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04-09-2013, 07:11 PM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
Replacement Wheel Options for Lucille (1950 Chevy AD 1/2T PU)
I'd like to put modern P-metric tires on my 1950 1/2 ton Chevy 3100 PU. My objective is a safe daily driver without the expense of an IFS Mustang II or Pacer clip. Or buying bias ply tires from Coker every couple years, with the added cost of shipping and truing each time. And I'd like to retain as much of an OEM look as possible: the OEM rim diameter, 6-hole bolt pattern and wheel covers.
Is this asking too much? Maybe so, but wait. I'll get to the point in the last paragraph. What follows in the next two paragraphs is background fluff for my application. Skip to the bottom for my bottom-line questions.
The OEM tire specs are 6.00 x 16 or 6.50 x 16 on a 4" rim. These would be 80 or 90 series P-metric tires, and anything close (like a LT215/80R16) has an approved rim width of 5.5" to 7" and a measured rim width of 6". Not very safe on a 4" rim, although I've heard some do it at their peril using tubes. And there's so little available space with the long tie rods. Turning radius is compromised by contacting the tie rod ends or rubbing in the wheel well.
Then again, maybe it's not asking too much. There are tie rod ends for 1934-59 1/2 tons from a couple vendors that claim to add an extra 1/2" to 1" when installed. Chevs of the 40s & maybe other vendors sell new repro wheels (IMHO not very faithful to the GM originals) with the correct width and bolt pattern. And there are several vendors who can widen my OEM wheels.
So at last, is there an honourable way out? Has anyone tried new tie rod ends with wider (or widened) wheels? I'm leaning toward the latter, using the OEM wheel centers with new barrels/rims. First of all, is this do-able? Then, if someone has put modern P-metric tires on their ride using widened wheels, or even just with new aftermarket wheels, what offset and backspacing were required? Can it be done without the tie rod and wheel well issues? And at what cost?
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