What You Need To Consider If You Want To Add 17″ Wheels To Your New 3rd Gen Toyota Tundra
One of the first and most common mods new Tundra owners consider is upgraded wheels and tires. This crucial upgrade truly makes the Tundra off-road worthy.
6-Lug Wheel Update
This new truck has a completely overhauled front-end setup over the previous Tundra. That includes the move from a 5-lug to a 6-lug wheel pattern which opens up many new wheel combinations. Thank goodness!
Finally, the new 3rd Gen Tundra joins its Toyota Tacoma, 4Runner, and many other 6-lug Toyota/Lexus relatives. That means in theory, it can also share the same wheels. Well, almost.
The difference will be your center hub bore and the lug nut thread length listed below:
3rd Gen Toyota Tundra Wheel Specs
- Bolt Pattern: 6×139.7 (mm) or 6×5.5 (in)
- Center Hub Bore: 95mm
- Lug Nut Thread Size: M14x15
With the new wheel specs out of the way, let’s look at why you’d want to downsize your stock 18″ wheel to a 17″ wheel. We’ll also discuss some key components to look out for to make them fit properly.
I will provide a direct link to my wheels (RRW RR6-H) towards the end of this article.
Why Add 17″ Wheels To Your Tundra?
If you really plan on taking your truck off-road, then you’ll want to have the most side wall possible. This will allow you to air down your tires more for better traction. A smaller wheel size helps you achieve this within the confines of an overall wheel size. Dropping from an 18-inch wheel to a 17-inch wheel essentially gains an extra inch total of sidewall for any given size of tire.
Not everyone wants to run 35-inch tires, so having extra sidewall especially helps with smaller tire sizes. 17-inch tires are also a bit cheaper. If you puncture a tire or when it comes time for a replacement, there are more affordable options versus 18-inch or 20-inch tires.
Another perk of more sidewall is some added comfort for on-road driving since there is more cushion between your wheels and the pavement.
Will All 17″ Wheels Fit?
When I purchased my 3rd Gen Toyota tundra, I already had some 17-inch wheels in my garage. I thought I would just be able to slap onto the truck with some new tires and call it a day. However, I quickly found out that was completely false.
I tried out several different wheels on my truck to see what color I would like best. While wheel swapping, I learned that many of the wheels I had in my garage were rubbing on the front brake caliper; some WAY worse than others.
Despite all being 17-inch wheels, the big difference was varying inner barrel sizes.
For example, I put on my TRD Pro wheels from my 4Runner onto the Tundra. While the wheel was able to freely (ish) spin, it did catch the top portion of the front brake caliper. That started to scratch the inner barrel surface of the wheel.
Since this new Tundra shares the same bolt pattern as a Tacoma or 4Runner, you would think any wheels would be interchangeable. However, the Tundra’s larger brakes require more clearance I would highly recommend researching your prospective wheel’s barrel and offset specifications before purchasing.
Things To Consider While Running 17s
Once your new wheels with verified fitment arrive, it’s now time to get the wheels balanced. As you can see from the photo up above, I have some residual white adhesive on my wheel from a previous tire shop. They used pretty big weights to balance the wheel/tire in the middle of the wheel, this is a definite no-go.
Any sort of weight in the middle of a 17-inch wheel will essentially hit the Tundra’s front brake calipers. That’s how little clearance there is. The proper place to put the weights would either be fully inboard as pictured or fully outboard on the lip of the outer barrel.
I would also highly recommend using the slimmest weights possible to avoid any potential contact with either your brake rotor or caliper. Do this for all four wheels so that when it comes time for a tire rotation, you don’t have any issues bringing your back wheels to the front and vice versa.
As you’ll see in the photo above, the 17-inch wheels from RRW have a decent amount of clearance on the front brake caliper. If there was a decent-sized weight in the middle of this, you can see how it would likely hit the brake caliper. That would result in knocking the weight off of the wheel causing imbalance and potentially damaging your brake caliper.
Find It Online
I absolutely love having 17-inch wheels on my Toyota Tundra; just look at the difference between them and the stock wheels above! Going through the trials and errors to make them fit properly taught me that not every 17-inch wheel is meant to work for this vehicle. The larger bigger brakes in the front compared to both the 4Runner and Tacoma just require more space. However, fitting a 17-inch wheel is possible now at least.
I’m not sure what I would do with the next truck regarding wheel size. For now, I will just enjoy the 17-inch RRWs on this truck and enjoy the benefits that come with the extra sidewall.