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Question: Who here is running 17" tires on their C3 or earlier?

Evolution1980

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The 15" wheels are now for sale. Here's the thread I started for anyone interested. --> CLICK!

I'll be going this route in the spring when I gets me my tax refund and the car comes back out.

I know there are a few of you here running 17" rims/tires on your car.
What I'm wondering about is the sidewall height that you've chosen.

My car with it's stock suspension is a already pretty jarring ride with 60-series tires. I/we tend to make the joke that says if you drive over a dime, you'll be able to tell if it's heads up or tails up. Add in that the body mounts have never been replaced and it can be a fairly loud and bumpy ride. That's when you know you're in The Plastic Fantastic!

So...while a 45 series tire would give me less sidewall roll in hard cornering, a 50-55 series would give me a wee bit more cushioning for everyday road imperfections.

What do you all think from experience? Am I looking at a noticeable difference when referencing sidewall height to jarring impacts?

Have you noticed any difference between running a slightly taller tires (55 vs 45 series)? I'm not considering anything larger than a 55 for multiple reasons.

My current line of thinking has me splitting the difference and going with a 50 series.
 

Hib Halverson

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I run the 2nd gen ZR-1 tire/wheel package off a 95 on a 71. The fenders are flared and I use wheel adapters from Vette Brakes and Products. The tires are Goodyear F1 Supercars.

The ride difference between 45- and 50- or between 50- and 55-series tires is not going to be much, however, between old 60-series bias-ply tires and a modern 50-series radial tire might be quite noticeable.

That said...in general, you go to low profile rubber on a C3 and, because the car's suspension and body mounting were prehistoric from a harshness perspective and most modifications (ie: urethane bushings and body mounts, stiff shocks, high rate springs, etc.) make that worse, you can expect a higher level of harshness and high-frequency impact harshness with modern, low profile tires.

Lastly, going to 17s or 18s is the only way you can get an ultraperformance radial tire on a C3.
 

cleon

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I put a set of 17" on my 1979. The tires I used are g-Force 255/50 ZR 17. I also up
graded the front and rear suspension from VBP. I like the set-up. have had no problems.
 

AGVI

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I put a set of 17" on my 1979. The tires I used are g-Force 255/50 ZR 17. I also up
graded the front and rear suspension from VBP. I like the set-up. have had no problems.

:thumb Same here, except mine are 255/45/17
 

KANE

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...Lastly, going to 17s or 18s is the only way you can get an ultraperformance radial tire on a C3.

Dre, 255/50/17s on a 8" rim are the way to go. They keep the stance and look great.

They are dimensionally the same as 255/60/15s on a 8" rim.

IMG_2080.jpg
 
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Evolution1980

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Dre, 255/50/17s on a 8" rim are the way to go. They keep the stance and look great.

They are dimensionally the same as 255/60/15s on a 8" rim.
Yeah, I think that's what I'm leaning towards. :thumb
 

Art Jett

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I wonder what the difference would be between your suspension and mine? I have 255-45x18" in back and 235-40x18" in front and mine rides really smooth. I also have a steel rear spring and Bilstein sport shocks with the car lowered about 2". I already had the F-41 suspension w/ stiffer front springs.
 

TimAT

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DSC00145.jpg


17x9's Goodyear Eagle GS-D3's 285/40 rear and 275/40 front.
 

cleon

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17 " tires

I am running Goodrich g-force T/A, 255/50 ZR 17 on both front and rear
of my 1979. I have no clearance problems in rear.
 

TimAT

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What is the back space on the 17x9 wheels you have.


I've got 4" backspace on the rear and 4-1/2" on the front. I tried the 4-1/2" wheels on the back (They shipped them first), they fit and had plenty of clearance.
 

401KVet

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Tires for the rear:

I have the stock Aluminum rims and have the P225/70R-15's on now. I think I would like to put some wider tires on the rear just for looks. My driving is pleasure.
Does anyone know what would be the widest I could put on these rims or does anyone have any suggestions. I'm not looking for the early 70's look, just a little wider for the rear.
I'm a first time new Vette owner so I know nothing!

Thanks, :beer
 
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Evolution1980

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I have the stock Aluminum rims and have the P225/70R-15's on now. I think I would like to put some wider tires on the rear just for looks. Does anyone know what would be the widest I could put on these rims or does anyone have any suggestions.
255's in the rear is about as big as you can go. Some people have 255's up front too, but I found it to be too big.
Plenty of threads already in this forum talking about acceptable tire widths both up front and in the rear. Do a forum search. :thumb
 
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Evolution1980

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Well, Uncle Sam gave me my money back this past week so it looks like I'm gonna be making the purchase within the week or so.

Thanks to DarkShark (Johnny) and everyone else for their input. Rare is it for me to copy someone, but I really like the look and price(!) of the Torqlites that DarkShark has. And I'll be going with a 245x50x17 tire all around. I could stay with the 255 in rear & 245 up front, but then I lose the ability to rotate the tires since the new tires will be directional. The difference between 245 and 255 isn't huge and the increased grip of the new stickies will make up for that small difference in size.

Note: the following paragraph is info is no longer valid, as have changed my choice of tire, as noted in the next post.
The tires that I'm going with are the General Exclaim UHP. I have these as the summer tires (different size though) on my daily driver and for the price, they are really good tires! I won't say they are great because of the four I currently have, three of 'em developed bubbles in the sidewall from impacts with potholes. I've had other low-profile tires that didn't give out as easily as these. But that aside, I've been very happy with 'em. They are surprisingly quiet and the grip is as good as anything I've had with top of line Bridgestone Potenza's, BFG's, and Fuzion's.

Oh yeah, I'll probably be selling my current wheels, so if anyone's interested, let me know! :thumb
 
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Evolution1980

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Well, this past weekend I got around to putting my current 255's from the rear on the front. After doing the visual inspections and whatnot, I've concluded that I can just barely get away with having 255's at all four corners. The only questionable area was the driver-front which barely touched the inner wall of the tire to the power steering cylinder when I was at a full lock turn. (Remember, I have Steeroids and not OEM P/S.) And this was without the center cap piece in there AND only when the car was up in the air. Once I put the car on the ground, there was about 3/8" clearance. Everywhere else was plenty clear. I'm comfortable with that.

So today I finally popped for the 17" Torqlites and I'm gonna mate them up to Riken Raptors @ 255x50x17. I got it all from Summit Racing for $1000 (and 85¢). I get free mount & balance from a friend locally.
They should be on the car by the 2nd week in April. :D Although, not like the car will be out on the road at that time. We'll probably have snow on the ground again! ...We always get an April snow or two. Sometimes even in early May on rare occasion.

b135.jpg
2276.jpg


The Riken's are actually Michelin tires and I believe are based on their Pilot Sport tire. I guess since they are an unadvertised brand, they are super cheap (which they were at only $99 each!)
 
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Evolution1980

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(Recap: I got the Torqlite's and 255x50x17 Riken Raptor's as shown above)

So I got one of the wheels mounted up yesterday and put it on the front drivers side. The rim cleared everything without issue. There is a scant 2mm between the caliper and the spoke.

However, when the tire was mounted, we definitely have clearance issues. The inside-rear of the the tire was hitting my powersteering piston when turned to the left. When turned to the right, the inside-front of the front rubbed up against the sway bar, and just shy of hitting the little turn-down lip that I'd never noticed before on the portion of the fender well right next to the swaybar. I determined that I need another 1/8" clearance in order to run the 255's up front. (DarkShark, I'm not sure how you can run the 255's up front without rubbing if you do a full-lock turn.;shrug)
Soooo...as much as I don't really want to, I'm getting wheel spacers (not hub adapters). I could've gotten a 1/8" (.0125") spacer, but I opted for the 0.313" spacer to be 'safe' on clearance issues. This will also give me that additional clearance between the caliper and the rim spokes.

For reference, when I had my 15" 255's (from the rear) test fitted up front, they only hit the P/S cylinder and only when in the air. The new rim/tire combo hits things (and more) when it's in the air and on the ground. So as I figured from the beginning, fitment appears to vary from car to car and from tire to tire, especially with aftermarket rims. This was the reason that I only had one tire mounted. Had I run into larger issues, I didn't want to be stuck with four brand new wheels that I couldn't use. In this case, a small spacer should correct the issue. I hope to find out for sure this weekend.
 

XS-Style

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Do you have any photos of any other vettes with Torqlites? I used to have a photo of a red 80 or 81, lowered a tick, with them on it. It looked great, but when I went to find the photo to post here I couldnt located it. I know theyre gonna look great installed on yours as well.
 

73shark

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From everything I seen on several different forums and heard, spacers are a bad idea.
 
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Evolution1980

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Do you have any photos of any other vettes with Torqlites?
Check my other related thread here.

From everything I seen on several different forums and heard, spacers are a bad idea.
Yeah, me too. I've especially heard it from my mechanics. I seem to recall them saying that it changes the suspension geometry as well as the load points.
However, you'll find plenty of people that use 'em with the "I haven't had any problems" response. So...;shrug
I'm not getting outrageous with the spacers at just over a 1/4". Hopefully it won't be too much of an egregious offense! :ugh
It all comes down to money. I didn't have enough of it to spend for completely custom sized rims. So I guess I'll find out later down the road if my lil' gamble pays off.
 

KANE

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...However, when the tire was mounted, we definitely have clearance issues. The inside-rear of the the tire was hitting my powersteering piston when turned to the left. When turned to the right, the inside-front of the front rubbed up against the sway bar, and just shy of hitting the little turn-down lip that I'd never noticed before on the portion of the fender well right next to the swaybar. I determined that I need another 1/8" clearance in order to run the 255's up front. (DarkShark, I'm not sure how you can run the 255's up front without rubbing if you do a full-lock turn.;shrug)...

Huh. Mine doesn't rub. Could it be the Steeroids? My tie rods are all OEM.
 

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