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Discussion Starter #1
HI everyone - new to the forum but not new to mustangs and racing
i am finishing up a 1965 mustang track build for road racing. i live near NY and plan to run at lime rock and monticello. I could use some help with wheel/tire issues - i have searched and searched but am confused
i am setting the car up to vintage racing rules. who knows, maybe one day i will actually compete. so I am using 15" wheels.
i had planned on torque thrust wheels, but they only come in a 3.75" backspace. from what i have read, a larger backspacing will be better for tire clearance. Those wheels may lead to some fender rubbing issues. i am pretty sure i want to run 225 width radial, not bias tires, and i want the tires to be good for track and a little street. i am not ready for race slicks yet
so question 1, what wheel to use? i can buy a vision-brand wheel with more backspacing, but i dont think it looks as nice as the true torque thrust.

question 2 - what tire? i think 225/60x 15 would be perfect, but the only track-possible tire would be avon cr7zz, which i had on my cobra a few years back, but they are crazy expensive. i can get 4 toyo tires for just a bit more than one avon. the toyos are only 50-series though, so only 24" tall, which is short

i am using stock suspension, with "shelby" drop. i do have wilwood calipers for now, may switch to vintage rules iron one in the future.

i plan to go a tiny bit wider in the rear, but less of an issue there
 

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I have 3.75" BS and have no problem with a 235-14, I judge that a 245 would fit without issue.
For the price of Avons I would have a second set of wheels and some used Hoosier TDS or TDR for off street use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
you're fitting a 235 width in the front on a 65? with 3.75 backspacing? interesting to hear. thanks

the hoosier tires are all bias, and i think a radial would be better for a new competitor like me. i agree the Avon's are just too expensive to justify, which leaves me with 50 series tires in a 15 inch.
 

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OOops sorry, no not on the front. Well actually I did have some on the front for a while, Before the drops and good alignment and with some regular rubbing on bumps from worn out springs, I did it to smooth roll only the parts that needed it:) After the drops, lots of +caster and paint, no way!
 

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You can get AR-TTs with a 4.5” backspace in 15x8 size. The 15x7 wheel on the top of this chart is likely what you (and many of us) have...the bottom is the same wheel but 15x8 with 4.5BS.

749234


I’m thinking about doing 2 things:
  • narrow the 9” rear by 1/2” each side
  • try the above 15x8 with 245/60 tires (already have 235/60 with rolled fender lips)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
going to a 4.5" backspace in the front means the wheel will probably hit the upper A arm.? also, the wheel is still sitting out toward the fender just as much as the 7" width wheel with less backspacing - which gets back to the original problem --> 15x7 wheel with 3.75" backspace is likely to hit the front fender?

is anyone running 15x7 wheel with 3.75" backspace and a 225 width tire? can that be run without hitting the fenders? all 15x7 torque thrust wheels have that backspacing only currently.

other companies, like rocket and vision, make torque thrust look-alike wheels (painted not cast finish) in deeper backspacings, which is what i am thinking about doing
 

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Discussion Starter #8
also, no one has any thoughts on a street and track tire for 65 mustang with 15" wheels? hoping for radial not bias
 

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You may know some of the info below, but passing along what I know for you or anyone else who may be looking...

Wheels
  • American Racing Torque Thrust (TT) they have 15" wheels in both 3.6" backspace (BS) and 4.5" BS (but to your point the 8" wide 4.5" BS may not work in front)
  • Vision Wheel as you mentioned has an TT knock-off. OpenTracker Racing recommended Vision to me option to TT due to the improved backspacing. But I agree they don't quite look vintage.
  • Vintage Wheel Works (a Coker Tire company) offers a slightly better backspace (BS) of 3.875" (vs. TT @ 3.6")
  • PS Engineering / PS Vintage Wheels (also a division of Coker Tire???) used to be a great source for vintage racers to get custom wheel offset and widths that looked vintage too. But I don't know if they still take custom orders or not.
  • Vintage Engineering if you insist on original magnesium wheels (instead of aluminum) and you aren't limited by budget...
Tires

You can get 225s on 15" wheels to work up front with some effort. My '65 came with 225/50 all around on 16" TTs with 4.5" BS and no modifications to the fender lips. But the tires were too short and I hated the overall look and ride.

Tire sizes aren't always true from brand to brand. Look up the tire specs to confirm height, tread width, and sidewall width (which can vary based on rim width). You may find that a 235 size in one brand is equivalent to a 225 size in another brand.

I'm running BFG-Radial T/As (street tires obviously) in with 215/60 front and 235/60 rear on 15"x7" TTs with the 3.76" BS.

Are your front fender lips rolled flat? And have you trimmed off the bottom front corner of the fender lip (@ ~7:00 on the face of a clock)? These are typically where people modify the front to fit wider tires.

My rear fender lips are partially rolled (1/2 of the lip is one layer of steel...so I rolled that ~3/8" section up 90*). The rears rub very minimally (where I can't tell) on full suspension compression with a full tank of gas.

Now that I've rolled the front fender lips flat, trimmed the bottom front corner of the fender, and performed the Shelby drop I'm going to install 225/60 as I'm 99% certain they will clear now. I'm going to try 235/60 on a the 15x7, but I'm not as hopeful the 235s will clear.

Also, I'm going to try a 245/60 on a 15x8 4.5" BS TT wheel after installing a 9" rear (axle housing narrowed by 1/2" each side). After the 9" rear is installed I'll likely see the quarter panel raise up by ~1/2" (swapping my 8" rear tapered axle housing with a 9" rear non-tapered axle housing and removing my 1" lowering block = 1/2" raise) which may also help with tire clearance. Hoping the combination gets the 245 to fit...but if nothing else I'll have plenty of clearance for the 235s.

Hope all this helps.
 

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You likely don't want Chrome, but just so you know - the chrome version of the TT (called the D), is 3.79 as opposed to 3.75.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks everyone
i am test fitting the vision wheels. the price is nice but they dont look vintage at all. it seems there are not too many options for wheels in the larger backspacing these days -i found a couple places that will do custom, which is expensive, but i cant be sure they will clear my custom brake setup (wilwood superlites on the front), so i am hesitant to order custom. i think i will need every bit of the 4.25" backspace
i have some nice 10 spoke trans-am style wheels on my 69 street car, and these clear the brakes great, and even fit the car with 60 series Mickey thompson street tires. but those wheels are really expensive (custom). i might order a new set of these if the vision wheels dont fit well

i plan to use toyo r888 tires, which only come in 50 series, since there really isnt anything in a 60-series track tire, other than the expensive Avons (and I am not sure they are worth it) or bias goodyear or hoosiers. i want to avoid bias tires at this point.
 

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Standard TTD with 225/60-15. As Brad said, without some negative camber and some positive caster you will get some rubbing when dipping and turning...like into a driveway. This is prior to lowering it 1” in the rear.

749903
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for the pic. those tire sizes look perfect. i think i am stuck going vision wheels - for the increased backspacing but less vintage look - and 50 series tires - since no one makes an affordable track-appropriate radial tire in 60 series. unless i somehow convince myself to spend tons of money on avon cr6zz, or get hoosier bias tires
 

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Spammer Hammer
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I don’t have any good still pics of my car on Goddyear Blue Streak bias ply’s but they work just fine. You will need to run the 6.00-15 square unless you want to flare the fronts and rears or narrow the rear. You will also need additional negative camber and more positive caster. Also, you can buy good used bias ply track tires all year long... for about 1/4 the price of a new set. I ran a used set all last year with no problems. There are a few different vendors. Google is your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
bias tires are OK for handling? I am not an expert driver, and I always thought radials were going to be superior for novice-level handling and occasional street use?
 

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bias tires are OK for handling? I am not an expert driver, and I always thought radials were going to be superior for novice-level handling and occasional street use?
Bias tires are a very different animal than radials. You are better off starting out on cheap street tires. Learning how the car handles at a lower speed of traction. As you gain wheel experience, then move up to sticky radials.


Mark
 
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