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  1. #1

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    Larger Wheels, Anyone?

    So, I'm looking to ditch the 8" donuts that came on my Trailer in favor of some larger units, probably 12" or 13". Leaning towards the 12" though, just because I don't want to go too big (it's only a single trailer). My question is, in order to do this, can I just raise the fender up a little bit? I measured the tire, and it barely fits under there, but I want to give it a little more room to reduce the chance of rubbing. I've seen some people on here that flip the axle and stuff like that- is all that really necessary? I'm fine with the way the trailer sits right now, a little more height from the wheels will bring it pretty much in line with my truck. Will I be fine just raising the fender a little bit and slapping the bigger wheels on?


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    You need enough fender clearance to handle full spring compression under dynamic load. The tire must not hit the fender even when the tire hits a big bump in the road.

    How much clearance you will need depends on how stiff the trailer springs are, and how heavy the PWC load is.

    This is why many move the axle to underneath the leaf springs. The additional lift creates space under the fenders, which the larger tires then partially fill.

  3. #3
    post a pic of your set-up. How far/close are the fenders from the hull? If you have good clearance then yes, raise the fenders.
    check the clearance with the 8" tires on, then duplicate that height with the 12`s.
    I think going from per say 4.80X8 to a 4.80X12 is about 2" difference or close to it, so you will be raising the trailer quite a bit.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Comparision of trailer tire sizes;
    Keep in mind that every two inch increase in tire diameter raises the trailer frame by 1 inch, AND brings the top of the tire 1 inch closer to the fender.

    4.80x8 tire Overall Diameter: 16.1"
    5.70x8 tire Overall Diameter: 18.1"
    20.5x8.0x10" Tire Overall Diameter: 20.8"
    4.80x12 tire Overall Diameter: 20.5"
    5.30x12 tire Overall Diameter: 21.9"
    ST175/80D-13" Tire Overall Diameter: 24.0"
    ST205/75D-14" Tire Overall Diameter: 26.3"

  5. #5
    Moderator DrewNJ's Avatar
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    Post up some pictures of your setup now. You may not have to do anything to make them fit. I wouldn't think you would have to do anything with the axle to go from an 8 to a 12, maybe, just maybe move the fenders up a little...

    I remember on my 00' Bandit trailer I went from an 8 to a 12 and didn't change a thing. No clearance issues at all but we really need to see it to make a better call.
    Doug

  6. #6

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    So I was home this weekend and decided to give it a try. Upon looking at the fenders, there's not really an easy way to raise them any because of the way they're designed. Thought there was, but I was wrong. So I went to the store and got a wheel to try on, a 12"x4" 4.80. It fit! It didn't seem to have a whole lot of sidewall to it, not even as much as the 8" did, but it was taller and did fit up under there. I'd really like to get the one with the taller sidewall (5.30?) but I'm not sure if they'll fit. But I may get one this weekend and try it out. I'll try and take a picture when I do.

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Check ST tire load range and weight ratings when changing tire sizes

    Quote Originally Posted by SandCountry View Post
    ...12"x4" 4.80. It fit! It didn't seem to have a whole lot of sidewall to it, not even as much as the 8" did, but it was taller and did fit up under there.
    I'd really like to get the one with the taller sidewall (12x5.30?) but I'm not sure if they'll fit...
    Don't forget to check your new tire load range and weight ratings!

    You want tires than can handle the full weight RATING of your trailer, plus preferably some extra capacity.

    Also calculate the full combined weight of your fully fueled and kitted up PWC plus the trailer's weight, to be sure you aren't overloading the trailer OR the tires.

    ST trailer tires are sidewall weight rated for max 60mph at the sidewall printed inflation pressure.
    At speeds above 60mph, you either need to add air pressure (up to 10 PSI above sidewall markings), OR reduce the max weight rating, or both. How much you need to de-rate the weight rating depends on how much faster than 60mph you will be towing.
    Last edited by K447; 04-14-2008 at 09:19 PM.

  8. #8
    If he started out with even a B rated 8" (4.80) tire/wheel, the 4.80X12 are already are an increase in load capacity. beofre you go to a radial or ST type tire, think about distance travel. meaning, if your real close to the water and the tires don`t even get warm, then you`ll most likely not need them, but if you tow for any real distances then an upgrade to a radial or ST tire would benefit. keep in mind that 145R12 (12" radial) could be taller than the 4.80X12 depending on manufacturer...
    here`s a few places to purchase tires omline:
    www.eastermarine.com
    www.trailertiresandwheels.com
    Last edited by Pale Rider; 04-14-2008 at 07:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator The Bandit's Avatar
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    I took the metal fenders off and installed these plastic ones up higher to fit my 13 inch radials. I dont llike how bias ply tires get hot at speeds over 80. These stay nice and cool at 100+..
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  10. #10

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    The load capacity is definitely more on all the tires that I'm looking at, I want to say even the 12" 4.8's are like 1k lbs, which is way more than enough for even an FX140. I'd love to get some radial tires, as I'm taking it to Key West in a few weeks (2k miles interstate), but the smallest radials West Marine carries are 13". (I'm sticking with WM for undisclosed reasons ). Other than that trip, I usually tow 1.4 miles a trip (gas station's .7 miles from my house, & the ramp's on the way back ). I'd like to keep the fender that I've got, because it's plastic and has steps on either side of it, which is nice for cleaning of the ski and getting stuff out of the compartments and whatnot. I've thought of another way to raise it, I'll have to look at it when I go back home this weekend, and I'll try and take some pictures.

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