2002 T Bird new wheels.... your thoughts ?

baileysdad

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Thunderbird Year
2002
It seems like every once in a while someone asks the question about updated wheels. What looks good? I love my Bird, but I’ve always thought the factory polished chrome looked a little bit “plastic” and dated. My car came with Michelins with loads of tread, but date codes about 6 years old. It drove fine, but there was always that worry in the back of my mind about one coming apart at highway speed. So with the idea of getting new tires, I thought It’d be a good time to try something new with the wheels. At the same time I thought it’d be fun to go up a size. So the 235-50-17s were retired to the basement and 245-45-18s took their place. With only a tenth of an inch change in overall diameter, and 1/2 inch wider wheels, the fit was easy, but it gives it a more aggressive stance. The wheels came with the lug nuts, center caps and new valve stems. My dealer did the install two weeks ago, confirming everything fit and so far, I’ve gotten compliments from everyone. It’s a fresh look but easily put back to the factory stock. Just tossing out a possibility if anyone is considering a change.

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Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2004
I enjoy seeing changes and custom bits on the Birds. Seems there are two schools. One, encapsulates their cars in Turtlewax to admire over velvet ropes in climate controlled garages. These folks consider the speed-O 'rolling-over' when the car hits 10K mi. However, they are photo'd annually when they push 'em out on the lawn. 12 year old tires are a bonus if they're originals. They howl and are dry-rotted but hey, they are 'original'.

The second group personalizes their rides and has no concern storing or selling factory pulls. Wheels can set the car theme - aggressive, classic, modern, etc. The daring may swap seats, paint, sound systems - whatever blows their dress up. The car is a great build platform. Foose tweaked one into a space ship. The average retro T-Bird owner may disagree, but they can be made better than stock.

I like the posters wheels, not too much bling, suggested spokes, and don't say 'look at me'. Nice choice.

Not my car below but a fine example of how wheels, color, and design can work. If you love it, you may be in the second group. If you are shocked and hate the thought of changing those tires... yep, she's likely a lawn roller.

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Deputy JJG

The RAVEN @ Big Lake, Texas
Joined
Apr 20, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2003
It seems like every once in a while someone asks the question about updated wheels. What looks good? I love my Bird, but I’ve always thought the factory polished chrome looked a little bit “plastic” and dated. My car came with Michelins with loads of tread, but date codes about 6 years old. It drove fine, but there was always that worry in the back of my mind about one coming apart at highway speed. So with the idea of getting new tires, I thought It’d be a good time to try something new with the wheels. At the same time I thought it’d be fun to go up a size. So the 235-50-17s were retired to the basement and 245-45-18s took their place. With only a tenth of an inch change in overall diameter, and 1/2 inch wider wheels, the fit was easy, but it gives it a more aggressive stance. The wheels came with the lug nuts, center caps and new valve stems. My dealer did the install two weeks ago, confirming everything fit and so far, I’ve gotten compliments from everyone. It’s a fresh look but easily put back to the factory stock. Just tossing out a possibility if anyone is considering a change.

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These are very nice looking. Good choice. I too, am considering changing the wheels on my black 2002. I think the factory wheels are just plain gaudy. I've only had the car two months and have been upgrading mechanical stuff first. So far, I've replaced tires, spark plugs and coils, windshield wipers. both headlight assemblies and fog light assemblies. I plan on going to Vision "Boost" wheels. Like these wheels they are primarily black with machined areas that will accent the chrome pieces on the car.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2004
Well, whatever you do is your personal choice and that is fine. What you didn't reference is Ford's 17 spoke. micro machined rims. Quite attractive by most standards.
 
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