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1972 Nova - 4 door - straight 6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a non-running 1972 4 door that has sat for over 10 years. The tires are no good and although i can't drive it anyway i still want to look into tires. Right now it has 225/70/14 on what looks like a factory rim? What size should i run on the 14"s or should i go up to a 15"?
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What are your plans for the car? Is this going to be an "all original restoration?" A driving resto-mod? A drag racing or autocross car?

If you want original stuff, the original tires on that were either E78-14 or (when radial tires became available as an option in 1974) FR78-14 or E70-14 for the SS models or G78-14. I get conflicting information between those two sizes. The 225/70R14 is slightly larger diameter than the stock(ish) FR78-14 a G78-14. 215215/70R14 is closer, but there are more choices in the 225/70R14 size, and it those will probably fit without rubbing. There are reproduction tires (both bias ply and radials) available in the original G E78-14 size and FR78-14. 195/75R14, 205/75R14 and either 215/70R14 or 225/70R14 would be the closest sizes in modern radial tires. There are some choices available in those sizes.

There are certainly more choices available today in the 15" sizes, but those are small diameters for 15" tires. The stock sizes are around 26" diameter. The closest 15" size (which would be like a +1 upgrade on the original wheels/tires) is a 195/70R15, 205/70R15 or a 215/65R15. Both All of those sizes are fairly common, and were used on a lot of mid 1980s to early 1990s German sedans (many still on the road today), so there are a fair number of choices in those two sizes. Just watch out for the load rating and make sure you get something that will support the weight of your 1972 Nova when it's finished.

NOTE: Edits in red were made when more information became available. Thanks @CdnL79 Registry .
 

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Well, I was wrong then. That's one size smaller than I thought.

When the Novas got radials, did they increase by one size, like E78-14 to FR78-14 like most other GM platforms? Maybe that's where my sources got their slightly larger sizes.
 

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According to the GM Heritage Center site, 1974 was the first year for radials on Novas and they were optional. Size was FR78-14 as you describe above.

Bob
 

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1972 Nova - 4 door - straight 6
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
right now, with limited money and basic tools, i want to make it a driver and work on it as i go. I think in the end i want it to look nice but maybe not stock. I'm a v8 guy but i am going to give this 6l a chance.Thanks for the info, i think i might stick with the size thats on that rim. I love those rims and would hate to lose them because i went to a 15.
 

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right now, with limited money and basic tools, i want to make it a driver and work on it as i go. I think in the end i want it to look nice but maybe not stock. I'm a v8 guy but i am going to give this 6l a chance.Thanks for the info, i think i might stick with the size thats on that rim. I love those rims and would hate to lose them because i went to a 15.
What would look great and not cost to much is clean up those rims and paint them and run a set of BF Goodrich radial T/As. A great street performance tire with a classic look
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That’s what I’m thinking! I’m looking at a few media blasters, some primer, some paint….or should go with powder coating? Not sure what it would cost to powder coat and I’m low on funds.
 

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That’s what I’m thinking! I’m looking at a few media blasters, some primer, some paint….or should go with powder coating? Not sure what it would cost to powder coat and I’m low on funds.
Powder coating them is going to cost $$$. If on a budget I would clean them, sand/ wire wheel the rough edges and primer and paint them myself
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Barely even have a budget. What kind of paint would you use? Rattle can? What brand? I’ve done some plasti-dip on my truck but not rims. I’m thinking maybe paint or plasti-dip them black and put on some beauty rings and nice lugs. Would beauty rings work on this style of rim?
 

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i got some wheels just like you have blasted an powder coated gloss black for 40.00 each. look at classic industries for a trim ring part number TK 3000. also the center caps can be found there.
 

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Sandblasting shouldn't be too much. Look around. A local guy here will do a set of 4 wheels for $40 or less.

Powdercoating wheels can be expensive, or not. Depends on who does the job.

For paint, check your FLAPS for "wheel paint." That will be less expensive than powder coating for certain. Expect 1 can of wheel paint will do 2 (maybe 3) wheels with several light coats. Don't be impatient. A few light coats is much better than one heavy coat with sags and runs.

For tires, the BFGs used to be great. Every set I've seen in the past 10 years, the letters turn brownish. They are also expensive compared to the other choices.

I'd run 215/70R14 on that car. That will make your speedometer read more accurate than what you have. With what you have now, your speedometer is reading lower than Officer Friendly's radar gun, and that can be a problem.

In that size, if you want to pay extra for raised white letters and probably the best "performance" tire available (in that size), look at the Cooper Cobras. IMO, today, those tires are way better than the BFGs. I run those on (the front wheels of) my S10 pickup truck now, in 215/70R15 and they are great tires IMO.

If budget is an issue, consider the Kumho Solus TA11s in 215/70R14. Also good tires. No white letters, but reasonable grip, and the tread life is better than the Coopers (and way better than the BFGs). Before I got the Cobras, I ran two sets of those on the S10 (on all 4 corners, plus the spare) and they were also great tires. Not quite as grippy as the Coopers, but way more grip than anything that was available 20+ years ago. Also, way better on the budget and they lasted longer. So those are very budget friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I always wanted the BFGs, but for my truck (i run 33x12.5 on 20s) it would be a fortune. Good to know the letters turn brown, maybe i will stay away for sure now. I was looking at Cooper Cobras. Tires are a long way down the road though. The more i look at this nova the more problems i find. Might be out of my league on this one!
Anyway, after doing some looking, my rears are 225/70/14 and the fronts are 195/75/14. Lets say i stay that size or go up/down, my question is: are the rims specific to the axel? Like can i put the rear rim on the front? Any weird backspacing i should know about? If i pull the rims, sandblast them, paint them, do i need to worry about front or back since there is no tire on them?
 

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right now, with limited money and basic tools, i want to make it a driver and work on it as i go. I think in the end i want it to look nice but maybe not stock. I'm a v8 guy but i am going to give this 6l a chance.Thanks for the info, i think i might stick with the size thats on that rim. I love those rims and would hate to lose them because i went to a 15.
See there, you've already answered your own question. A running ride's much more fun and more likely to see improvements .
 
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