1978 Malibu Rear Wheel and Tire combo

gearheaddrew

Apprentice
Oct 29, 2019
60
33
Bay City MI
This is a highly debated issue and I have done multiple searches but have yet to find a concrete answer.

Looking at a set of wheels for my 78, the seller says they are 18x8. I have found the wheel brand based of a few ID features from his pictures and they appear to have 4.5" BS.

Front rubber is 235/40/18 rear is 275/35/18.

The rear tire width is concerning to me as it is about 10.8, my car is lowered with 1" hotchkis springs, front is the blazer brake setup, new poly body mounts. I found where Streetbu had to notch and roll in order to clear the same size tire.

Question is, anyone know for sure if they will clear without mod? Seller said he bolted to his buddies GN and had 1" clearance but all gbodies are not the same especially early ones (a-body) like I have.
 

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scoti

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Sep 5, 2019
845
93
Texas
This is a highly debated issue and I have done multiple searches but have yet to find a concrete answer.

Looking at a set of wheels for my 78, the seller says they are 18x8. I have found the wheel brand based of a few ID features from his pictures and they appear to have 4.5" BS.

Front rubber is 235/40/18 rear is 275/35/18.

The rear tire width is concerning to me as it is about 10.8, my car is lowered with 1" hotchkis springs, front is the blazer brake setup, new poly body mounts. I found where Streetbu had to notch and roll in order to clear the same size tire.

Question is, anyone know for sure if they will clear without mod? Seller said he bolted to his buddies GN and had 1" clearance but all gbodies are not the same especially early ones (a-body) like I have.
Streetbu notched his rails & is also running wider wheels @ 9.5" for those 275's.

Reading your initial statement, are all 4 wheels you're intending to buy 18x8? If so, no way I'd run a 275/38 on an 8" wide wheel (9" width minimum). Width difference requirements change as the sidewalls get shorter when using larger diameter wheels. While people might put 275/60-15's on a 15x8, a 275/35 combo won't be 18x8" wheel friendly (9-10" recommended; 9.5" typical).

Also.... Never believe a 'sellers' "it will fit" statement w/o verifying it yourself as well & confirming where/how they verified. Like you stated, not all g-body's are the same.
 
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Streetbu

Know it all, that doesn't
May 22, 2011
2,705
113
Central NY
275 is too wide for an 8" rim for sure. I'm running that same size tire 9n my 78 Malibu but with a 9.5" and it's perfect. My wheels are 5.25" backspacing though and I notched my frame to the seam. You MAY be able to get away 5" back spacing and my tire and wheel combo without a notch, but you'll be VERY close to the frame.

Part of the issue is that just because it fits one car, doesn't mean it will fit the same model and year of another car. The build quality on these cars was horribly inconsistent at best. Add in that most of our cars need body bushings and people don't even realize it and that doesn't help.
 

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