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Why is the rear track width less than the front?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jimmy88, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. jimmy88

    jimmy88 1/2 ton status

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    Is there a functional reason for this?
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I've been told it's for better turning radius. I've also heard that GM figured it would provide better traction if the rear wasn't following the same ruts as the front, but this story doesn't sound probable to me.

    Rene
     
  3. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Why is the rear track width less than the front?

    [/ QUOTE ] One of the great mysteries of life. /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif
     
  4. jimmy88

    jimmy88 1/2 ton status

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    Think the F550 Turtle Expo truck had custom rims to make the track widths match, so other manufacturers do this. Turning radius, maybe since you pivot off the back tire, but at something like 1.5", how much can that change it? Traction, I agree with you, that seems thin.

    I'm asking because I am thinking of spacers so the back tires follow the fronts. There have been a few times where the front went over a rock and the back slid sideways off it and clipped the rim. (you know, with the J**p trails you don't get too many choices for the right line)
     
  5. 87sm465np208

    87sm465np208 1/2 ton status

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    lol good question, i read this post and ran out and eyed my trucks tires from front to back, and back to front, and sho' anough the fronts stick out wider then the rears, and they both 10 bolts /forums/images/icons/grin.gif go figure, i belive it is for a better turning radius, that story sounds better to me, or for handleing purpoeses, never found it useful off-road /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  6. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    yea..some people use spacers in the rear to get them to match..but its really not that big a deal to me..i dunno..
     
  7. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    I have different backspacing on mine to make them the same 3.5" in front and 2" in the rear. I cant rotate my tires, but it is a trailer queen anyway. I seems to make it much more stable that the other way and the custom offsets only cost 40 bucks so it was way cheaper than buying spacers.
     
  8. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    It really is for traction purposes, kinda hoaky but true. The theory is that you will use your sidewalls for the added traction in the mud. This does work, otherwise why have side lugs and side biters on tires. As for the whole turning radius thing, it actually widens your turns by a little bit.
     
  9. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Actually, I think if the rear was wider, the turning radius would be more.
     
  10. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    I know it goes one way or the other, I thought it was if the front was wider so is the turn, but I could be wrong. It's been a while since I've read about it.
     
  11. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    You're on the right "track" /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
    That's what every GM experienced wrenched has told me.
     
  12. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The rear track width will affect both the overall turning radius of the vehicle and the handling (such as oversteer and understeer). The narrower the rear track width the sharper the turning radius, and I believe the more oversteer the vehicle will exhibit.

    I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with traction in ruts or mud.
     
  13. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    It's a scam propogated by the wheel spacer companies!!!! /forums/images/icons/grin.gif

    Now that I've got my truck setup with the same track width (front and rear) it looks WAY better.

    On a lifted truck, anything you can do to increase track width is going to help to add stability too....
     
  14. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    The new Turtle was a dually. The rims were to address that.
    The priciple is for tighter turning radius. In snow the different track would work to your advantage.
    The track width has been a pain when your dealing with stuff like big V-Rutts. You put the front wheels where you need them but the rears can't follow the same line and slides in dragging the front with it. Happend to me many times.
     
  15. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    Triaged should be able to explain the reason suspension guys want wider front track
    no idea if chev truck engineers did it for a good reason
     
  16. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    I think Chevy did it so they could use the same rear end in a 2wd and a 4wd. They had to make the front wider to give the front wheels room to turn. And they made the front of a 3/4 ton even wider to clear the brakes etc and still use the same axle housing. I think the whole thing was what was the easy way to do it, not the best way.
     
  17. jeffro

    jeffro 1/2 ton status

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    Why, then, are van axles wider that truck axles??
     
  18. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    Because they're van axles. The width of truck axle has been fairly stanard for years.
     
  19. FLASHLIGHT76

    FLASHLIGHT76 1/2 ton status

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    Call me funny but I thiink it was for stability in turns. over the last 20 years consumers have been asking for a truck that drives like a car. By widening the front axle ( the one which has the sway bar on it, hint, hint) you gain a better cornering at speed feel. When they went to the independant front they widened it some more and now those truck feel more like cars. /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif And of course it does allow them to use the same axles. However I know that the late 60's and early 70's truck ran an even narrower rear then what was in the late 70's to the 90's trucks. But my contention is the high speed cornering. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  20. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color="blue">Ever riden a 3 wheeler?
     

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