Question about 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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Correct tire size

2004 dually...bought truck from used from dealer it had written on the factory window sticker "Big Dually Tires" on it and 235 85 R16 were on truck....the inside driver door sticker calls for 215 85 r16. With the 235 there is just barely a gap between the dual wheels? Is this acceptable when using for towing horse trailers, etc. The truck has a smoother feel with the 235 tires but wonder if there is a safety issue towing with these tires.

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  • Anonymous Feb 16, 2009

    I have 2004 3500 big dually (my 4th one) with 215 85 r16 tires. It is very bouncy on smallest road bumps and also with my goose neck horse trailer. I have changed helper springs & added air bags. Still doesn't haul as well as my other duallies. I wanted to go to 235 tires, but dealer told me the truck axle ratios are geared for 215 tires - not sure why? I may try to add weight to nose of goose neck. Looking for smoother ride with & without trailer.

  • Anonymous Mar 20, 2014

    Dual rearend drive conversion into single rearend drive tutorials

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Yes, there is a definite safety issue here. As long as the tires are properly inflated for the load, you are okay. The moment that you add too much weight in the back, or if you get a low tire, then the side walls / tread edge are going to start contacting other tire. This is going to lead to additional heat build up.

Besides, the 215 tires are better choice anyways. Think about it. When you need traction the most, say in rain or winter weather, the weight on each axle is going to be spread over a greater area. To maximize traction, you want as much weight as you can on the contact patch. The weight of the load will prevent wheel spin from heavy feet.

This also goes for going around corners when it is dry.

If you are driving a straight line, there will be a little bit more wind resistance due to wider tires.

There is less than a 10% increase of treadwidth going from 215 to 235. The only way I would think that a difference in feel would be if the sidewalls were different, and if the tires had different load ratings.

Now, ona different note, 215 tires are starting to get harder to find. Especially in the higher load ranges like E and G.

Basically it comes down to personal taste and use. If you are going to work it, then go with original tires in heaviest load rating you can. If going to be a cowboy cadillac, then keep what you have and possible hazards in mind.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009

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As a rule, as long as you keep the tires within 5 pounds of max inflation while towing you shouldn't have a problem. If you run the tires under-inflated while towing it could allow too much heat build-up and cause a failure. I would visually check the tires regularly for rubbing to be safe and check inflation pressures only when the tires are cold.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

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