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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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Discussion Starter #42
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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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
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).
 

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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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I put 235/50/18's on the front and 235/55/18's on the rear, with all new rudder front end bushings. And changed the front sway. bar to 1 1/4 ? My have been 1"....the handling was quite improved on my pig..I can't say as to tires and road noise it being a convertible.
 

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Here are pics. 235/60/15's on the magnum 500's. and the staggered 235/50/18's front 235/55/18's rear on Vision rims I forgot the style,,..and 235/60/17 vision's. They had the two step ..which I didn't care for...
 

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This sounds like a classic case of analysis paralysis.By the described use of the car a performance tire is not needed. I certainly understand the desire to think that a performance tire will enhance the feeling and coolness of the hot rod we love so much, but it is mostly in the mind on a cruiser/driver vehicle. I don't think tires alone will do a great deal to improve cornering, for that you need suspension work. New, big sway bars will help with body roll, but then that may put even more lateral pressure on the sidewalls, which could lead to great enhancement with shorter side walls.


I currently run 225/75R15's, used to run 235/70R15's, but didn't want to spend the money for them the last time I needed tires. They kind of look a bit like pizza cutters, which has a lot to do with them being on the original 5.5" wheels. I think the narrow rim allows for more lateral movement than you would get from the same tire on a wider rim. My wish list includes a sway bar upgrade, bigger front bar and add a rear bar and then new wheels and tires, probably 17, or 18's. I think these old cars look better with some sidewall on the tires, no rubber bands please, so 18's will still provide 5" sidewall height for my 28" overall diameter, which seems pretty good.


Pick a tire you like the look of and the price of. You can't look at them when you're driving and everyone else will just see black circles around your wheels as you go past.
 
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I'm running the Scarebird conversion - haven't had any trouble with it.
With that said, all things equal I would always install the largest rotor possible.

At the same time, I also installed late-model Mustang "bullitt" (or whatever) wheels with the proper hub-centric spacers.
I hated the way the wide, low-profile tires made the car wander...even though the front suspension is freshly rebuilt back to stock.

I went back to black powder-coated Ranger truck steelies, and spider caps. Low price, classic look, classic ride quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I know it’s been a year but my car project got siderailed by budget cuts at our refinery. I’m looking into my old gal again.

Thanks again to everyone for their input. Cuthrel stated that wide tires made his old galaxie wander on the street. Does anyone know at what width this begins to happen?

I’ve done a ton of comparisons and reread everyone’s input. now wanting four matching wheels. Considering the following...
235/65r16 with Michelin premier AS with wilwood 11” disk 4piston caliper
Or
235/60r17 with continental truecontact tour with 12” disk 6piston caliper
 

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Wide tires in general tend to "track" with road irregularities...
I had a brand new 86 Mustang GT back in 1986...
and the factory wide Goodyear Gatorbacks tended to make the car wander, depending on the road surface condition.
That's a car with a relatively "modern" suspension, old car suspensions "may" be even more susceptible to the condition.

FWIW the "wide tire wander" was not really a problem, I got used to it very quickly.
After a while you sort of "subconsciously" compensate for it and don't even notice it.

Personally to me, the benefits of wider tires far out weigh any minor handling "feel" issues.

I've owned quite a few 60's cars that I put wider than stock tires on, and never had a problem with how they felt in the steering/handling department.

I also think alot of the steering feel also depends on the alignment setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I’ve done quite a bit of searching but everything on the web speaks in generalized terms. Wider, lower profile tires with modern grip help improve performance but cause rougher ride and what they call “tramlining” but they don’t say at what width, profile, pattern etc.
 

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The wandering shouldn’t be much of an issue with a staggered setup. It’s once you go quite wide in the front that you feel it. A 225 or 235 should be fine whereas once you get to 245 or wider it becomes noticeable... and harder to steer in slow situations with manual steering. On my foxbody I noticed it after changing from 225 55 16 to 245 45 17 on all 4 corners but it was well worth it and becomes less noticeable over time. On my falcon I’m going with 225 45 17 front and 255 40 17 rear and have no worries about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
I’ve decided to stick with 28” overall tires. The 235/65r16 and 235/60r17 with Scott drake magnum 500s allows me to do this and have really good tire options.
the only way I would consider lower profile tires (due to tire options) is to go up to 18” American racing torq thrusts with 245/55r18 conti contact dws tires and the wilwood 13” disks with 6piston calipers. This would keep me with a 28” overall tire as well. But quite a few folks said the 55 ratio tires would be rough and now I’m hearing the 245 may cause tramlining. But at least I’m down to three options now which is better than before
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Actually 235/55r18 is almost exactly 28” diameter and has a much better tire selection than 245/55r18 which is 28.6” diameter.
I’m very worried about the ride quality if i go that route, but it would allow for larger brakes.
so the three options are...
235/65r16
235/60r17
235/55r18
 

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Actually 235/55r18 is almost exactly 28” diameter and has a much better tire selection than 245/55r18 which is 28.6” diameter.
I’m very worried about the ride quality if i go that route, but it would allow for larger brakes.
so the three options are...
235/65r16
235/60r17
235/55r18
Hello Isugymrat24,

The 3rd generation full size Fords aren't that heavy compared to the full size cars of the early to mid 70's. For an example, I had 225/70R15's on my 1973 Caprice Classic and the ride was very soft and the steering was really not responsive and almost jellyfish like. The rim was floating around in the tyre as Caprice Classic weighs in at 5000 pounds curb weight, it's a very heavy Chevy. I went to 255/50R17's on it and the steering response improved greatly, but as noted it loves to tram on irregular paved roads and the ride became noticeably harsher.

It's all a tradeoff, I don't believe there is anything such as a perfect tyre. It's all about what you want the most out of the car. As for needing bigger brakes on a 3rd gen galaxie may I ask what in particular you are looking for that requires 6 piston calipers? Just curious. If it's bragging rights, well, I completely understand :)

I have stock front disc brakes on my Caprice Classic with single piston calipers, and I did put 94-96 full size Chevy rear discs on the car, which is also a single piston caliper and with the 255/50R17 wide tyres it's safe to say in a panic stop on dry pavement it stops so violently the ALT and OIL lamps come on as all the oil in the rear sump goes forward so quickly the oil pump sucks air and the fuel in the carb comes away from the idle ports and the idle speed drops to a few hundred RPM, then when the car stops and rebounds, all is well. That's with stock Chevrolet brakes on a very heavy passenger car, nothing fancy.

Just thoughts....

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #57 (Edited)
Good info and questions.
While Others have said to go as big as possible, I feel no huge need for 6piston big brakes..
I have read that single piston calipers cause pad taper so I’m thinking the 4piston setups would be nice.
I provided data previously where others have claimed to stand monster trucks on their noses with small 4piston setups so they’re plenty powerful enough and should keep even pad wear as a plus.
I have read that the 6piston setups are 100+ Degrees cooler when stopping from 60mph. That sounds like a benefit but Does that matter for a putt around town convertible? Most likely not. If I were doing some autocross that might be a different story.
The 6piston calipers do look cool but the lower cost 4piston setup is probably good enough. And the wilwood setup still looks nice in either option
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Desertxl went from 70 series tires on 15” rims to 50 series tires on 17” rims and saw a significant difference. I’m wondering if I did something in the middle, like in the three options I mentioned a few posts ago, would I get a good compromise between comfort and performance? Or would I get wheels that dont do anything well?
 

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Good info and questions.
While Others have said to go as big as possible, I feel no huge need for 6piston big brakes..
I have read that single piston calipers cause pad taper so I’m thinking the 4piston setups would be nice.
I provided data previously where others have claimed to stand monster trucks on their noses with small 4piston setups so they’re plenty powerful enough and should keep even pad wear as a plus.
I have read that the 6piston setups are 100+ Degrees cooler when stopping from 60mph. That sounds like a benefit but Does that matter for a putt around town convertible? Most likely not. If I were doing some autocross that might be a different story.
The 6piston calipers do look cool but the lower cost 4piston setup is probably good enough. And the wilwood setup still looks nice in either option
Hello Isugymrat24,

I have some empirical observations about single piston calipers you may find interesting. Now I've owned my 73 Caprice Classic for 27 years, also owned two 96 Impala SS's for 12 years, as well as 4 different Panthers for about 14 years. Both the Panthers and the 96 Impala SS's come with 4 wheel single piston disc brakes. My Caprice Classic came with single piston front disc brakes, all factory parts. Now in owning these cars for so long, I've done numerous brake jobs on them all. I have never seen a front disc pad wear taper on any of the cars. Now I have seen rear disc taper on all the Panthers (all Mercury Grand Marquis). But the Chevrolets never had a rear disc taper problem. The Chevrolet rear disc brakes have a nice fit and finish, the Panthers are kind of loosey goosey by design and the pads cock off so they never wear square on.

With that it's pretty clear it depends on the design and quality of the braking system for single piston calipers. The Ford rear disc brakes are a bit cheesy compared to the General Motors rear disc brakes on full size.

To your point, if it's just a daily driver then actually there's nothing wrong with properly maintained drum brakes. The only bad part about drum brakes is the non-linear clamping forces, so in a panic stop it's easy to lock up drum brakes with skinny tyres if you're not mindful of pedal pressure.

Hope that helps a little.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #60
thanks! this is really good info. its good to know that the front stock disk setup works well but the rears aren't great. i've read that Ford used a 4 piston setup but went to a 1 piston caliper due to cost and other factors. this has me leaning toward the wilwood 4piston caliper setup with 11" rotors for all 4 corners. and in which case, I can use either of the three wheel options i had in mind.
 
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