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  1. #1
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    Apr 2020
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    69 camaro old school wheels and tires question

    I’ve had my Camaro for about 23 years, probably pushing 700 hp to the rear wheels, it’s a little ridiculous and overkill but back when I built it, that was the thing. I am thinking about Toning down and making it a little bit more pro touring-ish. I always thought you needed 15 inch wheels so you had plenty a side wall in order to hook up, I’m curious,,,,guys with the 19 inch low profile tires. Do they hook up as well as smaller rimmed tires? I know I’m definitely not gonna go with 19 inch wheels and probably not 18 inch wheels, I’m thinking of a happy medium of 17 inch wheels, but even with 17 inch wheels I’m worried about the tires hooking up. I’ve only messed around one Camaro and I’m sure there are guys on here who have been through this, will there be a big difference With traction from 17 inch rims versus 15 inch rims. I’ve always had 295’s in the rear and 225s upfront. Would anybody have any suggestions For a 17 inch wheel and tire combo? Thanks very much. Also I don’t race, I just want to drive around and listen to the radio maybe talk on my phone and enjoy the ride

    Another concern is cost, this Camaro is black hole financially, and I probably just wanna buy some medium priced tires for it and rims



  2. #2
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    Apr 2020
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    My old rims are The old weld draglite rims that have like six or seven circular holes around it. Probably like 30 years old
    69 camaro 502 w promaster Holley 950/procharger 800b ladders, 3 exhaust, cage, 5 points, vintage air, turbo 400, spool, 295/50s -15 rear and 225/50 -15 front. El cheap old aluminum rims Plumb crazy purple w/hockey sticks 4 cowl.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2010
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    225/40r17 and 295/40r17 would be the closest match to your current tires. But a 225/45r17 would really be a better match to the rears. Usually when you run the same diameter wheel front and rear you want similar side wall heights. The 295 would still have approx 4.65” sidewall, which would look nice and handle well.

    On another note, you can/should run a wider front tire than you are now if you want to go around corners fast.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by 65 drop top View Post
    225/40r17 and 295/40r17 would be the closest match to your current tires. But a 225/45r17 would really be a better match to the rears. Usually when you run the same diameter wheel front and rear you want similar side wall heights. The 295 would still have approx 4.65 sidewall, which would look nice and handle well.

    On another note, you can/should run a wider front tire than you are now if you want to go around corners fast.
    so if I went wider on front, Would I then go back to a 40 sidewall,,,like a 245/40. Or a 245/45
    69 camaro 502 w promaster Holley 950/procharger 800b ladders, 3 exhaust, cage, 5 points, vintage air, turbo 400, spool, 295/50s -15 rear and 225/50 -15 front. El cheap old aluminum rims Plumb crazy purple w/hockey sticks 4 cowl.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Houston, TX
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    Country Flag: United States

    Rim & Tire Calculator

    Here is a great website for comparing wheel and tire specs. You can plug in different combinations to compare sidewall height, overall height, section width, offset, suspension clearance, etc.

    http://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.j...0Civic%20wheel

    Rodney
    Rodney Meyers
    72 Olds 442 Rest-mod clone

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockwind1 View Post
    so if I went wider on front, Would I then go back to a 40 sidewall,,,like a 245/40. Or a 245/45
    The 245/45 would be an even better match to the rears. Has an approx sidewall of 4.34”. Im just not sure how wide you can go in the front. I’m sure somebody here can tell you exactly.

    The calculator above looks pretty nice, but heres another one too https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockwind1 View Post
    Im curious,,,,guys with the 19 inch low profile tires. Do they hook up as well as smaller rimmed tires?
    A long while back there was a rim size shootout comparing 60ft and 1/4 mile times for different wheel diameters using the same tire design/compound. If I remember correctly they found straight line performance reduced a bit as wheel size when up in diameter. However these days there are a lot of great tires and compounds available in larger wheel sizes that are not available on smaller diameter wheels. I think for slicks you're still going to hook better with smaller wheels and that would be prefered for 1/4 mile racing, but if you are comparing street tires, I'd be willing to bet a modern compound/design street tire on a larger wheel size is going to out hook a lot of what's available for 15" wheels. Street tire technology/selection for 15" wheels is not keeping up with what's now available for 18"+.

    Going around a corner there's no doubt you will be better served with a larger diameter wheel with a modern street tread.

    The Pilot Super Sports I have now on 18" wheels hook way better than the Dunlop GT Qualifiers ever did on 15" wheels, for example. Maybe that's an unfair comparison - there are probably some better tires for 15" wheels that those.
    Clint - '70 Nova home-built "restomod"

  8. #8
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    I agree with TheBandit, tire technology has come a long way and because of that the larger diameter wheels can perform well. I have a 65 Chevelle with 19 & 20’s with nitto 555’s. Car makes over 600 hp and tq, and it hooks up surprising well especially considering the rears are only 255’s. If you try to smoke them, well of course they’ll fry right off. But with a nice roll of the throttle it’ll boogie.

  9. #9
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    IMO, the question of which hooks better 15" vs say 18" is the wrong question. I think a more appropriate question would be, which wheel/tire combo works best for your intended use. There is a reason drag racing still predominately runs 15" wheels, which is simply tire sidewall flex. This is exactly the same reason why road racing tends toward 18" wheels, again tire sidewall flex. Obviously in drag racing the guys want flex where those of us involved in road racing do not want flex. Can you imagine going around a corner on drag slicks? Ultimately wheel size comes down to the correct setup for the application.

    That said, there seems to be a trend toward 18" competition wheels these days. Both F1 and NASCAR Cup series are moving to 18" wheels in the coming seasons. Indy Car and IMSA are already on 18's. I was hard core 15" wheel guy for many many years and as long as I just went straight the 15" wheels worked well. It took a long time for me to come into the present day in terms of wheel size but once I started getting serious about going around corners it did not take long to recognize that tall sidewalls and good handling did not play well together. I initially settled on 18" wheels primarily because that was smallest wheel that would fit around my big brakes. But these days I'm really excited about NASCAR Cup series moving to 18" wheels because it means there will be an endless supply of surplus racing tires for use in track days for those who are set up to use them. Dust Off is right around 520hp and frankly that seems like a sweet spot in terms of over powering the rear tires. At this power level I can easily light up the rear tires on corner exit if I'm not careful with throttle control.

    But back to the OPs original question, Pro-Touring is a performance level that many of us have worked hard to achieve and it is much more than a "pro-touring-ish" look. IMO, there is Pro-Touring and then there is pro-touring wanabes also called RestoMod. It sounds like the OP is more interested in a RestoMod build but is concerned about hooking up while just cruising around in his car. If he is interested in primarily going straight, keep the 15" wheels and tall sidewalls. If he wants to do a little corner carving then he needs to go with bigger wheels and shorter sidewalls. The driving application should determine the correct wheel/tire setup. In any case, Pro-Touring is much much more than just a set of big diameter wheels.

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    Steve Hayes
    "Dust Off"
    68 Camaro

    Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you!
    "Jeremy Clarkson"

  10. #10
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    I never get tired of seeing pictures of the Dust Off Camaro, I love that car.

    Just for fun here is a video of the Chevelle hitting it in first and into second.

    https://youtu.be/SdWmY3ExUTg

  11. #11
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    Apr 2020
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    Thanks for all the great info, heres my car just finished putting new rubber on, which I was already invested in before I made this post

    IMG_3855.JPG
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    69 camaro 502 w promaster Holley 950/procharger 800b ladders, 3 exhaust, cage, 5 points, vintage air, turbo 400, spool, 295/50s -15 rear and 225/50 -15 front. El cheap old aluminum rims Plumb crazy purple w/hockey sticks 4 cowl.

  12. #12
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    A 69 Camaro set up as pro streeter will always be cool

  13. #13
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    I think restomod is probably what Im looking for then. I dont want to throw bunch of money at it in suspension components And with the spool it really is only good for going straight. For you guys running high horsepower on the street what sort of lockers are you using? I mean for it to be more streetable but still handle a little bit of horse power. Ive been wanting to get rid of the spool for quite a while but seems like a big job and Im not sure what to get
    69 camaro 502 w promaster Holley 950/procharger 800b ladders, 3 exhaust, cage, 5 points, vintage air, turbo 400, spool, 295/50s -15 rear and 225/50 -15 front. El cheap old aluminum rims Plumb crazy purple w/hockey sticks 4 cowl.

  14. #14
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    I'm currently running a Tru Trac in one car with about 550 hp and it's really well made. I spec'd my 9" Moser in my Chevelle with the same. I also have an Eaton in one car with about 625 hp that chatters a bit, but works really well. I've run spools on the street and.. well... going straight works well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelteredchevelle View Post
    I'm currently running a Tru Trac in one car with about 550 hp and it's really well made. I spec'd my 9" Moser in my Chevelle with the same. I also have an Eaton in one car with about 625 hp that chatters a bit, but works really well. I've run spools on the street and.. well... going straight works well.
    yes agreed,,,spool es no bueno for the street. Especially in the rain. Fortunately I am in vegas and rain has been outlawed. I basically need to calm down this street legal go straight drag car so i can cruise around.

    a posi type rear end is my last big thing
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    69 camaro 502 w promaster Holley 950/procharger 800b ladders, 3 exhaust, cage, 5 points, vintage air, turbo 400, spool, 295/50s -15 rear and 225/50 -15 front. El cheap old aluminum rims Plumb crazy purple w/hockey sticks 4 cowl.

  16. #16
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    I have a TrueTrac and find it works great. Mine is in a 12-bolt with 3.90 gears behind about 550 RWHP. You honestly don't feel it at all. It is fairly quiet also which is nice, 9"'s can be fairly whiny.
    1969 Camaro