We believe in the magic of the automobile

Project Respect Update: The Wheels of Respect Go Round and Round

Buying a nice set of wheels and tires that don’t do the job, or look right is like wearing an expensive pair of shoes that are too small. You can’t bear to throw them out, but they give you blisters.

The RT-S line is unique because it is a three piece modular forged constructed wheel that is welded instead of bolted together and has three mounting pad heights – Gregory Smith

For our latest upgrade to Project Respect, a third generation Camaro, we were looking for the best fit in appearance, performance and satisfaction in wheels and tires.

Needless to say, we were also looking for wheels that commanded respect. Speaking of respect, we wanted a set of wheels from a company that had a long heritage of successful racing in their resume.

Weld Racing, a company that was built from the ground up by racers, specializes in making products for racers. We called Gregory Smith at Weld Racing to get the Intel on what we needed to bring our project car some much deserved adoration.

These Weld RT-S Wheels will certainly bring respect for any project in your garage.

The Plan

Our plans included adding a top shelf braking system from Baer Brakes to the project car, along with the Moser 12-bolt rearend. Knowing that these items would play a role in the fitment of new wheels, we talked to Smith about the build and proposed suspension and brake components.

The Weld RT-S line has opened a new door to car builders that want great forged racing wheels at budget friendly car enthusiast prices.

Smith explained that Weld Racing’s RT-S line was perfect for this type of project. “The RT-S offers an opportunity for street performance and street/strip car owners to use Weld Racing products on cars whose brake systems are too large or where other space issues are a concern.”

“The RT-S line is unique because it is a three piece modular forged constructed wheel that is welded instead of bolted together and has three mounting pad heights,” Smith told us.

Keeping in mind that there were some space limitations in the wheel wells of our project car, the RT-S wheel line has a whole range of tire widths available, from 4 inches to 18 inches to be exact. Smith also noted “We offer the RT-S wheels in many different backspace combinations,” which means that we can really tuck the wheel inside the wheel well.

Since our project car was going to reclaim respect on the street and the strip, we expected to get a fair amount of time on the local streets as well as seeing a lot of track duty. Experience has shown us that many of the third generation F-Body enthusiasts are using a 17-inch drag radial for this type of application.

Armed with the knowledge of what we were using and what we were shooting for, Smith suggested that we go with a 17 x 8 RT-S wheel with a high mount pad in the front and a 17 x 9.5 RT-S wheel with a medium mount pad for the rear. “These will clear the brake package and keep the wheels placed nicely in the chassis,” said Smith, adding “Verify these by measuring the car. Use care to measure the car with the new rotor hats on.”

High performance rotor hats are often thicker than stock and push the wheels outboard, especially if they are aluminum rotor hats.” We ordered up the front and rear Weld Racing RT-S wheels that Smith recommended in the classic five spoke design (S71) with a black anodized center (Front part #S71HB7080B47A, Rear part #S71MB7095B58A).

Specs for Front Wheels (Part #S71HB7080B47A)

  • 17X8.0-inch Wheel size
  • High pad height
  • 4.7-inch Back Space
  • SAE J2530 Aftermarket wheel standards (Street)
  • Center available in polished or black anodized
  • Load rating of 1580 lbs per wheel (3160 lbs per axle)
  • Center cap and valve stem included
  • Made in Kansas City, USA
Specs for Rear Wheels (Part #S71MB7095B58A)
  • 17X9.5-inch Wheel size
  • Medium pad height
  • 5.8-inch Back space
  • SAE J2530 Aftermarket wheel standards (Street)
  • Center available in polished or black anodized
  • Load rating of 1580 lbs per wheel (3160 lbs per axle)
  • Center cap and valve stem included
  • Made in Kansas City, USA

Toyo's aggressive tread patterns have the road holding appearance that any canyon carver would love to see.

Rubber For The Road

With the wheels taken care of, we needed some traction making drag radials that were equal to the challenge. We’ve been keeping our eyes on Toyo Tire’s street legal drag radial, the Proxes TQ series. Toyo promotes these tires as having “a new drag radial compound” and “strengthened radial construction.”

Toyo Proxes TQ

Another attractive feature that caught our attention was the Asymmetric tread design. Toyo claims that this tread design optimizes the tire for both track and street use.

The inner half of the tire is designed as a “semi-slick” that Toyo states, “Improves traction on independent rear suspension vehicles while maintaining consistent grip on straight axle suspension vehicles.

The outer half of the tire is designed with a tread pattern that reduces noise on the street. We believe that by “reduced noise” they mean road noise and not the tire screeching caused by super human He-Man burnouts.

Whether you're hip to the street or strip, Toyo's got the right tire combination to suit your project vehicle or daily driver.

Toyo Proxes T4 (Part # 197180) Front Tire Specs:

  • Tire Size: 245/45ZR17
  • Rim Range: 7.5-9.0-inch
  • Overall Diameter: 25.7-inch
  • Overall Width: 9.8-inch
  • Tire Weight: 24.7 lbs
Toyo Proxes TQ (Part # 197180) Rear Tire Specs:
  • Tire Size: 275/40R17
  • Rim Range: 9.0-11.0-inch
  • Overall Diameter: 25.8
  • Overall Width: 11.0
  • Tire Weight: 27.5 lbs

The RT-S Weld Racing Wheels and Toyo Proxes TQ Drag Radial tires gave our project car some real traction grabbing performance while adding a mean attitude in it's appearance.

The Final Word

Yes, we know that the 3rd Gen F-Body Camaros are often overlooked but with our recent upgrades, we doubt that Project Respect’s wheels and tires will draw some attention on and off the track. There’s no secret here, use good quality parts with solid reputations when you do your upgrades and your project car will earn it’s respect. Now we’re off to schedule a test session to back up that demand for our props.

The RT-S Weld Racing Wheels and Toyo Proxes TQ Drag Radial tires gave our project car some real traction grabbing performance while adding a mean attitude in it's appearance.

Sources

Weld Racing
Phone: 800-788-9353
Toyo Tires
Phone: 800-442-8696


Post A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.