Exactly What Wheels & Tires Fit C Bodies?

amazinblue82

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We'll see if this thread has legs. i know, I know. Some members do not like this topic.

My humble thought is some people who love C's too have honest questions and come here for help. Or, they have struggled by trial and error, got it to work, and wanna help somebody else out. Plus somebody debating fixing up a C, maybe they see something they wanna try. Might just save a C or two from oblivion.

There are dozens of questions a month -- What wheels and tires can fit my C-body?

The forum has hundreds of posts on this, sprinkled among thousands of threads. This will always be true .. still maybe we have a thread where a lot that stuff is memorialized in one place?

If any of you folks can help (like we crowd-sourced the "what is a C Body" spreadsheet that we did a few years back), we can put this information in one thread -- for anybody interested.

"Rules" (please and thank you) to help it be useful:

1. Picture of C-Body with wheels/tires - this is kinda the whole point :)
2. Wheel size (diameter & width), and backspacing
3. Tire size, e.g., metric radial, old-style alpha numeric radial, bias ply
4. Be Accurate: may be your car, maybe something you found on internet
5. Known issues, e.g., interference with suspension parts, body parts, etc
6. Known adaptations, e.g, needed air shocks, special lug nuts, spacers, etc

I am going to go through the site search function and try to find stuff already posted .. appreciate anybody's help with that -- stuff you posted, saw somewhere.

Also, I own a few C's, as a many of you do, where we have used different OEM and aftermarket wheel/tire combinations/sizes that were not on the car from the factory.

Thanks for your participation. Hope we can make it interesting. I will make a chart and update with examples of what seems to work and what doesnt.

I'll start with one of mine. 1971 Newport, 235/70R-15 tires, 15x8 wheels with 4.0 inch backspacing. Stock front disk/rear drum. No interference, no adaptations.

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amazinblue82

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Wheels
Just posting this for anyone interested in buying aftermarket wheels. I know wheel size is beat to death, but still have to look hard for info. Hope this helps anyone who is interested in wider tires and a different look than stock. I included the stock tire pics and the new ones. The new ones are 18 inch rims, 4.5 offset and 8.5 inches wide. no clearance or rubbing issues.

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amazinblue82

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Wheelswheelswheels

My 68 Sport Fury is stock so I don't need a lot of rubber out back for traction. My car is a cruiser with the stock 383 4bbl running through a 727 to an 8.75 Sure Grip with highway gears. My car came from the factory with 14" Magnums and power drums all around but an upgrade to 73 Chrysler discs up front was done 3 years ago. This also necessitated a move up in rim size. I initially thought to go with a set of reproduction 15" Magnums but I was surprised and disappointed to find the cost was pretty high and tire selection very limited. My Mopar friends pointed me to the American Racing VN501s that look like the Magnums but come in modern wheel sizes with different widths. Again, my car does not need a lot of rubber for traction so I was not looking to put the biggest tires possible under it. I went with the VN501s in 17x7 and I am very happy with them. I could easily fit 8" out back and possibly larger, but don't need to. Also, my car does not have skirts. My tires are a set of BF Goodrich g-force comp-2 and the size is 235/55ZR17. This combo was far cheaper than what I was originally considering, plus it looks great and handles great. The only downside is a slightly harsher ride when you run the air pressure up above 40psi, which is common as you increase the wheel size and reduce the sidewall.

another good example to learn from, but again maybe owner will chime in with backspacing.

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amazinblue82

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Tangent. Let me interject a teachiing tool (there are lots of calculators out there).

this is a little spammy looking, though i am sure its a fine site, so I will put a screen shot up first

Tire Size Calculator

Helps you plan a conversion, take measurements, judge speedo effects, do all sorts "what ifs", etc, before you throw some money at a switch of hardware/meats.

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amazinblue82

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The Flyin' (Flying) Whale ('66 300) Hits the streets again!
The tires are BFG Radials, 265/50R-16 in the front, and 295/50R16 in the rear. The rims are custom steel rallies, 9" wide in the front, 10" rear, with stainless steel trim rings and center caps made from original 300 spinner hubcaps

The Old Man and the Sea -- as built 2005, heavily modified, to get a 10 inch rim in back with a big fat tire required the leaf springs to be moved inboard 1/2 inch.

So under stock configuratioin, a 10-inch wheel, and any tire that would fit it, probably would not work on a slabbie out back. Might be able to get a nine-inch wheel in front

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All that was 15 years ago. When she came up for air over a decade later under new ownership, she got updated wheels/tires

The wheels are American Racing VN501's, 17 x 8 in the front with 255R/50/17 and 17 x 9 in the rear with 275R/50/17 in the rear.

Backspacing not listed, but given clearances for the original 16x9 and 10's, no doubt 17x8 & 9 AR 501's will fit with no issues

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amazinblue82

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another one of mine. 1975 Gran Fury, 235/70R-15. TT-II's. 15x8, 4.5 inch backspacing. Front Disc/Rear Drum, no interferences, no adaptations.

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amazinblue82

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New shoes for the Burbie...
Well, by popular (= 3 or more people) demand; one pic of the Burbie showing both the rear and front wheels. Fronts are factory 15x7 police wheels with standard backspacing, 225/70 tires. The 15x10 ones have 5.5" backspacing.

earlier, OP called out the rear tires as 285/70-15s. No word on any mods or interference.

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amazinblue82

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Drive line upgrade

275/60-15's on 15x8 with 4" backspace. I had to trim about a 1/4".
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I believe OP is speaking only about the rears. the adaptation was to shave a hair off inner wheel opening -- might mean a little more offset than 4.0 might have worked with that tire/wheel combo?

On a fusie, I personally have never gotten a 295/50 on the back with a 10 in wheel, did get a 275/60 with 10 inch wheel (usually not recommended) and 5.0 bsp to work but could not get palm of my hand between tire and inner wheel opening lip - my "Rube Goldberg" test for biggest- tire-out-back question for fusie

I cannot see any 10 inch tire in back on a slabbie without mods to suspension or sheet metal. Never tried a 10 inch wheel out back on a formal but also cannot see it without mods of some sort.

Havent seen
a success on a 10 inch width wheel on slabs/formals yet in combing a couple hundred threads here. Anybody get that to work without mods?
 
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amazinblue82

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Now that’s awesome... I’d love to see those in person on a Polara or the like.

i am with you brother.

on my 69 383-4V Monaco (in resto) , i'd do 17x8 tires in front, with 17x9 in back, 4.5 in bsp., Z-rated 255/50-17 front and 275/50-17 in back, and i am off an running.

some folks see it different ... @polara71 was diggin' the wheel e ngineering but not quite feelin' it on a car :poke: (just havin fun with ya Dave)
 

amazinblue82

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PROGRESS REPORT:

Looked at over 300 posts so far. I figure a sample size of 500 posts will be enough to draw statistical inferences. Lotsa tires/sizes/bksp without the pic. tons of pics without the size. Avante!

BUT, still some common observations, when combining pics and words for C's, and without permanent modifications:, are coming into view
  • Backspacing between 4.0 and 5.0 appears most often
  • 10 inch wide wheels do not tend to work on any C without mods for clearances
  • 14 inch to 17 inch diameter wheels are used more often
  • 25 inch to 29 inch diameter tires seem to work best
  • Tire widths (uninflated) wider than 11 inches rarely show up
Seems like the wheel/tire combo "envelope" -- again without permanent mods so stock spec is easy to get back too -- is inside the inherent vehicle design parameters above.

Again, if somebody has experience, without modifications, outside this envelope, please chime in with photos and details.

DISCLAIMERS: Hope its obvious, but I'll say it anyway. Do your homework before considering deviating from an OEM combo.
  • The car got designed, tested, driven literally billions of miles with a certain tire/wheel spec. Same is true (though maybe millions of miles) for other tire/wheel combos in the "envelop".
  • Respectful suggestions: Plan any switch before you speed money and do not mix tires and wheels not designed to go together (e.g. 15x10 wheel on a 255/60 tire - that's just plain dangerous)
 
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