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Old 06-07-2006, 11:34 PM
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Questions about wide wheels and fender flares

My Corvair was made for 13 or 14 inch wheels with a 1 inch offset. The stock 13 inch wheels look rediculous on this car.

I have some 14x8's with a 3.5 inch offset (see my classified ad on this site) that look really *****in on this car (looks like a real Chevy muscle car!).

This article does a pretty good job of covering wheel/tire alternative for the Corvair ("can handle up to 7" wide wheels in the front, with up to 8" (!) wide in the rear with the correct backspacing"), but does not say how far they can stray from the stock 1 inch offset, or which combinations of offset and width are ok or not ok: http://autoxer.skiblack.com/tires.html

I'm having the following problems with these wheels:

1) The front wheels do not clear the front of the wheel opening when wheel is turned. It seems ok everywhere else. The smallest performance tire they had at the tire store did not clear, says cannot use a smaller tire on this wheel. I asked if any other kind of tire would fit, and they said no (don't believe this, as I've seen some pretty big wheels/tires on Corvairs with stock fenders).

2) The back wheels (with P245/60R14 T/As) hit the top of the wheel opening when I hit any little bump (see attached photo).

I can't afford new (vintage style) mags, and used ones that fit this car are all but nonexistent.

I don't want to modify the stock wheel openings if I can help it (car recently painted, and cannot afford to redo it), but am interested in learning more about how this is done. I was surprised not to find any articles on fender flares on this site -- did I miss them, or what?

Is there anything not too drastic that I can do to make these wheels fit?
One suggestion I read to increase clearance on rear involves using a baseball bat to fold the fender "lip" up into the fender well.

Was also wondering how to determine when is a wheel too wide (or offset too much from factory specs) for a particular application, other than that it doesn't clear the wheel opening? What I mean is stuff like, will it place undue strees on my steering, suspension, CV joints, etc.?

Thanks for any help you can offer. I want to cruise this summer!!!

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Old 06-08-2006, 07:41 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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My honest opinion of rolling the fender lip is that it is similar to when my mom would roll down the hem on pants when I grew out of them and you could see the line where they had been, it is hack plain and simple (God rest her soul and give her a better life than she had down her).

I say you get wheels that will fit the car, PERIOD. Some minor mods are fine WHILE you are building the car that you can paint to correct, but after the car is painted, GET THE CORRECT WHEELS.

Put the bare tires up in place and measure off the hubs to see what back spacing you need then start searching. That article tell is all really. With todays front drive cars there are TONS of wheels out there with a lot of back spacing. And you never know where you will find some vintage wheels that will work. I had a set I sold on EBAY a few years ago that would fit it, didn't get crap for them because they didn't fit anything else to speak of.

Get the correct rims.

The Corvair is one of my favorites, I just LOVE those cars.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:15 AM
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The reason there is not an article about flares (by me anyway) on this web site is that there are to be no commercial web sites linked by their owners in the forum. You can reach me or my web site through PM or my user profile. I have several albums on fender flares that I would be glad to share with you....I've attached a few pictures. The first car has the original fenders stretched about 2", no welding. The second car has custom made steel flares from scratch.

John
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:39 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Let me correct my statement, rolling lips after a car is painted is wrong in my opinion, get the correct tires. To build a car with flairs, that is a whole different story.

I have seen your fine work John, and sent people to your site. This didn't seem like a place for that being the car is already painted.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:43 AM
Shabby chic sheet metalshaper
 
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Hi Brian,

Thanks, I was responding to this portion of his post:

"I don't want to modify the stock wheel openings if I can help it (car recently painted, and cannot afford to redo it), but am interested in learning more about how this is done. I was surprised not to find any articles on fender flares on this site -- did I miss them, or what?"

I agree with you on the rolling method....hard to get away with it. Some do, some don't.

John
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:50 PM
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Thanks Brian and John

I agree that the baseball bat mod is a hack, but was curious what-all hotrodders do to fit those massive slicks! Seems like most American production cars ever made would look better with flared fenders.
I love the stock fenders on my '82 Capri RS, and have always wondered why Ford did such a crappy job with the body on the Mustang version.

I have a line on a set of 14x7's that came off a Corsa. Now, for the tires.

Nice flares on the 914, John! I'll check out your site...
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