Wheels and Tires

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I have a 1987 Formula Firebird, which came with 16" rims and 245 50VR16 tires. I have been told that the front rim and back rim are different and are not interchangable, is this true?
I would like to buy winter tires for my car and don't know how to figure out a few things. First, can I get an aftermarket set of 16" rims with snow tires on them? Second can I get 15" rims, and if so what size tire would keep my speedometer accurate? Third does anyone have a recommendation for a 16" 245 50 series snowtire for the car (keep in mind I don't care about performance in the winter, so price and snow traction are my main concerns)?
Thanks for all the help in the past, I got my headlight problem fixed thanks to: Bruce Chang Refinish King Bigjfig
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Zilla wrote:

I think some years of 3rd gens did use different offset front and rears. The way to know for sure is to pull one front and one rear rim off and measure the offset.
a 245/50-16 is about 25.5" tall a 225/50-15 is about the same height.
The only reason you would't be able to use a 15" wheel is for clearance issues - my 4th gen's brakes are too big to clear a 15" wheel.
Ray
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The 3rd generation GTA comes to mind as having this scenario. Check the door jamb sticker for the original front and rear wheel and tire sizes.
I wouldn't suggest you deviate from it.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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For winter tires you don't need to worry about having the same width, you just want to keep the height the same not to throw off the speedo.
That said, I don't do F-bodies in the snow... especially not a nice one. <rust sucks>
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245/50-16 = 25 645/1000 inch
225/50-15 = 23 858/1000 inch (this is not "about the same height")
correct is: 225/60-15 = 25 620/1000 inch (this IS about the same height)
greetings from the speed state

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124mph wrote:

You don't know how many times I had to retype it - I had 255/40-16 and every other combo but the right one. Just one of those days...
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The wheels will have a different backspace. When you remove the rears you will see that they are stamped "REAR" on the inside. As for tires, when you go to your local tire store they have all the information there to convert different wheel sizes to keep the proper height.
...Ron -- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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RSCamaro wrote:

Ron is correct. The wheels will most likely be stamped with "front" or "rear" right on the wheel. If you look at an IROC wheel, it is stamped on the visible side of the wheel, in the colored groove.
I have also driven my camaro in the winter time. It is a fun experience to say the least. When choosing winter tires for this car, I would discourage buying a tire as wide as the 245. To maximize traction, I would get a set of pizza cutter tires for the winter.
As far as getting a 15 inch wheel to fit, I don't think you should have a problem. Many of the F-body's came with 15 inch wheels from the factory, and I believe that they have the same brakes as those with 16 inch wheels. I have a set of 15 inch wheels that fit on my Iroc(which came with 16 inch wheels).
So 15's should work just fine unless you have upgraded your brake system.
Will
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Your rims have no offset for the fronts and 16mm negative offset on the rears. You can get aftermarket rims, no problem, they should match the offset you currently have or you can get spacers to make up for the difference. If you do go to a snow tire, I recommend going to a more narrow tire as they will help you cut through the snow better than a wider tire that will typically try to float up over the snow. You can fit 225/60/16s and not have to worry too much about the speedo.
If you like to use a 15" rim, you can go to 215/65/15s or 235/60/15s. IIRC, those were the factory sizes that came on the 15" rim F-bodies.
You could even go to a 14" rim and get 205/70/14s.
-Bruce
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Or just put the car away for the winter and get yourself a beater that's:
1) Better in the snow, 2) Will take the beating while keeping the F car nice, 3) Get better fuel mileage, 4) Cause your F car to last longer in better shape, 5) Leave your nerves in tact.
Can an F car be driven in the snow? Sure. Should it? No.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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Bigjfig wrote:

Now that is a matter of opinion. It may even be a good opinion, but it is opinion rather than fact. Sometimes there is nothing more fun than driving something with way to much power under slippery conditions and keeping everything under control.
--
Cy Welch
Senior Programmer
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I've said it once, I'll say it again :).
If the F car is your ONLY car, you can't afford it.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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so, if the f car is your cheapest car.. then it is your *beater* i guess, and is a perfect winter vehicle.. all depends on how you look at it.
just because it is an f car, does to make it special to everyone...

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True. I know a guy with a Vette. His supecharged 97 Camaro became his winter car. Makes me cringe, but he's got the money, so why drive a Crapalier if you don't have to...
The reason I don't drive my F-Body in the winter - rust. Even though my 01 TA is mostly plastic, the chassis and suspension parts are still steel. When I replaced the stock muffler this year I unbolted it and was actually able to unbolt the rear shock as well to get the pipes out. Any car that's seen a Winnipeg winter - the exhaust comes out with a torch. Shocks are removed with a chisel/torch/visegrips/cussing.
Ray
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If your F car is your cheapest car, then it's:
a) A rustbucket; b) A base model car that's worth zilch; c) In rough shape and likely too fargone for a restoration car; d) Nothing special; e) All of the above :).
In actuality, a Chevy Cavalier is an excellent little car for all around driving (including winter). Good fuel mileage, easy to drive, American made and simple to fix. Means you can spend more time making sure your F body isn't in categories a) through e).
:) Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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well, our f body doesn't fit any of the above categories... well sort of fits d) we don't see it as anything special.. just a car.. but it fits none of the others at all.
to some people, obviously though not you, a fbody is car... not anything better than anything else out there... we just like driving it along with a POS grand am, year around (it is a '02 Camaro SS) and storing the other toys in the off season, ... 57 Belair and 68 Chevelle
:)

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Bigjfig wrote:

restoring my F-car after I let my daughter drive it for a while and she trashed it. But it will end up better for it. It's not going to be completely stock though, although it will have all stuff available for the year, but it's gonna be a tpi 350 when I get done, right now it's a TBI 305.
--
Cy Welch
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Bigjfig wrote:

Actually, he's just got (a) money and (b) no kids. It's a 97 Camaro... with a Vortech, so it's not exactly a beater.
And I wouldn't recommend a fwd anything to anyone. When my TA is parked I have an 86 rusty Jimmy or a 90 Beretta to pick from. I drive the Jimmy because FWD sucks. :)
Different strokes for different folks. :)
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Some of the best snow cars are the old front wheel drive Toronados and Eldorados (1978 and older).
They are huge, front wheel drive, weigh a ton and are like snow plows. With good tires, ya ain't getting stuck in that. LOL.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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I just blew my whole wad on my camaro so I have no choice BUT to drive it this winter... :-(
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