Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

The Era of The Square Body Racing Comets
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dmeadows
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Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by dmeadows »

Hey gents,

Tax season has paid off and I got the go-ahead from the wife to use some of our refund to go towards a new set of wheels/tires for my Caliente.

Tire/Wheel sizing is not my specialty, so I am a little intimidated at the prospect of figuring it all out.

I am looking to get a set of Cragar SS wheels paired with Radial T/As.

While on ePay, I stumbled across this set:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/331635938999?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Basically 15x6" in the front and 15x7" in the back with matching tires. Price seems a little high compared to other avenues like Summit/Jegs, but they do mount and balance the wheels.

My question is:

Would this MOST LIKELY be a painless swap? Mainly, I want to avoid any form of hillbilly 2x4 mods to my wheel wells. I imagine the speedo gear might need to be changed, but I need to do that anyway. Hell, new wheels might even bring it back within range. :twisted:

Can anyone chime in on how these would fit in a caliente with no wheel well mods? Car currently has stock 14" rims and Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires (not sure on size)
1965 Comet Caliente, 289 V8, 4 speed manual
1963 Comet Custom, 260 V8, 2 speed auto

Lip Ripper
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Lip Ripper »

Dylan, Summit mount's and balances for free too. At least they did. I just asked. And when I got them they were right. I cannot speak about the size for the 65 but there are a bunch of guy's here with them that can size it up for you.

Since Coker gangstered the TA's, prices went up. I just bought a set of Cobra's from discount tire for much less in the same size. I had them flagged on ebay and they sent out a $100 discount if you spent $400. That was a steal on 245/60/r15's paired with 215/65's ($320 shipped). I think discount mount's and balances too but I haven't shopped them for wheel's.

And do a before and after shot of the car.

Stacey
66 Cyclone GT; 245/60R15's on 15x8's and 215/70R15's on 15x7 Magnum's.
There's nothing like the sound of a pushrod V8 singing at the top of her lung's.

ants875
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by ants875 »

I have 215/65/15 front and 235/60/15 rear on 6" and 7" rims. They fit fine, though the other day I did have a slight tire rub up fron when I hit a bump with a passenger in the car. I know I need realign the front end, it has settled a lot since I did the springs.

Ant
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Rocket989
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Rocket989 »

Those are weird backspacing numbers, but I haven't looked at Cragar stuff for awhile. IMO, a 225 in the back with 4 1/8" backspacing will be TIGHT; you REALLY want 4.5"… Your best bet is to get the measurements of your existing tires and backspacing of existing rims, and start measuring!! All you need is a tape measure and a notepad for the math.

Tough part is, space can (and often does) vary from car to car. Offset of the rear end (and/ or any fore-aft bias) spring wear on front and/ or rear, etc.

I agree with Stacey…the price on BFG's has gone up…notably! I think Cooper reduced the number of sizes in the Cobra line, but if you can find what you want they'll likely cost less.
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Boss/Cyclone »

I prefer the direct drill Cragar 61C wheel to those unilug rims in the eBay listing. Pricing is about the same without the headaches.
1965 Mercury Cyclone former drag car, 1971 Boss 351 engine, 4 speed, ladder bars.
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dmeadows
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by dmeadows »

Thanks for the info about BFG. I am just looking for a classic feel (quality tires with white letters), so Cooper Cobras are fine with me.

My comet is in storage right now so I can't really check the backspacing at the moment, but it looks like I have some good info to go on for the moment.

I didn't see any SS wheels on Summit in 4.5" backspacing. Best they had was 4.25". In that case, would it be better to go with 205s all around?

Once I bust the comet out of storage, I'll grab some specs and measurements.

Thanks for all the help!
1965 Comet Caliente, 289 V8, 4 speed manual
1963 Comet Custom, 260 V8, 2 speed auto

Rocket989
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Rocket989 »

A 215 will probably fit (rear) w/ 4.25" of back spacing. You can order custom BS from most name wheel companies but it's typically big $$!!
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Jims65cyclone
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Jims65cyclone »

I'm about to pull the trigger on a set of wheels and tires for my 65 Cyclone. Like Rocket said, I did a lot of measuring, and I'm pretty confident the combo I've settled on will work. First of all, I used this website to compare tire diameters and widths relative to the 205/75/14's I have all around now:
https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?ti ... -215-65r15
Second, I measured the rim width and BS on the 69 Mach 1 wheels I have now: 7"Wx4"BS.
Then I got under the car with a straight-edge and a ruler and started measuring. I put the straight-edge against the sidewall of the tire and measured to the nearest obstructions. On the rear, the clearance from the sidewall to the frame bumper was 1". From the sidewall to the fender lip was 1.75". On the front, the sidewall to UCA was 0.5".
The wheels I want to use are Torq-Thrust II's, 15x7x3.75"BS. The width is the same as my current wheels, but the 3.75" BS means they will sit 0.25" farther outboard. That's good for the rear frame bumper and UCA clearance, bad for the fender lip clearance.
The tires I want to use are 215/65/15's on the front and 235/60/15's on the back. Per the above website, these tires are 0.11" and 0.01" smaller in diameter, respectively, than my current tires, so diameter clearance is not an issue.
Then I used the tire widths, per the website, compared to my current tires (which were actually 0.18" wider than the spec of 8.07" since they were mounted on 7" rims instead of 5.5" rims, which is standard for 205's). Using those measurements and the 0.25" less BS of the new vs. the old wheels, I come up with the following clearances:
Rear sidewall to frame bumper: 0.75" Rear sidewall to fender lip: 1.0"
Front sidewall to UCA: 0.65"
Based on that, I'm concluding I can fit 235/60/15's on the rear and 215/65/15's on the front with 15x7x3.75BS TT's all around. If anyone sees a fatal flaw in my logic (Rocket?) please let me know before I jump in with both feet. :shock:
Jim
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dmeadows
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by dmeadows »

Jims65cyclone wrote:If anyone sees a fatal flaw in my logic (Rocket?) please let me know before I jump in with both feet. :shock:
Jim
Well, your logic checks out with me! Well said!
1965 Comet Caliente, 289 V8, 4 speed manual
1963 Comet Custom, 260 V8, 2 speed auto

Rocket989
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Rocket989 »

Jim - Mighty dang close and mine might be wrong: the 235x60 is listed as 9.5" Section Width…so 1.25" wider than your current tire setup + losing 1/4" backspacing. That's +5/8" either side of the rim +1/4" = 7/8". On the fender side that'd be 7/8" closer, so take that away from your current 1.75" clearance and ya get 7/8" clearance with your new setup…I think… :mrgreen:

I'm amazed either way…7/8" to 1" w/ a 235 and 3.75" BS is really good.…no way I've got that much clearance! I swear all you guys are running Maverick rears! Next time you have the the car up in the air and rims off, measure that rear end (the Comets, not yours!!!)! :shock: :D :) :) :mrgreen:

Only other things to check might be: Rear: If you didn't, sidewall to outer wheelhouse clearance. When I did mine, it looked like anything around 26.5 and up would warrant more careful measurements. At my 25.3 I didn't pay that much attn. Front: Fender clearance at full turn! Mine was tighter than I want but the car sits foolishly low right now and that'll be corrected!

Best o' luck and looking forward to pics with the new shoes!! Though the '69 Mach wheels are cool!
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Jims65cyclone »

Rocket989 wrote:Jim - Mighty dang close and mine might be wrong: the 235x60 is listed as 9.5" Section Width…so 1.25" wider than your current tire setup + losing 1/4" backspacing. That's +5/8" either side of the rim +1/4" = 7/8". On the fender side that'd be 7/8" closer, so take that away from your current 1.75" clearance and ya get 7/8" clearance with your new setup…I think… :mrgreen:
The 235/60's have a 9.25" section, not 9.5", so that's where our 1/8" difference comes from. But, whichever section you choose, your math and mine agree, so that makes me feel better. :D
Rocket989 wrote:I'm amazed either way…7/8" to 1" w/ a 235 and 3.75" BS is really good.…no way I've got that much clearance! I swear all you guys are running Maverick rears! Next time you have the the car up in the air and rims off, measure that rear end (the Comets, not yours!!!)! :shock: :D :) :) :mrgreen:
I'm pretty sure my rear has gotten wider, but as far as I know, the Comet has the stock 8", 3.0 that it was born with. What should the measurement of a stock rear axle be? I'll check it when I take the wheels off.
Rocket989 wrote:Only other things to check might be: Rear: If you didn't, sidewall to outer wheelhouse clearance. When I did mine, it looked like anything around 26.5 and up would warrant more careful measurements. At my 25.3 I didn't pay that much attn. Front: Fender clearance at full turn! Mine was tighter than I want but the car sits foolishly low right now and that'll be corrected!
I hadn't considered those issues, so I headed back under the car. For the new rear tires to scrub the outer wheelhouse wall, the tires would have to travel 8" vertically up into the wheelhouse, which is about the same as the distance between the frame bumper and axle. I'm not planning any Dukes of Hazard stunts, so I think I'll be OK there. When the front wheels are turned to the stop, the outside edge of the tread clears the floorboard at the back of the fender well by about an inch. The 215's would add about 0.18" to the tread width on each side of the tire, but they're also 0.11" smaller in diameter, so I think it will almost be a wash.
Thanks, Rocket, for validating my math logic, and for pointing out those other issues I hadn't thought to check. And, Stacey, you're right. The best tire values I've found on the net are the Coopers at http://www.discounttiredirect.com/.

Jim
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Rocket989 »

Good deal! The stock rear is 58" WMS to WMS. I think 3/4 to an inch in back is sufficient. IIRC (don't have the notes in front of me) I had about an inch with 195x70R14's on 14x6 rims with 3.5" BS...WITH the fender lips rolled!! I checked both sides since they can vary and best I could tell it was close, but there is a wee offset (have to find those sticky notes I was scribbling on at the time).

My hope was to be able to fit a 26x9 drag radial...probably just once (OK, maybe twice or so) to give the brothers 'Stang a run (his OFF the bottle!) but that's not really what I'm building the car for. My "road race on the cheap" suspension setup ain't gonna launch like a later 'Stang made to plant the hindquarters! :mrgreen: Guess I gotta try to out drive him then! :D :D :lol:
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Cyclone Pilot »

I just changed tires and rims on my 65 Cyclone last month. I got four 15x7 inch Cragar ss rims, with 4 and 1/8 inch back spacing.
225 60r 15 in back, and 215 65r 15 in front. Uniroyal Tiger paws, Black sidewalls.
I have about 3/8 inch clearance in the back between the tire and wheel well.
No rubbing in turns, I tried.
Should be a painless swap.
I got the front end lined up and it drives great!
Good luck.

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dmeadows
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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by dmeadows »

Cyclone Pilot wrote: I tried.
Should be a painless swap.
I got the front end lined up and it drives great!
Good luck.
Thanks for the info! Gathering from what I am seeing in this thread, I think I have what I need to start the process. I am going to take some measurements from my current setup to be sure and then its down to business.

I'll post before/after photos to be sure.
1965 Comet Caliente, 289 V8, 4 speed manual
1963 Comet Custom, 260 V8, 2 speed auto

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Re: Painless Wheel/Tire Upgrade?

Post by Jims65cyclone »

Well....I've jumped in up to my neck. :shock: My 215/65/15 and 235/60/15 Cooper Cobras arrived today. My 15x7x3.75BS Torq Thrust IIs are supposed to be here tomorrow. I hope to get them mounted this weekend, and we'll find out if theory and reality agree. :roll: I sure hope so.
Jim
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