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2002 - 2005 Models
Accessories ~ Ford
Accessories ~ Other Companies
Hood Bezel
Colors 02, etc...
Engine 02- 05
Features & Options
Flat Tire Storage ~ a must READ
Interior 02 - 05
Spare Tire
Trunk Wheel Well
Wheel Styles
Custom Wheels
Tires & Wheels 
Our 2002 Thunderbird
 Custom Wheels
The New Thunderbird
2002  2003
2004 2005
Ford Thunderbird
11th Generation Thunderbird
 Wheel Size is 17 inch cast aluminum for all 4 years

Rims are 17x7.5, 5x108 (107.95mm / 4.31in), 60mm offset, 4.25 bolt circle 

Stock Driving Tires 2002-2005: P235/50R17 95V Michelin Pilot ~ inflate to 30 psi (Ford recommendation) or up to 35psi (Michelin recommendation)

Ford recommended PSI for stock driving tires is 30psi as per your door tag.

Spare Tire:  2002: T185 60 17 Firestone ~ Read Spare Tire Page for Important Information

2003-2005: T185 60 17 MAXXIS inflate to 30 psi 
. . Max speed 50mph

Before a flat occurs, please read 
Spare Tire page for Important News 

All the 2002-2005 original Spare Tires are too old to safely trust:

Your space saver spare tire should be at 30# pressure ~ do check before driving your car.

and also read the wheel well page and you will be prepared in case of a flat.

SPARE TIRE Replacement - Due to age, Replace now.:

No spare tires to fit the Thunderbird are available from Firestone.
MAXXIS may have some:  Call for availability.

T 185 60 R 17 MAXXIS


Michelin Tire is embossed as follows:

Max 44psi; "never inflate more than 40psi to seat bead" "Follow owner's manual or placard in vehicle" 

Owner's manual and passenger door plaque recommends 30psi. Check your tire pressure monthly!

In the bottom of your trunk is the spare tire (full size but narrower than on stock wheels), a jack, and a Lug Nut Wrench.  In the 2002/2003, the wrench came  in a felt type storage bag.  In 2004-2005, no bag supplied for wrench.  It lay in a groove in the bottom of the spare tire well.

Also included is a round, black Button Cap sitting on top of the spindle.  Be sure it's in place when you put the Wheel Well cover back on or you might find the spindle eventually making a hole in your Wheel Well Cover.

Trivia: The tires, as delivered on the car,, from the factory, were very over-inflated, ie, set at around 45 psi. Please make sure your dealer has checked all 4 tires and brought them to specs before you take delivery. Over inflation as it came from the factory was quite noticeable as a very stiff, jittery, shakey ride and some might complain about severe cowl shake.  Many owners have complained about the ride only to discover that their tires are still set at 45psi. Their dealership prep department did NOT check the tire inflation.

FYI:  Are you able to use the 02/03 hub cap on the 04/05 wheel and vice versa?  the answer is NO!  ( you could with drastic  modifications)

2004  2005 T-bird Wheels
Deluxe 2004/2005
17" wheel with 16 spokes ~ Silver painted
new style center caps with white  "FORD" ring
Rumor ~ The painted 16 spoke wheels will be available on the Premium models mid-year???  suspect that was an order sheet typo error.
Premium standard 2004/2005
  17" 7 spoke chrome wheel 
 new style  center caps
This is the new standard style on the Premium Models:
Premium optional 2004/2005
17" with 16 spokes, 
silver painted ~ flat surface is "micro-machined"
with same  new style center caps as deluxe model 

click to view larger

Showing the bright finishing on  the machined surface.
2005 Cashmere Special Edition Wheel;
Silver Painted, micro-machined, with Cashmere ring on center caps.
Pacific Coast Roadster Wheel:
Silver Painted, micro-machined, with "Monterey Mist" green ring on center caps
2002  2003 T-bird Wheels
Neiman Marcus 2002
James Bond Edition 2003
7 section  ~ 21 spoke*
Standard ~ Deluxe 2002, 2003 
7 section  ~  21 spoke*
Premium 2002, 2003
7 spoke
Chromed standard wheel for Neiman Marcus edition 2002 - photo from FMC Standard wheel for 2002 Chrome wheel for premium models -  photo by Terry Bird
Chrome ~ Neiman Marcus Grey Painted Deluxe ~ USA
Standard for Canada
Chrome Premium  ~ USA
*Note:  The grey painted deluxe 02 wheel may be chromed and will look like the NM wheel but there are differences as noted in the next set of pictures.  Click to view larger
Chrome Neiman Marcus Wheel
photo by Scott
To Note: the wide bladed spoke meets rim with no shoulder.

The NM wheel has 2 alignment slots for the hubcap, the deluxe and premium wheel have 1 alignment slot.

02/03 Chromed Deluxe 02/03 Painted Deluxe

photo by Scott.photo by Dot
The wide bladed spoke meets rim with a shoulder as noted in photos
photo by Scott
02/03 Deluxe Chromed

Trivia:  The valve stems on the deluxe and Neiman Marcus wheels are located "below" the winged logo when installed.  See picture of the grey painted Deluxe wheel.

The Premium wheel has the valve stem located above the winged logo when installed.

There may be a few painted wheels that are built like the NM wheel as I came across a photo of a painted Deluxe with no "shoulder" on the wide blades.

Wheels found on Concept Thunderbirds:
as seen during 2003 shows; photo by brd4jk 1999 Concept models 2000 black concept model  and the red Sport Roadster
Finned, Chrome
On the 2003 Concept Supercharged model
(note the "retro" FORD letters around the hubcap)
Grey Painted
8 sectioned  ~  24 spoke
On the original concept model
8 sectioned  ~  24 spoke
On the black Concept model
Lug Nut Wrench (tire iron)
One end to help with removal of lug nuts.

Note: lug nut wrench with 2002s may or may not have the protective tube.  Be sure to use something to cushion the metal when removing hubcaps particularly if your wheels are painted or "machined"

photo of 2004 tire iron by OlDave from the TBN
Use the flat end to help with removal of hubcaps.
Be sure rubber tube supplied with lug nut wrench is slipped down over the curved flat end to reduce chances of scratching your wheels when removing the hubcaps
Hub Cap Comparison
2004/2005 2002/2003

formal side of cap
2004 2002

backside of cap
The 2004/2005 hubcap is larger than the 2002/2003.  Though the snap on ring wire appears to be the same diameter,  the positioning & hold on clips would have to be cut off on the 04 hub in order to slip on the 02 wheel thus losing it's holding ability to the wheel.  The wire ring is placed much closer to the plastic on the 02 hub and would not be able to snap into the built in snap ring on the 04 wheel.  conclusion - they are not interchangable.

The 2002 spare is a full size spare but narrower than the stock wheel and tires.  A bit of trivia:  the 2002 spare is a Firestone.
A little more trivia: Some of the earliest cars came with 4 Firestone Firehawk WK LH 235/50/17. Possibly the preproduction models?  This would be one rare set of tires.  All production models have been noted as having the Michelins.
The 2005 spare tire is a Maxxis T185 60R17 made in Taiwan ~ Instructions embossed on spare tire say Maximum tire pressure is 60# and Maximum vehicle speed of 50m.p.h. (80k.p.h.)


Custom Wheels

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© 2001-2017 Dot Lang
Webpage Design/Photos/graphics by Dot
unless otherwise noted
NOT affiliated with FoMoCo
A Line of Dot's