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pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
10/6/18 9:52 a.m.

Hello all.  I picked up a 1994 Camaro a couple of months back..

It is a '1LE' car that spent most of it's early life on tracks like Watkins Glen.

It has the original (and mechanically stock) LT1 engine and T56 Borg Warner 6 speed with 47K. It has a Hurst competition shifter, Koni Yellow DA shocks/struts, Global West adjustable torque tube, Hotchkis control arms, Hotchkis strut tower brace, Hotchkis panhard bar, Eibach lowering springs, Torsen T2 differential, 4.10 rear axle ratio, 4 point roll bar, drive shaft loop, cold air intake, Hypertech power tuner, rev limiter and exhaust cutout.  The car came with a ton of documentation including the original race decals, track records, window sticker etc.

It's pretty clean for a track car, but not perfect.





And here's a picture of how it was setup back in the day;


The previous owner purchased it pretty much how it looked in the last picture.  He spent some time and money trying to make it more of a street car - including removing the decals.  He also sold off the SS wheels and tires and replacied them with the chrome SS replicas and Khumo all seasons that are on it now (yuck).

So here's my question;

My plans for the car are local autocross events and maybe an HPDE at Summit Point or similar track - I need to replace the wheels and tires - I've been looking for a set of OEM SS's 17x9's and suitable tires, but would I be better to look at a set of 18's instead?  I have a chance to pick up a set of Simmons F90's in 18x10 rear and 18x9 front, but I'm also not sure if I should stick with a square setp.

Any advice welcomed!

Peter.
 

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
10/6/18 10:01 a.m.

When I was looking at those I had plans for 18's.

I liked the second gen Z28 repro's in 18" from year one. I had a whole retro look planned. Deal didn't work out

Will
Will UltraDork
10/6/18 10:12 a.m.

4th-gen owner here. The selection of high-performance 17" street tires in the sizes you'll want to run (ie 275/40) sucks. Most of the top tires only go up to 245/45 before jumping to 18" sizes. I suggest you go with 18s, but 19s would be an even better choice for tire availability.

On mine, I have 17x9s and 275/40 Sumitomos in front and 17x11s and 315/35 Sumitomos in back, but those tires are awful. Their only purpose is to keep the wheels off the asphalt. Hoosiers for fun times.

pimpm3
pimpm3 SuperDork
10/6/18 10:24 a.m.

I will second the 18 inch choice.  I run 17x9.5 c4 wheels on my s10.  I ended up running 255 40's on it because that size had the most modern high performance tire options.

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
10/6/18 10:32 a.m.

My personal driving style (not much race experience) leans toward 17" but that's mostly because I prefer the more predictable breakaway.  The worst thing I ever did was put 20" on my Impala SS.  The tiny sidewalls were very unforgiving.  The stock 17s were very progressive.  The 20s seemed to go from grip to "holy E36 M3 we're going to die" without warning.

Unless I missed it, subframe connectors aren't on the list of mods.  I would strongly suggest it, especially if you go with the 18s.  F-bodies are a little floppy giving a fair amount of phantom suspension compliance that might amplify the 18s skittishness.  YMMV, but I'm a big fan of sticky 17s and a little more camber over 18s

It's also possible that your driving skill is far beyond mine and the shorter sidewalls are something you're used to.  It's also possible that we're really splitting hairs.

As far as staggered sizes, if it's a track-only car I see no problem with it.  I've had staggered setups on a street car and the only frustration was that I couldn't rotate.  I couldn't even go left-right because they were directional rubber.  The bummer was replacing all four tires when one got bald

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
10/6/18 10:35 a.m.

Dam do I feel old. We thought we were totally the coolest with 15’s on my 70s firebirds and camaros. A set of 245/60/15s and you had made it.  Oh and those were white letter Eagle GTs. LOL.  

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
10/6/18 10:35 a.m.
Will said:

4th-gen owner here. The selection of high-performance 17" street tires in the sizes you'll want to run (ie 275/40) sucks. Most of the top tires only go up to 245/45 before jumping to 18" sizes. I suggest you go with 18s, but 19s would be an even better choice for tire availability.

This is so true.  It used to be that 17 was the new 15.  Now 19 is the new 17.

I'm shopping for 15" truck tires right now.  My choices are really fat or really really fat.

NickD
NickD UberDork
10/6/18 11:01 a.m.

I'd suggest sticking with a square setup, as it'll allow to rotate them and hopefully get more life out of a set. But, if the Simmons are cheap enough, then go for those

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
10/6/18 12:27 p.m.
Curtis said:

Unless I missed it, subframe connectors aren't on the list of mods.  I would strongly suggest it, especially if you go with the 18s.  F-bodies are a little floppy giving a fair amount of phantom suspension compliance that might amplify the 18s skittishness.  YMMV, but I'm a big fan of sticky 17s and a little more camber over 18s

Nope - you read that correctly.  I've wondered myself why the car was never fitted with sub-frame connectors - seems odd to me given all of the other suspension and handling oriented mods it has.   I will look into a set.

Thanks for the responses on the wheel choice everyone - sounds like 18's may be the way to go.

Will
Will UltraDork
10/9/18 9:25 p.m.

Also, regarding square or not: My car understeers horribly with 275s in front and 315s in back. Much more balanced on 315s all the way around.

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
11/18/18 12:27 p.m.

OK - so after going around and around on various wheel options - I'm leaning towards going with a set of sixteen inchers surprise

I have the original 16x8 wheels that came with the car when new (OEM Z28 wheels) and I'm thinking of fitting these with a set of Toyo Proxes in 255/50/16.  Why?  Well I'm now leaning towards putting the car back to how it was initially raced, or at least using wheels that might have been available back in 1994.  I'd love to go with an aftermarket 'period' wheel, but there doesn't seem to be much out there.

Oddly enough, I have a set of 16x8.5 Simmons 3 piece wheels in 5x4.75 bolt pattern gathering dust in my basement;

 photo 25F9A848-C629-413F-8689-07D875D9B063_zpswvmsdeb8.jpg

But the backspace is all wrong for a fourth gen (4.25 inches).  Simmons do sell replacement inners and outers - but I'd easily have $1000 into parts to get the offsets right.  Anyone know of a 16x8 through 16x9 wheel that has around 7 inches of backspace to work with a 4th gen Camaro?  I've looked online at wheels like Epsilon, Riken etc. but I'm not finding much.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
11/18/18 2:31 p.m.

For those of you running bigger than a 245, what width rim are you running?

 

That is almost a 10 inch wide tire.  That is sufficient for most anything.

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
11/18/18 4:57 p.m.

Those wheels look amazing! I wish my BMW could fit 16s so I could run them.

chandler
chandler PowerDork
11/18/18 5:19 p.m.

Forgeline made a RS2 in the sizes you are looking for; I just sold some. Super light- super strong.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/18/18 5:32 p.m.

That car looks great, not just for an HPDE car, just in general!

You'd be surprised what those are worth. 

IIRC, that car will take 18x11s and 305s without a problem. That's how much tire you need with the weight and HP of that car. Great catch!

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Reader
11/24/18 8:56 p.m.

I just want to say really great car!  If I bought a Camaro.....  it’d be a 1LE car or another Mustang.  Kidding, sort of, maybe.  Anyway really sweet car keep the photos coming!

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltimaDork
11/25/18 8:24 p.m.

There are still good choices in 275/40/17.  RT615k and Pilot PS2 come to mind. A7's too if you want race rubber.

The R888's I assume you are looking at are below 200 TW so can't be used in CAM or road tire classes if that is a concern.  Now you're against cars on A7's and GForces.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
11/25/18 10:18 p.m.
NickD said:

I'd suggest sticking with a square setup, as it'll allow to rotate them and hopefully get more life out of a set. But, if the Simmons are cheap enough, then go for those

There is so much more you can do with a square set up.  Tire stagger for example.  With a square set up you can put the biggest tire in your lightest corner.  Or change the wheels around to achieve the handling goal you want. 

Briefly here’s how you do it.  Fill all 4 tires to the same air pressure, (exactly) 

now take a narrow tape measure and measure around the center of each  tread.   Yes there is a difference. Tires are hand made. 

If you have access to a set of scales you can move tires around and see how weight shifts with different sized tires on each corner.   If not just note where each tire is and how it affects your handling. 

 

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
11/25/18 10:44 p.m.

Those Simmons would look hot on my GTA, too bad I'm planning on 17s or 18s on my car too.

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
2/23/19 11:24 a.m.

Finally picked up a set of wheels - came across a set of 17x9.5 C5 reps wrapped in Falken RT615K's;

 photo 0BAA094C-70DE-43BE-82AF-FE82FE4BB96C_zpsn6bkdnxc.jpg

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
2/23/19 4:58 p.m.

They are going to look sharp when mounted, please post a pic when you have them on. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
2/23/19 10:01 p.m.

I think you're going to be pretty happy with those. I'm looking forward to getting the Falkens this year or next to replace my NT05s in that size on my IROC. No you don't get to run Rivals or ZIIIs in that size but I think there's something about those tires that can't handle heavy cars under 18 inches.

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
2/24/19 8:01 a.m.
rico750sxi_2 said:

They are going to look sharp when mounted, please post a pic when you have them on. 

Will do!

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
2/24/19 1:08 p.m.

Those are definitely a good look on those cars.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/25/19 10:00 a.m.

Paging JG. 

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