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Hello, I am trying to decide on a wheel and tire setup for my 280z now that I have decided to do flares (2" front 3" rear zg style). I was originally going for either work equip 03 or meister cr01 in 15x10 or 16x10 respectively (talked myself into spending more then I should this time around). The issue I am running into is tire selection for those widths. I would prefer to avoid stretching tires if possible. The widest tire that I can find (that are not slicks or drag radials and with an acceptable aspect ratio) are the toyo r888r 255/50r16. What is your experience with how 255 are mounted when on 10" wide wheels?

 

Purple z attached is the type of fit I would like. From what I read he is running 15x10 all around. Fronts look like r888r but I don't know the rear tires? Blue is how my car sits now on 16x8 225/50. Essentially I would like to widen what I have, maintaining a little meat on the sidewalls.

 

Apart from the technical aspects I am also open to any and all opinions, from different wheels to wheel sizes, tires, colors etc. The more Ideas spit balled the better.

purplez2.jpg

Rear, passenger.jpg

purplez.webp

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This is an unpopular opinion, but please do keep in mind that going ultra-wide does have a negative effect on performance as well. Rotational inertia increases, which will make accel/Decel a little slower and make the car a little less nimble overall (unless traction was a problem for you). Also, without power steering the extra grip up-front will have you considering a power steering mod. 
 

If you were optimizing for performance, you would maximize the rear width to give you full traction under load with an LSD. You will then go wider in the front until you no longer have under-steer (assuming your suspension is optimized/tuned). If you are running a big torque bump but not tracking the car, you may enjoy an asymmetric ratio where the rears are a bit wider than the front. 
 

If this is 100% aesthetic, go for it. Why not, mix it up. Just wanted you to be aware going big does have some negative side effects. 

 

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Posted (edited)

WalkerBK: I will have to look into those. A quick search I see maybe a couple different variants of their indy 500. I'll check out what sizes those come in as well.

 

JHM: I would like to autocross at some point, but if I am being honest with myself I doubt I will ever try to be competitive or make this my dedicated track car. So essentially the occasional spirited driving would be most accurate. 50/50 between aesthetics and raw performance.

Drivetrain: Smallblock 350 with some mild work done (cams, carb, intake,  porting, slight bore etc), T5 trans, 3.7:1 diff with LSD, 300zxt cv shafts

Suspension: Stance coilovers, 6k springs all around, TTT front control arms/tension rods, polyurethane bushings all around.

Brakes: Front-toyota calipers, vented, Rear-mustang caliper, vented

 

AydinZ71: I appreciate the input. I do see the potential negatives of running too wide and the impacts that would. Never having been any wider or stickier then I currently am though makes it hard to fully judge the significant of those impacts for me personally. As for turning difficulty, Its also one of those things where I tell myself it will be fine, just like how I said I would be fine without AC in the summer... That is a good point though, I cannot really recall the last time I experienced under steer. Staggered might open up some tire options for me up front at least.

Edited by Popeye1
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Several of us have been revisiting the wide wheel/tire issue, after years of tinkering with other aspects of the car.  Some considerations:

 

1. The better wheel selection is only in 5-lug.  That entails a 5-lug conversion before any further dabbling in wheels/tires.  But if going 5-lug, the brakes-question is immediately begged...  namely to remain stock, or to "upgrade" - and by how much, and for what purpose.

 

2. As noted, 15" tire options are much constrained, other than for pure drag-slicks.  To enjoy good selection in streetable tires with good traction, we almost invariably have to go to 17" or larger.

 

3. Since presumably the question of tires is prompted by that of traction, we first have to build every thing else... engine, drivetrain, suspension and so on - before delving into wheels/tires.  Then we see how much traction we have, and how much additional is needed.  Unfortunately this is a closed loop, because better tires mean more traction, stressing things like the halfhafts or companion flanges and so on, and that means upgrade of components.

 

4. Tires "fully" filling flares  raises the question of suspension travel... rates, damping and so on.  Too much travel and the tires will rub (or even shred).  Not enough, and the ride is harsh, or even worse, the orientation of the tire contact patch with respect to the pavement is bad.  Maybe good aesthetic fit results, unfortunately, in poor traction.

 

5. Depending on year of the S30, a stock suspension tends to be "jacked up".  To lower the car entails its own set of issues... cut springs, coilovers, worry about bumpsteer in the front and bad halfhaft droop angles in the rear.  The stock height might makes these issues earier, but then, what of the aesthetics?

 

6. It seems to be wiser to take an incremental approach, changing a few things first, reassessing and revising as needed.  But some of the proposed changes, such as going to 5-lug, are big and risky leaps.  So we're liable to spend lots of money on an experimental dead-end that weighs more, works badly and isn't aesthetically all that appealing... the price of learning!

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11 hours ago, Michael said:

4. Tires "fully" filling flares  raises the question of suspension travel... rates, damping and so on.  Too much travel and the tires will rub (or even shred).  Not enough, and the ride is harsh, or even worse, the orientation of the tire contact patch with respect to the pavement is bad.  Maybe good aesthetic fit results, unfortunately, in poor traction.

The purple car above, and 99% of the ZG flares people install have this problem. The have the tire all the way out to the lip of the flare in hella flush style, and because of the shape of the flare there is no way for the suspension to move an inch without the tire hitting the flare. On ZGs in particular people tend to mount the rears too low and not cut enough of the fender. I think this is because the flares were originally useless: the old 70s Japanese Zs that ran them had wheels and tires that fit into the stock fenders anyway. Why they put them on in the first place is beyond me, but I don't bolt fake vents or scoops on my cars either. 

https://www.sportscarmarket.com/profile/1972-nissan-fairlady-zg
[img]https://www.sportscarmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1972-nissan-fairlady-zg-drivers-front.jpg[/img]
Looks like putting the image tags in doesn't work, but there's a good shot of an original ZG at the link and you can see that the flares are totally unnecessary.

If you were inclined to go hella flush, I'd suggest you run a huge stack of packers and a big foam bumpstop so that the suspension rode on the bumpstop all the time and the packers kept the suspension from compressing so far that you'd smash the tire into the flare or cut it on the not trimmed enough original fenders. Lots of newer cars ride on the bumpstops all the time, or as soon as there is any body roll at all. You can do that pretty well, surprisingly.

Edited by JMortensen
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@Popeye1 depending on how sticky your tires will be and how heavy you are up-front, going wide had a noticeable effect on mine. When I purchased my street car back (last year) from someone I sold it to 6 years ago, he had put roto wheels 8” wide up front, and 9” in the back. It fills-out the new flares he put on quite well, but the steering at stop (parking lot, etc) is much harder now especially with the sticky performance tires. I was shocked how a 1” difference made a disproportionate effect on steering effort. That is with the giant Datsun bus steering wheel, and if you are considering a performance wheel which will have a smaller diameter, it gets even worse. Even crappier if your rack/pinion has a lot of slop it it. The extra grip will make the rack feel even less in-control. 
 

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things! There are some power steering mods available which you can research through this forum. I would look into the budget before you do the wheels/flares in case that is important to you. If I had to daily drive or even weekly drive my street Z, I would say it is absolutely necessary on my car. Right now it’s just waiting in line for me to get to work on. 
 

 

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Micheal: A well articulated set of consideration points. I like to think I have done my rounds on the rest of the cars components, which is why I land here asking about wheels and tires, which to me is essentially the last major component that I would like to "fully upgrade" so to say. I personally do not like the look of 17" coupled with zg flares compared to smaller diameter wheels. But I am jealous of the tire selection. Also from what I have seen, if I did go 17 I would be pushed towards doing that 5 lug conversion as well for favorable wheel selection, which I have not worked into the budget...yet.

 

JMortenson: I actually did not know that about the original ZGs.  I do not believe I will be going so far as to go hella flush, I would like to maintain functionality. I assumed proper placement, proper trimming of the fenders (hurts to say that after all that paint work) would offer enough room to at least prevent rubbing for the majority of the suspension travel?

 

Aydinz71: Ill start pumping some iron. I think it is one of those things that I will have to feel for myself to actually appreciate.

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58 minutes ago, Popeye1 said:

... I personally do not like the look of 17" coupled with zg flares compared to smaller diameter wheels. But I am jealous of the tire selection. Also from what I have seen, if I did go 17 I would be pushed towards doing that 5 lug conversion as well for favorable wheel selection, which I have not worked into the budget...yet.

 

If I were aiming for 15" wheels, which actually is very much my own current predicament, then the most appealing candidate, at least in the rear, is 15x8, 0-offset or slightly negative offset.  Tires would be M&H Racemasters, 245/55-15: https://www.mandhtires.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=159 .  These look to fit inside 280Z rear wheel-wells, possibly with moderate rolling/trimming of the fender lip, but no flares.  Anything larger would require more aggressive mods, that if done poorly, would be hard to reverse.

 

Then the discussion passes to 15x8 wheel options, in offset, bolt pattern and hub diameter that work with our cars.  Suprisingly (or not?), options are few.  I had a thread about a year ago, here: https://forums.hybridz.org/topic/132345-vors-wheels-specifically-tr3-opinions/ .. regarding one possible promsing option... but haven't yet made a decision.

 

Popeye1, have you done the "coilover" mods, or other suspension mods?  Relocation of the spring perch would be very helpful, in allowing the running of a wider wheel/tire, within the stock fenderwell.  I haven't done this, mostly from lack of interest or laziness, and that unfortunately constrains the options.

 

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17 hours ago, JMortensen said:

On ZGs in particular people tend to mount the rears too low and not cut enough of the fender. I think this is because the flares were originally useless: the old 70s Japanese Zs that ran them had wheels and tires that fit into the stock fenders anyway. Why they put them on in the first place is beyond me, but I don't bolt fake vents or scoops on my cars either. 

https://www.sportscarmarket.com/profile/1972-nissan-fairlady-zg
[img]https://www.sportscarmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1972-nissan-fairlady-zg-drivers-front.jpg[/img]
Looks like putting the image tags in doesn't work, but there's a good shot of an original ZG at the link and you can see that the flares are totally unnecessary.

 

The reason the HS30-H model Fairlady 240ZG was made and sold to the general public - in a specified quantity and within a certain period of time - was simply HOMOLOGATION.

 

Presumably you don't understand why Dodge and Plymouth showrooms were selling Charger Daytonas and Road Runner Super Birds either?  

 

JAF-GT-0101-V-12-1.jpg.a0a5c8406ddacd0cd140c26ddc467811.jpg

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Yeah, you're right. Which got me thinking, how the hell did they make that work? So I searched for a picture, and found one. Looks like the front doesn't need the flare at all, and the rear is going to cut the tire, just like all the people running ZGs today. So ZGs never really worked correctly for the intended purpose.
https://dattosankureiji.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/some-datsun-racing-history-goodness/

Thanks for piquing my interest. Always a pleasure.

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On 3/16/2022 at 8:06 AM, JMortensen said:

The purple car above, and 99% of the ZG flares people install have this problem. The have the tire all the way out to the lip of the flare in hella flush style, and because of the shape of the flare there is no way for the suspension to move an inch without the tire hitting the flare. On ZGs in particular people tend to mount the rears too low and not cut enough of the fender. I think this is because the flares were originally useless: the old 70s Japanese Zs that ran them had wheels and tires that fit into the stock fenders anyway. Why they put them on in the first place is beyond me, but I don't bolt fake vents or scoops on my cars either. 

https://www.sportscarmarket.com/profile/1972-nissan-fairlady-zg
[img]https://www.sportscarmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1972-nissan-fairlady-zg-drivers-front.jpg[/img]
Looks like putting the image tags in doesn't work, but there's a good shot of an original ZG at the link and you can see that the flares are totally unnecessary.

If you were inclined to go hella flush, I'd suggest you run a huge stack of packers and a big foam bumpstop so that the suspension rode on the bumpstop all the time and the packers kept the suspension from compressing so far that you'd smash the tire into the flare or cut it on the not trimmed enough original fenders. Lots of newer cars ride on the bumpstops all the time, or as soon as there is any body roll at all. You can do that pretty well, surprisingly.

 

I just wanted to say, this post made me LOL.  I have wondered the same thing about the "hella flush" cars.  I see so many on the 'net that cannot possible have any  meaningful suspension travel.  Not just Zs either, the RWB Porsches being the best example I can think of:

 

https://fifteen52.com/blogs/52/27618305-rwb-x-fifteen52-porsche-911-993

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5 minutes ago, JMortensen said:

Yeah, you're right. Which got me thinking, how the hell did they make that work? So I searched for a picture, and found one. Looks like the front doesn't need the flare at all, and the rear is going to cut the tire, just like all the people running ZGs today.

 

None of the cars in the I-made-it-at-home 'article' you linked to are fitted with ZG type overfenders. The Nissan works team cars in the content - specifically - are wearing the E7200 432-R overfenders, which are a fundamentally different design. 

 

19 minutes ago, JMortensen said:

So ZGs never really worked correctly for the intended purpose.

 

You still don't seem to understand the concept and process of homologation, which was *exactly* their 'intended purpose'.

 

Great observations though. If you had a time machine (maybe another little tweak on those ARBs would do it?) you could pop back to 1970 and give Nissan's staff the benefit of the thousands of hours you've spent on Corner Carvers. You could also tell Porsche that the 917 was an accident waiting to happen.

In fact, why stop there? You could - for example - bounce back a few more decades and tell Harry Miller not to bother with the V16. Hell, armed with your laser-guided hindsight you could even halt the rise of the Third Reich, Communism and Coca Cola. Just think of the possibilities!

 

How's the cat flap business these days? 

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20 hours ago, Popeye1 said:

JMortenson: I actually did not know that about the original ZGs.  I do not believe I will be going so far as to go hella flush, I would like to maintain functionality. I assumed proper placement, proper trimming of the fenders (hurts to say that after all that paint work) would offer enough room to at least prevent rubbing for the majority of the suspension travel?

Way back when John Coffey fixed Amir's car. I can't remember Amir's screen name, but he had an SR20DET swap in a 260 I think. Anyway he was chewing up the rear tires on track, brought it to Beta Motorsports and John moved the flares up quite a bit. The problem is that the ZG flare is styled to be installed the way that Amir had it installed. It fits the body line when mounted too low to be functional. So I would suggest if you want functional, find a flare that has room for the tire to move. Not sure if the pics are still here of Amir's car, but that would be the place to look for how to do it. They look weird installed higher though, and if you have sectioned struts you'll probably still have issues. I would assume that Stance struts have travel similar to a sectioned strut. 

The way to check it is to pull the spring and compress the suspension and look for interference. I had my car cut for flares, did that test while setting up some new control arms and found major interference. Had to cut again. Second time I cut all the way to the top of the wheel well arch. If you do that, ZGs and probable most other smaller flares are not going to have enough vertical space for the tire to move. So again, the best way to solve the problem is to limit the travel, or get better flares.
 

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Micheal: I have coilovers yes. The type where you remove the original strut tube and weld on a new threaded body, which is what I assume you mean by coilover mod. I cannot recall the spring diameter off the top of my head but it is definitely smaller then stock springs. With my current setup, 16x8 0 offset with 225/50 I did have to roll my rear fenders to prevent rubbing.

 

That conversation started to take an interesting turn... I do love the classic livery's on those old race rigs from that article you linked. I had already ordered a set of flares, so when they get here It sounds like I am just going to have to take plenty of time to play around during mock up and see how I want to proceed from there.

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The old school bubble flares were shaped in such a way and tall enough that you could get a lot more wheel movement, but I don't know a current supplier. The other option would be a flared quarter panel. For a narrow one, something like ztrix's Subtle Z or 940Z, or even the old California Z kit from Jim Cook Racing. For a wider one could do ztrix's YZ or IMSA flares, or one of the old box flare setups (most people find these ugly). There are other makers too, but it's really hard to find a good fiberglass supplier and ztrix.com actually ships orders in a reasonable time with good quality. 

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