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Help with Anna, tires, springs, and alignment


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Hello, 

Anna is a 1965 Skylark GS convertible. She's named after Anna Magnani and Italian actress who when told by a photographer not to worry, he would retouch any wrinkles that showed in her photographs, responded "Please don't retouch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them". 

Anna is a classic 20 footer. Up close there's not a panel that's completely straight and there are too many bumps and nicks to count. She runs great and we fix things that need fixing and leave the dings. She earned them. 

Right now Anna needs new tires. Her current tires are 15 years old and I'm not going to drive her farther than the tire shop until she gets new rubber. She has 215/65 R15s on Rally wheels. I'm thinking about keeping those on the front and moving up to 235/60 15 or 245/60 15 on the rear. Looking around the tire it looks like there's enough room for either. 

Anna is lower on the driver's side than on the passenger side in the back. I'm guessing she needs new springs. I've got a set of boxed trailing arms and I'll install those with new rear suspension bushings. 

Finally she'll need an alignment with her new tires and suspension pieces. 

So, here are my questions. 

Thoughts on tire size and which tires to choose? I'm thinking Radial T/As. I've read mixed reviews on line, but people I talk to like them and I'm not worried about the white letters turning brown. 

Should I replace the springs or will redoing the suspension be enough? If I do replace the springs, is there a reason to do the front at the same time? 

Last, alignment settings for a car that will spend far more time on tours than on the strip? 

 

For those who have seen these questions answered elsewhere I did spend several days with the search function on a number of different sites. I got lots of answers but I still have the questions I listed here. Any guidance on the best places to ask questions would be gratefully appreciated. 

Thanks in advance,

Alan

HRPT 2014 photosportsusa.com 57-025.png

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9 hours ago, Alan B said:

So, here are my questions. 

Thoughts on tire size and which tires to choose? I'm thinking Radial T/As. I've read mixed reviews on line, but people I talk to like them and I'm not worried about the white letters turning brown. 

Should I replace the springs or will redoing the suspension be enough? If I do replace the springs, is there a reason to do the front at the same time? 

Last, alignment settings for a car that will spend far more time on tours than on the strip? 

 

Great looking lady there!  I like the blackwalls, but you've probably seen that disagreement floating around this site.  😁

 

Since you plan to spend far more time on tour, I would recommend the same size tires all the way around. There is no reason to go wider in the rear and with the wheel openings, wider tires will be tougher to work with if you need to change a flat or worse while on the road. 

 

The TA radials with white letters can be mounted with the white letters to the inside, but I am sure they would look sharp on your Buick with the letters exposed.  I like mine on my GS and don't mind washing those as much as I mind washing those fat white walls on the 56.  Mount one with white letters showing and then decide what suits your fancy.  

 

As for sitting lower on one side in the rear, have you inspected your springs to see if that lower side looks like the spring is collapsing?  I once had a sister GM that always looked lower on one side and years later when the body was removed from the frame it was discovered that a body mount had rusted through and caused the sagging look. As for doing all 4 springs at once, if you can afford to do it, I think that is the way to go.  

 

Good luck 

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Hi Alan,

 

Nice Gran Sport. In addition to John’s comments, all good by the way, you might want to check out 65GS.com. Lots of experience there on 64-66 Skylarks and Gran Sports. A larger tire out back will also mean a slight difference in your gear ratio depending on how much taller, and the speedo may be off as well.

 

Mark

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