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Author Topic: 1979 Trans am wheels  (Read 3826 times)
79taman
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« on: August 09, 2011, 09:24:22 AM »

I have a 79 Trans am that i am going to make a bandit out of. I have seen many 79 TA SE's with the 15x7 snowflakes like the ones used on 77 trans am and i do love that look. I also know that the 15x8 snowflakes with the chrome lip were the factory wheels they were also used on WS6's. More likely than not you will see a 79 trans am with the 15x8s but i just love the 15x7 non lip wheels. What do yall think?
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mrbandit
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 09:45:06 AM »

The 15x7 snowflake could be hand on any Trans Am from 1977-1981 that did not have the WS6 suspension.  The WS6 could only be had on 1978 - 1981 Trans Ams that had the WS6 or WS7 suspensions.
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1blk1
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 11:37:53 AM »

8" are prefered because you can mount much wider tire...i run 295/50 on rear
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mrbandit
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 01:18:25 PM »

I will also add that early last year Year One released a 17x9 snowflake, as well as a 15x8 snowflake.  That would leave you two choices...

Restoration or Reproduction

A set of restorable 15x7 or 15x8 snowflakes will run between 300 and 400.  The cost of having them restored runs about 500-600.  I had fbodywarehouse restore my last set of 15x8's and they looked fantastic.  Still I had $900 in the rims, $50 in new lug nuts and $50 in new center cap inserts.  My center caps were fine thankfully, but they can run between 100-250 depending on whether you go stainless steel or chromed plastic hex.  300+600+50+50+100=1100

A set of reproduction 17x9 snowflakes will run you 1069 with everything included.  The reproduction 15x8 run 969 complete. 

There you have it, the costs are about the same if you start from scratch.  If you want true original then I suggest contacting Pete at Fbodywarehouse and see how to start the process.  If you want a lot more bite and a good tire selection then the Year One 17x9 is for you.
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Jeff Rager
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 02:04:09 PM »

I've always loved the 8" snowflakes much better than the 7". They look uh...for the lack of a better word..."cleaner" than the 7" wheels, and of course, they are wider and help fill the wheels wells up better, I don't like the wheel looking like it is sucked into the wheel well. I like the wheel to look even with the fender.
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Grand73Am
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 02:12:39 PM »

I think the 15x7 snowflakes, not having the lip, are better looking too, because that snowflake face is all the way to the outside, which makes it more visible and bold looking. So, if you don't intend to use real big tires, you could use them. And used 15x7's are pretty cheap to buy, since they are more common. The original tire size would be 225-70-15. But I like a 245-60-15 on 7" wheels. It's wider and little shorter.

Not that the 15x8 isn't a good looking wheel too. And being wider does help some with handling, and being able to use bigger tires. Also, the lip on the 15x8 snowflake isn't chrome. The wheel is aluminum and the lip is part of the wheel, so it's aluminum. The lip isn't originally shiny, but many people like to polish the aluminum lip to a shine, so it has a "chrome-like" shine. Sometimes they polish the whole wheel.

This isn't my car, but a picture of a low mileage original that shows pretty well what the original appearance of a 15x8 is:

« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 02:14:18 PM by Grand73Am » Logged

Steve F.
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 03:15:17 PM »

I have always preffered the look of the7" snowflakes myself.
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79taman
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 07:07:56 PM »

Yeah.  I know there is only a 1 inch difference between the wheels, but the 8in. are factory and kinda better in handling. I love the look and style of the 7in. cause it gives it a true "bandit look." still can't decide
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78TransAm
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 07:16:35 PM »

I like both, but I guess I prefer the look of the 8" the best, however on a 77 or 78 SE, for whatever reason I think the 7" look better. I am weird that way.

My car is a base black 78 Trans Am, and originally came with rally II's, non WS-6 car, but I love the look of the 8" wheels on it.

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79taman
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2011, 09:09:13 AM »

Yeah. I guess it all depends on what size width the lip is. I have seen some snowflakes like they put on the 78's in the later years had a small lip, unlike the 2 inch lip
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Grand73Am
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2011, 10:57:54 AM »

There's really only the 7" snowflakes with no lip, and the 8" snowflakes with the 1" lip. So, there's no 2" lip.

If you haven't seen it, here's a page that shows the differences in the Pontiac wheels, including the Snowflakes, that will make it clearer how they are. There are some differences in the Snowflake pattern that you need to know to make sure you get a matched set: http://www.78ta.com/wheelspec.php
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Steve F.
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 01:08:23 PM »

I'd have to measure when I get home, but the Year One 17x9 may have a 2 inch lip.
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77tpibird
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 05:22:20 PM »

here is a couple of pics of my 77 with yearone 17x9's

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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 08:07:54 PM »

here is a couple of pics of my 77 with yearone 17x9's


great stance and look.
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1blk1
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 08:19:42 PM »

agreed, good tire/fender gap.
 a lot of people buy the 17s and have that huge space above the tire
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