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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I am changing wheels on my 1969 Cougar from 14" to 15". I puchased some new 15x7 and 15x8 Magnum 500 wheels. The front have 4.25 back space and the rear have 4.50" backspace. What tire size works?:bloated:
 

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There's a thread on here somewhere that has the various tire sizes that people have used.

I've got a set of 275/60-15's on the rear. They are on a set of 15x8.5 Centerlines with a similar backspacing. Might hit if the back was lower. 255's might work nice. I ran some 245/60-14's on the front years ago and they worked OK. I'll probably put some 235/60-15's on the front once I get the 15x7 Centerlines.

Some tire places will mount up a couple of different tire sizes for you to see what fits.
 

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Here's what 215/70/15 front, 255/60/15 rear looks like, FWIW. I would probably have gone with a slightly fatter front tire if this was a power steering car.

 

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I have 15x7 magnum 500's with 235x60x15 on all 4, my personal preferance is to match all 5 and keep them rotated.
Cj, those caltracs sure do stand out, any regrets?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, CJ are the backspacing the same for your wheels the same as the Magnum 500's ?
 

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CJ, what width rims are those. That's a nice look.
 

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To answer some questions:

Wheels are 15x6 front, 15x7 rear. This was a compromise, I would have preferred 15x7 front, 15x8 rear. However, because of the fast-ratio manual steering, its already a handful at parking lot speeds. (Great response and feel on the highway, though.) Anyway, putting wider rubber on the front would have added to the low-speed steering effort in an unacceptable way, so I decided to stick with stock width, just in a bigger diameter.
That also meant that the offset, or dish, of the front wheels stayed the same as stock, helping to disguise the non-stock wheel size, which was one of my goals. I really wrestled with what to do on the back, since widening generally involves adding to both the front and back sides of the wheel to maintain a neutral offset. But that would have caused the rear wheels to have more dish than the fronts, which I wanted to avoid.
In the end, I had the extra 1" added all on the back side of the wheel. That keeps the front and back wheels looking the same from the outside, but to maintain inner fender clearance, 255 is widest section width that will fit. By adding another inch to the outside portion of the rim, 275s will clear.
As for the Caltracs, yeah, they really jump out in that view, but still less intrusive and objectionable than conventional slapper bars, in my opinion. Anyhow, from "normal" viewing angles, they're a lot less noticeable.

I'm very pleased with how they work. I haven't gotten my 60' times down where I want, but so far I've only tried them with minimal pre-load. Set that way, they don't negatively impact the ride and handling at all, but have completely eliminated the wheel-hop issues the car was prone to. No regrets there.
 

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CJ, where did you get the wheels? Did you get the rears modified, or were you able to order them that way? I haven't messed around with stock appearing wheels (just drag racing stuff) and will be looking for something similar for the car I'm building.

Again, that is a really nice looking Eliminator.
 

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Thanks. It was a mod I wasn't really anxious to do, but the lack of availability of the 14" tires I wanted kinda forced me into it. I'm happy with the end result, though.
For the wheels, I took the centers from a battered set of styled steels and set them to Stockton Wheel in California. They built the wheels to my specs for rim size and offset. I don't recall the total cost, but it was comparable to a set of off-the-shelf 15" styled steel wheels. Since those were only available in a chromed finish (at least at that time, I don't know about now) and weren't available in the widths/offsets I wanted, this was a better option for me.
I've been very pleased with the wheels. The centers are welded in place, not riveted like the originals, but that's not visible with the wheels installed. The main thing is, they run straight and true, and balance without excess weight being necessary. I'd certainly not hesitate to deal with Stockton again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ok, it was a tuff choice but ended up with 225 60 front and 245 60 rear. I am happy with my choice of wheels and tires.
Before After
1969 cougar.jpg DSCF0937.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks, the front rims are 15 x 7 and rear are 15 x 8. The springs are stock, the car has air shocks on the rear which allowed me to raise the rear of the car. In the very near future I will be replacing the rear springs so I can get rid of the air shocks.
 
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