View Full Version : Shopping for wheels and tires

03-29-2008, 05:01 AM
I'm about ready to wake the beast up from it's fifteen year nap.
I've got my stockpile of fluids and maintenance items and need to know about tires and wheels.

The stock wheels are long gone unless wire wheels were an option,and I'm guessing the tires are dry rotted and ruined from sitting so long in one spot.
Anyone know the wheel size offset etc?

I'm guessing 15x7 and 225/70/15 for rubber.
Anyone have pics of custom wheel and tire combos?

How wide of a tire can I safely fit beneath the centurion?

Bob Alberini
03-29-2008, 06:37 AM
Wire wheel covers were an option for all three years, however, the 71 and 72s were different than 73s. Sorry, I don't recall what year you have and I'm a "stock" guy so will leave your question about the customs to others on the forum. If you can get a scan of your existing wheel covers, we can determine if they are original/correct or not.

03-29-2008, 10:53 AM
My centurion is a 73 convertible.
I'm thinking the wheels should make a big difference cosmetically.
It's basically stock with 68,000 miles.
I believe the wheels are after market.
I found the original sport wheels in the shed completely rusted away to nothing.

I'm thinking of some ultra light wheels if at all possible with some meaty rubber,without worrying about them rubbing the fender wells.

I'm mainly trying to find out the bolt pattern sizing and what size tires work well with stock suspension.
Thanks for the replies.

Richard Dunn
03-30-2008, 07:21 AM
In the mid 70's a lot of people were buying after market wire wheels and wide whitewalls for that gangster look which got popular thanks to the movie SUPERFLY and others like that.
I had wide whites on my '73. They made the car look like they were floating on air.
As for the wire wheels there vary levels of quality.
Most people bought what was essentialy a deep dish chrome wheel with a wire "basket" insert. One good pot hole and the wire "basket" either broke or came off. Around here you could see them laying along curbs, center dividers or up against guard rails and such. I imagine those spokes would have been fatal if they went sailing through the air at the right speed.
I almost got decapitated once by an airborne hupcap while sitting at a traffic light in my LeBaron convertible. The damn thing was flying through the air and I saw it coming. Instintively I ducked down and it sailed across the hood just in front of the windshield. Missed me and the car by inches.
There were better quality wire wheel sets available but most folks opted for the less expensive versions.

03-30-2008, 09:24 AM
iīve got some chrome ones on-
no lightweight or wires but i love that look!!!


itīs 15 inch with 235īs in the front and 275īs in the back...

03-30-2008, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the link.
Pretty nice looking wheels.
Are you running air shocks in the back?
Bigger springs?

73 Centurion
03-31-2008, 09:45 AM
One word of caution, the bolt pattern is 5X5. It's a little uncommon.

I've got 235-70-15's on all 4 corners of my car and they fit easily. I have Keystone Classic rims which have a touch too much offset. On the rear tires I have to jack the rear up, support the frame and let the axle droop in order to squeeze the tires in.

I bet you could fit a 295 in the back if you had the right offset in the rim, but I prefer to keep all 4 tires the same size.


03-31-2008, 12:27 PM
I'm running P255/70R15's on all four corners. A little meatier than stock, but nothing that required modifications. I may go to air shocks this summer. Not sure. Would rather just upgrade the springs, but that's a pretty big project. Or is it??? :confused4:

Was running the P235's, but the car didn't seem to hold the road as much as I wanted it to. Preference call there. Of course, I went raised white letters and have been taking grief from the "stock only" guys!!! :laugh:

eBay almost always has the stock Rally Sport wheels available. Shipping is costly, but the wheels are out there if you want to stay semi-stock.

Good luck and share some pics when you decide!

Phil Gennaro
03-31-2008, 07:31 PM
Wire wheel covers were an option for all three years, however, the 71 and 72s were different than 73s. Sorry, I don't recall what year you have and I'm a "stock" guy so will leave your question about the customs to others on the forum. If you can get a scan of your existing wheel covers, we can determine if they are original/correct or not.glad to see your"e still with us bob! was wondering where you went! yeah, i know theres life beyond our centurions! hehe!phil

73 Centurion
04-01-2008, 12:25 PM
The rear springs are a piece of cake. Jack the car up nice and hign, set the frame on jack stands and let the axle droop. Depending on how tired your current springs are you might be able to just lift them out.

If that doesn't do it you can either get a spring compressor, or you can unbolt the shocks and let the axle down some more.

The front springs are trickier. You'll need to either use a spring compressor or at the very least a peice of chain looped through the spring to keep it from shooting out. Yes, it can shoot out with tremendous force so you have to secure it.

Once the spring is secured, unbolt the shock, undo the anti-sway bar and break loose the upper or lower ball joint.

I'm probably forgetting a couple of crucial steps, so ask on the V8 Buick board where there's a ton of expertise. Removing coil springs is not Centurion specific.


04-01-2008, 01:33 PM
Sounds pretty easy. I am on the V8 board, so I'll check in there. What do you put back in their place though? Newer springs or springs from something all together different?!?!

04-11-2008, 01:21 PM
My recommendation is the 5on5 Buick Rally mags. A nice shiny chrome set with nice caps look awesome.

The 1984/85 vintage off a Electra are actually 15x7 and that is what I use on my rears. I have a p255/70/15 rear and p235/70/15 up front on 15x6s, but plan to changing the rears to p275/60/15s. I like the extra meat in the rear or junk in my trunk.

Whatever you decide, remember tire heights. The original tires are 29 to 30 inches tall. Some like that ride height others dont. If you go to a 60s or 50s series, they usually go down in height. The rears I have now are over 29inches, but when I go to the 275/60s I will lose an inch.

Spring project include new rear tires, 3.42 posi rear end with sway bar, new boxed upper and lower control arms, new rear coil springs, new edelbrock rear shocks, and a mandrel dual exhaust system.

That should keep the wife screaming at me til next season.;)

Here is my car with my current tire combo.:xyxthumbs: