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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope someone can help me out here. I plan on doing the Mustang 5x4.5" hub swap. When I do I want to get some 17x8" rims and tires to match, probably 245/50R17s. But there are a lot of choices out there and since that bolt circle isn't meant for MN12 I expect that the wheels for Mustangs might have different backspacing compatibility. So,

1) what is the correct backspacing for a 17x8" wheel on a Thunderbird if the wheel I'm looking at has no offset listed? I see some wheels for old Mustangs ('67-'73) have 4.75" backspacing (Scott Drake, Legendary), others with 4.5" backspacing (Year One), others with 4.275" backspacing (Legendary), but what looks like 0 offset (another site had what seems to be a 7.0mm offset but of course no backspacing listed),

2) is it possible to modify wheels to have different/compatible backspacing? Meaning take them apart and change the backspacing. Is that only possible with 2 or 3-piece wheels? I suppose cast is out of the question.

I would actually like Magnum 500 wheels, or something very close to that look, but I don't know if that will work.
 

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The Parts Guy
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7,640 Posts
Typical "good" offset for a 8" wheel on this platform is around +32, which equates to about 5.75" of backspace.

Anything is possible. Wheels can be cut apart, narrowed, widened, etc. That said, I expect that the wheels you're looking at are not worth that endeavor, especially since there are plenty of off the shelf options that will bolt right on.
 

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50 years of Mercury Cougar 1967/2017
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I had 17x8 '01 mustang GT rims on my cougar, they were just at the point of sticking out, meaning they did not tuck in like stock rims.
 

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1996 Cougar 4.6
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40 Posts
After i did my hub swap i threw on some 1996 cobra wheels 17x8 and they fit perfect. Dont stick out too far and no rubbing on the inside
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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I love the way SN95 17x8”s fit, they’re all +30mm offset. Check out the earlier pages of the wheel thread, a lot of us hub swapped back then specifically to run OEM Mustang wheels

Any wheel meant for an old 60s-70s car will have closer to zero offset, you don’t want those
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Typical "good" offset for a 8" wheel on this platform is around +32, which equates to about 5.75" of backspace.

Anything is possible. Wheels can be cut apart, narrowed, widened, etc. That said, I expect that the wheels you're looking at are not worth that endeavor, especially since there are plenty of off the shelf options that will bolt right on.
I see, so I should be looking/hoping for more backspacing? Meaning 4.75" is much better than 4.275" backspacing, and more than that would be even better?

I know plenty will bolt right on, but trying to get something like a Magnum 500 wheel design results in these 4.something" backspacings. Or Budnik custom wheels for like $845 each. So if a $200 rim can be modified for my Thunderbird for something like $100 a wheel that's still waaaaay cheaper. That said, I have no idea if that's an option or who would do it (I live in L.A.) around here.
 

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1991 Mercury Cougar LS 5.0 in restoration
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All old school magnum 500 isn't going to work and I'd bet you spend more on having them reworked than the cost of the wheels themselves.

IIRC, in 2003 and 4 there was a Mustang Mach 1 with a refreshed version of the magnum wheels. They may have been 18*9 though.

43265
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oooo, ok, the Mach 1 SVE 17x8" wheel, that's not a bad Plan B if what I really want can't happen. I wish it was closer to the real deal but at least these are under $200 a rim. Thanks.

To my original question, though, do any of you know of a place that can take apart/rebuild wheels to fit our backspacing/offsets?
 

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Idk exactly how you take apart a cast wheel. But, I know there are companies that modify stock monocast wheels to be 3 piece deep dish wheels, so thats a possibility. I plan to do that with both a set of SC wheels and a my 96s OEM 15s. Just need to find a company name instead of a youtube video.
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