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1969 El Camino custom
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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had any issues with upgrading to larger wheel sizes? Right now I have the original 14" rims and suspension.
I am wanting to put either 16" or 17" wheels. Would there be any issues with clearance and rubbing on the fenders or wheel wells? I am thinking about upgrading the current front and rear springs to coil-overs. Would doing this raise the body height enough to clear, or would I have to put in a small lift kit or airbags?
I am new to this. Just trying to get an idea of what I might need.

Thanks in advance!

Steffon

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Hi CentralTX El, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. You have a nice looking 69. I've been told that you need to upgrade your suspension, when you make that change. Hope you will meet members in your area and make friends. Have fun with your 69 and the community.
 

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I run 17" Boyd Coddington Junk Yard Dogs on my stock suspension '70.
Going up to 17/18" should not be a problem within reason.
If you are thinking about deep rims and/or really wide tires, get ready to get out the cutting torch to cut the frame and add tubs.

Make sure to understand the backspace/offset.
Check the tire size information, since that is where the limits will likely arise.

Here is a link on tire/rim size educational material. Much of it should transfer to 3rd Gen.
'78-'87 Tire / Wheel fitment guide - Read before buying!
'78-'87 Tire / Wheel fitment guide - Read before buying! | El Camino Central Forum

Here is a look at my rims/tires.
cover-image (600×399) (elcaminocentral.com)
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There is info on my tire sizes in my ShowCase
Blue Thunder | El Camino Central Forum
 

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Rim size is immaterial. You can stick 20's in there if you want to. What matters is tire size and backspace/offset on the rims.

If you can stick to @ 26" total height of the tire with no more than a 4" backspace, you've basically changed nothing but the amount of metal in the wheel. Be like riding on rollerskates with a tire that thin, 1½ inch sidewalls, but it's doable.

So 17/18's is definitely doable with 50/40 series tires, just have to watch the total width to clear turning, watch backspace to clear suspension.
 

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Those short, stiff, sidewalls will really show how bad the camber issue is on these cars. When you hit the brakes hard, the front wheels will go into severe positive camber and will lift half the tires inner contact patch off the road...
 
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