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Next round of tires I believe I'm going a different route. The chrome wheels I have are nice but I want solid white wheels, no holes, have not decided on 15x5.5 or 15x4.5....

Background info....

I currently have the equivalent of a 165/80-15 on the 356. My Ghia has 185/55-15. Now the Ghia is on air ride front and rear with dropped spindles and a 4" narrowed beam. I can drop it to the ground and not rub until I turn hard. I use the Ghia for reference because the body lines are so close in appearance. I have been planning on 15x5.5 for the 356 but might just entertain 15x4.5. The 356 has an adjustable front beam.

Plans....

I do not plan on going with air ride on the 356. I am going to bring the back down to level out the ride, the rear sits too high for me. Will it need dropped spindles? I dont think it will due to the already adjustable beam (unless it is cranked all the way down) and going to a smaller side wall tire, allowing me to use a 15x4.5 if I chose. I dont need to have the widest rear tire, I'm more looking to reduce the sidewall flex, be more responsive on the steering, bring the 356 down a more respectable height with a more aggressive look, fill the wheel wells with wheel not tire and last keep the performance.

That said.....

I'm looking to do a 15x5.5 or 15x4.5 with a 155/60-15. Dropped spindles? Not sure yet.

I would like to see pics with a description of your suspension, wheel size and tire size. Of course opinions, ideas and conversations are always appreciated. 

 

 

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Original Post

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@Wright Conceptz

I have a 2014 VS with swing-axle with adjustable swing plate. For the stance I was looking for, I adjusted these down just until I reached a slightly negative rear camber. IMG_20141204_121112

I have a single Adjust-A-Lift on the front...IMG_0759

I wanted the car to have an aggressive stance, lowered and widest wheel and rubber I could install within space allowed by the swing-axle, so I got the Empi fake Fuchs 5x130 by 5.5" wide with 4.5" offset....IMG_0260

I had those stripped, polished and repainted to the correct Fuchs scheme. I use 185x60 tires for lower sidewall and wider rubber. I use the black anodized aluminum lug nuts.IMG_0469

With all four wheels having the 4.5" backspace, they fit perfect in the rear wheel wells with about 1/4" clearance on both sides. However, these wheels in the front gave the appearance of a narrowed beam, which I did not want. So I installed 1.75" hub-centric spacers to push the wheels outward . This combined with the 5/8" wider track the 2" drop spindle added to each side gave me the front stance I was after.s-l1000

The 2" drop spindle didn't get the car as low as i wanted so I then lowered the Adjust-A-Lift to level the car to match the rear.

This is the result of all those elements in play.980784_10209215314043841_153670275360784566_oCalendar 2

FYI - the combination of the 4.5" offset, lowered Adjust-A-Lift, 2" drop spindle and 1.75" spacers did noticeably change the steering geometry. The turning radius is much wider and there is understeer on aggressive cornering.

Hope you find this info helpful! 

 

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@sl posted:

@MusbJim Beautiful car! Couldn't help to notice the Porsche crest misalignment in the picture of the re-done Fuchs wheel . Bottom of Porsche crest always points down to the inflation nozzle. https://jalopnik.com/porsche-h...ozzle.&text=That's%20the%20official%20way%20to,as%20they%20can%20help%20it.

What if the inflation nozzle is up? Do I rotate the tire so it's down before installing? Asking for a friend.

"Beautiful car! Couldn't help to notice the Porsche crest misalignment in the picture of the re-done Fuchs wheel."@sl

Thanks for the compliment! In that pic I just got my wheels back from polishing, tires mounted and stuck the cap on for a quick pic. You're absolutely right about the misalignment of the P-crest and tire valve! 

Throughout my entire 25 year PCA membership, I was always doing sh*t like that to piss off the purists. 

In a picture I submitted for one of the SOC calendars, I had the crest / valve in alignment to satisfy the OCD part of my abby normal brain. Musbjim_bw

@Wright Conceptz we're all looking forward to seeing pics of your finished Speedster project! 

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  • Musbjim_bw

Hey @Wright Conceptz, I have a lot of experience with those Contis you listed in your OP as they are OEM on the 451 Smart Fortwo. I've used both the ProContacts and the WinterContacs (as winter tires). I liked them a lot. As much as I liked them, on the recommendation of a fellow Smart owner I replaced them with Vredestein Quadtracs for this winter. As I told him, this added just as much enjoyment to driving it* as ditching the OEM shocks/struts with Bilsteins. 

Youll also find much discussion wrt Vredestein SporTracs on here, as well.  I'm planning on replacing the Walmart Specials I'm running now with Quadtracs next year. I wish I could use the Smart sizes on my Spyder, but without a bunch of suspension mods, I'd be scraping my butt on the pavement.  

 

*On on further reflection, part of my loving the Vredesteins may be due to a softer sidewall, but I've noticed no degradation in handling over the Contis. 

@sl posted:

@MusbJim Beautiful car! Couldn't help to notice the Porsche crest misalignment in the picture of the re-done Fuchs wheel . Bottom of Porsche crest always points down to the inflation nozzle. https://jalopnik.com/porsche-h...ozzle.&text=That's%20the%20official%20way%20to,as%20they%20can%20help%20it.

Who even cares? I'll make sure to mix them all up on purpose, just to piss off these retentive people. I'm going to go out and turn them all to a different position on my Cayman today.

Last edited by DannyP

Danny wrote about his P-Car wheel center caps: "I'll make sure to mix them all up on purpose, just to piss off these retentive people. I'm going to go out and turn them all to a different position on my Cayman today."

I went the opposite route just recently - I had the wheels road force balanced (I highly recommend this for everyone) and had to pop out the center caps anyway (which were pointed all over the place).  When I put them back I lined them up just like the "Sainted P-Car Purists" just to see how many think it's an "original outlaw" with fender flares, Nerf bars and Fuchs.

Yah nevah know.....   A lot of them are pretty gullible.

To add my two penneth to the mix.. As you've no doubt found @Wright Conceptz almost all our cars have a different set up and each element (disc brakes, drop spindles, etc) adds or subtracts width from the overall track. My car is a Chesil Speedster with the usual Beetle front beam and IRS rear and (like yours) has adjustable spring plates at the rear and drop spindles and disc brakes up front, both of which widen the track.

Similar to @MusbJim I've got 15x5.5 fake Fuschs (chromed) but currently I'm running 195/55x15.

tigermoth66_side_front

tigermoth66_side_rear1

The steering is too heavy for me (large scrub radius and wide grippy tires) and the clearance is marginal. And I prefer narrower tires for less grip but with a more controlled breakaway. So I'm going to go 175/65 x15 if the car can handle the extra 7mm of radius difference, or 175/60x15 or even 165/65x15 if not.

Hope this helps..

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@Tigermoth66 wrote- "...I've got 15x5.5 fake Fuschs (chromed) but currently I'm running 195/55x15... The steering is too heavy for me (large scrub radius and wide grippy tires) and the clearance is marginal. And I prefer narrower tires for less grip but with a more controlled breakaway. So I'm going to go 175/65 x15 if the car can handle the extra 7mm of radius difference, or 175/60x15 or even 165/65x15 if not.

Hope this helps.."

Great looking Speedster!  Any more pics?  Did it take any extra work to get the 195's under the fenders on the back?

  All those sizes are on the small side of what the front suspension was originally designed for (5.60-15- a 25½-26" diameter tire) and will of course work, but since you have 195/55's on the back, 175/60's are almost exactly the same diameter and (I think) the right call.  Al

@ALB  - thanks! My car came with the 195s from the previous owner. Again, as mentioned, my car is a Chesil tub so I've no idea how those compare to IM or CMC bodies. The 195s fit ok under my rear arches - I actually removed 3mm spacers from the back. However, as you can see, it's an extremely tight fit even with the spacer removed. These pics are of the rear right wheel arch. The rolled lip of the arch hasn't been cut away so there is more space available if needed.

tigermoth66_rear_right wheel arch_space2

tigermoth66_rear_right wheel arch_space1



tigermoth66_rear_right wheel arch_space3

I understand what you're saying about the tire diameter - these 195/55x15s are around 23.4" diameter (compared to the 'original' 25.5"-26" diameter) so that compensates to a degree for the extra 195 tire width in terms of fitting the available space. There's no way a 26" 195 tire would fit!

Of course, if I could get the 'standard' 25.5" rolling diameter, that would give me a 7.7% increase in speed for the same rpm - that's significant.

My primary concern is up front - with the car lowered significantly, the wider tires will rub when turning. So for me, going narrower will allow me to go larger diameter without the tire rubbing on full lock.

At the end of the day, it's all about compromise, eh?

Hope this helps!

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  • tigermoth66_rear_right wheel arch_space3: showing less than a (small) fingers gap!

It sounds like you've got a fair grasp of what's going on. I will say-

With almost every decision about these cars there is a compromise of some sort.  Whether you're looking for a boulevard bomber or canyon carver, something a little more docile that will zip around everywhere or a car more 'authentic' looking with a period size and look engine, stock size tires/wheels and drum brakes (I really don't understand this 1, but as Uncle Stan says, it's a big tent and there's room for all) you have to decide what's right for you.  That's a big part of these cars, I guess- being replicas, originality isn't as important for some as it is for others, and there's no wrong way to do almost anything (except for the grey Sema Speedster, of course, with it's French Bordello/Russian Kremlin themed interior!).

We just have to decide what we want, and how much money we're going to spend to get there.  And while no Speedster can truly do everything, the more money we spend, the closer we are to that 'perfect car'.

In case you hadn't seen the Sema car- a nice enough looking car from a distance-

Speedster Magnus Walker wheels

but who does that to the interior of a Speedster?!

Speedster Magnus Walker wheels 5

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I’ve been meaning to do the same suspension modifications to my Vintage Speedster that @MusbJim did to his, but I’ve been too busy driving mine. I’ve got my front end cranked all the way down and it is still is not low enough. Installed a rear camber compensator and I swear the rear ended raised up by 1/4-1/2”. One day I’ll get around to making the swap and eventually get the front sway bar mounted.

I was running restored Porsche OEM 6J x 15 Deep Six Fuchs with 185/70 Pirelli Cinturato CN36 tires. But, I took them off last winter to run the spare Lemmerz steel wheel set for my Porsche 912. But I like the vintage look so I never swapped them back and the steelies are HEAVY by around +10 lbs (rotational unsprung weight) per wheel compared to the Fuchs. They are 5.5” wheels with 195/55 tires and I had to run spacers in the front and rear to keep the inside of the tires from rubbing against suspension components.

The Speedster is one of Kirk’s ‘98/‘99 builds off a ‘63 VW chassis. It had 16K mikes on the original 1600 but it got pulled for a fresh street build 2276. I’ve had the Speedster for a little over twenty months and I’ve ready got my money’s worth in smiles per gallon.

4AE8882C-D4D0-4AEA-964B-5B4520ED1DDCB19833B8-AE95-4305-9F80-1BD8D73E9691A92E692A-94A3-4AFC-AE8A-453074F9A3049F35F39A-0CF5-469F-B315-51D1BED2A8D7
604B019E-62E6-4268-865D-ADEB2E0E5694

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  @ZFNHSN- Glad you're enjoying your Speedster- it is a great looking car!  You are right though, it could sit a little lower.  Time to reset the torsion bars in the back when you install the offset front spindles.  I take it you're enjoying the 2276?  Please, refresh my memory- what heads, cam/rocker combo, compression, carbs and exhaust went into the engine? How high does it rev with power?  Do you know what ring & pinion is in the transaxle?  Are you running discs all around?

  If you're really loving the vintage look, Vintage 190 aluminum wheels are the bomb, but I do realize that would require new brakes to accommodate the bolt pattern change.  The aluminum wheels weigh about the same as your Fuchs, but finding 5x205mm disc brakes that aren't boat anchors and don't cost an arm, leg and your left nut would be the issue.  The only 2 that are reasonably light that I can think of at the moment are Kevin Zagar's Coolstop VW brakes and Airkeweld's disc brake kits.  IIrc,  @DannyP had some issues with the Airkeweld kit, but managed to get it all sorted out.  Al

@ALB posted:

  @ZFNHSN-  ...I take it you're enjoying the 2276?  Please, refresh my memory- what heads, cam/rocker combo, compression, carbs and exhaust went into the engine? How high does it rev with power?  Do you know what ring & pinion is in the transaxle?  Are you running discs all around?...

Hi ALB. The 2276 has been flawless. It has so much power down low that I'm missing the challenge of keeping it in the right power band. When I'm not fully awake in the morning (daily routing consists of driving to the coast for a cup of coffee to wake up) I sometimes start out in third gear after reversing out of the driveway

040 casting ported heads, 42/37.5. Webcam 86B with the lazy man 105 degree LC and only 1.25 ratio rockers. Compression is 9.4:1. Stock transmission 3.88.

I don't trust the accuracy of the tach in the Speedster, but the engine has power all the way up to "5500" RPMs in third gear going up a slight incline. I don't want to do this in 4th gear until my suspension is all sorted. I feel I'm leaving power on the table some where. I never got the heads flow tested. The engine was put together by a local VW dune buggy builder who once ran a 6.5 second 1/4 mile +/-. Honestly, I wanted a reliable lazy man 2276 and I didn't want to worry about over heating in traffic. And that is what i got. But now I sorta wished I went with a stock 1600

discs up front. drums rear. basic EMPI A1 look-a-like header.

Last edited by ZFNHSN
@ZFNHSN posted:

Hi ALB. The 2276 has been flawless. It has so much power down low that I'm missing the challenge of keeping it in the right power band. When I'm not fully awake in the morning (daily routing consists of driving to the coast for a cup of coffee to wake up) I sometimes start out in third gear after reversing out of the driveway

040 casting ported heads, 42/37.5. Webcam 86B with the lazy man 105 degree LC and only 1.25 ratio rockers. Compression is 9.4:1. Stock transmission 3.88.

I don't trust the accuracy of the tach in the Speedster, but the engine has power all the way up to "5500" RPMs in third gear going up a slight incline. I don't want to do this in 4th gear until my suspension is all sorted. I feel I'm leaving power on the table some where. I never got the heads flow tested. The engine was put together by a local VW dune buggy builder who once ran a 6.5 second 1/4 mile +/-. Honestly, I wanted a reliable lazy man 2276 and I didn't want to worry about over heating in traffic. And that is what i got. But now I sorta wished I went with a stock 1600

discs up front. drums rear. basic EMPI A1 look-a-like header.

Sounds like you got exactly what you wanted!  Large engines like this with narrower lobe centers run exactly like you describe, falling 800 or 1,000 rpm short of what you'd usually expect with that much duration (on 108° centers that cam should make power to 6500+ if everything else is right) but making so much torque down low they can actually be 'transaxle breakers' in the wrong hands.  I believe this trick started out as a way to get better power out of stock stroke (sub 2 liter) engines in competition situations- as well as providing more grunt down low you can run almost as much compression as the higher duration cam will normally stand, which also gives a bit more power throughout the rpm range.  A 2276 is large enough that even with an FK10 or 86C there's more than enough bottom end/lower midrange for every day driving (provided everything else is sized properly).

And yeah, you could say 'some power was left on the table', but (as you and I have already said) you got what you 'thought' you wanted.  Even though it sounds like a really fun engine, a weekend project this winter (the bulk of it can actually be done in a day if you're prepared)- might be replacing the cam with the same (86B) but ground on 108° lobe centers.  You don't disassemble the whole engine- once on the engine stand, leave the heads on the left side (do take the rockers off and pull the pushrods).  Leave the crank alone (you could even leave the pistons on the rods), replace the cam and lifters (you could even leave the cam bearings in if they still look really great), put it back together, perform cam break in and voilá (you damn 'Muricans please note the spelling of that wonderful French word- it does NOT start with 'w'!  Lord, we have to teach you EVERTHING!) you're back in business!  Now you get to find out if the heads (and carbs and exhaust) will give the extra 1,000 rpm.

If they do- hold on!

PS- What are you running for carbs?

Last edited by ALB
@sl posted:

@MusbJim Beautiful car! Couldn't help to notice the Porsche crest misalignment in the picture of the re-done Fuchs wheel . Bottom of Porsche crest always points down to the inflation nozzle. https://jalopnik.com/porsche-h...ozzle.&text=That's%20the%20official%20way%20to,as%20they%20can%20help%20it.

@DannyP posted:

Who even cares? I'll make sure to mix them all up on purpose, just to piss off these retentive people. I'm going to go out and turn them all to a different position on my Cayman today.

@TRP posted:

Oh no?! We've become the NCRS?! 

(National Corvette Restorers Society)

I'm with Danny and Ted and Robert and Jim- when that matters to this crowd- I'm outta here!

Last edited by ALB

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