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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am restoring a 69 396 vert and I would like to put 18" chrome Foose Nitrous rims and BFG KDW NT tires on it. Can anyone tell me what will fit on a stock 69 vert? The car has brand new big block springs and new leaf springs. The front has disc and the rear has drum brakes. I would like to put on the largest tires that will fit without rubbing in front and in back. I have spoken to several dealers and most seem to have a different opinion about what will work. I thought I would check with the experts on Team Camaro and I'm sure that I will get the correct answer. Please only respond if you have real world experience. I need to know so I don't waste a bunch of money on rims and tires that don't fit.

Here is what I have been quoted: front- 255/45/18 Rear- 285/40/18. These sizes seem too big. The look I am going for is as close to stock (refering to the sidewall thickness) as possible. I am not looking for a razor thin sidewall. I don't think that looks good on a first gen. The rims I think should be 18 x 8.5 for front and rear. Also not sure of the offset or back spacing.

Also, Anybody with the sizes I mentioned or anything close with 18's please post a picture of your car.

Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks Team Camaro for such a great site and great people that use it!!:D

Bob
 

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Backspace will be critical, especially on a 69. You can do a search here for "backspace", or check out the sticky at the top of the tire forum. I remember 4.5 inches being optimal out back, maybe 4.75.

Both the front and rear size you posted will give a tire approx. 27 inches in diameter, with about 4.5 inches of sidewall. 27" is taller than OE.
 

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Bob -

I just ran a search on "Foose Nitrous" here, and got quite a bit of info. Some of the discussion is about 20s, but the backspace discussion in those threads is still helpful.
 

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I'm going through the same process with my 69 convert, but I bought 17" wheels. The consensus on wheel width and backspacing is: 8" front wheel with 4.75 BS, and 9.5" rear wheel with 5.5 BS. I searched tire size pretty extensively, and asked a lot of questions. The biggest rear tire people seem to fit without problems is a 275/40, but some have reported a need to either trim wheel opening lip or run a spacer. Others have reported no problems. 255/40 seems to be trouble free. On the fronts, 245/45 is the biggest I've seen reported, but most are going with 235/45.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Al, Thanks for the info. That is what I was looking for. I am assuming that 18's would be the same as 17's regarding back spacing. I think that I will stick with the safe bet and go the trouble free route since I just had the car completely done. New sheet metal almost all around and new floors.

Nice car by the way! I am also adding the RS option to my car. Did you have to make extensive mode to the front to make it work? I am going with the DSE kit and it looks like I will need to modify the inner fender well extensions so the motor can link up with the doors. Did you use this kit or did you stay with the vacuum system?

Thanks again for the info. and anyone else out there please let me know if you have any other info.

Bob
 

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The rim width and backspacing will apply to 18's also. I'm not sure on the tire sizes - but I think they apply as well.

I did the RS thing last summer. It's basically off with the old and on with the new. You have to bolt on adapter brackets to your fenders for the headlight buckets, and you have to drill a large hole in each inner fender for the bellcranks to pass through. Also a fair amount of bending, tweaking, shimming and adjusting. It was actually kinda fun, though. Not difficult at all.

I did my own "home brewed" electric motors. Another guy also came up with a different way to do them. You can read about them here:http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?p=645968#post645968

Or you could buy the DSE or the Retro Electric kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again Al. I have already bought the DSE kit but I haven't got into the install yet as I am still trying to put the entire car back together. I did look through the directions and they look very self explanatory. I also converted a small block ss car to a 396 with a turbo 400. My car is also a convertible. It seems that nothing seems to fit the first time and needless to say I am cutting, tweaking, and modifying just about everything!! :-(

Bob
 

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Nothing to contribute to this thread but I checked out a Zo6 'vette today, 325/30/19 on the rear. Man those meats were huge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for your resoponses. I ended up purchasing Foose Nitrous chrome rims 18x8.5 with 4.5" back space and BFG KDW NT 235/40/18 front and 255/45/18 rear. I hope to have a pic for everyone soon.

Bob
 

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I used 18 x 8 ARE Hopsters on my 69. 5" bs on the front with factory discs, 5.25" bs rears with drums with no problems. If using rear disc setup you could go to 5.5 bs. My car is lowered 1.5" with no rubbing problems. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info Big Sky. I hope to receive the rim and tire package this upcoming week. The car is still being assembled so it won't be on the road right away but I will definitely mount them on the car right away to check for clearances.
Bob
 
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