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Thread: 84Bird SN95-8.8 and front spindle swap with cobra brakes.. what wheels to buy?

  1. #1
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    Question 84Bird SN95-8.8 and front spindle swap with cobra brakes.. what wheels to buy?

    Hi Guys

    My 84 bird SN95 8.8 axle, 5-lug front spindle / cobra brake upgrade is nearly complete. I am now looking toward wheels and tires. I would like to use the 03 Cobra wheels and tires from LMR. I'm wondering if they will fit correctly. Below is a rundown of my configuration.

    • 1998 Mustang 8.8 axle with cobra disk brake conversion
    • 95 mustang front spindles with 13" brake upgrade
    • stock front lower control arms


    I really dont want to spend that money to have them not fit. Im thinking they will fit fine as most mustang wheels will fit.. but wanted y'all opinion/confirmation. Thank you.
    1963 Lincoln Continental Cov. 455ci
    1984 Thunderbird Elan 232ci 3.8L Super Coupe "in swap stage"
    2013 F-150 Harley Davidson 6.2L 379CI

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    I don't foresee an issue with them. How low is the car?

    There's a thread on here: "post your wheels" or something similar. I'd bet there are pix of a tbird on those exact wheels.
    1986 Ford Thunderchicken, 5.0 AOD w/ Shift kit, 354,XXX miles. 1-Family owned. Original engine+trans.
    8.8 Disc Rear w/ 3.73 Posi. CHE Control Arms. '04 Cobra brakes all around. 2000 Cobra R wheels. Tubular front LCA's. MM Steering Shaft. Unlocked Speedo, Lowering springs, Eibach sway bars front and rear. Ram air intake.

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    I have a pair of Eibach 5.0 lowering springs. I got them way back in 99. I have had this car sense i was 16 way back in 1998. I think they lowered it 1inch.
    1963 Lincoln Continental Cov. 455ci
    1984 Thunderbird Elan 232ci 3.8L Super Coupe "in swap stage"
    2013 F-150 Harley Davidson 6.2L 379CI

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    The only thing that concerns me is that my control arms are a little shorter then yours as the 83-84 have the same control arms as the fox mustang. The 85-88 have the same as the SN95 arms which are a bit wider..
    1963 Lincoln Continental Cov. 455ci
    1984 Thunderbird Elan 232ci 3.8L Super Coupe "in swap stage"
    2013 F-150 Harley Davidson 6.2L 379CI

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    They may fit in the rear. I doubt they will fit in the front without some modifications, but I could be wrong. The shorter control arms might actually help get them under there though. To get that size tire under my 85 I used the shorter 13" fox mustang length control arm. I also have a 03 k member, not sure if that changes things. Because of the shorter arms I had to relocate my CC plates inboard on the strut towers. With all of that the tires just clear, maybe 1/8" to 3/16" clearance with no modifications to the fenders, and none of this is road tested yet.

    Post #52 explains some of what I did to get them under the fender.

    http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/...85-TBird/page6

    I would try to find a rim and tire that size to test fit before purchase if possible.

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    So if you have a known rim and tire combination that fits and you know the rim and tire configuration you want to put on the car then go here and compare the two.

    https://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp

    That should tell you everything you need to know. What you need to pay attention to is if you have a rim and tire combination that fits the car you need to be very careful with the space between the rim and/or tire and the strut on the front suspension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerocoupe View Post
    So if you have a known rim and tire combination that fits and you know the rim and tire configuration you want to put on the car then go here and compare the two.

    https://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp

    That should tell you everything you need to know. What you need to pay attention to is if you have a rim and tire combination that fits the car you need to be very careful with the space between the rim and/or tire and the strut on the front suspension.
    I'm going to do some measurements on the old wheels and tires i have and do some more research on wheels and tires before i pull the trigger i will defiantly get a hold of y'all before i buy and get your opinions.

    What wheels / tires are you running? I like the look of those.
    1963 Lincoln Continental Cov. 455ci
    1984 Thunderbird Elan 232ci 3.8L Super Coupe "in swap stage"
    2013 F-150 Harley Davidson 6.2L 379CI

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    Lemme do some rummaging though paperwork. I have the receipt in my build folder its just a matter of finding it.

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    Okay, so on my '83 it has an '88 Mustang GT rear end with Fox Mustang length axles with North Racecars brackets for the Cobra brakes. I only say this as it completely changes the offset on the wheel when compared to the SN95 Mustang length axles which is what I have on the '93 Coupe. Also, I have a full Griggs Racing front suspension in the T-Bird (K-member, control arms, & coil overs) so that will alter how the wheel sits relative to a stock suspension car. I am using the 96+ SN95 spindles which also move the wheels outboard 5mm more than the 94-95 SN95 spindles (https://www.maximummotorsports.com/t...spindle.aspx):

    1994-95 spindles will increase the front track width by 0.120" (3.1mm) per side.
    1996-04 spindles will increase the front track width by 0.320" (8.1mm) per side.

    Anyhow, I have the following on my 83 Bird:
    Front Wheels - 17x8, +24mm
    Front Tires - 245/40R17
    Rear Wheels - 17x9, +24mm
    Rear Tires - 275/40R17

    So using the link I posted the rear wheels on my Bird have a 6" backspacing. I cannot remember if I could push the wheels out any further or not but I want to say I can (maybe 0.5" so call it 10mm). I am not around the car or I would go look and measure. What this all comes down to is finding a wheel that you know the offset on and will bolt up to the car and typically this is a stock Mustang wheel (when converted to five lug). From there you measure how much further you could move it inboard and how much further you can move it outboard. Those measurements will tell you what will fit the car. You can also opt to roll the rear fender lips which will allow you to move the wheels even further out.

  10. #10
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    The wheel/tire package from LMR isn't saving you any money. You can buy just the wheels from LMR and tires from tirerack and have them installed at a shop. For the LMR combo, $25 cheaper to do it that way. I'd probably just buy a better rated tire instead of the HTR ZII or go with an all season unless you only drive when it's warm.

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