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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

I just scored a very nice set of 9C1 rims for the 95 wagon that were sitting in someone's basement for 15 years. Totally stoked as the car is black with tinted glass so the black police rims with the small chrome caps will be the look I was going for. I will post pics when they are installed.

I am looking for advice on tire size and brand. The rims are 7" wide and the spec online is 225 70 R15. What have been other members' experiences with different brands? I am looking for a decent performance all season tire - although that sounds like an oxymoron description. The car will be daily driven, so I don't need drag radials or anything that extreme performance-wise - at least for now as the drive train and suspension are stock. Can I get away with wider tires than 70's on these rims?

Thoughts?

Dan
 

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I had 255-60-15s on my wagon with the stock rims. They may be an inch smaller diameter than the stock tires. If you can get 255-65/70-15s, they may be closer to the same size as the stock tires. I do not know if that size is available. I am currently running Hankook 235-75-15s. They are a small truck tire, and slightly taller than the stock tires. The work fine, and are usually available from Walmart on line. They are not overly expensive. If you want whitewalls, you will probably have to get the fake ones that go on the rim with the tire. If you search enough, you may be able to find whitewalls, but they are rare. I have heard of some people using 275 and 285 width tires on the wagons as well. I believe the 9C1 rims are a little wider, so the sidewalls will balloon a bit more than the stock rims. If you want maximum width, you must make sure the body is centered on the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Fred,

65 or 60 width is what I am looking for - not finding it well online as the 15" wheels are basically antiquated. If they were 17" or 18" wheels there are many more options available. As you say, the wider they go, the shorter so i will need 255 or higher to get the correct tire diameter to match original. Finding online is not so easy when you stray from factory applications. I used to use Tire Rack as their peeps were knowledgeable and always worked to find what I was looking for but my last couple experiences with them were terrible - they were impatient and rude. I have also used Costco but the moment you want something out of the box the price jumps crazy high. I may try local tire stores in PA near where we live - will keep you posted.

Body alignment - I have been reading that thread - surprised these cars can be so far off from side to side. I will check that as well - mine does not appear to have ever been hit so hopefully the frame is true. I will make sure the body and frame are correct side to side. I have an El Camino with tires too wide and they scrape on a hard turn - it is annoying as hell
 

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I believe you do not understand tire sizes. The sidewall is a function of the tire tread width. A stock 225-70-15 is 28" tall. A 255-60-15 is 27" tall. A 255-50-17 is also 27" in diameter. A 235-75-15 is about 29" in diameter. There are sites that give you comparisons between sizes by diameter. Diameter is important for speedometer readings. You can use different tread widths as long as the diameter of all tires is the same for the anti-lock brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually do understand tire size - but it can become complex as height, width and volume are part of the calculations. Obviously I want the tire diameter to be as close to factory as possible so it does not throw off the speedometer. I did find a good tire size comparison calculator online. Here it is for anyone else out there thinking along the same lines:


To go from a 225 70-15 to a 65 it needs to jump to 245 65-15. This keeps the diameter within 1/8" of factory which is 27.4" tall (diameter) for a 225 70-15
To go from a 225 70-15 to a 60 it needs to jump to 265 60-15. This also keeps the diameter within 1/8"

You can play with the numbers up and down and compare in the calculator. Here a re a couple screen grabs of the calculator which also shows widths of the tires for measuring wheel well clearances:

Font Parallel Rectangle Circle Number

Product Automotive tire Font Parallel Rectangle


The calculator will also show speedometer differences with taller or shorter than stock tires
 

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Comments:

Some widths (like 235 and 255) are more common than 245.

If you are trying to keep the speedometer accurate there is free software (Eehack) that can adjust the PCM for the tires that work for you.

Shopping the SUV/truck tires will usually give you a stiffer sidewall. Good for handling, but will give a stiffer ride. The weight capability of a tire will give you a idea of sidewall stiffness. Tires rated close to the car's weight will not be as stiff as ones with a heavier range usually.

As you have said the 15" selection is slim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Z09,

I will check out the SUV selections out there as well - didn't think of that. A little stiffer is probably OK as the car rides like a barco-lounger on wheels anyway. Suspension upgrades are definitely in this car's future

:)
 

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Hey All,

I just scored a very nice set of 9C1 rims for the 95 wagon that were sitting in someone's basement for 15 years. Totally stoked as the car is black with tinted glass so the black police rims with the small chrome caps will be the look I was going for. I will post pics when they are installed.

I am looking for advice on tire size and brand. The rims are 7" wide and the spec online is 225 70 R15. What have been other members' experiences with different brands? I am looking for a decent performance all season tire - although that sounds like an oxymoron description. The car will be daily driven, so I don't need drag radials or anything that extreme performance-wise - at least for now as the drive train and suspension are stock. Can I get away with wider tires than 70's on these rims?

Thoughts?

Dan
I like 235 70 R 15’s. I believe there’s an English tire manufacturer that makes a z rated tire
 

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235/70R15 (27.95") OE spec for most wagons and Fleetwoods
255/65R15 (28.05") would look cool and handle better in dry weather, but may not perform as well in bad weather.

235/75R15 (28.87") OE spec option for V4P V4U B9Q B05
More tire options are available in 235/75R15 than all the other B- & D-car OE tire size options since '77.
255/70R15 (29.05") would look cool and handle better in dry weather, but may not perform as well in bad weather.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info - will look at these sizes and for the Z rating. I have been scouring the internet and the choices for wider than 70 series are pretty limited as predicted. 255 60 R15's are available in only a couple manufacturers - they are 3/8" smaller in diameter and about 1 1/4" wider than the 70's. I am definitely looking at the ratings for dry / wet weather . . .

Not rushing this as the car has a good set of tires currently as I do need to sand down and paint the rims before they get mounted. More to follow.

:)
 

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Thanks for the info - will look at these sizes and for the Z rating. I have been scouring the internet and the choices for wider than 70 series are pretty limited as predicted. 255 60 R15's are available in only a couple manufacturers - they are 3/8" smaller in diameter and about 1 1/4" wider than the 70's. I am definitely looking at the ratings for dry / wet weather . . .

Not rushing this as the car has a good set of tires currently as I do need to sand down and paint the rims before they get mounted. More to follow.

:)
I used a guy from California to get a second set of rims that he had in stock and refinished. That’s his business. He claimed that the finish that he puts on is better than factory. It will last much longer. I believe he might even have a site on eBay I forget the name but he is in California. The wheels are also checked for trueness and any blemishes in the aluminum are removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks 1996,

I am in eastern PA so the shipping two ways alone to CA would cost way more than these rims are worth. Unless I can find a reasonably priced local powder coat shop, paint it is. I am an old-school body man so I will sand them, epoxy prime and use good paint with a hardener. I am sure powder coating would be stronger, but I have painted many wheels and they last for years - all good
 

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Usually any large city will have shop that refinishes wheels. Do a search in your area.
 

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He said he can do it himself .
Only thing I would add for a steel wheel is sand blasting . The " profiling " from the media will guarantee super adhesion.
Careful with blasting 9C1 rims. Sand gets jammed in the groove around the edge. Looks bad. Some shops won't spend the time to dig it out -- it's time consuming to get it all out -- they'll paint right over it.

If you do get them media blasted, for this reason, ask them to use soda, dry ice, etc. Not sand.

As for tires, here's what I run:
'95 9C1 -- 225/70R15 Cooper Cobra GT -- this is a decent profile -- and decent performance -- a little slippy in the rear when wet and cold.
'94 9C1 -- 225/75R15 Cooper snow tires -- meh
'95 Wagon -- 225/75R15 Ironman -- with steel 9C1 rims under hub caps -- these have whitewalls, imported tire, very happy with ride quality but they aren't for spirited driving.
'69 Charger -- BF Goodrich T/A 235/60R15 -- these are nice wide tires. But old technology.

Maybe the 235/60R15 will work on a Caprice? May rub the sway bar? Speedo will be off due to smaller dia. Get it reprogrammed or live with it. At least it will read faster than actual. Around 5MPH faster at 60MPH. Less at lower speeds. Good insurance against the radar. LOL

If you can live with stock and not doing anything crazy, then I think the best bang for the buck is the 225/70R15 Coopers Cobras. I've also run Hankooks in this size and have been happy with them as well. The speedo will be a little off on a wagon if it came with 235 or 225/75. My wagon shows 225/75 on the door jamb.

For those wanting whitewalls, then look on Amazon. Example:

None of these choices are Z rated. We are talking about S, T or maybe H in these sizes if you are lucky. A stock wagon should have a speed limiter of ~108 MPH anyways.
 

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A stock wagon should have a speed limiter of ~108 MPH anyways.
The speed rating reflects the tires ability to survive constant high temperatures. If you spend a lot of time on the highway in a area with a high temperature climate it would be worth the effort to find a higher speed tire.

I do not know about other areas but most tire shops do not want to talk about side wall ply numbers and traction rating. It seems easier to search on line for tire information.

Where ever you buy tires from ask about their return policy with relation to tire age. If you preferred tire arrives and it is over a year and a half old did the price reflect the tire's age?
 

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The speed rating reflects the tires ability to survive constant high temperatures. If you spend a lot of time on the highway in a area with a high temperature climate it would be worth the effort to find a higher speed tire.
Yep, a higher speed rating will mean a compound was used for higher temperatures. That's not the whole story. Tires also come with a temperature rating (A/B/C). My S-rated tires have a B-temperature rating. Average speed will be 55-70MPH, so there's overhead even on hot road surfaces.

The reason speeds are often used is because consumers aren't going out on the road with an IR gun. Nor should they be driving 100MPH in the desert.

Quoted from this site:
"High-Performance Tire B. High-performance tires are made to be used in hot weather and can handle temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit."

Unless I plan a trip through Death Valley or live in an area of extreme heat (not my case here in the northeast), S rating with B temperature range is usually fine on a Caprice wagon.

Trucks hauling loads are a very different story. I take an IR gun with me when hauling heavy loads with any large truck (dually) because it's easy to exceed temperature ratings long before speed ratings when at max load capacity. There's some design overhead but tire age plays a big role. After the obligatory 6 years, the temperature range cannot be trusted. Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi All,

Thanks for the input again.

On the wheels - I did find a shop in Allentown, PA that will blast them and double powder coat in satin black (they double coat all steel wheels for better rust prevention). The price seemed reasonable, so I dropped the wheels off as I am busy with work (which is how I pay for this stuff) and it will take too long to get to them myself. I will call them to see what material they blast with and to make sure they clean out the groove - great call on that one.

Tires - Still on the fence about these. Storm9C1 - thanks for the real-world info - that is super-useful - especially the "meh" rating on the Cooper snow tires :ROFLMAO: . The wagon has a set of generic 235 70-15's on it now which have a nice width but an ugly design on the sidewall. Current thinking are 255 60-15's which are available in multiple brands. They are 1 1/8" wider (still need to check the wheel well-to-tire clearance) and about 3/8" smaller in diameter than the 225's according to the tire calculator. I do like Cooper tires (have a set on my pickup) for decent wear and quietness for a 4WD tire. Agree on the BF Goodrich tires - old technology. I have these on my El Camino - and I also give them a "meh" rating. Not a huge fan of whitewall on cars of this era - raised white letters is a maybe. Black car, tinted windows, black wheels, black tires, only a little chrome - kinda the theme here - Darth Vader would be proud - just sayin'. As for the rating, most I am looking at have a T rating (118 MPH) which I can't imagine doing and as posted, the car has a limiter of 108 built in.
 

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I would consider my "Ironman" tires to be generic. But not ugly. If you want a pic of them on my wagon, let me know. They have a blackwall side. They are not directional.

I rated Cooper snow tires as "meh" because they are utilitarian. They do work well in the snow with studs. I get around just fine when Subarus are spinning all 4 wheels. But I won't be winning races with them. In fact, I'd be dead if I tried.
 
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