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Old 02-04-2002, 05:00 PM
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Question 54 Chevy subframe width?

My 54 Chevy has a 78 Camaro subframe. I'm trying to find out the original 54 Chevy hub to hub width. My problem is tire clearance. I know Fat-Man has narrowed A arms, but has anyone been able to get away with simple wheel back spacing changes. I'm running 15" steel wheels with 215-75-15 tires. The wheels have a back space of 3-5/8”
Thanks to all.

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Old 02-04-2002, 05:40 PM
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THIS IS A COMMON PROBLEM, EVEN THROUGH THE CAMARO FRT.END IS ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST POPULAR ONES TO USE. IF MY MEMORY SERVES ME RIGHT THE ORIGINAL 54'DIMENSION WAS 58"-59". THE EARLIER REAR STEER CAMARO FRT. THAT WAS EQUIPT. WITH DRUM BRAKES WAS ABOUT 3" NARROWER THAT DICS EQUIPT FRT.ENDS. SPECIAL IN-SET WHEELS CAN BE MADE, BUT MOST OF US DON'T HAVE THE $$$$.FATMAN'S SET-UP IS DEFINETLY THE WAY TO GO.---"GO WRESTLE THAT STEER"
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Old 02-05-2002, 06:48 AM
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Hate to disagree here but if you run 15in wheels you can get diff offsets with out much problems,The 14's get a little friendly with the tie rods(dont know what your runnin for wheels)I think maybe your wheels are a problem anyway,as i have a 54 here with a clip and it has factory rally wheels and the tires dont rub.What ever you do DONT BUY the FatCrap narrowed a-frames .You can not narrow a-frames and not screw up caster and camber gain.also screws up bump steer badly.Its a really crummy fix and one of the reasons i will not install his badly designed(lack of design) products anymore.Hey good choice on the 54 i also own one. Let us know what wheels you have.Sometimes it takes 4-6 weeks to get diff ones made but it not a real big problem.(unless your runnin Boyds yupster wheels ) There are also a couple of tricks that can be done with rotors ,so dont give up yet!!
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Old 02-05-2002, 05:23 PM
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Hey Phat! What make, model, & year clip did you use on you 54'? What hub to hub dimension did you end up with? What wheels and tires did you choose?

I'm thinking of mounting up some classic SS Cragars or some American torque thrust II pieces. I currently have steel wheels and "hollywood" hub caps. (smoothies with a raised bar strait through the middle) I've currently got pleanty of clearance near the frame and tie rod ends.

Are there any standard back spaced wheels that would work or do you think I'll need custom built pieces?

Thanks for everyones input!
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Old 02-05-2002, 07:37 PM
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You said what your backspacing is, but what's the rim size? Just how bad is the interference?
I bought a set of smoothies from Pete Paulson last summer, got them in about 10 days. A 15x6 rim from PP can have up to 4-1/4" of backspace for example.
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Old 02-06-2002, 04:52 PM
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The interferance was bad enough for the original owner to cut the wheel openings in the fenders. The car doesn't look right. I've got 2 good replacement fenders but am researching my options before I tear it down. or buy a bunch of parts I dont need.

I think that bigger back spaced wheels should do the trick. Combine this with maybe some smaller rubber (still 15") and I should be able to do it.

How willing can I expect a local wheel and tire shop to help me out? Anyone have any experience working with shop like this? I'm willing to shell out some cash for wheels and rubber if I know for sure it'll fit.

I still want to know the original hub to hub width for this car (54 Chevy).

Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2002, 11:36 AM
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sounds like you just need some wheels with more backspacing.

im not 100% sure but i think the cragar ss wheels are only available in 3 3/4 backspace. im guessing you need 15x7 or so with 4 1/2" backspace. what width rim are you running now? on the camaro suspension with a 15" rim youll be able to get away with 5" backspace before things get to rubbing. thats about what i ran into on my camaro anyway.
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Old 02-18-2002, 06:09 PM
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Ok, here are the critical dimensions for the wheels I currently have mounted. Just looking at how much tire sticks out from the wheel well I think I need a huge back space wheel. If anyone has a combo out there i would love to know what your wheel tire combo is.

* Front wheels are 15” x 6”, 3” centerline, 1” offset, 4” back space
* Rear wheels are 15” x 6.5”, 3.25” centerline, 1” offset, 4.25” back space
* 4.75” bolt circle with 7/16” fine thread x 1” lug studs
* Rear tire clearance; drum face to frame 6.375”, drum face to fender 3.25”
* Wheel caliper clearance; (A caliper overhang, distance from mounting face to front of caliper = –1.9375&#8221 , (B hub diameter = 2.75&#8221 , (C wheel stud = 7/16” = .4375” fine thread & 4.75” circle), (D height of hub center to mounting face = 2.625&#8221 , (E length of lug = 1&#8221 , (F hub center to caliper ID = 3.375&#8221 , (G caliper width, ID to OD = 3.0625&#8221 , (H mounting face diameter, OD = 6.375&#8221

Thanks to all.

Come on spring! I can just smell those tires a burning.
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Old 02-20-2002, 12:38 PM
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well the camaro should be 62" hub to hub(measured my camaro and had a friend verify). i measured about 60" on my 54. that leaves 1" on either side, so.... the wheels i have on my 54 and 15x6 with 3" backspace, and i have absolutely no interference with the fenders and the car is dropped 2" the 3" backspace would put them at the same place as yours with 4" backspace if indeed it is a camaro front end, and you should have no problems.

i'd measure hub to hub and see what the width it, if the guy hacked the fenders maybe he didnt use a camaro front end....

in back i have a camaro rear end(70-81 all same width) with a 15x8 rim, 5" backspace, and a 255/60 tire and i dont rub.
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Old 02-26-2002, 05:49 PM
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Well, I verified that I've got a Camaro subframe. I measured 60.25" hub to hub. This car is lowered quit a bit. I think that may be where the difference is.

I hate to ask, because you've aready helped a lot, but do you have any measurements from say the bottom of the stainless steel trim or the body ridge on the fender to the ground. I can't compare it using the wheel opening because mine has been modified.

Oh, what size tires do you have mounted up?

Thanks a ton.

By the way, I was just at the Detroit Autorama and there was not a single 54' Chevy there. I only saw one 53' and it was bone stock. I can't wait to get this thing on the road around here.

Come on SPING!
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Old 02-27-2002, 12:18 PM
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how about from the bottom of the original frame to the ground... right under the body mount under the drivers door... 9 1/4" (had that measurement in my head cause i got it for my friend who is puttin the camaro sub on his)


205/75 tires but i have others im going to try in the spring like 245/45/17 on a 8" rim with 4.5 backspace, 255/60/15 on 15x8 with 5" backspace, and(doubtful) 17x10 with 275/40 with 5" backspace just to see whatll work and what wont.
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:14 PM
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I measured that body mount in two positions. At its highest point where the bolt goes through for the body mount I measured 7.0" and where it swoops down to mount to the frame I measured 5.0"

I think this thing is a bit lower than average and thats why I'm having trouble. I jacked the car up a bit and it seems like there would be no trouble clearing the fenders with the gear I've got.

It looks like there was an attempt at lowering the front end by heating up the springs. I think they went too far cause they had to use several of those twist in spring spacers to bring it back up.

I think I've got a topic for a new posting..."right and wrong ways to lower a front end"

Thanks for all of the effort and feedback!
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Old 03-05-2002, 04:54 PM
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glad i could help. that thing sounds seriously low. there are however a bbunch of springs available for the 70-81 camaro and i think stock replacements for a 80-81z are available from moog for about 40-50 bux
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