Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs

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Offline 67FBGT

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Am looking to mothball the old 14" 5-spoke alloys on my '67 due to the much diminished options of tyres.
The only choices seem to be 15", which hardly seems worth the small increase, or go up to 17". (I'd have thought 16" would be ideal but there are few if any in that size available).
I've driven one Mustang with 17" wheels some years ago but found it very hard riding, bit of a go-cart skipping over bumps, not particularly pleasant to drive. Whether that was due to the wheels, or suspension modifications, or both, I wouldn't know.
As per the title, any useful feedback regarding 17" wheel fitment, good or bad idea, to early Mustangs would be most welcome!
TIA

Online sms777

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 07:54:29 PM »
A word of advice....In NSW the the law dictates that any wheel upgrade that is larger than the original option available at time of manufacture requires an engineers report. Read the guide lines on the RMS website. The reason for that is because engineer needs to be satisfied that the oversize wheel/tyre combo does not foul any suspension components under full travel of steering. Also speedo may need to be calibrated to compensate.
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Offline 67FBGT

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 08:17:39 PM »
Yes thanks sms777, have looked into that. Whatever I decide to do must comply with Qld rules.
There's a lot to consider when looking to change wheel size. Maintaining original overall diameter, or very close, is a priority.
The other issue I'm finding is wheel backspace. Most of the fancy new 7" wide rims I see listed on eBay have too little BS, I do not wish to have to roll the guard lips.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 08:19:57 PM by 67FBGT »

Online fredm666

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 08:26:52 PM »
I think 14in tyres come from Bridgestone, Michelin and Maxxis (with also white wall), as major brands I can think of. I have 14in as well and when it will be time to change I will go with one of them
fred

Offline 67FBGT

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 12:16:41 AM »
BF Goodrich T/A are available in 14" which is an option. However, several of the major tyre outlets no longer list 14" in the wider sizes, it's 15" and above. Some brands of tyres seem to be permanently out of stock.
17" rims look the goods & there is a wide range of choice but I'm suspicious they may sacrifice too much ride comfort, hence I'm curious how owners are finding them.

Offline Reborn67

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 06:59:01 AM »
 l am going through the task of looking for larger wheels myself, as you say going to 15's seems hardly worth it, and l have found that some of the "traditional style" wheels don't go bigger than 15 or jump to 17, which in my opinion look a bit disproportionate to the car,( maybe l am a bit old school ) It does however give you a lot more brake upgrade options,

Offline BAC

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 08:17:49 AM »
I've driven one Mustang with 17" wheels some years ago but found it very hard riding, bit of a go-cart skipping over bumps, not particularly pleasant to drive. Whether that was due to the wheels, or suspension modifications, or both, I wouldn't know.

From personal experience with my recently departed '68 fastback, 17" rims are fine provided you choose tyres that aren't too low profile.  Anything 50 series or higher sidewall will be OK providing your suspension isn't harder than stock.  What this means then is you can't go for too wide a tyre or your overall wheel diameter will be too tall, so if you keep tyre width to 225 or less you should be fine.

So something like 225/50R17 tyres on 17x7" rims is a good compromise and should still ride quite well.  As for backspace, as long as you can get 7" wide rims with at least 4" backspace (0mm offset) then you will clear the guards fine on a '67-'68.
Cheers,
Brian

Offline GEOFF289

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 08:38:29 AM »
I have 17's on mine and don't find the ride too harsh. Let's face it, these old cars are never going to ride like a Rolls or handle like a Ferrari with the original suspension technology. The tyres are 225/45/17 so slightly lower profile than BAC recommends above.

That said, I have been in two minds about how they look ever since I put them on, but if you want decent sized brakes and a reasonable tyre choice you can't really stay with the 14's and 15's aren't much better.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 08:40:37 AM by GEOFF289 »

Offline GLENN 70

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 08:51:11 AM »
For starters ,if you go any wheels size bigger than stock  within reason  in QLD you will be ok as long as you notify your insurance company . 14 inch suck on 67 and up  :kickass: .  I would go either 15 inch or 17 inch no problems . My old 68 GT fastback I went 15x7 front with 215/65 and 255/60 rear  on 15x8  magnum 500 rims ,and it look great .  Yes your speedo will read low but you can change the speedo gear to get it close to correct . 17 inch  will look good too but will ride a little harsher than 15 inch . When I went 17 inch on my cars I went a 245/50 rear tyre and it rode good . I have 15 inch on my 70 Mach 1 right now but have 17 inch too and when I get bored of the look I go  the 17s . Either way you need the right offset for your car and a good tyre size for clearance  . Try before you buy  :grin: .

Offline gbader

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 10:20:48 AM »
Love this subject - can get a bit fiery :)

Personally, I think 15" are the best solution from a looks point of view - especially on the 65/66. Tyres are a bit limited but you can still get the TAs (for the muscle car look) and R's for something stickier (and various cams classes limit to 15 so assume there will always be some supply)

That said, many move to 17s simply for better brake options - I "get" it, just looks odd to me though

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Online fredm666

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 10:45:03 AM »
BF Goodrich T/A are available in 14" which is an option. However, several of the major tyre outlets no longer list 14" in the wider sizes, it's 15" and above. Some brands of tyres seem to be permanently out of stock.
17" rims look the goods & there is a wide range of choice but I'm suspicious they may sacrifice too much ride comfort, hence I'm curious how owners are finding them.

oh yeah, I forgot about BF Goodrich...
Last year I was in the same situation, willing to change my rims and checking the possible solutions; the tyre shop I use in Sydney told me there will be no major drama in providing 14in tyres when needed, so I opted to stay with 14in tyre (and bought new rims).
for my car 17in was probably too much
fred

Offline SXTY8

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 10:51:39 AM »
My opinion is that 16" is the perfect size for older cars that came with 14" originally.
I have a nice set of ROH alloys on my car in 16 x 7 inch running Bridgestone Potenza RE003 tyres in 225/50- 16 which look great, perform really well and only cost me 410 bucks for a set at Costco with Bridgestone's buy 3 and get one free deal.

Offline barnett468

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 12:58:23 PM »
A word of advice....In NSW the the law dictates that any wheel upgrade that is larger than the original option available at time of manufacture requires an engineers report.

OMG!

Offline barnett468

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 01:03:47 PM »
Am looking to mothball the old 14" 5-spoke alloys on my '67 due to the much diminished options of tyres.
The only choices seem to be 15", which hardly seems worth the small increase, or go up to 17". (I'd have thought 16" would be ideal but there are few if any in that size available).
I've driven one Mustang with 17" wheels some years ago but found it very hard riding, bit of a go-cart skipping over bumps, not particularly pleasant to drive. Whether that was due to the wheels, or suspension modifications, or both, I wouldn't know.
As per the title, any useful feedback regarding 17" wheel fitment, good or bad idea, to early Mustangs would be most welcome!
TIA

17" will make it NOTICEABLY harsher than your 14's, PLUS, it will make the front wander some under some conditions unless a lot of modifications are made to the suspension etc.

If you want a ride fairly similar, but just slightly firmer than what you had with your 14's, then go to 16" maximum. Even 15's will make a noticeable improvement in stability, if you are also going from a skinny tire to a wider one.
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Online fredm666

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 01:10:48 PM »
OMG!

because you don't know the rules in Italy.... regardless the age of the car, before registering the car in Italy you need permission from Authority to write on the registration itself extra rim sizes; if the car is already registered you cannot change rim size. The only way is to write the car off, "export" the car to Germany, register it in Germany with extra rim sizes, re-import back to Italy and go through the Italian registration again. In case of an old car this process can take around a year...
fred

Online USA066

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2019, 05:44:47 PM »
I have 17 with 4.5 backspace on my 66. I have changed to 50 profile on the front but still running 235/45 on the rear. I will change to 225/50 on the rear when tyres are due for replacement. The 45 profile are fine but the 50 are slightly taller. I prefer the classic look of 15 wheels but 17 have more tyre choice.
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Offline 67FBGT

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2019, 05:47:08 PM »
Quote
17 have more tyre choice
I certainly agree there! The way the automotive world is headed.

Quote
My opinion is that 16" is the perfect size for older cars that came with 14" originally.
My investigations concur with that. But, virtually nothing in 16" is available in Australia (except perhaps by special order).  :tissue:

Looks like it's either a set of 14" BFG tyres, or go all new with 15" - which hardly seems worth the expense - assuming I can find a set with the correct back-space. The 7" wide aftermarket rims listed on eBay as being for Mustangs are generally spec'd at 3.75" BS which surely can't work? - my existing wheels are 4" BS & with 205 tyres only just fit inside the wheel arch lips particularly at the front. Correct BS for 7" rims is supposed to be 4.25" according to various sources, 4.5" for 8" rims.
So the jury is still out on this conundrum. All this feedback is much appreciated BTW.

Offline SXTY8

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2019, 06:15:36 PM »
Queensland must be significantly different to Victoria because I can find any number of 225/50-16 tyres available. I've even just bought a pair of 275/60-15 Nankangs for the rear of my 1 tonner without any problems.

Online fredm666

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 06:17:24 PM »
I certainly agree there! The way the automotive world is headed.
 My investigations concur with that. But, virtually nothing in 16" is available in Australia (except perhaps by special order).  :tissue:

Looks like it's either a set of 14" BFG tyres, or go all new with 15" - which hardly seems worth the expense - assuming I can find a set with the correct back-space. The 7" wide aftermarket rims listed on eBay as being for Mustangs are generally spec'd at 3.75" BS which surely can't work? - my existing wheels are 4" BS & with 205 tyres only just fit inside the wheel arch lips particularly at the front. Correct BS for 7" rims is supposed to be 4.25" according to various sources, 4.5" for 8" rims.
So the jury is still out on this conundrum. All this feedback is much appreciated BTW.

how old are your rims?
fred

Offline 67FBGT

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 06:40:43 PM »
Sorry, SXTY8, I was referring to 16" rims not tyres. Agree that 16" tyres are no problem, my stock standard AU Falcon runs 16" & yes I have a wide range of tyre choices.

Fredm666 - Age of my existing rims? Dunno, no date, unbranded, no casting info. Pretty old-school I suspect. A 5-spoke 7" alloy design that looks very Torque-Thrust D. I bought them in NZ so they could be NZ-made (Cheviot perhaps), or maybe they are Australian made. The vendor said they came off an old Falcon. Being 4" BS & with 205 tyres they just fit inside the wheel arches with little to spare! Look nice but not ideal. Couldn't fit wider tyres if I wanted to.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 06:44:53 PM by 67FBGT »

Online fredm666

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2019, 07:34:05 PM »
Sorry, SXTY8, I was referring to 16" rims not tyres. Agree that 16" tyres are no problem, my stock standard AU Falcon runs 16" & yes I have a wide range of tyre choices.

Fredm666 - Age of my existing rims? Dunno, no date, unbranded, no casting info. Pretty old-school I suspect. A 5-spoke 7" alloy design that looks very Torque-Thrust D. I bought them in NZ so they could be NZ-made (Cheviot perhaps), or maybe they are Australian made. The vendor said they came off an old Falcon. Being 4" BS & with 205 tyres they just fit inside the wheel arches with little to spare! Look nice but not ideal. Couldn't fit wider tyres if I wanted to.

yeah, it looks like you don't have many options...
as mentioned I was in a similar situation, 17in was too much and 15in didn't have that bigger benefit than 14, so I decided to stay as per original specs of the car and honestly I don't regret my choice. Probably on a 67 I would go 15in (I have a 64.5), but it will be only for the look assuming money is not a big problem
fred

Offline 67FBGT

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2019, 08:02:03 PM »
Cheers Fred, we're on the same page there. Yes $$$ must be kept sensible.

Offline BAC

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2019, 09:46:00 PM »
Don't be afraid to go 17's, just keep the rim and tyre width sensible and profile not too low and you'll be fine.

As others have mentioned it will give you more flexibility in terms of tyre and brake choice while still keeping something of the old school ride quality. 

I agree they can look too much on '64s-'66s but on '67s and '68s they look tough.  :thumb:
Cheers,
Brian

Offline Cob427

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2019, 11:03:23 AM »
I have 17s on my 66.
Photo was taken when it went for Rego.
I have got reverse eye springs that will hopefully drop it an inch or so in the back.
Seems to ride ok with 5 leaf rears.

Offline BAC

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Re: Opinions sought please regarding 17" wheels on early Mustangs
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2019, 12:43:29 PM »
And a reminder of what 17"s looked like on my '68 for anyone that didn't see my 'for sale' thread;

Cheers,
Brian

 

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