Anyone know how wide of a wheel I can fit on a 1971 Le Sabre?

Discussion in 'Pro-Touring' started by $100T2, May 28, 2021.

  1. $100T2

    $100T2 Active Member

    I think it's on 15 x 6 or 15 x 7 now. The over hang on the fenders is huge. I'd like to go up to 18s, possibly 18s front, 20s rear.
  2. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    A 255/55R18 is about as tall of a tire I would use. That size should fit both front and rear, but you would need the right backspace on the wheels.
  3. alvareracing

    alvareracing Platinum Level Contributor

    18's for sure and most likely 20 will too (in the rear). You need to borrow some wheels from friends or rent a few to put up there and take measurements. Back spacing and where that wheel sits in the housing is very important so you don't have to run stupid spacers. Measure 3 times and buy once. Wheels ain't cheap!

    $100T2 and sean Buick 76 like this.
  4. alvareracing

    alvareracing Platinum Level Contributor

    better yet, take the car to wheel store and let them start fitting some different wheel offsets.
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
    $100T2 and sean Buick 76 like this.
  5. $100T2

    $100T2 Active Member

    Yeah, I think that's the best idea. I've tried Google with no luck, better off letting the wheel shop figure out what I can run.
    72gs4spd and sean Buick 76 like this.
  6. 72gs4spd

    72gs4spd Well-Known Member

    From my experience I agree totally.
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    15, 16, 17, 18, 20" makes no difference at all. As rim size goes up, the sidewalls have to be shorter to stay with stock wheel height for speedo/gear ratio considerations. Wheel width and back spacing are what you need to figure out. If you have stock wheels, take one off and measure the back spacing, then go from there. For every 1" more rim width, you need 1/2" more back spacing to maintain the wheel centering in the wheel well as stock.
  8. $100T2

    $100T2 Active Member

    Hi Larry
    I'd like to go 18 x 8.5 in the front and 18 x 9.5 in the rear. The wheels I found online "guarantee fit" on the 18 x 8.5 with +10 offset. No backspace numbers available. There's an 18 x 9.5 with 0 offset. I'm thinking that would fit in the back, but the website doesn't say anything about it. What do you think?
  9. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    If you understand the difference between back spacing and offset, you can make sense of it.

    Back spacing is measured by laying the rim face down. Back spacing is measured from the rim edge down to the hub mounting surface.

    Offset is measured from the CENTER of the rim WIDTH to the hub mounting surface. In addition, offset can be positive or negative. Positive offset moves the wheel further inboard. (like more back spacing) Negative offset moves the wheel outboard.

    Rim WIDTH is measured between the bead surfaces. Any rim if measured from edge to edge will be 1" wider than it's stated WIDTH.

    So lets consider your 8.5" width rim. It is actually 9.5" edge to edge. That means the center of the rim width is actually 4.75". +10 offset means 10mm. 10mm is about .4 inches. That means the back spacing of that rim is about 5.15"

    The 9.5" width rim is actually 10.5" edge to edge and has 0 offset. That means the hub mounting surface is at the center of the rim WIDTH (5.25"). That wheel has 5.25" of back spacing.

    None of this helps guarantee that those rims will fit on your car.

    I would figure out the offset and back spacing on a STOCK wheel for your car, then figure out if those wheels might fit.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
  10. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    What you need is something like this,

  11. nekkidhillbilly

    nekkidhillbilly escaped mental patient

    fyi a 235 tire is stock so you could go a bit wider. im going for a 255 tire just because cost past that is huge. me im not a fan of staggered wheels. i want the front as wide as the backs. i know a 8.5 would fit no problems
  12. $100T2

    $100T2 Active Member

    So the wheel place talked to an engineer and 9.5" zero offset will fit out back. Going with a 255 tire on it.
  13. $100T2

    $100T2 Active Member

    So I went through for my new wheels. Went 18 x 8 up front and 18 x 9.5 in the rear. Was originally told they wouldn't fit, but the guy from carid actually called an engineer who said "those will fit in the back easy, tons of room on that car." 0 offset on both, 235 45 18 up front, 255 40 18 out back. Went with Ridler wheels.

    Attached Files:

    Mark Demko and 1972Mach1 like this.
  14. $100T2

    $100T2 Active Member

    Here's exactly what I ordered

    Attached Files:

  15. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    OK, so anyone looking to do the same, the 8"front wheels have 4.5" of back spacing, and the 9.5" rear wheels have 5.25" of back spacing.

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