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Proper tire size for 1963 Cruiser.

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  • Wheels / Tires: Proper tire size for 1963 Cruiser.

    Well my disk brake conversion is complete, and I found / bought 5 Ford Ranger 15x6 steel wheels to put on it. Now my question is what size tires should I buy to use with these wheels and not have to worry about tires rubbing or the speedometer not being accurate.
    Mike Kelly
    Regional Manager
    Texas
    1963 Lark Cruiser
    1962 GT Hawk
    1965 Commander 2dr v8 auto

  • #2
    Most people seem to want 205x75x15s on Studebakers, but I have found that any car that came with 6.70x15s such as your Cruiser should use 215X75X15 radials. 205x75x15s are fine for Studebakers that came with 6.40 or 6.50x15 bias ply tires. The overall height and diameter of a 215x75x15 are the closest to 6.70x15. I have run the 215s on my '64 Daytona Wagonaire, on the '64 Daytona convertible and I am currently running 215s on my '64 Avanti. With the 3.07 rear it is running, in 10 miles on the Interstate counting ten mile markers, the odometer is off by 1/10 mile, a one percent error. I have never experienced rubbing with that size. However, I suppose that sagging front springs might cause rubbing.
    The thumbnail below shows from the left, a NOS 6.70x15 bias ply tire, then a 215x75x15 radial, a 205x75x15 radial and the one on the right is a 195x75x15 radial.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by 53k; 07-13-2016, 03:27 PM.
    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello, I have P205-75R15 tires and my speedo reading 5 mph too slow (car is actually 5 mph faster than the reading). Does this make sense for a smaller tire? I would have expected it to be reading faster than the car was going. Steve
      Steve Nowicki

      Davis, CA

      1963 Studebaker Cruiser
      289 V8 2bbl
      Flight-o-matic
      Twin Traction Dana 44
      Factory front power disc brakes
      Rose mist with Chestnut interior

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know how accurate the speed signs are on the side of the road but my 62 Cruiser today seems to be about 5 mph fast. There are aps for smart phones that can give you speed by way of GPS. One such is "waze" (I think that's how it's spelled) If that's not how it's spelled I'm sure someone here will happily correct me. The other thing you can do is check the speedometer drive gear off the trans & see if it matches up with your rear end ratio.
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mcwicki51 View Post
          Hello, I have P205-75R15 tires and my speedo reading 5 mph too slow (car is actually 5 mph faster than the reading). Does this make sense for a smaller tire? I would have expected it to be reading faster than the car was going. Steve
          The 195/75R15 as far as I can tell were the closest in height to the original 5.90 or 600s but every tire brand has slightly different rolling diameters for their size numbers. An error showing lower than actual speed might be fixed by a 195 but good luck finding them. A simple speedo gear change may cure it. Usually Stude speedo's are the opposite 5 MPH higher than actual at 60-65. The speedo gear is easy, pull cable from trans, find out tooth number you have, see if one with fewer teeth (faster spin) is available and try it. Many add on gear boxes around to dial it in if you want to get it exact. There used to be a speedo calibration company in West Sac if you are worried about it being exact.
          Last edited by karterfred88; 07-13-2016, 04:20 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mrkelly View Post
            Well my disk brake conversion is complete, and I found / bought 5 Ford Ranger 15x6 steel wheels to put on it. Now my question is what size tires should I buy to use with these wheels and not have to worry about tires rubbing or the speedometer not being accurate.
            To be as close as possible to original bias ply tire, 195/75/15 but they are hard to find a 205/75/15 is pretty close and an easy find

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mrkelly View Post
              Well my disk brake conversion is complete, and I found / bought 5 Ford Ranger 15x6 steel wheels to put on it. Now my question is what size tires should I buy to use with these wheels and not have to worry about tires rubbing or the speedometer not being accurate.
              I can't respond to the solution for speedometer error, but one source that I have says that the following radial tire sizes should be used with the respective rim widths:
              195R75-15 tire, 5-½" wide rim
              215R75-15 tire, 6" wide rim
              225R75-15 tire, 6-½" wide rim
              235R75-15 tire, 7" wide rim

              V-8 Hawks originally had 6.70-15 tires and the 215R75-15 radials are what some owners are substituting. I have 1992-1997 Ford Crown Victoria 15" x 6-½" rims with 215R75-15 tires on my 1962 GT Hawk but I once had MoPar 15" x 6-½" rims with 215R75-15 tires on a 1956 Golden Hawk. The five lug 4-½" bolt circle is the same as Studebaker but small hubcaps won't fit and you have to use full disc covers. I'd also recommend using rigid metal valve stems because full hub caps have a tendencey to "walk" and bend rubber valve stems over. There are no clearance issues with a 6-½" wide Ford rim on my GT but I don't have disc brakes. When my GT Hawk speedometer reads 45 mph, radar units on the road show 48 mph.

              Somewhere, someone brought up an issue with lug nuts, Studebaker versus Ford, and contact problems with the rim, the nut and the brake drum. My Ford rims seem to fit fine with the Studebaker lug nuts that were on the car. This might warrant further study.
              Bill L.
              1962 GT Hawk

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds interesting, but tell me, how one fits a 215X75X15 spare tire in the tire well of a '64 Avanti with the tire cover fully closed?..........answer, it can not!.......which is why for 50 yrs I have utilized 6X70X15, then 7X75X15 then 8X15X15 and even F70X15...it's all about fitting that spare Paul!
                Originally posted by 53k View Post
                Most people seem to want 205x75x15s on Studebakers, but I have found that any car that came with 6.70x15s such as your Cruiser should use 215X75X15 radials. 205x75x15s are fine for Studebakers that came with 6.40 or 6.50x15 bias ply tires. The overall height and diameter of a 215x75x15 are the closest to 6.70x15. I have run the 215s on my '64 Daytona Wagonaire, on the '64 Daytona convertible and I am currently running 215s on my '64 Avanti. With the 3.07 rear it is running, in 10 miles on the Interstate counting ten mile markers, the odometer is off by 1/10 mile, a one percent error. I have never experienced rubbing with that size. However, I suppose that sagging front springs might cause rubbing.
                The thumbnail below shows from the left, a NOS 6.70x15 bias ply tire, then a 215x75x15 radial, a 205x75x15 radial and the one on the right is a 195x75x15 radial.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I use MoPar Cordoba rims on my '64 Avanti with chrome steel valves to keep the wheel covers from walking........works like a charm, and the 205X75X15 tires look good to me and, and!!!......fit like a glove in the Avanti spare tire well:-)
                  Originally posted by 56GH View Post
                  I can't respond to the solution for speedometer error, but one source that I have says that the following radial tire sizes should be used with the respective rim widths:
                  195R75-15 tire, 5-½" wide rim
                  215R75-15 tire, 6" wide rim
                  225R75-15 tire, 6-½" wide rim
                  235R75-15 tire, 7" wide rim

                  V-8 Hawks originally had 6.70-15 tires and the 215R75-15 radials are what some owners are substituting. I have 1992-1997 Ford Crown Victoria 15" x 6-½" rims with 215R75-15 tires on my 1962 GT Hawk but I once had MoPar 15" x 6-½" rims with 215R75-15 tires on a 1956 Golden Hawk. The five lug 4-½" bolt circle is the same as Studebaker but small hubcaps won't fit and you have to use full disc covers. I'd also recommend using rigid metal valve stems because full hub caps have a tendencey to "walk" and bend rubber valve stems over. There are no clearance issues with a 6-½" wide Ford rim on my GT but I don't have disc brakes. When my GT Hawk speedometer reads 45 mph, radar units on the road show 48 mph.

                  Somewhere, someone brought up an issue with lug nuts, Studebaker versus Ford, and contact problems with the rim, the nut and the brake drum. My Ford rims seem to fit fine with the Studebaker lug nuts that were on the car. This might warrant further study.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For the record and correctness, I see a Lot of erroneous info floating around here on this string that should be corrected.

                    Unless special ordered otherwise, the Wagonaire, Convertible and Hawk were the only models with the larger 6.70 X15 tires.

                    Cruisers and all other V8 Larks had 6.40/6.50 X15 tires. The 6 cyl. 2 & 4 Door Larks had 6.00X15 Tires.

                    All had 4 1/2 Inch Wide Wheels except some Jet Thrust Larks & Hawks and Avantis that had 5 Inch.

                    When using Ford or Chrysler Wheels, they all need the Larger Wrench Size Lug Nuts because the taper angle and hole size is larger than Studebaker.

                    The Chrysler Cordoba wheels are one of the best as the year I have, has the Anti-spin "humps" on each side of the Valve Stem that do stop the wheel cover spin issue. The only thing you can't do is use small Stude. Hub Caps.

                    The P205X75R15 is still the best bet for most Larks & Lark types.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For what it is worth, I am running 205x75's on my factory R2 '63 Lark. Per the production order, the car came with 6:70's on it. I am using the slightly wider 5" Avanti rims. Now, before I restored it, I was running 215x65's in the front, with 245x60s in the rear. That was using 15x7 Mopar police wheels. The car handled better with the wide wheels and tires, but the Mopar wheels were nine pounds a piece heavier...you could feel the weight through the steering, not pleasant.
                      Eric DeRosa


                      \'63 R2 Lark
                      \'60 Lark Convertible

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