December 2011 Chevy High Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland Oct 24, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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If you get a wild hair and decide to pressurize the induction system on your Camaro or install nitrous, we would recommend going one to two heat ranges colder, based on the power you’re adding to your engine. Remember, power equals heat. The more power you produce the more heat you’re extracting out of the fuel. This heat is transferred directly to the spark plug, and if you overheat the plug it turns into a glow plug. Then nasty stuff starts to happen. Also, not all cars and applications are race cars! Enjoy your street-driven Camaro.

Imp Tires

Q. I want to upgrade the wheels and tires on my ’58 Impala. I plan to use stock-style steel wheels made by Wheel Vintiques (PN 62-573 4044). These are a 15x7 with 4.25-inch backspacing. The wheel openings and suspension are stock. I need to go to a 15-inch wheel because I plan to install power disc brakes on the front. I want to keep the old-school look with a painted steel wheel and dog-dish hubcaps.

My problem is trying to determine just how big a tire I can install without clearance problems. I tried looking for complete 15-inch tire and wheel packages to get an idea. Either the sites did not go back far enough on years, only listed Corvette, or had nothing but huge wheels. I looked up the specs (diameter and cross-section) for some of the recommended 16- and 17-inch tires, then looked up 15-inch tires with the same dimensions.

It looks as though I can install a BFGoodrich Radial T/A 225/60R15. The diameter is 25.6 and cross-section 9.0 when mounted on a 6.5-inch rim. Your thoughts and recommendations will be very helpful. Thanks.

Dave Toles
Via email

A. Boy, now we’re going on the way-back machine. At Flowmaster, we supported the lowrider crowd and built several different exhaust systems for the ’58-64 Impalas. These cars are very unique with their X-frame, which crossed directly under the center of the vehicle. This required the exhaust to be routed to the outside of the framerails. So what the heck does this have to do with your wheels and tires? In the rear, the tire and wheel must share space with the tailpipe, which runs through the rear wheelhouse as well! This is the most limiting factor for rear tire selection.

Your 15x7 wheels and 225/60R15 tires will fit fine in the rear with factory exhaust. One of the more popular exhaust exits is right in front of the rear tires, which opens up quite a bit of room in the rear for more rubber. When we designed the tailpipes, we moved them up and as close as we dared to the wheelhouse to give you the most tire and wheel clearance.

Upgrade your tire combo with confidence; they will fit with no problem. Also, get those brakes changed. Your ’58 isn’t a lightweight and it needs all the help it can get to be slowed down. Good luck.



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