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Tire width
Question time.

How much of a difference will a wheel .5" narrow make? Will it make enough of a difference in the tire bulge to matter or not.

Tires are the same width and height but the side wall height is 2" different. Going from a 20×8.5 wheel to an 18x8 wheel.
It will make it bulge but not significant. We are talking .25" on each side.
You wont notice the difference
Also. Consider air pressure too.
The side wall will flex a little more as there is more rubber with the smaller you will see just a little
All tires have a required rim size designated by the manufacturer. Since this is the explorer, high speed and mileage soft winter tire I would recommend looking to see what the tire requirement is. I have destroyed Blizzaks in less then a month just because my alignment was off just a few degrees but still drove straight.
Already checked that. Called 4 different tire shops, not just local either. All said the tire would be fine on the rim.

Basically I was trying to figure out the extra tire bulge for clearance to the strut.
you might have to reset the TPMS or stare at the light all winter. if you need to reprogram the sensors the hobby shop has the tools to do it. Run a tire conversion to make sure your speedometer is still tracking right.
Tire size isn't actually changing. Only change will be the sidewall height. Nice thing about the Explorer is I put it in learn mode then deflate the tires to activate the sensor and the car picks it up. I thought about buying the $30 tool for the fords though. I will need to get the tires mounted however. They should be here Wednesday.
I will be working the hobby shop Wed if you need them mounted.

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