From 14x6 rims to 15x6 on a 1966 New Yorker

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. FredNY66

    FredNY66 New Member

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    Hi,

    As the tires on my '66 New Yorker simply gave up after many years of service, and that the current size isn't available anymore (225/75R14), I'm switching to 15" rims with 225/75R15. That would be a bigger overall diameter compared to the 14", but closer to the original 855x14 the car had when new. And since the speedometer is rather optimistic today, so fewer revs per mile won't do any harm. And 15" tires are a lot more available... and affordable. And I do have an excellent set of 15" disc brakes hubcaps (bought thanks to this forum!). I could go with 215/75R15 as well. I think however that the C-bodies look better with larger tires than narrower (perfect recent example seen: For Sale - 1966 Disc Brake Wheelcovers Chrysler Dodge Hubcaps - just replace that car's color by Crystal Blue :) ).

    I've looked to the marketplace, it seems there is a number of OEM rims (US Wheels, Wheel Vintiques, Coker...) with the Mopar look in 15x6 with 3.75" backspace (the measure on my 14" shows 4.00" backspace, so that's rather close too). Only the center bore seems to be different between my current 14" rims and the OEM 15" (slightly bigger on the 15"). By reading a few messages on this forum, it seems rather "plug and play" as a conversion without any trouble to be expected, since it is a moderate upgrade in size.

    Does my thinking sound right? Am I doing any fundamental mistake?

    However, since I still prefer original parts, how difficult would it be to find original 15x6 rims? (not to mention shipment costs, probably prohibitive). Just exploring that option, to make up my mind...

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ripinator

    Ripinator Senior Member

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    The only suggestion I would make is that you should go all the way and look for a set of 15" X 7" rims for this upgrade. I would also recommend that you get a set of 235 X 75 X 15 white wall tires to complete the package. Cooper TrendSetters are a good and inexpensive tire that looks very close to period-correct. I just did this upgrade on my '66 300 convertible - including the aforementioned disc brake wheel covers, and it looks great.
     
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  3. BigblueC

    BigblueC Senior Member

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    Unless you are looking for a specialty/optional wheel I suggest avoiding old/original steel wheels. My thinking on that is wheels tend to take a pounding over the years so a bent wheel is likely. In addition to that, rust has had time to eat at the metal. Obviously some times it's just surface and no big deal. But as cheap as new steel wheels are, I don't see any reason to pay for old steel wheels that you likely have to clean/straighten/sand/paint.
     
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  4. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    My 67 Polara was equipped with 855 x 14 tires originally. I faced the same issue, large enough 14" WW tires are no longer available. I located a set of 15 X 7 steel rims from a Aspen/Diplomat, had them powder coated and installed a set of 235X75X15 Cooper Trendsetter white walls. (As ripinator suggested). The diameter of the coopers is very close to the diameter of the original 855X14's.
    I got a set of four, online, for under $300.00 delivered.

    One thing to consider. Original era wheels are much lighter than the Aspen/Diplomat wheels. Radial tires apply more side load to the rim then the original bias tires, causing "rim flex" which can result in wheel covers coming off.


    DSC05056.JPG

    I'm working on the correct 15" wheel covers now, I have two nice ones, need two more. I do have a nice, full set, of 69/70 wheel covers to use for now.
     
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  5. The Goose

    The Goose Senior Member

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    All of the above is correct information. Couple things to consider are:

    You using hub covers or full wheel covers ?

    Is now the time to go to mag 500s ?

    You east or west coast (or up north)???

    The first two questions are just food for thought. The last is in regards to cheep old wheels. If your west coast or southwest a day of yard scrounging can get you a good set for as low as $20. $5 to $10 per is about right where I am. Just a thought. You are definitely making the right move in upsizing.

    Good Luck w the Hunt !!!

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  6. FredNY66

    FredNY66 New Member

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    Thank you very much for your valuable advice! :thankyou:

    So 15x7 it is! :)

    @ bluefury361: I do indeed hear my hubcaps clicking, and depending on the stress on the wheels (like a roundabout, we have plenty of those here), the click is stronger. Once, the front right hubcap just popped off.

    @ The Goose: I will run with the full disc brake hubcaps. I would love to go hunting for wheels, but here in France, chances to find a location with Mopar rims are just zero. So either a set of recent Aspen/Diplomat, or simply new ones. I'll likely import new ones from the US or via Germany (there are at least 2 shops that I found that sell new sets). Around 175€ the rim. That hurts a little bit though...:(

    @ BigBlueC: thank you for the advice!

    @ Ripinator: would you have a picture, or a link to a picture of your 300 with the 15" setup?:thankyou:

    As to tire size, I will go with what I can find: either 235 or 225. Choice is limited here, and availability rather random. Brand is likely to be Maxxis.

    Again, thanks for all the inputs!!
     
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  7. Ripinator

    Ripinator Senior Member

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    Fred: I have a photo on my home computer, and I'll try and get it up later this evening. Rip
     
  8. 413

    413 Well-Known Member

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    Here is a 15x6 wheel with a 225/75R15. Looks great.

    A 7” wide wheel is too wide for a 75 series tire, plus they are bit heavier.

    C6ED6B59-A595-4D3C-A963-3F8424C1AFE6.jpeg

    34ED6553-BEA7-4A87-AE41-8347AED9647B.jpeg
     
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  9. Ripinator

    Ripinator Senior Member

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  10. Ripinator

    Ripinator Senior Member

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    Fred:

    Here are a couple of pictures I took of my car after installing the 15 X 7 wheels and 235/75-15 tires:

    IMG_20190907_163929231.jpg
    IMG_20190623_130401431_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20190623_130421321_HDR.jpg
     
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  11. pomonamissel

    pomonamissel Senior Member

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    from 14x6 to 15x8 with 275/60's , skits needed some mods t lock in place . 05170010.jpg 05170012.jpg 05170013.jpg 05170014.jpg
     
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  12. twostick

    twostick Senior Member

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  13. The Goose

    The Goose Senior Member

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    Wow that is one sharp lookin wagon!
     
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  14. The Goose

    The Goose Senior Member

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    I run 235 70 15 on my factory 15x6 inch wheels. And I do mean RUN, it’s all canyon up here but I’m not an idiot so they do just fine. Sorry I’ll never be a white wall guy. Maybe on an Imperial someday if I get lucky but not on my other stuff.

    My dad did me and my brother a huge favor one time and took our 1970 383 pistol grip 4 speed air grabber Roadrunner to work when his car wouldn’t start. He came home late and said go check out your ride I put new tires on it for you!!!! We ran outside and there it sat on 4 white wall tires.

    Thanks Dad !!!

    We painted them black by the end of the week...

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    You can see from the road pics that the car rides well & tires clear but also FILL UP the wheel wells. I think taller is more important than wider for the correct look.
     
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  15. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    The factory disc brake tire size for '66 was 8.45x15. Convert that to metric and it comes out to be 215. FWIW. I do like the -8.55 equivalent section width on the tires, 14" or 15", but feel that there's no real need for the P235/75R-15 size, personally, as that's the old L78x15 size. Just me.

    I have a set of Magnum GT 15x7s on my '80 Newport with P215/75R-15 white wall tires. The wider rim make the sidewall more vertical than bulged, which increases steering response without hurting the ride enough to worry about.

    Bad thing is that even the 15" sizes are getting harder to come by, in non-repro (i.e., normal)) tires. Much better to pay $80/tire than $200+/tire for repros, unless that's what you want to do.

    The salvage yard idea is a good one, IF you are close enough to one that has older Mopar stuff in it.

    Used aluminum wheels would be needed to be checked for hairline cracks and such, possibly, just to be sure they were not hiding something.

    Your car, your money, your desires.
    Enjoy!
    CBOD)Y67
     
  16. FredNY66

    FredNY66 New Member

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    Thank you very much everyone for the detailed technical information and the pictures! A pic is worth a thousand words. Now I can make a final decision. Either 15x7 with 235/75R15 or 15x6 with 225/75R15. These tire sizes with the narrow whitewall are around 80-100€ here. Much cheaper than the original 855x14 at 335€ :wideyed: (new tire + new rim = less than the bias ply).

    I'll post pictures once the swap is complete. Xmas is going to be expensive this year :)
     
  17. FredNY66

    FredNY66 New Member

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    I finally went with 15x6, 225/75R15. I haven't done a picture of the full car with the new tires and hubcaps, but that will come soon.

    In the meantime, I've made a couple pictures showing the three sizes (original, 14" radial, 15" radial) and the height difference. As mentioned by cbody67, the 225/75R14 was the exact replacement for the original 855x14. Next to each other, they have the same height. The 15" is obviously 1 inch taller. On the car, with the disc brake hubcaps, it looks good.

    The first picture, from left to right: the new 15" (Maxxis, only tire I could find here with the narrow whitewall), the outdated 14" (DOT code ends with 3 digits, therefore it was a pre-2000 tire, so most probably 1995: 25 years), and the original spare, that I am keeping in the garage.

    Tires2.jpg

    The second picture: tires aligned on one edge, to see the height diffrence. 225/75R14 are exact match for 855x14. Too bad they don't exist anymore.

    Tires1.jpg

    And... the bonus picture : I know now that the 4 tires I had cost 49.95$ each with mounting and balancing, as the receipt was in the rear right tire.... That was an unexpected finding! I'm keeping that as well. It survived thousands of miles over 25 years, no way I can trash it. On its back, hand written, one can read 225...14.

    Ticket2Caisse.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  18. 3175375

    3175375 Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Good work!
     
  19. tallhair

    tallhair Rufus "Mod Hair" Firefly Staff Member

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    Sharp longroof. Love the 500s on it
     
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  20. tallhair

    tallhair Rufus "Mod Hair" Firefly Staff Member

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    Cool story and nice convertible
     
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