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View Full Version : wheels and tires on the cheap (early C3)


lsejlowe
09-25-2008, 07:20 PM
took the '69 to an autocross for the first time last weekend and quickly found out that 15" rims and BFG radial T/A's weren't meant for that kind of use. I've thought about some 17 or 18" rims before mostly for appearance, but now I'm more motivated to find a set of rims and tires for cheap and even swap them when I go to SOLO events if they aren't real pretty.

Any recommendations on inexpensive wheels that would fit our old cars with stock suspension? What tires will be the most bang for the buck that will give me good street driving and decent life as well as good grip for the track? If the wheels ain't exactly pretty I'd like to be able to put them on at home, drive 50-75 miles to an autocross, race, and drive home. Hell, it's worth it just to not have to deal with the trim rings on the rally wheels. What a PITA to take those off...

Twin_Turbo
09-25-2008, 07:45 PM
The wheels that turtlevette has are probably pretty cheap, he isn't the kind to spend money on his car so they are probably dirt cheap :D

lsejlowe
09-25-2008, 07:50 PM
The wheels that turtlevette has are probably pretty cheap, he isn't the kind to spend money on his car so they are probably dirt cheap :D

Hey Turtle, whatcha got? How big are they? Did you have to deal with the P-brake cable mount on the T/A's?

JPhil
09-25-2008, 10:20 PM
Turtle is running Cragar 'Soft 8' 17" X 9.5 for $69.00 each from Summit. But they need 1/4" spacers to clear the OEM brake calipers. (He has Wilwood calipers.)

lsejlowe
09-25-2008, 11:11 PM
oh hells yeah. That's what I'm lookin' for. Any reason to go 17" instead of 18"? Tire selection? I PM'ed Turtle, hopefully he'll reply with what BS he used and whether or not the 9.5" width is a little much for stock fenders.

MYBAD79
09-25-2008, 11:37 PM
You can find 17" rims at Summit or maybe even the local PepBoys, I have seen that style wheel there. It's a steel wheel with D-shaped holes, not really ugly to be honest.... get 17" - the tires are a lot cheaper. 275-40-17 on 9" wide rims, 255-40-17 for the 8" , that's cheap (Sumitomo or Kumho tires). The Sumitomo HTRZ has a thread wear rating of 160, that's about as soft as it gets for the money.....

mrvette
09-26-2008, 01:01 AM
You can find 17" rims at Summit or maybe even the local PepBoys, I have seen that style wheel there. It's a steel wheel with D-shaped holes, not really ugly to be honest.... get 17" - the tires are a lot cheaper. 275-40-17 on 9" wide rims, 255-40-17 for the 8" , that's cheap (Sumitomo or Kumho tires). The Sumitomo HTRZ has a thread wear rating of 160, that's about as soft as it gets for the money.....

I totally agree, except the tires LOOK dorkey, too little rubber in those wells....the Nitto 50 series is better 275 rear 255 front.....
course you have to move that ebrake....no problem, easy do...

I can pick up the above sizes here in OP Florida for 100 bux each....well last year anyway....no bets today...

MYBAD79
09-26-2008, 01:07 AM
I totally agree, except the tires LOOK dorkey, too little rubber in those wells....

I agree, 255-50 and 275-50 look a lot better but the 255-40 and 275-40 have a lot less sidewall flex.

mrvette
09-26-2008, 01:11 AM
I totally agree, except the tires LOOK dorkey, too little rubber in those wells....

I agree, 255-50 and 275-50 look a lot better but the 255-40 and 275-40 have a lot less sidewall flex.

OH, I fully understand THAT, but then 18" wheels, and so then the tire prices jump to 200 bux each or more.....

I"m glad I have 'small' wheels.....

:shocking::1st:

MYBAD79
09-26-2008, 01:58 AM
For track use I'd take the smaller sidewall in 17". It will look a lil like a Vette with a lift kit but most likely you will be lowering the car anyways if you continue to take it to the track. I see lots of suspension mods in your future :smash:

You start with cheap 17X8 rims and 255-45-17 or 255-50-17, same size front and back - it might not be the best size for autocross performance but it's cheap and way better than these ancient BFG tires.

lsejlowe
09-26-2008, 04:48 AM
thanks for the input, fellas. Sounds like good advice so far. I might check out Speedway motors as well since they're based up in Lincoln and I go back there fairly often. Save a little extra on shipping.

JPhil
09-26-2008, 01:47 PM
Unless you don't mind running spacers, you better do dome homework first. Pull a wheel and figure out at what diameter you need what measurement off of the hub face to clear the caliper. Unlike our OEM wheels most of these aftermarket wheels have a flat shallow dish which binds on the caliper. Then you'll probably have to go to a tire store & just start measuring the wheels to see if any work.
This project is on my agenda for next time I have a chance to get the car up & a wheel off--hopefully this weekend.

lsejlowe
09-26-2008, 01:58 PM
took a quick look at Summit and they appear to only have the Crager Soft 8's up to 17 x 9 with a minimum of 5" BS. Seems like 4.5" is the common BS I've heard for 17" wheels on our C3's, so that might take some serious spacing. I'll definitely do some measurements and try to get the right wheel the first time. Then I might just order one wheel and see how it fits. For $65 it's tough to go wrong!

lsejlowe
09-26-2008, 02:20 PM
nevermind, I found some 17 x 8's with 4.5 BS.

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MYBAD79
09-26-2008, 03:07 PM
You might have to order the wheel with 1" extra BS and then move it outwards with a 1" spacer... that way it's positioned correctly relative to the fender and also clears the brake calipers.

lsejlowe
09-26-2008, 04:01 PM
You might have to order the wheel with 1" extra BS and then move it outwards with a 1" spacer... that way it's positioned correctly relative to the fender and also clears the brake calipers.

gotcha. I wonder if I could get the 5" BS and get by with a 1/4" spacer. I'm really not a fan of spacers, but I could live with a 1/4". I'll see if any local tire/wheel shops have them in stock or would order one for me to measure or test fit.

MYBAD79
09-26-2008, 04:34 PM
I prefer a "bolt on" adapter with a second stud pattern over a sandwich style spacer anytime. Ebay seller 'completevalue' has 1" thick hubcentric adapters that work, the front two have to be trimmed a little to fit the conical section of the hub. Other than that, I run 1" spacers/adapters on several cars for years now and never had a problem.
On the rear of the '79 I have 2" spacers to fill the flares, no prob so far, wheels haven't come flying off the car yet...

JPhil
09-26-2008, 06:38 PM
Don't forget to read all the specs--that particular part number you posted above is a 4.45" bolt pattern, you need 4.75".
And I think Turtle runs a 9" wide rime, not 9.5" like I think I said before.
With a 17" wheel, 5" back space may work without moving the e-brake bracket, but you'll have to remove the e-brake cable to clear the tire, I would think.
You don't want to move the vertical plane of the wheel/tire outboard very much with spacers or you'll run the danger of hitting the fender lip on full suspension loading. This may not be a problem right now, but the more you get into cornering performance, the lower you want your car to be.......each modification begets another!:evil:

Let me know what you come up with!
John

lsejlowe
09-26-2008, 06:49 PM
Don't forget to read all the specs--that particular part number you posted above is a 4.45" bolt pattern, you need 4.75".

I wasn't sure what bolt pattern these things had, so I just guessed for the time being. Thanks for the heads up.


And I think Turtle runs a 9" wide rime, not 9.5" like I think I said before.
With a 17" wheel, 5" back space may work without moving the e-brake bracket, but you'll have to remove the e-brake cable to clear the tire, I would think.
You don't want to move the vertical plane of the wheel/tire outboard very much with spacers or you'll run the danger of hitting the fender lip on full suspension loading. This may not be a problem right now, but the more you get into cornering performance, the lower you want your car to be.......each modification begets another!:evil:

Let me know what you come up with!
John

I hadn't seem a 9.5" rim width, so I figured he must have 9's. I'll need to look at my current tires and how much room I have from the fender lip with my 255/60R15's. I don't want to shave the inside of that lip, so you're right that I need to consider that before going 9" instead of 8". All these things get a lot easier if I can find a shop around here that has them in stock. No more guessing, I can mount a wheel and see where it hits. It might be a couple months before I actually make a move on the wheels and tires, but I'll be sure to keep you posted about what I end up with

JPhil
09-26-2008, 06:54 PM
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Hmmm....just looking at them again....Since they are not hubcentric, would a 1/4" spacer make all that much difference? I would be a little leery of putting heavy loading on my 7/16" lug studs, but for street & just an occasional race...?

Thoughts, anyone?

Yellow73SB
09-26-2008, 06:59 PM
They weight like 50 pounds a piece, they are meant for trucks

I'm not sure how well these would work but these on a 15" wheel would be much lighter

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lsejlowe
09-26-2008, 08:04 PM
They weight like 50 pounds a piece, they are meant for trucks

I'm not sure how well these would work but these on a 15" wheel would be much lighter

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I'm sure they're heavy as hell, but my stock rally's aren't real light either. I'm sure they'll add some rotating mass, but I expect the reduced sidewall and better tire selection would outweigh the extra mass (no pun intended :))

TimAT
09-27-2008, 04:37 AM
Find a set of 15's Maybe even some more rally's, then go to Hoosier or Nitto. Maybe get the wheels made into 15x10? There are several 15 tires out there that are pretty sticky. Those BFG tires are hard.

Those 17 Goodyears I have seem to be fairly sticky, but I'm not sure I'd trust a street tire for a full on Auto-X. I think I'd not even trust anything but a full-on race tire for any real serious stuff like that.

MYBAD79
09-27-2008, 11:52 AM
He said he wants to drive to the track. Are the Hoosiers ok to use "on road" ?

Tim, what size tires are you thinking about in 15"? I know about Goodyear, Dunlop, Firestone and Bfg in 255-60-15. These tires were designed in the 70's and just cannot compete with modern 17" tires, even the cheapest 17" performance tires. Since the 90's most vehicles come from the factory with 16" or 17" sizes so developing new 15" tires wasn't a high priority anymore.

Maybe you can find good performance tires in 275-50-15 but I would think that that could be more expensive than 17".... the fender gap would be huge too.... just like with the 255-40-17 I mentioned earlier.

The huge fender gap might not be all that bad: with the extreme body roll you can at least be sure the tire doesn't rub the fender.....

TimAT
09-27-2008, 01:07 PM
When I was looking Hoosier had several sizes of 15" tires. Nothing said they were not to be used on highway, but I did see that the wear ratings were not all that great. I went with 17's because or exactly what you mentioned- they just don't make anything in 15" anymore that met what I was looking for, but I'm not doing any track stuff either. I had to really hunt for the 17's, I think I got the last pair of Goodyear Eagle F1 GS/D3's in the country at the time that were 285/40x17. Now after putting them on, I could have gotten 305/40's and still had lots of room. But i have those big flares too.

mrvette
09-27-2008, 01:33 PM
I like to keep the wheel/tire centerline the same as stock to keep loading on the hubs down to a minumum, I consider it unsafe to move that centerline over 1/4 inch or so.....drive it on the road with that hub bearing with no purchase on the load for a long distance, I can't see it.....asking a LOT of them bearings....

:shocking: SO, if you running the same centerline, I can see a 9.5 inch wide rim ok, it's what I have....but anything wider and you get into that tire rub on the sway bar or t-arm.....and at that you need move the ebrake bracket...

:search:

turtlevette
10-01-2008, 05:44 AM
The wheels i have will probably interfere with the stock calipers. There is another 17" wheel that fits better....i think. A guy down on the cape restorod79 bought them.

here are mine.

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can't find a picture of his. Maybe someone can give a yell for him and find out.

lsejlowe
10-01-2008, 04:49 PM
The wheels i have will probably interfere with the stock calipers.

damn, I was hoping that wasn't the case. What calipers are you running? Did you use a spacer with those Cragar's or did you just bolt them right up? Is Restorod79 a member on here I take it?

turtlevette
10-01-2008, 06:21 PM
The wheels i have will probably interfere with the stock calipers.

damn, I was hoping that wasn't the case. What calipers are you running? Did you use a spacer with those Cragar's or did you just bolt them right up? Is Restorod79 a member on here I take it?

They bolt right up, but are not hub centric as noted above. I would never use a spacer again.

Being able to fit almost any wheel is a another very good reason to go to Dynalite calipers.

Or get out the hand grinder and clearance the stock caliper.

I did trial fit one of my wheels on the back with the stock caliper and it did not rub. I guess there are differences from car to car.