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Discussion Starter #1
My car is currently in the shop having the front and rear glass fitted and some final interior trim, and then I will be able to declare that the bulk of the restoration is done.
Except, I need new wheels and tires. I’ve been researching wheel and tire size using a lot of the resources provided by this and other bulletin boards.
My car is a 65 Coupe, front disc brakes, rear drums, no Shelby A-Arm drop, 9 inch Ford rear end. I don’t want to roll the fenders. Currently I have 14x6 inch wheels with 195 width tires.
I’m most likely gonna go with AR Torq. Thrust D wheels. I’ll most likely be buying wheels and tires via the internet (Performance Plus Tire, Tire Rack or similar) so, while I want to increase tire width I’m looking for a no hassle installation.
After much research I’ve decided on:

Front: 16x8 inch wheels, 4.5 inch backspace, 205x50x16
Rear: 16x8 inch wheels, 4.5 inch backspace, 225x50x16

Questions:
1. Anybody running with such a set up on a ’65 Coupe and would like to comment on wheel and tire fit?
2. Anybody like to recommend a tire manufacturer and type in the $100-$120 price range (per tire)?
3. Recommendations for online wheel and tire suppliers?
4. Photos always welcome.
5. Any comments welcome.
Thanks in advance.
 

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the finest 16" tire I've used had been the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3. I've driven thousands of miles on them in my GT-350. Unfortunately now they are only available in 205/55-16 in the 16" variety. BUT, the traction is so outstanding that you would be hard pressed to find a 225 width tire that will outperform it. Think it over before you settle for a lessor tire. Tirerack.com currently has an $80 rebate when you buy 4 of them.

Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 - Car and Driver



Z.
 

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the finest 16" tire I've used had been the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3. I've driven thousands of miles on them in my GT-350. Unfortunately now they are only available in 205/55-16 in the 16" variety.
The GS-D3 was a very good tire, I've had them on a couple cars, still have one set, though Goodyear appears to be starting to phase it out. It was just a little better than midpack among its peers in terms of ultimate dry-road stickiness - the Bridgestone S-03, Michelin Pilot Sport, and a few others could match it, and the S-02 and PS2 and a couple others were grippier, and if there was a knock on the GS-D3 it's that it had a somewhat soft sidewall which gave it a better ride but less crisp turn-in than, say, the PS2. This might have been more noticeable for people trying to run them on narrower-than-optimal wheels but they always worked great for me. It did have very good treadlife for a sticky tire - I got 25-35K out of them routinely even with a couple trackdays thrown in.

As for other 225/50-16s out there now, the Bridgestone RE760 is a really good grippy everyday tire, the Dunlop Z1 Star Spec and Bridgestone RE11 are the fastest things out there that aren't pure race tires, lots of other choices out there and it's always fun to browse the Tire Rack website and check out the user reviews, I'm not personally familiar with too many of the newer ones.

A 205/50-16 is way too small for a Mustang and far, far, far too small for an 8in wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A 205/50-16 is way too small for a Mustang and far, far, far too small for an 8in wheel.
Man this is doing my head in.
According to the widely circulated Modified Tire and Wheel Chart from this forum, the 205 50 16 front tire is one of the most popular tire choices for a 16x8 wheel.
This is so confusing, how do most Mustangers buy their wheels and tires, online or from a store. If they are buying them online what resources are out there to guide choices of size?
 

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I spend at least a week researching before tires, let alone wheels, lol. Took me about a month to narrow down my choices for my 96 cobra to the parameters I had set (driving stlye, budget, intended use, seasons to be operated in, traction, good reviews, treadwear, etc.) There are tons of products out there and you'll get all sorts of overwhelming info, its just a matter of what will work best for you.
 

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I have 16x8 wheels (4.5 inch back space) and i am running 225VR50 tires all around with no clearance issues. 620 springs in front and 4 1/2 mid eye leafs in rear
Dodgestang has an excellent tire/wheel fitment chart.
Pictures on my build website
 

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Man this is doing my head in.
According to the widely circulated Modified Tire and Wheel Chart from this forum, the 205 50 16 front tire is one of the most popular tire choices for a 16x8 wheel.
This is so confusing, how do most Mustangers buy their wheels and tires, online or from a store. If they are buying them online what resources are out there to guide choices of size?
Hmmm I only see one entry like that on my chart
http://www.dodgestang.com/Tire Fitment Guide 65-6.pdf

205 50 16 is tire stretching territory. Manufacture recommend a 7.5 wide rim max. It also is only 24 inch OD...stock mustang tires are usually up around 26 inch OD so it might look a little small if you stock ride height.
 

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"..............A 205/50-16 is way too small for a Mustang and far, far, far too small for an 8in wheel.
to put this in perspective, the tire originally on a Mustang, 6.95-14 (modern equivilant is 185/75-14) was 24.9" in diameter. A 205/50-16 is 24.1" in diameter. A difference of only 3.4% and a speedo error of 2 mph @ 60 mph.

However a 205/55-16 is almost exactly the same diameter as the original tire with negliable speedo error. That is the size I'd reccomend, especially in front if not all the way around.

Z.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm I only see one entry like that on my chart

205 50 16 is tire stretching territory. Manufacture recommend a 7.5 wide rim max. It also is only 24 inch OD...stock mustang tires are usually up around 26 inch OD so it might look a little small if you stock ride height.
Maybe I'm reading the chart wrong. I assumed that the '#' on the RHS indicated the number of people who were running the combination. What does the '#' mean?
 

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".............. It also is only 24 inch OD...stock mustang tires are usually up around 26 inch OD so it might look a little small if you stock ride height.
Stock '65 & '66 Mustang tires are 24.9" diameter. The 205/50-16 is 24.1" diameter. The ride height would be 0.4" less with the 205/50-16 vs. stock (radius difference = 1/2 diameter difference). To me the big negative would be lack of sidewall. It's is the wrong look, just my subjective opinion. The 205/55-16 has almost an additional 1/2" of sidewall compared to the 205/50-16

Additionally, getting an 8" width wheel to fit w/o fender flares, etc is not worth the effort on the early year Mustangs. A 7" width is plenty, especially for the tire widths we are discussing.

Z.
 

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Maybe I'm reading the chart wrong. I assumed that the '#' on the RHS indicated the number of people who were running the combination. What does the '#' mean?
Several years after I compiled all the data in the chart I attempted to enhance it with photos tied to each entry and used the numbers as a way to have people reference an entry in the chart as theirs.
 

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Stock '65 & '66 Mustang tires are 24.9" diameter. The 205/50-16 is 24.1" diameter. The ride height would be 0.4" less with the 205/50-16 vs. stock (radius difference = 1/2 diameter difference). To me the big negative would be lack of sidewall. It's is the wrong look, just my subjective opinion. The 205/55-16 has almost an additional 1/2" of sidewall compared to the 205/50-16

Additionally, getting an 8" width wheel to fit w/o fender flares, etc is not worth the effort on the early year Mustangs. A 7" width is plenty, especially for the tire widths we are discussing.

Z.
Ok...So I use the 26 inch because I heard it years ago....right/wrong it's been the rule of thumb used for a long time and by a lot of people ;)

As for effort to get an 8 inch wheel to fit....what effort is that? I run an 8 inch wheel....I even run a 245 tire on it on the front of my 65...and I don't even have the fenders rolled....I do have an aggressive alignment...but I hardly call that work ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So silly question, let's say a 225 (or any size) wide tire on a 16x8 and a 16x7 wheel. How does putting it on a 16x7 help over mounting it on a 16x8 wheel. Surely the outside diameter of the tire will be the same and the tire width at the outside diameter will be the same (nominally). Help me understand what's going on please.
 

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Ok...So I use the 26 inch because I heard it years ago....right/wrong it's been the rule of thumb used for a long time and by a lot of people ;)
............"
I am self confessed fool, but not fool enought to argue with your experience.

One early Mustang did come with a 26" diameter tire (so You ARE right). It was the '65 GT-350 equipted with the Goodyear 775/15 Blue Dot H.P. Power Cushion, modern day equivilant would be a 205/70-15. However there are countless references noted in the SAAC registry where the front tires rubbed and a "spring spacer" was required due to the tire diameter.

let me add my thanks for your efforts to simplify tire & wheel selection.

Z.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So silly question, let's say a 225 (or any size) wide tire on a 16x8 and a 16x7 wheel. How does putting it on a 16x7 help over mounting it on a 16x8 wheel. Surely the outside diameter of the tire will be the same and the tire width at the outside diameter will be the same (nominally). Help me understand what's going on please.
Anybody want to set me straight?
 

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So silly question, let's say a 225 (or any size) wide tire on a 16x8 and a 16x7 wheel. How does putting it on a 16x7 help over mounting it on a 16x8 wheel. Surely the outside diameter of the tire will be the same and the tire width at the outside diameter will be the same (nominally). Help me understand what's going on please.
Lets talk about a few things here.

The maximum spec rim width for a 205/50-16 is 7.5in, and even that is very wide for that tire. It's a very small tire, with a very low load rating, and it's going to look absolutely ridiculous on a Mustang.

A 205/55-16 is a bit better, it's the same 24.9in diameter as the 225/50-16, but you need something no bigger than a 7in wheel, the design rim size for that tire is 6.5in.

There are certain tire sizes that are designed as a matched pair and sometimes spec dimensions (usually diameter/rolling radius) on those sizes are fudged to make them line up better - if you go back thirty years the 205/55-16 and 225/50-16 tire sizes were originally designed as a matched pair for the Porsche 930 Turbo of the late '70s and at the time they seemed like big tires.

Every tire has a design rim width, and a tire's dimensions assume mounting on that design rim. It also has a maximum and a minimum rim width specification. The old rule of thumb says that a tire's section width (maximum width over the sidewalls) changes 0.2in for ever 0.5in change in rim width, so a BFG g-Force Sport 225/50-16 with a section width of 9.2in when mounted on its 7in design rim will be approximately 9.6in wide when mounted on an 8in rim. Note that this does not significantly change the tread width. Note also that not all mfrs build their tires exactly the same size, you might find other 225/50-16 tires a bit wider or a bit narrower than this one, and if it matters you need to find the manufacturer's specs on the tire you want to use.

Don't think you'll find any such thing in a 225/50-16 these days, but every now and then a tire mfr makes a 'ringer' tire, targeted at a specific application or use and you need to know what use is. There was once a Goodyear (I think) 245/50-16 tire that was intended specifically for showroom-stock racing on third-gen Camaros, the tread was as wide as the section width but it was still a '245/50-16' so it was legal for the class...

With a 225/50-16 tire on a '65-66 you'll probably have to roll the fender lips regardless whether you're running 7in or 8in wheels, a 7in wheel might be able to run just a little more offset that'd pull the tire a little further into the fender, but then you might have sway-bar/strut rod clearance etc. issues to deal with.
 

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".................. With a 225/50-16 tire on a '65-66 you'll probably have to roll the fender lips regardless whether you're running 7in or 8in wheels.........."
my experience exactly. the 225/50-16 would not fit on my '66 w/o rolling the fender lip, which I was not willing to do.

When I ran (or am running) 16 wheels on the '66 I used 205/55-16 on the front. On the rear there is room for wider tires if desired. On the rear I've used both 225/50-16, and 205/55-16's when I wanted the same size all around.

Not often mentioned, but there are always drawbacks to using the widest tire possible. Everything is a trade off.

Z.
 

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16 x 8 , 4 1/2 back spacing here (Vintage 45's). 225/50/16's on the front and 225/55/16's on the back. Shorter springs in front, lowering blocks in back. I had to roll the fender lips, adjust the fender position to get everything to stop rubbing. It was worth the trouble. I kick myself for having the front wheel slightly turned in the picture.


 
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