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Updating a 1997 GT with Style and Grip from Discount Tire Direct
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Nothing transforms the look of a Mustang more than a different set of wheels and tires, and Discount Tire Direct makes that transformation easy with just a few website clicks. Our 1997 Mustang GT project needed a roller makeover, as the stock 17x8-inch wheels and tires were a bit aesthetically stale. After plugging in our car’s info into Discount Tire Direct’s website, we were offered hundreds of wheel choices.
We narrowed down our selection to 17x 9-inch sizes, and opted for the Konig Hypergram wheels. Not only does the wheel update the looks of our 1997 GT convertible, it allows us to fit a wider tire without a weight penalty. The Hypergram’s flow formed design bridges the strength and stiffness gap between a cast and forged wheel by drawing the inner rim section to its final width over a mandrel under heat and pressure. As we add horsepower, we’re going to need more braking capability. Fortunately, the Konig Hypergram offers copious clearance for big brake calipers.
To fit our wider 17x 9-inch wheels we selected a set of Nitto NT05 sized 255/40-17. The 200 tread wear rating is the lowest allowed by many “street tire” autocross classes, so it was a great choice for a street-driven Mustang ready to clobber some cones.
To fit the wheels to our Mustang, Discount Tire Direct sent along a set of 12-point extended lug nuts and corresponding socket. Our Mustang also needed a set of 73mm hub adapter rings to center the wheels on our stock 70.3mm hubs.
The beauty of ordering a wheel and tire set from Discount Tire Direct is they installed the valve stems, mounted, and balanced the tires before shipping them to our front door. All we had to do was jack up our car and swap the old wheels for the new combination. Easy! Check out the details in the following photos.
1. It doesn’t get much easier than having pre-mounted wheels and tires shipped right to your door. Discount Tire Direct installed valve stems and balanced the combination as well.
2. The Nitto NT05 tires feature a super-sticky compound that’s still legal for 200 tread wear autocross classes.
3. To simplify installing the Konig Hypergram wheels on our 1997 Mustang GT, Discount Tire Direct sent low-profile lug nuts and a corresponding socket. Because the hub bores on the Konig Hypergram wheels were machined to 73mm, Discount Tire Direct also included a set of 73.0mm to 70.7mm hub adapters. Using the hub adapters ensured our wheels would be centered on the hubs to minimize vibrations.
4. The existing 17x8-inch wheel and tire combination on the 1997 GT was a bit too stale for our taste.
5. After jacking up the rear and removing the stock wheels, we slipped the supplied hub adapters over our factory hubs.
6. Then, we lifted the new setup over the studs and seated it against the brake rotors.
7. The extended lug nuts from Discount Tire Direct require the included socket. The low profile design prevented us from scuffing our wheels with a standard socket.
8. With the rear tires mounted, we jacked up the front corner of the Mustang.
9. With the car back on the ground, we torqued the lug nuts to the factory spec of 95 ft-lb.
10. The Konig Hypergram 17x9-inch wheels rapped in 255/40 Nitto NT05 tires transformed the look of our project 1997 GT convertible.
11. As we add horsepower, we’re going to need more braking capability. Fortunately, the Konig Hypergram offers copious clearance for big brake calipers.