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Old 03-07-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
PfadtRacing
 
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Wheel and Tire optimization for lowered vehicles



Recently we've been taking a lot of calls from customers asking us what we suggest for wheel and tire combinations. This is far from an end all be all thread on the subject of wheel fit, but we feel like we've got something positive to contribute to the community.

As a function of our involvement with 3 professional Camaro race teams we have done quite a bit of research lately into what will and wont fit the Camaro chassis. Development with Autohaus Motorsports in Grand Am, Total Performance Racing in World Challenge, and the Carriage House Customs NASA American Iron Camaro has led us to a few observations about wheel and tire choice for both full race teams, and performance street drivers. Keep in mind that the following CAD drawings were modeled after race cars at a race ride height, in this case 88mm. Your mileage may vary with street car use. Cars riding a little higher may be able to fit taller tires without rubbing in some instances.

To begin we've found that for a performance street driver, weekend autocrosser and track day user the best tire size combination tends to be a 275 Front and 295 Rear. We've been mocking up different wheel and tire sizes in our CAD program, and we feel these widths give a good balance of packaging, width and compound selection from major tire manufacturers. More rubber is typically a great idea, when used appropriately in the right application. If it is being used to solely change balance, and not overall grip levels with the right amount of roll resistance, than you really are not gaining anything. The use of 305's seems to be possible even in the fronts with the correct offsets and camber settings, but we feel they are unnecessary with proper suspension and sway bar modifications.



ABOVE: Here is the CAD drawing of the front. This particular drawing illustrates a car with our Pfadt Coilovers installed, setup at a race ready 88mm ride height. The 10.5 inch rim does have a 285 tire installed, and as you can clearly see there is going to be interference between fender and tire with a rim offset of 22. You can see there isn't a whole lot of space available between the spring perch and the tire, so you cant just run say a 25 offset rim and hope for clearance... there is only so much room to work with under those stock front fenders. With camber plates it may be possible to dial in camber at the top of the strut, and dial out some camber at the bottom to gain some clearance between the tire and strut. Other options without camber plates are to roll the fenders, or run a slightly slimmer front tire. There are plenty of sticky tire options at 275 and with proper suspension tuning it's possible to build a car with incredible grip and balance, without the use of massive fronts.



ABOVE: So here is our situation in the rear. It's looking more promising for the use of wide tires. This drawing is using the exact same wheel and tire size that would not fit in the front, but in the rear only requires a minor fender roll. With a less aggressive 30mm offset you could easily get a 295 in the rear without too much trouble.

As with every other vehicle out there, be sure to select your offsets carefully when choosing your wheels. Hope this helps those who are picking out new wheels and tires for the summer driving months!

Last edited by PfadtRacing; 10-15-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
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Great post guys!
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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Thanks !! Great post Pfadt !!
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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Thanks! Hope this helps people visualize differences in offset and rim width when selecting their summer rims.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:21 PM   #5
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Excellent graphics Pfadt!

We can fit a 275 front tire and a 315 wide rear tire on these cars, without issue. No rubbing, even with the Pfadt coils or coil-overs installed. As stated, offset is critical, especially on cars with the coil-overs that are lowered. Like my Camaro, with your system

Tony
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:31 PM   #6
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We just got back from the Camaro5Fest II so we have the track on our mind! I'll have to double check but I think we are running 10.5s up front and 11's in the rear. 285s up front and 305s in the back. We found this combination to work the best for a good race set up on street wheels. This is what we ran all day on the Pfadt Camaro during the Official Track Assault at the Fest. Quick Pic below!



Thanks Nine Ball
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