for those that dont want to read the whole story, here is the question: Will the 20" wheels from a 2008 Ram 1500 fit my 1997 (backspacing? bolt pattern? etc...?)
The reason I ask:
So... I had "the" night. If you dont know what "the" night is, or you have never had it... let me explain it to you.
Imagine, if you will, that its 5:50pm, your driving down the freeway in the rain, surrounded by other vehicles going between 50mph and 200mph.
suddenly you hear something, something not "good" sounding over your radio.
you quickly snap 99% of your attention to your beloved pickup and slam the volume to zero. (gotta use that last 1% to not die in traffic)
something is grinding, you start to react before you really understand whats happening, that sound, its... its exactly what it would sound like if... oh F*CK
In the next split second, as you are reacting to your worst fear, it happens... that fear becomes real as the front wheel of your ram rips clean off and your now rolling on brake rotor, on the pavement, on the freeway, surrounded by innocent lives. your wheel has continued down the freeway into the darkness and disappeared...
I make my way, quickly, while sparks fill the windshield of the car behind me, to the far right shoulder and relative safety... and get the truck stopped. I hop out of the truck, not knowing if its on fire or not from the sparks and hear the unmistakable crunch of two cars connecting on a wet freeway at high speed... I think to myself "wonder if that was my tire or just a random unrelated accident". its too far away for me to see, must be coincidence... (thankfully it was coincidence, and no one was hurt)
Once I calm down a little, I call my wife, get her started on calling AAA and getting a tow truck on the way while I call the police and let them know the score (Wa-State trooper that stopped to talk to me, Thank you). Call my sister who lives about a mile away for info on local repair shops in her area... and just generally be in a SH*T mood for a little while.
After standing in the rain along side of the road for a while, the wife showed up with the kids, so we sat in her Subaru and waited for the tow truck (flat bed as it turned out). Had a tense discussion about nothing in particular - I was still feeding off the adrenaline in my system.
cutting all the boring crap - wait/load/drive/unload - I take a look at the damage... 4 wheel studs bent and torn, but only 1 (the 5th) missing 100% of its threads (that seems odd... going to have to investigate that more tomorrow). 1 chewed up brake rotor... not too bad. until I notice the dent in the fender, which makes me start looking at the fender gaps... ah sh*t! the hood touches the fender now slightly. The door looks like its not sealed/sealing along the top/back side of the door frame (no idea if it was like that before, so I will have to see if she leaks now, which should be easy since its raining like a MOFO outside) but the control arms are clean looking still, the brake caliper looks slightly scuffed, but not chewed, the brake line is clean and undamaged, suspension looks untouched... could have been worse. About 100.00 and a few hours in the morning and I should be back on the road... with my spare on.
I did end up recovering my wheel, which is a story all in its own right but the exceptionally short version is - a young lady, a mother with a young daughter in the car, filled with a level of kindness that I can only aspire to obtaining - passed my DOA Ram and then saw a random wheel/tire along side the road. god knows how far ahead... thought to herself (as she described) "I dont want someone to steal that poor mans tire" so she took an exit, came back around, passed me again, grabbed the tire and made the loop one more time. When she stopped along side the road with me, I was more than curious... and when I saw that she had seat-belted my dirty, heavy, chewed up wheel/tire into her front seat... I couldnt believe my eyes. If there is such a thing as Karma, I pray that she is blessed with safety and health for doing such a thing for a stranger... a big, slightly scary looking stranger standing in the cold, rainy darkness.
There you have it... most of the story of the evening.
So, if you've read this far, you now know why I need at least 1 new wheel. I havent been able to easily find a single replacement OEM wheel for my 1997 Ram, but I have found a set of 20's from a 2008 with 70% tread on the tires (my tires needed replaced, so I had been saving the $$ for new tires)... I just need to know if they will fit (P275/60R20)