Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
1966 galaxie 16" vs 17" wheel and brake combo
Planning ahead for wheels, tires, and disc brake conversion. I read a bunch of threads but again can't quite find the exact answer I'm looking for. I'm hesitant to post anything after my debacle in the stroker motor threads but hopefully this goes well. the goal is for the car to not ride like a yacht and for it to stop like a more modern vehicle.
right now the 66 convertible has the original drum brakes and 15" wheels (hopefully I can take a pic with the car on the ground a post it over the weekend). Current suspension upgrades include Hotchkis TVS supsension kit, Bilstein comfort shocks, 190lb heavy duty moog springs in rear, 411lb moog front springs with 3/4 coil removed for a 1 to 1.5" drop in front (looking for a slightly raked look).
my step dad asked if I could keep a retro look (he donated the car), so I'm thinking magnum 500s with the ford crown logo center caps should look sporty yet period correct. I'm leaning towards one of two combos for wheels and brakes...
1. Scott Drake Magnum 500, 16x8, 4.50" backspace, 1mm offset.
235/60r16 tires (27.17" tire diam).
Wilwood Dynalite front brake kit 140-13653-D, 11.3" rotor diameter, 4 piston caliper.
2. Scott Drake Magnum 500, 17x8, 4.75" backspace, 6mm offset.
235/55r17 tires (27.10" tire diam).
Willwood Superlite front brake kit 140-13654-D, 12.88" rotor diameter, 6 piston caliper.
Cost: The 16" wheel/tire combo with the 11.3" front rotor kit costs $850 less than the 17" setup. (Edit: Plus another $600+ if I convert the rear end. The smaller setup with wilwood smaller kit front and back saves $1400+)
Wheel Selection: this may sound silly but I like the Scott Drake wheels because they are the only ones that offer the Ford Crown logo on a center cap. and the installation of the center cap is specific to their wheels so it can't be applied to an American Racing wheel, etc.
Fit: The 11.3" rotors would supposedly fit behind 14" wheels so the 16s should definitely fit around them, but 17" wheels would be needed for the 12.88" rotors. However, are the backspacing and offset dimensions of the Scott Drake wheels ok for the 66 galaxie? I noticed the backspacing and offset were different for the 16" wheels versus the 17" wheels. Also, I'm not sure how this is affected by the Hotchkis suspension kit since the car has new upper and lower A arms. I emailed hotchkis to see what size wheels and tires they used in their test videos, but there's been no response.
Stopping Distance: I have read there is a large advantage in going to the 11.3" rotor over keeping the stock front drums... but is there a huge advantage in going up to the 12.88" rotor from the 11.3" rotor? for the 4500lb car, would I notice the difference between the two setups when slowing from 65mph?
Comfort: I have also read that when upsizing from OEM 15" wheels, folks feel that 17" wheels provide more responsive steering and a better look but they are also much rougher and noisier. for daily driving, would the 16" setup be a good middle of the ground compromise? has anyone gone this route? if so, what's your feedback?
Visual: with the magnum 500s, the windows are so small I don't think anyone will see slotted and drilled rotors or colorful calipers, so the wheels and tires will be the visual impact. I have seen pictures that are close but no pics of the 235/60R16 or 235/55R17 for comparison on 65 to 68 galaxies. Is anyone running one of these sizes? Can you post a picture?
Last edited by lsugymrat24; 06-15-2019 at 04:33 AM.
Reason: better organization of thought and easier to understand