Re: Wheels and Tires
2 cents on wheel size.
I had to sell two sets of OEM 16" steel wheels with pretty new tires (one set Summer other set Winter) on craigslist for a pretty good loss when I had my van converted to 4x4 because they increase the size of the front brake disc rotors and must correspondingly increase the wheel size to 17" to accomodate the larger rotors when adding the 4x4 front axle.
So, if you do in fact currently have 16" wheels, and if there is any possibility that you may want to convert to 4x4 in the future, you may want to increase your wheel size to 17" now. Michelin is one of the few companies which makes a good tire - LTX M/2 - in the rather odd 17" wheel size. Hercules (Cooper) also makes a studable tire - Trail Digger MT - in 17" wheel size which I run in heavy Winters.
REF's link, however, refers to fitment issues with the stock van height and 17" wheels. So check into that if you are thinking increasing wheel size.
JWA has a point about painting your existing wheels black. There are good paints out there which will likely hold up nearly as well as a factory painted wheel.
My wheels are Ultra Wheel Type 164 polished in 17" (See spec sheet) I have 9 of them. I guess they are good wheels, it was the wheel type chosen by the 4x4 converter. Pick the wheel company first based on others recommendations and then look for a wheel in black.
I would like to hear what BajaSportsmobile and Ujoint recommend for wheels for their respective 4x4 conversions...
2002 E350 ext.; 160K; 7.3L; 4R100 (w/4x4 deep pan & filter); 4x4 conv. w/2007 F250/F350 coil frnt axle (oppos. dual Bilstein press. shocks cured DW) diff chg from 3.55 to 3.73 (bad!); BW1356 t.c. (bad!); LT265/70R17/E Michelin LTX M/S2; Engel MT60 Combi Fridge-Freezer; 4 BP 380J pv panels; Auragen 5kw AC gen. in top alt. position; Webasto Dual-Top; Voyager top. 1995 5.8L EB Bronco, bone stock.