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Discussion Starter #1
I have a stock 69 SS camaro and want to add 17 inch wheels and am looking for a good wider look but not so big that I risk rubbing.

I understand with research here that the max to be almost safe is:

FRONT: 17x8 with 4.75 backspace with 245/45/17
BACK: 17x9.5 with 5.25? backspace with 275/40/17
but some people rub with driveways or turning hard.

I want then next size that would be certainly safe without rubbing or 'rolling' the quarter panel'.

how about:
FRONT 17x8 with 4.75 backspace with 235/45/17
BACK 17x9.5 with 5 backspace with 255/45/17

or would the back be questionable vs next size smaller rim
BACK 17x8 with 4.75 backspace with 255/45/17

Would these sizes be completely safe and yet wider than stock?
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Front size looks good, you want a 17x9.5 w 5.5 back spacing.
 

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I have a stock 69 SS camaro and want to add 17 inch wheels and am looking for a good wider look but not so big that I risk rubbing.

I understand with research here that the max to be almost safe is:

FRONT: 17x8 with 4.75 backspace with 245/45/17
BACK: 17x9.5 with 5.25? backspace with 275/40/17
but some people rub with driveways or turning hard.
17x9 w/5.25" bs or 17x9.5 w/5.5" vs is ideal. Tire size listed is about the maximum that most people can get away with, but some cars get away with slightly more or less.

I want then next size that would be certainly safe without rubbing or 'rolling' the quarter panel'.

how about:
FRONT 17x8 with 4.75 backspace with 235/45/17
BACK 17x9.5 with 5 backspace with 255/45/17
Front as listed should be completely safe.

Rear 17x9 w/5.25" or 17x9.5 w/5.5" with 255/45/17 should be completely safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do want to be safe and not rub.

If I use a 17x8 wheel instead of a 17x9.5 wheel with the 255/45/17 tire does that make any difference in the overall width that would make it less likely to rub? I do want the back to appear slightly larger but just don't want rubbing issues.

In other words, if the tire works for either a 17x8 or 17x9.5 is there any advantage/disadvantage to using the 17x9.5?
 

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A 17x9.5 w 5.5 back spacing is the widest wheel you would want to run and in of itself won't rub but if you have disk brakes it might be put the tire in contact with the fender lip. That wheel is a +6 offset and any other wheel you decide on needs to be very close to a +6 offset for best overall fit.

As for the tire you put on said wheel, a 275/40/17 has a section width that is about 3/4" wider and is about a 1/4" shorter than a 255/45/17. If you have rear discs plan on trimming or rolling the fender lip with either of these tires. The section width changes slightly with wheel width but with 40 or 45 series tires the narrow sidewall doesn't change much.
 

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A 17x9.5 w 5.5 back spacing is the widest wheel you would want to run and in of itself won't rub but if you have disk brakes it might be put the tire in contact with the fender lip. That wheel is a +6 offset and any other wheel you decide on needs to be very close to a +6 offset for best overall fit.

As for the tire you put on said wheel, a 275/40/17 has a section width that is about 3/4" wider and is about a 1/4" shorter than a 255/45/17. If you have rear discs plan on trimming or rolling the fender lip with either of these tires. The section width changes slightly with wheel width but with 40 or 45 series tires the narrow sidewall doesn't change much.
The problem is that he's not looking at 5.5 bs. It appears that he's looking at 5 or 5.25" bs on those 17x9.5's which would put it too close to the inner wheel well.

I do want to be safe and not rub.

If I use a 17x8 wheel instead of a 17x9.5 wheel with the 255/45/17 tire does that make any difference in the overall width that would make it less likely to rub? I do want the back to appear slightly larger but just don't want rubbing issues.

In other words, if the tire works for either a 17x8 or 17x9.5 is there any advantage/disadvantage to using the 17x9.5?
The 17x8 with 4.75" bs on all 4 corners would be safe. The difference in wheel width changes the shape of the sidewall quite a bit. On a 17x8, a 255 will look fairly rounded, and on a 17x9.5, a 255 will look more stretched.

Just for comparison, here's a 235/40/17 on a 17x8" vs 17x9.5" wheel. Same tire width, different wheel width:


-If it were me, I'd look for a set of 17x9 w/5.25" bs or 17x9.5 w/5.5" bs for the rear and pair that with the 255/45/17.

-If that's not an option, then I would feel very confident in using the 17x8 w/4.75" bs on the front and rear with 235/45/17 up front and 255/45/17 in the rear. If anything rubs, then your car has some other major issue (bent frame, really bad springs, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
This forum is awesome! I've been researching this for more than a week all over the net and I feel more comfortable with the answers in this one post!

BTW I'm assuming that the pic above shows the 17x8 on left and the 17x 9.5 on the right!? Curiously I actually like the look of the wheel/tire combo more on the left.

Last question:
I think I'm going with the 17x8 all the way around. Is it worth putting 255 on the back vs 235 all the way around if I use the 17x8 wheel? Will it have any noticeable difference in size or anything? Knowing that different sizes would negate my ability to rotate them?
 

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Glad to help. Yes, 17x8 on left and 17x9.5 on right. A wider rear tire looks better in my opinion, but also gives you better traction off the line.

If rotating the tires is important to you, then you could do 235's on all 4 corners. But I'd rather run a wider tire in the back, the more traction, the better.
 

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I personally don't think you should consider a 235/40 17 on a 1st gen. It's only 24.5" tall and just won't fill the wheel well no matter what wheel you mount it on. It safely fits on a 17x8 or a 17x9.5 but as the photo above shows wheel size/tire size matters.

A 235/45 17 would be fairly safe, that's what I run up front. It's 25.5" tall, has about .2" less section width than the 235/40 and actually has about .3" more tread width.

Every car is a little different so there is no "completely safe bet" if you want your car to stand out. I can't tell you how many guys I see locally put their rally's w/225/60 15's back on after trying 17" wheels because they had some rubbing somewhere and they were not interested in figuring it out.

My 235/45 17 will scuff the frame on lock to lock turns. I choose to live with the lock to lock scuffing but could limit the steering a little to stop it. With a 2" drop I needed to add a little negative camber and replace the center most inner fender bolt with a button head hex bolt to stop the tire from contacting the head of the one inner fender bolt.

All that said the most safe up front might be a 225/45 17, it splits the difference in height between the other 2 mentioned and is a little narrower all around

As for the rear I run 255/45 17's on 9.5" w/5.5" bs and to be honest when I had rear drums the tires scuffed the inner fender/frame area as the body flexed going through driveways at an angle. I don't think a coupe would have this same issue my ragtop has with body flex. Disc brakes fixed that issue but put the outside sidewall too close to the fender lip for comfort so I used a nibbler and removed part of the fender lip where the tire was the closest. 245/45 17 tires might be a little safer bet, they are less than 1/2" shorter, .4" narrower in section width and .3" less tread width...

I would always go with a wider rear tire than front unless you plan to daily drive it... If you put 10k miles or more a year it's nice to be able to rotate the tires but if you put 2k miles a year on the car it will take you 5 years to see any tire wear which you won't if you keep a good alignment and proper tire pressure.

I would also run different width wheels front and rear, wider in the back. Again unless it's your daily driver think narrower tire on a slightly narrower wheel up front, wider tire on a slightly wider wheel out back, it just keeps the balance. If you mix 2 sizes of tire on the same wheel it will look off!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, good info!!

In the end I think that I will do this:

due to concern about rubbing with 275/40/17 or even 255/45/17 in the back with 9.5 inch wheels I will stick to using the 17x8 wheels all around with 4.75 BS or as close as I can to that. I am looking at the American Racing Torque Thrust II

STOCK suspention height, no lowering done:

Front: 17x8 with 4.75 BS with 235/45/17
Rear: 17x8 with 4.75 BS with 255/45/17

Anyone disagree?! :) going...going...
 

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I personally don't think you should consider a 235/40 17 on a 1st gen. It's only 24.5" tall and just won't fill the wheel well no matter what wheel you mount it on. It safely fits on a 17x8 or a 17x9.5 but as the photo above shows wheel size/tire size matters.

A 235/45 17 would be fairly safe, that's what I run up front. It's 25.5" tall, has about .2" less section width than the 235/40 and actually has about .3" more tread width.
FWIW, I only posted that pic of a 235/40/17 for reference purposes to compare a 17x8 and a 17x9.5 wheel. I wasn't recommending that size.
 

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OK, good info!!

In the end I think that I will do this:

due to concern about rubbing with 275/40/17 or even 255/45/17 in the back with 9.5 inch wheels I will stick to using the 17x8 wheels all around with 4.75 BS or as close as I can to that. I am looking at the American Racing Torque Thrust II

STOCK suspention height, no lowering done:

Front: 17x8 with 4.75 BS with 235/45/17
Rear: 17x8 with 4.75 BS with 255/45/17

Anyone disagree?! :) going...going...
I think you'll be happy with that setup. I agree with Dennis, I prefer a wider rear tire than front. Unless it's a daily driver, the tires will get old before they have enough miles on them to worry about rotating them.
 

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ok i'm pulling the trigger on that setup! If it ends up rubbing I am hunting you all down! :)

JK thanks for all the help!!!:hurray::hurray::hurray:
Great, post up some pics once you get them on! I can't see them rubbing anywhere with those sizes and a stock ride height.
 

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Well, I would still be inclined to push the rear wheels out to 17 x 9 if ruling out the 17 x 9.5.

To my knowledge there is currently a nation wide back order on the American Racing Torque Thrust II's in the 17 x 9 and 9.5 widths (possible delivery from overseas the first of June). Please let us know if you find someone reasonably priced who currently has them. My set is on back order.
 

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Well, I would still be inclined to push the rear wheels out to 17 x 9 if ruling out the 17 x 9.5.

To my knowledge there is currently a nation wide back order on the American Racing Torque Thrust II's in the 17 x 9 and 9.5 widths (possible delivery from overseas the first of June). Please let us know if you find someone reasonably priced who currently has them. My set is on back order.
I didn't know they made TT2's in a 17x9?:confused:
 
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