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Okay, guys (and girls)... I am an amateur classic cougar restorer. I haven't even had a real chance to REALLY look at the car. My dad has had it for a while now, and I am building a garage to put it in to restore it. I was needing some advice: I would like to put 16x7 American Racing Torq Thrust 2's on the front and 16x8's on the back... What kind of tire would work the best? Also, would I need to do anything major to have the wheels & tires fit under the wheel wells so where they don't rub? Another thing: I have been told that 'low profile' tires... those that would fit well with 16 in. wheels... are more likely to blowout. Is this correct?
Either email me with advice or reply to my forum.
If you think 15in. wheels look good on a Standard Coupe 1968 Mercury Cougar, tell me.
Thanks, Jason
 

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Jason, check this link out: http://www.oldsmobility.com/fitting-wheels.htm It'll show you can run 16's with 225/50 tires without any modifications and no rubbing. I think there are a number of people running 16's on their Cougars on this board. I like the look of the bigger 16's and will be putting a 16 of some sort on mine at some point.
Oh and the low profile tires might be a little more prone to blowout, but I doubt it. Almost all new cars come with 16 or bigger tires with a pretty low profile tire. The new car manufacturers wouldn't be putting them on there if they were likely to blow.
 

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Thanks, Neal. That page helped quite a bit. The only thing wrong is that it only tells the largest size possible, not if the size I want will fit. I have been told that wheel and tire companies will not return opened or mounted packages, so I want to be sure that they will fit. As I have said, I want 16x8 on the back, with 16x7's on the front. I think I know which size will not rub on the back, but I am still afraid of the front... will they rub when I cut the wheel hard. Supposedly 16x8 w/ 4 1/2in. backspacing will work for the back. I do not know for sure about the front. Can anyone out there help? Maybe someone who has already 'modernized' their classic Cougars?
Thanks,
Jason
 

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Jason,

My .02. It's usually not a benefit to mix and match rim/tire sizes. It prevents you from being able to rotate the tires, for one thing. The only thing it really buys you is that "certain look".

The way I read the information on this website is 225/50 tires on 16" x 8" rims with 4.5" back spacing works for both ends. I suspect they wouldn't have dared publish this data unless they first checked out the lock to lock clearance, and evaluated the clearance at the extremes of suspension compression and rebound. BTW, I think you'll find this is a pretty big and wide tire. Probably looks '*****in.

Steve C.
 
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