Saturday, May 25, 2013

He's got an Interstate running through his front yard

A few years ago, Big O Tires ran a campaign talking about how nobody gets excited about tires. They haven't met me or my little brother Miles (yup, his name is Miles Davis). We get excited about tires.

I bought wheels and tires this week. When I saw that my wheels and tires would both be on my doorstep by Friday afternoon, I may have let out an audible yelp of joy in the office. Luckily the only person who would have heard it was Vern, and he gets excited about tires too. 

On Thursday I had a little detour from car stuff. We decided to go to a German restaurant for lunch but when I got there, there was a swap meet in the parking lot. I'd never been to a swap meet that was not a car parts swap meet so I thought I would check it out. Mostly it was 7 pairs of socks for $3 and obsolete electronics and yard sale type stuff. I saw a truck on the back of the lot that was surrounded by old bicycles. In addition to cars, I love bikes, primarily mountain bikes. Here in the LA area however, there are more opportunities to ride road bikes so I've been keeping an eye out for a vintage road bike. Well it turns out they had what I was looking for, so instead of eating German food I bought a French bike. Don't worry though, 'Merica is still the greatest nation on he face of the planet.

Oui baguette du mon Eiffel Tower, monseiur chili con carne!
When I got home, there was something waiting on the front porch.
Much to the the chagrin of Big O Tires, a single tear of joy welled up in my eye.
On Friday my wheels arrived. They had a nice black powdercoat finish, but that's not what I had in mind for this car. I pulled out my hand held media blaster which I'd never used and filled it with blasting soda from Harbor Freight and it was off the the backyard to use Steve's (Steve also gets excited about tires) massive air compressor. I roughed up the powdercoat surface without blasting down to the bare metal and then laid down a few coats of Duplicolor Bronze wheel paint.

In the morning I loaded up the car with the wheels and tires to pay a visit to Emilio at Guadalajara Tires in Gardena. Emilio was a nice Swedish Hispanic man who mounted and balanced my tires for $20, and was quick too.

At this point, I'm pretty excited about the look. I think the bronze wheel fits the patina well, and the sidewall height is about perfect. The tire should not contact the frame at any point in it's suspension travelI do have a few minor concerns though.

  • First the wheels are really heavy but I guess that's to be expected from steel wheels intended for Jeeps. 
  • Second, the fenders will DEFINITELY need to be rolled. The tires lightly contact the fenders at full compression, even when the wheels are straight. If the wheels are turned, this becomes a major issue.
  • Third, the car is sitting cockeyed. The distance from the ground to the top of the wheel well is 24 5/8 on the driver side and 23 7/8 on the passenger side. I'm not sure what is causing this, but I can't help but wonder if I was given two different springrates for the front springs. Both coilover adjustment collars appear to be in the same position.
Full compression of the suspension
Tire rub
More tire rub
Cockeyed stance

So it appears I have some investigation to perform in the near future. It seems odd to me that one side of the car would sit 3/4" lower than the other when both coilovers are adjusted the same. Since it's a long weekend, maybe on Monday I'll get around to some car proctology and give this car a new rear end.


  1. Reminds me about how you're truck leans when you're following it down the road. It's PERFECT!

  2. I dunno man... I kinda want to do this one right! I'm relatively sure that this is a tweaked unibody issue, and I'm gonna have to take it to a collision repair place.

  3. I like the bronze...nice choice

  4. what tire ans wheel size u runing