Fixing Tire Rub from Large Off-Road Tires

Jan. 20, 2014 By Josh Burns
Our upgrades from Fox, Total Chaos and BFGoodrich definitely  make our truck perform in the dirt, but when fully cranked over our tires still rub on the frame.

On stock vehicles, everything is designed to fit just right. Parts seamlessly blend together, each working in perfect unison to provide an ideal ride – or the “ideal” ride that engineers had in mind. The second that vehicle gets modified all that harmony in design gets thrown out of whack. This is a concept for which off-roaders are all too familiar.

We ran into a very common issue with our 2012 Toyota Tundra build recently where our tires rub against the frame. In ourfirst story on the truck, we installed Fox 2.5 Factory Series Coilovers paired with Total Chaos Fabrication Upper Control Arms up front on the Tundra to lift the front end of the vehicle (and ran Fox piggybacks in the rear). We then complimented the suspension upgrades by fitting BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO 305/65R18 tires on our Black Rhino wheels. In going with the E-rated 305/65R18 tire, we hoped to avoid the tire rub issues known with 35-inch tires, as the 305/65R18 is closer to a 34-inch tire. We spoke with a few different shops and truck owners, and no one was sure if it would rub until it was installed. Unfortunately, it still rubbed.

Shown in this image is where the tire clearance was an issue after our suspension upgrades.

After looking at a few options to address the rubbing, the prices we heard made us decide to deal with it for the time being. We received a note from SoCal SuperTrucks in San Bernardino after the story was posted, and they suggested a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to our dilemma with their Tundra Body Mount Plate Kit. After speaking with them, we realized the cost was about half of what we had heard from another shop, so we decided to head to give it a shot.

On anything over a 33-inch tire, SoCal SuperTrucks suggests its Body Plate Mount Kit modification for Tacomas, FJ Cruisers and Tundras.

SoCal SuperTrucks has been in business 12 years, operating out of its San Bernardino shop during that time and servicing everything from pre-runners to everyday lifted street trucks. They work on just about everything, and tire rub on lifted trucks is something for which they have a ton of experience. Brian Barron, who’s worked with the company for five years, said that 80 to 90 percent of the Tundras that come through the shop have the Body Plate Modification performed.

SoCal SuperTrucks’ Ryan Poe helped us install the Tundra Body Mount plates. Poe has worked with So Cal Super Trucks for seven years and has performed numerous body plate modifications on Toyotas and other vehicles at the shop. To get started, he pulled the wheels off the Tundra.

“We install them anytime a Tundra, Tacoma or 4-Runner runs over a 33-inch tire,” he said. He also noted that even Tacomas and 4-Runners running 33s will often need this modification depending upon the offset of the wheel used.

The SoCal SuperTrucks steel plates run $29.95 per set. Labor for the job is about $125, so the total cost for install and parts is a reasonable price under $160.

The stock body mount location can be seen in the background. In the foreground, a small piece is cut from the wheel well liner.

We showed up to the shop in the morning, with technician Ryan Poe helping us with the work. Everything was done in less than two hours, and watching all the work done first-hand we came away impressed with just how easy they made it look. Then again, when the shop does in upwards of 10 of these jobs a week at peak times, it’s no wonder they have it down pat.

Using the body mount plate as a straight edge, Ryan outlines the cuts that he’ll be making.

Although a plasma torch will be used to make the major cuts, Ryan uses a cut wheel here to trim the bolt-mount flange (and a small part of the bolt) on top of the body mount.

The cuts from the last step can be seen on top of the body mount, and the final lines are drawn before the major cuts are made.

Ryan pulls out the plasma cutter to do the main cuts on the body mount, and he makes it look smooth and easy in the process (it’s clear he’s done a few of these installs).

This shows exactly the chunk taken off of the body mount section on the Tundra.

After cleaning up the plasma torch cuts with some rough standing, the So Cal Super Trucks body mount plate is fitted in place and small tack welds help hold it in position.

Comfortable with the fit and placement of the body plate, Ryan welds it into place to cover the whole left when the body mount was trimmed back.

The completed weld of the SoCal SuperTrucks body mount plate.

The welds are cleaned with a little sanding to take off any rough or sharp points.

A light coat of paint is put on to coat the exposed metal to help prevent rust and corrosion.

When fully cranked, our BFGoodrich All-Terrains no longer rub on the body mount!

We are very pleased with the work performed at SoCal SuperTrucks. The cost was reasonable, the work performed was great, and most importantly our rubbing issue is a thing of the past. We look forward to getting the truck back out on the dirt!

SoCal SuperTrucks
774 South E Street
San Bernardino, CA 92408
909/383-5454 Newsletter
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