, whether you're building it for a stance car show, or you're dragging it down Brockville Speedway. It's just gonna be something that you decide to do. Just understand that when people are stretching their tires, more times than not, they're doing it for the aesthetic point of view, and they're doing it to clear their fenders. So what do you guys think about tire stretching? Do you like it, do you not like it, do you hate it, do you love it? Let us know in the comments section below and let us know what you would like us to talk about next. We go through every single comment on YouTube, so be sure to drop one from what you guys think is the right thing to do. But I'm Alex from Fitment Industries, don't forget to add your car to the fastest and biggest online growing gallery, www.fitmentindustries.com/add. I'm Alex from Fitment Industries, we'll see you later, peace.