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8E7 16" wheels, tire options

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  • Wheels / Tires: 8E7 16" wheels, tire options

    I recently bought a 63 8E7 that came with 16" wheels with no spare, no hubcaps. The tires are 6.5X16, tube type, dated 1986. Are these likely 4.5" width rims? Are they stamped with the size on the outside of the rim? Not ready to dismount tires yet (they hold air). Are these tubeless compatible rims? Closest modern size I came up with are 215/85/16. Would this size fit on 4.5" rims? Any rubbing issues? I guess I'd prefer 15s, and understand there are issues finding GM rims that fit the quirky drums. Not really interested in Coker style repro bias tires.
    TE

  • #2
    PNW: I Iike the description “quirky drums”. As for my own experience all I can say is that the original studebaker wheels crack around the lug nut holes. Buick (15’s) wheels fit but they are wide. I think mine are either 7” or 7-1/2” and they do rub but only on the front when turning. Not on the side walls of the bed like one would think though and never on the right side. Turn right and the drivers tire rubs the link that runs along the frame rail. Turn to the left and the drivers side tire rubs the pitman arm stud coming out of the gearbox. I have tried some junkyard ford wheels but they would flex when torqued down due to “quirky drums”. I spaced the ford wheels out with washers and lost a wheel (drivers front) in traffic.

    I am interested to hear others solutions as well.

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    • #3
      The 215/85-16" Michelins make a wonderful truck tire, but I've only run them on the 3/4-ton six lug wheels; I have no experience with them on the older steel 1/2-ton wheels.

      jack vines
      PackardV8

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      • #4
        Those wheels should be 4 1/2 Inches wide and if they are Original 1963 Wheels, should hold Tubeless Tires just fine, the size is stamped INSIDE, near the Valve Stem Hole.
        They will take the same 1/2 Ton Hub Caps as the 15 Inch Wheels.

        That is a Very Rare Option on a later 1/2 Ton Champ, usually only ordered on some Fleet Trucks, the Special Order Los Angeles Water and Power and the Cal Trans (Calif. Highway Dept.) Champ Trucks.
        Was your Truck originally Brown or Omaha Orange?

        UPDATE: I looked up the 16" Wheel in the 8E Parts Catalog and found they should be 4 1/2 Inches, so it is a Maybe that they are 5".
        Last edited by StudeRich; 03-14-2020, 11:43 AM.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Sweet, thanks for the info. The truck was always red. If I took the tires off, they would probably disintegrate (I have a tire machine). I used a ruler to eyeball the rim width and it seems larger than 4.5. If I can use something like a 215/85/16, I'll keep them. I'll have to see about rubbing on the very strange steering linkage when I cross that bridge.

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          • #6
            It's a little hard to read the Engine Serial number but if is an Original (Not Modified) 3E 19092 Engine, it would be a 259 Standard, (Non-H.D.) Truck Engine.

            The Truck Serial Number Plate was uploaded somehow differently than the Engine Number, so as it happens here a lot, Enlarging it just makes it SMALLER and unreadable.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              The VIN is E7-19052. Is the 3E engine number correct for a 63? The truck was last registered in 1990 in Idaho, but must have spent some time in the East because the floors are rusted out. The engine started right up after soaking the cylinders, rebuilding the WW and distributor and priming the oil pump. Waiting for warmer weather before adjusting timing. The oil pressure bypass valve seems stuck. It pegs the gauge at 80+ from cold and I couldn't budge the little piston with the proper drill bit. That can wait too.

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              • #8
                I had a 3E series 1/2 ton pickup with stock 16" wheels which were 5" wide. I had a set of 215/85R16 tires on for over 10 years and 20K miles without any issues.
                Mark Hayden
                '66 Commander
                Zone Coordinator
                Pacific Can-Am Zone

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                • #9
                  Thanks Mark. I'm hoping these are wider rims.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    E7-19052 is a 1963 Champ. And a 3E engine number is a truck 259. The two wheel sizes available on those trucks were 16x4.50" and 15x5" -- so if they are Stude wheels, I think they are 4.5" wide (sorry). They are tubeless-type wheels.

                    Chevy/GMC half-ton wheels have the same bolt pattern, but don't mesh well with the Stude drums. You can add spacers, but should replace the studs with longer ones. Bob Johnstone's site has some info on changing to Chevy truck drums.
                    Skip Lackie

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PNW_63_Champ View Post
                      The VIN is E7-19052. Is the 3E engine number correct for a 63? /Cut/
                      Your Truck and 259 Engine (a Full Flow Oil Filter Block) are both 1963's.

                      My Champ is a bit Newer than yours, it's 8E, E7-19421:
                      Click image for larger version  Name:	Red Texaco Champ 8v.jpg Views:	0 Size:	52.6 KB ID:	1825048Yes, that IS a Evinrude Snowmobile that it came with.
                      Last edited by StudeRich; 03-14-2020, 03:43 PM.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        PNW
                        The spec’s for 215/85/16 tires recommend 5.5-7” wheels. Having said that I have worn out 2 sets of 215/85/16 tires on this truck and it will be getting a new set soon. This 59 1/2 ton 4x4 uses the same rims you have.
                        Steve.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	1D242F98-EEFA-436A-9569-C77E6E558237.jpeg
Views:	184
Size:	41.1 KB
ID:	1825293
                        Studebaker driver since 1971
                        59 Lark
                        59 4X4
                        62 E45
                        64 E15
                        64 E35

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the input folks. The rims appear to be in good shape, but I​ was a little concerned about the skinny rims. I won't be hauling gravel with this thing. I'm glad others have experience with this size/rim combo.

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