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#325469 - 02/15/04 11:16 PM STICKY: Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
Joined: Nov 2000
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SuprSlow Offline
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SuprSlow  Offline
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Subject:General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.


Since these questions arise quite often, we have decided to put together just a general overview of the basic suspension and wheel upgrades owners of 78-88 G-bodies commonly make. We have tried to outline the most common wheels sizes, and as such, anything over 17" diameter and 9" width will not be discussed.

Disclaimer: No guarantee of fitment is made or implied. Each car is different, and you should take the time to carefully measure YOUR car to make sure the chosen wheel will fit without interference. As the title says, this is only a general fitment guide. Also, the owner, administration, staff, membership nor anyone else affiliated with www.montecarloss.com assume no legal liablity implied or otherwise for the content in this guide. Use at your own risk!

Wheels & Tires

The stock 4th Generation Monte Carlo SS wheel is 15 x 7", a 5 on 4 3/4" bolt pattern, and 3.75" backspacing. The SS was outfitted with
215/65-R15 tires from the factory. The following are recommended backspacings for a variety of wheel sizes, followed by the recommended range of tire sizes according to www.tirerack.com in italics, overall height of the tire in parentheses. Realize that the overall height of the tire will have an effect on speedometer and mileage readings. See The Tire Size Calculator to determine the percentage error of your speedometer with non-stock sized tires.

Follow this link for John Bzdel's excellent diagram explaining the various terms commonly used in tire/wheel discussion.

Click here for a great tire math website.

-Thank you to Larry (whitess) (Added 2/18/04)

Please note: Rubbing or other interference problems may occur with non-stock wheels/tires, especially extremely wide tires. This problem can usually be remedied with the use of a steering box with shorter stops, either the XH F-body box or other aftermarket boxes.

<blockquote>

For 15" wheels:

<blockquote>
15 x 7": 3.5 - 4.0" B.S.
  • 215/65-R15 (26.0")
  • 225/60-R15 (25.6")
  • 235/60-R15 (26.1")
  • 245/60-R15 (26.6")


15 x 8": 3.5 - 4.0" B.S.
  • 225/60-R15 (25.6")
  • 235/60-R15 (26.1")
  • 245/60-R15 (26.6")
  • 255/60-R15 (27.1")
  • 265/50-R15 (25.5")
  • 275/50-R15 (25.9")


15 x 9": 4.0 - 4.5" B.S.
  • 255/60-R15 (27.1")
  • 265/50-R15 (25.5")
  • 275/50-R15 (25.9")

</blockquote>

For 16" wheels:
<blockquote>
16 x 8": 3.75 - 4.0" B.S.
  • 225/60-R15 (24.9")
  • 245/50-R15 (25.7")
  • 255/50-R15 (26.1")
  • 265/50-R15 (26.5")


16 x 9": 4.0 - 4.5" B.S.
  • 255/50-R15 (26.1")
  • 265/50-R15 (26.5")

</blockquote>

For 17" wheels:
<blockquote>

17 x 8": 3.75 - 4.0" B.S.
  • 235/40-R17 (25.3")
  • 245/40-R17 (24.7")
  • 245/45-R17 (25.6")
  • 255/45-R17 (26.1")


17 x 9": ~4.5" B.S.
  • 255/45-R17 (26.1")
  • 265/40-R17 (25.3")
  • 275/40-R17 (25.7")

</blockquote>

</blockquote>

Springs and Shocks

This is only a partial listing of available springs and shocks available for the G-body. We have tried to gather part numbers for the most
commonly used spring/shock combos. Most part numbers taken from www.jegs.com . Part numbers may vary by vendor. Check before you order to ensure that you have ordered the correct spring or shock for your application.
<blockquote>
Springs:

  • Eibach - 363-3803-140</font>
  • Hotchkis - 515-1902F & 515-1902K (1" drop)</font></font>
  • Edelbrock - 350-5230
  • Moog - See Jeff Davidson's Moog Spring Chart for part

    numbers as well as exhaustive specs.


Shocks:
  • Bilstein - B36-0949 (F) & B46-0929 (R)</font>
  • Edelbrock IAS - 350-3377 (F) & 350-3477 (R)</font></font>
  • Belltech Nitro Drop - 146-7012 (F) & 146-7517 (R)
  • KYB - KG4513 (F) & KG5548 (F) - Thanks to Zack (ZMonte85)
  • Monroe Sensa Trac - MNR 5840 (F) & MNR 5802 (R)
  • Competition Engineering - ???

</blockquote>

Brakes

By far, the most popular major suspension upgrade is the "Big Brake Swap." This swap consists of either Global West, Hotchkis, or UB Machine upper control arms, spindles and calipers from a '77-'96 B-body, 1LE or comparable rotors, B-body master/booster or G-body dual diaphragm booster, and assorted hardware. For an excellent write up on the 12" Brake Swap, reference one of the following links:
<blockquote>

</blockquote>

Frame Braces

As you may well know, the stock G frame isn't very rigid. Simple, but extremely effective, handling mods is the addition of frame bracing. Some have chosen to fabricate their own, and various braces can be pulled from Pontiac Grand Prixs. Marcus, an authorized vendor on this site, makes very nice custom bars for the G chassis. Contact him for more information.

Here are some words from Larry (whitess) concerning some of the braces on his car. (Added 2/18/04)

Quote:
I just put on the Frame braces that Mark sells, both front and rear, and even with stock size wheels and tires (even got snows on the back!), the improvement is amazing. As I'm sure you've noticed the tires can only do so much if the frame/body is twisting around. I did the front bar first so I could see the difference. Turning was vastly improved because the frame ends were tied together and it allowed the steering to be more responsive.

I had to re-teach myself to change lanes at hwy speeds with this car!?
I put the rear one on this last weekend and went for a drive this morning on a back road that has a couple of

90*/30 mph turns at a about 45 mph. Didn't slide and very little lean. Still a little understeer but not much.

I'm running KYB shocks, stock springs and poly sway bar bushings. Not bad for a basically stock car.
For other information not contained in this guide, see the Suspension Technical Section on this site. There are many excellent links detailing specific chassis components and modifications for the G-body.


Q & A:
<blockquote>
Quote:
Originally posted by lt1malibu:
I was curious about the b-body spindle upgrade how much do we add to the back spacing to get the wheels back to wear they started
It has been measured to be about 3/8" per side. It is slightly noticable, but will not cause problems unless your current wheels are extremely tight-fitting.

Quote:
Originally posted by 355 SS:
I just had tires mounted Friday on stock 87 rims, and they measured 7.5,have my rims been modified, or are there two types?
If you measure from inside lip to inside lip (where the tire comes in contact with the rim), it should be 7", assuming they are stock smile

Quote:
Originally posted by mymonte-ss:
Will a 17 X 8 with a 4.5 inch offset work or will it rub on the outer part of the fender?
4.5" backspacing should be just fine.
</blockquote>
General Comments:
<blockquote>
Quote:
Originally posted by lt1malibu:
Thats alot of great info thanks
Quote:
Originally posted by 87_Monte_SS:
This type of information is INVALUABLE, and is a great idea for a sticky post. Thank you so much!
Quote:
Originally posted by wykkidss:
Awsome info here...
Quote:
Originally posted by cheese:
thanks for the great info on tire sizes,it sure helped me Cheese
Quote:
Originally posted by Carman83SS454:
Something that might be interesting is a good listing of the different factory F-body/Vette front wheels that will work on all four corners of our cars.

Scott
This is a great idea, Scott. We will work on this list soon. Anybody with anything to contribute to this idea, please do so smile
</blockquote>


86SS
#325470 - 02/15/04 11:22 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SuprSlow Offline
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SuprSlow  Offline
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Okay guys, in an effort to put together an exhaustive FAQ for the basic suspension/wheel/tire questions often asked here, we have started this "guide." Please realize it is in its infancy, and anything and everything any of you can contribute will be added. Please keep replies on topic and only to contribute to the guide.

Also, we realize that 275 is not the widest tire that has ever been put on a G-body. I know several people here are running 295s, and I'm sure somebody out there has a 3-- tire in the stock wheel wells. But that is severly streching the limitations of the fenders, and we do not recommend it.

If you disagree with anything posted here, by all means voice your opinions and it will be discussed.

Again, post any and all part numbers or other useful links you have and we'll add it.

Thanks again,
Brandon


86SS
#325471 - 04/02/04 12:06 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SuprSlow Offline
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SuprSlow  Offline
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Alright, errors have been corrected and it's been updated, I think ;\) Sorry for the long delay in updating this thing.

We've given credit to those who have contributed part numbers and links. (Thank you \:D )

Also, I added a "Q&A" and "General Comments" section because I felt bad for just deleting everybody's posts.

Any comments/questions/corrections you have, let us hear 'em.

Also, Phil (phil240) or anyone, do you have the C.E. shock part numbers?

Thanks again,

Brandon


86SS
#325472 - 05/16/04 06:12 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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ZMonte85 Offline
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Under the KYB shocks, you have an F for the rear shocks, the second number. Just thought I'd point it out so it doesn't confuse anyone.

This was definetly a good idea!


1985 Monte Carlo SS 178K and not stock
1987 Turbo T 33K and not stock either
Member of GMMOC & SMCC
#3 - Gone But Not Forgotten
#325473 - 08/09/04 12:45 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Crusher Offline
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"the recommended range of tire sizes according to [url= http://www.tirerack.com"]http://www.tirerack.com"[/url]

Are the sizes listed recomendations from tirerack or are they tried and true sizes known to work on our Montes? Also, It would be nice to differentiat between the front and the rear. In other words...Front, range of tire sizes,BS,rim size etc and the same for the rear.


1988 502/502
ProCharger SC
Fast XFI Fuel Inj.
637 RWHP 587 TQ
http://SSMonteCarlo.com
#325474 - 04/09/05 11:42 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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86mc4 Offline
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burlington,ky
on the stock aluminum wheels for 86-88 ss's is there
supposed to be more torque used to keep these wheels
on these cars.in other words should i use a air impact gun on these wheels or can i just use my four
way lug wrench.thanks for any help.


86 MonteCarlo SC-86MC4 20 years 211,000 miles
88 MonteCarlo SS-88MC4 96,000 miles.sold with regrets
#325475 - 04/17/05 12:21 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Foompla Offline
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^^^ just make sure that you tighten them equally. ive never torqued my wheels, but i always triple check to make sure theyre equally tight.


1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
Finally got the motor from the shop. Time to get to work!
#325476 - 04/24/05 10:23 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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AeroSS_87 Offline
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never use an impact, and always torque them. They call for 85, but I run 100 in the rears. They can be sensitive and warp rotors if over torqued.

#325477 - 07/20/05 01:08 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SickSpeedMonte Offline
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SickSpeedMonte  Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SuprSlow:
235/40-R17 (25.3")
245/40-R17 (24.7")
Are you sure about this?

Why would a 235/40 be taller than a 245/40?
It is my understanding that the 40 means that the profile of the tire is 40% of the 235mm or 245mm respectively. Is this incorrect?

#325478 - 07/20/05 02:39 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Tunedss86 Offline
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Tunedss86  Offline
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To figure a tires diameter, here is the method.

Lets use 275/40/17 for an example.
275 is the metric cross section width of the tire.
40 is the heighth of the tire from the rim to the OD. This is a percentage of the tire width.
17, of course is the rim diameter.

So for this tire we take 275/25.4 to get the english width of 10.8". 40% of that is 4.3". So the diameter of this tire is 17" + 4.3" + 4.3" = 25.6".

I get so tired of hearing people say that they have 50 series tires, "they are wide!", wider than my 40 series tires. Not necessarily, depending on what the first number is. My 275/40/17 & 245/45/17 tires are about the same diameter.

Scot

#325479 - 07/20/05 02:42 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Atl_Monte Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SSCarlo86:
Quote:
Originally posted by SuprSlow:
235/40-R17 (25.3")
245/40-R17 (24.7")
Are you sure about this?

Why would a 235/40 be taller than a 245/40?
It is my understanding that the 40 means that the profile of the tire is 40% of the 235mm or 245mm respectively. Is this incorrect?
I think thats a typo it would seem to me 40% pf 245 would be more than 40% of 235...and you can use an impact if you have the special torque sockets that are meant for bolting up wheels


1988 Monte Carlo SS fully customizedm, cowl hood, Kandy paint w/ ghost flames, power sunroof, 24" rims 327 SB - SOLD

1986 Monte Carlo SS 350 create motor, cowl hood, shaved handles & trunk, power sun roof, digital dash
http://youtu.be/aKZI0FhUP6U

1984 H/O Cutlass lightning rods 8.5" rear LT1 and C5 brake conversion under way 24" rims
#325480 - 07/21/05 11:30 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SickSpeedMonte Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tunedss86:
To figure a tires diameter, here is the method.

Lets use 275/40/17 for an example.
275 is the metric cross section width of the tire.
40 is the heighth of the tire from the rim to the OD. This is a percentage of the tire width.
17, of course is the rim diameter.

So for this tire we take 275/25.4 to get the english width of 10.8". 40% of that is 4.3". So the diameter of this tire is 17" + 4.3" + 4.3" = 25.6".

I get so tired of hearing people say that they have 50 series tires, "they are wide!", wider than my 40 series tires. Not necessarily, depending on what the first number is. My 275/40/17 & 245/45/17 tires are about the same diameter.

Scot
good, thats exactly how I understood it. thanks \:\)


Quote:
Originally posted by Atl_Monte:
I think thats a typo it would seem to me 40% pf 245 would be more than 40% of 235
my thoughts exactly. The only reason I ask is because I am looking into a set of 17X8's or 17X9's and I wanted a taller profile in the rear, which SHOULD result in a taller tire.

Also... will a 17X9 fit in the rear without modification? I will already be modifying the inner fenders on the front because I want to lower it more than they will allow

#325481 - 07/22/05 03:20 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SickSpeedMonte Offline
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So how bout them 17X9's?

Will they fit without notching the frame rails or any other mods?

#325482 - 07/22/05 05:28 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Tunedss86 Offline
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I currently have 17X9.5" Centerlines in the back with 275/40/17 tires. It is close but they clear.

Scot

#325483 - 07/28/05 04:07 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SickSpeedMonte Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tunedss86:
I currently have 17X9.5" Centerlines in the back with 275/40/17 tires. It is close but they clear.

Scot
what backspacing are you running?

#325484 - 10/31/05 05:41 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Just wanted to let everyone know that I managed to shove a set of 295/50/15's on the rear of my car with an 8" wide rim and they fit PERFECT. The were about 1/4" from the frame rails and right under the fender lip. Didnt stick out at all. And the car has belltech rear springs, so its lower than stock. I can get the back spacing off of them for anyone that is interested.

#325485 - 11/11/05 11:30 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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ls1_monte Offline
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Would f-body spindles(70-78) with a 2" drop still be fine for the big brake swap? I was looking into the possibilities and found these and a coil over setup that is designed to replace stock GM parts which would allow you to adjust ride height. Would that be too much?


'87 Monte SS With a stock 11,000 mile '98 LS1/T56.

#325486 - 12/23/05 03:56 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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MUDNDUST Offline
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CAMDENTON MO
on my 87ss im looking for 2in drop in front and rear..have 5660 springs, wheels looking to use
16x8 or 17x8 will i still have to use drop spindles???/


DOUG RICH
#325487 - 03/03/06 05:20 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Luke T. Offline
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i learned today that 275/60/r15s will fit on an 8" rim.


1983 Monte Carlo SC Landau
#325488 - 03/11/06 10:40 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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markg Offline
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these are 255/70r15s on my stock rims(rear only)they are not very wide.i have lift springs in the rear and i mounted the spring seats higher than stock when we built the ford 9 inch.the only close spot i had was near my 3 inch exhaust but it has never hit even with a full carload of people.im very happy with this setup.ive had these on for a few months now and i do all kinds of driving.







86 ss 86 cl,330hp GM vortec cratemotor-700-r trans worked,ford 9.5 inch rear with 3-50s,custom 3 inch exhaust with flowmasters.
#325489 - 03/12/06 12:56 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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mrapii Offline
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Waipahu
Lower it.

#325490 - 03/12/06 01:07 AM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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markg Offline
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never!


86 ss 86 cl,330hp GM vortec cratemotor-700-r trans worked,ford 9.5 inch rear with 3-50s,custom 3 inch exhaust with flowmasters.
#325491 - 05/01/06 08:36 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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Bear88SS Offline
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Yukon, Oklahoma
For those that are also young and stupid......
295/50/15's will fit on a stock 87-88 15x7 wheel just fine with stock suspension and a 5/16" spacer, and it is safe as I have just went on a trip to Texas and back with absolutely no trouble at all, which was 1400 miles round trip.


1988 MCSS 427 SBC and changing all the time

please use chyaitsbear@yahoo.com for email thanks
#325492 - 07/05/06 11:58 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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I'm not so young, but maybe stupid. Do you think a set of 275/60/r15's will fit under the car? I'm gonna try since I just bought a new set of four for $190. I got a suspicion I'll only be using two of them if any.

#325493 - 08/01/06 05:11 PM Re: General Wheel/Tire Fitment and Suspension Guide.  
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SStriker Offline
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Sykesville, Maryland
^ 275's work fine on the rear. I have them on stock 86' Rims(I know dangerous, I didnt put them on)

John B has 275's up front!


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