17" versus 14" tires

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Curious what brand 15" tires you are running. Seems like it isn't hard to find a 15" tire, but if you want one with a modern compound, they are few and far between.

Either way, it comes down to what you want to do with the car. I think much like building a "600 HP motor", we as a community get wrapped up in the idea of something when the reality is if we are realistic with what we build and accept it for what it is, we will be just as happy. If not more. I know I have done that with brakes, no reason I need 14.2" rotors and 4 piston Brembo calipers. But I still want them and plan to run them even though it forces me to 18" wheels and tires.
I am running Mastercraft Avenger G/T all around with 255/60R15 on 15x8 out back and 215/65R15 on 15x7 up front and 32 to 34 psi. All wheels are 0 offset wheels. Current issue I’m up against is after a nice drive today I found a squirrelly steering scenario… might be time for aftermarket upper A arms or offset bushings… I never measured my caster after doing home alignment but with +2 rear leafs it can’t be much positive caster if any. It was not terrible but it was under hard braking at lower speeds. Livable and not noticed at high speeds… but I wasn’t about to test it there either lol.
 
Seems to me the most common 17" tire for a Mustang is a 245/45R17. That's what I run, on '97(?) GT wheels. Works well, no rubbing on the fender or suspension. But I am running a Cobra rotor based BBK, so it is like I am running a small spacer, too.
2005 mustang GT stock tire size was 235/55R17, assuming it stayed that way through the end of that generation (2014)
 
2005 mustang GT stock tire size was 235/55R17, assuming it stayed that way through the end of that generation (2014)

Ah, could be. I was thinking late '90s. I know the year wheels I have used a 245/45R17.

Be aware that a 235/55R17 is about 27.2" OD, while my 245/45R17 is 25.7" OD. That's a pretty significant difference in height. I know my tires get close to the middle bolt at the rear of the front wheel opening, can't imagine there being more than 3/4" of clearance on my setup. But maybe it will fit depending on offset and tire alignment. My gut says no, almost certainly if you have less offset than I do (+30mm - 1/4"?), but I haven't tried it.
 
Most of the factory Mustang tire sizes were pretty tall, around 27” for most. Typically if you get a set of Mustang wheels with the tires still on them they’re usable in the back, but too tall for the front.

If you’re running decently wide tires up front going too much past 26” for the height gets problematic. I’ve seen skinny drag race set ups with 27” tall fronts, but they were tucked in away from the fenders. Even with a 235 I think getting close to 27” would be an issue.
 
sorry, but I just have to say it - big wheels with short sidewalls is not a look that I can stomach. In my view, aesthetically, it is just all kinds of wrong on an A-body. In the world of visual transgressions, however, it has one advantage over other sins... it only takes about 20 minutes to get them off the car and there's no permanent damage. 15s would be SOOOO much better.
 
sorry, but I just have to say it - big wheels with short sidewalls is not a look that I can stomach. In my view, aesthetically, it is just all kinds of wrong on an A-body. In the world of visual transgressions, however, it has one advantage over other sins... it only takes about 20 minutes to get them off the car and there's no permanent damage. 15s would be SOOOO much better.
I like the sometimes wider availability of the larger wheel size tires, but the short sidewalls aren’t for me either, and not in West Virginia, with sometimes rough roads and potholes. My 2016 Ram 1500 came with 20” rim stock and I went with a Load range E oversized from factory sized Load range D or whatever and everyone said “don’t do it, it will ride like a truck.“ First of all, it is a truck, and second of all, with more sidewall it actually rides better and now I get more than 20k miles out of a set of tires… win…

On my Duster I settled in on 15” cause I switched to 11” disc brakes and wanted aluminum wheels, and tires with a sidewall. Since then I looked at 16” and 17” stuff just cause I could have them as extra setup, but again, will kill the look of the car… for me anyway, and how my car is setup. now those lowering these cars it works better, but not stock ride height and above like +2 rear leafs.
 
sorry, but I just have to say it - big wheels with short sidewalls is not a look that I can stomach. In my view, aesthetically, it is just all kinds of wrong on an A-body. In the world of visual transgressions, however, it has one advantage over other sins... it only takes about 20 minutes to get them off the car and there's no permanent damage. 15s would be SOOOO much better.

Depends on what you want to do with your car. I for one have multiple looks I like for an A-Body, but they are influenced by how it is used.

I love the look of a set of big and littles, which includes a tire with some sidewall in the back. Much more focused on straight line usage, but drives fine if you don’t try and keep up in the twisties.

I also like a shorter sidewall. In my opinion, makes the car look much more useful. And when you compare available tires between a 15” and a 17” or 18”, you quickly see that while a 15” tire is available, the performance potential is significantly reduced.

Now, I do think defining “short sidewall” is important. I for one can’t stand it when someone runs a narrow tire with a low aspect ratio. Something like a 3” or less sidewall. Combining a narrow tire with a short profile results in the stereotypical rubber band tire. I shoot for more like a 4” sidewall as a general minimum. There needs to be a balance.

And I know that a 275/35R18 can survive on a bad road just fine.

Also, don’t forget that if you want to run a modern sized brake rotor (13” or so) you will have to run a 17” tire to fit over it. But that’s a separate discussion in itself.
 
Ah, could be. I was thinking late '90s. I know the year wheels I have used a 245/45R17.

Be aware that a 235/55R17 is about 27.2" OD, while my 245/45R17 is 25.7" OD. That's a pretty significant difference in height. I know my tires get close to the middle bolt at the rear of the front wheel opening, can't imagine there being more than 3/4" of clearance on my setup. But maybe it will fit depending on offset and tire alignment. My gut says no, almost certainly if you have less offset than I do (+30mm - 1/4"?), but I haven't tried it.

no, I don't think you can fit anything much taller than a 25.5"-26" tire in front without getting really precise with backspace/offset, ride height, and possible mods to the leading edge of the fender. F/M/J's were much roomier in the front in that regard. I was talking about taller options for the rear of the car to better fill out the wheelwell. 235/55R17 is about the same height as a 255/60R15 or 255/50R17...like I said, if I go 17's on mine, I'm leaning towards a 225-235/45R17 in the front, and a 255/50R17 in the back....
 
no, I don't think you can fit anything much taller than a 25.5"-26" tire in front without getting really precise with backspace/offset, ride height, and possible mods to the leading edge of the fender. F/M/J's were much roomier in the front in that regard. I was talking about taller options for the rear of the car to better fill out the wheelwell. 235/55R17 is about the same height as a 255/60R15 or 255/50R17...like I said, if I go 17's on mine, I'm leaning towards a 225-235/45R17 in the front, and a 255/50R17 in the back....

Wow, I must really be focused on the front for some reason. That makes more sense.

Sorry about that.
 
sorry, but I just have to say it - big wheels with short sidewalls is not a look that I can stomach. In my view, aesthetically, it is just all kinds of wrong on an A-body. In the world of visual transgressions, however, it has one advantage over other sins... it only takes about 20 minutes to get them off the car and there's no permanent damage. 15s would be SOOOO much better.
min sidewall IMHO is about 4-4.5" for it to look right. my '11 charger RT's 255/45R20's are 4.5" sidewall. the 255/50R17's I ran on my old 5th ave were 5" sidewall. big issue is lack of selection in 15's anymore. you basically have BFG radial T/A's, cooper cobras, or the mastercraft labeled cobras, and size for size they're more expensive. the tires I'm leaning towards for my duster if I go for 17's (Nitto NT555's in 235/45R17 in the front and 255/50R17 in the back) are $652 from tire rack. if I go with 15's and 215/60R15 in front and 255/60R15 in the rear (for similar overall diameters), it's $796 for radial T/A's.
 
man, that thing looks sharp as hell. i dig it.
RR of the Day: unholy cool 1986 Chrysler 5th Avenue - Autoblog

thanks, sold it 11 years ago when I got my toxic orange charger RT....wish I could have kept all my cars....after this submission, I had pulled the 360 and built up the original 318 short block with magnum heads and a reground factory roller cam by Bullet Cams that had similar .050 duration as the comp XE262 but about .520" lift. performed as well as the 360, but got significantly better mileage.
 
Something else to add to the whole low profile discussion is tire width. Not everyone wants a wider tire, I know. But it is a direction I lean and I know others as well.

As I reflect on that, I realize that this is a bigger factor to my view of the performance direction that a car reflects than just "it has low profile tires". Much like a big tire under the back of a car implies that the car is capable of big acceleration, a big tire under the front of a car implies high lateral g's.

The thing about a wider front tire though, is that on an A-Body, you need to push the tire in to get the additional width, and that requires a bigger wheel to clear the suspension and such, assuming a lower stance is also part of the plan. And stance is part of that implied performance direction.

My last thought on the big wheel and low profile combination is proportions. Personally, I think a 14" wheel looks like a roller skate on an elephant, just too small for the body. I used to think a 15" was a good size proportionally, but that was when 15" wheels were the big wheel available to normal folk and 16" wheel were reserved for the rich crowd. Now I find that in my opinion a 17" or 18" wheel fits the body better. I could see even a 17"/18" or 18"/19" combo front and back on a Duster fitting really well with how the body seems to get bigger at the rear. I don't think a 19" wheel on the front is an option just because the sidewall would have to be too small, and I think a 20" is just goofy looking. But it's all just my opinion.

Like everything, there is a range. And like everything else, not everyone sees or likes it the same. And I am ok with that.

Truth is, I didn't build my car so other people can like it. I built it so I like it.
 
RR of the Day: unholy cool 1986 Chrysler 5th Avenue - Autoblog

thanks, sold it 11 years ago when I got my toxic orange charger RT....wish I could have kept all my cars....after this submission, I had pulled the 360 and built up the original 318 short block with magnum heads and a reground factory roller cam by Bullet Cams that had similar .050 duration as the comp XE262 but about .520" lift. performed as well as the 360, but got significantly better mileage.

Very cool!
 
RR of the Day: unholy cool 1986 Chrysler 5th Avenue - Autoblog

thanks, sold it 11 years ago when I got my toxic orange charger RT....wish I could have kept all my cars....after this submission, I had pulled the 360 and built up the original 318 short block with magnum heads and a reground factory roller cam by Bullet Cams that had similar .050 duration as the comp XE262 but about .520" lift. performed as well as the 360, but got significantly better mileage.

Hmm...I got a cam reground by Bullet and it has .520" lift. I put it in the 360 in my Duster with Hughes retrofit roller lifters. I wonder if we ended up with the same cam.
 
When I bought my car the previous owner had already installed big Wilwood brakes and 18" wheels. I immediately started researching a 15" wheel I liked but that would also include removing the Wilwood brakes. Three years later and now I prefer the look of either 17" or 18" wheels as I've grown to like the pro touring look. But it's certainly not for everyone.
IMG_1719.jpg
 
Hmm...I got a cam reground by Bullet and it has .520" lift. I put it in the 360 in my Duster with Hughes retrofit roller lifters. I wonder if we ended up with the same cam.
had to go back onto dippy.org to look at my old posts to remember what I had for a cam. pretty sure I used their HR259/316 lobe on the intake (259 adv duration, 208@.050", 127@.2" .316" lobe lift for .506 with magnum rockers) and I think the HR265/320 (265 adv/212@.050", 131@.2", .32 lobe lift/.512 with magnum rockers) ground on the factory cam's 112 LSA, installed at like 106-108....man that was a nice running and peppy motor. idled nice at 800 RPM with like 15+" vaccuum, pulled great to 5500+....
 
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When I bought my car the previous owner had already installed big Wilwood brakes and 18" wheels. I immediately started researching a 15" wheel I liked but that would also include removing the Wilwood brakes. Three years later and now I prefer the look of either 17" or 18" wheels as I've grown to like the pro touring look. But it's certainly not for everyone.
View attachment 1716156394
sharp car, but 18's with 26" tall tires are starting to get a little "rubber bandy" look to me...looks like you're at your limit of clearance at the front edge of the wheelwell in the front, rear could use a little more sidewall
 
had to go back onto dippy.org to look at my old posts to remember what I had for a cam. pretty sure I used their HR259/316 lobe on the intake (259 adv duration, 208@.050", 127@.2" .316" lobe lift for .506 with magnum rockers) and I think the HR265/320 (265 adv/212@.050", 131@.2", .32 lobe lift/.512 with magnum rockers) ground on the factory cam's 112 LSA, installed at like 106-108....man that was a nice running and peppy motor. idled nice at 800 RPM with like 15+" vaccuum, pulled great to 5500+....

Finally remembered to dig out my cam info and compare. Looks like they are close but not the same.

Bullet Cams ground a HR262/267 on my cam

Duration @ 0.050: I/E 206*/210*
Lobe separation angle: 111*
Lift @ cam: I/E 0.323"/0.325"

Valve lift w/ 1.6 rockers: I/E 0.517”/0.520”

Runs good, so much better than the OEM cam I had in it. Very happy with it.
 
You need to be honest with yourself with the intended usage of the car. After that, look at tire size and type in both (or all) sizes you are considering. Lastly, choose the wheel. Also remember that "great handling" is subjective. Sure a 15" wheel with some 1.03" bars and decent shocks will feel great when compared to stock, but that isn't anywhere near the potential. This all gets back to being honest with yourself.
 
Darts and demons can clear a tall tire on the front than a duster..I tried my dads 17x8 5.5bs with 255/45r17 on my duster..They will only clear the bottom of the front fender by 1/8 or less…Is anyone running a 225/45r17 on the front ?
 
Darts and demons can clear a tall tire on the front than a duster..I tried my dads 17x8 5.5bs with 255/45r17 on my duster..They will only clear the bottom of the front fender by 1/8 or less…Is anyone running a 225/45r17 on the front ?
good to know, I was looking at 225 or 235 45R17's as an option for my duster...the 235 should give an additional 3/8" clearance, the 225 about 1/2" additional clearance by the math just on height alone
 
That’s what I came up with too..I’m thinking 225/45 for the front….little shorter and narrower should give me enough clearance I hope
 
Darts and demons can clear a tall tire on the front than a duster..I tried my dads 17x8 5.5bs with 255/45r17 on my duster..They will only clear the bottom of the front fender by 1/8 or less…Is anyone running a 225/45r17 on the front ?

That's not good information. It depends on the year of the Dart and Demon.

'67-71 Dart fenders pretty much have the same exact clearance to the lower front corner as a Duster does. I have run 275/35/18's on the front of my Duster with both Duster and '71 Dart front fenders, the clearance was pretty much the same for both.

At some point in 1972 the front lower section of the Dart fenders became narrower by about 1", which gives more clearance at the lower front corner than a Duster would have. I don't know exactly when, but I have a '72 Dart fender that has a longer wheel opening than the '71 Dart fenders I'm using on my Duster. The AMD reproductions match the later fenders with the wider opening.

The rear corner of the wheel opening is of course is more limiting on a Duster, but in my experience the front lower corner is the bigger issue. And yeah, that's the same Duster or Dart if the Dart fenders are '67-71 at least.


img_5264b_zps4c31ed25-jpg.jpg


img_9947-copy-jpeg.jpg
 
Darts and demons can clear a tall tire on the front than a duster..I tried my dads 17x8 5.5bs with 255/45r17 on my duster..They will only clear the bottom of the front fender by 1/8 or less…Is anyone running a 225/45r17 on the front ?
While not exactly running 225/45R17 in the front of my Duster.
I am running a little taller 225/50R17's with hardly any rubbing on a 17X7 front tire with 4.25 inch backspace. (for now, I do plan on putting 245/45R17's with 17X8's in the front in the near future).
Also note that in this picture, this was taken right after lowering the jack on the front of my car, so the front sat just a titch higher than normal.

IMG_20210519_193706549.jpg
 
This is the 255/45r17..17x8 w/5.5 bs..so tell me why these wheels rub on the bottom of the front fender..and these same wheels clear with no problems on a
72 demon..I have never heard on 71 and 72 front demon fenders being different except the side marker lights..I’ll have to check out my 71 demon parts car and compare to my dads 72 demon

IMG_6169.jpeg
 
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