wheels and tires

ok, enter the voodoo...
this is one of the most exciting parts of the build for me. it always amazes me how much a new set of wheels and tires makes on the look of a vehicle. we have planned out our steps in order of: lift, bumpers, then wheels and tires. you have to do the lift before the bumpers, or your bumpers will have gaps. you should do the bumpers before the wheels and tires so you have the max clearance possible to fit some big stuff... so there's a lot of info on the forums about what wheels and tires to get for your delica, but it's all super confusing, and mostly brands you'll find in australia or the UK. you can look on the facebook groups and ask around and get a bit of mixed answers, but if you live in canada, and you've gone to the trouble of getting a 2" body lift, you're basically looking to get the biggest tires you can fit without too much extra trimming and definitely no rubbing. it's a bit tricky to go down the rabbit hole of backspacing and offset and diameter and everything else, so here's the setup we went with -- after a bit of trial and error -- that we think will be the best we can get to take us from the top of the americas to the bottom...

north shore offroad in north vancouver spent a good bit of time trying to get the right fit on the wheels and tires for the ole delica... the original wheels they ordered had a 3.75" backspacing, but were going to be sticking out too far and cause the sliding door to rub on the rear tire a bit and a lot of rubbing during turning (aka -- sledgehammer party). the second attempt went way better. they ordered some pro comp 51-5884 (steel rock crawler's with 4.5" backspacing) -- these went on way better, no spacers required, minimal body work, just some seam bending, no real cutting. the front mud flaps had to go, and the tires protrude from the body slightly, but not enough to really worry about legality, though we will be getting some wider and thinner mudflaps to be courteous to fellow drivers.

our setup in numbers:

BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 @ 31 x 10.5" R15
Pro Comp 51 Series Rock Crawler 15x8 -- 51-5884

while the truck was in the shop for the install, i started second-guessing the decision to run steel wheels vs alloy. would this be a huge mistake? would all of our already limited power be squashed? how about the extra wear on the brakes and joints? some of these issues still remain in my mind, but overall, i'm pretty stoked with the steelies. the delica is pretty skinny and tall -- especially with that 2" body lift, but having that extra "unsprung" weight really grounds the van and seems to make it a bit more stable and solid. i like the feel, and i drive like a grandma anyway, so not really worried too much about power, we'll see how my tune changes when we get to the peruvian andes....