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Discussion Starter #1
I have modified my '65 front suspension a lot. The last mod was new UCAs with 3 degrees of positive caster and 3/8" shorter than stock. My LCAs are adjustable in length so I could shorten them and not have too much negative camber. The goal was to get the wheel more centered in the wheel well to eliminate tire rub on the front of the fender, and to get larger tires on the front.

I met my goal and have 255/40R17s on all 4 corners. I want to get rid of the .80 wheel spacers (have 17x8 bullit wheels currently and a 1" spacer turned down to 0.80"). I also want to reduce my track width on the front as it is now wider than the rear track width. I don't like the way the handling feels with the wide front track width.

With 17" wheels, the UCA nose is right at the same level as the inner face of the 17" wheel with about 1/4" of space between them. The wheel spacers put more stress on the wheel bearings and I can hear/feel that they are worn out when I turn sharply. The larger tires I put on have created even more stress on the wheel bearings.

I was considering 18x8" wheels or...god forbid 19x8.5" wheels so I can tuck the wheels in since they will clear the nose of the UCA and I could reduce or eliminate the wheel spacers. I'm not sure that an 18" wheel is going to do it and a 19" wheel may be needed. I need to warm up to idea of 19" wheels :p, but I think if I put the right ones on, it may look good. Something not flashy and done in matte black or something may work.

Does anyone have experience with 18x8" wheels and if they cleared the UCA nose or am I looking at 19x8.5" wheels? My tubular UCAs have a nose thats about 3/8" high so the nose is not as large as stock UCAs. I just need a bit more wheel diameter to get the inner wheel face over the UCA nose. Personally, I think i'm going to need 19" wheels to do this.
 

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I can tell you that most of the used 18" Bullets are 8.5" wide with 50mm so they REALLY tuck in so you would be back to using spacers, although the cars I've seen wearing them seemed to clear everything ok. If you have a buddy with a set or find some cheap to play around with, you might try them to verify clearance and then shim them out until you get them where you want and calculate how much offset/backspace you are going to need on a new set of wheels.
 

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Call either Charlie Maier at the Maier Racing or Mike Maier at Mike Maier Inc. both run 18" wheels on their early Mustangs to clear the upper ball joint. They run an 18x10" with flares but a 8" wide with the proper backspacing should work. From Maier Racing's FAQ portion of their website:

"I have a 196-X Mustang and I want to fit the biggest tire and wheel under it. What are my options?
With flares you can get almost all you want. That said, in the PRO Touring scene, many people are going for the stock appearance look. For the 1965-70 Mustangs we offer a relatively NEW 2 1/4” front fender that has the flare built in by pulling out the front fender in conjunction with the lip of the flare. They LOOK REALLY stock in appearance and require a keen eye to tell that they are “not stock” fenders! In most cases the limiting factor now becomes the spindle height; getting the wheel inboard over the upper ball joint. It is realistic to go for a 18” x 10” 275 in the front. We sell a fiberglass rear flare to match for the 1965-66 cars. We do not have a perfect match for the rears (yet) 1967-70. That said, the 65 rear flare can be modified to work or rolling the back metal flare is often done; as we did on the Blue coup here at the shop. In the rear, we have recently (Winter of 2016-17) set up (2) 1965-66 FB cars with 18″ x 11″ wheels on 315 tires. Both cars had leaf springs. One was mini-tubbed and the other was not. We found that with the leafs the mini tub was a big effort with basically NO gain. There is a small notch in the front corner of the wheel well that can be notched and that is …it! When you mini tub the car, you need to redo the interior and the leaf spring is “in the way” of using all the new space. With our 2″ flare you can achieve a 315. Call about the details, otherwise this may be a short novel… Or email us: [email protected]
 

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My 18x8 wheels from a 2010 GT do not clear the screw in ball joint sleeve on my tubular UCAs, using the MM ball joint sleeve. If my poor memory serves me, I believe Mike Maier uses a different MII spindle. I do know Wilwood MII design also clears. I've been wrong before.
 

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I’ve been eyeing a few different sets of 19x8.5 newer generation Mustang wheels. Makes for a skinny sidewall at 245/35! With their 50mm offset, I’d be looking at roughly a 2in adapter to get back to standard backspacing, but as you noted, maybe with the larger diameter, it would be ok to be in a bit and be able to clear the UCA ball joint.

I will be interested to see where you end up. In my case, not interested in flares are modding the UCA (most due to cost!). Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’ve been eyeing a few different sets of 19x8.5 newer generation Mustang wheels. Makes for a skinny sidewall at 245/35! With their 50mm offset, I’d be looking at roughly a 2in adapter to get back to standard backspacing, but as you noted, maybe with the larger diameter, it would be ok to be in a bit and be able to clear the UCA ball joint.

I will be interested to see where you end up. In my case, not interested in flares are modding the UCA (most due to cost!). Good Luck.

Yes the tires would be skinny, but after having my Corvette for almost a year now and 19" front wheels and 20" rear wheels it does not bother me as long as it looks right for the car. The wheels are chrome ZR1 wheels and any chrome 19 would look bad on a 65 mustang in my opinion. They would need to be subtle and a matte black or grey. I have to also be careful not to tuck them in too much and end up with negative scrub radius. You modify one thing and they you have to modify another thing...on it goes...:shrug:

19x8.5s would be a tight fit in the rear...i'm not even sure it will fit. Doesn't look like anyone makes a 19x8 unfortunately.
 

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Yeah, I hear ya. My daily driver runs 225/45 fronts 245/40 rears on 18s, of course on modern suspension. I’m less concerned on skinny side wall for comfort, I just want it to look good.

I agree, no chrome wheels! Chrome is meant for bumpers and under the hood.

Maybe check out some of the wheels made for the Acura TLX. Some are 19x8, same bolt pattern as our cars. Offset is much different though.

bolt pattern - 5x114.3
center bore - 64.1mm
offset - +50mm
wheel size - 19 x 8
stock tire size - 245/40R19
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I hear ya. My daily driver runs 225/45 fronts 245/40 rears on 18s, of course on modern suspension. I’m less concerned on skinny side wall for comfort, I just want it to look good.

I agree, no chrome wheels! Chrome is meant for bumpers and under the hood.

Maybe check out some of the wheels made for the Acura TLX. Some are 19x8, same bolt pattern as our cars. Offset is much different though.

bolt pattern - 5x114.3
center bore - 64.1mm
offset - +50mm
wheel size - 19 x 8
stock tire size - 245/40R19

That made my day! They have several 19x8s that look good. I have a powder coating place that could powder coat them matte black if need be. Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some of those wheels have 6" and 5.875" backspacing and my 17x8 bullits have 5.72 backspacing. Not a big difference...just might work!
 

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Glad I could provide some good info. All those nights of surfing Craigslist for wheels and tires produced some intel, I guess!

Mine's a 68, so my understanding is I could possibly fit something a bit larger than the 65-66, some 8.5in width may be possible. I definitely like the 'tucked' look, especially compared to the 4x4 look!

Keep us posted!!
 

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My only thought is that if you are going for handling, the rule of thumb I had always heard is 1.1X the rim width which means converting rim in inches to MM. Most tire charts show 235 to 245 mm as the widest for an 8" rim. In my calcs, 225 is just a hair over 1.1. Just do a little research to match the width to the most optimal rim width for the tire width you are aiming for. Bigger is better but if you are throwing the car around more violently back and forth (esses on a track or slalom in Autocross) you don't want the road patch having side to side slop due to a narrow rim. When the tire walls get too far off from parallel, |__| vs /__\ , the inside portion of the tire patch gets lifted from the road in a hard corner defeating your goal of more rubber in contact with the road. Check out the charts all over the Inet. I don't think it matters as much on the rears if you are aiming for a drag race launch in a straight line. Then wider is better with lower pressure to put more rubber to the pavement.

Good luck,

M
 
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