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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / BUGGY WHEELS AND TIRES (24941 hits)
By RUSS M 3504 Date 2012-12-12 14:53
Can I get some advice on wheel and tire combos for Meyers Manx buggies.  I have a 68 Manx that is undergoing a full resto.  I installed four wheel disc brakes with chevy 5 on 4.75 inch bolt pattern (S-10).  I figure with this bolt circle I can get just about any wheel dimension I can imagine.  I am going for the "classic" style but don't want to compromise street performance.  What have most been using for wheel and tire sizes.  I have noticed that 15" tires are getting harder to get so I may want to use the now more popular 16" wheel to open my tire options and lower the tire prices.  I am totally confused and flopping about like a fish out of water on this one.  PLEASE HELP A BROTHER OUT!!!
By Brad H 1498 Date 2012-12-12 16:46
IS your car lowered or stock height? What are you going to use the car for? Is it just a cruiser or a weekend warrior?.

A couple of things to consider.

With the light weight of our cars, especially in the front, low profile tires provide a bit harsher of a ride, you don't have to run balloons but when you start getting into the 55 and lower series sidewalls the ride gets choppier.

I have found over the years wide front tires suck, plain and simple. If you have to ride on a road with any kind of ruts (even in pavement) or that are fairly rough, the front of the car will hunt all over because of the short, narrow wheelbase. Mine with 6* of caster built into the chassis still hunted with wide tires in the front. It was dangerous a few times and I only kept them on for a couple weeks till I found new front wheels. The MAX I would go in the front is a 205.

As far as rim size. How many sets of tires do you think you will burn through in the life of your car? I for one think my tires will dry rot before I ever wear them out, well, maybe not the rears ;-) . My last set of tires lasted 12 years and 7 of those were using it as a daily driver all summer.

Right now I am running 215/65/15s on the rear of my car and 165/45/15s on the front. But I am thinking of doing a rim and suspension change on the car this summer and will probably go up to a 185/65 in the front. I'm tired of shaking my fillings out driving it around. The 215s ride very nice in the rear, a bit of bounce to smooth things out and decent grip without being too wide.

For rims, it's pretty hard to beat the classic look of a Torque Thrust or Keystone Classics on a classic style buggy. NO TURBINES PLEASE.

By Gary W 365 Date 2012-12-13 01:25
here is what i run on all of my buggies 14by6 fronts w/185 to 205 /60/14
rear 15by8.5 with 275/60/15  torque thrust or old style cragar wheels
By RUSS M 3504 Date 2012-12-13 16:27
Thanks for the advice, especially about the wide fronts.  I was thinking about going on the "fat" side for the look but thats a bad idea.  Mine is stock ride height and will be street driven with an occasional dirt drag race.  I will swap in some dirt tires for that.  I am thinking about some classic styles, mags and the like.  I am a nostalgic sort anyway.  I figure dry rot will eat the rubber before the hard corners do.  My guess is I will end up with a 15" rim and a BFG for a tire.  For the life and years I will get, the cost is not really an issue when you do the math.  I have a set of BFG TA's from 1990 that are not even dry rotted yet, maybe from the inside out, I certainly don't trust them but they seem to hold up.  I am considering a 6" rim in front and a 8" or 9" out back.
By Brad H 1498 Date 2012-12-13 18:41
A 6" front with a 195 width tire and a 8" rear with a 225 or 235 width tire will look pretty good.

By RUSS M 3504 Date 2012-12-14 14:42
I knew there was other reasons to own a dune buggy besides the fact that they are cool, the people are cool too.  Thanks.

I have one more thing to ask. What about offset?  This is where it gets sticky.  I know how it works with neg and pos.  But to get a wheel that is offered in the right one is the trick.  I am leaning toward the classic craiger wheel.  I just love that 60's iconic look.  Most likely 6" front 8" rear both 15".  Can you get a 14" tire anymore? 
By Brad H 1498 Date 2012-12-14 16:39
14" are the ones that are getting tough to find. Very few manufactureres ahave used them an the last few years. Companies like BFG still make them for muscle cars etc but If you can I would stay away from 14"s. If you have disk brakes you will also need to stay with 15's to clear the calipers.

If you are getting wheels from a wheel shop they should be able to help you out on the backspacing. I think the factory offset is 3.5" I had custom wheels made for the back of my buggy and got my 7" moved in so that the offset was 4.5 inches. Any good shop should be able to help you out on the backspace. I know you can order custom offset Amercan Racing rims for bit more money.

By RUSS M 3504 Date 2012-12-14 17:20
I am going to measure my fender width and rim mounting surface width from one side to the other.  Do some math and this should give me some idea of my back space given a specific rim width.  I think I have a handle on it.  I will post a picture I took last night, something to check out anyway.  I call it buggy porn. 
By RUSS M 3504 Date 2012-12-14 17:23 Edited 2012-12-15 13:15
File is too big. I will shrink it on my laptop.  Using my dumb-phone right now. 

Check out my progress:

Attachment: manxbodyframe.jpg (28.6k)
By minivolks Date 2012-12-19 13:49
I run a low profile 7" wide on the front and 10" wide, no low profile, on the back. The front end is lowered. Rims are deep dish krager style.  The front wheels do rub the fenders while going over bumps and have worn the fenders. I don't care, the look is great!  Manx knock off. The buggy is strickly street.  I live in Florida so the roads are nice and smooth.  I did live in Rhode Island.  Those roads are horrible and the ride was even worse.  I did adjust the steering box to get the right amount play.  As far as hunting goes, I get some not bad though.   Tire pressure is the key.  Do not inflate front  tire specs.  Play with pressure to get the desired ride.
By RUSS M 3504 Date 2012-12-20 00:13 Edited 2012-12-20 02:03
I have considered 10's out back.  Unless you go custom the offsets seem to be brand/style specific.  My guess is they fit popular more common stuff.  I calculated back space but nothing seems to be exact, even my measurements could be out a half inch or so.  Does anyone have the backpack dimension of their wheels.  I also found that every supplier is out of 195's in BFG's. Aspect ratio, backspace, and offset.
Offset  equals clearance for brakes?
Backspace equals inside rim to mounting face?
Aspect ratio has always alluded me.  I miss bias plies.  Tread width and diameter.
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