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1970

Firebird Wheels
 
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The ins and outs of Pontiac wheels may be confusing and no clear documentation really exists for all the wheels that may have adorned the Firebird from 1970 to 1981.  This guide is compiled from many sources but the primary resource is the 1972 Pontiac Firebird parts manual. Although these manuals can be unclear at times by listing parts that may fit as a replacement or subsitution the wheel info seems to be the most complete.  It is the only resource to list codes. If you see a discreancy then please contact me.
Steel Wheels  
Standard Hubcap
  Hubcap and Trim Ring
   

All Firebirds except Trans Am and those ordered with Rally II wheel would be outfitted with Pontiac's base wheel.  Hubcaps or wheel covers would be installed over this wheel.. 

When the Base Firebird was ordered with the base 6 cylinder engine the wheel was 14"X6" and was stamped AM near the valve stem.  All other models with V-8's, including the base Esprit and Formula, had 14"X7" wheels stamped with CL. Image shown is actually a later wheel but 1970's were similar.

 
The Base Hubcap was standard with Firebird, Formula, and Esprit (Esprit also had the trim ring to the right as standard).  Note that when the base hubcap was ordered the wheel was painted in body color.
 

Option 471-UPC P06

In addition to the base hubcap Esprit models came standard with the Trim Ring, a bright metal ring that attached to the outer rim of the wheel held on with serrated teeth.  The Trim Ring was optional on all other models (471/PO6) when ordered with Base Hubcaps or Rally II wheels.

         
Wire Wheel Covers   Rally II 14x6   Rally II 14x7
     

Option 473-Code N95

Wire Wheel Covers were offered throughout the second generation Firebird's 12 year run. In some years the Wire Wheel Cover was not a factory option but in others they were offered as a dealer added accessory.  In 1970 the Wire Wheel Cover was a factory option.  The center cap called out PMD.  This version was offered from 1967 to 1972.

 

Option 474-Code N98

The optional Rally II wheel on the Base Firebird with the 6 cylinder engine was a 14"x6" wheel.  Rally II wheels are sometimes difficult to tell apart but these versions would have a code stamped TO near the valve stem.  Shown is an example (not necessarily correct) with optional trim ring and the earlier black PMD center cap. When Rally II wheels were ordered a fifth Rally II was included as the spare.

Note, it is assumed that the 14x6 Rally II is correct for 6 cylinder models in 1970 by the existence of a part number in the Firebird Parts Catalog.  Part number 546495 describes a 14x6 wheel for Firebird. With the 6 cylinder steel wheels were definitely 14x6, presuymably the upgrade to Rally IIs would also be 14x6.

 

Option 474-Code N98

The optional Rally II wheel that came with any V-8 engines (except Trans Am) was this 14"x7".  The correct wheel would be stamped with a JK code near the valve stem.  Shown in this instance is the 7 inch Rally II wheel with the optional trim ring and a red center cap.  A Black center cap would also be correct for early wheels. The lug nuts with a black dot on the head is correct for Rally II wheels. When Rally II wheels were ordered a fifth Rally II was included as the spare.

         
Rally II 15x7   1970 Rally II Wheel Center Caps   Space Saver Spare
 

1970 Rally II center caps were changed at some time after introduction from the black center cap at top left to the red center cap at bottom left.  Both caps showed the lettering PMD, standing for Pontiac Motor Division. Both are correct for 1970 cars but only the red would be carried over through 1972.

The black center cap is the same as that used on 1967 to 1969 Rally II wheels. 

The red center cap would be used until the end of 1972.  In 1973 the center cap for Rally II wheels would be a plain steel ornament with the Pontiac arrow head crest embossed into its center. 

 

The 15 x 7 Rally II wheel was new for 1970 and came standard on Trans Am.  This wheel was also available on Formula models when ordered with F60x15 Raised White Letter tires (option TNL/PM7).  The 1970 wheel was unique in that the rim began life as a 14" wheel but an extra 1" section was welded to the outside to get the 15" diameter.  Because of this 1970 wheels can be easily identified by the larger inner rim than other Rally wheels.  These wheels are stamped JW near the valve stem.  When Rally II wheels were ordered a fifth Rally II was included as the spare.

It appears from the Pontiac Parts Manual dated 1972 that this wheel was correct for the 1971 models as well.  Another mystery surrounding this wheel involves the Trim Ring option.  Originally the 15" Rally II was not available with trim rings and most people believe that the 15" Rally II wheel never received the Trim Ring option in 1970.   The delivery sheet below shows a genuine Trans Am delivered with Trim Rings.  The origin date is 6/26/70 proving that this was an option added in 1970.  Confirming this is the 1972 Parts Manual listing Trim Ring part Number 9796696 1970-72 8 CYL W/15 IN RALLY WHEELS - 2-1/2 IN WIDE RING - ATTACHES WITH 16 SERRATED TEETH.

   

Space Saver Spare Tire (Code 704-UPCN65) was a popular option on Firebird because trunk space was always at a premium on second generation Firebirds.  The space saver spare added almost 3 cubic feet of additional trunk space. The handy pressure can bolted to the inside of the wheel was used to inflate the spare when it was needed.

Regular steel wheels were used for space saver spare tires dependent on the size of the wheel installed.  For 14x6 wheels (from the base 6 cylinder bird) a 14x5 space saver wheel was used.  These are stamped HI near the valve stem.  For all others a 14x6 space saver wheel was installed stamped KC near the valve stem.

Note, When Rally II wheels were ordered the spare also was a Rally II unless the space saver tire option was ordered.

     
Trans Am Trim Rings?  

Pontiac literature never listed trim rings as being available on the 15 inch wheels that were standard on Trans Am and optional on Formula when ordered with Tires, F60 X 15 Raised White Letter with 15 inch Rally II Rims(TNL/PM7).  However Pontiac did list the Trim Ring as part number 9796696 as being available for 15 inch Rally II wheels.  One hobbyist was generous enough to share his 1970 Trans Am's order sheet showing that his 1970 Trans Am was equipped with Trim Rings for $21.06.  Since mid year changes were extremely common it can be surmised that at some point (before June 26, 1970 as the origin on the statement to the right shows) that Trim Rings became available for the 1970 Trans Am. 

The parts manual also shows that this particular trim ring, part number 9796696 was used from 1970 until 1973.