1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo - Page 3 - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #31 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

after reading and researching Magnum 500 wheels and tire sizes for two weeks, I'm pretty frustrated. Lack of tire choices ruled out the 15" wheels. Wheel diameters and brake parts are getting larger so that rules out the 16" wheels. tire choices for 17" wheels pretty much rules out using 245s and 255s for the rears in a 28” diameter with a smaller matching tire up front. So, I've narrowed it down to three choices. At this point it's mostly preference but I'm not sure which way to lean...

A. 225-60R17x7 front and 235-60R17x8 rear, Scott Drake
Pros: period correct black Ford Crown center cap, 60 series ratio front and back, should help with raked look by staggering diameters
Cons: losing 1/2" width on front tire (traction and filling wheel well) compared to a 235 on an 8” wheel, staggering widths supposedly causes more understeer

B. 235-55R17x8 front and 235-60R17x8 rear, American Racing
Pros: gain 1/2" width front tire, should help with raked look by staggering diameters 1”
Cons: lose 1/2" height cushion compared to 225-60R17 (does the 235-55 look right on an old car?), cheap AR plastic center cap

C. One size tire all around. Either 235-55R17x8 or 235-60R17x8, American Racing
PROS: not staggering diameters opens up more options for tires, should help with understeer by not staggering widths
Cons: lose the raked look so may need to cut another 1/4 front coil to compensate, cheap AR plastic center cap

Last edited by lsugymrat24; 07-02-2019 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Added tire size to option C and clarified a statement
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post #32 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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just realized that US Wheel also makes a magnum 500 and states that the original OE cap will fit so it might take the Wheel Vintique center cap. Also read that the mounting bracket can be adjusted so the American racing wheel takes the reproduction caps. So I feel good about both options to get the look I want.

The US Wheels are not stepped like the American Racing and Scott Drake Magnum 500s. I'd like to poll the audience. which style would be more 1966 period "correct" and/or look better on the Galaxie -- stepped or not?
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Last edited by lsugymrat24; 07-04-2019 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Info on AR wheel
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post #33 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

went to the Slammed and Cammed car show in Baton Rouge this weekend and realized a few things.

There was a fullsized car with the 17" US Wheels magnum 500s at the show. The non-stepped wheels did not look "right" at all when compared to a few nearby mustangs with the 15" original style wheels. So, I scratched the US Wheels version off my list. The rest of you probably already knew this, but I realized that the original style is a stepped (added in edit), two piece, chromed wheel.

Now I'm conflicted about using the monocast American Racing VN501 or the CNC cut Scott Drake wheels. I didn't see any of these at the show, so I'm not sure of how they look in person compared to the 15" wheel vintiques. they are stepped to mimick the two piece wheels but they lack the seam and they are not polished to mimick the chrome look (added in edit). American Racing does offer the VN500 as a polished two piece 17" wheel which seems to better mimick the smaller original wheels, but it costs over $200 MORE per wheel. I'm not sure if the look of at seam is worth $800. wish I could see the scott drakes, AR VN500 and VN501 in person.

All of the magnum 500 wheels at the car show were 15" (except for the one referenced above). the really nice looking setups had 275 rears and 225/235 fronts. they all used either Cooper Cobra GTs or BFGoodrich Radial TAs (or a funky looking no-name bias ply type tire). I looked at TireRack and Discount Tire and those seem to be the only two tires supporting the 15" muscle car market. the tech on those tires is 30+ years old. bummer

The show had plenty of 15", 17", 18", and 20" plus wheels on old cars. I know its all in preference, but I realized that the overall look of the 15" wheels just seems to "fit" on the 60s cars (maybe the cut of the wheel wells, or maybe the suspension stance?). this was upsetting, because visually I like the 15s but the 17" wheels have way better tire availability, tire technology, and accommodate larger and lighter brake rotors which reduces brake temperatures and unsprung weight (added in edit).

For tire diameter, I was originally looking at 28s on the rear and 27s in the front. at the show, a few full size cars had this setup. the 28 diameter tires looked good in the back of every vehicle at the show as long as it was a wide tire, but the 27" tires in the front looked a little big. I looked online at Tire Rack and Discount Tire and going down to 26" tires for the front drastically increases the number of tires available. Seems like wheels are getting larger but overall tire diameters are getting smaller at the same time. this worries me because the smaller diameter tires have lower weight ratings (added in edit).

Seems like I always see lots of mustangs, novas, chevelles, mopars, cadillacs, etc, but there's a lack of full size Fords at car shows in my area. In the last 5 years, I've only seen two Galaxies at car shows. one was a super nice 63 with the 427 double quad motor, and one was a 1978 that looked ratty like my 66. I've only seen two other Galaxies driving around my area... one was a white 1965 and the other was a red 1966. for not being rare cars, I'm surprised to see so few of them.

Last edited by lsugymrat24; 07-24-2019 at 09:00 AM. Reason: added and revised info (edits are noted by parenthesis)
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post #34 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

I tend to read about things until analysis paralysis sets in and there seem to be no good options (laughing at myself right now). and in typical fashion I've continued reading and looking at brakes and tires which is probably not a good thing.

I found this article interesting. the article may just be advertising for StopTech and complete BS for all I know, but the information seems interesting.
https://www.zeckhausen.com/catalog/i...Path=6446_6565

To paraphrase the article, StopTech claims that having a brake system tuned to your vehicle is more important than installing the biggest parts out there. It sounds like this is more than simply adjusting the proportioning valve. They tested a couple of popular "upgraded" brake systems on an Audi and found them to take longer to stop the car than the original Audi factory equipment. Then StopTech showed how installing a balanced system can achieve shorter stopping distances for the Audi.

next they tested a series of brakes on a 350Z. this test backed the conventional wisdom that larger rotors equal better cooling. in stopping tests for individual 60, 80, and 100 feet distances, 13" rotors ran about 100° cooler than 12" rotors which ran about 150° cooler than 11" rotors.
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post #35 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

https://www.eeuroparts.com/blog/1115...big-brake-kit/
the writer states some things in general that I see in multiple places on the web...
  • larger rotors can hurt performance because it increases unsprung weight which results in a more sluggish response.
  • heavy cast iron calipers increase unsprung weight
  • larger rotors aren't usually needed for standard daily driving
  • OEM brakes are plenty good enough for the street
  • if the application is going down steep hills or taking the car to the racetrack, upgrade OEM brakes with better pads and/or run a tube from the front of the car to the brakes to cool them
  • larger diameter brake discs won't help to stop a vehicle any faster on the street
  • if your wheels show the brake calipers, usually people want a big brake kit for the looks

https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsp...nd-track-days/
this article echoes some of the previous items, but he says on heavier or more powerful cars, it may be worth it to upgrade to big brakes at the track

https://www.tbmbrakes.com/brake-pist...nt-not-matter/
TBM states that 4piston calipers are all anyone needs
  • used by Nascar, Sports Car, and NHRA
  • can stop a 3500lb car from 200mph or make a monster truck stand on its nose
  • 6 piston calipers are elongated which adds stress points and increases flex in the caliper
  • smaller pistons on 6 piston calipers decreases clamping force


I'm probably doing too much reading on something that doesn't really matter. but what these folks don't say is if they had to replace an old drum brake system from the 60s with a disc brake system... what would they buy if they are already spending the money?
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post #36 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

right now the US Wheels are out because I don't like the look. and the American Racing VN500 is out because they are just too expensive. I'm back to two wheel options and now three tire options...

1. stagger width of wheels and tires width and diameter
American Racing VN501 Magnum 500. 8" front and 9" rear
Nitto N555 G2 tires. 245/45r17 front with 275/50r17 rear
2. square setup wheels with staggered tire width and diameter
Scott Drake Magnum 500. 8" front and rear
Nitto N555 G2 tires. 245/45r17 front with 255/50r17 rear
3. square setup wheels and tires... with different tire diameters
Scott Drake Magnum 500. 8" front and rear
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. 235/50r17 front with 235/55r17 rear
I'm leaning toward the Scott Drakes because I don't know if the Wheel Vintique center caps can truly be modified to fit the American Racing Wheels... and I really want the look of a 65-67 Fairlane/Falcon center cap. If I go that route, it means I can't run 275s on the rear, but how big is the difference between 255s and 275s? the car will have around 350hp and 400ft/lbs. is the traction gained by going to 255s or 275s in the rear worth the understeer compared with using 235s front and back?

at this point i will quit typing and see if anyone wants to chime in on any of the last few posts. if not, I will wait and post back on what I purchase and install. I'm learning there is not correct answer on these things.

Last edited by lsugymrat24; 07-24-2019 at 09:58 AM.
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post #37 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:29 AM
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

what kind of driving are you going to do with this boat?
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post #38 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

hey extech,

no drag racing. no autocross... though it would be fun will try to keep her out of the rain. most of my driving will be warm weather. i do have two really curvy roads that I like to play on sometimes (not sure if that necessitates the wide tires and big brakes). otherwise it will be mostly driving through town and to local car shows. we plan to make a trek once per year to Cruising the Coast which is maybe a 3 hour drive on I-10.

and you're right, the last time I took a ride in the gal (something like 20+ years ago now)... I remember it riding like a yacht. was hoping the new suspension could tame some of that, but until the engine and transmission are rebuilt, I can't test it with the drums and the old 15" wheel setup.
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post #39 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 04:46 PM
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

i drive my 63 in regular freeway traffic all the time. handeling will never be good with something this heavy, but a little better braking is a plus. just going to radial tires made the most difference. i don't think low profile tires will do anything other
than ruin the ride quality
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post #40 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

Well I know you have a ton of experience especially with these cars so I definitely value your opinion.

At what point would you consider the tires to be low profile? Would it be 50 series and lower? Or 45 and lower? I think this concept would rule out the wide Nitto tires and 9” American racing wheels.

What type of tire would you recommend? touring all season? Summer performance? Etc

I want to stagger tire heights so I’ve been looking them up in pairs on tire rack. most of the options in 235/55 front and 235/60 rear are for touring while most of the tire combinations for 235/50 front and 235/55 rear are performance tires. anything lower may be too rough while anything taller may be too bouncy and have sidewall flex?
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post #41 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 07:57 PM
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

your cars suspension was designed with tall sidewall tires in mind. the tires are part of the suspension. imo anything lower than 60 series tires are going to give you a harsh ride, and less control .hard to trade looks for logic
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post #42 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

That makes sense. I knew the car used 28” tires on 15” wheels originally but didn’t realize at what point lowering the profile on a 17” wheel would make for a harsh ride with the galaxie. Thanks
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post #43 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

based on yesterday's info, I stopped looking at 40, 45, and 50 series tires. i focused on 60 series tires but wasn't super impressed with the performance reviews so I considered 55 series tires as well. TireRack has reviews on all the best tires in the 235/55 and 235/60 R17 categories, so I put the higher rated tires into a spreadsheet for comparison (see attached pic). The sheet is in order from lowest overall average score at the top to highest score at the bottom. Scores that stood out as being somewhat bad are highlighted in red while the standout good scores are highlighted in blue. I'm not sure how much to trust the reviews since they are mostly done on 18" wheels using BMWs (completely different than my Galaxie plans)... but this is the only test data I could find. thought some other folks might find it useful.
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Last edited by lsugymrat24; 07-26-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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post #44 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ive been trying to relate tire performance to tire size across the vehicles I drive. The suspensions aren’t equal and the tire makes are different but it’s the only thing I can relate to.

The work truck is a 2019 Silverado with 255/70 r17. That’s a 31” tire. General Grabber HTS. Sidewall height is 7”. The tires were selected to take loads in the back of the bed so there’s a ton of bounce in the ride. They flex and roll over. It’s actually quite miserable to ride in the truck.

My personal truck is a 2014 f150 with 265/60 r18. That’s a 30.5” tire. Michelin LTX AS. Sidewall height is 6.25”. I do notice a little bounce in the ride and a few bumps can be felt in the cabin. Sometimes the tires feel mushy.

Our Durango rt has 265/50 r20. They are 30.5” tires. Bridgestone Ecopia 422 Plus. Sidewall height is 5.25”. Performance is absolutely outstanding but the ride is rough and miserable. The tires make loud booming sounds when we hit bumps and the substantial road noise is a constant aggravation.

If the aspect ratio causes performance characteristics thenI’m afraid 60 series tires may be mushy while 55 series may be too rough

if it’s as simple as finding the magical sidewall height to get a balanced tire experience (in this case between 5.25” and 6.25) then a 235/60 sidewall height is 5.55” which falls into this range while a 235/55 would be 5.1” and may be too small.

if the rim size affects this in combination with section height then 18” wheels would be right but I don’t want that on my galaxie plus magnum 500s look strange when stretched to that diameter

Maybe a little too short or too tall of a sidewall can be overcome by getting a good set of ultra performance all season tires like Michelin pilot AS 3 or Pirelli Pzero AS Plus.

Or if it’s all of this combined then it’s no wonder I’m still asking questions. Unfortunately, there is no Big Tire Comparo thread where someone bought 5 different sizes of 10 different tire makes for 4 different size wheels to try on a galaxie (like the big intake comparo FE thread that’s so popular).

Last edited by lsugymrat24; 07-27-2019 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Took a ride in my truck and thought of something
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post #45 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 06:17 PM
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Re: 1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo

I think using low profile 17" or 18" wheels on a fifty plus year old stock suspension car is like putting mittens on a pig. I don't know what you expect from the combination but I can't see the tires being useful. The combination of over engineered tires on an old suspension doesn't make sense to me.
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