what is the tallest tire I can use on a 17x9.5" rim? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old May 6th, 12, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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what is the tallest tire I can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

My car has 2" drop springs all around. Problem is the tranny kmember and the exhausts hang about 3" off the ground. I'd really like 5" of clearance without redoing the suspension. Current tires are 25.1" tall on 17x9.5 TT2s. How big can I go to get more clearance?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old May 6th, 12, 10:02 AM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

A 255/50/17 might fit on a 17x9.5" wheel and is 27.1" tall... 255/45's are 26.1" tall. What is your current size, if I had to guess maybe 255/40?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old May 6th, 12, 10:28 AM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

Just got to ask this question...without stirring up the troops.

What is the desire to replace origin equipment that was designed to have specific specs, going to a much larger wheel?

Anyone?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old May 6th, 12, 11:16 AM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captcanuck68 View Post
Just got to ask this question...without stirring up the troops.

What is the desire to replace origin equipment that was designed to have specific specs, going to a much larger wheel?

Anyone?

capt
You know that is going to stur things up because you are questioning what others are doing! Using plus size wheels is not a new thing, I have had 17" wheels for about 8 years and it was common years before that. I'll add a major point that has to be concidered and that is fewer and fewer factory tire size choices are being offered outside of speciality tire manufactures. It use to be you only had to pay excessive prices for old school bias-ply redlines that came on our old cars but now even a BFG TA is falling into the same status and in very limited sizes... Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Firestone have all but bailed on the classic car market.

Of course there is the fact that 17" wheels and short sidewalls out perform 14" and 15" wheels with 60 and 70 series sidewalls too...

...Dennis

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old May 6th, 12, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captcanuck68 View Post
Just got to ask this question...without stirring up the troops.

What is the desire to replace origin equipment that was designed to have specific specs, going to a much larger wheel?

Anyone?

capt
LS style disc brakes. Plus the original wheels were long gone when I bought the car.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old May 7th, 12, 05:36 AM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

I am going through the same situation with my low rider truck and it looks like the tallest 17" tire is short of 27". . . .keep in mind a one inch taller tire will only raise it 1/2 of that.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old May 7th, 12, 07:10 AM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

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Originally Posted by The Camaro Guy View Post
I am going through the same situation with my low rider truck and it looks like the tallest 17" tire is short of 27". . . .keep in mind a one inch taller tire will only raise it 1/2 of that.
235/55/17 = 27.2"
255/50/17 = 27.1"
235/65/17 = 29.0"

Manufactures can vary within 0.1", I'm sure there are more...

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old May 7th, 12, 12:05 PM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjD View Post
You know that is going to stur things up because you are questioning what others are doing! Using plus size wheels is not a new thing, I have had 17" wheels for about 8 years and it was common years before that. I'll add a major point that has to be concidered and that is fewer and fewer factory tire size choices are being offered outside of speciality tire manufactures. It use to be you only had to pay excessive prices for old school bias-ply redlines that came on our old cars but now even a BFG TA is falling into the same status and in very limited sizes... Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Firestone have all but bailed on the classic car market.

Of course there is the fact that 17" wheels and short sidewalls out perform 14" and 15" wheels with 60 and 70 series sidewalls too...
Not really "questioning what others are doing"...just wanted to know the why, Ryan pointed this out, as his car came with "LS discs and the original wheels were gone" when he got the car.


I know that the bigger wheel trend trend is not a new one, as pointed out by you, but was interested in what the allure was in having them put on, and I guess the bigger ratio tire tends to better fill in the wheel cavities of the cars?

However your remark of the bigger tires "out perform the smaller wheels" comes at a cost.

There is a fair bit of discussion on the net, that explain... that with the bigger tires, you end up with a greater rotation mass, which can result in a decrease of acceleration. Some also felt that with the lower profiles there was increased spin, since there was less flex in the tire...something that dragsters know is a necessity.

Bigger wheels mean more weight, and some engineers felt that the stopping power would be adversely effected.

And as some had mentioned in their comments in the different sites, the further away from the centre of the axle can result in a poorer response in the steering, understeering for the most part... but this being more so in the +17" sizes.

It is true that with the shorter profiles, there will be less flex in a tire causing less lean, but the shorter profile results in a harsher ride, which if you have a stiff suspension already...you will really feel the bumps. A trade off for being able to corner better, but if keeping within the speed limits, does this really matter?

The wider width (footprint) will also mean increased contact with the pavement, but this again may affect milelage and not in a good way, and rubber compound/tread design seem to overhadow this variable.

I can see the advantages that you pointed out, but like most things in life, there's trade offs, eh?


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old May 7th, 12, 02:32 PM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

Hey Ted,

Sure there are trade-offs but on the street they may not be what you think. If a car has to turn corners as well as drive a straight line it would be a big trade-off to install big tall sidewalls for grabbing traction in a straight line. And ya, if a car was designed to go down the 1/4 mile as fast as possible it would be a trade off to put 40 series sidewall tires.

There are a lot of mis-conceptions too:
1 - Taller wheels are not a trend, they are industry standard on new cars... You will not see the hotrod/performance side of the hobby ever going back to 14 & 15" wheels.

2 - Taller wheels are not typically heavier than shorter steel wheels that came on these old cars. Modern wheels are designed and constructed with lighter materials, and the tires themselves are lighter too!

3 - Taller does not mean the over all height of the tire is plus size over stock. Typically you will find 17+ wheels mounted with 45-35 series come in at 26" or under. With 60 and 70 series ralleys first gens usually end up with 26" to 28" tall tires

4 - Taller wheels and shorter sidewalls do not cause a harsher ride than old school 14/15" steel wheels with 60/70 series sidewalls. The big sidewalls may seem to have the advantage here but steel wheels are far more ridged than modern alloy wheels. I'll offer my own car as an example. I did my suspension work first and drove around on 15" rally wheels with 60 series tires. The ride quality greatly improved when I switched to 17" wheels and 45 series tires.

All that said if we stay in context of "street performance" (not dragstrip only) the 17" wheel and tire combo will indeed out perform a 14" or 15" steel wheel that came on these cars. Even from a fuel economy standpoint if you match width for width and height for height the lighter wheel & tire combo will be the best choice and the 17" wheel/tire combo will be lighter!

Here are 2 common tire sizes to show the size/weight differences;

1, 235/60/15 - it's 26.1" tall has a 9.5" section width, a 8.7" tread width and weighs 28lbs
2, 255/45/17 - it's 26.1" tall has a 10" section width, a 9.7" tread width and weighs 27lbs.

If wheels were equal the 17" tire would have a handling and weight advantage. A 15x7 rally wheel weighs about 24-25lbs and a 17x8 alloy will weigh in around 17-18 lbs. Weight advantage again goes to the 17" combo by maybe 8 lbs or more...

In the end it's personal preference and goals that dictate, if you are into factory stock or drag racing you may lean one way but if you want handeling and performance you are going to go with taller wheels. The OP Ryan is looking to gain ground clearence by running a taller than typical tire on a 17" wheel. A truck tire will do what he wants but may not provide the overall desired effect of the 17" wheel/tire he is ultimately after.

...Dennis

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old May 8th, 12, 04:47 AM
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Re: what is the tallest tire i can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

Dennis, I think the tallest tire with a 40-45-50 width is a 275-40-17. . . .I just ordered those for my C-10 last night to go on my 9.5" billet specialitie wheels. Taller means narrower and not as appealing. . . in my opinion.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old May 8th, 12, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: what is the tallest tire I can use on a 17x9.5" rim?

So what is the tallest tire a 68 camaro can have with 2" rear drop springs? At what point will it rub?

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