Reproduction Parts for 1916-1964 Chevrolet Passenger Cars & 1918-1987 Chevrolet & GMC Trucks


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Grease Monkey
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Hello all - I will keep the stock brakes and suspension and want to upgrade the wheels and tires for highway travel, long road trips. I am not aware of size limitations due to fender clearance, suspension travel, etc. No, I am not autocrossing like I used to in a 69 Stingray, but "agile" driving appeals to me. So, I am seeking information as to wheel dimensions, tire sizing, and the bolt hole pattern. Thanks in advance.

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Your stock wheels should do fine with modern tubeless tires. I put 205R75x15s on my 53. That's about the closest you'll get to the stock tire in diameter. A lot of folks run 215s which are a bit taller. If you go with the 205 be sure you're not getting trailer tires as 205 is a very common size for trailer tires. I don't know if "agile" driving is possible with the stock suspension.


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I have done a dozen or more ( 20,000 miles) of long distance Interstate highway trips with my 1950 at speed up to 70 MPH with stock bias ply tires with no probem.
If you want domething a little better get s aet of radial tires.........thats all

Last edited by Chev Nut; 01/23/23 07:45 PM.

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Thanks for the replies!

Where would I find the dimensions for the stock wheel, please?

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Last edited by Tiny; 01/25/23 07:51 AM.

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Tiny’s advice about size for radials is right on target. The key limitation you will have is to get a tire that has the diameter you want without getting too wide.

The original bias ply tires were about what would be called an “88” series profile or aspect ratio. The largest ratio reasonably available in a 15” radial tire today is 75.

For example, the 205/75’s that Tiny has are just over 27” in diameter. A 6.70-15 is about 28 1/2” in diameter. It is about 6 3/4” in width where 205 is just over 8” in section width.

The radials work great on these cars. They just don’t look the same.


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I believe a 6.70-15 diameter is just under 27.5 if I remember right. It could vary depending on the manufacturer I suppose. The 205 radial is just over 27. The closeness is why I went with the 205 over the 215 to keep my speedometer accurate. The width difference sure makes a difference in slow speed turning. Almost makes me want to put power steering on the car. laugh


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Hi Tiny!

I forgot that little detail about steering effort especially at low speed! I could parallel park my ‘37 with bias ply tires but it took some effort and finesse to have enough room to let the car roll a little bit so it would steer.

I agree that the diameter varies by manufacturer. If you scan the Coker website you will find 6.70-15 tires can vary in diameter from 27 1/4” to 28 1/2”. The original Chevy spec was to use a tire with a rolling radius of about 13 3/8”, or about 748 revolutions per mile. That is the basis for the speedometer drive.

The key point is that using a radial the tire section will be wider to get a comparable diameter and rolling radius


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205/75 - does this size mate well with the stock wheel, or can you propose a different wheel?

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They will work fine on an OEM wheel. It's the same wheel as on my 53.


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I agree that a 205/75R15 will work fine on the 15x5 rim. The minimum recommended rim width for a 215/75R15 is 5.5”.


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OK, we are about done here - for the stock 15 X 5 rim, what is the factory cap/trim that goes with this wheel? I'm still trying to learn the names of sources of parts...and, in this case, part numbers! Thanks!

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I put the Coker 205/75 radials on my '50 stock wheels years ago and they were a great ride and handling improvement.

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Bolt--

You can buy the dog dish caps from: Chevs of the Forties, National Chevy Assoc, and the Filling Station. As you have a deluxe model, you might also want the beauty rings which are also available from these suppliers. The repros are good quality and even feature the painted bow tie on the caps. If you insist on originals, a good old junkyard will probably have some you can use as they were common to 51-53 models.

Just a note--on my stock rims, I had trouble getting a good seal with radials and ended up buying radial tubes available from Coker Tire. They work fine. I'm running bw 215-70R-15s on my 51 Special which are a little wider and look better than the 205s, and were used back in the day as RPO for taxis. (215-75R15s)


Rick

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