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71-74 Javelin maximum tire size fitment

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BayshoreBlues View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun/04/2009 at 11:17pm
Did a search and didn't come up with previous posting that addressed this for the application I am thinking about.  I have a 1972 Javelin that is stock and has 215/70/14 tires on the original rims.  After doing a little research I find that this translates to a tire that has approximately a 26 inch overall diameter.  I am wanting to maintain the speedo/odo gearing, but fill out those big ole fender wells. Still having my old set of American Racing Torque Thrust D's that are 14X7 with 245/60/15's (approx.25.5" wide X 4.25" sidewall height X 9.5" width) on them that once rolled on a '70 Donohue with no real rubbing issues up front, I worked from these two measurements.  Well, I worked from them once I figured out how much 14" tires cost now and it didn't make sense to spend that much for them.  I found that to buy a set of new 16X8 AR Torq Thrust's is quite pricey at about $250 apiece, then add the price of the tires at about $500 for the set w/some road hazrd and this is way more than I wanted to spend.  I then found Coy Wheels C55 in gun metal in a 17X8 with 4.5" backspacing for $125 apiece.  So, taking that as my cue, I started pricing 17 inch tires and lo and behold they can be had rather reasonably nowadays.  Looking at their measurements online at the Tire Rack site (and stopping by my local Sears where they rolled a couple out for me to measure), I found that the 245/24/17 measures 9.6 to 9.8 inches wide, sidewall just under 4.5 inches and overall diameter around 25.7 to just under 26.  Also measured a 235/50/17 at approx 9.8 width X 4.25 sidewall and 26 inch overall diameter.  This would keep the revolutions per mile close to the stock tire size and definitely fill out the wheel wells, but will it work for the front?  After searching around, it seems that the 4.5" backspacing will work fine in the rear, but what would need to be done to the fronts to prevent rubbing, fender lip contact, etc?  Would a spacer allow this fitment, if so, what size?  I want to use the same size front and back to facilitate rotation and I really do not care for the large tire rear, small tire front stance on 71-74 Javelins.  So, anyone running a similar combination or have info to weigh in on this?
Once owned'70 Donohue 360 :(
Now '72 Jav w/91K
'70 Jav (major project)
'74/'75 Wagoneer 401 project(s)
'74 Javelin 401 very late (the last?) built.
’85 Mustang GT 5spd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prostreetamx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/09/2009 at 10:31am
These cars tend to catch wider rubber on the lower front fender lip. On my 72, I actually moved the lower lips out and extra 1" to clear the rubber I plan to run. I will be running 17" wheels also but wanted a little more rubber on the front. I am looking at 17x8" for the front since 15x7" was a stock size that was available. The 17" should clear your tie rod ends better than those 14's so you can probably use a little more backspacing than stock to help clear the fender lips. I plan to order a little more backspacing then stock but I can also add a thin spacer if I get too much. My tierods are not an issue with the shorter Pacer steering arms and rack steering, but if you plan to fill up those wheel wells, carefull measurements and test fitting will be needed. I just purchased an alaignment tool so I can get everthing in spec before I take my final clearance measurements. A saging front suspension will throw everything off. A 27" tall tire is about the max these cars will take on the front but good luck finding that size.
I have been using Nestalgia wheels for my tire and wheel sizes.


Edited by prostreetamx - Jun/09/2009 at 10:33am
Richard Payne
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72 5.7 Hemi Javelin
77 Prostreet 401/727 AMX,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TorqueyAMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/09/2009 at 11:44am
I currently run 16 x 8 5 spokes with 245/50-16's in front a 255/50-16's in back. The 16's still retain most of the look of the era but gives you a '90's more modern tire profile without sacrificing ride characteristics. A 245/50-16 tire was used on most 3rd and 4th Gen Camaros and Firebirds. Just one size bigger in back doesn't look out of the ordinary but fills the rear hump better. If the car is not a daily driver, worry less about rotation. But you can't have it both ways with regard to filling the humps nicely with the same size tire. As far as 17's go, that's the max but the car should be lowered and give a stance to look good. At the same time, ride will suffer. Suspensions on modern cars are engineered to deal with super low profile tires. Old cars are not.
 
16 x 8 wheels lowered 1 inch.
Used to have 15 x 7 (225/60-15's Frt  245/60-15's Rear)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BayshoreBlues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/24/2009 at 11:21pm

Well, here's an update.  After much deliberation, measurement and Net research, I determined that a 17X8 wheel with 4.5" backspace and a 245/45/17 will maintain extremely close to stock height and be a very affordable and available tire size (stock on Mustang GT for several years and take a look at the front of the next C5 Vette you see parked, probably same size).  Also, the rear should easily take a 17X9.5 wheel with 5.5" backspace and a 275/40/17 tire.  Figured all of this and then came across the article online about the humpster AMX that runs the same tire configuration on Cobra R 17X9's.  I also stumbled across a forum that mentioned the Coy C55's as being the same wheel as the Discount Tire brand MB Wheels Old School.  They had posted some pics and sure enough, it's the same wheel.  Since I was going to buy the tires through them anyway I called them up and priced the wheels and tires together and they cut a good bit off each for buying as a combo.  Matter of fact, I went ahead and ordered 4 17X8's with Kuhmo Ecsta ASX 245/45's and 2 17X9.5's also with ASX's in 275/40's just so I could have both looks whenever I feel froggy Wink.    Here is a link to the web page on them:

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direct/wheels/mb_wheels/product/byName.do?tmn=Old+School&typ=Car%2FMinivan

 

As I said, they cut me a deal on the prices, so these prices are at least $20 bucks or more per wheel more than what I'm paying and they knocked off around $20 per tire as well.

 

Tried to upload pic here, but it kept timing out, so here is a link to a page with several pics:

http://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums/discount-tire-direct/113768-new-wheel-mb-motoring-old-school.html

 

Now, if I could just get those front fender edges straightened up so I could mount the replacement hood and grill and drive the thing into town to get the inspection sticker and down to Discount Tire all would be right with the world, etc...  Suppose I could go with the classic no hood, no grill look with a nice set of new wheels and tires under her, that always draws admiring looks Embarrassed

 

I'll post some pics soon as I can and let everyone know how this combo works out.

 
Once owned'70 Donohue 360 :(
Now '72 Jav w/91K
'70 Jav (major project)
'74/'75 Wagoneer 401 project(s)
'74 Javelin 401 very late (the last?) built.
’85 Mustang GT 5spd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wrambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/25/2009 at 11:52am
Wow, you have power.....your links killed the discount tire website!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BayshoreBlues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/01/2009 at 11:36pm

Okay folks have the wheels and tires on her and, if I must say so myself, they look great  ;).  Now if the rest of the car looked that good...  I have experienced zero rubbing or contact issues even at full turn on the front.  I expected to have a little bit of rubbing when making tight turns, but have not found any contact at all.  The backspace on the 17X8's I will have to check because the Coy C55's list as 4.5" and when the Discount Tire guy called his MB Wheels guy, he measured the Old School 17X8 at a little less than this.  I feel the guy was probably mistaken, but will check this tomorrow to make certain.  The 17X9.5's are 5.5" backspace and now I see what the guys were saying about being able to go even wider back there, as there is plenty of clearance between the tire and leaf spring and the wheel lip opening.  Right now I have a pair of the 17X8's with Kuhmo Ecsta ASX 245/45's on the front and the 17X9.5's with 275/40's in the rear and the look is great.  I am going to attempt posting some before and after shots. 

Shot of 245/45 on rear


Shot of 275/40 on rear (we're gonna need a bigger mudflap  ;D )
 

Before


After

 
 
Will post some more pics tomorrow. Lemme know what you think.
 
Once owned'70 Donohue 360 :(
Now '72 Jav w/91K
'70 Jav (major project)
'74/'75 Wagoneer 401 project(s)
'74 Javelin 401 very late (the last?) built.
’85 Mustang GT 5spd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wrambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/02/2009 at 10:35am
Wow that looks sweet! Love 2

If you blacked the hood and wiper cowl you would be in business for the summer and repaint it all later!

Can you get an EXACT measurement on those 17X8's? I run a 15X8 on the back of my American, maybe, just maybe I could squeek those in there, but would need to know exactly how much backspace they have! I have front fender openings in the 1/4s now. I have 4.5" backspacing and 255/60's and they just sneak in between the leaves and 1/4. love to use something like those instead!
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97 Cherokee Sport

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04 Grand Cherokee Laredo

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BayshoreBlues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/03/2009 at 8:06pm
Yes, the hood will be semi-gloss black soon.  I have been working on the only rust on this car, which was under the hack job vinyl tops someone put on years ago, so those have been ripped off and will be getting some semi-gloss black as soon as I go by another sander (mine died today...).
 
I measured the MB Wheels Old School 17X8's with a flat object across the rear lip then up from the mounting pad to this is 4.75" (this is the way I understand this measurement to be taken).  Seems funny that they came out to be 1/4" more than the Coy C55's.
 
I do plan on adding some stainless, slotted simulated disc rotors to set off the wheels and eventually down the road add disc brakes. 
 
Here is another before angle
 
And after
 
Side shot after
 
Rear before with skinny, weak ankles
 
After as a big ole healthy fat gal ; )
 
Shot of the 17X9.5 w 275/40 on rear
 
Shot of the front with 17X8 245/45
Once owned'70 Donohue 360 :(
Now '72 Jav w/91K
'70 Jav (major project)
'74/'75 Wagoneer 401 project(s)
'74 Javelin 401 very late (the last?) built.
’85 Mustang GT 5spd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RGBJavelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/16/2009 at 9:33am
The 71-74 Javelin always had more than enough fender to deal with a whole bunch of rubber footprint. Unfortunatly, Vintage wheel manufacturers of the period could never offer the right offset without being special ordered, as I measure vintage sets of  "Wide"  rims  from the days of yester-year they seem to have smaller amounts of total backspace as the rims got wider, sticking everything to the outside, where the least amount of clearence was!  At least our Brake drums got plenty of Cool direct airflow!Smack 
 
On a side note :  And this, my younger Javelin fans, is how so many beautiful Javelins and Javelin/AMX's, StreetCars originally Bred to be Trans-AM Series RaceCars, ended up with those awful "mile" long shackles and 250 psi air-shocks that would to jack them up to the point where they almost started looking like those Crazy Custom Vans whose craze was the real end to the Musclecar Era.....Toilet
 
   O.k. Sorry ,   Where  was i, oh yeah,
 
 
I really do recall once thinking something to the tune of "Aw, heck!, If i could just find a rear end a few more inches narrorwer (or use a rim with that correct amount of backspacing!),I bet a 15 x12 rim would've fit in these wheel wells ,no problem!"
OK, Alright,,,
Finally, Here's my questions:
Would you say that  you could probably get away with a 17x11"  rim with a 6.5" Backspacing?   That's 1.5" wider than you got now, but with only 0.5 inch gain to the outside,along with the additional 1.0" width gain to the inside?
 
 About how much clearence would you say you have now with the 275/40's and the 17x9.5"/5.5" BS rims, say until you would contact your leafspring edges??   Could you have gotten away with running a 325/35 series tire? (aprox 2" wider and .5" taller)?HotRod
On another Side note, but not so much 'less useful' info:
You mentioned that you started out with a combo that used to fit a 1970 Javelin, I have found that next to,maybe, the Rambler American, that the early year Javelins seem to have the tightest Wheel well clearence of almost all other AMCs, and that the little Spirit/AMXs have some of the more accomidating wheel wells, beleive it or not!Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prostreetamx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/16/2009 at 10:41am
The 68-70 Javelin share the same inner wheel well design. The big difference is that the Lumpy's have a much wider wheel flare and AMC included a wider rear axle to help fill this gap. If you use an early axle assembly in a late Javelin, you might just get away with wider, smaller offset wheels. My Javelin is minitubed. I removed the rear frame rails from the hump back to the bumper and made new strait rails. I split the factory wheel tubs at the seam and made new inner wheel wells that fit flush with the new straight back frame rails. The original rails intrude into the wells so the rear portion can have the leaf spring attached to the frame. The front of the leaf spring in mounted outside of the frame rail and will also be in the way of wider tires. You can relocate the springs inboard like the Mopar guys have been doing for years or you can just switch to a 4 link like I did for maximum tire clearance. With all the work I did, I can fit 17x11" rear wheels with 7" of backspace. This size is actually made for the late model Mustang guys so is not a special order high price size. 17x10.5 with 6.5" backspace is also a pretty common size on the Mustang wheel and tire web sights. I doubt a 17x11" wheel will fit a Lumpy without tub mods, especially with stock leaf springs.
Richard Payne
Las Vegas,NV
72 5.7 Hemi Javelin
77 Prostreet 401/727 AMX,
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