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Modern Ford wheels on a Studebaker

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  • Wheels: Modern Ford wheels on a Studebaker

    I am looking at purchasing a set of 17" Ford Mustang bullitt wheels (early to mid 2000s) for a very very reasonable price and am wondering if any of you have ever mounted these or similar wheels to a Studebaker Hawk?
    Last edited by evilhawk; 06-17-2019, 10:57 AM.

  • #2
    They should fit, I would think. I'll bet someone here knows for sure.
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers


    • #3
      I'm not sure what a "Mustang bullitt" wheel is, but these are 2015 to 2019 Mustang 17" wheels.
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      • #4
        I believe they are reproductions (in appearance) of the wheels on the Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in the movie Bullitt.
        Skip Lackie


        • #5
          Skip is correct, the Bullitt wheels are replicas of the torque thrust wheels on the mustang in the movie Bullitt. They were available on the special Bullitt edition mustang in the mid 2000s.
          Bensherb, did you run into any clearance issues with the larger wheels?


          • #6
            Ok, Fords new Bullitt edition Mustangs were produced for model years, 2001, 2008, and 2019. From '94 thru '04 the Ford Torque Thrust style copies were the same except for spoke color and from '05 thru '09 a different one was used, which is very much like the one used earlier, but has a flatter spoke. The 2019 version is distinctly different, it's much like the early wheel but with a much more pronounced spoke ridge,(best looking of the bunch to me). The difference between a Bullitt edition wheel and the standard Mustang one was the spoke color, Bullitt is darker. The 2019 Ford Torque Thrust style wheel was only Bullitt edition. By the way American racing Torque thrust wheels are still available new and are cheaper than the Ford wheels usually go for.

            Anyway.... The new Mustangs use a different type hub assembly than our "normal" (old) cars do so the wheels are made with a LOT of back space, like front wheel drive wheels.

            The Mustang wheels easilly fit on the rear of my GT with 235-55-17 tires (stock for a 2017 Mustang), with no issues. On the front I have a 1 3/16" spacer to bring the wheel hub closer to center, and my brake rotor hats are a bit thicker than a brake drum. The rim hit the zerk fitting of the outer upper A arm pivot when turned to full lock. I removed the zerks and replaced them with pressure plugs which don't extend beyond the surface.


            • #7
              Originally posted by evilhawk View Post
              I am looking at purchasing a set of 17" Ford Mustang bullitt wheels (early to mid 2000s) for a very very reasonable price and am wondering if any of you have ever mounted these or similar wheels to a Studebaker Hawk?
              These are the Mustang wheels on my 74 Avanti. They are 17" X 8" with about a 4 1/4" back spacing IIRC. They work on the front but just barely. I need to replace the grease zerk with a pipe plug to get them clearance but they are fine otherwise. I believe this backspacing ran from 99-04 the later ones have even more.

              Check the backspacing on the ones you are looking at and go from there. There are any number of ways to bolt a plate to your hub and look at rim diameter and back spacing both front and rear. Be sure to check the fronts from lock to lock.

              Here's some previous discussion on these wheels. https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....-Avanti-Wheels

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              Last edited by sweetolbob; 06-18-2019, 06:06 AM.


              • #8
                Thanks for the information guys. My car is a 59 hawk with drums in the front. Would that matter? Also I called the guy and he sent me some measurements.
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                Do these seem a bit wide? Condition isn't the best, but they are only $50 for the set.
                Also, my rough measurements seem to indicate they will hit the center of the upper A arm, but then again my car is on jack stands with the front tires removed at the moment so the suspension is dropped all the way.


                • #9
                  Too wide, IMO.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer


                  • #10
                    No offence Sam,
                    The actual measurements you require are as follows:
                    On the rear, place a straight edge from bead to bead, (where the tire seats) and measure from the straight edge to the rear of the bolt mounting flange. This gives you the back spacing which is critical for a proper fitment inboard to get the clearance required to suspension components such as control arms etc.
                    From that same mounting flange, using a straight edge again, measure to the outside bead (where the tire seats). This will tell you how much further out the wheel will be to the fender lips(particularly on the rear of Hawks). Measure carefully as that will be where interference is likely. I usually massage the fender lips for clearance as I prefer the largest tires I can fit.
                    At only $50.00 set I'd take a chance and modify the tire size as necessary. A stagger size fitment will probably work(the rears are larger than the fronts). Being 17" diameter you will probably only have a little modification on the suspension pieces. Check the rear INNER panel for ample clearance. These wheels will have a positive offset(more wheel inside than out) so measure carefully with the suspension at normal ride height(loaded) not dropped like on a jack.


                    • #11
                      As Bill said above, like this is the most important dimension.

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                      For my Avanti this was about the maximum back spacing for the front with 17" wheels without spacers. You could probably use more on the rear. Bob


                      • #12
                        At only $50 for the set I'd buy them! They usually go for $125-$150 per wheel. From the pic I can tell they are '05-'09 wheels. I'm sure you can make them fit, spacers are easy.

                        I don't know how Bob got them to clear the front suspension on his Avanti without spacers; unless it's a late one without Studebaker suspension. His appear to be the '94-'04


                        • #13
                          Thanks Bob for the clarifying photo. Absolutely the correct way to accomplish the dimensions Sam requires.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Skip Lackie View Post
                            I believe they are reproductions (in appearance) of the wheels on the Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in the movie Bullitt.
                            Here is a pic of the Ford OEM 70's Bullitt wheel.

                            Here is a pic of the Ford OEM 2K Bullitt wheel.

                            Other wheel manufactures offer the same look with different offsets to fit most 60' A-frame cars.

                            Originals were magnesium and the "green" spoke was more from the natural color. Modern ones are aluminum and painted green spokes for the look..
                            Last edited by SScopelli; 06-19-2019, 10:51 AM.


                            • #15
                              I don't know that Ford actually made a "bullitt" car in the 60s/70s, it was just a Mustang used in a movie.

                              The top wheel pic, "70s" one, is just a standard aftermarket American Racing Wheels Torque Thrust. It's not even a Torque Thrust D (It will fit disk brakes). They still sell them, but I'm not sure the non disk version is still available. The later wheels pictured, are the '94 -'04 Ford version. Nice. Are those in your garage or just good at finding pics? I have several, but no 15s though. Back when; using larger than stock diameter wheels was unusual, at least around here so all my Mustangs had 14s so that's what I have around from when I changed to the 200S.