Reprinted from Restomod Daze, 2004
As many of you know, my wife, Cindy, and I drive this Restomod Mustang to shows all over the country. This April, we made the 5,000 mile round trip to the 40th Mustang Anniversary Show in Nashville, Tennessee. By the time you read this, we will have driven it to Wells, Nevada for the Wells Fun Run, to Park City, Utah for the Northern Utah Mustang Owners Association's MCA Mustang Car Show, to Santa Barbara, California for the Beach Cities Mustang Club's Show at the Queen Mary and will probably be getting ready to drive it to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Mustang Club of Las Vegas' Bright Lights City Cruise and Show. Each time we go on one of these long distance drives, our poor little pony is loaded down when we leave the house and loaded even more, thanks to the fact that Cindy just loves to shop, by the time we get home. One thing we can't have on our trips is tire rub. Having wheels with the correct back spacing is what allows us to run the nice wide tires and wheels you see here without having to worry about tearing up the tires that we've paid hundreds of dollars for; and enduring the agony of having to listen to it as it happens!
|This diagram shows exactly what back spacing is. The left edge of the wheel is the front of the wheel that faces the fender. The right edge of the wheel is the inside of the wheel which faces the frame of the car. The line through the wheel shows exactly where the face of the wheel, the area that bolts to the brake drum or brake rotor, is. As you can see, on this 8" wide wheel, 3" of the wheel is towards the fender while the remaining 5" of wheel, which is the back space, is to the inside.|
As Restomods become more and more popular, we are constantly asked the question "How big of tires and wheels can I get on my early model Mustang?" The answer is, it depends on the back spacing of the wheel that you are trying to use. Back spacing is the X-Y factor that determines if your Mustang will suffer from that acute affliction we call "Tire Rub". And, none of us want our ponies to suffer from the nagging type of hoof disease! In real terms, back spacing refers to the distance between the back face of the wheel, which is the area that is bolted against the brake drum or brake rotor by the lug nuts, and the back side of the rim of the wheel. When comparing the same width wheels, the greater this distance is, the further the wheel and tire set into the fender. Getting this measurement right is the difference between having a smooth driving Mustang that's a joy to drive or having a Mustang with a tire rubbing problem that drives you crazy. It takes a lot of fun out of driving if you constantly have to cringe in the seat every time you hit a bump or pull into a parking lot, waiting to see if one of your tires is going to rub.