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16" Wheels


Is anybody running 16" wheels on their Poncho? I have a 1961 Strato Chief, looking at running 16x7 up front and 16x8 in the rear. Stock suspension / drivetrain. Any experienced tips to pass along? Back spacing? Tire size? Etc?

Thanks!!



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Jay, is there anything any of us can do to talk you out of doing this. These vintage cars look really silly with those size wheels. When i say "silly", i am restraining myself and being very polite. Cheers. George



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long stroke wrote:

Jay, is there anything any of us can do to talk you out of doing this. These vintage cars look really silly with those size wheels. When i say "silly", i am restraining myself and being very polite. Cheers. George


 I'm definitely open to other sizes. I just purchased the car and it came with 14" Olds Cutlass rallys from the mid '80s. Definitely looks wrong on the car. I was really interested in going with a larger wheel as I think the 14s in any style look odd on a larger car in my opinion. I'm not a chrome guy at all, I was hoping to go with smoothie steel wheels painted with the chrome cap.



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yup, stick with 14 or 15" wheels



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16


IMHO, 16's are not too bad, 14's are getting really hard to find any variety, I have 15's myself. The low profile sidewall is what I don't like the look of on these cars, but lots of people do. I like big rubber, but not a big rim.

Its the backspacing that is most crucial when going to a larger rim and tire, especially on the front, you can use 4- 4.75 depending on the tire. Check the rims you have now and see what you think will happen if you add 1/2 inch on the outside diameter. What size tire do you want to run? Will you run the exhaust over the frame or in front of the tire.

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16" Wheels


I run 16's on my 66 Beaumont and I agree with DonSSDD.

I find 16's reduce sidewall flex in cornering and firm up the handling very well, but they still have enough sidewall to absorb some of the bumps. 17 inch wheels and larger wheels, fitted with "car" tires (60 or lower profile series), can be really harsh. Every crack and pebble on the road sends a shock wave through the car. These old cars relied on tall sidewalls to absorb those sharp bumps in the road. Taller than 17" wheel-tire combo's start to take on that rubber band tire look, which I don't personally like on older cars. Everyone has there own opinions, and ride quality and looks will be very much a matter of personal taste.

I've never measured up a '61 Strato Chief, but for my Beaumont, I found Zero Offset was ideal. That means 4 inch backspacing on 7" wheels, and 4.5 inch backspacing on 8 inch wheels. I have often wondered why many stock GM 8 inch wheels actually used a lower backspacing (3-3/4 inch if I remember correctly). Put a set of 275/60R15's on 8" Corvette rally wheels, and you'll likely be rubbing the inside of the fender well - at least in corners, or backing out of a driveway. From my measurements, I could easily fit a set of 16x10 inch wheels on the rear of my Beaumont with no rubbing, inside or out. 15x10 inch wheels with zero offset (5.5 inch BS) would likely touch the bottom shock bolt, and many people grind a little off the shock bolt & bracket for clearance. The 16 and taller wheels clear the shock bolt, so no rubbing.

BUT
Unfortunately, 16 inch wheels are getting rare, and 16 inch tire availability is shrinking. Try finding a 16 inch tire with less than 60 series profile with a tread width wider than 255... 275 50R16's and even 295 50R16's were available a few years ago, but now they're only available in DOT racing tires. Even the selection of 255 50R16's is getting smaller and smaller. I'm considering going to 275 60R16's on the rear of my car. They're tall tires, generally intended for SUV's, but I'm thinking they might look pretty good under my car... Personal opinion I know, but I think they might give the car the big rear tire look of a "muscle" car. They are 29 inches tall, which should really fill the wheel well.

As I said, I've never measured up a Strato Chief, but I suspect they too would be best with Zero offset. When I bought the 16's for my car, there were lots of tire options and they were a good compromise between good handling and harsh ride. Now, depending on what tires you want (tonnes of 225 60R16's and 245 50R16's available, but anything wider is getting scarce) you may want to stick with 15's, or if you like the tall wheel look and can live with a harsher ride, go with 17's or taller. To my eye, the 225 50R16's verge on looking like rubber band tires. 245 50R16's have enough sidewall that they look more 'normal'.

The tall wheels can look good, but ride height has to be just right, and that typically means a lower car, and I'd be considering airbags so you dial in the ride height.



-- Edited by 66 Beau on Friday 16th of September 2016 09:21:11 AM

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Lots of 15 inch available     stick with  BFG  in 70 series 



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16


If you need a set of 16" Pontiac rims ,call me if you want them.


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