Buying Custom Wheels and Tires, Start to Finish

BobSacomano

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Today, my new wheels and tires got installed on my 2015 Ram 1500 Express 4x4 and I couldn't be happier.


If you’ve previously ordered custom wheels online, you’re probably more educated than I am, but this was a new experience for me. So, on the chance that this post might help somebody else in the future, here's the process I went through, start to finish:

First, here's my "before" pic"

truck before.jpg


Choosing What Size Wheels and Tires:


My 2015 Ram 1500 Express has the stock suspension and OEM 20-inch wheels with 275/60R20 tires and I honestly didn’t know what size wheels and tires I wanted, or what size would fit without rubbing. I also didn’t know my bolt pattern. I surfed a few websites and learned that my 2015 Ram was a 5x5.5 bolt pattern, also known as a 5x139.7mm. I posted a thread or two in this forum, asking some questions, and realized I had the wrong tire size/wheel size in mind for the look I wanted, a somewhat street look with street-type tires since I’m rarely offroad.


I used this chart along with this calculator to determine what wheel/tire combo I need (watch out for deceptive ads on those pages). The calculators on this page are also very helpful, and a forum member directed me to this link to see what trucks like mine would look like with the size of wheel/tire combo I had selected. That last one is an especially useful tool because the individual truck owners have listed whether the tires and wheels fit with or without any rubbing, and whether any trimming or fender rolling is required. Put in the year and model of your truck, what size wheels and tires you’re thinking about, and other trucks with that configuration will pop up for you to look at. Wow!


With that info in-hand, I decided my truck could handle 22” wheels, 12 inches deep, -44 offset, with 305/45R22 tires.


Choosing Where to Buy:


There are a lot of websites out there to choose from. I browsed a lot of them. Among the places I shopped:

  • CarID.com

  • WheelPros.com

  • Tire Rack

  • Discounted Wheel Warehouse

  • WheelMax.com

  • ATDwheels

  • Real Truck

  • Custom Offsets

I also checked a number of local shops. In the end, it came down to a choice between two vendors: Real Truck and Custom Offsets. I was partial to Real Truck because they’re in my home state and I’ve purchased accessories from them before, but Custom Offsets seemed to be a great option.


Both sites offered a huge selection of wheels, with websites that allow you to search for a multitude of different wheel combos/specs. I was looking for chrome wheels (which are not as popular today as they once were) and Real Truck and Custom Offsets both had a good selection of affordable chrome wheels. I had a package selected on each site, both comparably priced just over two-thousand dollars, but I ended up choosing wheels and tires from Custom Offsets, primarily because I liked the wheel just a little better.


All total, I spent about 5 days researching and educating myself before choosing my wheels and tires.


I chose Scorpion SC28 wheels 22x12, -44 offset with General Grabber UHP 305/45R22 tires.


Making the Purchase:



To get a good read on what everything was going to cost with tax, shipping and accessories, I loaded everything into my cart. This is the part where most vendors try to “suggestive sell” lug nuts, ceramic coatings, valve stem caps, and the thing I had forgotten all about… tire pressure monitoring sensors.


Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors: There are some who will tell you they reused their TPMS from their existing wheels, and others who will tell you that’s a bad idea for a number of reasons… it’s easy to break them when trying to swap them over to your new wheels, for example. Another reason is that if you get new TPMS for your new wheels, you can leave the old ones on your old wheels which leaves you with a fully functional set of spare wheels.


I chose to get a new set of TPMS for my new wheels, but that created a new set of problems.


Unanticipated Complication: The aftermarket TPMS offered by Real Truck and Custom Offsets do not work with every truck. Search this forum and you will find a number of instances where members bought their wheels and tires bundled with aftermarket TPMS, and as a bonus, the vendor mounted and balanced the tires before shipment, but when the tires arrived and got installed on the truck, the owner discovered the aftermarket TPMS inside the tires don’t work with their Ram. Then they have to order new OEM TPMS, have the tires unmounted, get the new OEM sensors installed, and then remount and balance.


Solution: I didn’t wanna chance that hassle, so I ordered new OEM TPMS from a seller on eBay with the idea that I would just take them to my local shop and get them mounted and balanced when they get here. I got the set of four for 60 bucks. (The local tire shop wanted 60 bucks each for their own proprietary sensors. The aftermarket sensors from Real Truck and Custom Offsets were going to be about 120 bucks or more for a set of four.)


Then, I had to make sure Custom Offsets shipped my tires unmounted so installation of my TPMS sensors would be hassle-free. There was no way to request that in the form when you place an online order, so instead of just loading up my cart and placing the order, I used Custom Offsets’ “request a quote” feature, put in all the information, and waited for a response. I requested an estimate on how long it would take my order to arrive, best price on the things I intended to order, and how I could ensure that the wheels and tires would arrive unmounted.


It took about a day and I received a response that said it would be 6 to 12 business days for delivery, and they would offer me 30-dollars off my order or a free set of lug nuts. Not the most enticing offer for someone spending a couple grand, but it was “better than a kick in the ass” as my grandma would have said. They said they could ship the tires “loose mounted” to make it easier to install the TPMS sensors I ordered elsewhere. I took them up on the offer and they sent me a custom invoice with all of my requests on it. They asked me to email them back and remind them about the “loose mount” once I made payment, which I did.


One nice thing about the Custom Offsets ordering system is all emails you receive go through a simple email address ([email protected]), so they email you, you reply, and so on, and even when a different rep picks up your correspondence, the whole email chain is still there for them to educate themselves on what a previous rep might have told you. That’s refreshing.


Taking Delivery:


I was given a custom URL I could check every day to see the status of my order. My order required that they order the wheels I chose into their warehouse before shipping out to me.


Eight days after I ordered I got a notification that my order had shipped. The tracking page from the freight company gave me an estimated delivery date one week out, the following Wednesday, and included this note: Your shipment requires a call before delivery. Note: Residential deliveries and shipments requiring an appointment will not be put out for delivery until we make contact with the consignee.


On Thursday, eight days after my initial order, my estimated delivery date was updated to reflect delivery might be as early as the following Monday. On Tuesday, I got a phone call. My wheels were in my town, and they would be delivered Wednesday, exactly 14 days after I ordered.


Unanticipated Complication: As it turns out, a liftgate is not included (video here). Unless you’re having your wheels delivered to a location with a loading dock, you are responsible for either a) paying for the cost of having the freight company bring your wheels in a truck with a liftgate to get them down out of the trailer or b) climbing up into the back of the truck and unbundling your shipment so you can bring the wheels out one at a time. They don’t tell you that when you order the wheels.

Pleasant surprise: When the delivery driver showed up this morning, he came in a liftgate truck and I got it at no charge.

truck tires bundle 1.jpg

I loaded the wheels into the back of my truck and went to a local tire shop who had time to do the mount and balance.

truck tires loose mount 2.jpg

Here’s my truck after the wheels were mounted. You can bet I was ******* myself with excitement to see this baby in the sunshine with those wheels on it!

truck1.jpg

Thank you to those who helped me with this! I couldn't be happier with the way my Ram looks, and I'm already seeing people's heads turning! If I can help anybody with a similar purchase in the future, please hit me up with a PM!

truck 8.jpg
 
Last edited:

Addicted2fishing

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Looks great! I recently purchased wheels and for the first time tires online which is completely weird but worked out great!


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JB1

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Looks great I'm glad it all worked out for ya, really changed the look of your truck :waytogo:
 

GGlaser

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This write-up really helped me. I have the same exact truck (except it's a 2018) and I'm tired of maintaining the factory chrome and want to go with a black wheel option. I have been searching around for the best prices and customer service but really have no idea where to shop. I am going to check out your links and see which ones work for me. Thanks for posting all your legwork!
 

Dean2

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You did a big service for a lot of people. They will save a ton of time by being able to just walk through your write up. good on you for taking the time. Rig looks nice with the new meats too!!!
 
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BobSacomano

BobSacomano

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Really nice of you guys to say. I wrote this two years ago and had forgotten all about it. I'm glad it was useful.
 
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