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Joe Elkins said in September 20th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Hello Don,
Here’s what I did concerning wheels. I used the Lincoln Versaille 9″ rear end w/disc brakes. So the wheel issue was my LAST concern during construction. I used a set of junkyard wheels and tires up until that point. Once the body was set and all the fiberglassing in of floor pan and wheel wells was completed (oh yes!! you have fiberglass work in your future. Not pleasant, but necessary. I will try to help you through that later)and the those areas spray undercoated, the measuring began. I will assume the rear end you are using is an 8.5 ‘stang drum brake. Place 24″ leg of a carpenters square on edge across the outer hub of the shoe drum with the 16″ leg pointing 90 degrees out away from cars centerline. Slide the square across the hub until the 16″ leg makes contact with the outer lip of the wheel well. Make sure you use the outside inch increments for reference (The inside increments are different by 2″) Record this measurment. This will also give you a vertical height measurement from center of hub to bottom outer edge of the wheelwell. Now, with the square in place, use a tape measure and fron the hub side of the straight edge measure inward to the closest point of interference (shock, strut…etc). Make a simple drawing of this area and now you know the space you have to work in and exactly where the vertical plane and the centerline axis of the hub is in relation to everything around it.
Now you can decide if you need an offset. I needed a positive offset (wheel hub moves out towards outside/streetside) for the 9″ rear end because it was wider. A Zero offset (hub centered in wheel)would have put the rubber ouside the confines of the wheelwell. If you were using a narrow(er) rearend you would use a negative offset so it would push the wheel out even further.
Now, a P255/R60/15 tire 255mm (10″) is the tire width at its widest point and its height is 60% of that width, or 6″, and typically fit an 8″ width wheel.
My guess is (after going out and looking at my rod) that the 10″ wheels you looked at would not have fit. And the way this kits chassis is built I don’t think that tubbing the rear wells would be practical. There would be to many geometrical mechanical changes to be made.
Now, if you are having better luck finding wheels in the 16/15 combination, I would suggest that you look into the Pxxx/R50 series. Now this could compensate for the larger wheel.
So lets see…. P255R50 on a 16″ wheel.
Wheel raises car 1/2″ (half of the inch is below the wheel and half is above).
50% of 10″ equals 2″ wich means this tire is 2″ shorter in profile. 1″ below hub center, 1″ above.
So you gained a 1/2″ lift from the wheel,but lost an inch from the lower profile tire. The rear end has dropped 1/2″. The same will be true up front.
Now if you stay with a P255R15/P195R15 you should only gain 1/2″ lift. That is…if they make this size tire/wheelsize conbination. If not you have some math to do
The main objective is to fill the wheelwell with rubber, nothing ouside and not so big as to cause chaffing when you have a full compliment of passengers and not so little as to not look right.
Hope some of this, if any, makes sense. I really didn’t start out with the intention of writing a book.

Don said in September 21st, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Thanks Joe – good advice! And, yes, it makes perfect sense.

I was able to acquire a set of “project car” wheels to use in the interim … found them on EBay. They are 15s and should be just fine until it is time for some HD rubber and bling.

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