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The wheels on the Ranger go Round & Round

I just bought a 97 Ranger XLT Super Cab. For some reason, the data plate says it should be running P265 75 R15SL (15x7) tires. My local Ford place says… “WT… that don’t make no sense…”.

The tires currently on it are P215 75 R15 ATs.

The PROBLEM is that when I run by Radar I read 33mph on the screen when my Cruise is set at 40. When I do a Statute Mile watch check, I get 1mi in 60sec at 65mph, and 1.10mi on the odo from Marker to Marker.

I’m really confused…

IIRC for a 4WD Supercab, the correct tire size should be 215/75/R15 or 235/75/R15. The 235's would be the optional size.

Also if you have a 2WD model, the tire size should be 215/70/R14. 15 inch wheels were only availible on the 4WD models. So if you have a 2WD model and you have 15 inch wheels, they aren't the stock wheels.

The biggest tires Ford put on 1997 Ranger super cab 4WD were 235/75R/15…Better read that tire size label again…

I think you need to look at the plate again! After 15 years, it might have a smudge or 2 that makes it hard to read!

Here’s the data plate (Cell Phone Pic, sorry for the fuzzy, but it’s readable.):

That’s why the Ford Guy said “WTF?”. He was also of the opinion that the largest sold were 235s.

According to the Tire Calcs, the 215’s I’m running have a Dia of 27.6968". 265s would run 30.64960" - a roughly 10% difference from the data plate. If I’m guessing things at all correctly, that 10% should carry through to the speedo/odo, which is why I show 1.1mi on the odo for every 1.0 statute mi driven… but I’m not 100% clear on it.

Frankly, 265s would look really dumb on that truck as they are 2" wider than the 215s - which look just fine.

Is any of this making sense? Do I need a different speedo/odo gear?

Makes sense to me.

Your option, at this point, to make everything match up, is to either get the 265 tires, or change the speedo gearing. Your “Ford guy” can probably assist you in getting the right gear, and it should be pretty easy to change.

I would make notes of whatever you do, and not throw that gear away, in case either you or a future owner decide to go back to the 265’s.


Just goes to show that reference books are sometimes wrong!

According to the Tire Calcs, the 215’s I’m running have a Dia of 27.6968”. 265s would run 30.64960"

So, 27 and half versus 30 and a half inches. Or round them each up to three/quarters. They’re going to change size slightly with wear, temperature and pressure variations. You’re really worried about ten thousandths of an inch?

Not worried about the ten thousanths, I’m only worried about not having an accurate Speedo/Odo.

Using only the VIN to decode the production items on the vehicle I see :

It is the STX version of the 4x4 ( a bit bigger and taller than the typical Ranger ) and was indeed produced with the p265/75r15 tires OE.

The answer to all your speedo isuues lies in those tires.

When you buy more tires get the 265 listed on you spec plate .

Frankly, I'd think the 215 would look strangly small with tall suspention, fender flares and all. The 265 will give it that nice wide stout stance.

They actually don’t look too bad. FWIW they were previously installed on my '79 C10 where they DID look a little small, but not so bad here. Anyway, apparently there is no speedo gear. It’s all tied into a speed sensor in the tranny, so I guess there is a programming fix… I hope.

So, if I understand you correctly, these 215mm x 75 aspect ratio tires are ones from your C10 that you put on there desptite the data plate specifying 265x75? No wonder your speedo is off. I’m sure your handling suffered too. Perhaps even your load rating.

The solution to your problems is to put the proper size tires on.