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Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
#1170629 Wed Jun 22 2016 01:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
M
New Guy
I realize this is an age old problem and I have googled until I am crosseyed.

I have a 1948 1-ton Chevy Panel that has been an off-road adventure truck since the 1950's. If you are interested in seeing more of the truck and period photos of the truck in Death Valley, they are here.

As mentioned in the title and my long truck history linked above, I am interested in changing from the 8-lug 17" split rims to a more modern 16" wheel.

I bought a set of 8-lug rims through craiglist and, of course, the rears fit fine but the fronts don't clear the tie rod ends. A common problem that I now know is common!

The original rims are positive offset, with an offset of 3 5/8". The new (used) wheels are 16" x 6.5" positive offset, with an offset of 4 5/8".

After visiting my local tires store, reading a lot of Stovebolt posts and general googling, I believe I have a plan and would like a sanity check.

Run my used 16" x 6.5" wheels on the back with LT 255/85 R16 tires.

Buy 3 new trailer 16" x 6" Dexstar trailer wheels for the front and spare using the same tires.

The Dexstar wheels I am considering

It has a stated offset of +.5", which I take to mean, I would have a positive offset of approx. 3.5" which is nearly the same as the original 17" wheels.

Questions:

1. is this a good/best approach?
2. I have read of tie rod end solutions on 1/2 ton trucks to get the needed clearance, is there an (easy) solution to use the 4 5/8" offset wheels on the front?
3. Is there another front/spare wheel choice that is preferred or recommended over the trailer wheel?

Thanks so much in advance!

Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
misterjalopy #1170634 Wed Jun 22 2016 01:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,807
ace skiver
Nice photos and nice story.

Thanks


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
misterjalopy #1170643 Wed Jun 22 2016 02:50 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8,490
L
Master Gabster
The Dextar wheels you're looking at should work fine. Another option would be wheels from an E250/350 Ford van, which are very common. I have heard reports that some have had to use a 1/4" spacer for clearance at the tie rods. Just from the description, the used set of wheels you have are for an '88 or newer truck, which will not work on the older trucks without an adapter/spacer.


Bill Burmeister
Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
LONGBOX55 #1170660 Wed Jun 22 2016 05:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
M
New Guy
Thanks for the input!

The used set of wheels that I have, they should be fine for the back, correct?


Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
misterjalopy #1170726 Wed Jun 22 2016 10:15 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8,490
L
Master Gabster
I'm not 100% sure about how the inner fenders are on a Panel, but I do know that on a Pickup, they would cause the tire to rub the bedsides. Ideally, you really should run the same wheel all around, including the spare, which will allow for tire rotation and having a matched spare. Having matched wheels on the rear will also keep the track width closer to stock, which will give better stability.


Bill Burmeister
Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
LONGBOX55 #1170836 Thu Jun 23 2016 03:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
M
New Guy
Thank you very kindly. I appreciate your counsel on this subject. I am going to stop at Pick A Part junkyard today and see what my options are, but it seems like the trailer wheels are not a terrible option with free shipping.

Thanks again!

Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
misterjalopy #1170856 Thu Jun 23 2016 06:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 58
L
Wrench Fetcher
Hi misterjalopy,
I had exactly the same problem with my 47 1 ton panel but I couldn't find anything specifically saying that the dexstar wheels would work without spacers of any kind. Anyway, I did buy a set of the dexstar wheels that you have a link to above and they fit fine with no spacers. My front end is bone stock with the more modern style tie rod ends. I am using 215/85 - 16 tires which are nearly the same height and width as the stock 17" tires. I also got a set of hubcaps from hubcap mike's and they look pretty good on there.
Les

Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
Les_S #1171332 Mon Jun 27 2016 04:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
M
New Guy
Thanks a ton, Les!

I ordered the Dexstar wheels and am just waiting on their arrival.

Tire store recommended 255/85 16, which would be 33" high and 10" wide. Using the excellent tiresize.com, a 215/85 16 would be 30.5" high by 8.5" wide. I am not where my truck is, so I am going to have to measure.

I really appreciate your advice! I will check out the hubcap option you mentioned.

Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
misterjalopy #1171394 Mon Jun 27 2016 09:00 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8,490
L
Master Gabster
Between those sizes, and considering the Dextar wheels you mentioned, the 215/85/16 or a 235/85/16 would be a much better choice than the 255/85/16. The 255/85/16 would really need at least a 7" wide wheel, or preferably an 8", in order to provide proper fitment for best handling and load carrying performance. The 6' wheel is simply too narrow, and can lead to very poor handling, mainly severe wander at higher speeds.


Bill Burmeister
Re: Advice - Orig. 17" on 1948 Chevy Panel Adventure Truck but 16" possible?
misterjalopy #1171548 Tue Jun 28 2016 04:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 58
L
Wrench Fetcher
The dextar wheels have 9/16 lug nut holes so you will need some bulge nuts like these. This is the place I bought them from. The quality is good and their shipping was fast.
Les

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