'75-'79 Nova Tire Fitment

General Information
The general thought is that if the tire placement inside the wheelwell is optimized, 255/60-15s will fit the back, and at least 235/60-15s will fit the front on a '75-'79 Nova with a stock, good condition, suspension. If the springs are sagging or you have the wrong wheel offset, however, those sizes may not fit.

Specific Examples
235/60-15 front - 255/60-15 rear
Scott Windle had 15x7 Pontiac Rally II wheels with 4.5" backspacing on his '76 Nova. The tires were 235/60-15s up front and 255/60-15s out back and he had no problems and no rubbing. Scott thinks that may be the maximum rubber that'll fit a '76. Here's what they looked like:

190/75-15 front - 265/55-15 rear
Scott has had the equivalent of 190/75-15s on 15x5s with 3.5" backspacing up front and 265/55-15s on 15x7s with 4.5" backspacing out back in these pictures (same car, believe it or not!):

Visit Scott's awesome Nova website here.

235/60-15 front - 275/60-15 rear
David McLelland had 235/60-15s on 15x7 American Racing wheels with 3.75" backspacing up front and 275/60-15s on 15x8 AR wheels with 3.75" backspacing out back on his '79. He needed air shocks to keep them from rubbing, however. They look pretty dang good if you ask me!!

And with 235/60-15s all the way around...

Here's Dave's Nova with his new tires: 235/60-15s front and 255/60-15s rear. Same wheels. Nice, huh? He says that if he let all the air out of the air shocks they might rub a little (I think more backspacing would cure that), but rolling the fender lip would take care of that. Replacing the sagging leaf springs would help, too!

215/60-15 front - 255/60-15 rear
Roy bought a '76 in the summer of 2000 and it's got a stock suspension. He put 255/60-15s on 15x8 wheels with 4.5" backspacing on the rear and 215/60-15s on 15x6 wheels with 4" backspacing up front. No rubbing whatsoever.

E-mail Roy if you have any questions: notrodnova@aol.com

Will Baker has put some large wheels and tires on his '75, here's what he has to say:

255/50-16s on 16x8s with 4.5" backspacing cause a minor amount of rubbing on the outsides of both front and rear wheelwells when the car was really loaded down with people or if he hit a big dip in the road. The car was lowered about 1" from stock at that point. There was also minor rubbing on the inner wheelhousing just above the shock during autocrossing/hard cornering.

Will was very happy with the appearance of the vehicle with that combo installed and he has some pictures that should be posted soon.

285/40-17s on 17x9s actually bolted on as well! The wheels had 5.5" backspacing. He hasn't driven the car with this combo unfortunately, but he's taking measurements and it's looking like it'll be about the same as the aforementioned tires with slight rubbing on the bumps or with a load. He thinks 255/40-17s would work out quite nicely. Hopefully he'll get some pics of this combo as well.

Josh tells me he's run some 17s on his '77 Nova. He had 245/45-17 Nitto NT555 drag radials out back and 205/55-17 Pirellis in front. There was a little minor rubbing up front at first, but removing the inner fenders and rolling the lips took care of that issue. He's also run 295/50-15 tires out back on '80 Caprice wheels with no problems. Not sure on the wheel width or backspacing, though. Josh has also run 215/65-15 tires up front on his '77 and reports they looked great! Hopefully he'll send in some pictures to post soon.

295/60-15 rear
Here's Mike's '78 with 295/60-15s out back, not sure on the wheel sizing or backspacing, though.

Matt used our Tire Fitment Page to help decide on a wheel/tire combo for his '76, so he figured he might as well contribute to the cause as well. Up front he's got 235/60-15s on 15x7s with 4" backspacing, while the rears are 255/60-15s on 15x8s with 4.5" backspacing. It's a great-looking, well-balanced combo that fits perfectly. No mods were required to the vehicle, and there's no rubbing at all, even with the steering at full lock.

215/60-15 front - 235/60-15 rear
Fred says this tire package works well until he has 3-4 people in the car, at which time it starts to rub in the rear, but otherwise it's great. The front end has a 2.5" drop with a stock rear, plus air shocks. Hopefully more pictures (and wheel information) are incoming.

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© 2020 Bruce Johnson and Craig Watson