Sizing Rear Tires & Wheels - Team Camaro Tech
Wheels & Tires What fits what?

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 05, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'm doing a custom mini-tub on my '69 Camaro and am wondering how do I determine what size tires I'll be able to put on once I'm ready. Where and how much clearance do I need between the tire and the inner/outer wheel wells to prevent any contact? Is 1/8"-1/4" clearance between the tire and fender lip plenty? Is 1/2" clearance between the tire and inner wheel well enough? Anyone have any recommendations? Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 05, 09:16 AM
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Good question GW, the answer isn't that simple though. Wheel and tire size are an important key, if everything was ridged a 1/4" or a bit less clearence might be all you need in any given area of concern. Tire sidewalls flex when turning as well as when the weight of the car is lifted off the tire and bounced back down on it as in going through a driveway or a bump in the road. Combine the two for more sidewall flex. Obviously an 18" wheel with a 30-35 series sidewall will flex less than a 17" wheel with 40-45 series sidewalls. The flex increases along with the tires profile...

I know that doesn't directly answer your question but if you know what tire and wheel sizes you will be running it would help as someone with the same might speak up and share their experiences...


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 05, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, well I'm looking at 17" wheels with either a 335 (if I can fit it) or 315 (shouldn't be a problem). I don't know the sidewall, 35 or 40? If somebody has a tire like this on their car, can you measure the clearance between the tire and the car. Thanks.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 05, 06:22 PM
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As a reference point most of the "tire experts" feel you should have at least 1" of clearence in the tightest spot. I would say that depends on where the tightest spot is. I think that a 1/2" is absolute minimum if you are going to drive the car hard. If the tire was a 1/2" from the rear spring I don't see that being a problem but if the top inside of the tire is a 1/2" from the wheelhouse it may rub when the suspension is loaded or when crossing a curb cut. Of course all this changes with tire/rim/ride height. Make sure you measure both sides and try to test fit a similar combination if possible. Good Luck - Jack

[ 02-04-2005, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: JV69z/28rs ]

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 05, 12:02 AM
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What I did to see what was the biggest tire that would fit is...
*take lots of measurments.
*make a cardboard cutout of the tire/wheel combo and check.

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1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 05, 06:17 AM
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Lots of those guys have mini-tubbed.

1967 RS Coupe (clone): 406 SBC, Thorley headers, Muncie, Hotchkis suspension, Centerline Matrix 17" wheels with Nitto 555's, Baer brakes, 12 bolt 3.73 posi, RS conversion, Vintage Air, PPG Hot Red. (SOLD)

1968 RS Coupe: Project...Mini-tubbed, Cammed LS 6.0, T56, 12 bolt 3.73 posi, Ridetech 4 link...slowly adding more...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 05, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I do have a question at, also.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 05, 04:41 AM
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One thing here is that our cars are not all symetrically/centered put together b/c GM back in the days they were made pretty much though a 1/2"+/- was fine!!!

You can tell if your car's running gear is close to symetrical/centered to the body by sticking a couple of fingers between the tops of all four tires and "feeling" for clearance....

I bet you will find out that your car can take say only one "finger" on the drivers side and only a tight two on the pass. side. Thats how mine is, (or is it the other way around??), and I don't think it has ever been major tweeked other then a mild side-swipe/ditching on the pass. side at the horizonal door crease/bulge when I didn't have it.

All this throws a monkey wrench in setting up max. sized tire/wheel combinations on our cars...

And I went so far as, (again), "fingered" my cars subframe alignment holes to make sure my S/F was where it is supposed to be AND it is spot-on!!

I found out about the 1/2" +/- thing b/c my car had a settled coil on it early on AND I had to get the Factory Rep. to finally authorize a new set of h/d coils for my car that I got for their price, (something like $22/pr.?? back then), and they put them in for free!!

The Rep. said after I told him it bugged me to no end that my dash was leaning towards the pass. side about a 1/2" and he said heck, thats the way they make them, tolerances are fine!! I said no way AND got my new BB A/C coils!!!!


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 05, 05:02 AM
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I mini-tubbed my 69, and while there is plenty of room now at the inner wheel tub, it's tight at the leaf spring. That's where things get interesting; trying to balance the clearance between the fender lip and the leaf spring (that is, if you're going to use leaf springs).
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 05, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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I've modified the rear spring shackle by offsetting it 1.5", and I'll be moving the front of the leaf spring 2"(?) with the CE sub-frame connectors. I'm only offsetting the spring shackles an 1.5" because I don't want to mess with the stock gas tank or the trunk pan. It'll be a tight fit, but it should work. The inner wheel well was moved in about 2". I've got a new Moser 12 bolt that I'll be putting in, but first I need to move the spring mounts. I didn't realize that I'd be moving the springs when I ordered it. Oh well. So, the springs should not be a problem. Once I get the spring mounts moved, I'll be able to get some better measurements, though. I've got 275/60-15s that came off the old 10 bolt. I'll put those on and measure the clearances once I'm ready. Thanks for everyones advice.
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