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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, looooong time no post. Been busy with other projects, etc.

I'm finally looking to get rid of my 14" Cragar's on my 66' coupe and put some 17's on so I can eventually fit 13" Cobra brakes.

I'm really leaning towards a set of ~2004 Bullitt wheels in anthracite, 17 x 8" all around. I'm planning to run 225/45/17 up front and 245/45/17 in the rear. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe these should fit. Suspension is currently stock besides new 5-leaf standard eye springs in the back (sits like a 4x4 at the moment).

As for backspacing.... the wheels I'm getting will have 5.66" backspacing. I know lots of people run new style Bullitt wheels with the help of adapters. I've heard I'll need 1" adapters up front and 1/2" thick adapters in the back. But I thought the max backspacing you can fit in the rear was 4.5"? Others say 4.75" though. For the front I believe a 17" wheel clears the upper control arms but I'm not sure what the max backspacing is.

Any help would be great, thanks!
 

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I'm running S197 Bullitts with 5.72" backspacing. I needed 35mm spacers in front for the wheel to clear the control arm, so you'll need something similar. As for the rear, about 5" backspacing will (edit: barely) clear, so you'll need probably 3/4" spacers. I have an 8.8, which is 1/2" wider per side, plus 5/16" spacers, adding up to 4.9" effective backspacing on an 8"
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Paul! I'll probably go with 1.5" adapters up front, so 38mm instead of the 35 you mentioned. 3mm shouldn't be that noticeable.

Since you run a smaller adapter in the rear, do the front wheels sit out further than the rear wheels? For instance if I bought 1.5" adapters for the front and 1" for the rear, are the front wheels going to sit 1/2" further out? (since all 4 wheels have the same backspacing)
 

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And honestly, it'll be better if you go out further, because I am having some control arm clearance issues. Fenders can be rolled and stretched. Control arms? Not so much. Mine do rub the lower front corner of the fenders where it tucks under, but a shorter tire shouldn't have an issue there.

I haven't actually measured that, though I suspect that the rear track is narrower than the front now. The clearance to the fender lip is greater in the rear, even with a bunch of camber up front.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds good, I just ordered four 1.5" spacers. Track width on 64-66 mustangs is apparently 56" front and back, so now mine will be more like 59" front and back hub to hub. I'll have to wait until I get wheels to see what the clearance will look like, but I don't think I'll have a problem. I just hope it doesn't stick too far out.

Also what's the reason for people going with 8.8 rears? cheaper?
 

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Track width is measured from the center of the tire contact patch, so it won't spread that much. You'll probably have some fender clearance issues, but that can be taken care of with a fender roller.

8.8s are popular because they are more common than 9"s these days, not terribly expensive, lighter, and also more efficient. I got mine because of the rear suspension upgrade I was getting, since Griggs doesn't make anything for the 8", and I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a 9".
 

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Newer wheel fitment on '66

I'm running S197 Bullitts with 5.72" backspacing. I needed 35mm spacers in front for the wheel to clear the control arm, so you'll need something similar. As for the rear, about 5" backspacing will (edit: barely) clear, so you'll need probably 3/4" spacers. I have an 8.8, which is 1/2" wider per side, plus 5/16" spacers, adding up to 4.9" effective backspacing on an 8"
Hey Paul289, I am about to be shortening my own 8.8 Explorer rear end and I haven't measured how this rear compares with the stock 8" but I was under the impression from other posts that the 8.8 narrowed is 1/2 narrower after shortening the one side (on the Explorer rear) not 1/2" wider. Would like to confirm this. I am considering newer wheels as well as older ones to maximize tire with no worries of loaded car rubbing. Also, I have S197 brakes in my front which need at least 17" wheels I think. SO about your comment concerning control arm issues up front, are the wheels too close to the upper control arm or is there other interferrence? To what exactly were you referring?
 

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Hey Paul289, I am about to be shortening my own 8.8 Explorer rear end and I haven't measured how this rear compares with the stock 8" but I was under the impression from other posts that the 8.8 narrowed is 1/2 narrower after shortening the one side (on the Explorer rear) not 1/2" wider. Would like to confirm this. I am considering newer wheels as well as older ones to maximize tire with no worries of loaded car rubbing. Also, I have S197 brakes in my front which need at least 17" wheels I think. SO about your comment concerning control arm issues up front, are the wheels too close to the upper control arm or is there other interferrence? To what exactly were you referring?
I have a '98 Mustang 8.8 with Fox length axles, which is 1/2" wider per side than the 8". The Explorer 8.8 very well may be 1/2" narrower than the 8" after shortening. I don't have personal experience with that.

The S197 17x8 Bullitt wheels I was using hit basically everything. Even with a whole bunch of camber, they occasionally rubbed the fender, and even with 35mm spacers, I had to trim a bit off the arm in front of the ball joint. I was running 245/45r17 tires, so it's likely that 225s on SN95/New Edge wheels will work fine. Some fender rolling and/or stretching may be necessary. But any wheel wider than 8" is gonna have some trouble up front without using some sort of aftermarket suspension solution like drop spindles, MII, Griggs kit, etc.
 

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my 66 with 17X8, 4.75" back spacing, with a 235/45/17 all around. The clearance up front is tight with a factory UCA, maybe 3/16" at the most between the UCA and the inside of the rim. What hurts you is the cornering, the factory UCA and LCA rubber bushing will flex horizontally in a corner, and the inside of the wheel might touch the UCA on hard cornering. I autocross my coupe, and post inspection showed I was rubbing the inside of the rim, barely, but it was touching. If you don't think you're gonna be banging on your car like we do in auto-X, then you'll be fine. BTW, a 225 and 245 should be fine, just be sure to roll your inside fender.
 

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Here's my 66 with 17x8, I have 1-inch adapters front and rear with the stock 8-inch rear end, stock springs all around and the Arning drop in front. Tires are 235/45-17, wheels are '99 Mustang GT.
 

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