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Technical 63 Sprint rim/wheel suggestions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fisher400, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    I have a 63.5 Sprint Convertible (5 lug, 8" rear, original). I am thinking of ditching the 13" rims and like the 15" American Racing Thrust unpolished wheels but want a 60's look... Period looking radials too. Is anyone running these on a Sprint and can give some suggestions? I don't expect the chain stores to know anything here. If you have a Sprint and can tell me xxx/xx/15 works and doesn't rub, that would be a big help.
    What width 15" rim do you suggest? 7" wide? Or 4" in the front, 7" in the back?
    What size and brand radial tires for a 60's look?
    Anyone going different tire in the front/back? Like 205 in the front 245 in the back?
    Spacer issues or any other considerations?
     
  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,057

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Fisher400

    I think you will find the diameter of any 15” ‘period looking radials’ will far exceed the wheel opening dimensions of your Sprint. I previously owned a ‘63 Sprint. The requirement for period looking requires at minimum a 70 series and more likely 75 series aspect ratio to qualify. On a Falcon of that era a 205 is wide......a 245 is .....well.....ginormous....to be polite.

    IMO, your best best would be a modest size 14” wheel/tire......or forget period looking and use a lower profile aspect ratio to get some tread width at a reasonable overall diameter......even at that, 235 or 245 will likely be problematic with stock wheel wells.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  3. HotRod33
    Joined: Oct 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,455

    HotRod33
    Member

    289168-1304662797-b39fcad2b3f1d76454117e509970fd11.jpg my Dad's 63 ranchero had 14 inch cragers that filled up the wheel wells... I don't remember the size tires
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  4. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,881

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've got a buddy with a 63 1/2 V8 Sprint that he has had since HS. It has Cragars on it. I'll check and see what he is running. Its buried in his garage so probably no photos.
     
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  5. I had a 63 1/2 Falcon Sprint in high school and I had a set of 14" five spoke mags, the had the dark centers.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. This is Jay Leno's Sprint. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Most Fords of the '50s and early--to-mid '60s have very tight rear wheelwells, so fitting larger wheels/tires is tough. Having owned both Falcons and Comets of the era, finding the right combo is critical. Backspacing on the wheel is the key.

    14" wheels are relatively easy. Stick with a 6" wide wheel and you need a 3.5" backspacing (not as easy to find as you might think). Tire size should be a 205/70, you might be able to squeeze a 215/70 depending on tire brand. In terms of 'period correct', this is what you want. Until 60 series tires came out in the late '60 there were no 15" wheels/tires that would fit under these without cutting the rear wheel openings or narrowing the rear axle with wheel tubs.

    If you want 15" wheels, you'll have to move up to 60 series tires to keep the tire diameter down to manageable size, so a 7" wide wheel is my recommendation. But you'll need a 4.25" backspacing, not easy to find; I had to special-order mine. I'd be surprised if you can find a off-the-shelf wheel that will work. A 215/60 will be the biggest tire that will fit without rubbing.

    And for a low-buck solution, I've seen 2005-09 Mustang V6 16" wheels used on these (these look a bit like the Halibrand K/O wheels used on the AC Cobras, so they do have an 'early vibe'). These are also 7" wide, have enough backspacing and if you limit tire size to 195-50/16, will fit under the car. NOT truly period correct, but the wheels aren't too hard to find used and aren't all the expensive when you do. Most are powdercoated silver, you can find some with machined highlights, or polish them yourself.

    Keep in mind that there can be dimensional differences from car to car and these sizes usually use all available room, so careful fitting to your car should be done. I found a tire store manager that was willing to try a few combinations on the car to establish all this and he got the sale. I don't think I'd try this via mail order unless you spend some time very carefully measuring your car before buying. There's space limitations in front too, particularly with larger than 14" wheels although any rubbing will usually be at the ends of steering travel.
     
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  8. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Thanks! Insight like this is helpful. I saw an article recently and the guy had 205 and 245 on a 64' Sprint. I was using that as an example.
     
  9. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,881

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just heard back from buddy and his wheel combo's won't be much help. He had 13x6 5 lug Cragar's on the front and 14x6's on the rear. Sprint.jpg
     
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  10. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    All the responses are great,
    Great picture, that is what I would be going for right there....
     
  11. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    The more pictures I look at, I like the 14" rims though...so 3.5" back space is critical for a falcon. Thanks for suggesting the tire size too.
     
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  12. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Mean looking falcon. The 13" up front and 14" in the back is a good look though. I always think the rear on a falcon looks worse in a 13" while the front end looks fine with a 13". Thanks for the picture.
     
  13. If he had 245s on it, there was some mods inside the wheelwell or he was willing to tolerate rubbing.
     
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  14. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 340

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Measure from outside of leaf spring to fender well lip. My '63.5 Comet is approx. 9". Running 205/60-15 on 7" Mag 500s and I get a tad of rub on passenger side if I hit a hard dip in the road. You should be able to get by with 65s without any problem. Yes, it's not a Sprint and it has skirted fenders but I'm betting the dimensions are near the same. Only way to go wider is spring relocation and tubs.
     
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  15. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 705

    brianf31
    Member

  16. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,057

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

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  17. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

  18. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Yea, you are right Steve. They list the specs of cars but don’t explain all mods they did to make those tires work. I am looking into the 14” and size you recommended. 205/70...Price for new rims and tires in this size are the same as 4 13” tires I can find from Coker!
     
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  19. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,354

    FalconMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    I put 15 and 16 torque trust II on my sprint. Both were 6 inch. The key was to buy a Currie rear end that was one inch narrower than the stock rear. 20150612_111528_resized.jpg


    DSCN4440.JPG
     
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  20. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Nice car! Neat combo. Do you think the 15" would have been an issue for the stock rear? I am not looking to change the original 8".
     
  21. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,354

    FalconMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    Ok ... I just looked again what I had.... sold the car a couple years ago. 16x7 wheels 215/65 tires. I had 15x7 previously on it with the same style wheel. I can honestly say I had zero clearance to the lip of the wheel opening and the shock mount WITH the Currie rear end. I'm not sure how others fit their wheels. I think with a deep backspace (which I could not find in a Torque Thrust II wheel) in a steel wheel or a wheel off a late model mustang, you may not need a Currie rear.


     
  22. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 340

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    15"X 7" wheels are going to pin you down on thread width. 195/65 will get you close to 8" but may be a tad tall, 205/60 is a tad over 8" and height works for me. This is running stock 8" differential. I run the 205/60 on all fours. Also depends on what stance you dig the most. You can run taller on the back if you don't mind the 70's Funny Car look with long shackles, but that's not my bag. I like the stock stance.
     
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  23. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Nice, that's good confirmation to what I am considering at this moment. I spoke to my local CJ tire and they recommended the thrust 15" with a 195/60 BFG Radial or a 205/60. I think I am leaning the 205 to get a little larger overall diameter on the car. Good to hear you are doing something similar and have stock front/rear like mine. BTW, I would bet my sprint and your comet are basically the same in the running gear department. Thanks!
     
  24. You're going to have a tough time finding a 15x7 wheel with enough backspacing to fit, if you drop down to a 6" it should go. But then the wheel is a bit narrow for 60 series tires and when going to a higher aspect ratio the tire diameter gets too large. I know at the time I looked, American racing didn't have any 15x7 with the needed backspacing and still don't. Don't hand over any money until they prove that they fit....
     
  25. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Steve, I am taking your advice sir. I think CJ said 7" wide, but I see there are 6" wide on American Racing's site...back space is 3.66. You are right, I want to get this right before I "own" them...any tips for verifying back space? I assume the rear is of most concern here...
     
  26. Backspacing is measured as the distance from the wheel mounting face to the inside rear tire mounting lip. So measuring from the mounting face to the outside rear of the wheel then deducting the lip thickness will give backspacing. The rear is the main concern, but do pay attention to the front also. When I did mine, the 215/60-15 fit perfectly in the rear with a 4.25" backspace 15x7 wheel but I did have to use a 1/8" spacer in the front as the wheel would contact the ball joint otherwise. I did have non-stock upper control arms (Global West), it may not be an issue with stock ones.

    To give you an idea of the clearances involved, using a 15x7 wheel with 4.25" backspacing and a 215/60r-15 tire, gave me not quite 1/4" of tire clearance to the fender lip at the rear wheel well. I did have light rubbing on occasion. This wheel had a 2.75" 'front spacing' (7" width - 4.25" = 2.75"). With a 3.66" backspacing on a 7" wheel width, the front spacing will now be 3.34" moving the tire out about 9/16", you're now into the lip by about 5/16". Drop down to a 6" rim with the same 3.66" backspacing, your front spacing is is now 2.34", pulling the tire in 1" giving you about 5/8" clearance to the lip.

    Keep in mind these cars aren't all that precision-built, variations in dimensions is common not to mention possible accident damage. Rear axles that aren't exactly centered is another thing to look for. When you're scraping for fractions of an inch, this can be important. Do check fit at each corner, but the rear will probably be where any issues will be. Actual physical tire size can vary quite a bit on a given size between manufacturers also, again if it's close this can make a difference. That cost me a pair of tailpipes once...

    If you stick with a 195 or 205 size tire, those will fit 'OK' on a 6" rim. I was chasing handling, so I wanted as much rim width as I could get.
     
  27. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    I have a 65 Comet wagon and in order to install a 29 x 7 inch slick on a 7 inch steel wheel. I needed to completely remove the outside inner fenderwell so that the 1/4 panel is my outside fenderwell. A lot of cutting to the front edge of the fender opening to clear the tire.
    One of my fellow SEGA racers has a Falcon and he had to do the same thing to his car.
     
  28. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Great explanation-thank you! Just so I know, was this a Falcon? What year? The 7" wheel they are suggesting is 3.76" back spacing but I can see from your explanation that even dropping to the 6" wide will help me be more on the "safer" side. I don't need tire rub... I would probably shoot for the 195 or 205 tire in the 6" wide. I can call them today and see. As a side note, I did notice MACs offer a torque thrust tire package for falcon/comets and that package is 15x7 (3.76 back space) with 205/65/15 tires. https://www.macsautoparts.com/torq-...ounted-balanced-package-ford-41-849213-1.html . Price is right but I don't think the tries are as good as a BF or Cooper with the white letters. Just good to see they are offering a package that is close to what we and the tire place is discussing.
     
  29. Fisher400
    Joined: Jan 27, 2020
    Posts: 115

    Fisher400

    Might be a little extreme for my car lol! Thanks!
     
  30. My 15x7 set-up was on a '64 Comet Hardtop, but at the time I also owned a '65 Sprint and a '63 V8 Futura. I tried the rear tires on those, it was slightly tighter on the '63 (I would have had to roll the fender lip to gain enough clearance) and about the same on the '65. I'd be highly suspicious of the MACs package, I can see that fitting the '66-70 cars as Ford switched to a shortened Fairlane body shell in '66 with much roomier wheelwells but not so much on the earlier cars. They are using a taller/narrower 65 aspect ratio tire which helps but you may run into issues with a different brand because of size variations between manufacturers. I know when I replaced tires on my Comet I had to pay attention to tire section width as not all brands would fit, even though they were supposedly the same size. I used Falken and Hankook tires at the time as they fit best for my application. Whatever tire you end up with, get the dimension specs on it and keep them so when replacing you can check actual size. And not every tire size is available from every manufacturer; Goodrich has more T/A sizes than Cooper (Cooper only has one 15" tire really suitable for you, a 215/65R-15), but the Goodrich tend to run a larger section width in the 'same' size. Again, if you're cutting it close, this can matter. 15" tires are rapidly becoming 'specialty' items, selections aren't what they used to be.

    I'll also note that if you use raised white letter tires, the letters aren't included in the tire section width spec so if you're cutting it close the letters may rub.

    Again, I'd recommend working with a local retailer, then you can see just what you have. I'd consider 1/4" clearance as the bare minimum (expect some rubbing under certain conditions), you'll likely need 1/2" to prevent any rubbing.
     

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