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THE BEST Steel Wheel size for a 64 Cruiser

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  • Wheels / Tires: THE BEST Steel Wheel size for a 64 Cruiser

    I've been looking back at past forum posts concerning wheel sizes (Ford, Mopar, etc) when wanting to run radial tires on a Sudebaker. My 64 Cruiser came with 4 1/2" wide original wheels, and after reading all of the information concerning wheels cracking when running radials on Stude rims, I've decided to look for both wider and newer rims that will still give my Cruser the original look I want to keep.

    I went salvage yard roaming this aftenoon, and was able to find a yard that has cars and parts that go back to the early 50's. Based on what I've read, I was looking for Ford 15 x 6 w/ 4 1/2 hole pattern, but was not ruling out the Mopar or "others" that would fit. In the short amount of time I had to look around with the owner, I found a 79? Mercury Grand Marquis station wagon with 5 real clean rims, but I think they are 15 x 6 1/2, they are still on the car with tires, so I couldn't get a clean mesaurement bead to bead. I also found 3 nice Mopar 15 x 5 1/2 rims off a late 70's Plymouth Fury. The yard owner thinks given enough time to dig around, we could find 2 more Mopar rims, and possibly the 15 x 6 Ford rims I originally went looking for.

    My question is, looking at the Mec 15 x 6 1/2 rims and the Mopar 15 x 5 1/2 I do know he has, which would work best on my Cruiser using full hub caps? I was thinking of 205/75R/15 tires, but would those work on either of these better than the other? I don't want any tire rub, so I'm concerned about the wider rims doing that. Could I run a 215/75R/15 on the wider rim and still not rub either front or back?

    I told him that I would probably go with the Merc 6 1/2 wide rims, but that's not set in stone, so should I go back and look for the 15 x 6 that I originally went looking for? Should I go Mopar? Like I said, I don't want tire rub either front or back, or turning point to point.

    Anything you can add to help me clarify my choices and answer my questions and concers will be appreciated.
    Andy
    SDC Member since 1978
    1961 Studebaker Lark Regal HT
    1964 Studebaker Cruiser (Hamilton)

  • #2
    I have 15x5.5 Ford rims on the front and 15X6 rims on the rear of my 63 Daytona convert with 215X75 R15 tires and they rub from time to time when turning to full lock on the front. My opinion is the 5.5" with 205's should work for you. I don't see any need to go to 6.5 wide rims.Just my opinion.
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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    • #3
      I am very happy with the 15x6 Mopar rims from the RWD Chrysler Fifth Ave or varient from Dodge or Plymouth. Full wheel covers are no problem. The Stude covers work fine with them. The problem would be with "hub caps" or as some here refer to them as "poverty caps" as the bumps (or nubs) on the center are missing to retain those hub caps.
      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
      64 Zip Van
      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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      • #4
        Andy
        I was looking for wheels for to match the front of my '81 Avanti as I bought it. The wheels are circa '72 Galaxie. They are 15X6 & take the Stude lugnuts as opposed to the 13/16".They may work on the Cruiser. If you find extras let me know . I could use 1 or 2 myself . It had Dayton wires on the rear which I want to get gone.
        Rob

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        • #5
          Thanks. The Mopar rims I found are 5 1/2 and was concerned they could be too narrow for the 205/75R/15 tires I wanted to use.
          Andy
          SDC Member since 1978
          1961 Studebaker Lark Regal HT
          1964 Studebaker Cruiser (Hamilton)

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          • #6
            I'll watch when I go back out to the yard location, plus I'll ask the owner about a 72 Galaxie. I think he knows every car, and that cars location, in his REAL large yard area. If he thinks he has something, I'll get you a phone number to call. Where are you located?
            Andy
            SDC Member since 1978
            1961 Studebaker Lark Regal HT
            1964 Studebaker Cruiser (Hamilton)

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            • #7
              If you go with the Ford rims, you should also change your lug nuts.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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              • #8
                Watch your wheel centers closley, Big Fors and Mercs went to a 4 3/4" bolt pattern in 73 and if you have the 'dog dish' hubcaps they won't fit on a lot of the Mopar wheels.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by radiotech View Post
                  Watch your wheel centers closley, Big Fors and Mercs went to a 4 3/4" bolt pattern in 73 and if you have the 'dog dish' hubcaps they won't fit on a lot of the Mopar wheels.
                  Yes and no. Starting 1979 (1980 for Lincoln); Ford went back to the 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern wheels in their big cars. My 1962 Lark has 15" x 6" steel wheels from a 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis. Note that some 1979 up Ford/Mercury big cars used 14" rims but, I believe only up to ca. 1982.
                  --------------------------------------

                  Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                  Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                  "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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                  • #10
                    15" AMC wheels have the 'Stude' sized center caps.

                    Hard to find I realize but; apparently 15" AMC steelies will swap directly onto Studebakers and will accept the Stude hub caps.
                    --------------------------------------

                    Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                    Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                    "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know you are using the small caps, but... if you were or ever want to go to full wheel caps note the angle of the grip surface for full wheel caps. I had a new 1965 Cordoba that came with full wires... It kept throwing the wire caps. After purchasing several new pricey wires I through a fit. Zone manager took one look and insisted that the car didn't come with wires so I pulled the window sticker out. The wheels that came with the car were made for center caps only and had too much angle on the lip that the full caps gripped. Chrysler replaced all wheels with the right wheels.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Andy
                        Rob

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mmagic View Post
                          I know you are using the small caps, but... if you were or ever want to go to full wheel caps note the angle of the grip surface for full wheel caps. I had a new 1965 Cordoba that came with full wires... It kept throwing the wire caps. After purchasing several new pricey wires I through a fit. Zone manager took one look and insisted that the car didn't come with wires so I pulled the window sticker out. The wheels that came with the car were made for center caps only and had too much angle on the lip that the full caps gripped. Chrysler replaced all wheels with the right wheels.
                          What is a "1965 Cordoba"? I had a 1975 Cordoba and I thought that that was the first year. Perhaps just a "typo" and not an exotic or another Canadian model.
                          Gary L.
                          Wappinger, NY

                          SDC member since 1968
                          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                          • #14
                            Right, The fine Corintian leather wasn't available in 1965.

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                            • #15
                              I've got the 14x6 AMC from the 60's and they do indeed hold the baby hub caps perfectly!

                              But 14" tires suck.

                              If I wanted a super low rider, then 14's would be good.

                              Put some gum-bands on them and bounce down the road...

                              Tom

                              PS. Where do the front tires hit? The front frame rails? I think there is a clearance problem with the stock steering arms, but the short arms may eliminate that problem. Oh. I remember the tires will hit the upper inner control arm bushing - I remember that one because the zerk was cutting into the tire. But my memory is not that good...

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