WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 06, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

First thanks to this board for all the help you have given me to date. I am a wheel/tire dummy but the time has come for my project to add some decent wheels to my 67. My biggest interest is selecting a combination that will help to give the car a better ride (absorbing bumps more than performance cornering) on a street driver.
Am in the process of having the front suspension rebuilt with a stock rubber rebuild kit. Also have a stock suspension in rear except for a 3 piece leaf spring setup that was put in place of the monos about 3 years ago which leaves me sitting a little higher in the rear. As for style I have always liked CRAGAR SS's (old school stuff) .
Still, if I want to improve the cars ride...should I select 15's....17's..? Does it matter? Would appreciate some suggested combinations of wheel sizes and tires to consider....
thanks so much....JD
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 06, 07:28 AM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

topspin,

If you like old school stuff I would go with the Chevy Rally Wheels. I currently run P235/60/R15's on my car. The wheels are 15x7 all the way around. This way I can rotate them. With 17" wheels you may have to worry about backspacing etc. If you order 17's and they don't work you may have to pay shipping charges to send them back even if you bought them from a tire & wheel store. If you choose to run 14" Rally's you can go as large as P 245/60/R14 on the front. I had them on my first 1969 Camaro.

I was told that 15x8 wheels may cause P235/60/R15 to rub on the front so I went with 15x7. If you want a more agressive stance you can go with 15x7 and P235/60/R15 on the front with 15x8 and P255/60/R15 in the back. I have even seen guys run P 275/60/R15 in the back.

As far as Cragar's, I don't like them. The SS wheels especially. It's a pain in the @$$ to get the lug nuts on with the SS Cragar's. And if you put a big block with some serious torque you will sheer the studs right off. A buddy of mine had that problem with a 1968 Firebird and a well built 454 years ago. He hated Cragar's for that reason and I pulled a copy cat version of Cragar's off the 1969 I just bought and put some Rally's on it.

Bottom Line: Look at overall diameter of the tire, look at back spacing, whether you have drums or disc brakes on your car, measure the clearances, etc. etc. etc. I haven't sold tires or wheels in quite a few years but I still remember some of what I learned.

Good Luck!!

Last edited by South Side Goons & Hitmen; Oct 12th, 06 at 07:30 AM. Reason: etc
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 06, 09:31 AM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

Quote:
Originally Posted by South Side Goons & Hitmen View Post
topspin,
If you want a more agressive stance you can go with 15x7 and P235/60/R15 on the front with 15x8 and P255/60/R15 in the back. I have even seen guys run P 275/60/R15 in the back.
Do you know if a 275/60/R15 required a 4 1/2" backspace rather than a 4"? (car is a 69 Camaro - stock length rear)

==Doug
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 06, 02:30 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

Check out the other posts on this site. From what I have read here you need to use 15x8 rims with a 4-1/2" back spacing. And from what I have seen posted here the 275/60/15's look much MUCH better than the 255's.

Nothing worse than a 1st generation Camaro with the rear fenders hanging way out past the rear tires... but that's just me!

And as far as Cragars S/S rims go, I too love the way they look but the uni-lug pattern sucks. I had a set of these on a 1970 Nova and the unilugs would not locate the rim on the axle the same everytime. Therefore the only way to balance the tire/rim combination was to do so on the car with an old school tire balancing machine. What I don't know is if you can get non unilug Cragar S/S's now.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 06, 05:19 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

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Originally Posted by 69OlympicGoldSS View Post
Nothing worse than a 1st generation Camaro with the rear fenders hanging way out past the rear tires... but that's just me!
Ditto that!!!!

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Originally Posted by 69OlympicGoldSS View Post
Therefore the only way to balance the tire/rim combination was to do so on the car with an old school tire balancing machine.
I thought that I was the only one here old enough to remember those. Jim

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 06, 07:55 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

if you like old school here is a few optons:
1) rallye rims you can get all sorts of custom sizes...
2)american racing torque thrust (chrome, polish, cast whatever floats ur boat)
3) boyd coddington "smoothie" rims(they look sweet on my friends 68' yenko)
4) cragar s/s
i have torque thrust 15x7 P235/60R/1515X8 P255/60/R15 on bf-goodwrench tires which arent good for traction, mickey thompson drag radials are good but a bit much for the street.
i think p275's may stick out too much, if u get 17's be careful the tire dosnt rub the front fenders when u turn and stuff.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 06, 07:57 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

what is uni lug pattern?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 06, 01:19 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

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Originally Posted by ace's68 View Post
what is uni lug pattern?
Without getting too complicated, the same wheel would fit most of the major 5 lug patterns. (GM, Ford, Chrysler). There was a special washer that located the lug nut differently for each different bolt circle.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 06, 03:35 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

ouch.... this post hurts.

First, rim diameter has little if anything to do with tire/wheel fit on the car.

rim width, backspace, and tire ht and width are what's important. a 225-60-15 does NOT fit any different than a 225-50-17.

A 7" rim should have a 4" backspace, 8" = 4 1/2 or 5", 9" = 5 or 5.5"

"Modern" Cragars (like mine) don't have unilug's anymore. They use a (very expensive) conical seat lugnut to locate them. They are available in a wide variety of sizes 16" and larger.

The 15" Cragars are unilugs, stay away from them.

For 67-68 cars, a 225 that is 24-25" in diameter is a comfortable fit in front on a 4" backspace 7" rim. 235's fit too, but they are tight. 245's can be crammed in there but will probably rub.

In back, up to a 255 works easy, on an 8", 4 1/2" backspace rim. 275's will fit, but are tight, use a 9", 5 1/2" bs rim.

For a smoother ride, you're best off sticking with a 55 or 60 series tire. Personally if that was my goal, I'd go with 16"s and use standard passenger car tires. There are no new cars using 15" rims anymore, so no "new technology" tires either.





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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 06, 04:10 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

Hello All,

Jim is absolutely correct on this. The problem with the larger rim diamter is the backspace can be considerably different than what came from the factory. He is also correct on the 15" tires and the other items he mentioned. Funny thing is I went looking for some used 15" tires about 6 weeks ago. I found nada, zip, zero, nothing, zilch, Since right about Y2k or Y2k+1 most 15" tires were dropped. The factory has gone with 16" and 17" tires and even larger in come cases. In the mid to even later 1990's you could find even a P215/65/R15 which was OEM on Z28's made from 1982-1987. Some Camaro guys would take the P 225/60/R15 used on Mustang's in the 1980's & early 1990's or the P225/70/R15's used on police cars back then and put them on their car. Fifteen inch tires were everywhere. The problem like Jim said is that technology on 15" tires is sttill stuck in the 1990's.

In my earlier post I mentioned that I used to be in the tire & auto service game. This was until the late 1990's. I lost the passion for it after I had sold all my Camaro's (1969 RS, 1984 Z28 & 1988 5.7L IROC-Z) by the end of 1994. I got out the game completely early on in 1998. But I still remember some of what I had learned.

I also went into a local auto service repair facility during the past week to get a P/S belt for the 1969 Camaro I bought this summer. I bring my wife's car there for service. They laughed and said you have been out of the game a while haven't you. They told me they no longer stock V-Belts. I went to Advanced Auto parts to buy some stuff I needed and I bought my other belt there which is where I bought my Alt. belt about a month ago. I asked a few places about P 235/60R15 and they laughed, including where I used to work in the mid to late 1990's. They now have to be special ordered and some manufactures discontinued white letter tires including that size.

Anyway, I have never tried putting 16's, 17's or 18's on my two 1969's or my 1984. The 1988 came with P245/50/R16's. I forget the backspace on the 16" factory IROC-Z wheels. My first 1969 had 14x6 Rally's and I ran a P245/60R14 up front. Usually no more than a P235/60/R14 is recommended on a 14x6 Rally. But you will not find any new cars with 14" tires made on them in the last oh lets say 8-10 years.

As far as Cragar's I hate them. Especially the SS wheels. The unilugs were junk and the conical seat would not hold up behind some serious horsepower. A friend of mine had these on a 1968 Firebird behind a 454 with some serious torque. He would shear the studs right off.

Bottom Line as mentioned in my post on October 12th: Get a tape measure, check for clearances, check backspace, look at the overall diameter, disc or dum brakes, etc. etc. etc. 16's would be great but do your homework!! I did not feel like doing my homework so I went old school 15's and I like old school. 14's are way to old school!! That's pre-historic and dark ages old school. Good Luck!!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 06, 04:24 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

quote: He would shear the studs right off.

not the lug nuts fault there, is it?
When I upgrade my brakes this year, I will also go from the OEM 7/16" studs to new 1/2" studs, the studs will be as long as I can get them and still fit the cragar lugnuts on. Of course I'll have to buy 20 new $16 lugnuts.

Everything else south side (name?) said is right on the money. Before to long places selling resto parts will be the only place to get a 15" tire.
Larger diameter is no sweat, as long as you watch the backspacing, cross-section, and overall tire diameter.





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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 06, 04:48 PM
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Re: WHeel tire recommendations for stock suspsension

Jim, I told him to replace the studs & lugs back in the day a few times. After having it towed twice he finally listened to me. He told me not to sell my first 1969. I told him not to sell his 1968 Firebird. Neither of us listened. That was back then. Today is now. Those cars would be worth a small fortune today. Especially my first 1969. As they say live and learn. And we learned the hard way.
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