View single post by discogodfather
 Posted: 02-11-2020 04:40 am
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Joined: 09-17-2007
Location: San Francisco, California USA
Posts: 51
PART II: Living with it and Mods

The car was a masterpiece and I didn't really want to change anything, but reality started to change things regardless. Right off the bat I had a big problem: the tires. Since the wheel wells had been flared out I essentially had to run fairly wide wheels to make any sense of it. The builder had used a custom set of very era popular western turbine wheels, and they were glorious. I loved the look, but the first issue was tires. At the time BF Comp T/A's were still being made, and they had a decent rep as a good street tire and all arounder that lasted. They had sizes in 225 up to and amazing 255 and were very low profile, if I remember correctly around 40.

BF Goodrich promptly discontinued the tires in these 13 inch sizes. As if they heard I bought this car, lol! I ended up having literally zero options for the size unless I wanted to step up to some massive profiles. Sure there were tons of R1 compound and racinf tires, but that wasn't going to cut it where I live in the rain and bad roads. My tires balded as I kept looking for an alternative.

But then things got worse: wheel problems. I had some shaking issues at around 55mph, but thought it was a balancing problem. I remember the builder saying that the wheels were actually not the correct 4x4" or 4x101.6mm pattern. They had been modified (maybe from a 4"x95mm or a 4"x104.5mm, I can't remember. I had the wheels balanced and the problem didn't go away. I was flying down 280 south one day to San Jose at some kind of *legal* speed, and I got a violent shaking of the steering wheel, real bad. I thought I had blown up a tie rod, it was that bad.

The front passengers side wheel had come loose and was damaged - holes rounded out and ovaled with lots of metal missing, including some damage to the spindle and the studs. Towed home and pulled all the wheels and found some ovaling on all the wheel holes, and realized the bolt pattern issue had caught up to me. Big bummer.

I replaced all the bearings and the front spindle on the passengers side, and looked for some replacement wheels. I thought maybe some mini-lites or something in that vein, but nothing really presented itself. Most were around 7" and I started to do all the permutations on which tire would fit, etc. I ended up not being able to find anything close to the deep inset I needed (or small backspace for Americans). I ended up going with a stamped steel wheel out of frustration with finding a good street tire/wheel combination. Final setup was a Diamond Racing wheel at 15x9 in the rear and 15x7 in the front. Cooper cobra 225 / 55's.

The look was odd. It kind of reminded me of a dune buggy and the wheels filled every damn MM of the wells and it did rub a bit on hard turns. Miraculously didn't touch in the rear. But they were way too big, I went from rims that were around 12lbs with a 19lbs tire to a 19 lbs rim and a 24 lbs tire, big mistake. It was grippy as hell but it plodded along, gone was the steering response. It also raised the car about 2" so it looked like it was floating in air. Monster truck??