Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wheels, Tires and Alignment

The Uni-Royal Tiger Paw tires we had on the car were too large.  Although this picture of the left front wheel well shows clearance, we did have clearance issues with the front sway bar, frame, rear leaf spring and the rear wheel wells.

Before we mounted tires on our 15X7 Torq-Thrust D wheels we dry fit them on the car taking careful measurements at several locations.  We finally decided on 225-60-15 BF Goodrich tires because they are the exact diameter as the stock tires sold in 1963 and they are as wide as possible without having clearance issues.

In order to verify proper clearance both the front and rear axles had to be aligned.  This preliminary alignment was done using a level for the camber and a length of string for the toe.  The wheel dollies worked super nice during this process since they allow us to put the full weight of the car on the tires while allowing the tires to move during adjustment.

This is the left rear tire before the toe was adjusted.  On the left side of this picture the string and the tire should be touching.

After moving several shims we ended up with an alignment that's certainly good enough for us to drive the car to the alignment shop without tearing up the new tires.  Now we can check clearances.

This is a full right hand turn on the left front tire.  There are no issues with the sway bar.

This is the front right tire in a full right hand turn viewed from the rear.  As you can see we are very close to the frame but not touching.  The next size up would have caused issues.

There are no issues with any of the wheel wells.

The rear sway bar and the leaf spring clear the tires and wheels without issue.

And what about that potential clearance issue on the front fender?  No problem now.

I think the tires and wheels look great and I think we need to see them in action.  Check out the short video below.


  1. Nice video Gerri ! John, did Chevrolet have the old butterfly in the exhaust back in the day, i.e. When the engine is cold, the exhaust comes out one side until warm ? I see the 63 must not have that. Jim p

  2. Jim,

    Yes, Chevrolet had the butterfly in the exhaust system back in 1963 but only for the carburated engines. The fuel injected motors have a spacer only, no butterfly.

    When are you coming out to drive this thing?