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Aftermarket wheels/tires for Avanti


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I want to have either 16 inch or 17 inch diameter rims on my 63 Avanti, I would

like to run a 275/40 series tire, though will probably end up with ~ 245/40. I have

been eyeballing the 03/04 Mustang Cobra rims, but the offset is wrong. I know I

can get bolt-on adapter/spacers, and know that people have put them on the early

Mustangs. I have been surfing the web for rims that fit early Mustangs and they

all look so crappy. Has anyone already done the fitment proceedure and knows

what rim size/offset/width is max for an Avanti? I have a set of Keystone rims on

the car now, they are 14 (too small) and 7 inch width. I have 245/60 tire on the

rim and it clears. Because of the small diameter, it gets close to the zerk fitting

and the tie rod. I figure with a 16 or 17 it would clear those areas. The Keystones

were bought for my Hawk, and transfered to the Avanti after the Hawk was totalled.

I want a 5 spoke wheel, the Cobra rims look like exactly what I want, but I would

rather not have spacers if I can avoid them.

2003cobra5sidebg.jpg

Tom

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  • 1 month later...

Didnt get ANY replies on this, so I ran with it myself, on some research on the web
I found that a 17 x 8 rim with a 4.5 inch backspacing would fit. I found that a place
in Canoga Park called AFS sells a Cobra rim that is 17 x 8 with a 5 inch backspacing.
On further checking I found that an early Mustang would handle a 17 x 8 rims with
a 4.75 backspacing, so I figured worst case I would need a 1/4 spacer for the front.
When the wheel is turned to lock, the rim contacts the front zerk pivot. I will either
need to find longer wheel studs, or switch to SteelTechs Ford setup. I was not able
to find a listing for wheel studs for a Studebaker rotor that are longer then stock
wheel studs. Also, with Avanti rotors costing close to a car payment, I think that
swaping to more common parts is the best bet.

I bought the rims, with 245/45 series tires. Here are the pics - Tom :


Avanti03Rims1.jpg
Avanti03Rims2.jpg
Avanti03Rims3.jpg
Avanti03Rims4.jpg

Edited by SBCA96
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Over 110 people have read this thread and NO ONE has bothered to comment

on it. I also belong to the Impala forum and even when a "newbie" posts a first

"hello" they get about 4 to 10 replies welcoming them. I would think that some

of you know how to reply to a thread, and have something to say about the rims

that I have found. Its kinda frustrating to post and not get ANY feedback.

Tom

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B) i like what you have done. the wheels and rim look good. i have a 64 r2 in white, with a fawn and aqua interor. i also have been compiling as much info about wheels and tires and have overloaded. with the orignal rims still in great shape, weather to change to newer steal rims to fit newer radials and still use the original hubcaps, or go all the way with kit butt rims and tires. do you feel the 17" rims and tires gave the impovement you expected. john
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Having not been able to drive the car due to the clearance issues and the lack of

long enough studs on the front hubs, I can not say that handling is changed. From

my experince in the past of bubble tires (70-75 series) to performance tires (60 or

lower) the difference in handling can be amazing!! I expect the car to feel as its

going around turns on rails. As far as LOOK, yes these rims did wonders for the

look of the car, and I feel have brought it out of "old school" into the more current

trend. Also I have read quite a few articles on rims sizes, and the optinum sizes

seem to be 17 and 18 inch for a car of this size and weight.

I am interested to read what others think as well.

Tom

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As far as LOOK, yes these rims did wonders for the

look of the car, and I feel have brought it out of "old school" into the more current

trend.  Also I have read quite a few articles on rims sizes, and the optinum sizes

seem to be 17 and 18 inch for a car of this size and weight. 

I am interested to read what others think as well.

Tom

They do look nice!!! I'd be very careful, though, because that is a radically different size... as I recall, in the past I've even had trouble with 215/70-15's or 205/75-15's (can't recall which) on 7" Magnum 500's in an Avanti II if I hit a bump while turning (interference with the left front fender wheel opening, not good for the fiberglass or paint). It's always possible that particular car was out of spec, of course, or those particular tires didn't conform to the norm for their size... I think I ended up with 195/75-15 on the front of that car.

Closest to original size is 205/75-15, I think. Your new tires are almost an inch and a half less in diameter, which helps clearance, but 1.6 inches wider (ie, they stick out about a half-inch further even with your current backspace, and extend inward a little over an inch further).

What sort of lugs do your new wheels use? If they are a recessed lug (pass through the mag wheel), possibly you could find a taller lug to use in conjunction with some sort of a wheel spacer drilled to same diameter as the wheels to accept the lugs.

There are some wheel adapters that hide/recess the old studs/nuts and provide new studs for the wheel, but they'd have to be considerably more than a quarter inch thick (generally they are 0.6 to 1 inch thick, thick enough to recess the old stud & nut)... ie, could be used if the wheels had more backspace.

Seems to me that any substitute rotor setup that would provide the needed clearance to the steering link would be essentially the equivalent of using adapters or spacers. Either method would push the wheel/tire further out of the wheel opening and risk fender opening damage.

But hey, you're a draftsman... measure it all up and stick it on your computer and you can check any combination of tire & wheel size for clearance under turn & jounce conditions!

Have you considered using a narrower wheel & tire of the same design for the fronts?

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They do look nice!!!  I'd be very careful, though, because that is a radically different size... in an Avanti II if I hit a bump while turning (interference with the left front fender wheel opening, not good for the fiberglass or paint). I think I ended up with 195/75-15 on the front of that car.

My dads 1969 Avanti II (you might remember it ;) ) also had trouble with the tire

hitting the fender, it seems that a lot of Avanti II's had this problem. When I was

researching this on the web, I factored that in, and found this article:

http://patriot.net/~jonroq/Text/wheel_fit.txt

Which states "The fronts will tolerate a 17 x 8" wheel with a backside

dimension of 4.5" (13mm offset). The tire I used is a 235-45-17" Bridgestone"

There is NO way I could live with my Avanti having 195/75 tires!! Thats the same

size I had on my Hawk in H.S.! They are the same size as VW bug! ick! Also the

original Avanti seems to have larger wheel openings. Not just in the filler piece

that was added. The plan is to add a larger bump stop so that ride suffers and not

the fender! (just in case). My 93 Camaro is running 17 x 9 with 275/40 tires!!

Closest to original size is 205/75-15, I think. Your new tires are almost an inch and a half less in diameter, which helps clearance, but 1.6 inches wider (ie, they stick out about a half-inch further even with your current backspace, and extend inward a little over an inch further).

Yup! MUCH wider, and looks sooooo sweet! I figured that I might need as much

as a 1/2 spacer at worst case. Unfortunately the narrowest bolt on spacer (much

stronger then a "bolt thru") comes in 3/4 inch - thats too much!

What sort of lugs do your new wheels use?

Standard acorn nut. I just reused the ones I had with the Keystones.

Old_keystone.jpg

Seems to me that any substitute rotor setup that would provide the needed clearance to the steering link would be essentially the equivalent of using adapters or spacers. Either method would push the wheel/tire further out of the wheel opening and risk fender opening damage.

The damage is the downside, but I feel if I limit the travel, then I will save the

fender, My Camaro has a very limited travel, sure the Avanti RIDES better, but

the Camaro will put the Avanti to shame around corners. We cant have that!

I am currently looking into SteelTech brakes, and also reusing the stock Avanti

hub with a 1994 thru 2004 Mustang rotor. The Mustang uses a "floating" rotor

so it slides over the hub, where as the Avanti rotor is pressed onto the backside

of the hub. With the rotor in between the hub and the rim, it will act like a spacer,

and with the original rotor gone, the stock studs might be the right length! Mustang

rear rotors are the same non-vented thickness as stock Avanti ... hummm. Then

again it WOULD be nice to have 12.9 inch vented Cobra front rotors. :D

Have you considered using a narrower wheel & tire of the same design for the fronts?

I considered it, but .. it doesnt exist! The 03 Cobra rim on which this design is

based, is a stock 17 x 9. AFS offers them in a wider 17 x 10.5 and then a bit

larger 18 x 9 and 18 x 10.5. I was quite happy to find that they made a narrower

17 x 8 version ... I dont know why though! The 94-04 Mustangs can fit the stock

Cobra rims without mods ... so who knows how long these rims will be around!!

I looked for over 10 years for a rim that would "work". I have been going thru

back issues of Turning Wheels and Avanti Magazine, but nothing seemed to really

match the original hub cap like these - down to the concave center! The only

otehr rim that I really though looked good on the Avanti was the BBS style rim

they used on the 20th anniversary Avanti.

Tom

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  • 4 months later...

I drove the Avanti to work today, the GT brakes are working quite nice.

I havent had any noticable clearance issues with the car at this height.

I am feeling the need to lower it about 1 inch though. Once that happens

its probably going to have fender clearance issues. I go back and forth

on whether or not to lower it. The frame isnt exactly sitting "high" off

the ground. I can have special lowering springs made by eatonsprings,

but I dont know what "stock" height IS for an Avanti. Mine has most

likely sagged, and the rear springs are not original (station wagon). The

Rep at Eaton, is going to contact old customers, and see if they will send

me an email with input about height.

As far as ride and control, the car feels very responsive, turn the wheel

and the car turns - no lag. The swaybars are too weak and the shocks

are old. The ride is what you would expect from 45 series tires, but its

not as bad as you might think. You DO feel "bad" roads.

I would have to say that I am very happy with the way the car looks,

and feels with these wheel/tire package. I have done research online &

this is the size tire that you see most often used on 60's vintage road

race cars. Pick up a copy of PHR, Car Craft or the like and you will

see 17 x 8 and 245/45 are the choice setup.

My Avanti is the inspiration for the 2006 Avantis choice in wheels, even

though I received no "thank you" from Avanti, at least I know its true. B)

Tom

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Looks great!!! Not sure of the availablity of early Avanti performance suspension parts but have you considered air bags in place of the springs?

By the way, I am having trouble posting pictures, how are you doing it?

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Looks great!!! Not sure of the availablity of early Avanti performance suspension parts but have you considered air bags in place of the springs?

By the way, I am having trouble posting pictures, how are you doing it?

Its magic!! Its difficult to explain here on the forum, because the code tries to insert a picture

if you type out the proceedure. Basically you have to put [*img*] WITHOUT the * at start and

end of the text "img", and then after the http address you put [*/img*] without the * .

so your text would be:

[*img*]http://www.mypictures.com/mypictures.jpg[*/img*]

I am not big on airbags .. something about them makes me worried.

Dittos on the looks great...really a nice car.

Thanks ... the pictures are deceiving .. the paint isnt as good as it looks, but its passable. Its

amazing what you can do with lighting and the 'right' angle. Its a 10 footer. ;)

Tom

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Hmmmm....I've tried that before, maybe a "too many fingers on keyboard error" on my part?

Nope... something about dynamic pages not allowed. Well I guess I'll start a topic on this, I hate reading directions if there isn't a pilot light involved.

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Well I guess I'll start a topic on this, I hate reading directions if there isn't a pilot light involved.

That reminds me, I need to replace the water heater today :unsure: ....

Tom

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  • 8 years later...

I have almost the same question. I'm looking at maybe some 16" or 17" torque thrusts. I want more of a classic modern look if that makes sense. Does anyone else have an issue seeing the pictures? Maybe it's my browser. OP can you post a couple more pictures of your car?

Any Help would be appreciated

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tom,

I can not open you pics.

For future tire/wheel combos here is a great site to do the sizing info http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tirecalc.php

Tom, do not get too stressed the guys are slow to answer, most Avanti have not had many aftermarket changes and i would guess most owners are not as advanced as you with your nice stable of great cars...they are just a bit shy...100 looked, you are the teacher. Thanks.

Joe

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I updated the links to the original photos....

Nice to see this forum is active again. I have been busy building a resto-mod

1978 Camaro for my wife.

Here is an extra shot left over from the Cover photos I took before the final was

picked. You can see the 13" rotor and 2 piston PBR caliper nicely in this shot.

L_Covershot2_021a.jpg

Tom

Edited by SBCA96
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  • 4 months later...

I updated the links to the original photos....

Nice to see this forum is active again. I have been busy building a resto-mod

1978 Camaro for my wife.

Here is an extra shot left over from the Cover photos I took before the final was

picked. You can see the 13" rotor and 2 piston PBR caliper nicely in this shot.

Tom

Tom,

Those are definitely some nice looking 2003 Cobra wheels on your Avanti... Can you answer a few questions for me:

1. What size tires (F and R) did you end up with? I think you stated 245/45-17. Is that correct?

2. What size wheels (F and R) did you end up with? I think you stated 17x8, but maybe you are using 17x9. Would the 17x8 size result in less front fender clearance problems?

3. What are the wheel offset dimensions for your front and rear wheels?

4. If you used any spacers on the front and rear, what are the spacer dimensions and where did you get the spacers from?

5. Which lug nuts did you end up using and who supplies them?

6. Would the Cobra wheels work with the stock 63 Avanti front disk brake calipers and stock 63 Avanti rear drum brakes?

7. Do you still sell the machined disk brake mounting adapters for the brake assemblies that you are using with these 2003 Cobra wheels?

I am pretty sure you have previously answered at least some of my questions in various threads, but I thought it would be good to be certain and to have all of the answers in one place. Sorry for the extra work I am putting you through, but I am getting pretty serious about upgrading my 63 wheels (and perhaps brakes). Thanks!

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