View Full Version : problems with front tires rubbing

06-17-2004, 12:27 AM
my 75 has minilite look-a-likes, 5" wide I think with P155/80R13s goodyears on them. They rub against the front fender when cornering relatively fast. On the passenger side, it appears that there's a little ripple in the inside lip of the fender, and this is getting hit worse, but I see scuffs on the top of the fender on the passenger side too, so the ripples are just making matters worse on the drivers side. The front of the car does appear to be about 1" lower than the front. It doesn't have lowered springs that I know of, I don't see a spacer kit on it either.....anyone got any thoughts? It does have a anti-sway bar on it, though only a small one. I'll check diameter in the morning...I'll bend the offending metal back on the drivers side, but anyone have any thoughts on how to fix this properly? better sway bar? new springs? lower profile tires? other?
Thanks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

06-18-2004, 09:12 AM
The tyres sound about right for the car. Maybe they were originally 145s, but I find it had to beleive that the extra 10 mm would cause rubbing. The rims aren't standard, so my suspicions run there first. Do a little homework and learn what the correct offset is for your car. Measure a rim and verify it matches the offset. These rims might have been for a Spitfire, Mini, Lotus or some other car and they happended to kinda fit, so the DPO put them on. Second, you mention the ride height is not factory, with one measurement being different from the other. Verify the ride height is, at least, close to the factory numbers. If the car is too low, new springs are in order. The sway bar shouldn't be a determining factor in tyres rubbing the fenders, even if it isn't on the car.

06-18-2004, 02:03 PM
Rob. I'm running 5" Minataur wheels (the Minilite clones) with 15580R13 Michelins on a '72 Midget and have never had a problem with tire rub.
I'd take a look at the front springs, as the 1500 used longer springs than the other cars. Is it possible that they have been replaced with the wrong springs?
If the wheels were for a Lotus or a Spitfire they wouldn't fit, as the bolt pattern on those wheels is 4 X 3 3/4". It is possible that someone found a set of 4X100mm wheels and forced them on, but I doubt it.
It wouldn't hurt to check the backspacing on the wheel to make sure it is right, but if it is rubbing on the lip of the fender, that sounds more like a ride height issue.

06-18-2004, 02:26 PM
thanks guys. PO is my father-in-law, so I do know what he did to the car. He put these tires and wheels on last year, I'm pretty sure he got the wheels from VB. offset looks proper, I'm betting it's my springs after further inspection. I'll measure from the bottom of the rocker to the ground, and clearance between fender and tire today.

06-18-2004, 07:27 PM
okay, it's 6.5" from the bottom of the rocker to the ground up front, 8.5" out back. I've got roughly 0.5" between the fender lip and the tires up front. front springs sagged?

06-18-2004, 07:38 PM
It sure sounds like it, Rob. I just measured the '72 with the same wheel and tire setup and got 7" front, 8" rear, and 1 1/4" over the front tire. I drive the daylights out of this thing, and have never had any rub.

06-18-2004, 11:29 PM
I see you're beyond this as you obviously know the PO, however the Mini sitting in me garage has a 4" bolt circle. It's been 20 years for the Spitfire and I don't have one of them in the garage presently, so I can't swear by it, but I'm pretty sure it, too, has that 4" bolt crcle.

06-19-2004, 02:21 AM
Thom, the Spit has a 3 3/4" bolt circle. I've got one in the garage right now, and the GT6 is another one using that dimension. Many of the Lotus variants shared the same wheels. I wish it was a 4 on 4. Then I wouldn't have to buy different wheels for the Spit and the Sprite!

06-19-2004, 12:14 PM
TR7/8 also use 3.75" pcd. I found a supplier for minilites in the UK with a good price, but shipping was more than the wheels?!

02-17-2005, 04:38 PM
Well, I'm still having trouble resolving this problem.

I've replaced the front springs with Moss' 340lbs comp springs and also replaced front swaybar bushings and rear shackle bushings. It feels much better but I still have rubbing problems.

The vehicle also sits a little to the drivers side (which is the most problematic side). I've probably got 3/4" clearance on the pass side and 0.5" on the drivers side.

The suspension seems to be a little soft, I'm wondering if the lever arm dampers are shot. I've topped them up but that's all and I'm betting they haven't been rebuild in a while (if ever)....

About the only thing I can see visibly wrong up front is that the drivers side motor mount is shot, but I couldn't see that being part of the problem.

Anyway, should I be looking into rebuilt lever arms or a tube shock conversion? I'm thinking about getting some 175/50 tires since they're lower profile. Probably Sumitomo HTR 200s from tire rack based on what I found with the search button.

any thoughts?

02-17-2005, 04:47 PM
Here are some pics of the situation:




Trevor Jessie
02-17-2005, 05:15 PM
175/50's are quite a bit smaller in circumference. You loose about 14% on your speed. I have 165/70's (on the same rims) on mine and have a rubbing issue only when diving into a hard turn. In my case, I think I can reduce the rub by reducing unwanted body roll. New front springs with a heavier sway bar, and new rear leaf springs. I think the rear springs are the problem. They have settled so much that they are most likely too weak.

02-20-2005, 11:54 PM
Well, I tinkered with the lever arm shocks since I was pretty sure they were worn but couldn't get them to act the way I wanted to so I ended up switching over to some Gabriel tube shocks.

Here are the mounts I made:


The upper mounts are some I had left over from a Jeep project. They're Rubicon Express part #RE2020.

Nial's writeup was the inspiration for this, though his system is superior /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I just used some scrap 1" tubing I had in the shed. Anyway, here's Nial's writeup for those interested:


The handling difference is INCREDIBLE. The old lever arms were just shot. Unfortunately though, I can still get the tires to rub under hard cornering.

I've given up on these tires and just ordered some Sumitomo HTR 175/50-13s....


02-23-2005, 08:30 PM
The UPS man brought me my HTRs today and I've got them mounted on the minilites /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif

I'm in the process of trying to find a brake line leak after switching to braided steel lines (my stock ones were cracked and in bad shape) and I also got motormounts in the mail today so if I have a good evening in the garage the drive to work should be fun tomorrow! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif