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New alloys - size advice


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CaptainK

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 10:47

New alloys - size advice


Hello all, I have a 1968 currently wearing what I presume is the original wheels and centre caps etc. They certainly look like the standard fit, but unsure if they are "original".

I want to move to alloy wheels later in the year and I've already decided on the American Racing Torq Thrust wheels.

I have some questions though:
1) Polished and Chromed effect - what is the difference with the effect / look of them and what are the differences in maintaining their look etc?

2) I would like some recommendation on alloy size for the Corvette. I know the original wheels are 15 inch, but to get the overall tyre diameter seems to have a restriction on what tyres are available easily in the UK - and good all weather tyres etc. I'm in two minds about whether I stay 15 inch with the standard tall profile white letter tyres, or maybe go a bit bigger to have slightly lower profile tyres and better UK tyre availability etc. I wouldn't want to go any higher than 17 inch I think.

I should add that I don't use the car for burnouts, circuit racing or general hooniganisms. It generally gets driven around casually and goes to shows and stuff. I just like the look of alloys, but still want a good grippy tyre that is easily available in the UK.

If you have any photos of what 16 or 17 inch alloys on an early Corvette, then that would be appreciated.

Thanks all for your recommendations. Smile

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stevel98

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 11:56

Re: New alloys - size advice


Forget 16" as they are a pain to acquire tyres for..

I'd stick with 15", as being a musclecar size you are always going to find tyres to fit at reasonable prices. As you state, you take it easy with the car so you don't need expensive super grippy, low profile tyres which really doesn't suit the C3 anyway in terms of looks, ..personally I like the look of a deep sidewall, but that's very much a personal thing.

The Torque thrust is a nice wheel but it won't be maintenance free and will need a bit of tlc to keep it looking its best, but it'll be worth the effort.

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CaptainK

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 12:21

Re: New alloys - size advice


stevel98 wrote (View Post):I'd stick with 15", as being a musclecar size you are always going to find tyres to fit at reasonable prices. As you state, you take it easy with the car so you don't need expensive super grippy, low profile tyres which really doesn't suit the C3 anyway in terms of looks, ..personally I like the look of a deep sidewall, but that's very much a personal thing.
This is the dilemma I have, as the car is mainly a show car, so I want it to look nice. Do I:

1) Stick with 15 inch alloys and have white wording American style tyres, as otherwise I find the vastness of black rubber tyre to be a bit boring if it did not have white wording tyres on it. But the problem here is finding good spec tyres that have white wording on them. Yes I don't race it etc, but I do still believe in getting a good quality tyre. But finding "normal UK" type tyres with the high profile needed generally means an "off road" style tyre.

OR

2) Go for a larger alloy to replace some of the black tyre rubber vastness of tyre wall, but I'm guessing there is even less availability of white wording tyres in larger sizes? Therefore necessitating the use of normal UK spec tyres that are just all black.

I'm just in two minds about what look to go for really, and what would make for the safer, better braking (etc) car on the road? Hence I thought I'd ask for advice, and see if anyone had any photos of 16 inch and 17 inch alloys on an early C3.

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stevel98

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 12:58

Re: New alloys - size advice


Nothing wrong with a black sidewall, I don't buy my tyres for the white letters, I'd rather they didn't have any, but as I'm on 16", my choice is very limited.

If your brakes and suspension are in good working condition, then for your type of use, that's all you need for safety. If your not going to rag it, you don't need to concern yourself with higher spec tyres.

15" tyres don't need to be 'off road' tyres unless you are so used to seeing low profiles everywhere that anything you see over a 60 profile is an 'off road' tyre. This isn't the case.

Driven carefully, a 15" tyre with a deep sidewall is going to do more for you safetywise on your C3 than a low profile tyre will. The reason being that the taller profile will flex more and is not so grip-reliant purely on the compound and tread pattern and is more suited to your cars suspension. What is important to you is mainly wear and pothole damage resistance.

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kentvette

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 13:50

Re: New alloys - size advice


Given the nightmare that is trying to get my "stock appearance - aftermarket" wheel balanced, I have long thought about a replacement with ARE TTIIs.

A friend in California went with 15s (in the stock width) and fitted the same stock size BF Goodrich tyres that I have, 225-70/R15, with Raised White Letters. They looked fab! BFG's are not hard to obtain from North Hants Tyres and are not expensive in my mind (if we can afford to run a Corvette, a few extra ££ for nice tyres can't hurt!)

But, most of my contacts in the US would say go to 17 inch Torque Thrusts. That gives you wide range of tyres that will fit the rims and give the same total wheel diameter. You can't get RWL tyres, but in reality, with a smaller tyre and more shiny rim, you actually don't ned them to "pep-up" the wheel.

I like the look of both options, so it just comes down to cost really.

As for the polished or chrome - I wasn't aware they did chrome, but polished would be my option as I'm certain they's be easier to maintain and keep in good condition.

What I'm afraid I cannot help with is the details of wheel offset etc, but you may know that already.


--------------------
Stephen J Irons
CCCUK Lifetime Member
Corvette Club France
Corvettes of Southern California
NCM Family Member
Stephen & June's Web Site
Red Corvettes Have More Fun!

Apple IS Genisys!
The "Born-Again Greenies" are killing the planet! It's time to wake up and smell the rain-forest burning!

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Forrest Gump

Regional Rep

Mon 11 Jun 18 20:13

Re: New alloys - size advice


I've recently fitted these Galaxy tyres to standard 15' wheels and I'm very pleased with them.
They've got the raised white lettering but they're essentially a modern tyre - decent tread design (but not leary) and "H" speed rated. They're a massive improvement over the American manufactured tyres previously on the car in terms of the cars behaviour on the road. I've also gone narrower on width (was 255/60) so this will have also contributed to the improvement.

http://www.northhantstyres.com/main-tyre-pages/galaxy-tyres/...


--------------------
Blue '75

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Sid.123

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 21:11

Re: New alloys - size advice


Was looking at tyres for my c4..northants tyres are one of the only supplyers of this size and list the 255/50x16 for about 160 a pop.. On ebay they sell them for just over 200 each but i imagine that includes delivery...looking at smaller sizes like 225/55x16 you can pick them up for as little as £50 from any tyre supplier...its nice to have 255 but i think the 225's are calling


--------------------
59/69 silver beige/medium brown. 1 of 1,014 in 1986. C4 glasstop

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MichaelJJ

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 21:40

Re: New alloys - size advice


I have been running on 245/50 17's with ARTT wheels on my 1971 for the last 7 years. Wonderful. If you are based in the south you are welcome to come and try them.

MJJ

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Norm

Club Member

Mon 11 Jun 18 22:56

Re: New alloys - size advice


I like the stock rally wheel look, had factory, wanted to change, got tired of the rings wobbling a bit, so went with chrome plated stock wheels and caps. Kept that for a few years, then went with a retro mod look with stock rally wheels. Quite happy with that look.

Good luck on you choice.


--------------------
From Delmarva, USA
NCM Member
2016 Z06 Coupe A8 Black, Red & Ebony Int.
1975 L82 A3 T-Top, Bright Blue, Custom Blue & Black Interior (not NCRS, more of a HOT ROD)
Previously Owned Vettes: '65, '97, '01, '10, '14

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roscobbc

Committee Member

Tue 12 Jun 18 00:11

Re: New alloys - size advice


Image
Image

'68 should have 7" wide rims. Many have been changed over to 8" rims (mine was) stock tyre diameter irrespectively should be 27.2" to 27.5" I believe. Many who used 235/60/15 (a size used by many muscle cars for years) it was only 26" diameter - never really quite 'filled' the wheels openings on a C3 or help gearing did it?
Its true what has been said on here - a larger diameter wheel with a low profile tyre will make the car ride harder and noisier. Yes the 70 series tyres do 'cushion' the ride quite well, and to be honest even the optional Slalom suspension is quite 'soft' in European terms. I chose 18" diameter wheels on mine. 8" wide on the front with 255/45/18 and 9" wide with 285/40/18 on the rear (inset by an inch over stock to maintain the same track front and rear. The wheels are an original set of Boyd JYD. Love 'em or hate 'em. The point I am going to make is the following. Our cars were designed 50 years ago. Back then the stock sized tyre were considered 'state of the art' in relative terms. 50 year later tyre technology has improved significantly. The tyre width on our Vettes is regularly seen on everyday shoeboxes. Our tyres are old technology. No European brands even list them any more. All of the American tyres available (except one or two) are 'S' speed rated - a mere 113 mph (or not at all) and Corvette are supposed to be performance cars. Make no mistake - if you use large diameter wheels with low profile tyres the low speed ride will suffer - you'll get a lot of tyre noise. Once over 40-50 mph and you won't notice. With more 'grippy' rubber on the road your braking distances will reduce. The cars handling and cornering will also significantly improve - my first thoughts were that it almost like having a complete suspension overhaul - everything seemed so much 'tighter'.



Last edited by roscobbc on Tue 12 Jun 18 00:14; edited 2 times in total. [7 %]
--------------------
CCCUK Chairman & Editor, Vette News
'68 coupe - 4 speed - 3.08 - 489 cu in - 570 bhp @ 5850 rpm - 606 ft/lbs torque (821 Newton Metres) @ 3850 rpm
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