Snowflake Rims on 98 Trans Am - Wheels and Tires - Firebird Nation

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Snowflake Rims on 98 Trans Am


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#1 MrDre

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  • Year: 1998
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 5.7L third gen V8
  • Transmission: Automatic

Posted A week ago

I have a 1998 Trans Am 5.7L V8. The stock OEM rims are 16s and I found a set of snowflake tires that are 15s. Will they fit my car? I tried finding information as they are coming off the 81 Trans Am. My concern is the callipers rubbing inside the rim or just not fitting. thanks in advance

#2 Injuneer

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Posted A week ago

There were two versions of the 1981 “snowflakes” according to the Trans Am Creations website - 15”x7”, and 15”x8”.  In order to determine how deep those wheels will sit in the 4th Gen wheel openings, we need to know the offset or the backspace.  4th Gen stock 16”x8” wheels have an extreme offset (55mm), sinking them deep in the wheel wells (6.65” backspace).  The earlier generations typically had very little offset.  Putting those wheels on a 4th Gen is likely to put the outer edge of the wheel/tire outside the fender.

 

Then there’s the issue of fitting the 15” wheels over the 4th Gen disc brakes.  I run 15” drag wheels - barely clear the front brakes, requiring a spacer to keep the spokes of the wheels from catching on the brake pad retaining clips.  And, your 98 has larger diameter front brakes than my 94. Doubt 15’s will work.  In the back, I had to grind the cooling fins off the calipers. Still an extremely tight fit, and the 98 rear brakes are also larger than the 94.

 

If you are looking at the 7” wide version, that's narrower than the wheels used on the early V6 4th Gens.  The V8’s all have either 16”x8”, or 17”x9” wheels (WS6 coupe option).  You'll end up with a skinnier tire, yielding poorer handling and traction.

 

Short of a trial fit, I can’t tell you if they will fit over the brakes, or how far they are going to stick out beyond the fenders.  I've been the go-to wheel guy on CamaroZ28.com (120,000 members), for 20+ years, and this is the first time I've had anyone ask about putting 15” wheels, other than drag wheels, on a 4th Gen.  if you really like the snowflake design, there are 17”x9” (or maybe 17”x9.5”) replicas made with the correct offset/backspace for your 4th Gen.


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FRED

 
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https://www.firebird...9_698_32777.jpg

 


#3 MrDre

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  • Year: 1998
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 5.7L third gen V8
  • Transmission: Automatic

Posted A week ago

Yeah I am fitting different pieces from different eras on her to showcase the decades of the evolution.

Yeah the callipers were my concern. It doesnt bother me if they come out past the fenders, be a cool look if I put fatter tires on the back end.

I know these ones I am looking at are 15x8. Either Snowflake or Honeycomb, I like them both.

Also since The original CD player was dying a slow death I put a Pioneer deck in so my steering wheel stereo controls are useless so I am putting a old style steering wheel in it. Once shes out of body shop Ill post pictures
Thanks for the info as well! Much appreciated!
Thank you for the info!




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