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Why do 1997 Tacoma trucks have 14" wheels?
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November 25, 2006, 6:02 AM
After changing wheels on my 97 Tacoma to 15"wheels and having Costco no longer honor new tire mileage warranties because stock wheels on Tacoma's are 14".It got me thinking,why did Toyota go to a 14" wheels in the first place? Earlier model small trucks had 15"wheels.


November 27, 2006, 3:36 PM#1
Costco doesnt honor the new tire warranty because you upgraded from the OEM 14" size to a 15"?? Sounds screwy to me. Unless you tried to mount a 14" tire on a 15" wheel (impossible to do, but some people try).

The warranty on the new tire has to be honored regardless of the vehicle that is was installed on. The tire warranty is upheld by the tire manufacturer - Costco cant void the warranty like that - as it is against the law (The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act).

As for wheel size choices - depends on the trim level and market the vehicle was sold for. I believe that in that generation of truck - 14" was the OEM standard, though most people choose the higher trim levels that came with the bigger wheel or got them as a value added option.


November 28, 2006, 1:54 AM#2
I had the 15" on my l989 toyota 4cyl. truck which always had 15" Wheels.When I purchased my current 4cyl. Tacoma it came equiped with OE 14" wheels. I simply
switched the wheels from my 1989 to my 1997 Tacoma. After driving about 30,000 mi on the Tacoma, I went to costco and was told that they would not even rotate the tires because they were mounted on a vehical that were not originally equiped with 15" wheels.I no longer buy tires from costco and now spend my tire money elsewhere.But I stray,What I want to know is there a mechanical reason that Toyota switched to 14"wheels?Premature Wheel bearing failure? Higher center of gravity ,handling or stablity issues? I like the 15" on my truck and will continue to buy them, but the question still remains


November 28, 2006, 4:50 PM#3
All boils down to costs. Just cheaper to put on 14" wheels as OE, than 15" wheels.

That said - I'm pretty sure that the 6th gen Tacomas/Hi-Lux (1989-1995) came with 14" and the standard OE wheel (195/75-14). The 215/65-15 was an OE option at that time on both the 2WD and 4WD variants. With the 7th gen (1996-2004) - the 14" wheel was the OE wheel on the 2WD, the 4WD came with a 15" wheel OE - but the 2WD didnt even have an option for 15" wheels, still a popular upgrade for many.

A PLUS+1 wheel upgrade will not hurt the truck at all - there is not much change in CG - most of the wheel mass is below the trucks CG anyways. handling and stability will generally be better with the larger tire, since you have to increase the treadwidth slightly and allow a shallower sidewall to maintain the same overall tire diameter between the 14" and 15" wheels. Otherwise, you will throw the speedo off, if you install a tire too tall or too short (I believe that the 7th gen came with a 195/75R14 tire and the 6th gen optional was a 215/65R15 tire - their overall diameter is within 2% of each other, truck's speedo will not be able to tell them apart).


December 1, 2006, 3:54 AM#4
Thank You for your help and your time- Dan



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