Re: body lift- tire sizes
From what I've found, there is no set answer to your question. After putting some 30" tires on my 96' S-10, 4x4 extended cab (same body as yours) without any lift whatsoever, I realized I could have fit some 31x10.5's w/ little or no rubbing. Of course, the 30" tires I put on only measured a true 29".
I'd reccomend that you first measure the diameter and width of the tires you have now. Then, turn the tires all the way to the left and all the way to the right and try and figure out how much clearance you have for wider tires (taking into account the tires will have a larger diameter). Also, remeber that if you increase your tire width by something like 2", you will only increase the width on each side by 1".
After seeing how much clearance you have for width, measure how far it is from your rubber bumbstop to whatever point it is that the rubber bumbstop contancts. Then add about an inch to this measurement since the bumbstops are rubber and will compresses on forcefull impacts. This will tell you how much down travel your truck has from its resting height. Alright, now that you have this distance, see how far it is from the top of your wheels to the bottom part of the top fenders for all four wheel. Subtract off the amount of down travel to get how much clearance you have for larger diameter tires. As with width, increasing a tires diameter by 2" only requires 1" extra clearance since the radius is only extended by 1". Altogether, the formula for how much larger diameter tires you can fit is:
2 x [ (Clearance from top of wheel to fender) - (Down travel distance) ]
Thus, if you have 6" of clearance and 5" of down travel, you have 1" of clearance to spare and could fit tires with a 2" larger diameter. Remeber though, that <font color=red> once your tire's diameter is as wide as the distance across the fenders front to back, you need to have your body substantially farther above the axles than the above equation calls for</font color=red>. Thus, if you your wheel well is only 31.5" across, I definitely would not reccomend tires larger than 31", even with the 3" body lift. Of course, fender trimming would alleviate the problem.
Here's some final tips for getting bigger tires. Offset rims allow for wider tires (regarding rubbing the inner wheel well), but actually decrease available clearance because the tires have a greater chance of hitting the upper fender rather than being tucked up into the wheel well. Also, as you mentioned, never trust what a tire has written on its sidewall. I'd defintely reccomend bringing your own tape measure to the tire shop. Finally, <font color=red> putting on bigger tires will result in a loss of power</font color=red>. Even just upgrading to the 30" tires made me have to use 1st gear for start where I could easily get away with 2nd before. Moral, if you're getting fairly larger tires than what is reccomended by Chevy, you may want to consider a re-gear, or be willing to deal with the consequences of increased engine and transmission wear. Finally, from what I've found, always trust your own measurements for tire clearance unless someone offers compelling evidence not to.
Hope that helped!
[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] Steven Fairchild [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img] <font color=green> 96' S-10 4x4 </font color=green> [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]